Originally Posted by Trebor
Personally, I don't find any of his creations FBW (with the possible exception of Ore) but I did respect what he was trying to do.
But what's becoming clear is how Josh's decisions are sounding progressively egocentric, with hardly any consideration towards his fans and customers:
1) I will reformulate a fragrance as and when I please, even if it means the fragrance is an improvement over the X units I've already shifted (well, according to my
nose). It has nothing to do with costs, materials or restrictions - I'm still learning and I expect people to accept that. Think Creed!
2) I will discontinue a fragrance when I get bored with it (sorry, 'am not feeling it any more'), regardless of the fragrance's popularity.
3) I find caps unnecessary, even though some customers might not feel the same. Whatever!
4) In hindsight, my earlier fragrances were rubbish (even though, at the time, they were deemed worth selling and effectively put my name on the map). As for all those who are lamenting the phasing out of these creations, tough s**t...
5) My range of fragrances change so frequently that even Pierre Montale is confused.
6) I dont view Slumberhouse as a 'business' but as an outlet for my own creativity - that's why I've just increased the price and decreased the juice by 20ml. Damn, that reminds me - I've got to give Andy a call...
While I agree with your point about the caps (I'm a bloke that loves a good fragrance bottle cap, and the ones on Slumberhouse bottles are very good) I've got to disagree with some of your points.
I'll try not to sound like a rabid Slumberhouse fanboy here, but please forgive me if I sound too much like a shill. I'll also try not to put words in your mouth, or Josh's.
Regarding the reformulation, are there any
fragrance houses, independent or otherwise, that reformulate only after having gone through an extensive consultation process with their consumers?
Surely this approach to reformulation (and the regularly changing product lines) give credence to Josh's assertions that Slumberhouse is an outlet for his creativity. How boring would it be to create 6 scents that people like, never change them, and spend the rest of your days just mixing up the same formulas? I think a consistent, methodical approach like that would signal that he's treating it more like a business than a creative project. Besides, then we'd be criticising him for simply treading water.
Obviously the ideal situation would be for Josh to constantly expand his range of frags, while still having the older ones available for purchase, but again, if this is a side-project, he simply may not have the time.
As for the 'higher price, lower volume', I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison between the old and new formulations. If the strength and longevity are dramatically increased, then there's no harm done, as I see it.
I must say I don't really dig the marbles in the bottle thing, though.
Concerning the discontinuation of his fragrances, at least Josh has the decency to tell us (twitter, mailing list, website) that they're being discontinued, thus giving people a chance to stock up on the fragrances they love. Who else does that? Certainly no mainstream perfumer does - we rely on word of mouth, stock levels at department stores, and speculation from disinterested SAs. Similarly with reformulations - the companies swear that the fragrances haven't been reformulated, so we jump on here and swear that they have
Yes, we consumers are indeed vital to Slumberhouse's life as a perfumery, but not to the point where we should be able to totally dictate what Josh does.
There is a delicate balance between having power as consumers, and being grateful that Josh is putting out the fragrances he is.
We shouldn't kiss his @ss in deference and reverence* and be happy with whatever he does, but simultaneously we shouldn't presume that his "fans and customers" have become partners in the business.
May I suggest raising your concerns with Josh directly? He may give you some inside info on new or rereleased fragrances, or at least give you his reasons for what he does.
*my post may sound like I'm doing just that, however :S