Bringing a scent for a perfume critic to smell at dinner is about as rude as exposing your backside to a proctologist at dinner. And yet I did it last night, and Chandler Burr, the New York Times' new scent critic, with whom I was having dinner at Ruby Foo's on the Upper West Side, didn't seem to mind.
Well, I mean, he didn't mind me handing him the cologne. The cologne itself he minded a lot.
"This is the scent form of Stalinism," he declared. He elaborated about it destroying creativity and repressing freedom and so on.
We agreed it was a good enough description that he pulled out his palm pilot and wrote it down to use in his column.
He further compared it to the scent of a burning oil well in the desert. 0 stars.
My colleagues hated it, too. On-Site editor Elissa Elan tried to spray a little bit on a piece of paper and managed somehow to produce an irredeemably strong smell that spread for cubicles and cubicles. Executive food editor Pam Parseghian said it smelled like a grandmother and wondered if it had gone rancid.
Deputy managing editor Paul Frumkin just spritzed some on his wrist and ran to wash it off.
I still kind of like it.
It did just make me sneeze, though. Placebo effect, maybe.
What we ate:
Malaysian chicken pot stickers
fried shrimp dumplings
barbecued eel, avocado and cucumber roll
smoked and spicy salmon roll with chipotle-garlic sauce
Peking duck, and duck cooked a couple of otherways, too.
Green tea mochi, chocolate mint mochi, and a gigantic piece of chocolate cake.