Originally Posted by Ruggles
I do wonder who the target audience is for the book besides us.
I find it too casual in its content and organization to really function as a reference guide.While it's a fun read,there is a smugness hanging over it. I'm sure they've made plenty of enemies with their snarky comments.
Agreed. I got a chance to look through it for about an hour at the bookstore today, and aside from the articles at the beginning, and despite the fact that the nasty sense of humour is really sharp and funny (pi holds your interest for about 3.14 seconds) most of it just seems really flippant and careless on top of smug.
More importantly, in a great many of the reviews I felt like they weren't really familliar with the fragrances under consideration - as if they'd just tested it on a paper strip and gave it one sniff and then wrote a snarky review, or even a rave one.
Often they miss a huge, central aspect of the fragrance under review, and sometimes the whole essence of the fragrance iself. You really don't get a sense of what the fragrance is about. For example, the (relatively) longish 5 star review of Sarrasins didn't even mention the civet which completely dominates the end of the fragrance. One of the striking aspects of this fragrance, love it or hate it, is that it tranforms from a velvety jasmine with green and ink, into a subtle aura of sweat and filth. Filthy civet is half the reason the fragrance is called Sarrasins in the first place!
And I can't believe that someone with an expert nose can say that there's no vetiver in Creed O.V. and no sandalwood in Creed O.S. I hear that alot on basenotes and just attribute it to lack of familliarity with the fragrances. I'm no kind of expert and even to me those notes are loud and clear at the heart and base of those fragrances after the deceptive Mugler and Joop! clone openings. Again it just makes me think that many of these fragrances were just tested on paper, or else very quickly to meet the deadline.
Their tastes and perceptions about the fragrances are so far removed from mine that the good reviews didn't at all make me interested in testing those fragrances out, and neither did the bad reviews make me want to avoid those. By the end, all I cared about was seeing how their take on my wardrobe or other fragrances I'm very familliar with compared to my own. The only reviews (out of the ones I read) that in my opinion were really accurate and gave a real impression of what the fragrance actually smells like, and how it devellops, etc were Virgin Island Water, Equipage and Borneo 1834.
I didn't see one mention plus or minus of longevity issues in any of the reviews I looked at and I'd guess it's because most fragrances weren't tested in depth enough for them to know.
All in all I've found that basenotes is a much better resource. While the quality of reviews varies, in general they are much more in depth and elaborate, and even many of the cruder ones do tend to capture the essence of the fragrances. Plus with so many reviews per fragrance you really get a sense of what the fragrance is about, and whether or not you're likely to be in tune with the reviewers likes and dislikes.
On the plus side the book is really funny though.