I have a difficult time with perfumes. I go crazy at concerts if anyone is wearing a scent, and you can bet that so many in the audience are. When I’m in the pit I can smell the scents of the first few rows. Some of those people must have no sense of smell at all, because they bathe in the stuff.

At the same time, I love certain smells. Like the smell of rain on hot pavement. Yum! Great smell. And wet dirt … oh … I guess that’s called mud, eh? Lovely. I even like the smell of tar. Really. When I was anemic, the smell of rubber was fabulous. Sadly that went away when the anemia left. I miss it.

Yeah, I’m weird.

And then there’s this guy:

I have a strong sensitivity to certain aromachemicals, like musk,” says Christopher Brosius. “The aldehydes in Chanel No. 5 make me puke.” And that is unfortunate, he continues, because the Polish ladies here in Williamsburg wear so much of it.
Christopher is the perfumer behind CB I Hate Perfume Gallery, a small shop on a street that runs parallel to New York’s East River. I’ve visited often in the years since I first wandered in and overheard the owner describing his philosophy: that great fragrances are unimposing and genderless, and they should harmonise with a person’s natural odour. Christopher (“Never call him ‘Chris'”, his assistant once whispered) is a theatrical presence, possessing a wry wit and a spring-loaded arch to his brow. He speaks to me between sips from a container labelled Muscle Milk, as Zephyr, his mastiff, rests his enormous head on my knee.
The shop’s exposed wooden beams and minimalist decor give it the air of an austere cabin. Three hundred miniature laboratory vials populate white shelves. Inside the bottles are accords, the aromatic building-blocks with which one can–for $125 to upwards of $1,200–collaborate with Christopher to construct one’s own custom scent. The vials of single notes, which can be had individually for around $25, carry hand-scrawled names like “Rhubarb Leaf”, “Papaya Seed”, “Celo Tape” and “Crayon”.

I wonder if the smell of cane would be good, or if it would drive me nuts. Probably just make me feel guilty. Might it spur me on to work on reed? One can hope!

So what scent would I choose? You?

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at… playing the oboe. And subsequently, I’m quite good at playing the flute too, as the fingering is nearly the same.

-Margot Stilley

I’ve not heard of this actress. You? But really … our fingerings are nearly the same? I hadn’t heard that.

I read it here.

04. October 2008 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

To make a long story short, I’m exposed to so much music as never before in my life. I’m not particularly sure if it is even healthy to attend a symphony orchestra concert and a chamber/solo instrument recital each single week, and to intersperse the time in between by listening to the same music on the ipod (or as one of my friends said;: “Yes, you did a very American thing, buying an ipod, but you have European music on it, anyway, don’t you? Oh, by the way, could you recommend me some?” I was more than happy to point his attention to Dvorak’s and Elgar’s cello concertos). Well, I am yet to see the consequences of such an indulgence. The worst thing that can happen is a withdrawal symptom when there’s all of a sudden less music in my life, that it when the battery goes flat.

I read the news here.

The Sinfonica Orchestra di Roma has dropped plans to play Mozart’s Requiem in the Sichuan earthquake zone in honour of the dead and to raise money for survivors.

It will play a programme of smaller, mostly non-religious works instead.

At least one other performance of The Messiah has been cancelled and one of Verdi’s Requiem is under threat.

No-one was available from the ministry of culture to comment on the reasons for the ban.

But an official said: “It is not a black and white issue, and there is nothing written on paper or in the regulations.

“A smaller piece as part of a bigger programme might be OK, but a big work like Mozart’s Requiem would definitely be out.”

Whew! At least it’s not written on paper. I feel better now.