Sunday, November 22, 2009
bittersweet musings under the boxtree
Here I am wearing an artefact, drops from one of those few forlorn bottles of the shipwrecked fragrance enterprise (un)known by the name Gobin Daudé. It's the first new - to me - fragrance in quite some time that has triggered reflections rather than just a mental shrug of the shoulders. I tried a few By Kilians this afternoon - it might have just as well been any other line - and found them just another permutation spit out randomly by the great niche perfume generator with its basic algorithms of absinth this and incense that plus iso-e and a tad of exotic gourmand. Uh yeah, me self-critically thinks, you're just a jaded fop with too many bottles of Dukes of Shmukes in your cupboard, but then I smell Sous le Buis, a real act, a quantum leap, of creativity, something refusing to conform to standard parameters, a natural perfume that no one could ever push into the aromatherapy corner, because it does those old names proud, those Guerlains, Carons, Chanels and sweeps the floor with all this ennervatingly conformist Vegas variety show playing 365 days a year, the Buxton-Duchaufour-Ellena Can Can. Yeah, you're geniuses, but I'm telling you the act, from where I'm sitting, is wearing pretty thin and who cares whether the manager made you do it. Call me a betamax bumpkin for praising a venture that failed, what's the point of making great perfumes that not enough people want to buy? Hell, ask the starving Schuberts, the impoverished Van Goghs. Victoire Gobin Daudé, wherever you are, you are a goddess, you have the power to breathe life into an assortment of oils, to grow a true French Rococo garden from molecules. You really do what a perfumer is supposed to do, to - apologies for borrowing Star Trek imagery rather than quoting Apollinaire - create a holodeck in a bottle. Here's a perfect rendition of a sculpted boxtree on a wistful, lusty spring day and as if that weren't enough you manage to remind me of the days when Nino Cerruti was a grand green masterpiece and show Jean-Claude what Eau de Campagne really should have smelled like. All this genius, all this beauty lost to a business plan that would not compute. Why? I don't know, don't even care, all I know is, I'm so tired, I'm so sick and tired (ah, my beloved Morrissey) of the mundane being sold as the sublime, at a premium. I've rarely played this game (no full retail for me, there are mouths to feed), but even just watching it is getting too much. But I'm no spoilsport, not that anyone would give a hoot for what I think, so this is for the eyes of hardened veterans, not to crush the enthusiasm of the young-nosed newbie. A salute to the few, who do no bow to the market, and as to the perfume industry per se, well, to quote the Mozzer once more, the world is full of crashing bores.