January 21, 2011

BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Wheeling and Dealing

By Daniel

Many Basenoters enjoy Basenotes March Madness, but it’s something just this side of an obsession for me as commissioner of the thing. Suffice it to say that I started preliminary work on BMM12 (March 1 2012) in December 2010. I was simultaneously working on BMM11 and in my first message on the topic to Grant Osborne, owner of Basenotes.net, I asked about the possibility of a prize this year. That was back on 12/15, but good things come to those who wait, and BMM11 officially has a prize package, graciously provided by Indiescents. Not a name you’re familiar with? It’s the niche-focused side of Luckyscent. I know Luckyscent is fairly niche as-is, but these are more independent perfumers, Laurie Erickson’s Sonoma Scent Studio, Brent Leonisio’s Smell Bent, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s DSH line, and so on. Given that I’m already in contact with many indie perfumers this year, the tie-in is great and I think people are really going to enjoy reading the selections from the perfumers, they’re all extremely interesting.

I’ve mentioned discreetly to a few people that the brackets are shaping up to be altogether different from the past two years. Take a look at the latest standings here. Everything below #96 is currently on the outside looking in, and there are some damn fine fragrances currently not in the show right now, Chanel Antaeus, AdP Colonia, Czech & Speake No. 88 (big surprise to me considering how far it’s gone in the past), LV Piper Nigrum, and plenty others that are looking mighty snubbed at the moment. This year I’m not going to be fudging these selections any more than I absolutely have to (for example, a three-way tie for the last position). So if something doesn’t make it in, it’s squarely on the shoulders of you, dear reader. I predict more first-round blowouts this year than the last two put together. To be 100% honest I’m not thrilled with this format, and it won’t be making a return any time soon, but I’m more or less committed to doing it this way this year and who knows? It might be the most exciting year ever.

I’m continuing work on phase two of the BMM site, which is the prediction contest. It will be the only way I will accept entries this year, I don’t want to have to keep up with spreadsheets like I’ve had to the past two years, and having the site automate certain things for me is what’s giving me the extra time to do two tournaments simultaneously.

After much deliberation, I think I’m going to abandon my plan of a betting system for this year’s prediction contest. The idea was that a user could bet less or more than the typical amount of a game’s value. For example, last year all Round 1 games were worth 1 point, with all rounds worth 32 points total (32 1-point games in round one, 16 2-point games in round two, etc.) In my suggested new system, we’d multiply all values by 10 (the maximum possible score is 1920 instead of 192) and for round one games (10 points), a user could bet as few as 5 points (for a toss-up game) or as many as 40 points (for suspected blowouts). Two potential problems have arisen with that system. One, Diana fears it may be too complex to someone new to BMM or unfamiliar with betting, and I could see it. Two, a bigger concern for me, is it’s quite possible someone would have won the tournament in the old points system and not win under the new system, by making poor choices with betting (or not understanding and leaving everything at defaults), and subsequently miss out on the prize. I really don’t wanna see that, so I’ll refrain from rocking the boat this year. Perhaps for a future, non-BMM event (Luckyscent has already expressed interest in sponsoring some future event of mine).

On an unrelated note, the same unrelated note as last week, my Escentric 03 arrived today. Imagine my surprise when I received a full 100mL, still in shiny plastic bottle instead of the 15mL decant they mentioned. It’s quite a strange creature this first wearing, the bitter Mexican Lime blends with light woods and a heavier base of smoky vetiver, leather and musk. Full review probably next Friday but right now it’s the most mysterious thing I’ve smelled in a long time, a dark citrus that conjures notes of anything from ginger root to cannabis. Fascinating stuff.