Tuesday, 12 July 2011
To Snub Or To Scathe?
You know you're exhausted when you place an order for what you think is a new raw material only to discover that you've already got it in your lab. In this case it's cedryl methyl ether - aka Cedramber - a dry, spiky, vaguely vegetal substance. I saw it listed on the site of one of my suppliers, looked up its odour profile on the net and decided it would be worth buying for one of my current fragrance experiments.
When it arrived a few days later, I smelt it straight away and realised it was - ahem - remarkably similar to another one of the spiky woods in my collection. 'But which one?' I asked myself. ''I'm sure it's one of the ones that begins with C...' I ran my gaze across my alphabetically arranged bottles. 'Ah yes, here we are. It's this one. Cedryl methyl ether.'
Cue: major internal embarrassment.
Never mind. The Invasion Of The Day Job always frazzles my brain, so I guess I mustn't be surprised by such mistakes. Or maybe I'm going senile...
But anyway, the real purpose of this post is not to bemoan the sieve-like state of my mind but to ask you all a question, particularly those of you who write perfume blogs of your own.
When it comes to perfumes with which I haven't been impressed, would you rather I published a negative review of them or I didn't mention them at all?
Why am I asking? Well, I've become increasingly aware of the fact that the industry welcomes negative publicity almost as much as positive, and I sometimes wonder if less-than-flattering reviews actually play into the hands of the companies that are trying to sell the fragrance in question.
Needless to say, I can't completely stop writing bad reviews. If nothing else, they bolster my own credibility and, hopefully, prove that I'm not a corporate mouthpiece. (And besides, I wouldn't be able to make all my reviews positive even if I wanted to: there simply aren't that many creditable releases out there.) But I wonder if I ought to be more selective when I feel inclined to give the thumbs down.
What do you think? Should poor creations be exposed or should they be denied the oxygen of publicity and made to perish in isolation?
I'd welcome your views.
PS If you live in the UK, don't forget that the third and final part of Ian Denyer's Perfume documentary will be broadcast on BBC Four at 9 o'clock tonight.