I, your faithful Musette, am off doing something planetary. Please shout a HOLLA! to Marla who is Guest Posting for me!!!
Who Loves a (Perfumed) Mystery?
I think all card-carrying perfumistas have heard of Chandler Burr’s Untitled Series. I tried to get in on the first series over at Open Sky, but it was a logistical mess. So I gave up on the idea until Luckyscent took over the operation. Since then it’s been smooth sailing and I’ve been a participant for the last two rounds. It’s been a surprising delight!
The Untitled Series is a project based on the idea that perfume is (or at least can be) olfactory art, and that it both follows and participates in major trends in Western art and architecture. Now whether or not you buy the premise, the game itself is a ton of fun. You buy a bland-looking lab bottle of either 15ml or 30ml for twenty bucks from Luckyscent. They ship it to you pronto, and you sniff. Then muse. Then sniff. Then write. Then read what everyone else is writing (“I can’t believe they said that!” or “I am thoroughly in accord with this wise perfumista….”) Chandler warns us over and over that we are not to try to parse notes, and that we are not supposed to guess the name of the mystery potion. OK, he warned us! And like the rowdy schoolchildren we are, we completely ignored him. Everyone guessed way wrong, each time.
S02EO3 was my first mystery perfume. It seemed over-the-top masculine and aquatic to me, very Cool Water/Issey Miyake. But the other female participants were wearing it, maybe I should, too? The guys around me used up much of my bottle before I could really decide if it was my thing. Other perfumistas reported that random dudes were seeking out and using up their bottles before they could fully report. When one participant left his bottle in his office’s men’s room as a social experiment, it was half-emptied pronto, then swiped! Finally, the reveal: it was a totally new perfume to the market, Drakkar Essence. We’d been sampling and writing about it before it was released. It was fascinating to try a perfume with no marketing materials, no identity at all apart from our own discussion of perfumery and art. I had thought I was immune to marketing and “only cared about the juice.” Ha! You can read the discussions over at Luckyscent, and on Basenotes, try the perfume the next time you go the mall, and form your own opinion on it. Mall trash or treasure? My guys say treasure. I for one am going to enjoy a few more samplings on the masculine side of the aisle, and I’m not so averse to the mass market as I snobbishly used to be- some of these mall thingies are pretty darn good.
S02EO4 had me screaming, “Yes, cupcakes!” and rolling around in the stuff (I sprayed it on my sheets and pillows) before falling asleep to enjoy some truly lovely, fluffy dreams. Other samplers got wildly different impressions: skanky flowers, musk, bakeries, plastic, and even dark forests. Some thought it pretty, some sexy, some puerile. A few of the guys actually rocked it, but most of us agreed it was pretty much a lady ‘fume. What a surprise when the mystery scent turned out to be the newly launched CK Reveal! Again, head on over to Luckyscent and Basenotes to read the discussions; they are pretty hilarious. I would never have tried this IRL, but I’ve used up half my bottle already and I’m still getting good dreams from it. Who knew?? I can’t wait for the next round, it could be anything….