Notes On Attention Paid

Follow @mbkriegh on Micro.blog.

An Article on Frédéric Malle, Perfume Industrialist

… perfume and the perfume industry catches my attention this morning… it is one of the first few articles i come across in my Feedbin aggregator… part of my effort to leave Google behind…

… Mr. Malle is being rendered as the renegade from within the industry… one wonders if there can ever be a renegade from within an industrial complex… i suspect it has more to do with building an image…

… there is conversation about the difficulties of international distribution, countries with different objections to different ingredients… how does one make something satisfying in and of itself but legal in all the potential markets?…

… Synthetic Jungle, a new fragrance, is described this way:

A vibrant green juice brimming with leafy basil and the off-kilter metallic green tang of styrallyl acetate, its freshness is imperceptibly undercut by white flowers – “that horse shit type of smell” – via hyacinth and lily of the valley accords, Egyptian jasmine oil and ylang ylang, a synthetic blackcurrant brings a touch of kitsch, while resinous galbanum and smoky patchouli oil earth the scent, rooting it to the skin. All at once “stylized, hyper-real and fantastical”, as the accompanying mini brochure reads, it is also a wry middle-finger to traditional conceptions of perfumery. Malle is by all accounts an iconoclast.1

… i look up iconoclast… i know the word but not the meaning… an attacker of cherished beliefs and institutions; a destroyer of religious artifacts… i wonder if 45 fits the definition of an iconoclast… in some regards, though something even more pernicious there…

… i learn that Halston Z14, Original Denim, L’air du Temps and Light Blue are all important perfumes in the history of perfumes…

… i reminisce about a period of time when i experimented with scents… when i was married to M…

… i reminisce about P, a friend of ours… troubled person… traumatized, somewhat agoraphobic… they told us they worked for a long time in the French perfume industry… very creative person, very sad person… they died a number of years ago… we think they took their own life, but there was never official confirmation of that…

… a discussion of the impact of corporate consolidation of the perfume industry and selling to mass markets…

Even (the aromatic, woody perfume) French Lover has a lot of naturals in it, although I never say it because I don’t want to comfort people and make them think that natural is best. It’s one of the biggest fake news stories in our industry and it sort of feeds into this new paganism where nature is best and we have to save nature, hence everything that was man-made is to be trashed.2

… by the end, i realize the whole piece is an advert for Synthetic Jungle, Malle’s newest fragrance…