Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Muse of the Moment: Edie Sedgwick

She is a new retro icon representing the new Beatnik. Do we like her image?

Feminine Fragrances


There was a time not so long ago when pink was considered a boy's color. Pink, being a form of red, was considered too strong a color for girls. Prior to the 1940's, girls wore blue, a sober, more proper color according to the people of that time. Color perception changes with the times as scent perception does.

I don't necessarily believe that scents are gender-specific yet I am one who loves "feminine" scents. Why do I see them as such? Probably because I want to. Am I a hypocrite? Perhaps, but I wear unisex scents, too, and I don't care if I share my feminine favorites with guys. I also love to smell what I perceive as a manly scent on a man sometimes so it depends. What are your thoughts? Some of my current favorites are Creed Spring Flower, Pilar & Lucy To Twirl All Girly, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, Sisley Eau du Soir and L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons.

Pictured: Pilar & Lucy To Twirl All Girly (toutie.com)

Today's News: Pink Manhattan on iVillage

Just a little side note today that Pink Manhattan PURRFUME got a writeup on iVillage.com:

http://beauty.ivillage.com/stuffwelove/0,,8vq96dkf,00.html

I want to tell you that even though it's written that I call it PURRfume "Because it makes him purr like a kitten when he snuggles up next to you", the truth is that it's called PURRfume "because everybody wants to be a cat"--Gato Jazz, from The Aristocats.

Best of Music: Earth, Wind & Fire

Surely this band is one of the greatest bands that ever has been and ever will be. There is none other; they are unique. They are to me the epitome of greatness. What made them great in my mind? They sang and played music like real singers and musicians and their songs changed my life forever. Some of my favorite songs are "September", "Serpentine Fire", "After the Love Has Gone"; some of their '80s songs such as "Every Now and Then" and "Thinking of You", even without the great horn section that they're known for, have stuck with me and helped shape the musician I am today. Much love and respect!!! Which are your faves? Share the love!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Classics

I wanted to share with you all, my most recent and classic review from TAXI Listener ID # 225:

Overall Comments:
"Sali, you're a great singer. I can't forward recordings like these. I hear your good songs and voice, but these productions totally distract. Honestly, I think these productions are closing doors for you. I have been instructed not to address production issues in general because we're supposed to help you more with various writing ideas, but your recordings are your issue. You don't need bigger, better productions, but you should give yourself or a different producer a new try. Model your productions and singing style after the artists suggested. You will never succeed in winning the approval of someone looking for Fiona Apple with your current production aesthetic. You do not need a studio. You can use a guitar or piano, but you must tap into a current, cool aesthetic.

Bio Comments:
"In your bio, after yo rework your songs, compare yourself to three artists, then talk about your career goals and accomplishments. Don't sell yourself as some NY swinging club diva girl. There's no future in that except to be that. This listing is looking for a simple, low key artist."

OK, it was my own fault for submitting to a Fiona Apple clone listing, but is it my imagination or was she a bit catty and sexist for alluding to me (and anyone who's not low key) being nothing more than a common whore with no hope of a future as a real, respectable artist?

What is your definition of a classic?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Morgane le Fay


I used to have this and gave it to a friend a couple of years ago. Now I miss the smell for some odd reason and I'm thinking about replacing it, but it is nowhere to be found again. Does this ever happen to you, where you suddenly crave a scent? This perfume was a light floral with a woodsy-mossy feeling from what I recall--think wood nymphs. Here's the description from www.morganelefay.com:

Morgane Le Fay Classic Eau de Parfum
"A mingling of the finest natural oils of muguet, jasmine, moss, bergamot, rose de grasse, magnolia, and sandalwood. Unpretentiously intricate, subtly vibrant, our signature bottle suggests alchemy and precision."

The bottle is a tall alchemy-inspired flacon which is packaged inside a white box and that box comes *in*, not with, a black mesh drawstring bag--so beautiful and original. I got mine at the Times Square Sephora when they used to carry really cool and rare stuff.

Incidentally, the Spring 06 Morgane le Fay clothing line is also fabulous so check it out! I've always loved this designer for all the goth-ethereal black and white going on...this season there's some bright red as well. Hot with boots, totally my style. :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rockin' Kitty

Fine Line Between Rock and Suckage

I just wanted to casually voice one unpopular opinion and that is that not everything fits in one genre only, in any field. Just as people can be cross-cultural or interracial or interreligious, music and perfume can indeed be cross-genre or impossible to classify (unique). The aspects that make one or the other can be perfectly balanced, making it impossible to categorize it exactly unless a new genre is created for it.

There was a post on the same forum I spoke of below that compared perfume to film which really fascinated me that sparked my thoughts.

In music, let's say there's this song that someone wrote and recorded. If the drums on it are loud, that song can be classified as Rock (of course assuming there are other aspects that make it so--loud drums don't equal Rock). But to a hardcore Rock person, that same song might sound like Pop if the drums aren't loud enough for his taste (in a word, suckage). A song can be both Pop and Rock (Pop Rock or Rock Pop) but which it "really is" depends on who you ask and the time you ask or the time you live in (fashion), etc.; anything can affect the opinions of the one perceiving it. What was once considered Rock is no longer...that sort of thing happens in music, too. That's why I say there's a gray area and that in the end it's subjective. Where is the truth, I wonder? I think it's that the aspects that we all pick up are different.

Scents and Classifications - Etched In Stone?

Someone on a makeup forum asked on the board today what "one thing" makes an Oriental perfume. The Oriental fragrance family is typically base-heavy and/or spicy compared to the lighter fragrance families such as Floral. There are certain ingredients that typify an Oriental scent such as vanilla, resins and spices, but it's the amount of the base-heavy or spicy notes that differentiates Orientals from Florals which might have the same ingredients but in lighter concentrations.

Is there a gray area in fragrance classification? I believe so, which is why there is a genre called Floral Oriental, a meeting of the two worlds. Fragrance experts often disagree with each other on whether a scent is Floral, Floral Oriental or Oriental, so who decides how a scent is classified?

Some will answer "the experts". Some people will name one particular fragrance expert as being the definitive guru, and it's hard to argue when that person has an entire industry behind his system of classification. But then, how do we explain the fact that the industry itself changes its system of classification every few years to fit the times we live in? Apparently, all of the rules aren't perfectly etched in stone, at least not 100%.

When is a scent an Oriental and not a Floral? When someone says it is. Subjective vs objective will forever be an argument in the Arts. Most critics will lean toward all things being definitively classifiable. Most artists will say it's all subjective and never shall the twain meet. Or shall it? I hope so because that's the gray area I want to probe.

Friday, February 24, 2006

YAY!!!

Figure Skater Shizuka Arakawa of Japan wins Olympic Gold.

Omedetou!

http://www.corriere.it/Media/Foto/2002/11_Novembre/30/fdg/pattini.jpg



Musical Musings




I've been thinking about how important lyrics are for me to like a song. The verdict is in: It depends on the song.

Some songs are lyrically abstract and melodically narrow in range but they rock.

Some songs have tear-jerking lyrics coupled with great, singable melodies.

Some songs are excellent beats made up of experimental bleeps and gazorks. How great is a song that can physically affect me enough to want to dance.

Some recordings just move me even if the musicianship on them isn't particularly impressive.

Most songs I love do have lyrics that I love and each line takes me to the next one, leaving me wanting to hear more, but they aren't necessarily detailed stories and they still have to be carried by excellent music for me to want to listen to them and that means I have particular likes such as keys, modes, chords and rhythms.

I like many minor keys, especially if there are minor 9ths used. I also like Lydian, Mixolydian, Phrygian and Dorian modes.

I like good voice leadings.

I don't care for dominant 7ths unless they're altered (or we're in Mixolydian mode). We've been given the gift of substitution chords so why not exercise the privilege and save ourselves from dying of boredom? I just avoid the V7 most of the time.

Am I talking about music again? Damn.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fashion Poll









Fashion...



rocks

sucks

is the prevailing style or custom, as in dress or behavior

is a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

mimics art

was a perfume by Leonard

View Results

Sali Drawn By a Fan!


Thanks so much, dear fan in Japan. I hope you don't mind that I took this off your blog.

http://www.geocities.jp/minakoya_3758/diary2004_04.html


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Spring 06: What Will You Wear?

I love this look, a micromini by Marios Schwab. I've been wearing white for a couple of years now so I have a few items I can rock this spring. Fitting in with what seems to be the trend on the music scene, the buzzwords in fashion are "cool" and "airy". I'm seeing a cross between mod and Grecian...What about you? What will you be wearing this spring?



Musical Musings


So basically, from having read all of my critiques from TAXI, I think I can streamline my arrangements a little more for future recordings and play with different textures, create more dynamics in the arrangement so that the bigness of certain parts will sound fresher. I think I could cut out some of the reverb on my vocals, too. I do strive to take certain criticisms and grow from them. There is one criticism I've been getting constantly and it's about my lyrics. Let's talk about lyrics for a moment. I appreciate good lyrics even if I'm not a great lyricist by any stretch. I still wonder how important lyrics are to me as a music lover.

I listen to some songs because of the lyrics but 99% of the time, the lyrics are incidental for me and the music (the chords, the beats, the spontaneous phrasings of a good singer or instrumentalist) is what appeals to me most about music ("That's why we call it Music, not Lyrics"...I love this quote and I kiss the person who coined it. xxx). I listen to songs in foreign languages because again, good lyrics are nice to have but usually, I'm happy with maybe one or two words that appeal to me in the song and the rest is just frosting that I'm going to put on the side anyway. Give me the spongy part of the cake and I'm done.

Here's a review from the same reviewer as the one below (Lister ID #202) who'd like to hear more melodic lift in the chorus and acoustic instrumentation.

Come On Up
"I like how you get descriptive in the verses. It would be more powerful thought if you used more detail. ex: What sort of piano? Photographs of what?"

I get so much of the same criticism from other reviewers so I know I can improve on my storytelling--however, I also sense a stylistic difference between people who like stories in lyrics and those who really and truly do not, and I might be one of those people who prefer more abstraction. I don't know...I like abstract paintings, poetry, etc...wouldn't it make sense if I like the same in lyrics? Maybe it's because I don't like to think. Maybe it's because I like to think and don't need everything given away. What do you think? Perhaps I should analyze the songs I like and see which ones are lyric-driven and which are not.

Music Reviews from TAXI (and what this perfumista really thinks of them)

TAXI Music Review #2 Listener ID # 202

I've been told by a seasoned Broadway writer that I should stop using synth sounds in my production because he can't hear my vocals over those sounds. He likes acoustic music with a traditional song structure. This reviewer sounds like he shares the same head. "Compelling melodies" are of course subjective, and if my goal is to get away from traditional soaring melodies in the chorus to bring a less showy, more beats-oriented Hip Hop flavor to the song, it's not going to please someone who wants Phantom of the Opera. He made some good points, though--granted certain '80s sounds have not made a comeback--yet we're wearing stirup pants again so..............go figure.

Overall Comments:
"I enjoyed listening to your submission. You do a great job with song structure. Each song has good dynamic contrast between verse/chorus sections. You do a nice job at conveying emotion with your vocals. That said, there is room for improvement in several areas. Melodically, the melodies are just not compelling enough. I've noticed that your choruses are written in a very narrow range. Perhaps if you opened up more your choruses would be hookier. Overall production approach is dated. Big reverb, synth strings are just not contemporary ideas. Even though the 80s are in, certain sounds are not. Try mixing in "real" instruments to your sound and produce vocals that are not so processed. Let us hear you!"

Fragrance of the Moment

I am a perfume addict. I enjoy pretty and unpretty smells way too much. In fact, I derive so much pleasure out of them that I've smelled almost everything out there to smell, and I blend my own when nothing on the market fits the scent of my dreams. The scents I tend to like are similar to the music I like: blends that I perceive as being bold and distinctive usually captivate me. I like some mainstream scents that line the shelves at the glitzy department stores but generally I go for the ones that aren't mass-marketed. By the same token, I don't like any scents just *because* they aren't mainstream if that makes sense. If a scent smells pretentiously off-the-beaten-path or too serious, haughty, humorless and dour, it can turn me off, too. Most importantly, a scent must seduce the bombshell that lives within me, and as Evanescence once said, it must bring me to life.

In a nutshell, I see each fragrance as a composition and I enjoy trying to place the scent in my head in an olfactive family or scent genre, pretty much the same way the reviewers do with music (only I can be a lot more objective about smells since I'm not as emotionally attached to them, at least not in the same way as I am to music). I like to think about crossover scents and how the system of categorizing scents changes with the times. I like to ponder how subjective perfume appreciation is, how you either like it or you don't, just like with music and it's as simple as that. Wearing or smelling the right scent at the right time is therapeutic for me and I appreciate perfume culture as part of women's history. These are just some of the reasons I've come up with to rationalize my perfume addiction.

My fragrance of the moment is Sisley Eau du Soir, a unisex Floral Chypre which I perceive as being bold, dry and slightly animalic. It's basically a rosy heart with some citrus and spice on a mossy-woody-light musk base, a sophisticated, traditional type of fragrance. It wasn't love at first sniff; it grew on me. Many people compare it to Guerlain Mitsouko and Yves Saint-Laurent Y, but Eau du Soir is much lighter than those, not nearly as dense or full-bodied. There is a little bit of that Fruity Chypre smell in Eau du Soir but I think it leans toward something like Agent Provocateur in attitude, which is another modern, streamlined Chypre. Here's the fun part: Eau du Soir dries down to a subtle chocolate scent on me. I think Eau du Soir gets most of its attention from being marketed as the haughtiest scent, ever, having cult status among royalty and Harvard grad Natalie Portman. I think I love the scent but I do feel it it's a bit costly. I definitely don't need the ostentatious gold-plated packaging--gimme the juice and I'm thrilled.

Share your fragrance love with me! Post your faves--comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Welcome!


Welcome!

Please feel free to introduce yourself here and talk with me about music, style and fragrance. Thanks for dropping in--hope you'll join the Pink Manhattan community.




Love,
Sali
Singer/musician
www.salioguri.com
www.broadjam.com/salioguri

Music Reviews from TAXI (and what this perfumista really thinks of them)

I'm so happy that I'm finally getting my music heard and commented on by some professional reviewers at TAXI (www.taxi.com), an independent A&R company with connections to all the majors in the business. I thought I'd share some of my TAXI music reviews with fellow musicians, fans, perfumistas and anyone who cares about the topic. Please feel free to ask any questions and comment--I'd love to hear your views.


TAXI Review #1 Listener ID # 185

This is my favorite review so far. I like it because the reviewer went out of his way to sound encouraging which is rare. It's interesting to me that he wrote "you have almost created your own new genre" because I only use terms like Pop Rock Alternative as an attempt to categorize my own sound but I appreciate that he appreciates my attempt at carving out a new musical genre. He hears UK Garage in my verse which is cool--I love Garage although I personally think I borrowed more from Neo-Soul for "Come On Up". He sounds like he has good taste in music, though. I hope to hear from him again.

Overall Comments:
"Hey Sali! Thanks so much for submitting to this listing and being a taxi member. I wish I could forward you on but I cannot because your style is not the style of this listing. I appreciate that you have almost created your own new genre that's a blend as you say of pop and alternative rock, but for this listing, particularly since the ala artists' mentioned are on the indie side of alternative rock, you are not meeting the requirements 100%. I always think it's a really good idea to listen to the ala artists' mentioned in a listing before you submit. It's easy enough to go to itunes etc. and hear 30 seconds of an artist to get an idea of their sound and style. Once you do that you can match your songs to the listing that goes with your music. I think that the alas are the secret weapon to getting forwarded onto listings at TAXI. If you can do your best to understand that sound and match your sound and style accordingly, your chances of being forwarded on are going to be greater. I hope this makes sense! I think your songs are strong and you totally know how to sing and make great music. I think finding the right listing could help you the most at TAXI! I wish you all the best and again, THANKS!"

Come On Up
"Terrific beats! I think the verse has a uk garage tinge to it, no? That's cool. But that style is not the style of this listing. Make sure you are perusing the taxi POP listings as well. Please see overall comments."

You can hear "Come On Up" and my other songs at www.broadjam.com/salioguri