Originally Posted by scentemental
What a pity everso. I had high hopes you were going to prove an original, impartial, and questing voice on the board. That might still prove to be the case, but I think the dichotomy your labor under is a false one; even though, I frequently invoke it to attack its falsity. In my defense, I have also argued and shown how false it is and how easily it breaks down when examined.
Of course, believing in the niche versus designer false dichotomy is already a symptom that you have succumbed to the certainty that you know "designer" fragrances--whatever they might actually be--and that the end of all questing can stop. No more Sephora stops for you, right? That loathsome place where all designer stuff resides. But it doesn't reside there. The history of perfumery before this subdivision of niche was manufactured, both literally and imaginatively, is a long one, with thousands upon thousands of fragrances. The true fragrance lover takes each fragrance one at a time, and examines it preferably outside of the imaginatively manufactured categories and, in doing so, builds up a steady, informed basis for seasoned comparative judgments based on the sampling and information gathered from such sampling. This is why any one on the board who ever has anything particular interesting to say about fragrances as fragrances rather than as categorical constructs always has an abiding interesting and passion for all kinds of fragrances and not just a narrow niche of fragrances. Conversely, the "niche whores," the more and more narrow their interests become, the more and more they mimic the ad copy of the very companies they worship. I know whose posts I like to read.
1) It's interesting isn't that Betrand Dachaufour, possibly the hottest niche perfumer alive at the moment, when asked in a recent interview which fragrance he wished he had created answered "Dior Homme." Dior Homme is brilliant work of art not because it's designer fragrance, there's no denying that, but because it's a great fragrance, because as with all works of art, it transcends the categories within which it was developed. Designer fragrances have always been transcending categories and will continue to do so. That is where the creative impetus has always resided and that is where it currently resides, niche advertising copy notwithstanding.
2) I have tried a good many of the niche fragrances released in the last 10 years, and a good many non niche fragrances as well over the years, probably more than most. Right now, as I write, on one wrist I have a designer fragrance from an $11.00 Buy It Now bottle I found on eBay that few people have heard of let alone tried, and it's absolutely superb. When I introduce people to such gems, they frequently marvel at how I find them. It's simple. I have always kept an open mind and purposely seek to try as many fragrances as humanely possibly with an extreme lack of prejudice. On the other hand, I have a discontinued, relatively hard-to-find "designer fragrance," again a little known fragrance and certainly a little tried fragrance, that is, if my judgment is valued by anyone at all, simply a marvel of the fragrant art of perfumery and more sophisticated than anything niche I have tried. The "niche whores" would consign these fragrances to obscurity. The rest of us will continue to enjoy them immensely thank you very much. I don't have a problem with people enjoying certain kinds of fragrances. I want people to enjoy as many different fragrances as they possible can. It's that simple.
3) We shall not cease from explorationAnd the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot. from Little Gidding, The Four Quartets.
Good luck to you everso, I really do hope your new found love will be sufficient.
well i'm not gonna dissappoint you too much scentemental. my cynical eye thrown towards a passing 'Sephora' sign isn't enough to detract from my power of experimentation in obscure, forgotten designer scents. When i refer to my diminishing view of designer scents, i am NOT referring to my view on ALL designer scents----i am referring to my diminishing view on the Sephora racks of 'hot fragrances for men' and 'best sellers'.
I own a bottle of Dior Homme...which i don't use at the moment. Not because i don't love it, but because it feels too predictable to me these days. I will be the first to acknowledge it's a great scent-----but it doesn't change enough for me wearing-to-wearing....so i'm taking a break from it.
My favourite perfume shop is a shady perfume outlet way out in Long Island, which i found accidentally while attending a conference out there. It has boxes upon boxes of old, obscure designer scents which i rummage through everytime i'm there. old, worn boxes of unused and bizarre failed
designer scents which are unloved and unwanted....but negotiable for a bargain. I never enjoy fragrance hunting more than i do at this shop. In fact, as much as i love AEDES, i love this weird little perfume outlet much much MUCH
more. There is an aura of experimentation there....and for this reason, i understand what you are saying and i acknowledge its truth.
Maybe i shouldn't do a blanket slating of designer fragrances. You're right. There is much to be found, tried, and loved.....
but my statement had to do with those ads in magazines with the smelly paper, the rack of bestsellers at Sephora, and the SA standing at the front of Macy's forcing you to try the latest rubbish scent by Guess. Those things are unsavoury for even an amateur such as myself.
I've only really been into this hobby for about 9 months now. Prior to that, i bought 1 fragrance a year----albeit, very excitedly, however i never realised how much there was to this hobby. Now i know....
As someone mentioned...there are plenty of poor niche fragrances as well....and i definitely agree. Everytime i visit AEDES, for every one fragrance i fall in love with----i try about 15 that i think suck......that ratio is probably the same in designer scents too....however i think the advantage of niche scents, is the ability to pinpoint your interests and experiment in it. For example, i LOVE LOVE LOVE leather scents, and i can find the niche scents that go after this genre quite easily.....can't say the same for current designer scents.
i won't dissappoint. i just need time.