Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Entry #25: A Philosophical Lexicon for Perfumistas
I hardly ever use this expression in its Latin form, but in English? Oh yeah. My favorite translation: "I know you are, but what am I?" Another common translation: "Talk about the pot calling the kettle black." So basically tu quoque lies at the intersection of an insult, a fallacy, and snippy retort.
I was reminded of this expression while thinking about the perfume world and the place of perfumistas in it. I see a lot of "tu quoque" activity going on, to be perfectly frank. Perfumistas crying foul when perfumers reveal that they don't give a damn about them is an excellent example of behavior just crying out for a tu quoque charge. Why? Just go to Fragrantica and read all of the reviews of any famous perfume, and you'll find that the most scathing, nasty, back-stabbing, often hostile reviews are written by, not the untutored Joe and Jill fragrance lover who fall just as easily for the perfumes of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears as they do (or would, if they tried them) for Creed and Bond no 9.
No, the truth, my fragrant friends, is that perfumistas, unlike the unwashed and ignorant masses, are not marketing force multipliers for perfumers and their associated houses at all. On the contrary, a niche perfumer may travel to a fragrance community website looking for reviews and discover that, lo, the only person who has left an evaluation is some uppity "I'm an expert because I've made 800,000 posts to the forum at D-Notes" writer who insists that (1) the price is way too high; (2) the composition is redundant beyond belief; and (3) it may even be a crime against perfumery.
So, my fragrant friends, the next time a perfumer pipes up to reveal that perfumistas are nowhere close to being his muses, rather than throwing (another) temper tantrum, you might want to go take a look in the mirror.