Thursday, 14 August 2008

People crushes & The Nose

Recently, I've been having what I call 'People crushes' upon meeting new people and instantly hitting it off/becoming in awe of them. I definitely had this with Ivan Pollard. And with Collyn, my new collaborator. And just tonight, perfume expert Catherine Mitchell. 

Catherine was hosting a talk called 'The Nose' as part of the Barbican's wonderful Viktor & Rolf season. She offered interesting analysis of what makes a hit scent. She gave CK One as an example - a unisex, neutral scent for a generation plagued by AIDS in which advertising clearly made a vital contribution.

In Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre, there's an excerpt where author Dana Thomas interviews the great nose (what a lovely job title) Jacques Polges and he bemoans the fact clients are always asking him to create a 'classic' perfume. He says classics can't be designed, it's about the magic that happens when you create something consumers didn't know they desired.

This is bringing back the olfactory backdrop of my youth. The Body Shop's White Musk anyone? Or Ananya? Bloody Dewberry and Fuzzy Peach? Buying soaps and "smellies". Classic, British 14-year-old girl smells, add a splash of Frizz-Ease and unwashed P.E. kit and I could almost be back at Waingel's Copse. 

I almost forgot Impulse. I adored the old Impulse ads. Deodorant was aspirational. Impulse made me think of being a grown-up, sassy 19-year-old. There is something about idealising particular ages when you're a teenage girl, particularly the odd numbers - 15, 17, and 19.

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