Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well Tempered & Bespoke: Chocolate

A bit of a divergence today, but I'll bring it around.  The topic?  Chocolate.

Today's New York Times includes an article in the Business section wherein the intrepid reporter heads to Cadbury's Green & Black division to play in the kitchen.  Harry Hurt III (my favorite byline since the iambic lilt of Polk Laffoon IV) gets to mix up his own chocolate recipe, basically caramelized peanuts in milk chocolate.

The article gets jiggy with prose and refers to a "well-tempered chocolatier" (hey, piano/music entendre!), bespoke chocolate (in the teaser on the front page, hey, fashion and fragrance entendre!), and a "metal palate knife" (hey, an epicurial spelling spoonerism!).  My goodness, has HHIII read my diary?  He seems to know my very soul....

On the surface the Times article seems to be a rather thin vanity piece.  You don't learn much about chocolatiering you can't pick up from a decent cookbook, and Harry doesn't dabble very far into the conjuring part of cooking.  But it reminded me of conversations about bespoke perfume that burbled across the perfume blogs this year, and the thread of chocoholism, erm, chocomania, erm, discerning chocolate mavenry that seems to connect many perfume fans.  I am not innocent of either.

So I find myself on a Saturday morning, cup of tea in hand, letting my thoughts meander over chocolate, creating chocolate, perfume, creating perfume, personal creations offered to the masses, the (select) masses being offered a personal creation, and whatnot.  Perhaps the fact that the fog outside is so thick it seems like you could gather handfuls and spin it into yarn is affecting my brain's clock speed.  Then again, I've never had trouble creating a thick cloud all on my own when thinking...

Be sure to tune in on Monday, when hopefully the fog clears, and I join other bloggers in considering the perfume year in a 2008 retrospective.  I'll try to tell tales without spinning yarns.  :)

******
For conversations this year about bespoke perfume, see:
The Savvy Thinker discussing Neil Morris, Jan 16
Perfume Shrine, November 21

Finding bespoke perfume in Paris:
Gridskipper, March 19

and, from 2007, Now Smell This on Memoire Liquide (Sept 8)

7 comments:

Musette said...

I've been incanting 'PolkLaffoontheFourth' all afternoon...

it just trips off the tongue!

xo

ScentScelf said...

(Da) DUM da DUM da DUM...

Who says poetry is hard to teach??? ;)

Jenavira13 said...

ah, bespoke the dreams of a perfume lover because then we assume we get our true holy grail, but then again I think it is a rather double edged idea, because the when the rather famous perfume houses do it, its costs are incredible and quite frankly the perfumer just doesn't get much art out of it.

ScentScelf said...

Jen,
That's the rub, isn't it? It's cool to have an artist create for you...and yet...

...one could have a shelf full of bespoke perfumes, because each artist would have their own impression, yes?

...all that time and energy into one person's perfume...is it time wasted? Or, might someone else find it fits? ah, the myths of any number of perfumes, created for a certain someone, yet offered to the public...from a marketing perspective, that wouldn't likely be touted, eh? (eg, Who has heard of Susan Rumplemeyer, and why would they want to wear her perfume????)

Of course, there are independent perfumers who do it as well...Roxana and Neil Morris come to mind right away...and there are DIY forms, whether the "layering" (as in Kamali or DKNY essences etc) or mix it up (eg Memoire Liquide)...

...but I think the idea will always have a certain attraction/mystique/cachet. For some, if not all.

maisqueperfume said...

chocolates....I am obsessed with it these days...
maybe because it is a rainy summer in Brazil.
I am writing a 3 piece article about it, published 2 there is one more to go with products and fragrances with chocolate notes.

check www.maisqueperfume.blogspot.com

loved the blog, linked to you!

best holidays wishes

ScentScelf said...

+Q,
So nice to see you here! Glad you enjoyed your visit.

Have enjoyed your blog as well...'twas fun to see you have a cross-country scoop! Will enjoy hearing about the Year of France in Brazil...though I am a big fan of Brazil, and need no France there to encourage my interest. :)

Your visit has inspired me to pull back out my choros music...

The Left Coast Nose said...

Ooooh, La-La, Mama-- you know your chocolates. I'm impressed you're familiar with our local fleur du sel caramels. Those are a hard habit to break.

For me, I like to eat chocolate, not smell like it, in the main...
-Rita