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Loving Fragrance: Connoisseurship vs Snobbery

Photo of Giovanni Bonamy – Credit: Sean P Waters

By: Freddie Jones

To me connoisseurship has nothing to do with snobbery, actually it’s the very opposite. Snobbery is blindly accepting (like a form of superstition) that a received taste is a superior taste, while connoisseurship is a genuine attempt to investigate the relative qualities, constituents, craft, meaning, artistry, history etc behind whatever thing it is one is passionate about in order to develop a personal taste built on creating a meaningful personal context to that thing. In any company of genuine connoisseurs none of our tastes should be or indeed are the same, nor do or should we agree about what we like about those things we like in common or indeed about why. Our feelings about the object of our passions are our own, the stories we have painstakingly developed for them unique.

The joy of discussing a shared passion with fellow connoisseurs is the freedom to talk quite frankly and openly. Neither needing to sugar any pills nor temper any enthusiasms. Admixtured in that frankness is the implicit knowledge of a fellowship in eccentricity. It is after all highly eccentric on our collective part to be quite so preoccupied as we are with perfumery. Doubtless most would think us quite unhealthily obsessed in fact. But having sought one another out we form our own little academies of eccentrics and that is very rewarding.

That said I’m indulging today in my not at all guilty pleasure in loving unabashedly charming, uncomplicated (even trivial seeming to some) compositions while wearing Dangerous Complicity by Etat Libre d’Orange. Cherries, suede, and florals and all the better for it. Dangerous Complicity isn’t a typical perfumisti’s perfume I’ll grant you, but I have many profound (at least to me) reasons for loving it. The nude lad is included for similar reasons of gratuitous enjoyment of prettiness and perceived vacuity.

For more of Freddie’s connoisseurship, check out his Fashion tumblr here.