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Neil Morris fragrance discussion

Neil Morris fragrance discussion 9 years ago
I have just read Greysolon's review about "An American-Woodiental fusion"(Quest), and so I decided to open a Neil Morris discussion thread.

If I understand Greysolon right, he says that Quest contains something like an US-American approach to the concept of orientals. He is probably right. I think that the Neil Morris style in general is very "American".

The perfumes very often are straighforward and even loud, and if a perfume is driven by an idea or a special concept, it is expressed rather directly and not put behind a veil of discreetness or usualness.

This does not always work out well. I admit that I sampled NM perfumes that I found grossly unharmonious or simply did not understand, whereas a few others are simply great. Also, that "hippie patchouli" appeal of many fragrances is not my cup of tea.

Maybe the Neil Morris Product lineup has one weak point: there are too many perfumes. You have to look for the gems. Here are mine:

1. "Fetish":
An "American Oudiental fusion"
Much appreciated by the German Parfumo users, this is a simple yet mysterious perfume, no hidden secrets, but a big unresolved riddle. Read the reviews!

2. "Flowers for Men - Gardenia"
Courageous attempt to make this beautiful flower wearable for men. A rather light and elegant wear.

3. "Flowers for Men - Rose"
A very laid-back rose for a rest in the hammock. Other than most rose perfumes for men, it does not feature any idea of black elegance. No itching formal suits, just jeans and tee-shirt and a day off.

4. "Vapor"
Aldehydes and more aldehydes put together into an alien smell of clouds, steam and fog. Great but a bit difficult to wear.

5. "Izmir"
Patchouli and coffee notes go together very well. A*Men's indolic jasmine is missing, and so Izmir is tasty but not too sexy.

6. "Earthtones #1: Dark Earth"
Wet and cold patchouli that gives me images of black soil freshly ploughed in February.

7. "City Rain"
Straightforward smell of street dust just covered by starting rain.

8. "Mariner"
Rather atypical for NM, a somewhat conservative gent's cologne with light notes for the warmer season. Still on my wishlist.
9 years ago
Question: I've been searching for NM "Fireside" for the Autumn...is it discontinued?
9 years ago
Flavorite:
Question: I've been searching for NM "Fireside" for the Autumn...is it discontinued?

Do you mean "Afire" maybe?
9 years ago
Franfan20:
Flavorite:
Question: I've been searching for NM "Fireside" for the Autumn...is it discontinued?

Do you mean "Afire" maybe?

Yes, I must have meant "Afire" I think I confused that one with Sonoma Studio's "Fireside Intense" Sorry. I guess that answers my question, since I see it is still available on their website. Thanks!
9 years ago
No problem Wink
9 years ago
I think I must try more offerings from this house before I can make a substantive and worthwhile contribution here.

I have only sampled Orchard and Coral, and I disliked them both.
9 years ago
I'm intrigued by the Flowers for Men series, though I haven't smelled any. Especially the 'flowers for men - LILAC'. This must have been a big challenge for the perfumer. Please, tell me what it smells like Smile

And if anyone feels like writing a review for 'flowers for men - ROSE', that would be much appreciated!
Re: Neil Morris fragrance discussion 9 years ago
Apicius, as I wrote about Quest I thought about Neil Morris in relation to the great American composer, and as it happens, fellow New Englander, Charles Ives. I'll try to give you an idea of Ives' music and I think you'll see why I can't help but think of Morris in relation to Ives.

Charles Ives (1874-1954) was the first American composer to create works that were unmistakably and uncompromisingly American. Even though his music is rooted in the European classical tradition, he used American popular and traditional music woven together into complex, sometimes intuitive structures and experimental forms. At its best, Ives' music represents some of the greatest works of the 20th century. He was a master of using dissonance in haunting and breathtakingly beautiful ways. His piece, Three Places in New England (especially the third movement, "The Housatonic at Stockbridge") is a great example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ4ABTDmSiU

But not all of his works are so successful. I find some of his pieces are so dense and cacophonous that the character meant to be conveyed is lost in the noise and complexity. I always think of Gong on the Hook and Ladder this way...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmhZSsasdMk

How in the world does all that relate to Neil Morris? I often have the impression that he develops his creations with an intuitive sensibility rather than beginning with, say, a traditional form (chypre, fougere, etc) that might be suited to a particular outcome and then developing a fragrance within that framework. Of course, I don't know a thing about Mr. Morris' creative process nor am I criticizing his artistry. I'm simply trying to understand his art and I sense an intuitively individual approach that is as American as the work of early New England craftsmen and artistisans all the way to the work of Jackson Pollack and John Cage.

An intuitive approach can yield a completely original way of seeing an art form or it can result in a rather muddled outcome because the artist was searching for... something.

On the other hand, the discipline of using a tried and true form (like a Chypre) has its own positves and negatives. A standard form offers an artist of creative vision a framework to develop unique ideas that an audience can grasp because they understand the mechanism of the form. The pitfall is that a standard form can also become a trap for cliche ideas and commercial dreck.

Unfortunately, in the world of fragrance it seems the cliche is financially a safe bet and that's why most new perfumes introduced to the market are nothing more than retread stereotypes. Thankfully, Neil Morris' unique, baroque creations, whether you like them or not, will never be thought of as just another stereotype of a well worn form. Long live artists with the courage and vision of Neil Morris!
Geez, sorry to prattle on...
5 years ago
ScentFan gives a fabulous overview in her more recent Sniff Fest on the Neil Morris line.
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