If you’ve read even only a few of my posts, you know that perfume classification is a pet subject of mine. I guess it’s the librarian in me which loves the challenge of creating a finite, controlled vocabulary which can describe everything in the perfume universe. I love Michael Edwards’ taxonomy but I’d like to think that I might come up with my own one day.
Marketing is something completely different, as is blogging. And so when I see new expressions to describe perfumes, they always grab my attention. Here’s to uncontrolled vocabularies which pique the curiosity and feed the soul!
Let’s look at a couple of great examples. Luca Turin describes Joy Parfum as a symphonic floral. Right! I get it. A symphony of flowers. And when Denyse Beaulieu described Estée Lauder’s Jasmine White Moss as a holographic chypre… YES!!! Lauder’s fragrance is a holograph of a chypre… a sort of olfactory “trompe l’oeil”! I guess that would be a “trompe nez”? (But then again, isn’t ALL of perfume an expression of trompe nez.)
In contrast, I once read that 31 rue Cambon was a chypre-less chypre! Ouch! Not very satisfying. Or how about Estée Lauder’s prismatic floral? That would be Beyond Paradise. Symphonic floral, I get. Prismatic floral? Not so much. But kudos to the Lauder marketing people for trying.
And very recently, I read on a little card next to Mugler’s Chyprissime, “deconstructed chypre”. I’m not sure I get this one either. What is a deconstructed chypre?
So let’s end this post with a trompe l’oeil of a trompe l’oeil. You see… people who attended the Alexander McQueen fall/winter fashion show of 2006 thought that they had just seen a moving hologram of Kate Moss. Well, the technology didn’t exist at the time (and still doesn’t) and so what they saw was a decidedly downmarket, low-tech trompe l’oeil trick of Victorian haunted houses called Pepper’s Ghost.
Although it’s not a hologram as we define a hologram today, it’s still very striking and impressive. (Thanks to Denyse of Grain de Musc who first brought this one to my attention).