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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Common Scents

I should probably be embarrassed to reveal that I didn't really learn to "sip the whiskey".  This is what I was told by a good friend of mine one evening when I discovered the delight of that brown spirit.  On its own it packs a punch, but when blended with ginger ale, it sorta tastes like punch.  Hence, why I am always ready to down it like lemonade instead of sipping it like liquor.  But after a few tipsy evenings from Miami to New York and a comical story about me resting briefly in my hedges, I've learned to sip so I don't meet my 'Makers',  get 'Jack'ed up or wind up fighting 'Johnny'.  There's something about the taste and the slight almost sweet distinct aroma that conjers up memories of fun nights and good times.  Responsibly, of course!

I would never think to imagine that perfumeries nowadays would put all sorts of things in their bottles, but they do.  I also understand that they are aware of the power of scents and the legacy it leaves behind that leaves a lasting impression.  I remember the first times I smelled the fresh scent on lime while visiting Jamaica when I was four years old, I remember my oddly liking the smell of fresh gasoline my dad would pump into his van and I remember the first time I smelled that aroma of rum under my nose at my first West Indian 'not in Kansas anymore' party.  Scents leave powerful impressions and are very inspiring as they can paint a bigger picture for us by taking us back to a collective memory or bringing us to a greater level of personal retrospect.  Like for example, many magazines now will attach the name of a scent to a photo story because that fragrance may just help the reader capture the mood of what the photographer and art director are trying to say.  Soft sell advertising, yes, but also a way to give a photo and certain kind of three dimensional appeal while completing and heightening the photographic experience.

Modernized Idole
Original 1962 Idole






I was immediately intrigued at an recent event in New York when I smelled "Idole" by Lubin.  What I thought was whiskey turned out to be notes of rum.  Still utterly intrigued, I had to know more.  The scent was originally created in 1962 by this perfumery with a long history of making iconic fragrances from some the of world's most eclectic notes and for some of histories most eclectic people like Grace Kelly.  They've since modernized the scent and relaunched it.  I found myself taken away with the delicate island aromas of rum, sugar cane and bitter orange peel together with the masculine essences of smoked ebony, red sandalwood and leather.  The scent was reminiscent of a man with a tender strength, confident in the quality of what he knows and not necessarily with the quantity of what he knows.  The sweet/savory elements keep him rounded and approachable while the more masculine elements balance out the savory without emasculating him.  I am already conjuring up a photoshoot in my head.   Check out more on this historical perfumery at http://www.lubin-parfum.fr/

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