Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Take: A Hankering for a Flankering

It's so fucking hot. Honestly. Yes, up here in the north the mid-60's counts as hot (That's roughly 18 to 20 for you Celsius lovers). Even I know it's not THAT hot per se, I've been in a 100 degree bake-your-goddamned-brains-out situation a few times, but the fact it's hit that in the first part of June just weeks after the final dying dusts of snow is killing me, and the mysterious lack of June wind is making me cook even more. I'm horrified thinking about what will happen in July and August. Like it or not, summer is here, and summer is intense. Bring on the seasonal flankers!

Seasonal flankers interest me because for some reason, some perfumier decided "We should have a variance of this fragrance for summer, because, well, things smell differently in the heat and spring blooms bring a different general aroma to the atmosphere". Sound logic on paper, but is it really that necessary? Think about it, our experience of smell is tied to... exactly that, experience. 

Before I go on, for those without the vocab, a flanker is a follow-up perfume or cologne that is inspired by one before it, usually with a tag on its name. I.e. an original would be Euphoria, and a flanker would be Euphoria Intense. Seasonal flankers are most commonly summer flankers, editions that are allegedly more appropriate for the warmer months.

Back to the show:

We know what something smells like in our minds because we've smelled it at some time before and have created a chronological reference for that time. How conscious are we of categorizing the smell of particular items based on the time of year we smelled them? Other than natural phenomena (the trees and flowers of places you've been in spring and summer) and cultural phenomena (gingerbread at Christmas time), I see no logic behind it. I've smelled macaroni and cheese, Kraft Dinner for my Canadian peeps, and know what it smells like well, but I can't say as I'm able to logically categorize it into a time of year. Given this puzzlement and oodles of similar smells that I'm unable to categorize seasonally because they aren't a seasonal occurence in my life, I find the rapidly growing need for seasonal flankers to be downright fascinating. 

Marketing ploy to increase variety and sales? Probably a bit of that. An artistic variation of composition, creating a whole new medium of perfume grouping and pairing within the medium of perfumery as a whole, creating fragrances worthy to stand on their own? Maybe. All in all, unless something is a total standout, a seasonal flanker is silly to me and I tend to view it with a negative impression initially. That being said, I don't not enjoy a seasonal flanker (DOUBLE NEGATIVE POLICE ALERTED!). Consider this: If a summer version of a fragrance is good and able to stand on its own, why not give it it's own name in the first place? I'll tell you why not. Branding. Ka-Ching. That about sums it up. And fragrance houses can get away with it. We are lucky to live in a time, those of us in the first world anyways, where almost everything is at our fingertips in any time of year. For example, before post-industiral civilizations people could ONLY ever eat what was in season. Nowadays most people need to refer to recipe pins on Pinterest to determine what kind of melon is in season because they see melons at their market or bodega any day. This is our collective mentality and the re-seasoning (can't think of a better word) of fragrance is 99% branding novelty and probably only 1% legit perfumery, in my own not-so-humble opinion anyways.

That thesis being stated, I can handle it for now, fragrance houses, but please do not multiply flankers. I don't EVER want to see a chain of fragrances like.... "DAFFODIL SPRINGS" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SUMMER" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS NIGHT" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SUMMER NIGHT" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SPORT" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SPORT SUMMER" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SUMMER SPORT NIGHT" "DAFFODIL SPRINGS SUMMER SPORT NIGHT SPECIAL RESERVE" and any possible combination I haven't had the time to mention. That would kinda piss me off.

Earlier I mentioned Euphoria Intense, a beautiful Calvin Klein men's fragrance that I enjoy. It's thick and fruity and considering the heat I think it pairs well with me now. I definitely need to review it this summer.

Stay hydrated, get tan, wear some SPF if you're tan enough, smell good, and peace out!

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