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A mix mash of everything

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I've noticed that perfumes created before the 90's usually have a distinct top, heart, and base notes. However many modern perfumes in department stores seem to just throw the pyramid away, I not saying that's a bad thing. But I'm wondering how it came to be, was some innovation made in the fragrance world or is it simply a new trend, I'm searching for the answer, with no luck now


  1. 's Avatar
    I'm far from a parfumeur, but the scents I smell recently seem to have a commonality..... a note or small group of notes that show up in quite a few frags I have sampled. Once the top notes dissipate, that commonality rears its head. Maybe it's the quality of ingredients that's different and causing this phenomenon with me, but whatever it is, I cannot tolerate it.

    Pertaining to your being perplexed at the pyramids; I understand exactly what you are saying. It goes hand in hand with my first paragraph. I find much less movement and more of a chemical blend that changes more in volume than in accord progression.
  2. ECaruthers's Avatar
    The chemical pyramid comes from different size molecules. The small ones evaporate quickly, the medium sized ones more slowly and the big ones evaporate very slowly. As examples, most natural citrus notes are small molecules. Vanilla and cinnamon are big molecules. With natural ingredients, if you wanted the smell to stay the same for a couple of hours, the perfume had to be composed of base notes only.

    I am speculating now but I suspect that modern synthetic chemistry has made big molecules that smell like citrus, even if maybe not exactly the same as a natural bergamot. And the same for woods, flowers, etc. So now maybe it's possible to combine molecules with fruity, floral, woody and/or spicy smells and have them all persist for the same length of time.

    I agree with your experience of many modern fragrances smelling the same after only a few minutes. I suspect some of this is caused by limitations of budget and law. But I think a lot is fashion. Remember when all American cars were the length of a sail boat and had tail fins as high as sails? I see fragrances launched in the 90s described as having common characteristics very different from those launched in the last decade. Does anyone know if there were clear fragrance fashions in the 50s or 60s, etc?
  3. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    A agree that there is a huge degree of commonality. I just move down the counter and remain thoroughly impressed by how similar everything smells. I'm sniffing Amouage Gold right now and - price aside - there is no way anybody is going to make something like this in Designer Row. No wonder Aromi is in fragrance hell with these new releases. Even the new 50-cent "Power" is still remarkably within the same old current designer trend. Ed is right - there are period fashions, and the fashion now is still influenced by the general trend toward light aquatics back in the late 80's and early '90's. I still remember when that stuff hit. I remember feeling very disappointed by what was happening, and walking out of the store with a bottle that I didn't really like.


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