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Thread: My thoughts...

  1. #1

    Default My thoughts...

    Ladies and gentleman I have been thinking long and hard about this site and the certain things I read on it. There are many things that stand out to me in both positive and negative ways. If you do not like long threads then you will not find your confort zone here with me in one. These are strictly my opinions on the matters I am addressing so do not take anything I say here to heart. Just listen...

    BLIND BUYS ~ I am confused with this one. I have made several blind purchases of decants and less of actual bottles but I always find threads about what was bought blind and what should be bought blind. This is just a hobby for us here and I know there is always something on our list that we would love to own. So, why do we empty our pockets for bottles that someone else said is worth it? This leads me to my next subject, which is...

    OPINIONS ~ Everyone has their own mind and with it comes backgrounds and different childhoods leading into different views on life. Each of us thinks seperately and we all have our own opinions on things. I see "what is best" and "what to wear for summer". I am so turned off by that stuff. It is getting old. I am going to use myself as an example, not to be arrogant but because I did soemthing I like ( I generally do things I like, otherwise I'd be someone else). I created a thread asking favorites in certain houses that I was attempting to get to know better. I wasn't going to only smell those specific ones that I got in responses but I would start with those because I asked for help weeding out what might be a unanimusly (sp??) bad/good smell. I see people asking for what is good or the best without thinking about the fact that everyones opinions are biased and everyone has their own version of the "best." I think that we forget that we should just go smell the damn things for ourselves and let our own nose decide what is best. No one else can do it but we still ask for it. Kouros is my favorite example because it is so loved and hated at the same time. If I asked the best YSL fragrance I know that Kouros would come up. Now if I were to blind buy it and assume that because most people chose it that I would like it then I would have been sorry I made that assumption (that was a terrible sentence). Kouros makes me sick but some people would never let it go discontinued. Perception of what is appealing is universal to only one person. You can't just ask for the best and expect to find it judging another persons perspective. It just bothers me and I get so tired of seeing questions being asked about such a thing.

    NICHE OR DESIGNER ~ I think that this barrier should be taken down. It is just another reason to label things according to someone elses views. I believe that everything should just be categorized as "fragrance" and be left as such. Why the separations? Why do we have winter/summer scents and day/night scents? Why do we need niche and designers. They are all perfumes and colonges to me. A common misconception is that "niche" fragrances are better because they are more unknown and generally cost more. Untrue!! I've struck gold with Chrome, Cool Water, Lolita and more. They are all sold at Nordstroms but so what! I love them and I'll continue to wear them. I'm not less cool for ranking Cool Water with 5 stars just because it is generic. I'm happy with my 5 star Cool Water and am glad I own a bottle. I'm also happy with my Tea for Two. It is "niche" but so what. It is still a fragrance and should be compared to Cool Water, which is also a fragrance. I just think it is silly how I see the boards set up to accomodate for people who think that there is such a difference. There is nothing different about the way the fragrances are made. Judge what is inside and not the label for once.


    Once again, I have to assure you that those ramblings where just my thoughs put down in a thread. I left out writing my IMO because it should have been understood that everything there was my own opinion. They don't have to be yours. I just wanted to share mine.

    I'll take feedback on what you think I shouldn't have said or what you want to tell me I did right. This is an open discussion to anything you have an opinion on. Only opinions... no truths in this thread.

    Thanks for listening and I hope your eyes aren't as tired as mine from reading this thing. I'll be on in the morning to check what contraversy I've caused...


    EnvYuS

  2. #2

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    I agree with you 100% except for:

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS
    Why do we have winter/summer scents and day/night scents?

    Simple... Some fragrances work better in cold weather, some better in hot weather. Temperature and humidity affect fragrances quite significantly. So this distinction matters quite a lot.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    That is not my point. The point is that people are going to look at this and see a frag that is labeled as a summer or night frag and never wear it when they want to. I am trying to get people to just open their eyes to see that they don't need to label things so often. Just weat what you want when you want to. Why tell everyone that it is for the summer? Just wear it in the summer and move on.

    Maybe I didn't make it clear but Labels are really what affect opinions here. I want people to just see how many labels we create for such simple things to categorize them so efficiently when all we need is to like them for what they are. No need to break them up.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Envyus - you make some valid points, but it seems the overarching issue here is that so long as no one takes any of this stuff too seriously, all problems are avoided.

    It seems that you are assuming that others are asking for advice without realizing that they need to sort through the opinions, determine which ones are better, and make their own decision. I am not sure that's a fair assumption. I think most folks are asking for advice for the fun of it, or to stir up some new ideas, or some other valid reason, not to just take that advice and act on it like a robot.

    For example, I recently asked for opinions on a blind buy. I knew they were just opinions going into it, so my expectations were appropriately set. I know I am taking a gamble using others' opinions, but it's a small one, and it's just for fun, so who cares? I don't worry about it. I know there is some chance the blind buy will fail. I take the chance to have some fun. If someone else EXPECTS to have success with this method, there is nothing I can do about that. They have to learn the hard way, really the only way.

    My opinions on opinions - some very respected people claim that opinions are all that there is - to these folks there are no facts and there are no truths, just opinions. That may be true (and it may not), but even if it is, I believe that some opinions are better than others and should be given more weight in my decision making process. If I didn't believe that then I would go to my doctor to have my car fixed and get my plumber to perform a heart surgery for me when I get older. Opinions are based on learning and knowledge, which in turn are based on experience. So, very often, but not always, those with more experience have more knowledge and their opinions, in my estimation, should be given more weight. Not everyone has to take this same view.

    My point is that sometimes, when the conversation is good, it goes beyond simple opinions about what I like, or you like, or someone else likes, and into: what is this thing about, what is it made of, how does it affect us, does it affect us all the same way, and so on. That's when experience and expertise play a larger role. Sometimes you can tell who has more knowledge by the way they converse, what they have to say and how they say it. When I run across those posts, I personally give them more weight in my mind.

    Personally, I think the niche/designer distinction goes beyond price and into something much more important. It is about the intersection of art and business and how the tensions between the two are negotiated. Designers have to make money, usually a lot of it, for large corporations with lots of overhead. This requires appealing to large numbers of people in order to sell a lot of stuff. Niche companies can focus on quality - and in some cases creativity - in their products rather than making something that is going to appeal to a large number of people in an instant on a strip of paper. It doesn't always work this way, but as with everything in life, we are talking about averages and percentages, not absolutes. Nothing ever works 100%. So, niche companies do not always create stellar frags, and designer companies do create wonderful ones sometimes. But the perecentages still hold: if you want something truly creative, that pushes the envelope, you are more likely to find it amongst the niches. This is why there is a category of niche frags. Not just to separate things out - the separation occurs before the categorization and is itself the cause of that label being used. Niche companies are in fact, different from designers, and so the labels exist. In the end, it depends on what you want - wearable and pleasant, or truly unique and high quality. Both are valid and the distinction between them is valid.

    Labels - we use these to help us converse, so that we can talk about things. I would hope that no one would take a label like "summer" and then think, "boy I can't wear that in the fall." That would be silly. Instead the labels, I would hope, are a guide, a heuristic, to help people see how others use something, which may or may not help them. Someone could easily say, "hey, if they're wearing it in the summer, I'll wear it in the winter to be different." Again, the labels follow the physical nature of things and the psychological nature of people; they don't, or shouldn't, define everthing 100% or cause constraints.

    Boy, I don't know if this will make sense at all...but I tried.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Great thread and interesting thoughts, thanks EnvYuS!

    This says it all in a nutshell:
    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS
    I think that we forget that we should just go smell the damn things for ourselves and let our own nose decide what is best. No one else can do it but we still ask for it.
    BINGO!!! [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

    There are no short cuts to knowing what works for you: you must do your own sniffing and testing, on your very own skin. There's no other way.

    Other people's opinions can be helpful, but again it takes time to learn who are your "fragrance twins/sisters/brothers/cousins". Check out other members' wardrobes, read their reviews and posts and you'll find the ones who have a similar taste and possibly also a similar kind of skin chemistry. I've found several "scent soulmates" this way.

    Keep sniffing and learning! [smiley=happy.gif]
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  6. #6

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Interesting points you've raised, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of them.

    People are rational - they wouldn't go and buy something blind if they had an opportunity to smell it. Where I live, it was not uncommon to have to wait a year and a half for some scents being discussed at Basenotes to finally show up on the shelves here. And it is not uncommon for some scents to never be released here (e.g. Rochas Lui)

    I can either wait patiently or buy Blind on the internet (or go and constantly beg and annoy people overseas to send me a sample).

    Niche vs Designer - the simple facts are
    a. There's a whole bunch of people here who think niche scents are great, and designer scents are rubbish, and
    b. There's a smaller number that think the reverse, and
    c. There are people in between these extremes in varying degrees.

    I know that when I smell designer scents, I will like and could consider buying some 80 to 90% of them. But when I smell niche scents, I will like and could consider buying perhaps 25% of them (i.e. the masculine ones).

    Why drop a categorisation that is obviously so useful to a large number of the parties concerned?
    Renato

  7. #7

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    the only distinction I make is between good scents and bad scents...
    and the supreme judge is my nose! No one else!

  8. #8

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    People are rational - they wouldn't go and buy something blind if they had an opportunity to smell it. Where I live, it was not uncommon to have to wait a year and a half for some scents being discussed at Basenotes to finally show up on the shelves here. And it is not uncommon for some scents to never be released here (e.g. Rochas Lui)
    (That's exactly what happens to me) powered by 2.

    Opinions are really appreciated by me and I'm really gratefull to all of you that always help me in giving a notion of what to expect about a fragrance. Of course, some opinions are more important than others, but I read everything that comes to me and filter it all. As Renato said, we're rational. (cogito ergo sum)

  9. #9

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    On summer vs winter scents:
    It's a guideline. It's a lot like advice on which wine to to serve with fish or which wine to serve with steak. You can mix wines with meals however you want according to your tastes, but people with good taste and experience might suggest certain combinations. Someone without any knowledge of wines or fine food would probably be perfectly happy eating filet mignon with gewurtztraminer. Some people, however, pay attention to the nuances of flavor and mouth-feel and create menus that harmonize the different elements.

    I would give suggestions on the appropriate occasions for scents, but I would never look down on someone for doing their own thing. I also think that people would learn mighty quickly that M7 is not good for blistering summer days. However, some people might actually like doing that, and those are the people who would do better following other people's advice, and I think that they would figure that out soon enough.
    For example, Shifts has similar tastes as me (sorry to pick on just one person; there are others, too). I feel pretty comfortable taking his advice.

    Sometimes the labels we assign can be arbitrary. I think that's just life in a field where tastes are hyper-attuned to very subtle aspects of fragrances. Most people in the real world wouldn't care about or even notice half the stuff we talk about. When you specialize your hobby as much as basenoters do, categorization naturally happens. It's a way to deal with the countless tiny variations that otherwise would be hard to wrap your brain around.

    And finally- frags are art. Anyone who wanders into basenotes looking for a panacea or fail-safe girl attractant will either quickly delve deeper into the field or wander right back out, overwhelmed by the choices.

    Of course, that's my opinion. I have utmost respect for EnvYuS, and I'm glad he started this thread. Food for thought.
    Nihil Obstat Ben


    [url=http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/1883]My Wardrobe[/url]

  10. #10

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    About OPINIONS;

    What would this place be without opinions? Why would board like this exist?

    Almost without exception I understand why a given fragrance is so hyped, that's very different from actually liking the fragrance. For me, this tells that there just might be something objective about taste in general, and I will never accept the claim that every fragrance or every song is as valuable creation of art. That's postmodern point of view, it's totally fruitless and leads to nothing. This anything goes thinking is even more brutal when it comes to ethics, but I wont go there now. If we accept this totally subjective point of view, that's all we can say, the smell of my fart is just as valuable as the greatest fragrances. Although, it's good to remember that it's just as irrational to claim that there is some fixed and objective truth when it comes to aesthetics. You - or I atleast - have to take something from the both extremes and settle for something in between.

    In other words...

    It's really interesting; on the other hand we are ready to accept the claim, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and on the other hand we listen to reviews of experts of given form of art. We also often believe that it's possible for our taste to evolve somehow, I also believe in it. But these two would not make sense if beauty really would be only in the eye of the beholder, in other words, art would be nothing more than subjective opinions.

    This dichotomy is very well presented in Hume's and Kant's philosophy.

    I'm sorry for my mediocre english, it's usually good enough to communicate, but it's alot more difficult to talk about subjects like this with a language that is not your own.

  11. #11

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Envyus I'm wit you all the way on not worrying bout day/night winter/summer designer/niche, i wear what i "feel" like wearing, according to what mood i'm in and what i feel like smelling for the next 4-8 hours. This is my hobby not my co-workers, family or anyone else. The threads i've been enjoying most recently of opinion threads have been "What has the best Tobacco/Vetiver/Rose?" or whatever, this makes it a more of a narrowed down look into frags instead of the typical "Whats the best for summer?" i understand some people are starting out and thats fine to ask what are some starting points but i've been on this board for only 4 months and i've seen those threads over and over again. Just my 2 cents...Gio

  12. #12

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by robyogi
    Envyus - you make some valid points, but it seems the overarching issue here is that so long as no one takes any of this stuff too seriously, all problems are avoided. *

    It seems that you are assuming that others are asking for advice without realizing that they need to sort through the opinions, determine which ones are better, and make their own decision. *I am not sure that's a fair assumption. *I think most folks are asking for advice for the fun of it, or to stir up some new ideas, or some other valid reason, not to just take that advice and act on it like a robot.

    For example, I recently asked for opinions on a blind buy. *I knew they were just opinions going into it, so my expectations were appropriately set. *I know I am taking a gamble using others' opinions, but it's a small one, and it's just for fun, so who cares? *I don't worry about it. *I know there is some chance the blind buy will fail. *I take the chance to have some fun. *If someone else EXPECTS to have success with this method, there is nothing I can do about that. *They have to learn the hard way, really the only way. *

    My opinions on opinions - some very respected people claim that opinions are all that there is - to these folks there are no facts and there are no truths, just opinions. *That may be true (and it may not), but even if it is, I believe that some opinions are better than others and should be given more weight in my decision making process. *If I didn't believe that then I would go to my doctor to have my car fixed and get my plumber to perform a heart surgery for me when I get older. *Opinions are based on learning and knowledge, which in turn are based on experience. *So, very often, but not always, those with more experience have more knowledge and their opinions, in my estimation, should be given more weight. *Not everyone has to take this same view. *

    My point is that sometimes, when the conversation is good, it goes beyond simple opinions about what I like, or you like, or someone else likes, and into: what is this thing about, what is it made of, how does it affect us, does it affect us all the same way, and so on. *That's when experience and expertise play a larger role. *Sometimes you can tell who has more knowledge by the way they converse, what they have to say and how they say it. *When I run across those posts, I personally give them more weight in my mind. *

    Personally, I think the niche/designer distinction goes beyond price and into something much more important. *It is about the intersection of art and business and how the tensions between the two are negotiated. *Designers have to make money, usually a lot of it, for large corporations with lots of overhead. *This requires appealing to large numbers of people in order to sell a lot of stuff. *Niche companies can focus on quality - and in some cases creativity - in their products rather than making something that is going to appeal to a large number of people in an instant on a strip of paper. *It doesn't always work this way, but as with everything in life, we are talking about averages and percentages, not absolutes. *Nothing ever works 100%. *So, niche companies do not always create stellar frags, and designer companies do create wonderful ones sometimes. *But the perecentages still hold: if you want something truly creative, that pushes the envelope, you are more likely to find it amongst the niches. *This is why there is a category of niche frags. *Not just to separate things out - the separation occurs before the categorization and is itself the cause of that label being used. *Niche companies are in fact, different from designers, and so the labels exist. *In the end, it depends on what you want - wearable and pleasant, or truly unique and high quality. *Both are valid and the distinction between them is valid. *

    Labels - we use these to help us converse, so that we can talk about things. *I would hope that no one would take a label like "summer" and then think, "boy I can't wear that in the fall." *That would be silly. *Instead the labels, I would hope, are a guide, a heuristic, to help people see how others use something, which may or may not help them. *Someone could easily say, "hey, if they're wearing it in the summer, I'll wear it in the winter to be different." *Again, the labels follow the physical nature of things and the psychological nature of people; they don't, or shouldn't, define everthing 100% or cause constraints. *

    Boy, I don't know if this will make sense at all...but I tried. *
    You make great points yourself and I think they are all true. They are also opinions and that is why I still think how I do (no offense). It all makes sense. I am a person who also takes certain peoples' opinions into mind before I would consider newbies just because I trust people like Vitcome de K (sp??), Renato, and just peole who are great posters with good opinions. You make good points and keep your opinions know...

  13. #13

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    Interesting points you've raised, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of them.

    People are rational - they wouldn't go and buy something blind if they had an opportunity to smell it. Where I live, it was not uncommon to have to wait a year and a half for some scents being discussed at Basenotes to finally show up on the shelves here. And it is not uncommon for some scents to never be released here (e.g. Rochas Lui)

    I can either wait patiently or buy Blind on the internet (or go and constantly beg and annoy people overseas to send me a sample).

    Niche vs Designer - the simple facts are
    a. There's a whole bunch of people here who think niche scents are great, and designer scents are rubbish, and
    b. *There's a smaller number that think the reverse, and
    c. *There are people in between these extremes in varying degrees.

    I know that when I smell designer scents, I will like and could consider buying some 80 to 90% of them. But when I smell niche scents, I will like and could consider buying perhaps 25% of them (i.e. the masculine ones).

    Why drop a categorisation that is obviously so useful to a large number of the parties concerned?
    Renato

    I guess I fit into being a "C" on your niche vs designer thing. I just think that the knowledge that you are looking at a frag that is designer shouldn't affect you choice of if you will buy it or not. I would buy anything that smelled good and is priced accordingly. That is just me though. You have your way Renato and I have to respect that because I know that no one is like me. I'm not trying to get the niche and designer differentiations removed. I just wanted to see if people would actually fess up to thinking about it so much and see how it affects people. You said that you buy less and more masculine from Niche houses and that is your thing. I'm not going to stop you. I want to just think of everything as one category. You like two. We have what we like....

  14. #14

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnifiscent
    the only distinction I make is between good scents and bad scents...
    and the supreme judge is my nose! No one else!
    My favorite response so far. You get it!! That is a major thing that I am saying here. I'm glad you think how I do in this aspect of my ranting. Keep smelling!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Greyhue and Johnny and Gio
    I love the responses. I think you are both right and I am glad you responded. I prefer some scents to the warmer weather and some to colder. I just used it as a classic example to show that there is no defined law of Summer and Winter fragrances. There is only the preference to use a lighter citrus in summer rather than winter. That seems to be a universal example of a though.

    I know that there are labels that we create for things without knowing. Labels create order and structure to a hierarchy of things. I just like to not label as much is all. "eye of the beholder" was a good way to put it. I think you guys are awsome and I'm so excited to see the huge responses for once. I get tired of those one word answer threads. This took effort to read and time to reply. I applaud you for your great views and thank you for your responses...

  16. #16

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Ludlow
    About OPINIONS;

    What would this place be without opinions? Why would board like this exist?

    Almost without exception I understand why a given fragrance is so hyped, that's very different from actually liking the fragrance. For me, this tells that there just might be something objective about taste in general, and I will never accept the claim that every fragrance or every song is as valuable creation of art. That's postmodern point of view, it's totally fruitless and leads to nothing. This anything goes thinking is even more brutal when it comes to ethics, but I wont go there now. If we accept this totally subjective point of view, that's all we can say, the smell of my fart is just as valuable as the greatest fragrances. Although, it's good to remember that it's just as irrational to claim that there is some fixed and objective truth when it comes to aesthetics. You - or I atleast - have to take something from the both extremes and settle for something in between.
    I totally agree, which should be no surprise to those who remember the hornet nest I stirred up a few months back about the objective value of scents.

    I love reading everyone's opinions, but I certainly pay more attention to the BNer's who opinions have scored me some great scents or whose tastes generally run with mine.

    There are two things I have noticed of late that I think aren't constructive and this as good a thread as any to mention them:

    1) "I have never heard a bad thing about __________, so you should consider buying it." I'd be nice if we could put this phrase to rest because we at BN have a tendancy to not harp too much on the things that we don't like. Its true - people give negative reviews and negative comments, but they don't continually bash a scent they don't like the way they praise the scents they do like. My theory was proven true by the recent thread about Lanvin L'Homme (one of my summer favs). Someone asked for negative opinions and got plenty. My advice is to recommend what you think is good, but don't use lack of negative comments as a selling point.

    2) I have also been hearing "bad advice" given to noobs lately, which I'm am quite sure is innocent but I want to raise awareness of it. I am not pointing fingers as I don't even have any specific names in mind, but it happens from time to time. What is "bad advice"? One type is recommending a "winter" scent for "summer" (I'm in the camp that thinks these labels are useful). Another kind is saying that a strong, bold scent (think BdP) is easy to wear. I'm sure the folks giving this advice are being genuine, but they should perhaps take a step back and try a little "nose empathy." I don't give the same recommendations or advice to noobs as I do to veterans. Veterans are better at sorting through advice to find what might work for them while noobs can be totally confused by conflicting advice. There is nothing wrong with a contrary opinion, but it might be good to note that you disagree with the concensus, especially when dealing with noobs.

    I hope I'm not pissing people off. I think we have a great community and just wanted to put in my $.02 for making it even better.

  17. #17

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    The thing which I like most about Basenotes is that it's members, individually and collectively, are generous with their sympathies for a wide spectrum of points of view. This is not such a common occurrence on the net and as such I value it greatly.

    As a Forum it tells a lot; and not just about fragrances.

    Such a panorama of expertise, experience, preference and ignorance as offered here has the capacity to 'shake things up'; This too, is a major Basenotes appeal to me and maybe others also like to visit for the thrill of the ride.

    The 'Fragrance Grail Search' gives a clue to the root of much of the discontent expressed in posts like the post that begins this thread.

    THE IDEAL Fragrance now where might that be found?

    Who might have the Secret and would I be fortunate to recognize it when it comes my way?

    The 'IDEAL' is a Temptor/Temptress, often in the form of a Credit Card Bill. I find no surprise in our falling continually for the temptation since as Human Beings and very flawed ones at that we are ALL slaves to idealization.

    Mostly we idealize ourselves but to do that as effectively as possible we need to idealize others so as not to have our 'bubble ' popped.

    Ideals really do not exist at all though so as Ones who hold them dear we are always in a state of tension.

    Whatever risks unveiling our fantasy for what it really is is unwelcome.

    Our whole life seems the business of negotiating one ideal for another with all the consequent turmoil that brings.

    This turmoil is 'Idealized' too, in that we believe we would be better off without it---WITHOUT THE TURMOIL, mind you, not without the cause of it.

    Such is the origin of this thread.

    Life is full of all kinds of phenomena. Our idealization prevents us from dealing appropriately with most of what gives us trouble and for ONE reason only; We make no distinction between what we accept and what we condone.

    No doubt there is so much around that definitely should NEVER be condoned but, nevertheless if we are to deal with the uncondonable we must first accept it.

    The usual response with things we can't condone is to censor, which gurantees that most troubles are denied a solution and simply fester and foul.

    If we balk at the suggestion that buying blind leads us into trouble then we are quite likely to suffer from just that phenomenon and maybe not just with a frag either.....

    Feeling uncomfortable making divisions such a Niche/ Designer may seem a reasonable gripe but it gives a clue about other hidden demarcation lines...

    The GLORY of Basenotes is that it is relatively uncensored and offers members the chance to review , explore and re-evaluate things.

    Members here seem really happy to share and support and REJOICE in what has made them happy.

    Naturally, one man's meat can be another man's poison but I accept the points of view expressed here as simply the attempt of any one Poster to bring the rest of the Forum to His or Her senses. Sometimes that goal can be unreasonable but even so, making room for it, is what makes this gathering as rich and useful as it always is.

    Making the room a safe enough place for people to risk admitting making mistakes is also a gilt edge around the collective intention of the group.

    This post is a personal diary note of sorts and merely descriptive rather than prescriptive.

    On a personal note, so far anyway, I find Life itself to be a Blind Buy since most of what I plan eventually turns out so different from what I originally intended...Nobody is to blame.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Thanks alot guys! >

    I have a deadline for my history essay tomorrow, and I thought I have time to finish it now, but then this thread came up and your excellent posts grabbed my attention and ruined my motivation to write! And there's Inter - Villarreal Champions League match in two hours time, which I can't miss (I'm an Inter fan)

    I would love it, if this community wasn't quite as good as it is, I would have time to do my work! :P

    ...In other words, excellent posts people!

  19. #19

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS

    I guess I fit into being a "C" on your niche vs designer thing. I just think that the knowledge that you are looking at a frag that is designer shouldn't affect you choice of if you will buy it or not. I would buy anything that smelled good and is priced accordingly. ....
    The knowledge that something is either designer or niche doesn't effect my choice in any way either.

    The knowledge that something is either designer or niche affects my choice as to which shop I will walk into more frequently - since I know I will more frequently find something I want in the designer one.

    The knowledge that I know some people are either very much into one or the other enables me to put different weightings on opinions they express here on the various scents they comment upon - especially when I may be considering a blind buy.

    It's a matter of probabilities. I just know that someone who thinks Shaal Nur and Merchant Loup are among the best scents ever made, isn't likely to also be much into the sort of scents that I mainly like. I would not give as high a weighting to any negative comment he were to make about a new designer scent, as I realise that his evaluation criteria differs very much from my own, whereas I'd give a higher weighting to someone I know probably has more similar criteria to my own.
    Renato

  20. #20

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTony
    2) I have also been hearing "bad advice" given to noobs lately, which I'm am quite sure is innocent but I want to raise awareness of it. I am not pointing fingers as I don't even have any specific names in mind, but it happens from time to time. What is "bad advice"? One type is recommending a "winter" scent for "summer" (I'm in the camp that thinks these labels are useful). Another kind is saying that a strong, bold scent (think BdP) is easy to wear. I'm sure the folks giving this advice are being genuine, but they should perhaps take a step back and try a little "nose empathy." I don't give the same recommendations or advice to noobs as I do to veterans. Veterans are better at sorting through advice to find what might work for them while noobs can be totally confused by conflicting advice. There is nothing wrong with a contrary opinion, but it might be good to note that you disagree with the concensus, especially when dealing with noobs. *
    Actually, I think the advice given to newbies here has gotten a lot better in recent times than it was about two years ago, mainly due to the influx of new members who were or who have gotten more knowledgeable in that period.

    Two years ago a high school newbie would ask for advice (he may not say it, but he wants to be more attractive to girls). The responses he'd most often get was to go and buy some ridiculously expensive, non masculine, niche scents - which he would be most unlikely be able to afford in the first place - and if he did, to my mind, would do little to enhance his prospects of achieving what he was really after. This was really bad advice as far as I was concerned.

    It was at about that time that I started my anti Nichean threads - mainly to cast doubt in the minds of newbies about much of what was being so enthusiastically professed and pushed on them - without my having to have an argument on each newbie's posting.
    Renato

  21. #21

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Renato is right. It's really hard to give advice. Let me add a few of my own thoughts.

    Sure scent advice giving looks simple--the newbie thinks the answer should be simple anyway and asks what seems a simple enough question, but everyone who answers answers for themselves as well as for the newbie. We want to share our enthousiasm for the scents that do excite us, however esoteric or unesoteric (a word?) they happen to be. But sometimes it isn't a matter of recommending the hard to find. Sometimes it's a matter of not wanting to talk down to a newbie and say stick with Bulgari PH, for example. Sometimes it's a matter of needing to pepper the newbie with indicator questions--how old, where are you, how much money, what's available in your region, etc., so that you can match what you think will smell good with what the newbie will think smells good. But that's a lot of work, and, sometimes it just doesn't pay off because well, surprise surprise, tastes are different. What about when the newbie comes back about a suggestion with "I hear that's kinda girly..." It's only what they "heard" anyway, and maybe the scent is masculine by plenty of other standards.

    So I find navigating these problems harder and harder, and thus I recommend less often. (Maybe that's a good thing for all involved.) But when members are no longer newbies and obviously have a bit more understanding of the crap shoot that fragrance searching is, it's a lot more fun to express myself about what I like and why. Then they can take my thoughts as they wish and we both feel validated.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  22. #22

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB

    So I find navigating these problems harder and harder, and thus I recommend less often. *(Maybe that's a good thing for all involved.) *But when members are no longer newbies and obviously have a bit more understanding of the crap shoot that fragrance searching is, it's a lot more fun to express myself about what I like and why. *Then they can take my thoughts as they wish and we both feel validated.
    I don't do much recommending nowadays either, as I see a lot of affordable and usually appropriate scents being recommended, and a fair proportion of the recommendations roughly matching my thoughts. I figure the newbie will go down to the shop, and buy a couple that have been mentioned - after testing out a lot of other ones while there (SAs practically guarantee this will happen). This will get him on the road to actually using them.

    However, I tend to often put in my adverse comment against orientals for day time, workplace use - not that there is anything wrong with them, but that they may bring about the perception in others that the wearer would rather be partying than working.
    Renato

  23. #23

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Renato, I've got to agree with you on this too. I've been very thankful for the members who step up and do all the advice giving the site is enjoying lately. There are too many usernames to mention but they all know who they are and they're certainly doing a better job than I could.
    Best,
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Envyus,

    I agree with your opinions about day and night and winter and summer scents. I will wear scents regardless of day or night, winter or summer. But on the other hand, I think it is useful to read these labels as shorthand for lighter/heavier, less intense/more intense. I do notice that there are some scents I tend to use more on dress-up (usually evening) occasions, and those tend to be woodier, oriental, or leather scents. But that's just my idea of dress-up type scents. I like woody, oriental, and leather scents enough that I don't hesitate to wear them in the daytime either. I also notice that weather affects my choices. I live in San Francisco, where it's pretty much spring all year round, but there are cooler days and wetter days, and my mood on those days sometimes reflects the weather; my scent choices vary with those factors too. I guess what I'm saying is that there is something to those categories, that people do make choices based on situations and weather and mood. Certainly, though, those choices are not going to be the same for everyone.

    About niche houses: I think this is a bit of scent snobbery, maybe; but only in the sense that a lot of us don't want to smell like everybody else, so we look for less-well-known and harder-to-find scents to wear that set us apart, and maybe hint that we are cognoscenti, connoisseurs of fine fragrances. It's part of our little game in this hobby. I think it's harmless as long as we don't look down our noses at people who are happy to wear only what Macy's or Walmart sells. I guess I'm always looking for something new, and while I often buy designer scents at department stores, I also get worked up about the latest weird-ass import lines from small houses nobody much knows about. The thing is, whatever I buy, it should be fun, distinctive, well-made, and a joy to the nose.

    I always enjoy reading your posts. You've always got something to say, and your enthusiasm never quits. So keep thinking and writing, and keep having fun with stinky stuff!
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  25. #25

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Renato,

    I must agree that for the most part, recommendations around there have been good. And you make my point for me - everyone should just remember their audience when giving advice.

  26. #26

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    As a collorary to my advice-on-giving-advice, a little advice-on-getting-advice: be as descriptive as possible about yourself and what you are looking for when asking for advice. You will find the results much more fruitful and are more likely to get responses that are thoughtful and insightful. I know I prefer to answer questions that I have to think about before answering.

  27. #27

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Look at you guys. This is amazing. Things are being uncovered that I havn't talked about it my entire basenotes career (since I joined). I have to agree with everything you've both said. I've been responding as if they were you two and not as if they needed help because they were new. I'll keep that in mind next time.

    I'm so glad we are getting everyones opion on these matters.

  28. #28

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Jamie B,
    You are a newer poster here but I've always enjoyed your stuff. I think you are good person with strong views that are both valid and unique. I agree with how you do no destiguish based on common belief of what is the best for a certain occasion or season. You have developed your own way to categorize and you do so only with what you feel needs to be separated. I encourage others to do the same and take your post as a model of what I hope people get out of this. I want people to think for themselves and learn what they can on their own. You made your own classifications of what you prefer in those different situations. I like that. I have my own as well. I just like what I do when I do it.

    Thanks for the reply. You guys are too opinionated to stop now....

  29. #29

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Ya know ... this may sound twisted ... but I'm kinda proud of the fact that I have a really bad nose ( likely the worst here on Basenotes ) and can't pick out certain notes or know what really goes together or doesn't. I can't tell you what's the difference in a fragrance if it's dominated by vetiver or iris or sandalwood or .... whatever. I just know two things when I sample a scent ... either I like it or I don't. That simplicity makes it so much easier to choose whether or not to buy it ... because my mind isn't prejudiced by what notes are supposed to work with each other or not. Or if it's supposed to be spring/fall or cold/warm weather when you wear it. After that, everything else is just common sense. That means it doesn't matter if it's niche or designer ... cheap or expensive. If it's $10.00 or $300 ... if I like it, I buy it. And speaking of common sense ... about opinions ...

    It's been mentioned before, but opinions here are much the same as opinions on many other forums I've experienced. You look, you listen, you cast your own ... everything works fine. As I've said before, this place would be really boring if we all shared the same opinion. It's only when someone feels their opinion is the ONLY opinion ... and that there IS "right or wrong" when it comes to opinions ... that makes a forum uncomfortable. Even the subtle ones. I have to admit, if I post that I think a frag smells great ... and the next post down says "IT SUCKS" ... I'm a little insulted. This board really isn't too bad when it comes to that ... compared to some of the other boards I go on where the moderators don't really take their position too seriously. Some of the recent "fun" Terre d'Hermes threads almost got out of hand ... but I think the moderators here did a great job in controlling them. And that started by some just flat out insulting each other. When you look at the INCREDIBLE differences in opinion from the White House on down ... through politicians and mayors and governors, etc. ... this all seems so small. That is, of course, unless YOU'RE the one being insulted or told your opinion is "wrong".


    So my "opinion" about this thread is a simple one. Buy what you like ... say what you like ( using common courtesy ) ... and wear what you like ... whenever.

  30. #30

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS
    I think that we forget that we should just go smell the damn things for ourselves and let our own nose decide what is best. No one else can do it but we still ask for it.
    That doesn't always work well. I don't like a lot of scents so I don't really have a big list of frags that I want. Also blind buys is the last option for me because of this. I went to a lot of stores in Milwaukee and Chicago looking for YSL frags like Rive Gauche and M7, but could only find Kouros. So for ~double the price of a decant, I did a blind buy of Rive Gauche based on other people's opinions and I like it.

    I think the other big reason people blind buy is just for a surprise "Me" gift. Something to pamper, but something unexpected so it adds a little Christmas morning anticipation to the gift.

  31. #31

    Default Re: My thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    Actually, I think the advice given to newbies here has gotten a lot better in recent times than it was about two years ago, mainly due to the influx of new members who were or who have gotten more knowledgeable in that period.

    Two years ago a high school newbie would ask for advice (he may not say it, but he wants to be more attractive to girls). The responses he'd most often get was to go and buy some ridiculously expensive, non masculine, niche scents - which he would be most unlikely be able to afford in the first place - and if he did, to my mind, would do little to enhance his prospects of achieving what he was really after. This was really bad advice as far as I was concerned.

    It was at about that time that I started my anti Nichean threads - mainly to cast doubt in the minds of newbies about much of what was being so enthusiastically professed and pushed on them *- without my having to have an argument on each newbie's posting.
    Renato
    Well, I don't know what's the criteria to judge someone as a newbie. If I'm not, I still consider myself as one. Maybe I've been reading Socrates too much, but the more I learn the more I realize I should know more and more... That's why I'm always bothering everybody here with my questions about fragrances I want to buy blind (Understand: most of the time, It's the only way I have to know how they smell like. Perfume shops here only carry the main fragrance of the bigger designer lines). Sometimes I see that some fragrances I wanna know are underrated here (because of the few answers obtained) but sincerely, I don't care. I'll simply keep on asking for help. And you should know I'll always be thankfull for the help you give me.
    When I entered the forum, sometime ago, I was ashamed of my ignorance and started to sniff and follow the advices of the older members. Well, I knew what I liked and still like (the classics) and reading threads as "A tribute to the Classics" written by Milamber and The-Odor was a pleasure indeed.
    I suffered with the weird niche recommendations and spent a lot of money on samples and decants and concluded: I don't like 85% of the niche stuff I tested. They were too feminine or too weak or too weird for me. I thought to myself: Am I not prepared for them? Now I know: I really don't like them. The smell isn't pleasant for me. Some classics I own are really complex and well made and I like them. So, I don't believe anymore that the evolution of the designer fragrances are the niche ones. Someone once said to me: You start with AdG kind of stuff, then go to the classics and finally the niche... Bullshit... It isn't that simple...
    My interest is ecletical: sometimes I wanna know how a niche fragrance smells like, but sometimes I wanna know how Nautica competition smells I have almost 50 and have smelt another 50 or more... If a newbie ask me about a fragrance, now I have experience to say what I thought when I sniffed it and I get a lot of satisfaction in giving back to another basenoter all the knowledge some patient good fellas helped me to obtain when I came in.



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