Bored by Ford

I’m having a serious problem,
There’s something wrong with me:
Ever since the arrival of spring
I’ve been suffering perfume ennui.

I hope that it’s ‘just a phase’
(And I hoped Tom Ford had the cure:
But it isn’t so, the feeling won’t go);
I’m dependent on March’s allure

To shift my arse into gear,
Make me laugh and then sigh, ‘Phew,
You know what’s true? I love smells, I do!’…..
Meanwhile, here’s my Tom Ford review.

Velvet Gardenia
The scent comes
on little cheese feet

It sits smelling
of stilton and roquefort
with still life flowers
and never moves on.

Moss Breches
Whirl up,spring –
whirl up your sappy growth
smother your great woods
hurl your green over us,
cover us with your spools of moss.

Japon Noir
The incantation of this smell in the vial
Yellow in a sweet sharp place.

Oud Wood
Mr. M7 shows
His bits to Dzongkha’s lofty
Temples. The result!

Noir de Noir
Sweet red blossoms drop
Petals in honey today.
Is this all black is?

Tobacco Vanille
Unlike the others
It quite fits its name. Sweetest,
simplest of them all.

Purple Patchouli
so much depends

the piercing

glazed with morning

beside the sewage

(Apologies to William Carlos Williams, HD, Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound, and the haiku form. I liked Moss Breches and Bois Rouge the most. Next time, I’ll be reviewing Blue Sugar and Hai Karate in the style of Wallace Stevens.)

Painting: ‘Ennui’ by Walter Sickert (who, fact fans, crime writer Patricia Cornwell believes to be the real Jack the Ripper…)

  • Dusan says:

    Can I just scream at the top of my nicotine-devoured lungs: “BRAVO!!!” Brilliant, man! Will you do a cummings review next time, pleeez? I know there are others too who’ve asked for it…

  • Abigail says:

    These were lovely, in a wonderfully un-lovely way. 🙂

    Now if I ever sniff any of them I’ll probably just start to giggle, especially if it’s Japan Noir or PP.

    Which is a good thing, in the grand scheme. So…thank you!

    • Lee says:

      Thanks. giggling is probably the best response to PP. It’s not exactly the awfulness I was expecting, but it is discomfiting in a novel way.

  • CH says:

    “Hurl your green over us. . .” What a wretched thought! Yet, I love green scents!

    Can I make a request? how about a review in the style of
    e. e. cummings? \:d/

    • Lee says:

      You know, I never thought about the implications of that line as negative – it’s directly lifted from the HD poem. It always sounded marvellous to me (in the original, it’s about the sea). Now I’m in vomit land.

      I remember two lines of cummings for some reason:

      Anyone lived in a pretty how town
      With up so floating many bells down.

      • CH says:

        this tom ford collection cannot capture,the essence of our souls or the look in your eyes,it cannot grab our love as fleeting as it may be,so go now far and beyond the realm of this collection, for it beckons to discard itself anyway,into the realm of old whimsies and fairy tales,and tucked into the back reaches of the old oak drawer. :-“

  • minette says:

    hahahahahahahaha. saks didn’t have these yet when i checked this weekend. but i’m hoping they get them soon so i can sniff them, too. though i have a feeling they may leave me as cold as his black orchid did. your poetic takes on them are priceless. thanks for writing and sharing them! it’s unfortunate, but these days, many of the reviews are more entertaining than the scents reviewed.

    • Lee says:

      Well, I have mixed feelings about them. They are all initially exciting but I’m not sure how long my interest lasts…

  • Tigs says:

    Ooooo, I love Auden, too. He had an exceptional range, and I tend to think of him as having a more diverse range of “voices”, though.

    • Lee says:

      Oh yes – much more diverser. I love the old wedding cake out in the rain fella (what someone said his face looked like… can’t recall who).

  • Dawn says:

    Can you handle any more applause??? Loved it. Thanks for the fun read.


  • Robin says:

    Perfect! Adding to all the applause, these are just great.

    • Lee says:

      It’s just to cover up the fact I can’t write with your descriptive precision – seriously!

  • violetnoir says:

    You are too funny!

    I have not had the pleasure of testing these. I am not a Tom Ford fan, so I told myself that I would just ignore all 12 of them…really!

    And I can completely relate to the perfume ennui syndrome. I suffered through one last summer. It’s a drag, but at least I saved some money. :d

  • tmp00 says:

    Brilliant, brilliant and more brilliant! =))

  • Tigs says:

    Wicked funny, Lee, and so cleverly done – I find stealing styles like that is so difficult, particularly if the voice is different from your own. I liked the novel, Poundian take on JN and I always forget how wonderful HD is, almost Whitman-esque, so thanks for reminding me. Poor you, though, that Thomas Hardy should be ruined for you! “During Wind and Rain” is a favourite of mine, though it is very depressing, of course, and not my usual “thing”, which is mostly conversational poetry with hilariously, deliberately wrong lines, like that of Frank O’Hara and Stevie Smith. (I am now desperately trying to think of perfumes that would suit the voices of those two…) I do like Arnold, too, though, who is equally breast-beating and mopey (and about whom I believe it was once said that if you liked him, you just didn’t like poetry. Don’t agree, but I see the point.) Wallace Stevens would de a great technical feat to do – you’d have to combine a supernatural ear and mind’s eye (“She sang beyond the genius of the sea” or “the ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea”) with an maddening love of eccentric abstraction.

    • Lee says:

      Oh Tigs: I LOVE Hardy’s poetry (we never touched on that – just the novels).And I love O’Hara and Smith too. Though Wallace stevens, because of that deep-rooted (and exceptionally well cultivated) eccentric abstraction, is up there with Auden for me.

  • Gina says:

    Hilarious! Genius, brilliant, LOVE IT, thank you! I’m a little underwhelmed by the Tom Fords these days.

  • donanicola says:

    Hahahhaaa! Such fun, Lee! Thank you. I admit I did not recognise the poetical inspirations (too much fickle finger of fate waving Tom Hardy for me at school as well) but I enjoyed nonetheless. I am quite proud of myself re the TFs actually – liked Mossy Breeches and Noir Noir and the Amber one but didn’t lemm them! Saving myself for Kelly (?) Caleche’s whip. BTW, how about Balmain’s Vent Vert as a green scent? Hope you and March are having fun anyway!

    • Lee says:

      Well, at least we can tell our fecund imagery apart from our sexual allusion I guess.

      You know, as soon as I posted that colour reference, I thought to myself ‘Green scents you idiot!’ Green is where it works. Now I’m sure some other posters’ll rainbow me any second…

  • Lee says:

    No, I’m not. Silly, with occasional flurries of cleverness would be more accurate. But I love you for it anyway.

    I’ll have to work on the Wallace Stevens model – he’s so damn difficult!

  • Patty says:

    Okay, you’re brilliant. I want that Hai Karate and Blue Sugar prose!

    I can’t rhyme a line or iambic my pentameter from a hole in the ground, but I so much appreciate those of you that can!^:)^

  • Amy says:

    Wild, cheering applause!!!!!

  • March says:

    Effing brilliant! Spot on, man! Hilarious!

    Okay, all my clothes are dabbed with Cornish pasty grease at this point. Sorry. Hoping something spritzed at Roja Dove will disguise the smell…

    • Lee says:

      Hmm. Maybe I’ll just wear my muddy gardening gear to even things out…

      (I’m sure the pasty spots are hardly noticeable. I’m certainly not known for my slick savoir faire anyway, so I wouldn’t worry. BUT how the hell do you cope with all that pastry?):d

  • Marina says:

    Lee, I 😡 you! Bravo!!

  • pitbull friend says:

    Nothing to be said here, but “Thanks, Lee!” (Whew! Happy to have recognized the WCW & Sandburg, but failure to nail the others shows that lack of attentiveness in high school has lingering effects…) –Ellen

    • Lee says:

      You did brilliantly… JN is vaguely Pound (In a Station of the Metro), MB is largely a copy of HD’s ‘Oread’ (a little obscure, but seemed too too fitting), the haikus are all my own sorry creations…

      I wished I done stuff like this in high school. It was all Thomas bleedin’ Hardy… There’s only so much pastoral fatalism a teenage brain can cope with…

  • sybil says:

    You are so funny! I got an excellent laugh before breakfast…always a good way to start the day!

  • Elle says:

    LMAO! Pure genius!

  • chayaruchama says:

    Brilliant !
    What a pundit you are…

    SO mean to mama’s Mossy Britches and my precious Goddamya..I meant Gardenia…

    OW, I thoroughly agree.
    MUST swap / sell my bottle- P U !

    Surely The Muse has bitten you in the arse, of late.

    First belly-laugh de jour.
    MWAH !

    • Lee says:

      I wasn’t mean to your britches I – I thought I flattered em!

      I love being bitten on the arse.:”>

  • Judith says:

    Wonderful!!! They are all great (yours not his), but Purple Patchouli, in particular (yours not his, again) strikes me as a work of genius (and I somehow think WCW would have approved):) Myself, I am addicted to Moss Breches, and really like Oud Wood as well.

    • Lee says:

      PP seemed so suited to ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ as it is such a startling juxtaposition. I called out quite naturally. Funnily enough, the thought of that scent makes me queasy, but the scent itself holds my interest (not that it’s me exactly).

  • Louise says:

    Brilliant, Lee! Thanks for a morning wake-up and hearty chortle.

    Please continue sharing your po-ems (note variant American dialect)and astute analyses.

    March will surely move your tush in a great way!

    • Lee says:

      Notice my copies were all American sourced (the 5-7-5 haikus were all my own, i’m afraid to say). Tells you something about this daft Brit I guess.

  • Divina says:

    I’d like to order some more of that if you have it, please! 🙂

    • Lee says:

      You never know what’s tucked away in the old grey matter, D. Though most of it is useless fact only to be employed in tv quiz shows…

  • helg says:

    LOL!!!!!!Those are precious Lee and you did a great job! I’m sure no apologies to those authors were needed. What a funny post!

  • Solander says:

    You’re a genious, Lee! I especially liked MB and OW. =d>

    • Lee says:

      OW was my personal favourite in the poetry stakes – and I kept seeing flashes of that famous penis in my mind, and breast like domes for Dzongkha. Et voila!

      • Solander says:

        I didn’t try Dzongkha until today. I expected something meditative and aloof and maybe even a little bland with a restrained hint of incense, put it on my skin and went “Huh? Nasi goreng!” 😕 It’s not meditative, it’s savory, with the searing spiciness of Indonesian food. I’m perplexed.

  • Bryan says:

    Ah Velvet Gardenia. Perhaps it is a Still Life. Perhaps one that does not move. Move me, though, it does. Your words are so sweetly sarcastic and yet effortlessly elegant. I admit I’m envious. Bravo Lee. I’m away now, to spray on Moss Breches. Its color suits me this evening. (My tongue is firmly in cheek…:d

    • Lee says:

      But you get florals in a way I’ve not yet mastered. I need your wisdom on that score.

  • Maria B. says:

    Lee, K. and I laughed so much! Well done! I am mesmerized by the thought of Blue Sugar and Hai Karate being put through Wallace Stevens’ exquisite eye (literally, one would think, as I doubt the juxtaposition could possibly lead to less violence upon the, admittedly, dead poet). “Oh, desperate rage to get away from this sugary crap, pale Ramon.”

    You pose a very interesting question, “Is this all black is?” 😕 Loved it!

    • Lee says:

      The desperate rage is the only sane response to those two, M. Though I was going to attempt a play on ‘The bird with the Coppery, Keen Claws’ but the wordplay and rhythmic shifting defeated me.

      I kind of think Noir de Noir should draw the line under the reinvention of blacks in perfume. Theses synaesthetic suggestions are so damned tricky – I’m yet to find a colour named perfume that fits its label (except Tabac Blond, though not the top notes).

      • pitbull friend says:

        Hey, Lee: What about Daim Blond? It makes me visualize a lovely hand-me-down skirt I got from my glamorous older cousin. (She was a teenager in the 1960s.) It was big squares (maybe 6″ square?) of tan and dark blue suede, and lined. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that it works for me, given the tan in the skirt. What I wouldn’t give to be that size again (couldn’t have been more than a 7)!
        — Ellen

        • Lee says:

          Daim Blond is a honeyish red in my mind’s eye… With flecks of gold. Hmm. Skirt sounds fabulous though.