Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brazil - The South American Way in Perfumery


Brazil was very popular during the 40-50's thanks to Carmem Miranda and Walt Disney.
Carmem arrived in the USA with her band in 1939. By 1946 she was Hollywood's highest paid entertainer. With her turban and tutti-frutti hats she was fun, but projected a rather false image of Brazil and Brazilian culture (that was how Americans wished to see Brazil, not what we were at that time), but still, she owns the credit for putting us in the map.
Walt Disney animated films are (to me) always a result of a trend, therefore they are always successful. Saludo Amigos was launched in 1942 by Disney Studios. A fun musical trip to South America. For this film Disney created a character called José Carioca - a green parrot that had the carioca way (A Brazilian born in Rio de Janeiro) - at that time, José Carioca became more famous than Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse!
This film release was a part of the ongoing "Good Neighborhood Policy", but also a result of a trend - the world was in love with Brazil.
We exported Samba, Bossa and soccer.


Pelé, our most famous soccer player, was so famous that once a research showed that Pelé was more famous than Jesus Christ! So famous that even Andy Warhol reproduced him on cavas.
During the years Brazil became a place where international criminals would find safe shelter, and many films ended with them running away to Brazil. 
Brazil also began to export prostitutes and transvestites, mostly to Europe. We became famous for sex tourism and sexual exploitation of children.
In no time, besides during Carnival, we were completely forgotten by the world.
During the 80's we were so out of the map, that even Reagan thought the capital of Brazil was Buenos Aires. (you might think he did not do his homework before landing, but to us Brazilians, was a very good example of how small and unimportant we were at that time).


But it all changed when Brazil started to export our Super Top Models. Girls like Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, Isabela Fontana and many others seduced the world with their professionalism and sensual beauty. They were everywhere. From Milan, New York to Paris, designers wanted the Brazilian girls. Those girls were walking around wearing typical Brazilian products like Arezzo/Havaianas/Melissa shoes, Rosa Chá bikinis, Miele dresses, etc... In a blink of an eye Brazilian brands became icons of fashion, and we began to export fashion like crazy. Everyone wanted to wear what Gisele was wearing. We also exported the Ronaldos, Kaká and other amazing soccer players to Europe. The Amazon and the beautiful beaches of the north of Brazil became the hip place to relax for international celebrities.
We were back in the map.
That is exactly why you saw RIO, another successful Brazil inspired animated movie.
Brazilians are seen internationally as one of the most happy people of the planet due to the fact that we make the biggest party of the world once a year (Carnival), and the biggest rock n' Roll concerts of the planet (Rock in Rio). 
Most recently we are the world's last resource for water and oil...Well, whatever...

What interested me the most is the fact that one of the hippest trends in perfumery for 2011/2012 is Brazil - the explanation: the incoming World Cup and the Olympic games in Brazil. 
According to Bell Flavors, the Brazilian nut fragrance is the hottest trend. Now isn't that the most stupid thing you have ever heard??? I mean, we have 1.7 billion acres of rain forest with plants, herbs and other sources for perfumery raw materials, and all Bell could think of is sports events? The rain forest is one of the richest biome, if not THE richest biodiversity of the planet, with the largest collection of plants of the world (we have so far 40,000  plants classified)! 
Not to mention Brazil itself - we have 26 states, and each of them with a different culture and different people - it is also a huge human biodiversity. That is one of the reason why it is very hard to determine what Brazilian Perfumery means - what is it? We can't determine.
Today Brazil is a source of creativity - this is how Brazilians should be described - as one of the most creative people of the world. Today we export design, fashion, architectural projects, advertising, art...
Brazil is not about samba and caipirinha anymore or The Brazilian Wax. Brazil is about DIVERSITY. Brazil is about creating the logo for Google! Brazil is about being the next Design Superpower according to IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America). 

So when it comes to perfumery, why it takes one Li Edelkoort to say that the Amazon is cool, or an IDSA to say that we are the future, for people to start to look at us?
I mean, isn't it obvious? We are the number 03 of the world in the beauty business, loosing only for the USA and Japan. Hello!

Anyways... I am just bringing some of the part Brazilian inspired fragrances that have been launched in the past...let's see what we have...

Brazil dream - the Latin lover - needless to say - false concept.

Davidoff's Adventure Amazonia - it all started there with adventure - of course it would be one - if you really could cross the amazon in a motorcycle...

Paprika Brazil by Hermès -  expected by NST - who doesn't have a clue about Brazil, to be something Amazonian - another foreign misconcept of Brazil - we are not just about the jungle Robin... Hermès capture the very essence of some of the Brazilian typical dishes - a very unusual thing, and very clever choice that should receive at least 5 stars for really understanding what Brazil is about. Funny thing is....I have never seen it never came to Brazil...

Pina colada? Of course...and the capital of Brazil is...Madrid, of course!
To pair with the Cuba Copacabana maybe?

Frau Tonis Nº88 Bahia  an spicy earthy fragrance...maybe the vanilla and cinnamon - but this is also not what Bahia is all about. Lavender, red peppers, dendê oil, coconut milk are the real olfactive note that translates Bahia.

Bahiana by MPG brings notes of Brazilian orange, caipirinha and coco... not a Made in Bahia kind of fragrance...but ok, the coco could be Bahia was the source for cocoa for a long time.

So that is it friends, Brazil is not about samba and cheap sex, we are trend setters, get used to it!


Anonymous said...

Amen! Big Brazil fan here. Também falo um pouco português. I will manage to visit sometime.

I like the way you write, sort of pissed off. Nice style!

How about perfumes FROM Brazil? What do you think about this type of creativity?

Liam Moore said...

Nice to see you putting Brazil on the map like this. I didn't know it was so diverse, what with all the different states and different sub-cultures.

Would love to try Paprika Brazil by Hermes. Is it peppery? Spicy?

Discount Perfume said...

i like the way of writing post

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Memoryofscent - welcome welcome! what a pleasant surprise....even that I spoiled Sel Marin for you!!!
Aren't we all Brazilian fans????? LOL! Brazil is an amazing country. Great that you speak portuguese....there are some articles you can try to read.
Brazilian perfumery is 90% copy from European & American market... so I don't see much creativity in it.
In terms of raw materials I can say some perfumers are bringing amazing scents from the Amazon, but they are mainly exported.
I have a friend who is a French perfumer that captured the fragrance of coffee blossoms in a coffee plantation - it is amazing. The flowers last very shortly so they had to sleep in the middle of the plantation to wait for the bloom. They worked all night to extract the fragrance and the result is an amazing CHEAP perfume.
Boticario and Natura are the main leaders, than you have Aqua di Fiori - nothing special that you should bother to try....unfortunately.
XXX Simone.
TKX for the compliments!

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Liam, hello!
Well Paprika Brasil is a very subtle fragrance to be a real Brazilian - we are loud, that aspect it lacks a bit of personality. The spices are present but they bring a dryness to the fragrance, not the spiciness one wish to have. BUT, this is the first time that I find a fragrance that it is inspired by something Brazilian that is not the Jungle or the beaches of Rio. It contains our interior regions, the farms, the food made in a wood oven...cooked slowly...HUMMMM
It contains reseda which is a hard to find note in fragrances, and iris that I love.
I would give 5 stars for understanding that Brazil is not about jungle and beaches. I would give 2 stars for not understanding that Brazilians too vibrant to be that subtle. I would give 3 stars for the perfume in general.

Liam Moore said...

That's a very considered rating system :) I like it.

You don't want to smell "Irish" perfumes, believe me...

Anonymous said...

I have already seen your portuguese articles. What is frustrating to me regarding the language is that I understand so much yet when I try to speak there's a white sheet with spanish, italian and french stains on it.

I already knew about Boticario and Natura but I didn't know whether I should go out of my way to try them.

JCE perfumes are so frustrating in general: too little of a good thing. A nose teaser!

So how can anyone get to experience this coffee flower scent?

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

I will check if you can order on line or contact the perfumer to ask him personally.

Anonymous said...

A friend from a farmer family in Crete told me a few days ago that vine flowers have a beautiful fragrance that lasts very little. It becomes evident only before dawn. Your story about coffee flower scent reminded me of this...

Anonymous said...

I just read in Grain de Musc that L'Artisan Parfumeur will soon launch Batucada, a joint creation of two perfumers Karine Vinchon in Grasse and Elizabeth Maier in Sao Paulo. Do you think they are going to get it right this time?

ik said...

I love yr blog! Do u know any perfume called coco brazil?

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