This article is Exhibit A in my belief that “All subjects relate to reenacting in some way – or can be made to. – Jonah
Reenactment de Jonah pour homme
By Jonah Begone
I am now reading a book entitled “Perfume” by Nigel Groom. It is fascinating. It describes the perfume industry, and the sophisticated ingredients and techniques used in it.
For instance, did you know that, like music, perfumes are described as “notes” and “chords?” In the three-tier “pyramid” technique popularly used by manufacturers, the top notes are the blend of smells that one first encounters in a perfume; the scents that are apparent in the ten minutes or so before evaporating from the skin. The so-called heart notes are the middle scents that are somewhat longer-lasting, and the lower notes are the scents that wear off last. All three groups of scents harmonize – like music – to produce a chord. Artfully combined together by European (mostly French) experts called “noses,” the result is a sophisticated sensual experience that women have understandably treasured for ages.
In the perfume industry, the art doesn’t end with the perfume itself. The bottles are art as well as utility. Baccarat, makers of fine crystal, also manufacture bottles for select couturiers, and the bottles themselves have a collectability long after the perfume within is gone.
In Rob Reiner’s spoken introduction to the satirical rockumentary Spinal Tap (Mrs. Begone’s favorite film, by the way), he describes wanting to recall for the audience, “…the sights, sounds… and smells of a touring rock band.” For me, reenacting has never just been an experience of sight and sound. In fact, nothing takes me into the world of historical reenacting more vividly than the smells of an event.
Working in conjunction with the prestigious House of Cacharel (Paris), therefore, I am proud to present,
Reenactment de Jonah (pour homme)
I would attach scent strips to this article to give you an idea of what I have in mind, but the technology doesn’t yet exist to transmit smells across the Internet. (And the Camp Chase Gazette is too cheap to pay for them.) So I will have to content myself with a description.
Top notes (Arrival at the Event): Dirty wool and accoutrement leather.
Heart notes (The Battle): Human sweat and black powder (sulfur).
Base notes (Camp de soir): Hay/straw, damp cotton tenting, campfire smoke, tobacco.
You may laugh, but leather, hay and tobacco are common ingredients of many fine men’s fragrances. And if human sweat doesn’t sound like an appealing scent to find in a perfume, reflect that civet – the butter-like secretion found under the tails of Burmese cats – is a highly prized natural base of expensive scents. Another is ambergris, which is the excretions of sperm whales after eating cuttle fish. And let’s face it, there is such a thing as too real or too evocative. I could add extract de porta-potty to the blend, for instance.
So there you are – the evocations of an entire day at a living history event, corked up in a bottle pour homme.
And the bottle – called in French the flacon – for Reenactment de Jonah must accurately suggest to the mind the purpose of the perfume. To that end, I artfully propose a small, light-blue bullseye canteen-shaped glass flacon, complete with a small dirty white cotton strap, tied in a knot.
Publicity and promotion are a part of the perfume industry, and every fine perfume has associated with it a tag line. For instance, Jean Patou’s Joy is “The costliest perfume in the world.” Givenchy’s Ysatis is “A perfume for a thousand women in one.” I propose: Reenactment de Jonah – Preserve the History, Preserve the Memory. (It sounds even classier in French: <<Conserver l'Histoire, Conserver la Mémoire.>>)
Well, after all, why not? One of the best selling men’s colognes in America is Michael Jordan. I’m not sure what the manufacturer is trying to invoke by naming it this (other than to cash in on a celebrity basketball star), so why shouldn’t we have a scent of our own? It’s got to be better than smelling like Michael Jordan after a game.
Think about it. Once you get over the initial “Ugh,” Reenactment de Jonah pour homme is kind of appealing.
And, for the record, I am not a homosexual.