Functional Genres, addendum

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2010-11-10-inventing_a_music_genreBelow are some new genres of perfume, or at least some new names. I have definitions for some, others I’ll have to think about some more.

Contempo-homo–Any perfume recently released released for the masculine market.

(Any contempt you read in the description of this category is in fact present—I own it. My disdain isn’t in fact for the straight guy himself. It’s for the ease with which the market strips him of any nuance and confidence. This market, with so little support for straying from the pack and so many vulnerabilities built into their gender, is far more easily manipulated regarding aesthetic purchases than most feminine markets. The upside here is that it’s wonderful to see the individual guys who break the mold. There’s hope.)

Fragrance qualities: Identifiable to the majority of the potential market and their sexual objects as non-floral. (This does not mean not in fact floral, just can’t be considered such.)  Fresh, ie.’ aquatic’, hesperidic, light-woody, ‘herbal’, shampoo-y but not soapy.  These are the qualities that bring the argument so quickly to the least common denominators, hence the continuing flow of Cool Water imitators. The upside here is that this qualifier means that  it is still possible for conservative beauty: the variation on the eau de cologne, the aromatic fougere, the resinous/ambery/woody/spicy upstart (the Old Spice variant).

Non-fragrancet qualities: Here it’s all about unspoken balances, because at heart, this market is picky to the point of prissy. The gist of these balances is that they not be something that can be pointed to as feminine or gay, the distinction between the two being something of a mystery to this market.

Old-Lady Perfume–The classic mixed floral, preferably aldehydic. You’d think that this one would disappear after a time. To the very young, the only old ladies they know (say, for instance, over 35) might wear fruity florals. Still, any stiff, raspy floral that someone doesn’t like gets attributed to grandma.

Dead-Grandma–The classic chypre.

Viejo Verde–The classic fougere. 70s in style, whether those wearing them experienced the 70s or not.

High-Heels–The femme-gauge stuck at the far end of the spectrum. The market’s belief that an inordinate number of girls and women have borderline personality disorder. Stems from the use of Angel without irony. Might be a grotesquely loud fruity-floral, often has a heavy hand of ethylmaltol, might just be an order of magnitude too sweet. Since so few are taught how to select a perfume and how to wear it, many wind up with one of these as a result of impulse buying and giving in to the sales pitch.

Other genres pending description:

  • le Sauvalier
  • Huge Fucking Perfumes
  • Tropical Twist
  • Everything good happened before your time
  • Arcadia
  • Fashion Exoticism (growl…)
  • The search for purity
  • Finery
  • Be still my heart
  • Glam rock
  • Synth-pop
  • Head Trip
  • Take a look in the mirror before you leave the house
  • Notes don’t mean shit


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