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Monday, June 8, 2009

How to Smell of the Cricket Lawn while Stuck behind your Mac

The smell of cricket (and I mean the game, not the little critter) is apparently more appealing than you might have thought, according to two articles that occupy themselves with efforts of perfumers and scientists to find fragrances that mimic the outdoors so that people (men in particular) stuck behind their desks all day in the corporate environment can smell of the great outdoors. And oh, in case we forget about the aspirational airs of fragrance, not just any outdoors, but the frightfully British (and considered posh) sport of cricket: "In Britain, we have a national therapy, we call it cricket. Unlike other sports, it doesn't involve anxieties or pressures. It's leisurely and lyrical. It's the song of willow on leather". (if you're wondering click to find out the quote source) What's next, I wonder? Ersatz "I'm working my ass off and deserve a raise" spray? Don't knock it, it might not be far behind!

The first article announces the introduction of outdoors replicating odours

"Perfume makers have now captured scents from cricket grounds, including the changing rooms, cricket bats and kit, as well as from the cabins of ocean-going yachts"
and is clearly taking its cue from the longer and more detailed second article which highlights the whys and hows.

“We are looking for modern smells that have never been used in fragrances before but which have strong associations with activities that people enjoy or respect,” said Will Andrews, a fragrance scientist at Procter & Gamble (P&G), which makes perfumes by Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Lacoste. His aim is not to recreate the sweaty smell of a cricket pavilion or yacht cabin but to find “notes” within the odours found in such places that evoke positive emotions associated with sporty activities.[...] Harvey Prince, an American manufacturer, recently claimed that its Ageless Fantasy scent had captured the smell of youth, so that women wearing it would be perceived as around eight years younger than they were. Independent tests suggested, however, that the benefits were unclear.[...]P&G’s research has shown that there are many smells that have acquired a modern appeal. Even the “electronic” smell of a warm computer is attractive to some people – and P&G is trying to bottle that too".
Read the whole article here which makes also some interesting points about how some scents become obsolete through association and the passage of time.

Now you know why your new perfume is having notes named "waterfall accord" and "deck sea spray" accord!

Pic via oldthorntoniansclapham.org.uk

16 comments:

  1. Rappleyea23:18

    I almost thought that quote might be from the book, Netherland. I hadn't thought about that movie in years! Now I want to see it again.

    I guess I'm just old fashioned - I don't want to smell like a computer, or a cricket field or a waterfall! I recently received a decant of Le Labo's Patch 24, and while I don't get much, if any, patchouli, there is a very strong note that smells just like ichthamol to me, or what we called brown salve as children. Interesting, but again, I don't think I'd wear it where anyone else could smell me!

    Very interesting post (as usual). Carmencanada recently had a great post on her blog about smelling like places and/or concepts as well.
    Donna

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  2. No, REALLY? Cricket?? Speaking as a Brit I can't imagine anything more stupour-inducing, but then I'm female. Maybe Mr Fishwife would like it. I do have a soft spot for perfumes that faithfully reproduce particularly nice smells (CdG's "Rhubarb", Demeter's "Espresso", etc) but there's a point where it gets silly (Demeter's "Funeral Home"...)

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  3. D,

    thank you honey for the compliment and of course I recall the post about the concept vs. mood perfume.

    I seriously LOVE that movie, it's ridiculously funny and so very incoherent 60s crazy in scenario terms, just love it!
    You can call me old-fashioned too, although I do appreciate the smellies, and revel in them in the form of visualising when I pick them up from the drawers of my desk to conjure the picture I want.
    Patch24 is nowhere near patch (they're pulling our leg those guys!) and more like tar. Now I need to compare with ichthamol, you planted the idea, how genious! I can't say I was crazy about the scent however. Too tarry usually leaves me with some bad associations (long trips along the National Route in dead-HOT summer when tar is being poured...) But that's just me.

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  4. L,

    you're the proper person to comment on this!
    I thought I might keel over by boredom myself, but perhaps that's just plain non-good-sport moi, who knows? (although I can watch tennis for hours).
    I like that kind of image-conjuring scents like I explained to Donna above, but not necessarily as personal fragrances (although in that vein it would be more cost effective if we just spilled our Illy all over ourselves, eh? LOL!) I think the Funeral Home is more in the spirit of recreating the intense floral aroma of lilies etc (love that smell, but don't get that out, people might get weird ideas in their heads). Certainly not the other kind of smellies....formaledhyde anyone?

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  5. Anonymous18:03

    AGELESS FROM HARVEY PRINCE IS INGENIOUS! AMAZINGLY NO PERFUME HOUSE EVER THOUGHT OF THIS. I USE IT & I LOVE IT.

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  6. Andrea06:34

    Imagination can go anywhere, and so do the perfumes. I appreciate these creative ideas – capturing varied beautiful things of life into mini bottles.
    Though not a cricket fan, I would like to stay young.

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  7. Cricket Lawn perfume will be of great interest for men, while the youthful fragrance is equally attractive to women. Being a middle- aged women, I can understand how valuable Ageless is.

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  8. Anon,

    thanks for commenting. I think we got it you're a fan (?) even without the all caps :-)
    Interestingly, I might argue that grapefruit scents are not that rare and in fact there are several on the market already. Maybe they didn't exploit the "youth" concept.

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  9. A,

    it's indeed a nice idea to capture smells. I have some in my drawers for that exact purpose: daydreaming.

    As to staying young, no one can stay young physically forever (at least not really young, but only "young"), but everyone can stay young mentally! A healthy amount of scepticism is one aspect of that. ;-)

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  10. K,

    good point and I'm sure that's the thinking behind it.

    Ageless Fantasy is appropriately named. ;-)

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  11. Sandie09:23

    I agree with you Perfumeshrine – “no one can stay young physically forever (at least not really young, but only "young"), but everyone can stay young mentally!”

    The concept of “anti-age” is not necessarily associated only with look, this is what we generally interpret in this way. Ageless Fantasy is a nice perfume that claims to brings out beautiful thoughts (may be youthful thoughts!). Isn’t it?

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  12. Beautiful thoughts are fine by me!

    :-)

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  13. Hi Helg. Cricket's not posh, or frightfully British. It crosses all social boundaries and is played across the globe by both men and women. It's a great unifying sport!

    That said, while I can imagine the scent of grass, willow and leather making an appealing fragrance, add in spilled beer, the smell of burger and curry vans, sunblock and (if you're at Bristol) pungent portaloos and it may not be so nice...

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  14. POint taken Mim! Thanks!!

    As a foreigner (non Anglo-Saxon either, because I realise cricket is also quite popular down under), it does sound like something very...exotic! But yes, I bet the countryside has its advantages and disadvantages on every aspect of a game where men are involved.

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  15. Leona11:43

    I have lots in my collection, can't exactly distinguish the notes. Lol!
    But anti-age perfume sounds interesting & I don't know how far I'll resist myself from buying one.......

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  16. Thanks Leona!

    Funnily enough all the Ageless Fantasy fans have gathered on this very post and not a bleep on the radar on any perfume board or forum of consumers. Weird..... ;-)

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