One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Burning Sensation, Part 2

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have been trying to write this for two weeks.

When I was writing about Avignon, I though I'd probably write immediately afterwards about Bond No. 9 Silver Factory, because they're both incense scents. And then I came up with that title (it's a play on words!), I knew that I had to write the two back to back.

The first roadblock came when I just couldn't think of a hook to hang the Silver Factory review on. I can't just put down the facts: I need some sort of format, some structure. And it wouldn't come. Friday went by, and then Saturday, and I thought, okay, well, I'll just post in on Monday. Monday came and went. All right, I thought, I'll post it on Wednesday, then.

Roadblock two: after Wednesday turned into Thursday, a little voice in my brain told me to just write about something else, but then the louder voice, the one I listen to, said, "Oh no you don't." I had already decided that the things had to be done in a certain order and there was no deviating from it, which is the way my brain works, and there's no getting around it.

And then another Friday came and went, and then another Monday, and by this time I had been wearing Silver Factory almost every day for more than two weeks, and I was getting righteously sick of it. Not because there's anything wrong with it, mind; it's wonderful stuff that suits me better than Avignon (good though that is) and I could see owning a full bottle of it. But I just can't wear the same thing over and over again. I know there are people who have a signature scent and wear nothing but, and honestly, how do they do it? Do people watch the same movie over and over again every day to the exclusion of every other? To they wear exactly the same outfit every day of their lives? (Steve Jobs does, I guess.) Do they eat the exact same food three meals a day, week in and week out?

Maybe they do. I can't.

At any rate, today, finally, after two weeks, I just decided that I had to be done with it.

And so here we are.

Though they're both based largely upon incense, and therefore recognizable as kin, Avignon and Silver Factory are dramatically different from one another. Avignon is sombre and grimy with age: Silver Factory is modern, bright, shiny. It's named after Andy Warhol's famous art studio in New York, which had been dressed up with tinfoil glued to the walls and silver paint (and sometimes silver helium balloons drifting around), and it convincingly suggests a glittery, rather drunken sixties happening, with gin in the glasses (and the guests), metal on the walls, and incense in the air. The top is exceedingly vivid (mostly citrus and lavender) but manages to avoid the men's-cologne cliché by immediately following that up with a smoky dose of incense, which is the core of the scent until, some hours later, a warm and not-too-sweet wood-amber base pushes everything else out of the way (and lasts for more hours). It is exceptionally nice, and once I get over being tired of it from self-imposed overexposure, I'll be happy to wear it again.

And just look at the bottle! The silver-foil edging, the parody of Warhol's Campbell's Soup can paintings, the already iconic Bond No. 9 flaçon, about as far removed from the austere Avignon bottle as is possible without crossing the line into sheer vulgarity. How could you not want that sitting on your dresser?

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