How’s this for a new specialist title? Perfume critic! It’s not a joke. The New York Times, starting next month, is launching a new column which will review new perfumes and cosmetics, It will be called Scent Strip. Writing it will be Chandler Burr, a veteran magazine writer and author of “The Emperor of Scent – A True Story of Perfume and Obsession”
Scent Strip, the NYT says, will appear regularly in its weekend Style section. In the column Mr Burr will review and rate new and classic perfumes as well as such things as scented candles. Each will be given a rating. Similar to the ratings The Times gives to restaurants, ranging from “poor or satisfactory” to four stars for “extraordinary” .
It’s all very serious. “The creation of fragrances is one of the highest art forms crafted for the senses, the equal of painting for sight and music for hearing” says Mr Burr. who is now working he says on a behind-the scenes book about a new Hermes fragrance called Un Jardin sur le Nil He adds, “I take this responsibility quite seriously. I intend to treat this position with the greatest respect and I am delighted to serve as The Times’ perfume critic":
To which Stefano Tonchi, style editor of the NY Times’ Sunday Magazine, added just as seriously ‘The Times will be the first to cover the fragrance industry and perfume in the way it does movies, books and theatre.”
What’’s next ? What other offbeat columns is The Times considering. For the moment it isn’t saying….