Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 - Year One

For me, the best perfume event of 2008 has been this sense of community. Like Ozzy used to say, before he cleaned up his act, sort of, “I Loooove You ALL!” (I came back from a Christmas trip with a bad cold. This isn’t just the cold medicine talking, honest.)

So, without ado, here are my recollections from The Planet Nyquill.

For me, 2008 really was Year One. It was only last January that I discovered Basenotes, and, shortly thereafter, most of you (and the decanters, thank God, otherwise, I'd be writing this from a library.)

“Olfactarama” is more an armchair travelogue-by-scent than a review site. I started with the hypothesis that perfume has such power to elicit memory, but is not easy to write about; why is that? I decided to go exploring. I discovered all of you, and then “The Guide” came out. Chandler Burr came to my town for a book festival, gave one of those storied scent dinners, and I went. And so on.

“I’ve discovered a new world,” I say to friends who are giving me odd looks when I confess this to them (and they always give me those odd looks. You know that look.) But I don’t think we’re odd at all. I think we are cultured, worldly, witty and lovely people. I’m so happy to be included. (Thank you, Helg!)

So, here are some observations.

New loves: Rose. I used to think I hated rose. Now I realize that rose is the secret.

The Rosines. Am eagerly exploring the line. And…reasonable prices!

Black Cashmere. Goes with me.

Opium. A rediscovery. Knocks you off your feet, pal.

L’Air du desert Marocain. Yeah, it wears me for awhile. And then I wear IT.

…and others. So many. A lifetime’s worth, I hope.


Not many, but: CDG’s Luxe Champaca; $295 for 50 mls? And it’s mostly tuberose? I have one word for you Benjamin: Fracas.

Chanel’s Beige. Well-named.

Vetiver Dance in winter. (I’m sorry Andy.) Just hay on me; I want to give it a try in our steamy summer, though.


The perfumers are starting to get credit as the artists they are.

Meeting Chandler Burr and discovering that he’s a nice guy; funny and down-to-earth.


What I call The Marketing Problem applies to this industry as it does to most others: disdain for the customer.

Eons ago, I was in the music business. In that business and (even more so) in film, it was common to refer to everybody not in New York or L.A. as “flyover land.” Meaning, Those People Down There are a bunch of easily manipulated, developmentally disabled sheep.

That’s not necessarily true. But, IMHO, it’s that talk-down-to-the-masses attitude that has given us so much of the crap product we endure today.

Hey, here's a thought, Smart Marketing Guys and Gals. Try giving the people something worth having. They might surprise you.

Things I’m thankful for:

I just got back from visiting my large extended family in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. If you remember Hurricane Katrina, you may remember that the storm veered to the east at the last minute, and plowed into Bay St. Louis like a tsunami.

They lost everything. A house that had stood since 1870, scraped off its foundation. No one has anything from before the storm. Not a coffee cup, not a photograph. But they’ve come back. More than that. They’ve helped rebuild their town. And they’re once again having weddings and showers and parties with that indomitable New Orleans come-what-may attitude.

Most of all, I’m thankful for my family, my new electronic community, and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Happy New Year Everybody!

Other 2008 wrapups:

Perfume Shrine at
Ars Aromatica at
A Rose Beyond the Thames at
Bitter Grace Notes at
Grain de Musc at
I Smell Therefore I Am at
Legerdenez at
Notes From the Ledge at
The Savvy Thinker at
The Non-Blonde at
Tuilleries at
1000 Fragrances at


Perfumeshrine said...

I loved including you :-) So thanks for the wonderful read.

How wonderful that your extended family rebuilt their lives. Admirable.

And talking about a prized subject with people who understand? Priceless.

Cait said...

Happy New Year! It's good to discover your blog. I'll be back. Get well soon.

maisqueperfume said...

Cait, happy 2009, may we all dive into new fragrance discoveries!

I am enjoying the lists so much!
Thanks a lot for sharing your opinion...although I might say that I desagree about Andy. To me it is the other way around, loved Vetiver, can´t understand what is so special about LDDM. anyways, lonestar memories is to me the most genius perfume ever - as a concept. pretty amazing.
I also found out that I lobe Scale à Portofino by Dior ( I used to hate citrusy blends) and I am in love with Ta'If, Champaca and other OJ fragrances.
Happy to know your family is building up life again.
regards from Brazil, Simone