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February 09, 2010



Another one of my favorites of all time, which I have also written about. I love the syrupy pineapple juxtaposed with all that oakmoss! It was a true original in its time and nothing has ever approached it since. Regardless of its non-PC ad campaign back in the day, it is one of the true greats, the first, best and almost the only pineapple chypre on Earth.


Flora, I am with you. I think about this fragrance a lot, and when I had to ship it because of my move, I thought about smelling it again, the way you would crave sweets or a favorite food. Its messed up provenance doesnt deter from its being an amazing pineapple chypre (?!), but that history does beg the question: how much does the marketing, name, and background to a perfume influence our reception? For good or ill? It's a hard question to answer, for me anyway...

Rita Long

Barbara-- THANK YOU for the crusher review. I feel that perfume is a text that can be "read" just as you did-- that there are implications of race, class, age, gender, and sexuality laced all through both the construction and the discourse of perfume, and that so rarely gets called out.

The pineapple/hand grenade bottle, the mysterious "shadow" eyes, the context of the Colonial Expo-- it gives me chills!!

I can't really imagine what a pineapple chypre smells like-- sounds scary, but I know better than to reflexively reject your vintage tasties.


Thanks, Rita! I added something to the paragraph about how perfume is often discussed from the gender angle but not from race or class, etc, but often that's because perfume seems preoccupied with gender rather than those other categories. Then I thought about it — and said to myself, not so fast! When I was in the NY Public library checking out old ads, I found several for Platine by Dana that seemed to fetishize blondeness (and I think it was "for" blondes). For the first time in my life, I realized that, as someone who is herself half Asian, the perfume White Shoulders isn't for me. Maybe I should hold out for Half-White Shoulders? Tee hee. Lots to think about. But you should check out Colony. I know you love Bandit — this one's pretty spectacular.

Rita Long

"For" blondes!??!!?!? Oh, boy howdy. They just don't make 'em like that anymore... I'm reading Richard Dyer's book "White"-- he's a gay, British, white film critic. It's a pretty useful text on whiteness in culture. He says that it's our job to call out whiteness-- to make it "strange," rather than the "invisible" norm. Really thought provoking. Again-- a great review on an important topic.


Great Post! I love your writing and your blog and it was fun to read this with the sense that our appreciations were speaking to each other.


Thanks, Brian. Your original Colony post was so inspiring and full of historical information. So glad I read it!

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