Advertisement

How to Choose Your Perfume: A Conversation with Sianne Ngai and Anna Kornbluh

经过

Fashion & Style

如果anne Ngai, Anna Kornbluh, and Jude Stewart try perfumes. Photograph by Seth Brodsky.

Even after writing a wholeabout smell, I still resisted finding “my” perfume. Perfume has always seemed gimmicky, too expensive, anti-feminist. But researching my book got me rethinking these objections. I wanted to get to yes with perfume but do so honestly.

I提到了我的朋友如果anne NgaiAnna Kornbluh.,他们都很喜欢香水。如果anne is a professor of English at the University of Chicago and specializes in aesthetics and affect theory in a Marxist context. She has written books about the “ugly feelings” of envy and irritation; contemporary aesthetic categories like “cute,” “zany,” and “interesting”; and, most recently, a theory of the gimmick. Anna is a professor of English at the University of Illinois Chicago and specializes in formalism, Marxism, aesthetics, and psychoanalysis.

Sianne,Anna,我是中年女性,他互相欣赏,大声频繁。我们的敏感性重叠,但也以有趣的方式分歧。我们于9月在芝加哥南循环中在锡安娜的高层公寓举行了这个谈话。这是一个通风,玻璃上空的空间,享有密歇根湖和南侧的景色。这一天是不合时宜的温暖,所以我们将我们的泳衣带到她建筑的屋顶游泳池里游泳。但首先,我们在厨房桌子上散布了小瓶装香水,并在很长时间喷洒并嗅闻。

NGAI

Let me start by asking, Whya香水?为什么不几?很多人都有香水衣柜。你可以与香水有一个分解的关系,只是问,以表演方式询问,如何闻到嗅闻?

Ilike perfume. I got really sucked into it and then I had to pull away because I had a dog whose nose was very sensitive. The irony is I ended up with a boyfriend who’s so romantic that he gets upset when I wear anything other than the scent I wore when we met.

When I first got into perfumes I thought about it all wrong. It was very conceptual, like, I bet I’ll be someone who likes citrus. I was reifying my identity,T.hinking of myself as a certain kind of person. It turns out I don’t like citrus at all in perfume. I don’t like florals either, especially jasmine or rose. I do like earthy, woody smells. When I leaned into what felt good at the level of sense, it became easier.

Kornbluh.

嗅觉真的很讨厌美学问题,因为它总是判断。我闻到了什么,我识别它,它闻起来很好,味道不好。But what authenticates the judgment?

NGAI

有趣的是,中间地位在你找到了一个深刻地立即和自发的经验的概念。你删除了一层,我喜欢吗?它变得更多,我将如何使用语言?令人惊叹的是词汇作品。

In your book, Jude, you asked, How could I become a better smeller? I like how you shifted away from questions of connoisseurship. You didn’t want to cultivate better aesthetic taste than other people. You just wanted to take in more of the world.Fredric Jameson once said, paraphrasing Adorno, that when you’re doing aesthetics as a Marxist, you can’t get away from the fact that art is a luxury item. It shouldn’t be, but that’s the guilt of the art object for certain critics. There’s an anecdote I’ve heard about Herbert Marcuse being interviewed at his home in La Jolla, California. The interviewer says something challenging, like, “Herbert Marcuse, you’re a Marxist thinker, but I’m looking at all this luxury. We’re lounging around your swimming pool. What do you say to that?” And Marcuse supposedly replies,Nothing is too good for the people.” That’s a great response to the guilt thing.

STEWART

Yeah. I wanted to inhabit my body more and stop doing this head-in-a-jar screen thing. It’s funny, when you write about the新鲜锐化的铅笔,你不能去维基百科并开始研究。你必须得到实际的铅笔 - 很多,它首先削尖它们。嗅觉,你每次转弯都会进入有关的事情。

Kornbluh.

您试图为您生成并将其转换为散文的想法而令人感情的基础。这是一个难题,因为你有这种深刻的体验。我们知道香水会在你身上嗅到不同的斯凯恩。

NGAI

And we’re spontaneously going to like or dislike it.

Kornbluh.

正确的。尽管闻到了我们最敏感的感觉,但它是我们拥有最少的文化仪器的一个。你不能以我们在图像或声音流量的方式闻到嗅到的交通。

NGAI

那里’s a school of thought that says concepts kill beauty. Knowing history won’t help you find the stone more stony. But that’s where that philosophy was completely wrong. Jasmine has a history and a set of values associated with that history, and the more you know about something, the more you can perceive in it. So your perception is expanded by the conceptual and not broken by it.

返回实施例。我们从来没有只是闻到这件事,就像新鲜锋利的铅笔一样。铅笔也是一种工具,世界上具有一定的生产。你的书表明,说这些事情也没有闻到铅笔是错误的。当你在茉莉花章节中写下时,当我们闻到茉莉花时,我们也闻到文明,有序的美丽,奢侈品。我不得不说,当我闻到茉莉花时,我闻到了性别。

Kornbluh.

Let’s spool this out a bit. I think the whole denigration of luxury is entailed in the denigration of women, for many reasons. Smell is a determinant of atmosphere. It can accord sensation to people. It prompts and triggers many things. And who’s in charge of atmosphere?

STEWART

不是女性,通常。

Kornbluh.

Some of smell’s power might be associated with masculinity in the sense of controlling the environment.

考虑马克斯关于奢侈品的评论,马克思主义理论中的一些更具争议的论点,无论我们是否可以拥有奢侈品,都可以享受奢华。一些马克思主义者认为,在不同的生产模式中,美丽和感性可能会出现稀缺的乐趣。其他人认为这是一个超级娱乐的幻想,我们需要降解。这些职位在我们的eCocide作为环境现实位置时,他们自己越来越多地呈现自己。但是,由于这种漫长的历史,艺术和修辞协会,妇女的漫长历史,艺术和修辞造成了太多消费,而且具有毫无用处和装饰品。

NGAI

这也是种族的。

STEWART

这种嗅觉控制环境以不同的方式是真实的。只有20%的香料是奢侈的香水,我们正在谈论的。另外八十百分之八十是所谓的洗衣洗涤剂和个人产品的功能性香水。我们生活在一个闻到的现实中,这比我们意识到要更加编辑。这是思想弯曲。但我们正在谈论性别和控制环境。

NGAI

A friend once told this story about another friend who’d wear a strong perfume and then try on clothes in stores. She liked leaving her trace on all the clothes. My friend found this appalling.

STEWART

好吧,它是。这是一个标志着她的领土的动力。

Kornbluh.

That also speaks to the situation dependence of smells. If you’re flying on an airplane or going clothes shopping, should you spray your perfume?

STEWART

How much scent is too much is both personally and culturally dependent. Takeoud,一个超级昂贵的香火,中东人用衣服。如果你曾经漫步过国际机场,你知道气味吹嘘可能很大。Part of what one is choosing with perfume is to create a nimbus. The question is, how social or private should that nimbus be?

NGAI

How I approached perfumes is that they were for me. When I’d perform in public I’d wear something for me to smell, like a halo of protection.

STEWART

Who said that fashion was armor? Perfume can be a kind of invisible armor, too.

Kornbluh.

另一个关于香水和噱头的想法是香水是魅力的快捷方式。这是将自我灌注丛中的灌丛投入到世界上,其他人可以在没有言语的情况下回应的方式。这意味着香水更多吗?

NGAI

SOME香水复杂,并不是任何正确的效果。我很沮丧,因为有一个香水,举例说明我一直在寻找并找不到的。它被称为dzing!由Olivia Giacobetti,L'Artisan Parfumeur。Dzing!停止。它闻起来像马,皮革,锯末,棉花糖,爆米花和大便的混合物。我喜欢Dzing!这么多,但这不是一个很好的捷径。

STEWART

Speaking of horses, have you seen theAdam DriverBurberry Hero.perfume commercial还这非常奇怪。Perfume ads almost justify my complaint about perfume as gimmick. They’re so awful.

Kornbluh.

They’re not as stylized as fashion photographs and don’t have a clear point of view. They’re just trying to convey evanescence and mystique and whatever.

NGAI

他们总是讲述一个扁平的故事。而且它们也很白。

STEWART

Yeah. What they’re trying to convey more than anything is white subjectivity. But I do want to figure perfume ads out.So muchgets crammed into them that almost nothing gets communicated about what the perfume smells like.

NGAI

I actually think perfume ads are quite accurate in their semiotics. For example, the倩碧快乐ad与小狗。你可以告诉这是一个运动,柑橘,女性气味,而不是一些东西oud在里面。

STEWART

In your最新的书, Sianne, you say a gimmick is something that’s somehow working too hard and not hard enough. After writing my book about smell, I can’t say that perfume is not working hard enough. It’s insane how much effort goes into developing perfumes—and how much money they make. Possibly perfume is working too hard. For you, why is perfume not dismissible as a gimmick?

NGAI

Oh, I don’t know. Perfumes can contain gimmicks, sure. Do you know the novel清除by Nicola Barker? It consists primarily of people discussing and justifying their aesthetic tastes to one another. All these conversations are catalyzed by the dangling of an enormous gimmick over a public space in London—the illusionist David Blaine starving himself in public in a glass box in 2003. This piece inspired such strong feelings from the British public that it made them newly aware of themselvesasa public.

那里’s a conversation about perfume in清除其中一个角色嗅到另一个人物,并说明了哦,你穿着哦,你穿着Comme desGarçonsodeur 53。That’s a perfume designed to have a space in the middle of it, meaning the middle or heart note is intentionally empty. And then she disparagingly says something like, Of course you bought that. Implying he fell for a cheap Conceptual art move. So, yes, there are definitely gimmicks in perfume.

That makes me think of another book, Teresa Brennan’sThe Transmission of Affect,她在影响,感受和嗅觉之间做出类比。她对我们能够在概念化或命名之前感受到别人感受的想法感兴趣。感到房间里的紧张局势类似于闻到它。

STEWART

那里are情绪we can smellfrom each other’s bodies: fear, joy, and disgust.And smell also has metaphorical associations with wit. We’ll say, Does it pass the smell test? Or, Did you it sniff out? Intelligence is implied in smell.

NGAI

Probably because smell moves across borders. That’s why affect theorists like it. It’s relational and causes boundary confusions. Is it out there or is it in me? Well, if you’re smelling it, it’s both.

STEWART

In preparation for today, I wore different perfumes and reflected on them. My questions were different in practice than in theory. I wondered, What am I asking from a perfume as an aesthetic experience? I also considered logistics, like, Am I choosing the right pulse points? Am I putting perfume on at the right time of day? In short, I tried to create aesthetic encounters around perfume with myself, over time.

NGAI

I love that. What’s cool about perfumes is that they’re narrative, they change over time. My friendTina Postuses this metaphor of filters, like on Instagram, to think about aesthetic experiences. A filter can describe how the same perfume smells subtly different on different people. You observe different patterns of decay of one note and the emergence of another.

Kornbluh.

这让我们回到了描述嗅觉的问题。随着时间的推移,它们是如何改变的叙述失误。他们如何在不同的人身上穿的位置。并且存在审美词汇的问题。如果我告诉你,我买了一个口红红色沙发,你可能知道我的意思,但我们没有磨练的文化意识描述嗅觉。你总是用其他嗅觉,具有叙述,主观甚至生化并发症。我不喜欢茉莉,但你没有他妈的想法我的意思是我这么说。我不喜欢茉莉花的顶部注意事项吗?我的意思是茉莉花我的身体?茉莉花your身体?

STEWART

茉莉花有许多笔记,但它们非常平衡,好像是一个香水创造了它们。茉莉花确实有一个粪便衰减。这可能是你对象的纸条,但是,这也是别人喜欢的。我穿着的所有香水似乎不喜欢它们看起来太一张票据,他们没有让我想弄清楚他们。例如,这个不是我最喜欢的,但它以好的方式他妈的奇怪。它的CB Beast我讨厌香水的克里斯托弗布鲁斯努斯。它打开了烤牛肉和欧芹的纸张,然后将其味道融为一体。[我们应用CB野兽和嗅闻。]

I'米得到一个热石。

Kornbluh.

松树很强烈。

NGAI

是的,这是一种药用气味。它是薄荷醇和桉树,干燥的黑色东西,有点可怕。像我的奶奶的中医内阁。

Kornbluh.

但这是问题。我嗅着这个,不要厌恶它。在我尝试之前,牛香水概念对我很恶心。但是如果我为那个蜜蜂的钞票购买了它,那么没有认为它像牛肉一样闻到,是我的缺陷,还是在商品中?你知道,牛肉在哪里?!

STEWART

That gets back to the question of what you want perfume to do for you.

NGAI

我要大胆穿香水像CBBeast. Not to please to other people, but to smell like, Fuck you.

STEWART

Yeah. I’m intrigued by fuck-you perfumes. At the other extreme, I liked these subtle perfumes that invite someone to come closer. Here are two—青木诺里Green Cedar,两者都是abel气味。

绿雪松是树脂的。这是非常秘密和包含的。诺里青色气味就像海 - 但不是在牛仔Naté,清新,干净,过于简单的方式。它更像是实际的大海,有一点腐烂,活着,饥饿的海洋空气质量。这些气味就像很酷的技术音乐,那里的音乐是如此备用它不觉得完整。他们是宽敞的。你通过移动你的身体来完成音乐或香味。

NGAI

我喜欢穿着香水延长你的个人空间。当你遇到危险的动物本质上时,你经常应该让自己变得更大。香水让你展开并变得更大。

STEWART

I like the idea of smelling something to snap yourself into a mood, too. For instance, actors keep smells on hand if they need to cry for a scene.

Kornbluh.

它的a short circuit to intensity again, because the smell process is much faster than the other senses. Smell’s rapidity may give us the illusion of power as disguise. But you know, nobody can ever see women. Right? The lady camouflage.

STEWART

在思考超越香水时,两件事让我着迷。一个是嗅觉让你意识到空气。我们没有坐在一个空虚中,我们在一个装满了气体的房间里。空气的存在,它的运动变得触及,因为闻到空气上。

另一件事是香水如何随着时间的推移而互动。香水随着时间的推移展开,但也闻起来倒塌了记忆。我们可以通过嗅觉访问历史景观甚至想象的景观。你可以闻到拿破仑的香水甚至it. Green Cedar reminded me of a small cedar-lined closet we had in my childhood house. It was full of tennis balls and sweaters. That scent has a physicality that’s very close.

NGAI

你建议香水也有规模。

STEWART

Air has more dimensionality than we credit to it, and time and space are forms of dimension that are part of smell and perfume.While I’ve been trying with perfume to articulate an aesthetic experience, just sitting with a sensory experience you can’t explain is also a defensible pleasure. We’ve established that it doesn’t matter what those aesthetic preferences are. The pleasure comes in finding that friction.

Jude Stewart是三本书的作者,最近陶醉ations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell。她写了关于设计,科学和文化的The Atlantic,Wall Street Journal, Quartz, The Believer, Fast Company,还有许多其他出版物。