I was on a thread here today, when something hit me.
We were talking about how some very popular men's designer fragrances, much loved at the moment by most of the world, are completely unloved here. These fragrances are nice enough, but they just don't grab anybody's attention in the perfumista world.
I tried to think of what really distinguished these fragrances from the ones we love to talk about on Basenotes. The only thing I could think of, was that they are very, very safe, because they are very, very inoffensive. In fact, in one case, the fragrance is so weak, it is nearly incapable of offending.
That's when I realized something interesting.
Fragrances are a lot like guns. Not in their totality, but there are parallels.
Think about it. Think about fragrances in terms of firearms.
The BB guns, pellet guns, and toy guns that sell to the masses and the kids are unlikely to hurt anybody. And who's to say? Maybe that's for the best.
But it's not good enough for us. Nope. We want the real thing. We LOVE the real thing. Dangerous, beautiful, and potentially deadly things.
Blackpowder antiques that are very likely to burst or backfire. Experimental high-power rail guns that could set records, or just be electrifying duds. High-power specials in calibers that nobody except the nuts have even heard of.
Things that travel for miles - things that are more art than function - and things that you can count on to bring home the bacon. Things you damn near need a permit to own, and - for those lucky enough to find them - things you simply can't buy on the open market any more.
I'll take that smooth-slidin' Creed .45 with the fine finish. People act like it's old, but maybe we all know in our hearts that it's just a reproduction of an old design.
Another one of us goes for the thundering .44 magnum - the fire-belching monster that would make you or me flinch. The Dirty Harry of Basenotes says "I'll take that Bois d'Orage - and a box of atomizers to go!"
Maybe the lovely lady will take that 19th century vintage lady derringer with the pearl handle and the fine engraving. Something made back in the day when these things were more art than science. Who knows how many nightstands of the old West held both a bottle of Lubin and the means to protect it?
Mod-boy over there will take that oddball French bullpup - the thing that looks like a space weapon, that you can't even buy in America. In case you didn't know, fragrance isn't the only thing that France keeps on the cutting edge.
All of these things can get you in trouble, but in knowledgeable hands, they all hit the spot. Call us nuts, but we don't care. We'll take our chances, thank you very much.
But a final word of advice, if you're going to pack the real thing.
Don't drink and spray. Or at least - make sure everybody else is out of range when you do. It's one of the unwritten laws of the wild and fragrant west!
Antique Chiris parfum bottles, circa 1885 (see here)