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  1. #1
    manicboy's Avatar
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    Default What does "Oriental" mean?

    What does the term, "Oriental" mean? I have a lot a frags that people say are oriental but I'm still puzzled. When I go to Chinatown to shop or eat a meal, most of the smells I take in are hardly pleasant and bear no resemblance at all to my frags. I've also noticed that most Chinese people I've encountered don't wear any fragrance at all. I'm confused.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    The orient is more than just China, Japan, etc..
    It also includes the middle east, most oriental fragrances smell of spices that come from this region.
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  3. #3
    EnvYuS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    I am not positive but I usually find the heavier vanilla based scents in there.

    ie. Boss bottled, Le Male, and others. I always thought of it in that respect. Someone please correct me...


    Good topic

  4. #4

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    There isn't one single definition of "oriental" but in general, any scent that is constructed around heavy florals like ylang ylang, jasmine or tuberose is usually considered an oriental. Also any fragrance built around vanilla or oakmoss (many men's colognes like Egoiste, etc) is often but not always, considered an oriental.

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  5. #5
    The_Giraffe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    Basically there are some very general terms used to describe certain types of fragrances, such as chypre, fougre, oriental, etc. Because these terms are so general, oriental can mean a lot of things. For the most part, if something is classified as oriental, you can expect a bit of spiciness to it. This does not mean it will smell like spice markets, Asia, or Asian people. Keep in mind that two fragrances categorized as "oriental" could smell totally different from each other. Some orientals are actually reminiscent of what you would consider exotic spices, such as Opium and Jaipur. Others that are more simple and have maybe vanilla and cinnamon in them could also be considered oriental.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    The term oriental was first being used in the early 20th century for perfumes like Shalimar (considered the archetypal oriental). At that time the orient was very much in fashion and was concidered mysterious, seductive, dangerous and forbidden. Oriental fragrances are heavy in the basenotes with spices, balsams, vanilla and animal notes. These perfumes are sweet and heady and the anti-thesis to sporty and fresh fragrances. Gourmand fragrances usually fall under the oriental family as well.

    Nowadays most of us are more aware of the actual smells of the orient, so it's no surprise that you are confused by the term. A hundred years ago people dreamed about the orient, nowadays we often experience it ourselves.










  7. #7

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    It's kind of easy if you look at it this way...

    Think of all the citrus scents, all the fresh summery scents, stuff like Aqua di Gio. These are NOT oriental scents.

    Now think of this as a contrast. Old Spice. If ever there was a textbook archetype of what an oriental scent consists of, then Old Spice is your checklist. Spicy? Check. Sweet? Check. Powdery? Check.

    Spicy, sweet, powdery scents make up the oriental family. I wouldn't expect one to wear Old Spice though... some contemporary oriental scents are Gucci Envy, Dolce & Gabbana By Man(In the zebra print bottle), Calvin Klein Obsession, etc...
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  8. #8

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    Here's what Mr. Michael Edwards has to say about Orientals in his "Fragrances of the World" (2004 Edition):

    Orientals are the exotic queens of perfumery. Sensual, often heavy blends of oriental resins, opulent flowers, sweet vanilla and musks are introduced by refreshing citrus, green or fruty topnotes. The new "sheer" Orientals gained some ground in the 1990s, but the appeal of the full bodied, take-no-prisoners Orientals endure.

    To see all of Mr. Edwards Fragrance wheel:

    klick "sell by scent" and then - "play with the fragrance wheel"

    hover your mouse over the colour on the wheel and your definition appears on the left.

    here's the link

    http://www.fragrancesoftheworld.com/

    At your service EauxMag


  9. #9
    teflondog's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    In perfumer's lingo, the term "Oriental" refers to the Moyen-Orient of the Middle East (not Asia). Long ago, spices from these countries were often used in perfumery to make sweet/spicy scents. Generally, scents that have prominent notes of vanilla, benzoin, nutmeg, and tonka are classified as Oriental.

    As a side note, this is my favorite scent category.


  10. #10

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Concord
    The term oriental was first being used in the early 20th century for perfumes like Shalimar (considered the archetypal oriental). At that time the orient was very much in fashion and was concidered mysterious, seductive, dangerous and forbidden. Oriental fragrances are heavy in the basenotes with spices, balsams, vanilla and animal notes. These perfumes are sweet and heady and the anti-thesis to sporty and fresh fragrances. Gourmand fragrances usually fall under the oriental family as well.

    Nowadays most of us are more aware of the actual smells of the orient, so it's no surprise that you are confused by the term. A hundred years ago people dreamed about the orient, nowadays we often experience it ourselves.
    I second this entirely.

    A trivial detail comes to mind, perhaps it's worth sharing. The Western notion of "The Orient" as a place of Mystery can also be found in the world of theater in the 1910s and 1920s. In Vaudeville performances, magicians were often dressed up in colorful "Asian" tunics, with matching makeup and hairdo. In those days, many famous (Western) performers built their acts around the Oriental concept. Some entertainers took their job very seriously: Chung Ling Soo (1861-1918), known for his world-famous bullet catching trick, died on stage in London during a performance (that's right, the famous bullet catching trick). As doctors tried to rescue him, they noticed his chest was much whiter than the rest of his body. Until then, people simply assumed the man was Chinese. He wore his make-up 24/7; wherever he set foot, he was always escorted by an interpreter. His real name was William Ellsworth Robinson.

    Just another illustration of the popularity the Oriental theme in the early 20th century.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello
    [quote author=Concord link=1143688202/0#5 date=1143706286]
    Just another illustration of the popularity the Oriental theme in the early 20th century.
    Pyjamas. In the early 20th century, silk pyjamas, inspired by Indian, Near and Middle Eastern clothes, came into fashion, but not as bedwear at first. Fashionable young ladies would wear silk pyjamas out to clubs and such. It was considered terribly risque and terribly exotic.

    I'm not sure how pyjamas became things you wore to bed or when they became flannel...

    bonni
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    I've read many resources on the web. This thread is the most helpful explanation of Orientals I've seen.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What does "Oriental" mean?

    I would say scents like Opium are oriental, maybe even the great new Tom Ford Youth Dew Amber. check out sites like Sephora and they expain it better, Good luck , it is personal taste

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