This concludes Katie’s Round 1 with sketches R1/B and R1/C.
The following is the message I passed on to Laurent with my perceptions of both mods he created:
I want to start by saying that no offense or anything like that was meant by my slowness in getting back to you about the two mods. It was clear that you put a ton of effort and consideration into them, and I wanted to respond to your thoughtfulness by making sure I lived with them for a while, let them walk around inside my head, before I gathered up my thoughts. They are both so well done, well plotted, and deserved some old-fashioned contemplation.
When I was, like, five or six I had a part in the children’s Christmas play at my mom’s church. I was “Y for Yulelog.” I got so overwhelmed by my own rushed excitement that I biffed the line, and in embarassment pulled my skirt over my head. Apparently my little self thought that was less humiliating than showing my red face. “Y for Yulelog” was delivered by a little girl with her skirt worn skyward and her Wonder Woman underpants on display for the whole congregation to see. So in short, I’m pretty much hoping to avoid showing off my underpants to you and all the Made by Blog readers on this project.
Auxeos “B” ~
No one could accuse this fragrance of being a wallflower; it’s quite forward in personality. “B” plays its tune so fortissimo right from the get-go, with a sudden whoosh of sound. The herbally green twang to it is striking. There’s some kind of dueling banjos between the green and the leathery intonations. But it smells so sticky to me. Does “sticky” have a smell? Oh nevermind, don’t answer that. Maybe just humor me for the moment and pretend it does. The sticky seems to be less pronounced on men’s skin than on women’s, though I could swear on paper it smells sticky, too. This is not a criticism of any sort. The green is nifty, but not the direction I hope Auxeos moves towards. I wonder if it would not be too loud for most folks to cotton to.
I sooooooo love the drydown. Or rather, to bastardize that famous line in Annie Hall, love is too weak a word – I lurve it, I loave it, I luff it. Good lord, is it ever so warm and inviting. It’s the equivalent of yanking up the quilts over your shoulders on a chilly winter morning. It’s got a little sweetness, but not too sweet: my inner Goldilocks says to herself, “just right.” The way the incensey bit and some sort of spiced brown warmth starts to rise from the ashes of the fading green-tinged leather is most enjoyable.
“B” starts loud, and winds up being, well, not exactly quiet… but not so ferocious either. The dry down is pure lurve.
Auxeos “C” ~
Flowers on a salt lick! The brisk beach twilight! Brittle incense! These were the aspects of “C” I liked the best. Thematically, I found “C” more enjoyable than “B” in a way. The emphasis is stronger on woodsy but neatly arranged incense rather than leather here? I do like the general crustiness of the incensey bit in “C.” I also really enjoyed the way the scent wore on skin. Fireworks are on the brain right now, so forgive the weak comparison: it seems like here one aspect pops and lights, and as it dims another pops and lights. I dig the way it pings off chunks of time like that. The leather is there, but when I’m not trying to concentrate on it, I’d say it forms a function of the incense rather than a force unto itself. Which, is cool I guess, because that does seem to pony up well to those encrusted flowers and incense. It’s funny, I wouldn’t necessarily describe “C” as a salty scent per se, but that aspect is totally present and it’s awesome. The way it lifts and blows the incensey part along, almost as if you could snap it in half, would sound like the the crunch of wind-strewn autumn leaves.
There’s this teeny weeny moment at the top where I sense a note a bit like a gas-stained rag? It’s not exactly that, but it’s the verbal approximation to what I smell. Is it weird that I kind of like that? I mean, if it were strong I wouldn’t, but it’s such a fleeting little moment, and its brief appearance fits nicely into the overall scheme of things.
As the top fades, the sensastion of strolling past climbing roses and inhaling their aroma becomes apparent, and I have to admit I’m a bit “meh” over this note. It sure is pretty, though. Then, what I can only parlay into words as creaminess also shifts into veiw. It’s so subtle. Yet not so subtle as to go unappreciated. The incense seems to briefly peel back to show off the smell of hiking a trail in wild summer bloom. Yet I also sense a clean but brackish breeze sweeping in from the tide. Perhaps this breeze is the leather-type suede note? It’s dusky but not astringent or tannic. The softened shady tones of “C” allusively reminds me of a snapshot I took a while back…
“C” stands out as more leathery to me after the scent develops far past the first phases. Interesting. Can this lap further onto the fragrance to deepen it? The curving edge it creates is lovely. Or would deepening this note cause the balance to become wobbly?
Ultimately, I like both mods for different reasons, and I’d like something even fuller that would be less brash than “B,” but more expansive than “C.” I lean towards “C” more than “B” generally, but that’s not quite an accurate explanation of my reaction. You know how there’s a certain circularity of composition to Bal a Versailles? But there’s something else in it I specifically relish. That fragrance keeps rising and growing like an improbable crescendo, a wave doomed to self-destruct… only it doesn’t. The Jane’s Addiction song “Ocean Size” goes, “Wish I was ocean size/ No one moves you, man/ No one tries [...] I was made with a heart of stone/ To be broken/ With one hard blow/ I’ve seen the ocean/ Break on the shore/ Come together/ With no harm done.” Can a version of Auxeos “C” be rendered ocean size? Can it be even “more?” More what I can’t precisely say. Just “more.” Maybe drier, more brittle, and more woodsy, too… Or maybe my nose behaves too greedily for its own good, heh.
It took me a wee bit to get over the shock of smelling real physical manifestations of that which I’d only pondered in imagination. There’s this part in Dickens’ David Copperfield where the young title character initially sucks in the tidy luxury of his new home, wanting to take note of it all and commit his feeling to memory. “As I laid down my pen, a moment since, to think of it, the air from the sea came blowing in again, mixed with the perfume of the flowers; and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished, my aunt’s inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window, the drugget-covered carpet, the cat, the kettle-holder, the two canaries, the old china, the punch-bowl full of dried rose-leaves, the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots, and, wonderfully out of keeping with the rest, my dusty self upon the sofa, taking note of everything.” That’s how I felt. My boring and Plain Jane self wanted to take note of it all, to hoard the sudden and momentary novelty. And I thank you very much for that.
I am guessing that all of you may find the list of notes forwarded to me interesting? Here’s the notes for both mods:
AUXEOS, or the “B” Mod ~
BERGAMOTE, NEROLI PETALES, ELEMI GUM, SPEARMINT
VETIVER, AQUATIC LEATHER,AMBER,MYRRH AND SANDALWOOD
AUXETIC, or “C” Mod ~
MANDARIN,PIMENTO BERRIES,BRAZILIAN MATE
FREESIA, ROSE CENTIFOLIA,PATCHOULY