[Necessary] "changes having been made" or mutatis mutandis is used by philosophers to indicate in a discussion about two different things that they are relevantly similar (in the manner under discussion), as can be seen as soon as the irrelevant differences are cleared out of the way. How in the world does this relate to perfume? you are now perhaps wondering. Or, more likely, you have already navigated away from this page.
How about knock-offs? Let's say that Bond no 9 Nuits de Noho is basically Thierry Mugler Angel, mutatis mutandis. So if you change everything about Nuits de Noho that makes it different from Angel, then it will simply become Angel, right? Which therefore proves that it was not a knock-off because MAJOR CHANGES had to be made before the two perfumes became equivalent.
Yet people make these sorts of claims all the time. When someone says that a new perfume is an Angel knock-off, the clear insinuation is that it is a rip-off, in the sense that the idea was stolen from the creators of Angel. I do not personally buy the idea that every sweet patchouli perfume in the universe was inspired by Angel. In fact, I am quite sure that that is false.
Take Molinard Nirmala, for example. Having been launched fifty years before Angel, it would seem to follow that if any theft has taken place, it was in the opposite direction. In reality, that seems highly unlikely, too. Perfumers hit on good ideas all the time, and certain combinations of notes become readily recognizable as reminiscent of what has come to be regarded as an iconic perfume. The creators of the later perfume may or may not have had any familiarity with what is taken to be "the original" by those who allege plagiarism, holding their lit torches high above their heads, entirely unaware that they illuminate their own ugly faces much more brightly than the object of their ire.
Part of what makes the so-called knock-offs similar to what they are claimed to be knocking off is that disparate scents are brought together in new ways in perfumery. Before Chanel no 5 existed, where in the world did you encounter aldehydes and jasmine and musk all together in one place in nature? Answer: you did not. That is why subsequent to the launch of Chanel no 5, whenever you encountered that particular combination of scents, you thought of Chanel no 5. If you truly believe that the creation of Chanel no 5 was divinely inspired, that still will not explain why other perfumers in other parts of the world could not have been similarly divinely inspired.
There seems to be a bogus form of probability theory being applied in the mind of the person who cries "knock-off" whenever he encounters similar combinations of scents first experienced together in a single named perfume. It's similar to the "logic" of people who believe that beautiful women cannot also be intelligent. Somehow that combination of desirable traits is considered some sort of affront to cosmic justice and probability theory. Sure a person can be ugly, fat, and stupid, but beautiful, lithe, and brilliant? No, that would be unfair.
Hmmm... I do not seem to be getting any closer to a perfume example of mutatis mutandis, but I distinctly recall having used this expression in a recent comment at the salon de parfum, which is in fact why I decided to add it to the lexicon. If you will kindly grant me leave I shall go look for that comment. Back in a jiffy...
What a bonanza--check out what a quick Google brought up:
Yes, it appears that I really did need to define mutatis mutandis!
Well, there is some overlap above, but feel free to do your own Google and see where it takes you!!
Here are the results using the more refined search box installed on the right column of the salon de parfum:
Dec 19, 2011
Bear in mind that the basic idea here is that the word 'poem' can be read in the place of the word 'perfume', and vice versa, throughout the text (mutatis mutandis)—thus establishing the identity of the two! Ten Platitudes about ...
Mar 03, 2012
So, in the end, since you enjoy reading it, while I do not, and you find it helpful (mutatis mutandis to the star ratings...) while I do not, I guess that we just have to agree to disagree about the value of The Holey [sic] Book!
Mar 11, 2013
A prescription which I confess to have found equally applicable, mutatis mutandis, to my attitude in the morning when opting first to prepare coffee before acknowledging the existence of anyone else. It is also the ...
Sep 20, 2012
Of course, the same is true, mutatis mutandis, for successful chefs. They are not hired by restaurants unless they have demonstrated their dependability at producing pleasing food which patrons will want to consume.
Feb 25, 2012
The same argument applies, mutatis mutandis, to virtually any other possession which is not necessary to your existence. There are necessities, and there are necessities, of course, and they will obviously vary from case to ...
I see now that I sometimes seem to use this expression interchangeably with "for all intents and purposes". The final example, however, seems to work:
"The same argument applies, mutatis mutandis, to virtually any other possession which is not necessary to your existence."
So when you take the argument in question and substitute the word perfume for the thing to which it is being compared, then the final result will be the same argument--except for that word, which is not relevant to the structure of the argument itself.
Perhaps the time has arrived simply to expunge the expression mutatis mutandis altogether from my private dictionary. I did that a while back with qua, another somewhat annoying Latin expression favored by philosophers.
The ultimate problem with mutatis mutandis is the complete failure of ceteris paribus...