1 aprile 2012

The "good" scent 2


(this post originates here)

Perfumery is a difficult art to tell. The least thing you can say is that generally we lack appropriate words. Smelling a bouquet and saying, "This fragrance contains such and such a note, and although the structure of the composition is substantially correct and expressing itself at full, and the raw materials sufficiently interesting, I don't actually smell the values of the brand" is not something you can invent. You need to study a lot, attend specialized courses, learn both raw materials and molecules, try to compose on your own to learn how notes interact, and constantly exchange views and information with those who know more than you (and often you'll find that your readers provide you the most interesting lessons!).





Among other things, you ought to always put yourself in the position of being the one who knows nothing, instead of on the pedestal “I know it all”: this grants you the necessary humility to respect perfumes regardless of whether they're correctly executed or not. You'll respect them because they're the output of someone's energy and time, they're the choice of people who has decided to launch them, and, finally, they're the love of customers who have been wearing them for years and wouldn't change them with anyone else. And when you don't respect other people's work, even your work deserves none of it.
Among other things, an unbalanced or sketchily scent isn't always unpleasant to wear, indeed. I'm in love with some fragrances that are compositionally disasters, but I wear them because they give me joy. Plain and simple, you don't need perfumes to be masterpieces, to want to wear them!

And this brings us to the last reflection: the objectivity/subjectivity of the reviews. Writing a blog is like watching the perfume world from a privileged position: that is, without the constraints of money.
Because bloggers, generally, earn their livings otherwise. In my case this means I can afford contributing the discussion with “clean” reviews, devoid of economic entanglements. Opinions "from within" are very welcome, indeed, since they help us to better understand the logics. But my readers expect me knowing but not being part of the logic. They expect impartiality, from my side, and that is why they find pleasure in reading what I write. But there are also bloggers providing “guided” reviews in an uncovered way, at least, this happens here. I Think everybody has the right to their own opinions, but they have to respect the reader, by writing clearly what they do and who they work for. This makes a huge difference, for me.
Moreover, respecting the reader means respecting also the occasional one, the one who reads a review for the first time. This requires me not only to be impartial with respect to the market, but also with respect to my personal tastes.
It's important to be open 360 °, also writing about what I wont' ever wear, because doesn't fit in my tastes, but is interesting for some other aspect. It goes without saying that the subjective part of the review (ie "I like it/I don't like it") has never to exceed 20-30% of the review, otherwise it becomes a useless review. The objective part, ie the description of the compositional structure, of the raw materials, the composer and his aesthetic vision, the context in which it's launched, the story about (the creative intention etc), its history (if any), its name/marketing/brand, ect is the really important and interesting part.
"This fragrance sucks because I do not like it/why it's badly done/because it contains synthetic raw materials/because its name is " Spring" and feel no spring in it" doesn't qualify as a real review, but as an explanation of my own tastes and inclinations.

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