Détournement and the Elegant Sufficiency

I’ve been seeing a marvelous hypnotherapist/psychotherapist for quite a few months, and by golly, it’s done me a power of good.

Several painful issues from the ancient past were obstructing me, fears and sorrows that kept tripping me over. Glenn Chandler, my fairy godfather (therapist) has been an incisively powerful and protective companion on my journey to slay a few dragons and face a few nasty goblins back there in the abyss of dark shadows and scary monsters.

One of the most important benefits I have received from spending time in the chair was the opportunity to see the future (my future, not THE future) with greater clarity and a more grown up approach to how I want to live and become.

An intense level of anxiety I’ve known in relation to chasing success and worrying about failure and all of that hoo-ha from the paradigm of amassing wealth and personal power etc has lessened. I’ve realised a fundamental truth for me now. I loathe self-promotion.

…I love mystery.

There is an enormous amount of pressure in the world for people to constantly keep up with the Kardashians. That’s not my idea of elegance or class. In fact, it all seems to wind in and around the twittering mess of self aggrandisement and sheer folly that has ‘infested’ world politics and real estate. (Why are buses now sporting enormous images of real estate agents on their flanks? When/how did they become rock stars on tour?)

I know that Tobacco companies, McDonalds and Coca Cola made their motsers investing in advertising. Look where those products took us. I know that social media influencers are driving much of today’s sales traffic (on those buses with real estate agents on tour), I know, too, that all of this trend for big-brass-brands marching along in a spectacular display of wealth and prestige and the insatiable quest for celebrity status is merely just how we operate now. BUT! where’s the mystery? Where’s the magic? Where is the unfathomable moment of grace that sweeps down and illuminates the infinitesimal human mind with an idea… with a desire for discovery, with an inexplicable urge to reach out and try something new, to become something different, experience something unique in the moment?

How did any idea or product ever succeed or flourish before social media and online viral marketing? How on earth were the Beatles discovered without youtube? How did Chanel No 5 get around town without instagram?

In 1967, Guy Debord peered deeply into his theoretical scrying ball and saw us, the walking dead, wandering around drugged by our phones. A brief search, starting at Wikipedia offers a brisk summary of Debord’s theses:-

Degradation of human life

Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: “All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.”[2] Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as “the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.”[3] This condition, according to Debord, is the “historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life.”[4]

The spectacle is the inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people, in which “passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity”. “The spectacle is not a collection of images,” Debord writes, “rather, it is a social relation among people, mediated by images.”[5]

Debord encouraged the use of détournement, “which involves using spectacular images and language to disrupt the flow of the spectacle.”

I cannot help but feel swindled. The philosophical genius of Debord and the artistry of his Situationists movement has outed me. I am ashamed to have fallen so easily into complicit complacency, an accessory to the chicanery of the spectacle. I have colluded with the tentacles of greed.

I remember my youth, hitch-hiking and walking and bussing it to see live music every weekend, all weekend, and even on weeknights at venues all over Sydney. Rock music, folk music, jazz, fusion, international artists, local music heroes and obscure indie artists of the 80s.

I remember home made food stalls and street markets that operated freely and independently of the intense regulatory restrictions and scrutiny of insurance companies and local governance.

I remember playing cricket on the road until dusk with my pals until our mothers screamed out for us to come and eat dinner. Pocket money was 20c a week and it filled me with joyful choices – to buy new texta pens for drawing, or 2 ice creams. I never knew about anything branded by designers. We shopped at Waltons for our school uniforms and Franklins for our shampoo.

My father taught me a song when I was 3 years old.

Double six one, three five one four…

is the number of our phone

Double six one, three five one four

But only if we’re home.

I still remember that phone number 53 years later, because it had meaning and connected me to my home.

I’ve loved connecting with beautiful people from all over the world, and I have truly enjoyed some fantastic talks along the way. It’s those magical connections I yearned for. I’ll continue to post articles on my blog, which automatically post on my facebook. But as for promotion and palaver, I reckon it’s time to let the art speak for itself.


Spirit of the Tree

Years ago I read a novel set in the 1960s, in Japan, about a love affair. There was a beautiful passage in the story about the scent-trail of the woman in the story that could only be experienced when in close proximity, yet her scent was so intoxicating that he searched for it everywhere and caught himself smelling it on his own clothes after spending time kissing and embracing her. Her scent was natural, as if she’d stepped out of the forest, yet it also carried a gentle scent of musk and incense that seemed to emanate from her hair. In short, her perfume was mysterious and erotic and unforgettable. Long after she was gone, he remained haunted by her perfume.

I wanted to create that perfume like no other and it was to become my obsession for many months. I asked my dear customer Kumiko in Tokyo to help me choose a name for this fragrance and we both agreed, Kodama was exactly right. Kodama; the spirit of a tree.

Kodama eau de parfum is in the final stages of maceration. This maturing process will continue to develop over years to come, but the first stage is almost ready for release into the wild. I have been nervously/joyfully testing it every day, eagerly anticipating the alchemical changes that unfold like a fertilised egg just starting to rock back and forth, revealing fine hairline cracks on the surface. New life.

Kodama 2 50ml

There is a very large amount of Vietnamese oud in Kodama, more than 75ml. It features two cultivated varieties that I have come to really love. One is sweet, and the other is the combination of an intense leather note with a deep green forest scent. The oud content truly is the spirit of the tree. It envelops the wearer, not with brutality, but with a haunting, gentle pervasiveness that wraps its arms around you and causes you to sigh with contentment and happiness.

As mentioned before, I’m stopping the expansion of my range of fragrances at Kodama. In the interest of sustainability and to relax and enjoy the fruits of my fragrant labours, Kodama is my full stop. That decision may change in the distant future, but for now it’s the ground.

My oud perfumes, Zeeba, Hussar, Tallemaja and Kodama have deeply satisfied my desire to produce several different examples of how real oud can be incorporated in modern natural perfumery. It is the hybrid style that marries eau de parfum with Arabian attar. I’m certainly not the first, nor the only perfumer to do so, but I believe I have succeeded in blending four beautiful examples of the genre.

I chose the cultivated oud varieties, for two very simple reasons: cost and sustainability. The beauty and prestige of such incredible rarities as Kynam/Kyara (very precious, supremely high quality aged, wild agarwood) and wild Cambodian oud is, in my humble opinion, a mysterious force of nature that should not be messed with. This is the scent of wealth, real wealth, the sort of wealth that owns entire city-scapes and harbours, the infinite wealth of multi-national corporations and land ownership that stretches across the globe. It’s not the imagined lotto-winning dreamed wealth of schmucks like me that own nothing (except a lot of fine fragrance). Kynam is the perfume of oil barons, royalty, and vastly wealthy Asian businessmen. Collectors and investors own this breed of oud. If I ever had some, I would never attempt to mix it with anything. It is sacred unto itself.

The beauty of working with cultivated oud, however, is that I can mix it. I have been very fortunate in benefiting from a generous wholesale price for the oud that I include in my fragrances and incense from Trent and Liliane at Grandawood. They are very good to me. Even so, the high cost of Vietnamese oud included in Kodama is substantial. Nonetheless, Kodama is not an overpowering cloud of oud. Kodama is nothing like the synthetic oud (*cough*) perfumes produced by designer brands and sold for very substantial sums in department stores. Kodama is a magnificently delicate leather floral.

I’m excited, not only to share Kodama, but to wear it and witness the journey of its continued path of light and shadow as it takes me deep into the forest of my dreams.

Jack sitting on the rock poster

Model Jack Gregan for TRNP ©2018



I’ll admit, one of the reasons I first started blending perfume was that I had a deep yearning to own lots (all) of the vintage Chanels, Diors and Guerlain fragrances, but never the income to satisfy my desire/s. I was curious to discover if it was even possible to DIY such beautiful wonders using only natural essential oils and absolutes.
I started tinkering and reading and I made lots of ghastly concoctions. I haunted the department stores and fragrance boutiques and gathered so many tester cards and I spritzed so many frags on all my scarves so the scents would last long enough for me to scurry home and compare my awful concoctions with my scarf of the day, in order to learn what I was getting so wrong, and why.
I didn’t aim to make carbon copies of any single big brand scent per se, I imagined slipping one of my natural fragrances in between No 5, Bois des Iles, Shalimar and Diorissimo, and for the natural to just be right at home.
Aldehydes are the hallmark of so many of the glamour chypres of the big brands and perfume houses of the past, and attempting to use natural aldehydes is a tricky game of arm-wrestling with bergamot and clary sage and rosemary. Unfortunately their inherently strong scents cancel out their aldehydic benefits and just caused my pretty floral formulas to tip over. But, I kept on it like a moody pit-bull with a rubber ducky in her jaws.
Eventually I discovered my own genre, vintage-styled natural chypres. Compared with mainstream synthetics, they are dense and clumpy at first, yes. There’s no soap bubbles or champagne or sparkle to carry you to the heart, BUT!! after 10 minutes of breathing on your skin, they bloom and are just wonderful. The dry-downs are glorious and they are my favourites in all the land.
Yearning fixed.
The 2018 batch of Quintessence is lovely. It features Jasmine grandiflorum, Iris, Rose de mai, Green tea, chypre accord and a delicious batch of petitgrain that really shines as the sparkling top note featured in this current formula.
I wanted to offer this beauty for a short time at a special half price sale of $87.50 for 50ml in my vintage French crystal flacons. It’s purely a promotional offer because once your sister/bestie/daughter smells it, it will be snatched right out of your hand.
Enter the coupon code QUINTESSENCE18 at checkout to access the discount. https://teone.com.au/product/quintessence-natural-perfume/
Quintessence edp

Eau Contraire

Over the last six months I have been creatively occupied with refining my entire range of natural fragrances. I have reformulated many as they reached full maturity, simply in order to rein in some notes that really (really) bloomed, by increasing the heart note accords or boosting top notes as bases have deepened and increased projection.

Other refinements have enabled me to temper or recalibrate some elements that were over-amplified in maceration beyond my expectations. This was usually rectified by adding precious floral absolutes, when and as I could afford to do so in the larger and larger quantities of my batches. My existing collection is now fully stocked at 5-8 litres of each fragrance.

The overall refining process has enhanced so many of the fragrance profiles. 2018 batches reflect the maturation and development of my nose, resulting from a very hectic few years of composing. Many overly complex fragrance formulas have been critically streamlined, becoming more clearly defined, more confident as I’ve developed my understanding of blending.

For the most part, I have been passionate about composing chypres and ambers, simply because they are my favourite fragrances. Accordingly, I have prepared a whole new range of TRNP fragrances in large quantities and will continue to stock those that are listed in my fragrance catalogue. The fragrances that will depart are those listed in TRNP archives and a few in the Lusso Collection that have depended on extraordinary harvests that cannot be repeated.

In line with my ethos, I am stopping the composing of new fragrances. Kodama is my last.

The TRNP fragrance collection is now complete, and the shop is always open for business, but, I’m soulfully dismayed by the vast tsunami of new fragrance houses and perfumes being launched every single day. Enough already.

I’ll take the opposite path and sit quietly off to the side. I make superb perfume, and if you manage to find me off the beaten track, I’ll joyfully show you around the ropes. I just can’t bear looking at any more wealth porn, influencer-frenzy or elitist, faux riche social media garbage when the world is facing a global storm of serious political, economic and environmental problems that really need our undivided attention and our action.



Jack sitting on the rock poster


We used to live in a tiny village called Wombat in NSW. In 1993-7 Wombat had *99 residents. Some nice folks that we met at the time lived on the outskirts of another tiny village named Maimaru. Going to visit was always enjoyable, but the thing that left such an incredible and lifelong impact on Steve and I was the deep, plush, mind-altering, slightly trippy sensation of experiencing no noise when in Maimaru. None. No traffic. No aircraft, no sirens, no construction, no alarms, no neighbours, no FM radio, no barking, nothing. Yes, there was a crunchy sound that our feet made as we walked on the dirt road or across the paddocks. I guess if it rained, there’d be the sound of that on the tin roof, and wind. Any sounds in outer Maimaru were made by nature, and its very few occupants.

More and more, I deeply crave that space and the timelessness of land stretching in all directions, the colours, the seasons, the sensation of being at home in the real world. The mesmerising wonder of a log fire in winter, with an endless black sky filled with dazzlingly bright stars at night. Spring blossoms and life-altering sunsets… such colours and so much earthly peace.


These days we live in the inner city and boy, are we close to everything. Trains, planes, automobiles, helipads, we can walk to 2 hospitals, cafes, restaurants, schools, universities, the Brisbane river, Southbank Parklands, GOMA, QPAC, State Library, the Valley, the city centre for all the best kinds of groovy stuff that can never be found in a place like Maimaru. Our neighbour’s houses are only a few feet away from us on 2 sides, and we are surrounded on all sides by households with great big, bored, lonely and fretful dogs that bark endlessly, all day, everyday.

What does any of this have to do with perfume? Well, some of the frenzied white noise of humanity happening around and within me is really worrying me. There’s a lack of focus or physical presence in so many people walking around with their whole selves entirely located 29cms from their noses. A vast tide of absent humans sauntering along and across roads without a glance or any awareness of oncoming cars, bikes or telegraph poles. Meanwhile, an evil clique of neo-liberal, fascist dictators is running the global show, crucifying the planet, shafting its people, torturing the animals and we are all too busy looking at ourselves through 9 filter choices… ooh, Clarendon or Nashville? My new lips look better in Noir, but my eyes are tootoo what? Shut?

I have wandered much too far from the business of breathing and caring and being present and on the job of actually living in the real world. My attention span has shrunk down to a series of flickering tics of anxiety and panic. Look at me!! I am the whole wide world’s favourite rock-star-guru-porn-star-fitness-freak-celebrity-card-carrying member of the swank club of faux riches.

How can I accommodate this deep hunger and yearning for a centred state of peace and quiet when I am slavishly chasing the grand tweet-circus of cyberlarity? I’m fairly certain that I actually need to get up from my comfort zone, stretch quite a bit, and go outside and get my hands dirty from weeding, composting, digging, planting, tending and harvesting actual food for my table. It’s dirty work, but this ol gal’s gotta do it. I deeply yearn to create a Maimaru kind of peace in the core of my being, so I’m going to try and be very quiet now, and practice cyber-silence. Actually meditate. It’s time. No more straining to be noticed, discovered and viral’d. No more chasing likes, follows, thumbs, or retweets. The pulpit’s closed, waffles are off the menu, shouty show’s over. I’m still here purveying my extraordinary fragrances which will be available until they are all gone. There’s plenty in the cellar. Drop me a line or… just go ahead and order. That puts food on my table and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

My aromatic art is my heart on a sleeve…. a little bit on his collar, some in her hair, and many other glorious locations. It’s time to let the art speak for itself.

orchard in the rain

* Steve corrected me on the population for Wombat in 1997.






The Great Conflation

One upon a time I joined some perfume discussion forums and I learned a lot. The first were a couple of natural perfume forums being driven by a gorgon from the upper Nile. Sheesh and bye…

Then I joined some forums for perfumistas and fragrance fans. There were some wonderfully witty and provocative humans on there, and rush-hour was fascinating. The drivers of the forum were larger-than-life personalities who kept things simmering along nicely with oodles of social charm and fragrance know-how. Yet… visiting the forums often left me feeling really uncomfortable. The discomfort morphed into feelings of anger and disgust and I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly. My engagement with others was often really enjoyable and I found some soul sisters in the process. So why did I react so badly to reading some of the forum posts? I couldn’t figure it and, and so I left and soldiered on, forumlessly.

Six months later I have finally come to understand what went wrong for me. The rise of the ‘influencer’.

There are those that just love perfume with a passion. They love nothing better than to wear it, buy it, think about it, talk to others about myriad nuances and impressions emanating from the fragrance/s and to swap some of this for some of that. Some of those perfume lovers write great reviews and create blogs and videos of their reviews because… they really know a lot about perfume and they’re really good at it.

Some people (effortlessly found on youtube, instagram and perfume forums) are playing a grubby little game of wealth porn. You can recognise it by the influencer mantras:-

‘Look at how much stuff I’ve got’

‘Look at how much money I spent’

‘How sexy am I?’

‘Look at me in my brand new designer stuff, rakishly posed in luxury locations, buying more niche perfume.’

‘And wait.. there’s more, have you seen me in front of my red car?’

and more and more and more… ad nauseum.

It’s not a love affair with perfume going on. It’s something ugly and despicable. Why Teone? Why shouldn’t people have lots of money and go shopping in chez Bijan ou Bourdon? Nice people have lots of moolah too.

My answer is simple. Those that truly have the means to buy whatever they bloody well want DON’T obsessively skite about it. They don’t need to. In fact, they generally don’t want others knowing when or where they shop, or what label they are wearing. Exclusivity is not about ‘Hey y’all, come on down and we’ll all snag a matching set of Imperial Majestyz… oh, you can only afford Amouage? Shame…LOL’

The ugly factor (only in my twisted opinion) is all about influencer acts that deliberately seek to arouse feelings of envy and jealousy and sadness in order to drive sales. It’s typically sponsored by brands that supply money and/or products that they want the influencers to peddle…. push push push -> ‘Join all the forums, get on youtube/twitter/facebook/instagram et al and mingle. Then there are those that jump ship from just really loving perfume, because now they see a way to make a buck… I’ll become the next hot-stuff influencer and rule the world.

The influence fad is a destructive and toxic feature of the great postmodern trash-celebrity experiment that has so sadly culminated in Kardashianism. People feeling less-than because Nevilleen has so much more. This tacky trend has taken hold in those that have some degree of wealth, but not really. Not in the serious money department. Not in any proper, world-changing, problem-solving, philanthropic foundation sorta way. Just in a ‘Look what I got’ (pokes tongue out at the other kids) kinda way. Would-bees… bzz bzz bzzz

How to win friends and influence people? Be real.

That feels better.


A family in Nizamuddin Basti (Delhi). The gorgeous young woman in front is studying for her upcoming exam to gain entry to university. There is no furniture or electricity in this shelter so she can only study if she sits in the light-filled doorway of a tiny room she shares with her mother, sister and baby brother. The person sleeping behind her is lying on bare concrete. It’s Winter. The incredible wealth here is palpable. Love, human spirit and the bright light of women learning in order to change the world. No Chanel apparent. – Photo TR 2012 ©


Mischa Reinthal@TRNP

Please meet the new face of TRNP – Mischa Reinthal.

Mischa is an artist in his own right – musician, actor, costume designer and writer, but over the last few years he has become increasingly involved with many of the creative processes at TRNP – from modeling for most of the promos, testing/advising/challenging me on many of the fragrances, all the way to packing orders and washing endless beakers.

It’s inevitable that he should step in as the face of the brand… he’s got that kind of face.

Many many thanks also to four gorgeous young women for their own modeling: Taylor Davidson, Cora Brouard, Shay Ledingham and Leni Lamanovska. Infinite gratitude to Steve and Phoebe Reinthal for all of their amazing support, love, creative input and endless patience in being dragged around fragrance counters, being perfume tester bunnies and consultants on all of it.



Rubber Gloves

For such a long time I was under the impression that I’d really love to own a house. A grand house. A spacious, beautifully furnished and luxuriously appointed chateau in which to swan around and… what? Swan around and.. what? Clean? Fret? Take instagram photos and gloat? Entertain? Rearrange? Good lord, this grand house project is so demanding. I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to make those messy incense and perfume things any more… Maybe the new antique bonsai collection needs more direct sunlight? How do you clean a Travertine marble spa? I can’t understand how to program all these alien technology timers and I keep losing the remote for the house ambience controller. I’ve forgotten my PIN to access the perfume lab.

“HEY…. there’s a mark here on the sofa/shower-screen/wall/bench-top/skirting etc etc”

One day, not very long ago, I fell into a deep reverie. In my waking dream, I imagined a small, gated and cobbled courtyard at the back of a lane-way. The lane itself was nondescript, even a little bit shabby. I was drawn to the downstairs portion of a two-story building at the back of the courtyard. It was an old, weathered, but solidly built stone building. Could have been in Spain, France, Melbourne?

The building’s doors and windows were sturdy wood and some of the paint was peeling. I opened a door and entered a lovely room. I saw a slightly worn (but still beautiful) Persian rug, some plump, lived in lounge-chairs and some well-stocked book cases. A few paintings were on the walls and a vase on the table contained a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

The most startling impact inside my imagined room was made by the light. It streamed in on an angle that saturated the whole room in glorious shafts of golden sunlight that caused each and every item in the room to glow in vivid colour. From the exterior of the building there was no hint at all of the warmth and the loveliness within. Nothing that inspired anyone to seek entry, nothing to suggest splendour, comfort or the sheer luxury within. The luxury was absolutely about the room’s relationship to the light.

The feeling of being in that room was whole. It was so right. It felt like home to me.

My realisation is very freeing. I don’t need a big house. I’m content to inhabit a radiantly small space in real life. I don’t have time to entertain or fret about furniture, I’m enraptured by learning all that I can in the glorious light, drawing comfort from the small spaces I have filled with sensory delights and love. I reject being owned by property, branded by someone else’s idea of elitism. I don’t want a brand new ute. Instead, I choose to inhabit my life with creative meaning and honesty and love.

As a brand, TRNP is a tiny house. An obscure, tucked-away meditation on golden light and the exquisite inner beauty of real life.




photo – New Delhi, TR ©2005

Vendage (not bondage)…

I’ve been tinkering again. In the last 6 months I’ve been climbing a steep learning curve about blending. I’d decided, mid last year to stop rushing around exploring new territories via endless compositions of more and more fragrances, and to focus my creative energies on finessing my entire product line. That frenzied make-more phase, I’ve since discovered, was triggered by a rapid increase in demand, which meant I was constantly scurrying to please and supply, and just not taking enough time to trust my own aesthetic sense of creative direction. I deeply appreciated the sudden increase in sales, as it enabled me to learn so much about how to proceed, and of course, how not to.

So, I began to rectify a few formulas that had initially pleased me, but left room for improvement. Some blends I now realise were sketches that I now felt needed a little more sharpness or sweetness or more airy lift to them. This is the feature of being an artisan making hand-blended small batch perfume. There’s always opportunity for refinement.

And refinement is to be expected, as any maker gains experience, their skills increase and their understanding of problem-solving expands.

So, almost every sale that has happened in the last few months has afforded me the opportunity to tweak quite a few formulas as well as to compose additional batches of fragrances that had run short. I also composed just a few new fragrances (not many) for my own creative enjoyment.

beaker and flacon

I know that many people become very attached to their favourites, and may not agree with me that X needs more blue lotus or more myrrh… they love it just the way it is. So I am keeping 500mls of my original stock in the cool room for those that insist on staying true to their loves. Some fragrances have completely run out and I have decided not to repeat them. That decision rests on the fact that some particular fragrances existed because of an extraordinary batch of raw materials that have since proven to be so different (or unavailable) as to be unable to produce that fragrance in a satisfying way.

I’m working hard to consolidate and refine my entire collection into what I believe is the penultimate version of each and every fragrance and in far larger quantities – so that an incredible choir of fragrances stands in concert, where each and every singer has a powerful voice and absolutely sings in tune. Pitch perfect perfume.

I have added Batch number notifications on my website which also lists any additional notes or formula quantities that have been altered. That way people can contact me and request the exact same batch as the one they have and know so well. Or try the refined version.

I know from experience that many mainstream fragrances have changed and been degraded over time, losing key ingredients, losing longevity or potency. This is largely driven by accounts departments wanting to cut costs. It can be devastating to lose such an intimate companion on our life pathways, where our precious memories are made.

I promise faithfully, that never is a TRNP reformulation less-than. I have not decreased quantities of anything. I have increased the content of some of the more expensive ingredients. So, if the fragrance batch says altered formula, it means I’ve added more Mysore sandalwood or more Taif rose or more Tuberose to really feature that ingredient in the way I always really wanted it to shine. I have listed that change in the product descriptions on my website.

Lastly, I just want to add that natural fragrances, over a period of time, mature and become stronger. The maceration process is an ongoing phase of evolution, as is experienced in fine wines, fortified wines and aged liquors. Certain notes may become more dominant or conversely, be overshadowed by the deeper base notes that take charge over time. At key stages of a fragrance’s development, I’m able to say – it’s time to add more jasmine to lift and sweeten the blend, as the chypre base has really deepened. This is the beauty of making artisan fragrances. The artistry evolves with the fragrance.

Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss your fragrance choice. I love the opportunity to advise my patrons on the vintage that best suits their needs.

Email: naturalperfume@teone.com.au

*vendage is old French for vintage

Screen shot 2018-03-08 at 12.08.00 AM



Intoxication and Madness

Sometimes the gloves come off. We just need them to. We simply can’t hold our tongues any longer and so we bust down the doors of nicety and etiquette via a few too many single malts or a wibbly wobbly breakdown and we let loose. To hell with it all…

A beautiful friend has sent me a vast library of fragrances to smell over the last year(ish). Having invested every single brass razoo into TRNP for several years, my days of buying other people’s perfume are long gone. I don’t go sniffing around any more because I wanted to stay clear of what other people are doing while I was in the middle of a creative process. I don’t like to be influenced by the works of others when composing. So my meagre collection of purchased pa-foon consists of oldies but goodies and some gorgeous gifts from the dear-hearts in my life.

But lately I have been on a bender. I am covered with little sppssts and dabs of other cordials made by other noses, and I swear I can hardly recognise my world right now. Excuse me, which way is the front door?

Currently my left arm is occupied by several fragrances from Atelier des Ors and my right arm is a backpacker hostel for members of Teo Cabanel’s tribe. By-passers are shuddering. But I have a salty ol’ nose and I can make my way through the marvelous maelstrom. In fact, it’s a really useful way of discerning certain themes in a perfumer’s work by allocating one whole limb as prime real estate for their wares en masse.

In the last 30 hours I’ve tested around 40 different fragrances created by other houses. Some very high-brow and some less so. At the moment I’m most taken with a couple of works by Bertrand Duchaufour and Jean-Claude Elena. Specifically Timbuktu and Brin de Relisse. Masterful tales of the truth. These fragrances are… well, what they are not is stuff that chicks spray all over themselves in the Ladies room of the nightclub as they check to see if their false eyelashes are still attached and that their tan isn’t running. Oops… that hair extension is coming loose again. Ooh, did you see that guy over there with Jeharsha? He’s totally hot, …Fsssst ..Fsssst ..Fssst Fsssssst …Fsssst… oh, what the hell …Fssssssst.

No, I’d say Timbuktu and Brin de Relisse probs don’t get Fssssssssst’d around too much at all. Duchaufour and Elena create works of art. Scented pathways into lives and journeys and memories. If anyone’s interested to read more, I’ve added in lots of new fragrance reviews in the section above titled…. Reviews written by Teone

Well, what about the gloves, kiddo?

OK… Here’s the point. Having stayed some distance away from commercial perfume for a number of years, I’m no longer culturally attenuated to detect the subtle nuances that separate House A Product from House B Product, and on reentering the big top tent, I’m a little troubled by the savage homogenisation of fine fragrances into such a limited palette of so many recognisable components. I keep finding the same aromachemical bases that deliver minimal variations on this season’s trend.

Yesterday I wandered through the perfume section of David Jones and stopped at the Chanel portal to smell Mademoiselle Intense. The sales assistant condescended to inform me that it contained flowers and vanilla. I sniffed.

Oh, I said, pink Coco Noir.

Oh no, she said… that has patchouli in it.

And this doesn’t? (eyebrows disappearing into my scalp)

No, as I just mentioned, this has flowers and vanilla.

the Christmas ring

There is a stupifyingly harsh and ugly grunge odour that seems to be so much in vogue in boysy niche fragrances. I don’t know what that compound is called or how it deviates (slightly) from one house to the house next door. BUT! I recognise that there are cheap and expensive versions of it everywhere. People are paying huge amounts of money and wearing the stuff because Ahhh, it’s so very woody, so leathery, it’s oudy or ambery. I hazard a guess that it has no biological connection to anything that ever grew, moo’ed, or mildewed. It’s just tacky swindle juice. Ditto so many roses. Cheap toilet aerosol spray.

Then I remembered… it’s just the perfume industry. We like to cluster by scent-bundling.

Orientals fad: Youth Dew, Opium, Cinnabar, Ysatis, Coco, Obsession, Samsara, Poison etc

Shoulder-pad fad: Giorgio, Tresor, Byzance, Chloe, 24 Faubourg, Amarige etc

Mod fad: Miss Dior, Zen, Givenchy III, Vol de Nuit, Chanel 19, Diorella, Sikkim, Aromatics

Hats and gloves: Chanel no 5, Chant d’Aromes, Arpege, Caleche, L’Air, First etc etc etc

My updated department store field research findings have also enabled me to catch up on what’s hot in the current climate of big business perfume marketing too. So, I have created a brand new taxonomy to help me through the advancing years of my scent-bewilderment and ‘fume-befuddlement (real conditions, believe me).

Fragrances and their target markets have been sorted into the following classifications:

  • The Ditzy Teen (Melon, Berries and Bubble Gum)
  • School Admin Staff (Ozonic/Acquatic)
  • Gym-Junkie Playboys (Leather/Tobacco/Amber)
  • B&D devotees (Metallic Oud-anything)
  • Yummy-Mummys (Pricey Praline Florals)
  • Cougars and MILs (Fruitchoulis & Civetty Chypres)
  • Nanas (Violet & Lilac water)
  • Great Uncles (Grim Fougeres)
  • Hipsters (Price on Application)

Maybe I just should stop wandering into David Jones in my pyjamas.

Adios Amigos…




painting above. Unwanted Christmas gifts and other unpleasantries. TR ©2006

pastel sketch What lies beneath. pastel on paper. TR ©??