Saturday, March 9, 2013

When More is Less, or Everything in Perfumery!

Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug

Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug are two Dutch artists famous for creating high-concept art films and installations with a driven cheeky sense of humor. Winners of many prizes, the artists decided to criticize the perfume industry in a very creative and unusual way. The project called EVERYTHING was executed in 2012, when a video showed 1,400 scents, launched in the fragrance market, being mixed together to create a new fragrance called EVERYTHING. The idea was to show how ridiculously absurd the number of fragrance launches per year is growing, and how quality has been compromised against quantity. 
I could not help to make this post because here you all know that my living motto is "Less is More!" I take it the artists wanted just to prove the other way around, meaning to say: More is Less.
The first part of the video you will see the creation of the fragrance bottle for Everything, which it is an enlarged 1.5l glass vial that looks like a giant standard classic perfume sample bottle, followed by the artists adding all fragrances launched in the year of 2012.



According to them, EVERYTHING is an unique perfume that smells like an over scent-saturated floor in a department store, where the mix of all fragrances in the air hits you on the face. They also believe that EVERYTHING ended up being the most iconic smell in the world.

Photo credit: Fantastic Man magazine

These are some of the fragrances mixed in EVERYTHING:

4711, Acqua Colonia Mandarine & Cardamom • A Dozen Roses, Amber Queen • A Dozen Roses , Electron • A Lab on Fire, Sweet Dreams 2003 • A Lab on Fire , Liquid Night • A Lab on Fire , What We Do In Paris Is Secret • A Wing and a Prayer Perfumes, Shalott Rose • AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo , Tawaf • Acqua di Parma , Colonia Intensa Oud Concentrée • Acqua di Parma , Iris Nobile Sublime • Acqua di Portofino , Sail • Acqua Reale, Cèdre Royale • Adidas, Adidas Extreme Power Special Edition • Adidas, Fizzy Energy • Aedes de Venustas , Aedes de Venustas (new) • Affliction, Sinful For Her • Aftelier , Sepia • Agar Aura, Cuir Chypre • Agar Aura, Neriko • Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Flormania • Agent Provocateur, Maitresse Eau Provocateur • Agent Provocateur, Pétale Noir • Agent Provocateur , Agent Provocateur Eau Provocateur • Agent Provocateur , L’Agent Eau Provocateur • Ajmal, Bling • Alice & Peter, Bloody Orange • Alice & Peter, Cheery Cherry • Alice & Peter, Fancy Choco • Alice & Peter, Showy Toffee • Alice & Peter, Wicked Berry • Amazongreen, Amandy • Amazongreen, Haivi Feminino • Amazongreen, Haivi Masculino • Amazongreen, Hakuchi • Amazongreen, Kamba Kumba’e • Amazongreen, Kamba Kunã • Amazongreen, Kaysati • Amazongreen, Kotyhu • Amazongreen, Kurundu • Amazongreen, Lokicho • Amazongreen, Muru • Amazongreen, Pitanga • Amazongreen, Sakaka • Amazongreen, Teka • Amazongreen, Tucumã • Amazongreen, Yvotimã • Amazongreen , Ka’aty • Ambra di Venezia, Tikue • America’s Next Top Model, Dream Come True • Amouage, Interlude Man • Amouage, Opus VI • Amouage , Beloved • Amouage , Interlude Woman • Amy Childs, Amy Childs • Anat Fritz, Tzora • Andrea Maack, Coal • Angel Schlesser, Pirouette • Angela Flanders, Aqua Alba • Anna Sui, Fairy Dance Secret Wish • Annick Goutal , Nuit Etoilée • Antonio Banderas, Her Secret • April Aromatics, Liquid Dreams • April Aromatics, Nectar of Love • April Aromatics, Precious Woods • April Aromatics, Rose L’Orange • April Aromatics, Unter den Linden • Aquolina, Pink Sugar Sparks • Arabian Oud, Hayati • Arabian Oud, Seher Al Kalemat • Aramis , PerfumeCalligraphy • Arno Sorel, Sensuelle Glamour • Arno Sorel, Solinotes Fleur d’Oranger • Atelier Cologne, Rose Anyonme • Atelier Cologne , Ambre Nue • Atelier Cologne , Rose Anonyme • Atelier Cologne , Vétiver Fatal • Avon, Centre Action • Avon, City Rush for Her • Avon, Far Away Exotic • Avon, Ironman Extreme • Avon, Ironman Glory • Avon, Jon Bon Jovi Unplugged For Her • Avon, Jon Bon Jovi Unplugged for Him • Avon, Miami Party • Avon, Perfect Strength • Avon, Scentini Nights Emerald Sparkle • Avon, Scentini Nights Midnight Glow • Avon, Scentini Nights Purple Pulse • Avon, Secret Fantasy Kiss...

If you wish to see all, click HERE for the link.
The fragrance was available till March 9 at Colette - Paris for a sniff...

According to the artists wearing Everything made people move away from them...

This blogger has been criticizing in many ways the decrease of quality X quantity for years now, but unfortunately, this is here to stay, and not forgeting to mention that it is also contaminating the so-called "niche" brands.
Fact is that very little has been invested into quality, a lot has been invested in marketing to sell the low quality perfumes as "the next big thing". 
It has arrived to Chanel and Guerlain, the last empires of quality of the massive production houses, but it happened. The last attempt of Chanel to sell Chanel Nº5 through Brad Pitt with that ridiculous campaign (the "R" word again...) it was the one of the final strikes, but Coco Noir was the last stab straight in the heart. 
Some are saying that 1932 is really good. I just happen to be skeptic. I haven't tried yet...but I am also not that curious. And Guerlain, oh Guerlain...the Multi man effect continues in a freakshish speed...flankers, flankers, flankers...1000s of Aquas Allegorias, Petit Robe Noirs...Habit Rouges, and the worst: the 1000 Shalimars...OMG! How much crap can one stand?
The question is: how to stop this or at least put one foot on the break?

ONE FINAL OBS: The artists are not criticizing each brand added individually, so if you saw your name in this list, don't get angry. The critic is being made about the fragrance industry as a whole. The attitude, not the perfumes.


8 comments:

Ane* Walsh - biocosméticos said...

It sounds like rubbish to me...

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

You are not alone Ann - others feels the same.
This is a continuation of another project involving beauty products. I thought it was fun...

memoryofscent said...

I thought it was brilliant, Irreverent and glorifying at the same time.

sherapop said...

Interesting Simone, thanks!

I took a look at the list and counted 71 perfumes launched by "Violette Market" (a house which I'd never heard of--so I assume that it's yet another new pseudo-niche venture), and more than 50 by the Fragrance Kitchen (also unknown to me), so if one factors out such multi-mega launchers, the number would be less out of control, so to speak.

My attitude these days is to ignore these multilaunchers. I am interested in perfumes which are composed, not produced combinatorially from a house's small cluster of stock notes along with a bunch of cheap aromachemicals.

Once upon a time, a perfume launch was an event. Now it's a tweet. The trivialization of everything from perfume to text appears to be well underway. This makes me wonder whether the artists behind "Everything" are not singling out the perfume industry, when in fact their "critique" would apply, mutatis mutandis, to nearly every realm.

As for perfumery in particular, I think that perfumistas are in part to blame with their sampling madness habits and their willingness to contribute to the hype machine every time a new perfume is launched. You know very well what I'm talking about, given that you have a Facebook fragrance group!

As for me, I could care less about the latest launches, especially when they come in by the dozen...

Thanks for sharing the video about this stunt, which probably is vulnerable to part of what appears to be the basis of very its own critique, given that this "art work", like most new perfume launches, did not require a great deal of thought or creativity...

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear Memoryofscent:
Funny is that my husband actually had the smell of everything for a while. I explain: he was the system administrator for Frutarom in Israel, a fragrance and flavor chem. plant in Israel - he used to come home smelling like everything you can think of! He actually had to undress at the dorr, put his clothes in a plastic bag - run to take a shower and run to wash the very same clothes he took off, otherwise it was just simply unbearable to be around him.
So I think Everything is brilliant when a part of the artists body of work. If you go to their website or to Fantastic Man magazine, and you understand who these two think and work - it is simply very very funny!
XX

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Sherapop,
I agree with you - we are in the era of the 3 Ms: more, much and many!

I think you are right about the trivialization of everything - and I think it started with the reality shows where everything is exposed and seems to be trivial.
It is like special edition of the industrial era where things are fast forward in a speed that it is hard to follow.
I think it is also the catch that we are missing as people who are constantly studying the perfume industry.

Maybe the speed and quantity is a part of a strategy to make us not have the real time to deepen the knowledge of each and every fragrance?
We can't simply catch up with it and what you can't catch up with, you can't also really analyze, criticize... By the time you find out about a brand - it already launched 50 perfumes that you haven't seen and probably by then it is already passé, so you skipped the opportunity to say they were all crap. OR, by the time you are trying a new edition of Dior - along came another brand with what they call "collection", "series"... you just feel like Chaplin eating corn right?
I open facebook and every monday there are 10 new blogs about perfumes or 10 new dudes with youtube videos with fragrance reviews...many, many, in high speed, some have even published 10 articles in one week - how can you read all that? How can you really read and give time to think about what the article is about and formulate your own thoughts about it?
I am drowning already!
maybe we should find a platform where we exchange articles so everyone get to read everyone...I don't know...

sherapop said...

That's a very interesting hypothesis, Simone, about all of this frenzy as a means of suppressing criticism. Certainly that is one of the effects, but I don't think that any of the culprits really have that in mind. They seem simply to be caught up in the frenzy themselves!

As far as blog and Youtube proliferation, my approach (boringly enough!) is exactly the same: I am quite selective about the blogs which I read, and I watch nearly nothing on Youtube. Above all, I stay very, very far away from all of the hype machines. I prefer blogs such as yours and Christos', and the others which are listed in my blog roll. I also post only about once a week because I prefer to present something which I feel is worth the time of others to read.

In other words, going against the grain of "the modern way" (or perhaps I should say "the postmodern way", or is it now "the postpostmodern way"?), I continue to focus on quality not quantity. At least that's what I strive for! ;-)

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

I think your blog stands out for its content and approach. I is a place to thinkers. I can'r stand the ones posting only the newest launches.
Today I find myself in a place where I don't have much time even for my blog. I don't think people should stop to start their own blogs, but also not expect that people will read them either...

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