Sunday, October 27, 2013

Entry #24: A Philosophical Lexicon for Perfumistas

ad infinitum

This expression means "infinitely" or "to infinity". It applies to the world of perfume in a way becoming more and more obvious with each passing day. The last time I looked at Parfumo's database there were about 30,000 perfumes listed. Today, there are 34,518. The upshot: it has become humanly impossible to review all of the perfumes in existence, or even all of the new launches.

Back when I began reviewing perfumes, in December 2009, I felt that it would be a wonderful thing to review all of the perfumes in existence. Little did I know at the time that the niche house and launch explosion had only just begun. Add to that the rapidly proliferating flankers and limited edition launches by the major design houses, and it becomes clear that not only is it impossible, it has become undesirable to review all of the perfumes currently being pumped out of factories. It's not even possible to get caught up. Take a day or two off from reviewing, and a hundred  or more new perfumes will be waiting for you!

The completion of the reviewing process is no longer within human reach because launches are happening faster than any person can sniff. As a result, it has become even less possible to competently craft a comprehensive guide than it was back when The Holey[sic] Book was published in 2008. Any such book published at this point in history can serve as little more than a marketing device for the houses lucky enough to garner positive reviews. Negative reviews could spell the demise of an enterprise barely staying afloat, and the houses entirely omitted are tacitly dismissed as "irrelevant" fly-by-nights. 

I'll keep reviewing, but I won't be seeking out big sample sets from any more of the new multilaunchers. It seems that I may finally have become a believer in induction...

1 comment:

  1. Perfume has become a disposable commodity, albeit a high-priced disposable. I'm a newbie at perfume appreciation, but several years ago I concluded that if I focused only on the older fragrances, maybe I could learn enough to satisfy my yearning (as well as hold onto a few dollars for retirement). A smaller universe of scent, but a manageable one. Seems a reasonable choice, given the proliferation of more and more flankers and mediocre fragrances flooding the market, Now I feel like I'm really not missing much at all with my approach.


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