Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sampling Day 3

If these reviews sound jaded, it's because I feel like the art of Noh has been taken over by men to exclude all women from the art which is now a Fine Art because men have taken over. Perfumes used to smell nice to fit female tastes. Nowadays, if they doesn't smell like perfumes men who don't wear them but only grade them approve of, they stink. Critics are the new "artists", and the creative people are the subservient fools. Pretty soon, we'll be defining which region a perfume should come from, and I guess the rest of the world can give up on making anything. Well, Hillary Clinton has pointed out that a country can't be strong if it doesn't make anything, and I agree. Despite current trend to cut down the efforts of the creative, all creative people should continue to follow their own inspirations and create, produce, never let the establishment kill your passion and drive. I write in hopes to encourage my peers, and all who see a better future for the growth of the Arts, to not cheapen Art to the superficiality of fashion which does not understand Art's true value. Art should bring us together, not drive us apart. Fashion is S&M. Art is not a contest but a show of love for all creativity. It makes us better because it nurtures creativity--nurturing is in itself a creative act.

Furthermore, critics should refrain from using musical descriptions if they have no understanding of music to begin with--obvious to this musician and painful from the standpoint of one who wants to see music return as part of basic education.

Here are my unminced words on some perfume community favorites.

Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan: A dear perfpal sent me a generous decant of this fragrance. I like it a lot; it's sort of a low-pitched, bottom-heavy version of Marc Jacobs Blush to me. Crisply floral with a muted fruit and tea note (it could be a Jean Patou 1000, Rochas Femme or YSL Y cousin), it's a concentrated scent that smells more like a single note tea than a blend overall. It's simple and pretty, but I resonate better with the more delicate, soprano Blush (PS: high-pitched doesn't automatically equate with ditzy or vapid--that would seem sexist, no?). It's a very consistant floral, ostinato from start to finish (like Le De--salicylates, perhaps?). I'm hearing Steps Ahead "All the Tea In China" with this one (not literally...just for now, as I'm writing about it and it helps to be descriptive).

Montale Aoud Rose Petals: I fell in love with oud through this fragrance. It's the most potent eau de parfum I've ever smelled. One tiny *dot* of this scent from my sample vial had filled the air with its dry, heavy, but somehow cooling resinous and wooded scent (a bit incensey like myrrh) in combination with a lively, fresh rose (a bit aqueous, like Stella or one of the Rosines). I bought some and stopped wearing it when Fred told me I smelled like Right Guard deodorant. I still think it's fabulous, though--an outspoken beauty of rose oud made for Middle Eastern goddesses, at least in my mind.

Cabochard: This must be the epitome of a 1950s woody leather Chypre. It's death by leather to me--way too potent, aggressive, heavy and dry, as well as tacky (literally smells resinous and sticky, very "nechi nechi" to describe in Japanese). This must be Estee Lauder Knowing's grandmother. Cabochard is a great classic French perfume, everything any perfume expert wouldn't rave about in terms of craftsmanship. You might want to buy a bottle for that reason alone; then again, you might love this scent if you're also a fan of Knowing or Halston. (Edited to add) Maybe my last sample was off because this vintage mini parfum I just got smells dry, not so tacky but still animalic like rawhide or a "men's belt". It also has a rich floral heart like Yves Saint-Laurent Y which I also can't wear.

Knowing: I have never liked this perfume. It's everything I dislike in a scent: heavy, unsweet, perfumy, Chypre Floral-Animalic that's as loud as White Diamonds, only darker and more cryptic, a contrived and boring blast of scent from beginning to end. It comes across just as ultraconservative as Cabochard which to me smells more like it was made for a man than a woman, and for women who care not about their own taste but only to please those of particularly powerhungry and controlling men. If you despise softness and light, and would rather side with Cinderella's materialistic stepmother than with Cinderella, this is for you.

Caleche: Tightly wound hair in a bun, a sourpuss full of contempt for anything that doesn't fit in. This is what happens to beautiful, soulful perfumes like Amouage Gold when bullied too much by a commmunity of aggressively critical snobs that want to destroy them for their naivete and dreams. Caleche is all grown up and properly dead inside; she's resigned, she belongs, she's dedicated to self sacrifice and refinement. She's obedient to society's rules and will dare not voice unpopular opinions; she's cultivated what she considers to be her cultured sense of humor (actually, she has none), with which she quips elitist jokes about less sophisticated women and reminds herself of how far she'd come. In her pride, she finds meaning in life without happiness or pleasure (unless that pleasure is oakmoss which she has in abundance; oakmoss is properly unsweet and doesn't scream for attention). Could I blame Caleche's bitterness on the time period she comes out of (1961)?

Midnight Poison: Ya gotta be kidding me. It's like pure eucalyptus.