virtue and its reward

Today a little exercise, oil on canvas again, done over the holidays. I am not satisfied, yet and started another painting that will need some time to get finished. Although this is a picture of Mr. Trump, this is not a political post, but when reading Theresa's comment on the blog post yesterday, saying "virtue is its own reward" I could not help coming up with this post "virtue and its reward" and thinking about a blog phenomenon that we see this year like every year: The end year lists.

I can be happy there as "I made it into some of the lists", mostly through tauerville. This is nice, but to be honest: Not very relevant, mostly. As a creator, I want to look at what I came up with and be able to say to myself: "well done, without bending myself too much".

And as a businessman I want to be able to look at numbers that tell me "well done, you sold enough, allowing you to continue". The end year lists are nice, but neither do they tell whether I have created a good perfume (or not) nor do they reflect what sells in the stores in the end nor do they make a difference there. A fact that nobody wants to know or hear about: Blogging has become quite irrelevant for sales. It used to be different. These days, sometimes I think the world of (niche and indie and artisanal) perfume would be better off without some bloggers, not in light of sales numbers but in light of "in what pot with what other brands an indie brand is put". Most perfume blogs are nice, though and driven by passion and love for perfume. Some are not, unfortunately.

You know, I mentioned it a couple of times here: Perfume blogging is somewhat dead, too much negative writing, too much bad writing, too little joy of sharing beauty and too much greed. In discussion with perfumery friends, in the past, we came often to the conclusion that although blogging is dead and some of the blog corpses start to stink and disintegrate, we need to keep on going and treat all of them with respect. But, the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that me, as creator and as a blogger who writes about what he does, and also as a business man, I need to speak out from time to time and that some blogs do not deserve our, the creator's and business men's, respect anymore.

Now, please do not get me wrong: (niche) perfumery is pretty much dead, too. Too much negative energy, too many bad perfumes, too little joy of creating beauty and too much greed.

The goods news, me thinks, for 2016: It does not matter much and it does not bother me at all anymore; both, the blogging and what's happening on the other side of the table. This is what I learned in 2015: You just need to go your way and it will be ok. And you need to go your way alone, as lonesome rider. Never rely on others, don't expect help, and don't wait for company.

And here's another news: Here's my best perfume blogging list. I respect and fully support Now Smell This Perfume. Thank you, Robin.



16 thoughts on “virtue and its reward”

  • So many good observations, Andy. It makes be think of the quote from Dostoyevsky's "The idiot"......"Beauty will save the World." I think he is right - as long as we stay receptive to Beauty. It is a time when irreverence is the norm. I have a friend who is a retired astronomer who worked on the Hubble telescope. He brought his very good telescope to a gang controlled rough part of Baltimore one night and set it up for passers by to look at the heavens. Gang members came by to check it out and were in awe of the heavenly panorama. They asked him to return and he came several times. No one ever stole his equipment nor harmed him, but instead, protected him and were so grateful for the opportunity to see the majesty of the night sky. Beauty will save the World.

  • I gave up my blog years ago when I no longer felt compelled to give my art and my opinions to the world. Even if I still have much to create and say - it's just not for the whole world at large.

    PS: I discovered NST through you, Andy, so thank you for that!

  • i surely do not know, but it may be that niche perfumery will always exist as long as there is nature. its the nature of things! surely your creations are evidence of that andy. they reflect the natural world in all its diversity. peace....

  • hotlanta linda 30. December 2015 at 1:17

    Fleetwood Mac`s `` Go Your Own Way`` to the sad/greedy creators of scent....and, still in the 70`s mode, ``Just the Way You Are`` from Billy Joel...just for you!!! :-)

  • I believe that your fragrances have succeeded because your passion and creativity come through. I agree that your business succeeds because you are realistic and know what you need to do to continue allowing you to share your passion.
    I do not read as many perfume blogs as I used to and miss a couple that I loved but which have come to an end. (Somehow 5 years seems to be a natural lifespan for many blogs and many bloggers retire graciously.)
    I too really respect NST and enjoy the community Robin has created.

    The Trump painting looks good but I think his real life hair comb-over swirls in many more directions. :-)

  • Hi Lindaloo, I think indeed that after a couple of years many bloggers stop, and I can see how it becomes too much after a while (and things start to repeat themselves....) About Mr. Trump's hair: Yes, it is sort of idealized :-)

  • Thanks AnnSmith.
    I guess as long as there's perfume there is niche, one way or the other. The name of the game, how they are sold and how people talk about them might change, though.

  • Thank you LaRaffinee, for sharing this passionate story. Beauty will indeed save the world: I could not agree more.

  • Hi Melissa
    I did not know that you had a blog! What was its name? ... yes, sometimes the whole world is just too big to share things and thoughts with ....

  • Hi Andy, interesting post. I have a few comments:
    - Hotlanta linda just said exactly what I wanted to say to you, with the two songs she suggested. Although you have an excellent blog, you were never dependent on blogs in my point of view, but to the contrary, blogs actually are enriched by good perfumers such as you.
    - I don't mind what to call these things anymore, niche, indie or artisanal... I just define perfumes by how good they smell and feel without thinking much of definitions.
    - Yes, I too love NST... it was actually the firs perfume blog I've ever read and it was the blog I got most of my early perfume education (and still do) from... other than actually smelling actual perfumes that is ;- )

  • Pith Fragrances 31. December 2015 at 0:31

    Niche perfumery isn't dead, it just needs to be defibrillated. The appreciators of beauty won't ever let it die. They could be referred to affectionately as "The Niche Necromancers". They are our only hope! So to all the creators and appreciators out there--thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • I love your story La Raffinée, so inspiring.

    As for blogs and niche perfumery, I basically only follow a few artisanal perfumers and NST blog. Your comments echo my own thoughts on these tops.

    Donald Trump - lord preserve us all.

  • Yes, niche perfumery will continue because there are always people who want to stretch their imaginations - people who are creators and people who appreciate creativity. Probably how we talk about it will change - becoming crasser or finer according to who is in the conversation. So Andy, there is a great importance to staying in the conversation.

  • Do not lose heart, Andy, there are enough of us out here in the real world that love artisanal perfumerie. And NST, it's my go to place for reviews. So, so respect their reviews.

  • strangely, that is exact lesson in learned in 2015: do rely on yourself...
    happy new year!

  • Happy New Year Andy! You were the primary driver that opened my eyes to niche perfumery, and this only happened a few years ago. It's the passion and artistry behind the product that separates the niche from the mainstream... in any craft, including blogging and perfume. The worthy nearly always prevail. Cheers and thanks for bringing some great fragrances into my house in 2015. May 2016 be joyful and productive.


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