Question Time with The Smelly Vagabond

source: keepcalmandposters.com

I’ve been sorely lacking in inspiration to write in the past few months, which I suppose comes along with having to write an economics dissertation and a sociology essay about the art critic, the latter of which I’m trying to bring in something perfume-related: What is the role of the critic in the production of art? How did the critic come about in the first place? What is the interaction between the critic and the artist? How have technological advances changed the nature and content of criticism? The essay is coming along fairly nicely, albeit nowhere near complete, but when I do finish it I’ll probably rewrite it for a perfume audience (at the moment, it’s just about art critics in general), and maybe even get it published somewhere 😉

I’ve just returned to New Haven from a weekend trip to New York, where I got to meet perfumer Hiram Green at Twisted Lily as well as attend a macaroni and cheese takedown competition! More on them at a later time…

In the meantime, though, how about some Q&A? Since I’m lacking in inspiration, why not you help me out by asking me some questions, and I’ll answer them as best as I can? It doesn’t necessarily have to be perfume-related. I’m hoping it will be fun, and I’ll update this post as we go along so that the questions get featured in the post. Time to get creative with the questions!

You can post your questions in the comments of this post, on Twitter, or on Facebook. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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The Voice of a Blogger

I’m gonna say exactly what I think!

For some time now, I have been wondering if I should write to fragrance companies to get on their press list. This might be an easy decision for some – after all, you would be invited to press releases specifically for bloggers, receive samples of releases that have yet to be launched as well as numerous other freebies. Yet I – and perhaps some of my fellow bloggers – value having my own independent voice and being able to write my own honest opinions on a fragrance, without having to worry about offending some brand and being black marked for it. Just recently, Persolaise penned a thought-provoking piece titled ‘Who Do You Work For? – Thoughts on Blogs and Perfume Criticism’, where he made extremely valid, relevant and incisive remarks on the state of independent writing with regard to perfume criticism.

I have no doubt we’re still years away from a time when impartial fragrance reviews are a regular feature of mainstream media; I think most of us are resigned to that sad fact. But I’m aware that many of us net-based scentusiasts had hoped the internet would be the site where honest, independent voices could flourish and gain legitimacy. I’m now beginning to wonder if these hopes were unfounded. Yes, there’s still plenty of excellent fragrance writing on the blogosphere, the audience for which appears to be growing. But the “climate of fear” alluded to by James seems to have affected the output of several online writers, to the extent that quite a few are unwilling to write about a scent in negative or extreme terms… presumably because they’re worried about being struck off a brand’s press list and not receiving freebies any more.

– Persolaise

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