The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr (no relation). With a name like that, he’s obviously a Southerner and also either pretentious or a fag, but on the basis of this book, only the latter. It comes up a lot. (As do a litany of retellings of his writer pedigree, his time in Japan, the languages he speaks. And the most pretentious sentence in the faggiest book of the year? “I am the perfume critic for the New York Times.”)

Ostensibly Burr is telling a combined A and B story about the development of two perfumes – Nil (short name) by Hermès and Lovely and its successor by Coty. Coty is a giant in the perfume industry. Did you know that? I didn’t. I knew nothing about it. This will have something to do with a weak sense of smell, an aversion to luxury products, an aversion to effeminate luxury products.

Lovely is the Sarah Jessica Parker perfume brand. Here as elsewhere, “SJP” is a proxy for urban homosexualism. She specifically asks Chandler Burr (no relation) if he’s a fag. (“The first thing SJP asks me is what my sexual orientation is.” Did she use that phrase? Straight people don’t have “sexual orientation,” like white people don’t have “race.”) What a stupid question. There are how many nonfag men in her life – two? The husband and the agent?

Everywhere you go in the SJP demimonde, maladaptive urban homosexualists are found, and vice versa. For them it was breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, Pride Day, and that very special day they secretly tried on mummy’s pearls all rolled into one when the Sex and the City movie opened. There were all these newspaper articles about men dragged by their gf units to go see the movie. This is like talking about emaciated fashion models as victims and pawns of sexist male fashion designers. Everybody’s queer here, honey.

Sex and the City: The Series was a man-hating exercise masquerading as female empowerment. It was attractive to oldschool feminists, gum-popping administrative assistants who flip through inch-thick issues of Vogue in ten minutes flat, and young gays with feminized brains (i.e., most young gays).

I can hardly forget that time I was waiting for the eetcarstray at the ungay corner of Queen and Silver Birch, exactly one stop away from the end of the line, when a 6-foot-1 waif traipses across the street in dramatic ’70s-style brown shoes, actually quite an excellent pair of mottled brown trousers, blouson, ascot scarf, corduroy bomber jacketing, tight hairstyle, manpurse and enormous black sunglasses. Behold, I guess, the Only Gay in the Village. (Apart from Micgormit, I suppose.) The waif settled down on the streetcar and immediately pulled out his shoephone.

With his elbows jammed into ribs (straight guys take up space), wrists and phalanges did a Punch and Judy reënactment of his and his friend’s tales of just how long they waited in line for just how good a set of seats for the opening of Sex and the City: The Movie.

Rather after the manner of Romulus and Remus, someday somebody is going to slap some sense into these girls and explain to them they actually aren’t.

I had a hard time with the book’s half-assed typography – set in Centaur with atrocious tracking, particularly with the combination of f plus any letter other than i or l. Needless to say, the word “perf ume” ends up looking like shite. (And why aren’t any f-ligatures used in italics?) The Tu combination was particularly ill-handled. And the book, while full to bursting with chemical names and French terms, cannot even spell “rarefied,” “dimethicone,” or “Tobey Maguire” right.

But: Anyone who gives Procter & Gamble an unequivocal multi-page thrashing is all right in my book. (I use two of their products. Only two! A miracle.) And the fag business? Chandler Burr (no relation) grows into it. He gets more honest as he goes. Imagine the degree of outness that could produce the following:

Tonquin musk is animalic in its most elevated form. It is a perfumery raw material that was extracted from a gland under the lower stomach and before the hind legs of the male of the species Moschus moschiferus L, the Tibetan musk deer.

And that reminds me – another reason to take no interest in perfume is the pervasive, generations-long animal cruelty.

Tonquin musk is the real, natural, glandular product. It is one of the most astounding smells you will ever experience. It is, to put it most precisely, the rich, thick scent of the anus of a clean man combined with the smells of his warm skin, his armpits sometime around midday, the head of his ripely-scented uncircumcised penis (a trace of ammonia), and the sweetish, nutty, acrid visceral smell of his breath. There’s simply no other way [for a gay writer] to describe it.

In other words, musk is the smell of gay sex.

I’m tired of the Gays and their obsession with twee expendable “designer” products and issues. (And also tired of the Gays’ ignoring my own such issues. Mine, it should go without saying, aren’t twee or expendable.) What could be more twee and expendable than perfume? Come the Revolution, they’ll all be first against the wall. But, after the manner of Fahrenheit 451, anywhere your nose is close enough to a clean, uncut man a wordless story will be told.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2008.11.25 17:57. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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