This review of Chandler Burr Untitled Fragrance S01E02 is being brought to you by my beach bum alter-ego, who responds authentically to fragrance. Perhaps a bit too authentically. He exists primarily in the universe where I actually bought that chopper after high school, and drove off into the sunset.
I’m blaming it all on Chandler, MAAAAAN.
Like, I was just beach-combing, as usual, looking for ambergris that never shows up, except when Olivier CREED® and the CREED® boys fly over in their helicopter yacht gunships and round it down on the public beach like pennies from heaven. Ya know? Wearing my Virgin Island Water and minding my own damn business.
Where was I?
Chandler, man! That dude totally messed with my head!
You see, it used to be simple. I, like, thought all this stuff about fragrance. And it was, like, totally wrong. But I didn’t know it. But it was still OK, sorta. You know?
OK, maybe I’d better explain.
Like surfing. And fragrance! TOTALLY. It’s the water, man. You, like, spray it on and you go “AHH” or somethin’. Everybody does. And you sort of go “Man, I feel like surfing!” Even if you can’t even swim. It’s just so natural. Ya know?
So surfing! That’s how I met all these dead guys that teach me stuff. Some folks just read books, but that ain’t good enough for me. I need to talk to these dudes. On the beach, where we take walks. But Chandler MESSED with my good thing.
See, there was Quiksilver. Not the gear – the frag! Well, kinda the gear, cuz frags are gear, too – and especially if they’re the frag of a gear company. And Quiksilver – I mean the frag – even looks like gear. But that’s not all.
It SMELLS like surfing. I’m serious, man. It’s like surfing in a bottle. I mean the stuff in the bottle is like the smell of surfing, not that you’re, like, trying to surf inside a glass bottle. And I don’t know what Australian sandalwood has to do with surfing, either, except they’ve got waves there. Did you ever see that movie, The Last Wave? Oh, man, that was FREAKY.
But Quiksilver smells like water. I know water doesn’t really smell. Maybe it’s something in the water. But the ocean does have a smell, FOR SURE. Quiksilver ain’t exactly like it, but it’s blue, too. Well, kinda. It’s sort of a weak blue. More like the sky than the water. Whatever.
But anyway, to me Quiksilver was THE surfing frag. CASE CLOSED.
So? So what about that new Chanel, MAAAAN!!!
Yeah! I was, like, NO WAY! You are NOT gonna tell me that this is a surfing frag. I mean, like, where’s the blue? And it’s got that RED SPORT THING. How come all sport frags have SPORT in RED in 2012? I tell you, it’s FREAKY. Kinda like some spooky coincidence. Like my beach buddy Kenzo Homme Sport Dude says, “SO SPORT!”
But after Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme Sport Surfing Dude convinced me to try his juice, it was like – O. M. G. – this stuff is pretty sweet! And soon, sure as hell, I was wearing it all the time. It was THE surfin’ frag. Even though I don’t surf.
OK, well, like, those frags don’t have anything to do with that Chandler guy. But kinda.
See, Chandler says this other stuff called Series One Episode One (you know, like LOST on DVD) is some frag, but he isn’t sayin’ which one – at least, not until the end of the month. And even though it smells kinda like this frag I know (it’s a chick frag, but no worries), somethin’ is wrong. There’s some difference. Is it just the bottle, cause the Chandler juice is just in a different bottle? Or is it different ’cause it’s fresher juice? Dude – that is STILL a mystery. I can swear there’s some diff, but I just can’t be sure. You know?
But that wasn’t the time Chandler REALLY messed with my head. This was.
He has this other frag. It’s called Series One Episode Two. That would be like The Empire Strikes Back in Star Wars units. Even though in Star Wars they did Series Two first, if you use fake time instead of real time. Even though it’s all fake. But this isn’t Star Wars – it’s fragrance. Which is all fake, too, but it’s a different kind of fake.
Anyway, I think this stuff (which is S01E02 in Chandler units) is something, but it isn’t. And then I think it’s something else, but it isn’t that. And that happens about six times. Then I figure it’s still something else, and I don’t have that one, but it’s at the store. So the next day I go to the store, and it ain’t that, either. So I kinda give up, but at some point I get talking to this lady behind the counter, and she says lemme smell it. So she does, and then she calls over this young dude and asks him.
BAM! He just calls this stuff out, man. Damn! This juice really does smell a lot like the Chandler stuff. But not exactly. Anyway, I really like this stuff the dude says it is, which is somethin’ I was gonna get anyway, a couple of years ago, so I get it.
Now, I’m likin’ this stuff, and get all carried away, and I even come up with a great story about the frag. Trouble is, it ain’t the Chandler juice. Somethin’ is just wrong. Finally, I’m like TOTALLY sure it’s wrong, and my earlier guess just does a 100% TOTAL crash and burn. So does the story, too, but then it’s a different story. Wait a sec. Does that make sense? Huh. Whatever!
Cool. So back to square one.
So, like, later, I’m sitting at this concert, man. I’m listening to some Latin vibes. And then I realize something. I realize that, if this juice is some DIFFERENT frag that I kinda know about, that’s supposed to smell with this same funky topnote that this Chandler juice actually has, which doesn’t really smell that good, but maybe it smells kinda cool – then….
F*CK, MAN. You know? It could be an art frag! But it’s THE SAME FRAG, MAN. YOU KNOW? The frag didn’t change. I DID!
You know what I’m sayin’? How come it was just bad, and then because it’s SUPPOSED to be bad, it’s GOOD??? F*CK, MAN!
So that night, I read up on the internet about this frag. Oh, man. You know what they said? I found an ad! It’s a goddamn SURFIN’ FRAG! Oh, man. My head is just exploding. First it’s some frag I don’t know, but it’s kinda like one I do. Then it’s maybe other frags that are all OK. Then it’s something I don’t know. Then it’s something that I liked and almost bought once. Then it’s not. Then it’s just kinda bad. And NOW it’s a goddamn surfing frag, AND an art frag. And even worse, there was this time it started to smell funky, and it started to smell BAD, but now that the badness makes sense, it’s almost GOOD.
Man, something is wrong here.
The next morning, I took a shower. And when I’m in the shower, it hits me – just like it always does.
“Greetings! Marvelous day to be on the beach, isn’t it?”
“TO-tally. You surfing?”
“That I am. Beach-combing?”
“You bet. I didn’t know you surfed, man.”
“Well, let’s just say I’ve been learning from a young man of your acquaintance who’s teaching me.”
“Kinda like the way you’ve been teaching me stuff?”
“Listen. I’ve got a problem.”
“An excellent problem. Isn’t it?”
“Dude! You are NOT kiddin’! It’s that Chandler guy. He is MESSIN’ with me.”
“What do you mean – perhaps?”
“Well, how do you know you’re not messing with yourself?”
“I don’t get it.”
“Is he changing what he said?”
“But you’re changing what you think. Right?”
“Totally. All the time.”
“So how is he messing with you? What is the only possible way he could be messing with you, if he only told you something once?”
“Oh, man – he could be lying.”
“Now wait a minute. What did we learn about error?”
“That it’s all the same. It don’t matter whether it’s a lie, a white lie, a stupid mistake, self-deception, or just being honestly wrong. It could even be the most evil of plans – like total premeditation. Or just a lie that’s trying to do good. Or maybe it’s just something that looks true to him, but false to me. It’s all the same. That’s how come it’s forgivable. It’s all error.”
“So what does that mean?”
“Oh, man. He could be wrong. And it don’t matter why.”
“Or he could be right. Remember – everybody can be telling the truth, and there can still be error.”
“Whoa. So that’s what it means. Maybe he’s NOT messin’ with me. Maybe I just gotta be careful about listening to him.”
“Now this is really important. What else does it mean?”
“I don’t know. What does it mean about what?”
“Oh, man. You’re kidding.”
“Yes. You have to learn to doubt. Even me.”
“But you’re my best teacher ever!”
“And I’m truly happy that you feel that way. But you have to reach the point where you can accept that others can be wrong. That anybody can be wrong. Not necessarily from their own point of view. But wrong from yours. You can’t fully understand, nor can you forgive, without accepting the errors of others. And, just as importantly, your own errors.”
“So I don’t have to believe what he said.”
“No. You don’t. You don’t have to believe what I say, either. You’re free. You’re free to choose what makes sense.”
“So that means I can listen to Chandler, but I can still smell the frag just the way I want to. I can trust my nose. And I can listen to you, but it’s not gospel. I can trust my gut.”
“Exactly. We’re free. Just like walking on this beach. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Wow. That’s pretty cool.”
“Yes it is.”
“Listen – I gotta get to work. But we’ll talk. OK?”
“Absolutely. Say hi to your Indian friend for me.”
“Will do, boss. And you have a great day surfing, too!”
“That I will!”
So like I’m at work, and I’m feelin’ pretty stoked. I realize that – hey – it’s all OK. Chandler can say what he wants. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s wrong. Maybe I’M wrong. But if I sniff with my nose, and trust it, it’s cool. I can sniff the frag, and what I sniff is real.
And even more. If I want to believe the other stuff – like it’s a surfing fragrance, it’s OK. If I don’t, that’s OK, too. I can BELIEVE the CREED® is whatever. Or not. Or I can half-believe it. Or I can just pretend. Heck – I can be like a kid again, and have fun!
I can ENJOY fragrance! Even the part of fragrance that’s not fragrance.
And that’s when it dawned on me.
The fragrance is NOT the bad guy. In fact, the frag is NEVER the bad guy.
And I’m, like – OH SH!T.
So, you see, that’s how come I’m apologizing to all my fragrances. The CREEDs that I sassed. The Ralphs that I dissed. And the celebrity scents that I mocked. I’m promising ‘em all that I’ll listen to their sweet lies again, and love ‘em all – just the way they are.
Yeah, that Chandler dude. Don’t listen to him, man. He may be right, but – where it leads?
IT’S SO WRONG.