Saturday, February 23, 2013

Random Picks - Kerosene


Official Olfactive Notes: Honey, Earl Gray, Zing of Lemon, Vanilla, Bergamot, Caramel, Tonka, Waffle Cone (provided by MiN New York, sellers of Kerosene fragrances and Fragrantica). Price at MiN - USD140/100ml.

Although John Pegg, the owner of the brand, describes his fragrance as a walk down a street in a Manchester, in a cold day, listening to Joy Division, sipping a cup of warm London fog...and named the fragrance unknown pleasures...I would call it:

The MAD TEA PARTY (as in Alice's Adventures in Wondeland by Lewis Carroll)!!
In the book, the tea party had to be eternal because the Mad Hatter was being punished eternally by Time. John, our Hatter Perfumer, decided that we have to be whiffed eternally by tons of cups of notes of earl gray tea and bergamot marmalade. And when just when you think you can't handle that amount of sugar, here comes caramels and waffle cones!

Analisys of the Mad Tea Party chapter of the book, presented by sparknotes:

"When Alice discovers that Time is a person and not merely an abstract concept, she realizes that not only are social conventions inverted, but the very ordering principles of the universe are turned upside down. Not even time is reliable, as Alice learns that Time is not an abstract “it” but a specific “him.” An unruly, subjective personality replaces the indifferent mechanical precision associated with the concept of time. Time can punish those who have offended it, and Time has in fact punished the Mad Hatter by stopping still at six o’clock, trapping the Mad Hatter and March Hare in a perpetual teatime. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse must carry out an endless string of pointless conversations, which may reflect a child’s perception of what an actual English teatime was really like. Alice must adjust her own perceptions of time, since the Mad Hatter’s watch indicates that days are rushing by. However, the party has not moved past the month of March, the month during which the March Hare goes mad.
Though the tea party challenges Alice’s understanding of the fundamental concept of time, the Mad Hatter’s answerless riddle reaffirms Wonderland’s unusual sense of order. The riddle seems to have no answer and exists solely to perpetuate confusion and disorder. Some readers have suggested that the riddle does in fact have an answer: Edgar Allen Poe “wrote on” both the subject of a Raven and “wrote on” a physical writing desk. In Wonderland, chaos is the ruling principle, but a strange sense of order still exists. Though riddles need not have answers, language must retain some kind of logic. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse point out to Alice that saying what she means and meaning what she says are not the same thing. Alice has said that she cannot take “more” tea because she has not had any yet. However, as the Mad Hatter points out, Alice can indeed take “more” tea even though she has not had any, since “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.” The language games at the tea party underscore the inconsistency of Wonderland, but also imply that the ordering principles that govern Alice’s world are just as arbitrary".

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland is one of the many books written during the Victorian Era, a theme already presented in details here in the blog.
So what made me smile about John's creation, is not the smile he expected from me, as he described his perfume "sure to make any gourmand lover smile", but the fact that he succeed to create an URBAN version of a VICTORIAN PERFUME.
Don't jump to say "what is she talking about??", give me time to explain...
It is not a Victorian Perfume per say, because Victorian fragrances were delicate florals. It contains the vibe of Victorian Days. I see here the exodus of English families to the cities in the search for work. I see the crowds of Manchester streets (no Joy Division for me...). I see the Victorian afternoon parties. I see the madness of the Mad Hatter in the concentration of sugary treat and bergamot marmalade of this fragrance. I see tons of Reimer and Delair's vanillin (1876) combined with caramels and waffle cones...

Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: `But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'
`Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

`I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can't take more.'

`You mean you can't take less,' said the Hatter: `it's very easy to take more than nothing.'

`Nobody asked your opinion,' said Alice.

`Who's making personal remarks now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. `Why did they live at the bottom of a well?'

It also presents me a Victorian riddle. A charade. A question that does not necessarily has to have an answer...Where does he intend to go from here?

'At any rate I'll never go there again!' said Alice as she picked her way through the wood. 'It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!'
Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had a door leading right into it. `That's very curious!' she thought. `But everything's curious today. I think I may as well go in at once.' And in she went...

It is not the stupidest tea party I ever been. Far from it. But it made me curious as well...
And just like Alice did, I think I will might just jump into the next fragrance of my random picks!


theperfumeddandy said...

I am thoroughly enjoying the notion of a pefume as a recollection of an imagined time - this is often how they strike me too.

I don't for imagine that The Great War actually smelt of Mitsouko, but that the fragrance may be a condensation of elements of it.

I'm not sure if this makes sense, perhaps the review speaks better for itself...

I will go and consult the white rabbit now...

Yours ever
The Perfumed Dandy

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear Dandy, perfumes can indeed function like a time machine: for example, sometimes I find perfumes with the fragrance of scented stickers and takes me back to the age of ten and they don't smell like the seventies at all...associations are the game here!

theperfumeddandy said...

Quite so Q

I find that I'm transported back to school quite often - is it me or is there a definite note of pencil sharpener in Jicky, for example.

Yours ever
The Perfumed Dandy

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