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NYT Article: When Did Perfume Stop Being About Sex?

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
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I must react to two passages..

we now have dating apps, a more efficient and consistent way to find a partner than having someone catch your scent and fall in love with you

Catching someone’s scent and falling In love is a wonderful, human, and, I hope, universal experience, with or without perfume. I am thankful that I did not have to rely on “efficient” dating apps to meet the love(s) of my life.

Likewise. Even without COVID, I don’t envy today’s digitally empowered daters.

FYI, my wife often says she remembered my scent between when we met 44 years ago and when we reunited some 15–20 years after that. Perfume had nothing to do with it: at the time, I didn’t wear any.

And I am amazed by the description of Baccarat Rouge 540 as an “artisanal” perfume, part of the trend towards “small handcrafted” scents. Last time I checked, Maison Francis Kurkdjian was owned by LVMH.

Yes, last time you checked. But Baccarat Rouge was issued in 2014, and LVMH bought MFK in 2017. I’m still not sure that makes BR540 “artisanal,” but it doesn’t disqualify it.
 

JBHoren

I'm a social vegan. I avoid meet.
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"When Did Perfume Stop Being About Sex?"

For me, definitively, when I turned 70; effectively, twenty years earlier. "There's probably a lesson to be learned from this, but I'll be damned if I know what it is." (Al Bundy, Married With Children)
 

grayspoole

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Yes, last time you checked. But Baccarat Rouge was issued in 2014, and LVMH bought MFK in 2017. I’m still not sure that makes BR540 “artisanal,” but it doesn’t disqualify it.

Guilty as charged for citing the LVMH bogeyman as a shortcut for explaining why I think BR540 is not artisanal.

I think this NYT piece sums it up pretty well. BR540 is a very intelligent, very synthetic, very simplistic, and very commercial composition—which is not my definition of artisanal.

https://www.thecut.com/2021/12/how-baccarat-rouge-540-became-the-scent-of-2021.html

Going back to the original article, the woman who was quoted as saying “Of course I have Baccarat Rouge” is “Dina Fanella, a 50-year-old special education teacher in Las Vegas, [who] seeks out singular fragrances. She doesn’t like mass-produced perfume for the same reason she doesn’t like big hotels: It feels generic.“ And the mind reels...
 

PStoller

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BR540 is a very intelligent, very synthetic, very simplistic, and very commercial composition—which is not my definition of artisanal.

Nor mine. It is a successful “niche” fragrance, but niche isn’t artisanal anymore than Kurkdjian is Russian Adam. I understand Dina Fanella’s confusion on that score, because perfume marketing is designed to create it, but any journalist covering this beat should know better.
 

CookBot

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Going back to the original article, the woman who was quoted as saying “Of course I have Baccarat Rouge” is “Dina Fanella, a 50-year-old special education teacher in Las Vegas, [who] seeks out singular fragrances. She doesn’t like mass-produced perfume for the same reason she doesn’t like big hotels: It feels generic.“ And the mind reels...

😁

I'm beginning to think that NYT writer may have had her tongue edging slyly toward her cheek. She seems to be subtly pointing out the irony of her source's comments.
 

Salumbre

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Jan 26, 2022
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Like most journalism, this piece is a mass of oversimplifications.

Fragrance is not always sexual; it is, however, always sensual. Even the clean astringency of pine or the majesty of frankincense are technically sensual, since they go through our senses first.

As for the emotional side of fragrance, I would say it has to do with memory. Proust's madeleine and all that jazz.
 

grayspoole

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😁

I'm beginning to think that NYT writer may have had her tongue edging slyly toward her cheek. She seems to be subtly pointing out the irony of her source's comments.

It’s certainly possible that there is some kind of head fake going on here, but most of the perfume writing in the NYT Style section Is marketing copy.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
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It’s certainly possible that there is some kind of head fake going on here, but most of the perfume writing in the NYT Style section Is marketing copy.

Tongue-in-cheek head-fakery usually has more of a wink than I pick up here. This article looks to me like a writer trying to make a handful of facts fit a thesis rather than deriving a valid thesis from available facts. Journalism shouldn’t look like that, much less be that.

I’m not familiar enough with Strugatz’ work to know if this is characteristic of it. The headlines have an editorial slant toward connecting beauty trends with themes of social relevance. That’s cool, as long as the writing backs it up.
 

JBHoren

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Whatever became of Chandler Burr?
He left the NYT over a decade ago. He’s got a museum gig and runs a nonprofit. I doubt he misses his old gig.
I knew he left, but didn't know where. I miss his writing; it was his books -- The Emperor of Scent and The Perfect Scent -- along with his NYTimes articles, that got me started on this. His leaving, along with Frank Bruni moving from food critic to Op-Ed editor, marked the end of the NYTimes, for me (yes, I'm "that shallow").
 

Pippin06

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I knew he left, but didn't know where. I miss his writing; it was his books -- The Emperor of Scent and The Perfect Scent -- along with his NYTimes articles, that got me started on this. His leaving, along with Frank Bruni moving from food critic to Op-Ed editor, marked the end of the NYTimes, for me (yes, I'm "that shallow").
The end of the New York Times for me was when they forgot they were a newspaper.
 

Pippin06

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IMHO, The Times has lost all credibility. Sad. Same reason I ended my subscription to my beloved Sacramento Bee. Objective reporting seems to be a lost art.
 

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