View RSS Feed

Possum-Pie's making sense of scents

The Good Ol' Days, or the Latest and the Greatest...

Rate this Entry
A recent thread on Basenotes got me thinking about classic fragrances. I went to a department store a few days ago, and browsed the perfume counters. Women's counter had Shalimar (1921) Chanel no 5 (1921), Opium (1977) and White Sholders (1945). Going over to the men's counter, the oldest thing that I could find was Polo (1978) followed by Fahrenheit and Cool Water, both from 1988. Why the lack of classics in the men's line? There are several possible reasons. First, for over 100 years, perfumes and colognes were marketed for women. Yes, there were a few men's but they were not being marketed much, and definately not produced in the same quantities that women's fragrances were. Old Spice filled the niche of smelling good, and it was NOT an expensive perfume. Even our terminology was wrong. Ask most people the difference between perfume and cologne, and they say "perfume is for women cologne is for men." Men were not expected to know or care about such things.
Women also have more brand loyalty than men. Often a woman found her signature scent in her early 20s and kept that fragrance around the rest of her life. Dig around in your mother's beauty products, and you will find a bottle of vintage juice. Men want what is shiny, new, and different. How many gadgets does a man own? Every new product that comes out he wants to try. The same thing goes with fragrances. Acqua di Geo and Cool Water are the grandfathers of men's fragrances and they are less than 30 years old! A few men reminisce about Aspen (1989) and Brut (1964), but even these are more often found in bargain bins or at discount stores than on glass perfume counters.
Women tend to wear fragrances to complete their wardrobe. Men tend to wear fragrances to attract women. If it is old, it won't work as well. Get the "panty-dropper" and magically the women will flock around you. How embarrassing to be wearing something 10 years old!
To be fair, these generalizations fit more to the casual fragrance user than to the collector like who frequents Basenotes, but a current thread "Popular with the Girls -vs- Boys ... What could this mean?" shows that the average of top 10 female frags is 59 years, while the average age of top 10 men's frags is only 17 years. Quite a disparity!



Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL:

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000