Thursday, August 14, 2008
Chaos by Donna Karan
Flame fractal by Roger Johnston
After the Non-Blonde's review comparing the old and new versions of the Dona Karen scent, I knew I had to give ot a sniff at Bergdorff's. As luck would have it, yesterday was one of their celebratory launch days, so the sniff was accompanied by Veuve Cliquot and little canapes of delicious meat pastes on tiny vegetables. Oh my!
Prior to the review, I had assumed Chaos would be a dark incense scent like Back Cashmere, but in reality it is a beautiful glowing thing. Red fruits, citrus and woods explode in bright shades of red and amber and then slowly collapse so that after an hour, the scent is a soft gray ash of incense and woods. It's the first olfactory reconstruction of the big bang I've ever smelled. Like Lovely Prism, the name conveys the broad spectrum of composit notes, and Chaos begins with a glowing fizzy note which reminded me of Demeter's Ginger Ale.
I love this narrative quality in perfume, and experienced it again with JAR Bolt of Lightning. Mr. Branch had spoken highly of it with a caveat that the first minutes may be stomach churning. The sales associate actually apologized that he had applied too much too my hand and asked me repeatedly to give it some time before "scrubbing" it off. (I was shocked that he used that word - perhaps he has seen someone describe it on a blog as a scrubber.) The initial thunderclap is represented by camphor, wintergreen, sharp green notes and something buttery. It reminded me of Cy Twombley's ancient-Rome-rendered-in-toothpaste-impasto work.
Cy Twombly, "Leda and The Swan" 1962
After the lightning comes the ozone, and the scent mellows to a warm green fog. I don't know how "warm" is rendered in scent but it smells like eating breakfast in the mountains - warm oatmeal and green grasses. It's very beautiful, and lasts for hours.
Back to the subject of chaos, it reminded me of the first bouquet of flowers Dave ever gave me: a romanesco, or as I called it, fractal broccoli. Such a wise Mr. Mandelbrot who linked our concepts of chaos and order through a vegetable.
Those fractally inclined bight like to listen to the Sweet Child o Mine at the Self-similar GNR midi synth.
A: They used recordings from GNR albums, speeded them up, and used the resulting tone patterns to re-compose the songs. More detail is available on their website.
Fractal chaos? Perhaps you prefer intellectual property anarchy in the form of unlicensed sampling. That references social chaos and turbulent weather? Well then the K-OTIX have what you need.