Saturday, October 27, 2012

CLEAN Ultimate

It's been said, perhaps sniggeringly, that being imitated is the greatest compliment. Jazz pianist Bill Evans was probably more accurate in saying (and I paraphrase) being imitated is insulting, which is why there are laws against plagiarism. Nevertheless, in the world of fragrance, perfumes are sometimes blatantly copied, not only in the sense of one company putting out the same fragrance in different packaging or under different names, like one of the newer Dior Addict flankers smelling like Poison, or Chanel Coco Noir smelling like a headspace copy of the original Coco, but different companies using the same fragrance oils and putting them out as different perfumes. In some cases, it's inevitable, since there are only handfuls of fragance companies; oils from the UK might smell distictly like the region or company from which their oils hailed, for instance. But sometimes, a fragrance note becomes so popular, everybody feels the need to put out the same thing, much like a hit song with a distinctive hook or sound is forever copied, sampled and made iconic, institutionalized.

CLEAN Ultimate is basically a soapy white musk in the vein of Gendarme. No one is talking about Gendarme, the ultimate soapy fragrance these days, but at the time of its popularity, Gendarme of the Gendarme line was the CLEAN of its day. I can't wear white musks that are this soapy, because as opposed to being anosmic to this type of musk, I find it piercingly strong and sharp, but I can see the appeal it holds for people who are searching for a perfume that smells like soap--Ivory soap, pure soap. If either CLEAN Ultimate or Gendarme didn't smell so musky to me, I'd say they smell as clean as Ivory, too.