Came across an interesting story in the May edition of Prestige magazine in the BidVest lounge at George Airport yesterday which claimed that Hugo Boss is the most popular fragrance in the SA cellar. Then I realized I was the author. Duh!
The big surprise when Elizabeth Taylor left for the silver screen in the sky in March was the size of her estate – estimated at $1 billion, thanks to the range of 11 celebrity perfumes made by Elizabeth Arden. Perfumes are nothing to sniff at.
Mike Dobrovic, maestro of Mulderbosch now moved to the Karoo, would typically start conversations with the clanger “I’m no longer infectious” when asked “how are you?” Alas, I still seem to be transmitting the virus which causes Sighted Assessment Anxiety (SAA, our national airline, already in intensive care) and it now seems to have jumped species, like swine flu, and infected the perfume rating industry. US sensory psychologist Avery Gilbert has dubbed this mutation The Pendock Paradox. Meanwhile US wino Steve Heimoff opens up a new old front in the debate about how blind are Wine Spectator assessments with news of a disturbing correlation between ad size and wine score in that organ.Read More…
Time to update the CV after being called “a perfume head” by a sensory psychologist with a reversible name, Avery Gilbert. Guilty as charged. I even wrote a review of Perfumes: the guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (Profile Books, 2008) last year. Sent it to the Sunday Times and have given up waiting for it to appear. I also e-mailed Luca and Tania, asking them whether they rated perfumes blind or sighted. No reponse, either. The dome of silence descends.
SA Art luvvies have already booked their tickets to the Big Apple for the March premier of William Kentridge’s staging of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1930 opera The Nose, based on the short story of the same name by Gogol. William explains “The Nose is also about the terrors of hierarchy” which was certainly the case in the infamous Nose Tasting of 2007.
“Like Brad Pitt stepping out of the shower” was one memorable tasting note from an early issue of WineX magazine, alas now defunct, unlike the pair of consumer wine shows of the same name from the Fridjhon stable.
What is this obsession with showers? Luca Turin’s tasting note for Kouros from another late lamented great, Yves Saint Laurent (who died in June), from his tour de force Perfumes (Profile Books, 2008): “like the tanned skin of a guy with gomina [Spanish for gel] in his hair stepping out of the shower… It has that faintly repellent clean-dirty feel of other people’s bathrooms, and manages to smell at once scrubbed and promissory of an unmade bed.”
Talk about synchronicity. Sour Grapes is published on 20 October and the following weekend, the first lady of UK wine, Jancis Robinson, unburdens herself on “the most frightening period of my professional life” – judging last year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. Her elegantly crafted account appeared in the Financial Times. I covered the same events in a more sideways fashion on page 46 of Sour Grapes, reproduced below: