Category: Fragrance

September 25, 2012

V&R Spicebomb – SNAD*

*Significantly Not As Described

Diana surprised me yesterday with a sample of Viktor & Rolf’s new Spicebomb, we haven’t followed them lately but their first two releases, Antidote and Flowerbomb, are favorites of ours. Spicebomb doesn’t quite do what it says on the label; I get an opening reminiscent of Gucci Pour Homme II, tea leaf and fruit. The base is, in a word, safe. Amber and light woods, nothing near even Antidote’s spicy heart/base. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention to the progression, but then again, it didn’t do anything to grab my attention, either.

The tragedy here is this isn’t some marketing team’s vision; this is a Jacques Polge creation, the nose behind Flowerbomb, Kenzo Power and Dior Homme(!!). He’s a versatile, talented guy; this just isn’t his finest work. Clever packaging isn’t enough to save the latest misfire from team V&R.… (More) “V&R Spicebomb – SNAD*”

December 4, 2011

First World Dilemmas

My creative impulses are dragging me all over the place. I’ve got about a half-dozen projects I want to work on and I’m paralyzed with indecision. Maybe writing them down will help. In no particular order, I want to…

– Get started on the perfume I’m making for Eve.
– Play the hell out of some Skyrim.
– Make something in FL Studio. I don’t really have a hook in my head to start with, though.
– Finish configuring the netbook for emulator play. Yesterday’s testing was mixed. It’s fine with NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Sega Genesis, but some SNES games are choppy, particularly Super-FX enabled ones. N64 games were hit and miss, I was getting probably 50fps on Super Mario 64 but it choked up a big hairball on Goldeneye and Hot Wheels Turbo Racing. I haven’t bothered with my PSX roms. I haven’t set up Quickplay for my MAME roms yet as it’s quite involved.
– Get Quickbooks set up for Diana. She’s wanting to learn how to use it so she has another marketable skill for the future job search. The idea I had is that we can set up Shooting Star Perfumes as the business to learn with. It might get us back into making our own stuff.
– Eat the hell out of some pizza.
– Listen to some new albums that came out, particularly the new M83.
– Channel former blogging buddy Krooze L. Roy and review some old video games. I hope he reads this some time, because I miss the hell out of his writing, and I still want him to message me some time about Amplitude on PS2.

And even out of so many tempting options, the combination of pizza and Skyrim is a siren’s call I … (More) “First World Dilemmas”

November 30, 2011

Am I a writer? Or just restless?

There’s a certain self-righteous quality to calling yourself a writer when you have no published/paid work to your name. At that point you are closer to the truth if you refer to yourself as a “typist.” I have some friends, though, that exhibit that trait that I think is the telltale sign of a “real” writer, and that’s the urge to write almost constantly.

I have these urges, but I am usually sated by a one-liner or statement that’s been on my mind. I have several friends that are finishing up on their NaNoWriMo projects today. A novel! Jeez. I don’t think I can keep a train of thought from derailing for that kind of length. An overactive imagination needs an outlet, though, and I have many. Lately it’s been Skyrim, but other common pastimes have been making perfumes, designing houses in The Sims 3, writing, trying to come close to the talent level of my 18-year old self at FL Studio, making stepcharts in StepMania, designing board, card, or role-playing games…I can keep busy. There’s something deeply satisfying about writing, especially on a platform like this where I can toss these words into empty space and whatever happens, happens.

Every creative outlet of mine has a muse, and for writing it is two entities. The first, my long-time muse, has been Jerry Holkins (Tycho Brahe) at Penny Arcade. He puts out the most amazingly smooth, polished work three times a week and his tone just makes me happy, his sense for when to drop the flowery language and rage-curse for a while is incredible. The second, a somewhat more recent find, are several of the writers at Cracked. What’s more, they blatantly encourage writing at all skill levels. Somehow, a website that routinely publishes lists like “The 7 Most … (More) “Am I a writer? Or just restless?”

July 23, 2011

Dreamweaving Again

So the good news is I’ve gone longer without posting on here, but that’s like saying midget murder is more condonable because they’re about half a life.

I’ve started on a new web project, and with the number of features I want to build out it stands to be my most ambitious project yet, and it’s gonna require some new technologies. Understand that I really don’t like the thought of relying on JavaScript, due to long-standing grudges, but jQuery does offer features I’m really gonna need in this project, in a prepackaged solution. When I hear that there are quite a few Top 100 websites that make use of it, I’m reassured.

So, Project Havana, as I’m calling it right now, is fragrance-related and fills a niche that no other industry website has sufficiently covered. This will also serve as a website I can show as a portfolio piece for both the UI and backend. That’s still a field I’d love to do as a day job again, and I’ve also just recently found all the code for the largest project I’d worked on but was under NDA on for a year. So it’ll be good to have both projects available to point to. I’m being rather tight-lipped on the particulars to this project as I want to develop it at a slower pace, get each feature dialed in before moving onto the next one, and then when I have something worth putting out there, I can do it without regret or concern. So that’s new, as I usually throw up core functionality and build out the site as it’s live, add those features as people use the site.

I’m going to try and get back on the three-day writing schedule, we will see.… (More) “Dreamweaving Again”

January 21, 2011

BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Wheeling and Dealing

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, 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, … (More) “BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Wheeling and Dealing”

January 14, 2011

BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Unexpected Successes

So the first phase of the BMM voting site has done really well in it’s first two weeks, with 106 different users, 2157 votes and 501 different fragrances in the running at the time of this writing. I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t expecting that kind of response so early. I took the time to get the most recent numbers, available here, and there’s a good mix towards the top. I haven’t begun any coding on the second half of the site, the prediction contest, I suspect I’ll start on that one of the next few nights.

On an unrelated note, I won my first perfume prize from a blog! Quite excited about the 15mL of Escentric 03 en route to me, especially because my wardrobe is so large at this point, a mL is roughly equivalent to a month.… (More) “BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Unexpected Successes”

December 26, 2010

Time Management Fail

I should be getting ready for work right about now, but I feel like writing too. So writing wins for now. I’m getting myself psyched up for 2011 with plans and ideas for how I’m gonna keep things interesting for this Monday-Wednesday-Friday regularity of posting. My work schedule actually calls for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off, and I have no plans to change that. So I’ll be writing a week ahead or two.

Mondays are gonna be fairly mixed with regards to music. Reviews of varying formality, top 10s, that sort of thing.

Wednesdays, my wildcard days, will likely have a lot of gaming. That’s for sure. That and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Fridays will be split between reviewing fragrances and a journal tracking Diana and I as we attempt to make custom perfumes, we’ve got about a year of off-and-on experience with it and I think we’re going to be stocking up on some new oils too. We haven’t broken out the EOs since we moved in together, so we’re both excited to get back to it.

Unrelated note, but if you haven’t been following the Steam Holiday Sale, you’re missing the true reason of the $ea$on. You can buy 55 games for $55, for crying out loud.… (More) “Time Management Fail”

December 10, 2010

BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Best Laid Plans

I began preliminary work for Basenotes March Madness 2011 today, a paper sketch that I always seem to need to do before designing a website or a database. I’ll be designing both in this case, but the core of the game will of course be on Basenotes. The site I’m building will host the nomination and voting process to select what fragrances make the cut, and will also manage the bracket challenge, where users attempt to predict the outcome of each game. At the end of a day’s games, I simply give the website the final results for the day and it records it, and gives me the code for the next day’s events.

What’s the website look like now? This. But believe it or not, the hard work is nearly over, the actual construction of the website is a pretty simple process having done work with databases for so long.

I’m still spotty on a lot of details, but I can tell you several major changes from prior years events:

– There will be two concurrent tournaments, men’s and women’s. I didn’t run a women’s tournament the first year because I was uncertain as to the popularity of the event, and the second year because I didn’t feel I’d have time to do both because of the amount of manual work involved. The tournaments won’t be segregated by gender, men can vote on the women’s contests and vice versa. The only difference is the brackets themselves will be quite different.

– Instead of the prediction contest’s old scoring system, where each game in round 1 was worth 1 point, then doubling in value for each round, users will be able to bet varying amounts for each game. Essentially each round’s old point values will be multiplied by 10. … (More) “BMM11 Behind The Scenes: Best Laid Plans”

December 10, 2010

Chanel Platinum Egoiste – The Prophet Biggie Smalls

How does an early 90s aromatic fougère get street cred?

“…easy, call em on the phone and Platinum Chanel cologne and I stay, dressed, to impress…”
-Notorious B.I.G., Nasty Girl

I’m fairly sure Platinum Egoiste is the only bottle in my collection that has been rapped about, but smelling it, it’s hard not to see that Biggie was on the right track. Platinum Egoiste is an aromatic fougère, meaning it combines the fern, lavender and oakmoss trio of a traditional fougère with additional woods and spices. 1993 was a transition year for the fragrance industry, some of the last few heavy-hitters and offbeat mainstream offerings before CK One and L’Eau d’Issey Miyake in 1994 set the stage for the aquatic-dominant industry we find ourselves in now. Where most current offerings are either soapy, inoffensive aquatics, or cloying sweet club scents, Platinum Egoiste is neither, and instead opens with a blast of rosemary, clary sage and vetiver that is herbal, slightly bitter, and very “aromatic”. Give it a bit to settle down and you see that the top notes have made some room for the cedar and even a fleeting floral hint, which Basenotes lists as geranium. This combination is unique to my collection, Pasha de Cartier comes close but Platinum Egoiste does a more classy job of it. It’s fairly linear from this point, drying down and losing some of that effervescent, sparkling quality but retaining the slightly sweeter herbal scent.

It’s my belief that fougères are some of the best out there when you need to show a professional, mature side. It’s my go-to scent for job interviews, for example. It rarely overpowers unless grossly overapplied, so it’s workplace friendly. Projection is right about where I’d want it, longevity is average at 5-8 hours.

The marketing campaign for the … (More) “Chanel Platinum Egoiste – The Prophet Biggie Smalls”

February 9, 2010

SoTW 1/31/10 – 2/6/10

Hello and welcome to Week 1 of the 2010-2011 Scent of The Year experiment.  This first week has been all about finding the simplest way to process all the data, and to figure out what exactly we’ll be tracking over the next year.

So let’s take a step back, for the uninitiated.  Scent of The Year (abbreviated to SoTY) is a yearlong exercise, reading the daily Scent of The Day threads and compiling all that data to one central spreadsheet, and seeing what conclusions there are to be drawn from it.  You’ll be receiving regular updates for every week (SoTW), month (SoTM), quarter (SoTQ), half-year (SoTHY) and finally the big SoTY rundown, which will happen right around February 1st, 2011, to coincide with my other project, the lead-in to Basenotes March Madness.

Why, one could conceivably ask, would someone take on the tedious, dull, boring and exceptionally un-fun work of reading other people’s fragrance selections and type them into a book with other people’s fragrance selections?  I’ve got two reasons, the first being I get restless without a good long-term project to work at, and the second being that I do get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with data, and seeing what can be really gathered from it.

I harbor no such illusions, however, that you enjoy statistics quite to the level that I do, so I’ll try to keep it interesting, entertaining even, but hopefully informative as well.  If I start drifting off-course, please send me an email, PM, or tweet and let me know, or take me by the shoulders and gently steer me back in the right direction.

To work, then!  The first step when you start collecting data is, obviously, determining exactly what you want to collect; the fragrances themselves, of course, … (More) “SoTW 1/31/10 – 2/6/10”