What Was All the “Eau de” About?

                I have recently found the article Theresa Duncan penned for Slate Magazine in March, 2006.  This was the perfume article posted by Theresa called “Eau de Us Weekly: Secretly Wonderful Celebrity Perfumes”  for which she was scrutinized for her plagiarism.  The opening of the article is where the “copying” occurs and is compared to that of Victoria Frolova’s blog along with Slate’s apology to Frolova.  Here’s the opening paragraph in its entirety.


              “When did we start wanting to smell like celebrities?  Browsing the perfume aisles at Sephora these days is like flipping through an issue of Hello!  (Editor’s note:  This sentence was unacceptable close to the following sentence from a posting on Bois de Jasmin, Victoria Frolova’s blog about perfume:  “Walking through the fragrance aisles of Sephora makes me feel as if I am browsing through a Hello magazine with the names like Britney Spears, J.Lo, Paris Hilton, and Kimora Lee Simmons popping before my eyes.”  Slate apologizes to Ms. Frolova.)  Tasteful displays devoted to classics like Chanel No. 5 have give away to brasen pink stands touting Britney Spears’ or Paris Hilton’s latest fragrance.  From J. Lo to Celine Dion to Maria Sharapova to Kimora Lee Simmons to Alan Cumming, anyone ever boldfaced by Page Six seems to have a signature scent.”


               So I ask, what was all the stink about?  The rest of the article is so catchy and sharp with wit, as only the “Wit” herself could have written that I do wonder why she even bothered to paraphrase Ms. Frolova’s one sentence in the first place.  One sentence.  Perhaps Theresa had jotted it down as something catchy to remember and had simply forgotten to “source” it.  I jot things others say or write all the time- with notation however.  Theresa’s denial is questionable.  In the California Magazine (October 2007) article Folie a Deux written by Laurie Winer it is stated that Duncan blamed Scientologists for the mishap by changing the date of Frolova’s article to make herself and her boyfriend Jeremy Blake look bad.   In any case, we love her work anyway.  I was elated to find her article.  Catch the entire “Eau de” here if you wish.

  [ I am also looking for Theresa Duncan’s short story “Topographers” which was published in Bald Ego, but cannot get linked to the mag or the story.  If any one knows where or how, I’d appreciate it.   Peace.]


One Response to “What Was All the “Eau de” About?”

  1. Topographers isn’t online, only in the hard copy of Glenn O’Brien’s lit. mag. You might be able to find it at a bookstore in LA or NYC.
    And the Slate piece was re-worked and re-worked, after the plagiarism was discovered, according to the editor. She didn’t forget to source it. She’d done it before, and this time got caught. It doesn’t make her talents any less appreciable, but rather speaks to an heartbreaking insecurity.


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