8/31/18

Getting Priced On Irisch Moos, And Other Thoughts Of The Week



Just a few things I thought I'd mention: conceptually speaking, Ireland is the most expensive country for fragrances. For some strange reason, a premium rests firmly on the mere association with the emerald isle. Green Irish Tweed is one hundred dollars an ounce. Patrick by Fragrances of Ireland sets you back a cool forty greenbacks. And Irisch Moos is $30 for fifty milliliters. I've tried to find a bottle from a reliable source for under twenty dollars, but unless it's the aftershave, no dice. I would get the aftershave, but I'm more interested in the EDT. It should arrive on my doorstep in four days. Meanwhile, I'm nonplussed by the green given for this "green" frag. For a fifty year-old scent with a wet-shaver pedigree, you'd think it would be cheaper.

Earlier this week I applied a few sprays of Acqua di Selva, and it occurred to me that it's a clear progenitor to Drakkar Noir. The mint threw me off for a while, making me think more of minty aftershaves like Aqua Velva Ice Blue, but I realized there's a healthy dose of dihydromyrcenol in there, and the dry herbal accord that follows the minty top notes is a much rougher version of Guy Laroche's fougère. Now, whenever I wear it, I can't help but think of Drakkar. This is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I like that Victor's fougère (now Visconti di Modrone) has a historical reference point, even if that reference only points to the future. On the other, I rather liked thinking of AdS as its own beast, and find myself quietly cursing my expansive knowledge of old fashioned fougères now that the resemblance is clear to me.

My last thought this week (and this month) is on the idea of celebrity fragrances being a "bad thing" in the fragrance world. I have never considered them to be a negative, and must concur with a few of my contemporaries who find Turin and Sanchez's dismissal of them perplexing. What's wrong with celebrity scents? Liz Taylor's Passion for Men is no masterpiece, but it's yards better than Dior Sauvage, and Dolce & Gabbana's The One, which I think should win an award for most overrated juice on the planet. Adam Levine for men was an enjoyable citrus with some natural accents that exceeded expectations. Incredible Things by Taylor Swift (as if she actually authored the scent) isn't bad either, for a dumb grab. At least it smells like a real gourmand item, ambrosia, and not some vague gourmand frankenfood, like Thierry Mugler's shit.

So why all the joy for the demise of celebuscents? Me no comprende. Thus it gets filed right next to my confusion over Ireland's super expensive perfume prestige. Create any cheap swill and reference Ireland in its name, and a rich man you shall be.



3 comments:

  1. From what I could gather from the German amazon site; the EDT is listed around 17 euro (plus p&p) but it can be bought in local German drugstore Müller for as low as 10 euro. I have no idea why the discrepancy but your theory about products with Irish name-branding being more expensive is indeed interesting to say the least.

    Now on a different matter, I think those products that brand themselves with a certain regional identity but being produced in another (Irisch Moos being produced by German brand Sir) is something that will slowly disappear as there has been more lawsuits in recent years against what they call is some kind of identity exploitation. One example that hits the news fairly regularly is the case of castle of Chambord against 'Chambord' brand name owner Brown-Forman. Although it is still unclear who will win this particular case, the consensus seem to favor against this from of corporate appropriation.

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    1. On your first point, yeah, saw a few bottles in Europe for cheap prices, but can't really find the EDT (or cologne, whichever is more accurate) in N American markets for anything under $30 for 50 ml. And Irish name branding appears to be solid marketable concept in perfumery, for reasons I can't explain. Ireland is something like 95% white Caucasian in population, and its culture has shifted from mostly agricultural to only partially agricultural and mostly capitalistic. I spent about two years in Ireland and can tell my readers this: its countryside generally smells of cow shit, wet grass, and peat smoke (two of those three things are eminently usable in a perfumer's formula), and a middle class Irish family generally enjoys a pretty luxurious standard of living compared to the USA. I've been in a few Irish homes where much of the furniture was plush leather, with beautiful coal (or peat) fireplaces studded in marble or porcelain, teak, oak, and other wood paneling, beautiful carpets and items like lamps, etc, all very much beyond the "big box store" aesthetics of America. Yet do people generally associate Ireland with this level of sophistication? How does a relatively manure-laden countryside and damp, boggy weather translate to gorgeous and overpriced fougeres?

      I agree with your second point regarding cultural appropriation in labeling. For a German brand to coin its fragrance "Irish Moss" and get away with it, one has to think the majority of buyers are German, and most associate Ireland with something like how Irisch Moos smells. This could yield some offended reactions from many Irishmen.

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  2. Northern Europe in it's entirety smells of cow poop, pig poop, & duck/goose poop, wet grass, smoke, and lots of mud (most of my mom's family is from the Netherlands & around Hamburg. Why Ireland is associated with rugged masculinity is beyond me also.

    Turin & Sanchez are getting more & more uber niche & 'artsy' in their selections. I'm finding a lot of niche tiresome as so many have become unoriginal dupes of popular fragrances with just slight variations. (I still can't believe I'm still finding Angel themed crap everywhere: Angel with tuberose, Angel without chocolate, Angel with rose, Angel with coconut, Angel with lavender.)
    On celebuscents: I'm certain that being a perfumer tasked with a brief of coming up with a fragrance that represents a celebrity's "brand" on a budget can be quite challenging_ I'm sure there are some celebuscent gems out there. I love Kim Kardashian's new gardenia scent but can't bring myself to buy because I can't stand KKW!

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