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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Perfume Review: MoslBuddJewChristHinDao, A Unifaith Fragrance by Elternhaus

Everything about MoslBuddJewChristHinDao, “A Unifaith Fragrance” by Elternhaus rubs me the wrong way, the cumbersome, awkward name, the affected, precious concept, the price. According to Elternhaus (“a family of unruly children”, which doesn’t make fashion but transports “an attitude to textiles and other carriers of thought via text”),

As an object, the perfume’s effect is multilayered…cosmically, aesthetically and sensually. It’s directed against limited partisan political and religious thinking, which always produces violence. For this reason, the Elternhaus perfume object may be understood politically, but if it had to be categorized, it would be, at the most, cosmopolitan.”

The description very carefully omits to point out how exactly Elternhaus means to fight “limited partisan political and religious thinking” with their perfume. Does it make the world a better place just by the very fact of its existence? Should it be made morally obligatory for those at the wheel of power to wear it? Should the airplanes spray MoslBudd on the many war areas of our troubled little planet? If we all shell out $300 and start wearing this, would there finally be peace on Earth? And how about those unable to pay $300 for the honor of wearing this perfume? Is it not rather ironic that such a socially-politically-religiously-conscious scent, a scent so laden with deep, benevolent meaning, has such a hefty price? Is a significant part of the profits going to be devoted to some sort of REAL peacekeeping effort, to some actual anti-violent action, to the building of universal tolerance of all towards all? Because if not, this is no more (and no less) than just another fragrance.

And that brings me to perhaps the most important question…what about this particular scent is so special, so miraculously wonderful that it makes it such an effective (non/anti)weapon against the evils of limited thinking? The answer, I am afraid, is…nothing. MoslBuddJewChristHinDao is a pleasant enough, slightly spicy woody-incensey fragrance that adds nothing new to the genre. It starts with rich, peppery incense and an enjoyably salty-savory note reminiscent of dill pickle marinade. The woody accord, rather similar to that in Donna Karan Wenge, grows stronger and is soon joined by an ambery, subtly incense-like, delicately floral note that I believe is labdanum. In fact, if you took Wenge, layered it with Labdanum and added some pickle juice, the result would be your very own ScentThatWillSaveTheWorld. MoslBudd is nice but not nearly nice enough to justify the ambitious premise and the grand price.

Perhaps, I am just a slave of my limited thinking. Perhaps I put words into the mouths of Elterhaus “family” and, with their mission statement, they really mean nothing more than the good old Beauty Will Save The World proclamation. A perfume IS after all a piece of beauty, an art object, and as such does make this miserable Universe a little more bearable. But if so, other perfumes have been doing it for ages. A beautiful Guerlain scent, or, to take a more modern example, a gorgeous Lutens one, would have the same “multilayered effect” and be as cosmopolitan. The difference is that a Guerlain creation, even as or more expensive than MoslBudd, professes to be nothing more than a beautiful scent that might put the wearer into a pleasurable sort of reverie and perhaps into a better mood. The Sous le Vents and the Farnesianas and the Fumerie Turques of this world know their limitations. They are not “directed” against anything, they don’t promise to stop violence, to break barriers and to build universal tolerance. But they are beautiful, intriguing and they smell nice. Nothing less and nothing more.

MoslBuddJewChristHinDao is available at Luckyscent, $300 for 50ml. The image is from


Blogger Nonna Gorilovskaya said...

Marina, I think the idea is to give it to someone like Condi, who in turn will spray generous portions of the potion over Lebanon and Israel, solving all of their problems...

12:07 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Oh puh-leeze. I'm as lefty liberal westside as the best of them, but if you are going to hit me up for three benjamins for your stink, you had better be telling me the exact battered womens center/ refugee camp/ savethegaybabywhales charity that you are giving to. Some inchoate crap about how you are fighting "against limited partisan political and religious thinking, which always produces violence seems at best to opportunistic. In other words, show me the money, and prove me wrong, or shut the %$ck up.

12:12 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I hope they read your review. You expressed perfectly all the reasons this is such bs. It's as artificial as Miss America's mandatory answer of wanting world peace. And the marioana note (especially the asinine spelling)just grated on me as the ultimate in adolescent silliness. I'm very glad to hear it's nothing special. I love Mark Buxton and hope he doesn't do something like this again - well, what else could ever possibly be quite like this?

6:34 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oy Gevalt! Jesus Christ! Holy cow! And all other religio-ethnic exclamations unknown to my limited mind! Great review, BTW.

7:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what I thought too. :-) Of course people might not be pleased with such spraying and would consider it an act of terrorism :-)

8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly. We could release a scent tomorrow, no worse and no better than this one, and tell everyone it will put a stop to all the evils of the world. And then we'll sit back and watch the money come in...or not, as I hope the case would be, since people aren't that gullible..are they?

8:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh if they read it they will shake their heads and feel sorry for me for being so limited in my thinking :-)
Is Mark Baxton also responsible for the Guerilla scents? Have you tried them? I have a feeling you you might be disappointed.

9:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd love to see some sort of report of how many people bought MoslBudd. It really can't be that profitable for Elterhaus. Perhaps, the money is of no concern to them.

9:03 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I keep re-reading the "as an object..." quote and shaking my head like my dog does when he has a burr in his ear. That is the most laughable prose I've read in some time. Maybe the whole thing is a put-on? I can't bring myself to parse it anymore, I can feel individual brain cells popping like champagne bubbles ... I am going to fight against limited thinking right now by layering some wenge, labdanum and pickle juice, because I think that actually sounds great.

9:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody watch out! Here comes the butcher! ;D You've done a great job putting them in their place. I haven't tried it yet but for the name and price alone I refuse to love the scent, especially if you say the same effect can be produced by combinding Wenge and Labdanum, except I doubt I'd use pickle juice. ;D Great review, dear!

9:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope it is just a joke on the part of Elterhaus. They are laughing at us. I really hope that is so and that they are NOT serious.

9:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!

Instead of pickle juice you could use...marioana...heh heh. Elle is right, what's with the coy spelling of this word?

9:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Marioana? That one flew right over my little round head.

I suppose that's their solution for world peace. Then the only thing we'd have to worry about is world munchies.....

9:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a precious price! I would think a nice bowl of vegitarian beet borscht would do the job just as well for all religions involved. This reminded me of a fellow who described himself as a BuJewist. Clever, but a bit meaningless.

10:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That would be a nice little solution indeed...the world munchies might be quite a big problem though :-)

12:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...I can see if the scent a)delivered massively or if b) the ad copy wasn't so hatefully, pompously verbose or c) it didn't cost $300. But the unholy trinity of meh scent, flatulent ad copy, and huge price backed w/ no apparent committment to any real world causes makes me think. How good would it have to smell, I wonder, to make one think the nauseating cost and blurb would be worth it?

12:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What wouldn't I give for a bowl of any kind of borscht right now. Oh, such an instant, acute craving...:-)

12:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It would have to smell much, much better. It is perfectly nice, but it is NOT $300 nice and neither it is nice enough to make one forget the description. If I were pricing it, I'd sell it for about $75 or so. On the level of Comme des Garcons stuff, maybe lower.

12:53 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Oh dear. Was looking forward to trying this; I like the other things Mark Buxton has done for CdG & whatnot. Doesn't sound very compelling though!

3:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It made me think of CdGs (only this one is less interesting), of Wenge/Labdanum, of 10CC and even a little of Williamson Incense. But it is not a $300 kind of scent...

4:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's on OK scent, quite nice really and I'd have probably paid $60-75 for it. It is just the blah blah that accompanies it drives me you clearly saw :-)

4:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name is Elternhaus, not Elterhaus....

8:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That addition of an "n" really made this all fit into place for me. Elternhaus, like a house of old elders. Yeah, I bet they are just laughing their a$$e$$ off inwardly, with a very serious, staring face, as if walking to the bank.... why make such comparisons? Agreed.

8:15 PM EDT  

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