Monday, January 26, 2015

The sickly stink of perfume

Which circle of the hell of consumer capitalism is it, in which homo consumens must wade through the fetid stench of mass perfumery, the synthetic vomit spewed forth by zombie accountants brown-nosing the idol of shareholder value and quartely reports, who believe that Daltroff is a cigar brand? How depleted must one's soul be to believe, to faintly hope even, that some sickly chemical broth hyped with the face of the moment will bring romance or adventure into your life, or even just get you laid (and if it did, would that not truly be the consummation of human abjection)?  Madness, madness all and the certain implosion of our world now that three billion Chinese and Indians and Brasilians aspire to pursue the same inane lifestyle practiced with blind abandon by 700 million Americans, Europeans and the other self-entitled masters of the universe.
I buy therefore I am - this bankruptcy of ethos; this bane of postindustrial humanity that drives the system and which the system forever generates. An icy hell of desperation, this misunderstood pursuit of happiness. No bliss. Bliss is elsewhere. Bliss is care of the self, as the Greeks taught it, as Foucault rediscovered it. Nurturing your soul lovingly, growing, mindful of yourself and therewith able to become mindful of the world, not its mindless devourer of ever unstilled appetites. Bliss is rose, smell of rose, and yes, the art of a rose transformed by the gift of a craftsmen into scented sculpture. Perfume as pursuit of beauty, pursuit, for years perhaps, within the soul no less than amidst the scent organ. No management briefs, no algorithms, four weeks and a three-cent budget. There is no hope on the floor of the department store; there your nose will find fourteenhundreed new reasons every year to give up. Hope is to seek out the few keepers of the flame, those of calling, of vocation and devotion. Dominique Dubrana, Josh Lobb, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Ayala Sender, Antonio Gardoni and all of like spirit: resistance of the aesthetic, aesthetic of resistance! Inhale deeply, inhale in slow time!


Anonymous said...

"I buy therefeore I am" isn't that the perfect description of someone chasing an ideal whereby he considers himself to be a facsimile of the archetypal "English gentleman" and in pursuing that state finds it necessary to buy and dress in vintage suits and fine perfume?

dukeofpallmall said...

It's a game. A persona. Not me at all.But I'm glad you appreciate the irony. And of course there is no way to escape consumerism. Even anti-consumerism is a means of distinction within the logic of the system. But Bourdieu never meant to say that fine things aren't in fact finer rather than just a means of acquiring social capital. Clearly there's more to Picasso than to Thomas Kincaid, more to vintage L'Heure Bleue than to Boss Bottled, more to a fine Burgundy than to Wine Cooler.The great conundrum is: how to bring the pleasure of fine things too all? And that doen not begin onm the outside, but in the soul. Otherwise, matter just remains facade.

Anya McCoy said...

You're back! Hope to read more from you, especially when you focus on natural perfumes.