Monday, November 7, 2011

Base scent of Teen Spirit with notes of Glove

I had the bright idea of writing a novel in which a gifted parfumier becomes a serial murderer, so as to use the pheromones extracted from his victims as ingredients in the ultimate perfume.


The inspiration was of course the news that someone has introduced a perfume named after a notorious unsolved murder victim. Is this a one-off, or does it herald an entire wave of competing products with names like JonBenét from rival perfume house?

It would be irresponsible not to speculate whether the constituents of Dahlia Noir§ include cadaverine¹ and putrescine² as substitutes for ambergris³ and musk.

In fact there is a literary tradition of portraying parfumiers as serial killers; it must be an old tradition, or a charter or something.
Süskind's novel is set in a past epoch of squalor and fetor and filth and absence of clean water for hygiene. The Bester story is set in the near future where similar conditions obtain.

Anyway, Interpol would clearly be wise to track the movements of Givenchy's creative consultants for the last few years and cross-tab them with reports of mysterious deaths or missing persons. They would also do well to assemble a team of anosmic detectives.

That last paragraph has movie-plot possibilities but I will not be having with Steve Martin in the role of Inspector Clouseau.
§ Perfume review: "It’s a modern chypre (aka woody oriental). The opening is a short-lived whoosh of tropical fruit (guava?) and citrus. The heart is a medium weight fresh peppered floral; in keeping with the references to the fantasy flower, perhaps, it doesn’t smell like any flower in particular (the notes: pink pepper, mandarin, mimosa, rose, iris, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and tonka bean). The base is a dry woody-musky patchouli, very clean and smooth, and made even more of-the-moment by a soft, powdery finish. There is something in the dry down, I don’t know what, that smells ever-so-faintly medicinal; sometimes I noticed it and sometimes I didn’t."

¹ "[Cadaverine] is partially responsible for the distinctive odors of urine and semen."

Biotechnological production of putrescine from renewable feedstock is a promising alternative to the chemical synthesis. A metabolically engineered strain of Escherichia coli that produces putrescine at high titer in glucose mineral salts medium has recently been described."
-- This is good news for those of us who use the stuff in industrial quantities and are worried about adequacy of the supplies.

³ Monkey Wizard Brewery has "added some [ambergris] to this years Steampunk Strong Ale, now for the first time worldwide you can have some whale in your ale!"
-- Is this good news? Discuss.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

-- Is this good news?

Only for monkey-wizards, Smut.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

In fact there is a literary tradition of portraying parfumiers as serial killers

It is said that a master Sarkoy venefice can kill a victim by merely walking past him and exuding a poisonous vapor.

Anonymous said...

I'd drink that ale with gusto, glad to be indulging the senses, dabbling in decadence - how much would it be?

J— said...

Make-up line along similar lines.

wiley said...

You maked me laugh, laugh, laugh!

Smut Clyde said...

a master Sarkoy venefice

Now you've reminded me of Tostig Amaral, the licensed trader from the rain planet of Amazonas Triste -- he of the murderous temperament and the ability to exude hypnotic perfumes from his batwing layers of skin.

Make-up line along similar lines

Fashion-industry designers finding a new way to exploit the maquiladora sweatshops? Surely not!