If you have been receiving the Luckyscent newsletters you will know by now of the second series of the Untitled Series by Chandler Burr, which was previously hosted on Open Sky. An improvement, I would assume, on many levels, the new distributor of the project assures a dedicated perfumista core audience. What it involves is easy but brilliant too at the same time: experiencing a scent without the guiles of marketing, design or promo routinely attached to it. No notes, no name, no perfumer, no house, just your sense of smell and small glass vials with a number on it to sniff for a month until the revelation is presented at the end of it (for this month, it's June 25th).
Chandler tries to offer "pure scent", involving fragrances which take the game a step forward and I totally see the reasoning behind this. Whether he succeeds or not is up to you and your own opinions on such matters. My own personal stance is that perfume is so inextricably tied to design & marketing (in fact I consider it ~for the most part and in most cases~ a division of design) it's hard to consider it when bared down to the bone; it detracts from some of its beauty and wit, a bit like the Elgin Marbles as seen at the British Museum rather than under their intended Attic sun; they're still artful and brilliant, but doesn't the whole concept involve context as well? Even so I do think the Untitled Series is a great gauge of just how much our preconceptions act on our perception of scent and how wrong or right we decipher scent each time based on those; I love blind tests myself when I fragrance consult, my subjects often producing stunning results.
To get you all revved up for season's 2 episode's 2 scent, out now, please see a summary of the previous installments and make your best guess on the latest! (There is already discussion on Basenotes, but you're welcome to post your own suggestions here in the Comments).
Here is how Chandler presents S02E02 in his own words:
”I've never met anyone who doesn't like S02E02. In dozens of talks over the years, I've given it to thousands of people in all sorts of cultures, and the range is pleased enthusiasm to hypnotized worship. I'm on the far latter end. Done by one of the greatest living artists, who I'm very glad finally to be presenting in the Untitled Series, S02E02 is I think a quietly seminal work in a specific way: We all know the majority of people today say they 'don't like perfume.' By 'perfume' they mean aldehydes and a booming voice and 'look at me' style. S02E02 forces you to redefine 'perfume.' Wait (people think, transfixed on the sidewalk), what is this? Did an island just materialize around the corner? E02 is the Debussy bridge over which one escapes Rachmaninoff's bombast, transport for all those who yearn for the fundamentally different and exquisite, the liltingly lovely.”
– Chandler Burr
For what is worth, I also have never ever met anyone who doesn't like it and I too find it liltingly lovely… :-)