A Case of the Begats

As in when you were sitting in a pew in a hot church listening to one of those sections of the Old Testament that sound like a breeding manual.  It was just as tedious as handicapping a race card, and much less amusing because no possible pay off at the end, no pecuniary suspence, just Ehab begat Jehosphat, which begat Blogosphere which begat Blackhole and cosi via.

Some perfumes are like that.  Last year I got pulled into the foot traffic in Nordstom’s and got caught in the fumic crossfire at the perfume counters by, apparently, Bulgari’s Jasmin Noir.

It wasn’t my thing, in fact judging by the facial expressions of the other spritzees, it wasn’t much of anyone’s thing, but it was recognizable.  It was, let me see now, it was the child of Guerlain Homme, which was out of  Eau de Reglisse, which in turn was out of Yohji Homme which was the child of Lolita Lempicka.

Yes indeed, you could trace that pedigree back to the fourth generation and I’m sure that whoever did this – and I understand that it was a number of perfumers – knew that perfectly well.  You don’t let a good commercial idea die a natural death.  What you do, evidently, is to cross breed it until all that was original and interesting in the idea initially is entirely bred out of it.

Jasmin Noir was not about jasmine, it was about synthetic licorice, and it was rather harsh as well.  The remains of a once intriguing concept could still be smelt upon its otherwise sour breath but only the remains.  I wondered if Bulgari was going to stick with this stunted creature or not?

The answer came the other day at Neiman’s. They had got a new Jasmin, now called Mon Jasmin, and surprisingly enough, it actually smelled of jasmine.  Wonders will never cease until the seventh generation has died off.

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