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jarroditshallbe

Communication

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This may be in a post similar to one buried deep within the site, but I feel like posting it anyway.
I have worked fragrance nearly 4 years, and had an interest in it going on 10. I have noticed a trend in the way people discuss fragrance. I also notice a lot of posts in the forum such as "I think x smells like y." A lot of times, there is little to no similarity. So thinking on it, I will try to articulate maybe a why.
When showing fragrance, i always ask what they do or don't like in a certain scent. I will get "It's too strong," or "It's too sweet," when too my nose, is not at all the case. I know everyone's nose perceives things differently, and I am sensitive to listening to such things, but the way they describe something is completely off. Seeing this many times, it lead me to a conclusion. On Basenotes, we have a language, and are more articulate when we describe notes and what we do or don't like. An average shopper uses words like "too strong," in an attempt to address a problem they do not have the verbage to describe. It could mean "too spicy" or "too much sillage." Strong is just the only word they have to hit the problem. It isn't really a problem I guess, but it is an odd occurrence.
On another note, I see much more on this site. I bring this up from a recent forum post. It was something to the effect of "Polo Green smells like Aventus." Now, that person may actually smell something similar, but I think most responders did not agree. It happens a lot at my job as well, A customer will compare 2 fragrances that are nowhere near the same olfactory family and share no notes, and say they smell alike. Again, it must come down to lack of experience and scent memory.
For example, if you have only worn 2 fragrances your whole life, say Polo Green, and Polo Blue. Then, you find yourself smelling that Aventus. Since you have nothing else to draw from, you are going to compare it to the only 2 you do know. If those are your only options, of course you are going to choose one that is smells more akin too. I remember when I very first got into fragrance, I used to think most colognes smelled alike. Now, roughly 10 years in, I rarely say that anymore. There are, of course, a lot of fragrances out there with similar notes. A lot of clones and flankers and imitations. It is really unusual to find ones that are exactly the same. Now that said, there are a lot that are too close to bother with discerning, and many scents that don't do anything for me for being kind of run of the mill, but they still have their personalities.
I think I had to make this rant to forgive a lot of these posts as see. I am too quick to look at them as being completely wrong or in some cases trolling, when really it is just a lack of experience.
Then again, I am just guessing at all this,
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  1. LoveCologne89's Avatar
    From what I have read you seem pretty on to it. As an amateur myself I'd agree that people say this smells like such n such or this is 'basically' this or that. I even had someone same Black XS smells like Rochas man! But more importantly u mentioned the fact that when the word strong is used it could represent many things. The first impression I get is something like royal oud or Bulgari man. Something too sweet and I'm thinking honey,amber,floral,woody scents. But it's more on the person actual nose doing the talking. If someone like a cologne or loves certain ones then they'll describe it as such by using phrases such as 'it's so sweet, and smells wonderful on MY skin, and it has musky or spicy base' with out actually knowing which notes are contained within it. Therefore people read these reviews and think that's it's a must have simply because of people's review when in reality it may not be for them. Terre d'hermes a classic to me. And to myself it's smokey and very earthy sort of scent as described in my review of it....see what I mean in stead of describing the orange, gun flint, peppers, vetiver etc. overall my point with this is maybe a bit of guidance or encouragement to people not to lead others astray into a risk by purchasing something based on reviews and furthermore it's amateurs like us that make the experienced noses that you may have become (gotta start somewhere) so basically more of incentive for people to stop doing this and rethink there so called familiar fragrances would be constructive critism. After all some colognes are absolute legends that should be and are appreciated for their quality. When people don't know then one should help them if it means it can be useful for other who may be reading it and become misguided. You make a valid point and have even reconsidered my opinions on the way I'll review scents if that helps.
  2. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Great post! And I agree! Thanks for that!
  3. lpp's Avatar
    Thanks for posting, jarroditshallbe

    It is so interesting reading such a thoughtful post - communication is a challenge sometimes.
  4. Omega1185's Avatar
    I enjoyed your thoughts and could not agree more. When I first started collecting I thought that Polo green was to strong to wear, but now I really enjoy and appreciate it.

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