Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dear You- Unsent Letters About Perfume





Dear estates of dead celebrities,

Please stop exploiting our beloved icons. From Diana Vreeland to Natalie Wood. It's disrespectful and unnecessary. 

Signed, 
Scared of zombie perfumes.




Dear Frederic Malle,

I don't blame you. I've seen the industry crap you've had to deal with, and I'd have sold to Lauder, too. Actually, I'd have sold to Kris Jenner had she been willing to pay.

Signed,
A fan who'd give her soul for a pre-reformulation bottle of Le Parfum de Therese.



Dear LVMH person who holds the reigns of Guerlain,

Do you remember Djedi? Or Parure? Do you remember Voilette de Madame? Or when Jicky smelled like Jicky?
I'm over it. So very over it. You've given up on me as a customer the day you decided to sell your classic Parisienne heritage to the Russian oligarchs and their mistresses.

Signed,
She who just bought another vintage Guerlain on eBay.




Dear Uncle Serge,

So much for exclusivity. Between dumping stocks at the doorstep of every discounters, selling travel sprays of the precious former non-exports, and opening boutiques internationally, I think you're doing the right thing. Cash in while you can. However, the limited edition "Hammer & Sickle"*** bottle (an inferior perfume at an inflated price) is unacceptable. That's the symbol of opression, of gulags, of all four of my grandparents fighting for their human rights, of long lines for a limited supply of bread.Greed has never looked worse.

Signed,

See you on Fragrancenet.




Dear Atelier Cologne,

Thank you for making your perfumes available in 30ml bottles. This alone should win you a major award. But enough with the rapid fire of new releases. I can no longer remember which is which, or tell all the citruses apart. This is a Bond-like behavior. Don't be a Bond.

Signed,
An Oud Saphir fan.



***“HAMMER AND SICKLE” ENGRAVED BOTTLE (L’EAU FROIDE)
“A bottle named Cold War, which we hope, in communist parts, will bring a smile to the face of capitalism.”
- Serge Lutens


Art (the real one): A Woman Writing a Letter. Albert Edelfeldt,  1887

38 comments:

  1. Love it. Can I play? Here's another:

    Dear Kilian:

    There's very little point in telling people your bottles are refillable when refills never seem to be available.

    Signed,

    Looking for Love and Tears refills in all the wrong places

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poppy, have you heard today's news? Kilian just sold the line to Lauder.

      Delete
  2. Is current LPdT that bad? Still have 80% left but I dread the day I run out and have to get a new one. Stock time I guess...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not bad, it's just not Therese. And it was actually reformulated at least twice before, so my quest is most likely futile.

      Delete
  3. This is both funny and sad. The "hammer and sickle" bottle is just bad taste... and yet another sign that Russian oligarchs are the target consumer now.

    PS: I had no idea Le Parfum de Therese had been reformulated. I shall go lie down and cry in my room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took me a while to verify and confirm that the Soviet bottle was not a joke. Photos emerged before there was an official word out, and funny enough, no American blogger has gotten that specific press release.

      Delete
    2. Agree, the hammer and sickle is such bad taste, also for Asian customers (though I guess Lutens is not targeting Asia at all).

      Delete
  4. My god. I thought you were joking about the Hammer and Sickle edition. I can't even understand his line about it (although I often find perfume ad copy incomprehensible).

    Thanks for writing more of these letters--I love this series! Here's hoping you find that pre-reformulation bottle of LPdT someday. When I think about all the times I was at Barney's a decade ago, blithely sniffing the Malle perfumes and deciding I didn't need back ups of my favorites...sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At this point I'm kicking myself for not buying two of everything I've ever purchased. It's crazy.

      Delete
  5. Priceless! I just spent the last 10 minutes laughing - sometimes mirthfully, sometimes ruefully. Everything you say is true. I suppose if FM was going to sell, Estee Lauder was not a bad choice. My current attitude is that there are still so many lovely scents out there that I'm not replacing empty bottles anymore, vintage or not. Thank you for your continuing insightful commentary on perfume and makeup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathryn. That's a very wise attitude, especially since "replacing" is most likely to be frustrating. I have backups for a lot of things, but not for any of the Malles, so it's frustrating, considering I also didn't like the reformulation of MR.

      Delete
  6. Hah ! Love it !
    Signed
    A Cynical perfume User

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mimi. The industry has made all of us into cynics.

      Delete
  7. Dear Gaia I love this post. I think you wrote down the soul of many/most perfumistas worldwide.
    Hammer and Sickle bottle? I wasn't aware that it existed. In my opinion it's veeeeeeery bad marketing. Thumbs down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the powers-that-be tried to keep this bottle away from US consumers' awareness. Which is ridiculous considering this is 2016 and not 1992.

      Delete
  8. Every single one - brilliant! :-) I've resigned myself to Guerlain being a vintage only brand for me now - have zero faith in LVMH. But that Serge bottle. Honestly, I can't even think about it. Somehow it felt personal, like a beloved family member suddenly displaying an unexpectedly callous, very unfortunate side to their character.
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, if it's any consolation, Serge sold the brand back to Shiseido, so we can't tell how much of the newest shenanigans are really him.

      Delete
    2. TBH, they're probably not (really) him. Some wise-guy (or gal?) fashion marketing probably or more than likely decided than Serge Lutens = semi-offensive cultural iconography plastered onto bottles with a sensual description to soften the 'edge' of the symbols. This sort of behavior seems kind of common nowadays in the 21st Century when people younger than 37 forget the meaning of certain things. At first, I didn't understand what people were ranting about with the Hammer & Sickle, than saw it and kind of cringed. It's interesting, but not appropriate. It's sort of like throwing Islamic calligraphy in random on something without considering the religious significance behind it. Or, dare I say, the Swastiska.

      Delete
  9. I remember when I heard the news that Estee Lauder was buying Frederic Malle I wondered if I should buy backup bottles of my favorites before the sale was completed. The Malle sales rep at my local Barney's assured me that there was no need. Everything would remain the same, there would be no reformulations, it was just an infusion of cash into the line. Sigh. Glad I have a back up of PoAL. I have samples and a decant of LPdT pre-reformulation. I acknowledge that it is a beautiful thing, but I just can't get it to work on my skin. I'm pretty close to giving up on the state of current day perfumery. For now I'm not purchasing anything else and am happily living with what I have in my perfume cabinet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, many Malle scents had already been reformulated to comply with IFRA regs before he ever sold to Estee Lauder.

      -- Lindaloo

      Delete
    2. Linda is right. A big part of Mr. Malle's frustration with the market and the industry was the need to comply with IFRA. LPdT was especially a sore spot because acquiring the formula was the cornerstone of Editions de Parfums.

      Delete
  10. Ma Cherie Dior,
    Surely by now you have heard some of the rumbling in the little fragrance business you've dabbled in for the last century. Miss Dior, Original Miss Dior, you know, that whole thing and all the changes that have ruined old favorites. I urge you to take some time out of your busy schedule to reassess some of these decisions. We have lived almost forever and with the lack of interest being paid on our investments, we do, bourgeois as it is, have to keep up our little hobbies so that they may support us in our old age. Much love, Madame G

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dior is especially infamous for thinking we have neither nose nor a brain to process things. Their disrespect to loyal customers is legendary. Instead thet release "Poison Girl".

      Delete
  11. These letters are brilliant!

    -- Lindaloo

    ReplyDelete
  12. This Russian woman who is nobody's mistress would like Parisienne perfumes to stay as they were and not change. I think being forced by the IFRA to reformulate is the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's probably a combination of market forces, pure greed, and IFRA. And I just want to make sure I was not making an anti-Russian comment. Not with my ancestry :)

      Delete
  13. Gaia, if you start collecting signatures under these letters, I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Undina. Don't we all wish that the relevant parties would come here and read it?

      Delete
  14. Please sign my name in the letter for Guerlain as well !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guerlain is becoming the saddest, most painful memory for perfume lovers, isn't is?

      Delete
  15. These letters are so brilliant and true, especially the Guerlain and Atelier Cologne ones. I can't believe that the Hammer & Sickle perfume is real. It's such bad taste and really offensive. What's next, a version with a Confederate flag or a swastika?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my exact reaction when I saw it. Maybe also decorate the bottles with famous mustaches. Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein...

      Delete
  16. Encore. Encore!
    This is wonderful and, of course, sad because it is so true! May the scented gods hear your cries and bring us back our joy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Lately the joy comes from acquiring more vintage and supporting the indiest of indie perfumers.

      Delete
  17. Laughing here but sad too. That the industry should sink so low.
    Portia xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Portia Love! The industry has been committing a slow suicide for a while now. I'm very curious to see who survives the next decade.

      Delete

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