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For every Casanova, here is an eau de parfum inviting intense pleasure, an amber fern mixing fine wooded tunes and touches of lemony freshness, sublimed by the elegance of lavender. Warmed with heady spices and colored by sweet fruits.

amber fern is kind of plants/spices used in this perfume. why it has wooded tunes?

Why lemony freshness has touches.

I know the meaning is quite abstract here, I will appreciate similar usage/examples to demonstrate the meaning. Thanks.

Source: http://www.histoiresdeparfums.com/us/histoiresdeparfums/characters-masculine.php

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closed as not a real question by Dusty, Barrie England, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, Mitch Feb 10 '12 at 2:53

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I don't actually see a question here. What, specifically, is your problem? –  Dusty Feb 6 '12 at 15:32
    
sorry, doesn't finish the question here. Edited already. –  steveyang Feb 6 '12 at 15:39
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I'm guessing tunes is an affected version of (over)tones, and wooded is the same for woody (aromatic cedarwood, pinewood, etc.). But touch (as in a touch of xxx) is bog-standard metaphor. –  FumbleFingers Feb 6 '12 at 16:00

3 Answers 3

To say A has "a touch of B" means "just a little bit". Like if you say, "This drink is mint-flavored", that would mean that it tastes like mint, period. The overall taste is mint. But if you say, "This drink has a touch of mint flavor", that means it is mostly some other flavor, but there is a little bit of mint in it.

Making "touches" plural just increases it slightly. So "This drink has touches of mint flavor" is a little more minty than "... has a touch". In some contexts it may mean several different kinds. Like if you say, "This book has touches of Lord of the Rings", you probably mean that it has several elements that might remind someone of Lord of the Rings. But it's pretty vague and abstract.

So "... touches of lemony freshness" would mean that it does not smell like lemons, but it has some hint of lemon smell, mixed in with other smells.

"Wooded tunes" doesn't make a lot of literal sense. Maybe they're trying to say that it brings to mind the sound of music played on wooden instruments, or on woodwind instruments?

This is very poetic language, so it's not clear how literally to take any of it.

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+1 because although I can't really disagree with @jwpat7's "advertising copy", I think in the end it's more appropriate here to call it "very poetic language". –  FumbleFingers Feb 7 '12 at 0:06

When describing sensory experiences, writers sometimes conflate the inputs of different senses. The resulting style could be described as synaesthetic, after the condition synaesthesia, in which affected individuals experience a blurring of what for most people are distinct senses. This is especially common when discussing music - e.g. among certain enlightened circles one often encounters talk of tone colours, sounds having a texture, or occasionally of notes having a fruity sound.

However, as others have mentioned, this is quite separate from the well-established idiom 'a touch of', which simply means a little of something, although I suspect that it evolved from a similar origin, perhaps as an extension of 'a pinch of' and other similar phrases.

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That text is advertising copy. Wikipedia says advertising copy is writing that's promotional [rather than meaningful] and has the purpose of persuading the reader to buy a product.

The words "amber fern" perhaps make one think of yellow sunny areas; the only real reference I've found shows a bit of fern in amber, while most references for the term are proper names or pseudonyms, or fictional, from Star Wars planet Mandalore.

Rather than tunes being "an affected version of (over)tones" as FumbleFingers suggested, I suspect the writer merely confused the words tunes and tones, intending the latter.

Touch as used here means a hint, a small amount. (See noun sense #5.)

"Warmed with heady spices and colored by sweet fruits" is not intended to refer to "general spices we mean when cooking" but instead to spice scents as in incense or potpourri. The main purpose is to make the reader think of fine smells and tastes so that he or she will feel good, and likely to part with money more readily, and thus more likely to buy the product.

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Much as we might like to look down on their efforts, I think we should allow that people paid to write "advertising copy" for perfumes costing hundreds of dollars an ounce are almost certainly at least literate. I note that OP's selected passage actually starts with "Venice, the riparian city of love". People who know the word "riparian" aren't likely to accidentally conflate tunes and tones. I stand by my contention that it was deliberate "affectation" (and possibly even field-tested to make sure the punters were suitably affected by it! :) –  FumbleFingers Feb 7 '12 at 0:03
    
@FumbleFingers - What nonsense! Venice is not riparian, it is estuarian. As noted in wikipedia, the Venetian lagoon is "an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon." –  jwpat7 Feb 7 '12 at 1:33
    
Aw, c'mon! These people are ad-men, not geographers! I didn't know it was saltwater either, and to be honest it doesn't make me think riparian can't be used. Rivers, canals, freshwater, saltwater - all seems much of a muchness to me. It's just boats and watersides. –  FumbleFingers Feb 7 '12 at 4:34
    
The language all seems rather excessive to me. But I suppose if I was assigned to write advertising copy for a perfume, I'd probably come up with something like, "It smells nice, kinda like flowers or lemons or fruit or something." Well, hmm, that's pretty much what they said, they were just a lot more flowery about it. Does this kind of prose really sell? I wonder if they just said, "Lavender and lemon scent" or whatever, if that would sell just as well. I realize balding old geeks like me are not their target audience. –  Jay Feb 7 '12 at 15:48
    
thefreedictionary.com defines riparian as relating to the "banks of a natural course of water". It doesn't say it has to be a river. The "natural course" implies to me that it excludes canals, but I don't know if that's what's meant. –  Jay Feb 7 '12 at 15:53

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