Is this perfume?

Jackson Pollock didn’t say “Is this perfume?”  He famously said “Is this a painting?” after finishing one of his genius artworks but had he been a perfumer, he certainly would have!  And you know, recently, I’ve been asking that very question.  It’s a sad state of affairs when an SA hands you a scent strip and you ask yourself, “Is this perfume?”

Take Lady Gaga’s Fame.  It’s a black juice that smells fruity.  Over time, it smelled chemical on my skin and I looked forward to washing it off.  There was no subtlety… no evolution… no top notes, no bottom notes… no nothing.  And I wondered, “is this perfume?”  Or, is it an idea of a perfume?  There’s a bottle, there’s a black liquid in the bottle, there is a box and a name… and it smells like a fruity concoction.  I just don’t know if it’s perfume, really.

Maybe I’m off my game.  I started a new job 3 weeks ago and for some reason I don’t seem to know what I like in perfume.  Even my old faithfuls don’t do it for me… Pour Monsieur by Chanel, vintage Givenchy III, Lalique’s Encre Noire.  Luckily my secretary wears Chanel No. 5 so even if I don’t wear something beautiful at least I know I’ll have something beautiful to look forward to.  And two colleagues wear Guerlain’s Pamplelune… lucky me!  When they walk by, it smells like spring.

I recently bought Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle edp and I’ve worn that a little but I’ll get back with a full review later.  Sorry for the delay in my writing but I’ve had a few things on my plate.  Luckily, I have 5 perfume lectures coming up in the next few weeks and that is always fun!

Have a nice week everyone!

Image : Detail of Autumn Rhythm (1950) by Jackson Pollock

Leave a comment


  1. Dane

     /  October 16, 2012

    Congrats on the new job N! And I have this happen often…nothing smells good to me, so I don’t bother wearing anything at all. It passes.

    • Thanks Dane! I read your post on Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens and I can’t wait to try it out! (So good to read you again.) I’ve never thought that Serge Lutens’ florals were all that great so this is really exciting news… a gardenia at that!

      Thanks for writing.


  2. Tara C

     /  October 16, 2012

    Congrats on the new job! Where are you working now?
    I’m going through a weird perfume phase too, not much sounds good to me… I am sure like Dane says it will pass.

  3. Don’t let our strange times get you down 🙂 Wear some Original 4711, it always works for me.
    Perfume, like art is an ever changing business

  4. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  October 20, 2012

    All the best for the new job, Normand! Not even Chanel Pour Monsieur?! That’s serious! 😀 It’s gorgeous and works great on you.

    I don’t know why but reading a few blogs and forums lately I get a sense of saturation on the part of a lot of people or people sort of not knowing where to turn. Well, maybe it’s just me projecting because I’ve been wearing Beige for months with only an occasional diversion to something else for a day here and there. I think of it as a low-need time. It feels liberating (from hype).

    • That’s true. It’s healthy to step back from the hype and the noise every now and then and just be. Even the SAs at the stores don’t seem to be much interested in what they are selling. I noticed some of the bloggers (including me) are not blogging as often. We all seem to be in a bit of a slump. Let’s hope it comes roaring back with the holidays.

      Thanks for the comment!


  5. J. Zenga

     /  October 24, 2012

    Quel beau texte mettant en parallèle la peinture et le parfum. Normand, tu es un as! Bravo et toutes mes félicitations sur ta présentation à la bibliothèque de Mile End dimanche dernier! Pour ceux et celles qui n’ont pas encore assisté à la conférence sur le parfum, il est encore temps. J’imagine que Normand pourra vous indiquer le lieu de ces prochaines conférences.


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