As a lover of the famous/infamous Kouros I have gone through various phases with the daily discussions about it. I felt like a Basenotes victim, a marter at times. But the moment had to come when I recognized basic elements of group hysteria in the phenomenon, and now I have grown immune, I think. In my experience the term over- and underrated are about the most neutral words we can find. They mostly describe my disagreement with an anonymos, common verdict concerning any fragrance. The problem seems to be that some people read them to also include snobistic criticism of other peoples' taste etc., and thus feel offended. This implied meaning is news to me.
'Overrated' is a term that I have never considered as hurtful. I do not remember having used the word myself much, but I certainly would, did I feel an urge writing about some (Mugler, Dior, whatever ...) fragrance which has no place in my world, but seems to be as popular as the proverbial Creeds here. I usually think, I do not understand certain scents when the whole world seems to love them, and I can't. Now 'underrated' is just the opposite term - using that does not seem to hurt anybody, does it?
Rating is desirable I think. Rating and voting on fragrances are highly subjective matters. I must have appropriate words to express whether I like the result of a single rating or the bulk of them.
What would be better words to replace 'over-' or 'underrated'?