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  1. #1

    Default Has this ever happened to you?

    Have you ever worn a high-end, niche fragrance and a person who smelled it thought it was a department-store fragrance?

    Once I wore Creed's Green Valley to work and a co-worker took a whiff and said:
    "Oh, that reminds me of my ex, he loved to wear Acqua di Gio too."

    I think that killed my appreciation for the house of Creed forever.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    One of the earliest lessons I learned about this hobby is that high price has absolutely nothing to do with the way a scent smells. Some $20 scents smell better than $150 scents. Bottom line is if you like it, buy it no matter what the price. As long as it's within your budget.

    I think it would be very, very interesting to use a "newbie" as a guinea pig for sampling high end and very cheap frags. Send them 5 small vials of expensive and 5 small vials of cheaper (but still good) frags and get their reaction. No tags on the vials ... just blank.

    I wish I would have done that before spending thousands on blind buys or going by others comments.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by bren
    Once I wore Creed's Green Valley to work and a co-worker took a whiff and said:
    "Oh, that reminds me of my ex, he loved to wear Acqua di Gio too."
    Chances are less that she was smelling a similarity between Green Valley and AdG, than that she just associates any cologne whatsoever with AdG, as that's what she's been exposed to. The fact that it was AdG specifically, rather than, say Mugler Cologne or even Polo Blue, betrays her unsophisticated nose. (to most Americans, cologne = AdG). What she meant was "he loved to wear cologne too"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    [QUOTE=ziffy321]
    I think it would be very, very interesting to use a "newbie" as a guinea pig for sampling high end and very cheap frags. Send them 5 small vials of expensive and 5 small vials of cheaper (but still good) frags and get their reaction. No tags on the vials ... just blank.
    QUOTE]

    I've done this (more or less) with a number of people (friends and family who don't care much about fragrances) and almost 100% of the time, the cheaper or more mass market fragrances take the day. In fact, when I then revealed which were the cheaper ones and which were the most expensive, the reply was always, "Well, I'm glad to hear that, so now I don't have to spend that kind of money on fragrances." When my sister learned what I paid for Voleur de Roses (something she hated), she wanted to have me committed.

    But, when she smatters herself with bath and body works, I'm allowed to say nothing.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  5. #5

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    I'd say that in an overwhelming majority of cases, only people who could be described as fragrance connoisseurs can get a higher level of appreciation from expensive niche fragrances vs. nice designer ones.

    Average people catching a trace of what you're wearing as you go aroud during the day aren't going to be amazed by the impecabble quality of the ingredients in the $200 a bottle frag you're wearing. If it smells nice it smells nice, that's really all it comes out to.

    Unless your nose is so well trained that you can pick out all the individual notes and evaluate them, I really don't see how you gain anything from spending 4x as much on a bottle of fragrance in order to get a niche brand.

    Niche fragrances don't smell "better" in a general perceptive sense, they're merely usually made from higher quality ingredients and (a very major factor in the increased price) they aren't mass produced at the same level as popular designer fragrances.

    But in answer to your question, I don't know what you'd expect? Barely anyone in the general public has any idea what a niche fragrance even is let alone being able to discern the higher quality of whatever you're wearing.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    As has been discussed on this forum before, people who arent as much into fragrances as BN'ers are normally cannot discern the finer nuances of many complex fragrances that we seek and talk about.

    A friend tried my decant of Czech&Speake no.88 today and said "meh, smells ok." He actually prefers the cleaner, simpler smelling concoctions of Hugo Boss and CK over no.88.

    Did his comment diminish my appreciation for no.88? No. Its his opinion and I hold steady to mine.
    -

  7. #7

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Same has happened to me with Himalaya and how people think I was wearing XS (which I love anyway), but it dosen't bother me because wear frags for my own personal pleasure. It shows how many people are not able to distinguish between quality. They mostly like mass marketed, popular fragrances b/c it makes them feel like they fit in. Only people like us who care about the fragrances we wear actually take the time in expanding our knowledge about different notes or seeing how a frag actually dries down. Those who do this know how to appreciate high-end frags.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by bren
    Have you ever worn a high-end, niche fragrance and a person who smelled it thought it was a department-store fragrance?

    Once I wore Creed's Green Valley to work and a co-worker took a whiff and said:
    "Oh, that reminds me of my ex, he loved to wear Acqua di Gio too."

    I think that killed my appreciation for the house of Creed forever.
    __________________________________________________ _______________
    This reminds me of a scene from the Trevanian book "The Eiger Sanction" where Dr. Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood's Character in the movie) took a woman to an expensive restaurant and the sommelier recommended a rather inexpensive wine of a recent vintage for them. Hemlock dismissed the waiter's recommendation outright and instead ordered an expensive 1st growth Bordeaux from a very good vintage year.

    As the miffed sommelier left to get the wine Hemlock's 'date' questioned him about the Latour he had just ordered, and in doing so indicating she didn't know wine well enough to know he had just requested the sommelier bring them an excellent wine. Hemlock immediately stopped the sommlier, changed his order from the expensive Latour to the much inferior but far less expensive wine recommended in the first place.

    The lady snippily asked Hemlock why he had done that...'didn't he think she would like the Latour'?

    Dr. Hemlock replied: "Oh, you would like it, but you wouldn't appreciate it."
    'Those who grow too big for their pants will be exposed in the end'--anon

  9. #9

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by ziffy321
    I think it would be very, very interesting to use a "newbie" as a guinea pig for sampling high end and very cheap frags. Send them 5 small vials of expensive and 5 small vials of cheaper (but still good) frags and get their reaction. No tags on the vials ... just blank.

    I wish I would have done that before spending thousands on blind buys or going by others comments.
    I did this type of blind sampling with someone here at BN about a month ago (interesting results nonetheless):

    http://community.basenotes.net/showpost.php?p=921388&postcount=36
    Scents are fleeting . . . memories are not. . . .

  10. #10

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    I posted this to the "Take a Shower" topic, but it fits this too to the teeth, so ill put it here too.


    People who pay attention to and care about smell tend to be more favorably predisposed to odors in general, and therefore will like more odors than someone who is uninterested in scent. Wrzesniewski, McCauley and Rozin (1999) developed a questionnaire to assess the degree to which people are interested in and pay attention to odors. The higher the score on this questionnaire the greater the importance of odors to that individual.
    Link

    And combine this to acehimself post, you get the answer to the why.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    At a company party I was wearing GIT (I know you think you know where this is going, but read on!) and a girl at work that always liked the way I smelled asked while she was smelling me, "what are you wearing tonight? Oh, it smells like some mainstream cologne". She knows I tend not to wear mainstream. This was only minutes after application.

    About 30 minutes later I had her smell it again and she almost freaked on how good it smelled and how wrong she was about her intitial impression.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp
    As has been discussed on this forum before, people who arent as much into fragrances as BN'ers are normally cannot discern the finer nuances of many complex fragrances that we seek and talk about.

    A friend tried my decant of Czech&Speake no.88 today and said "meh, smells ok." He actually prefers the cleaner, simpler smelling concoctions of Hugo Boss and CK over no.88.

    Did his comment diminish my appreciation for no.88? No. Its his opinion and I hold steady to mine.
    How muc of good does this kinda reactions do to niche stuff?

    Example.

    If your allready somewhat beyond the normal "I wear them to smell nice" people, then you just wear your fragrances as a work of arts and not just to smell really nice to people, wouldnt this kinda comment just make them ewen more high valued? Because now you dont care what people think, you know its unique and has class. So the fact that they dont understand them, makes them ewen more unique. And if someone knows what they are, they are propably a BNoter them self.


    On another hand, if you just wear them to be classy and to stand out deliberatly, then if someone compares your niche to mass marketed frag, I can see why someone would be "offended".

    Because it might feel like your just like the rest of the public, difference is, you spend 3times more on a frag than them, and you still dont get any "unique feedback" so to speak.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    No offence to those guys that wore GIT, Green Valley and Himalaya and got told that they're probably wearing something designer or mainstream, but I wouldn't have been surprised . Those fragrance don't really smell very artistic IMO and they could probably pass as a designer scent. They all smell like a more natural designer scent.

    Now if you were wearing something like Montale Aoud Rose Petals and they said that , then I'd be worried a little.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Question

    If people think that something niche is mainstream, well, how will the know whats niche then? I mean, if they say that "This smell mainstream/mass marketed" doesnt that imply that they know for a fact that there is niche stuff?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Question

    If people think that something niche is mainstream, well, how will the know whats niche then? I mean, if they say that "This smell mainstream/mass marketed" doesnt that imply that they know for a fact that there is niche stuff?
    I think that many people are unaware that niche frags even exist or at least what they are. When someone smells a $200 frag and says "My ex used to wear (mass market cologne)" it probably means they associate a particular note with something they know. You can't really expect someone who knows nothing about GIT, for example, to evaluate it as something more than the mass market products they are familiar with.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi
    No offence to those guys that wore GIT, Green Valley and Himalaya and got told that they're probably wearing something designer or mainstream, but I wouldn't have been surprised . Those fragrance don't really smell very artistic IMO and they could probably pass as a designer scent. They all smell like a more natural designer scent.

    Now if you were wearing something like Montale Aoud Rose Petals and they said that , then I'd be worried a little.

    Although you will note in my post abut GIT, when she smelled it after it dried down and the resemblence to "designer scent" went away, she was able to discern that it was special!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi
    No offence to those guys that wore GIT, Green Valley and Himalaya and got told that they're probably wearing something designer or mainstream, but I wouldn't have been surprised . Those fragrance don't really smell very artistic IMO and they could probably pass as a designer scent. They all smell like a more natural designer scent.

    Now if you were wearing something like Montale Aoud Rose Petals and they said that , then I'd be worried a little.
    See that doesn't make any sense though. What does "artistic" smell like?

    Something like Daim Blonde maybe? I'm supposed to be amazed by it because it has such wonderful ingredients and is such an unconventional blend even though all I get from it is an association with cough drops?

    Most average people aren't even aware of the existance of niche fragrances let alone actually picking them out.

    A fragrance being "artistic" is totally subjective just like any other kind of art. Aside from a very few things in this world which are regarded as masterpieces, for every person that is amazed by something, there is another who thinks it's rediculous.

    I find it a huge joke how there is this notion that if you paid $250 for a bottle of fragrance you're getting some kind of amazing masterpiece of a quality many times superior to designer brands. There are a lot of things that makes the price jump, but to think it's pure quality is silly. But like others have said, if you're buying a niche fragrance, you're spending that extra $150 for yourself.

    It's similar to designer clothes. Do you think that they really spent numerous times as much money on creating a quality product than average brands?
    Last edited by acehimself; 14th December 2006 at 12:38 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by acehimself

    I find it a huge joke how there is this notion that if you paid $250 for a bottle of fragrance you're getting some kind of amazing masterpiece of a quality many times superior to designer brands. There are a lot of things that makes the price jump, but to think it's pure quality is silly. But like others have said, if you're buying a niche fragrance, you're spending that extra $150 for yourself.
    No one ever said that because you pay $250 (although most niches are more like $110 - 170) is "many times superior to designer brands"!

    Here's an anology that may be of some use.

    I'm into high end audio (not that I can afford most of it!). I own an amplifier that is about $4000 @ 300watts per channel (B.A.T. VK-250). My rich friend brought over an amp 160 watts per channel that was $17,000 (Pass Laboratories XA160). We put in my system.

    Did it sound 4 X as good as my amp? Even twice as good? No! But I'd still say it was worth the difference in price for all the subtle things that it did better than my amp that made it sound more like real music.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon
    No one ever said that because you pay $250 (although most niches are more like $110 - 170) is "many times superior to designer brands"!

    Here's an anology that may be of some use.

    I'm into high end audio (not that I can afford most of it!). I own an amplifier that is about $4000 @ 300watts per channel (B.A.T. VK-250). My rich friend brought over an amp 160 watts per channel that was $17,000 (Pass Laboratories XA160). We put in my system.

    Did it sound 4 X as good as my amp? Even twice as good? No! But I'd still say it was worth the difference in price for all the subtle things that it did better than my amp that made it sound more like real music.
    I'm going by Canadian dollar prices I've seen, which will be higher, so that's the reason for the higher figures. Either way, it's still several times higher in most cases, it varies of course.

    Well that's really not a fair comparison. When it comes to more expensive audio equipment, you're usually getting higher specs which are tangible, something you can measure. Ie. if you put a $4000 system beside a $2000 system you can say without a doubt that it is technically superior and will as a result produce a higher quality sound. There's no subjectivity in the performance of a piece of electronic equipment.

    The same can't be said for any fragrance. Just because a niche fragrance uses all of these rare and expensive ingredients doesn't make it objectively superior. Say some commonly used ingredient today suddenly becomes rare and expensive, does that elevate the quality and "artistic value" of the fragrances that use it afterwards? And like I said boefre, it could be argued too that the extra money you are paying isn't even necessarily for any concept you might have of quality.

    I'm not bashing anyone's choices. I just can't understand at all how someone could actually be surprised that random people aren't able to perceive a higher level of quality in their niche fragrance upon smelling it.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    To add my two cents:

    I second the idea that the girl was most likely smelling a note that reminded her of something that she recognised. I've had co-workers do that: a girl who loves patchouli mentioned it when I wore Borneo 1834 at work, even though I think the burnt cacoa and camphor accord in that one are on equal footing.

    I remember that scene in "The Eiger Sanction" and I thought at the time that Dr. Snootipants was the biggest bore in the world. People aren't born with knowledge of the finer points of wine, food or perfume. Some of the best times I've had is taking people to the next level scent-wise. I've introduced coworkers to Annick Goutal (and one, memorably who never wore anything stronger than l'Eau d'Issey to Fracas, which she now adores) and friends to Serge Lutens. In turn I have had friends who have introduced me to others.

    Lastly, there are going to be some people that are just going to bullishly stick to what they know and insist that you are insane for spending $100 for something that smells like cough drops. I was wearing MKK today and was dissed by a girl who wrinkled her nose and asked "What is that SMELL?". I had just applied mine and it apparently managed to penetrate her cloud of godawful fizzy-fruity eau de BritLoHoHilton. I sniffed and wrinkled my nose and answered "Geeesh, I don't know: it smells like peaches that have gone bad and skank!"

    Luckily the elevator had just stopped at my floor...

  21. #21

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    I guess this all proves that just about the only universally agreed-upon fact is that perfume appreciation is highly subjective.
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  22. #22

    Default Re: Has this ever happened to you?

    Simon Moon, you are a sick, sick man, but you speak my language :-) Nice to run into a fellow audio nut, albeit one who puts my little setup to shame. I think audio and fragrance are alike in their potential for showing off to an audience that may or may not even notice or care, or simply engaging in the hobby for one's own pleasure. I suppose we all like to have our spending excesses validated by others, but beyond a certain point, hardly anyone but those within the hobby care enough to try to discern any differences between one example and another. Perhaps they may even be impressed by the cheap or put off by the expensive. But I think the biggest advantage of having an interest in fragrance or audio is knowing how to get the most bang for one's buck, whether bang be defined as impressing others, or simply enjoying oneself.

    Oh yeah, and Simon--I dream of $4,000 amps. Right now I've got a Denon single disc and a Rotel receiver powering a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52s and a Velodyne sub. I'm building a tube pre-amp from a kit, and saving my pennies for Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks. See? No one knows what the hell I'm talking about. Now if I said I had Bose...
    Last edited by strngcheesefan; 14th December 2006 at 05:22 AM.

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