Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pop Culture Fun: Donna Clark of Halt and Catch Fire

It's been awhile since I fell in love with a character and also thought that I could perfume them.  After watching the first season of Halt and Catch Fire, I firmly had a lot of love for Donna Clark by the end of the season and also felt that I could perfume her. Like Mad Men, Halt and Catch Fire is an excellent period piece, and that period is the 1980s. The attention to period really helped in the choosing of perfumes for Donna. So spoilers and pop culture fun ahead.

Donna Clark is intensely intelligent and thoughtful woman who finds herself frequently putting her needs and passions aside. That is how she first begins in the series, she is married to Gordon Clark, a fellow computer engineer. What you mainly get is that Donna is a harried wife which is compounded by the fact that this woman has a brilliant brain but unlike her husband, Gordon, is getting no recognition for it. They are both working jobs that are somewhat menial to their skill set, considering we find out that years before they had to tried to create and market their own home PC, but had failed. Still Gordon at least gets respect in his field, Donna on the other hand is a woman who frequently has to sublimate her creativity and passion with the role of caretaker and the glue that keeps her family going. Under all of this though is someone who is a romantic because as much as she wants to ignore it Donna still intensely wants to be driven and creative. I think at the beginning of the series Donna is probably wearing, the romantic Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, I think it is a scent gifted to her by her mother. I can see it is as a gift given with the hopes that Donna remember that she has passions and that they are worthy of consideration.

Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, is one of those great icon scents of the 1980s, romantic and powerful, it demands attention, but the attention is of a troubadour variety. If you can get older formulations you can smell a uniquely strong sandalwood and moss in all that powder, violets, and roses. It may be romantic and pretty but there is a rather steely intelligence beneath it all.  Donna's nature fits qualities of Paris up to the point when she hits on her boss, Hunt Whitmarsh, after spending months of dealing with being ignored by Gordon, his drunkenness, and erratic behavior. She is at the point of wanting very deeply to be seen for her intelligence and sensuality and Whitmarsh, a childhood friend, has been playing to those needs very expertly in his physical gestures and statements to her.

The moment her overtures are rejected by Whitmarsh, I think Donna probably would have thrown out Paris. In fact for the time after that I think she probably would have worn nothing especially as she contemplates the dissolution of her marriage. By the end of the series though I think Donna would have picked herself up something new. In fact I feel she would have gone out and done this for herself. She has been creatively revitalized by leaving Texas Instruments, she has been involved in a creative endeavor that used her intelligence and skill, and she has decided to do something daring with her career. We can even see a change in her style with the launch party of the home PC, an elegant cut black sheath dress, richer toned make-up, and the reddening of her hair. I think she is going for something completely new and that suggests she is a force to be reckoned with, her choice Paloma Picasso by Paloma Picasso.

Paloma Picasso is one of the big chypres of the eighties, yet it had elegance and refinement that does not put it on par with the other releases of that era. Oh it is big but the bigness is utter class and sophistication. The oakmoss is daring and forward but there is a tempering to it with the right animalics, when spritzed with a light hand the wearer is surrounded by sense of earthiness and splendor. This is not vulgar. Donna is a not vulgar but she is daring and Paloma Picasso fits that attitude and confidence.

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marzipan said...

Fantastic review! Brought up feelings of nostalgia as I wore both when they were released (yes, I am dating myself!) and I am intrigued by the show ...will have to seek it you know if it is on Netflix or Hulu? (I don't have cable)

Jennifer Koth said...

I don't have cable either. It's available on Netflix streaming and I am going to assume their DVD service too.