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  1. #1
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Thumbs up - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Heres a recent article on the rise of "bespoke" fragrance service in the perfume industry.

    Watch out for a gem of a quote (and an emotional outburst) by none other than Luca Turin himself: "I think its total crap!", snapped the leading fragrance authority when asked about this service, "Perfume is like beer; its an industrial product", continued the author of Science of smell.

    Dont worry, the article is interesting enough:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/184eccae-b83...0779e2340.html
    -

  2. #2
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Great article - thanks zztopp.

    Luca Turin likes Brut, huh? That was a surprise. My dad loves Brut.

  3. #3
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23
    Great article - thanks zztopp.

    Luca Turin likes Brut, huh? That was a surprise. My dad loves Brut.
    Brut, alongwith Old Spice, is a classic ! I would like an EDP version of Brut

    And damn, 52,000 euros for a Patou bespoke service ! Thats only eclipsed by the $73,000 that Olivier Creed charges (for 10 liters)
    -

  4. #4
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    I too would welcome a Brut EDP but it would have to be in the glass bottle.

  5. #5

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Great article, thanks ZZ.

    I think the point about customers not being able to articulate what they want is a good one.

    But is good, old spice is good and blue stratos is good.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  6. #6

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Post deleted
    Last edited by yepyep; 14th February 2007 at 02:07 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by yepyep
    Luca Turin is an elitist snob. What a jerk. There's not one thing you can do about it, Luca, you total piece of crap.
    It seems to me Mr. Turin was arguing against the "snobbery"/elitism of it all:

    Some experts, however, are unconvinced about the bespoke trend. “I think it’s total crap,” says Luca Turin, a leading fragrance authority and author of The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell. “Imagine asking a writer to write a novel specially for you; it’s ludicrous. I’m violently opposed to the snobbery of this thing. Perfume is like beer; it’s an industrial product.”

    Part of Turin’s objection is that the talent of a great master should be limited in this way to the benefit of the few rather than the many. “Composing a really serious fragrance takes a year or a year and a half for a good perfumer, so what a waste to have him make it for a Cartier private client; why not make it for Cartier instead?” He admits that his feelings are “really a matter of pure jealousy. I don’t want them to work for some rich woman in New York who wants to have a unique perfume. I want Jean-Michel to be doing the next Joy.”

    He also feels there are “so many good fragrances on the market” – among which he includes the likes of Jennifer Lopez’s offering and even Brut – that most people should be able to find their perfect one from what’s available. And, he says, “if you were really good enough to explain to a perfumer exactly what you want you’d probably be good enough to compose it yourself”.

  8. #8

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by asleep
    It seems to me Mr. Turin was arguing against the "snobbery"/elitism of it all:

    Some experts, however, are unconvinced about the bespoke trend. “I think it’s total crap,” says Luca Turin, a leading fragrance authority and author of The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell. “Imagine asking a writer to write a novel specially for you; it’s ludicrous. I’m violently opposed to the snobbery of this thing. Perfume is like beer; it’s an industrial product.
    The words in bold are so good that I made it my new signature... I agree with Luca Turin entirely.
    "It always seems impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela

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  9. #9
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310
    The words in bold are so good that I made it my new signature... I agree with Luca Turin entirely.
    Perfumes certainly didnt start that way (i.e, an industrial mass market product).

    Maybe the author of the article should be shown the reactions of Luca Turin when he is dousing himself in the chanel exclusifs and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist/Borneo (surely these aren't "beer" fragrances). I find it amusing that the article only states fragrances like Brut and the J-lo frag as Turins' favorites.
    -

  10. #10

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Post deleted
    Last edited by yepyep; 14th February 2007 at 02:07 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by yepyep
    Luca thinks that only celebrities should be able to have their own fragrances. He is trash.
    Where has he ever said this, or said anything that implies it?
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    edit: ELUARD beat me to this question by a minute!

    Quote Originally Posted by yepyep
    Luca thinks that only celebrities should be able to have their own fragrances.
    Really? What's the evidence that he thinks this?
    Spray it, don’t say it…
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  13. #13
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC
    edit: ELUARD beat me to this question by a minute!



    Really? What's the evidence that he thinks this?
    Maybe the fact that he thinks J-lo's frag is great, but is against the idea of "bespoke" frags ?
    -

  14. #14

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Post deleted
    Last edited by yepyep; 14th February 2007 at 02:08 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp
    Maybe the fact that he thinks J-lo's frag is great, but is against the idea of "bespoke" frags ?
    Uhh J-Lo's frags are not bespoke fragrances for J-Lo, they are commercially available fragrances. Being against bespoke fragrances for anyone, does not mean being against celebrity fragrance lines.

    (I have to think ZZ that you are just stirring here, because you do not normally post something so obviously wrong. But I agreed with you about Turin's faux common man stuff — that was hilarious given the direction his tastes actually run.)
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  16. #16
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard

    (I have to think ZZ that you are just stirring here, because you do not normally post something so obviously wrong. But I agreed with you about Turin's faux common man stuff — that was hilarious given the direction his tastes actually run.)
    Heh.. the main gist of Turin's argument is that bespoke service can take away a perfumers unrestricted creative flow. However, many perfumers (Serge Lutens/Sheldrake, Olivier Creed, Ellena, etc) have stated that they work on multiple fragrances simultaneously, so I dont think its that big of an issue.

    Plus, consider the fact that some of the finest Creed fragrances were bespoke fragrances (ofcourse Creeds perfume history started as a bespoke service)
    Last edited by zztopp; 14th February 2007 at 01:10 AM.
    -

  17. #17

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by yepyep
    Luca Turin is an elitist snob. What a jerk. There's not one thing you can do about it, Luca, you total piece of crap.
    This seems to suffer from the very same problem that Turin himself sometimes suffers from - making imperious pronouncements without offering an explanation of why, therefore lacking in any instructive value.

    But even when he fails to instruct and comes off rather arrogantly, Turin is still consummately articulate and entertaining. That's worthy of some respect in my book.

  18. #18

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp
    Heh.. the main gist of Turin's argument is that bespoke service can take away a perfumers unrestricted creative flow. However, many perfumers (Serge Lutens/Sheldrake, Olivier Creed, Ellena, etc) have stated that they work on multiple fragrances simultaneously, so I dont think its that big of an issue.

    Plus, consider the fact that some of the finest Creed fragrances were bespoke fragrances (ofcourse Creeds perfume history started as a bespoke service)
    Well, the other part of his argument is that if something is really good everyone should be able to enjoy it — and that part of his argument is hardly elitist.

    The only good argument I can see for bespoke fragrances is that you may be able to make something with no expense spared on constituents, something that is not commercially viable. Or that breaks EU restrictions on the use of particular oils. But even there it isn't a very strong argument for bespoke.

    I think bespoke is just a way of fleecing the rich. But I'm on the side of Turin here: I want them to make better commercially available product — so that they fleece people like us!
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  19. #19
    PaulSC's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by yepyep
    That's exactly it. Read the article.
    I did read the article, thanks. As others have pointed out, you've clearly misread it. A J-lo fragrance is not "for" J-lo, it's for anyone who wants to buy it (and can afford it). This is in total contrast to the case of a bespoke fragrance being exclusively for the person who commissions it.

    But I agree with zztopp that it's not worth getting worked up over the idea that great perfumers are spending their time making bespoke fragrances. There's plenty of good stuff reaching the open market.
    Last edited by PaulSC; 14th February 2007 at 01:51 AM.
    Spray it, don’t say it…
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  20. #20

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    I wasn't aware that "Bespoke" meant that it was exclusive to the person who made it. In that case, I was wrong about Luca. I thought "Bespoke" just meant a fragrance based on someone.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    I have always appreciated Luca Turin’s writings on perfume. On his blog, which was active for the last half of 2005, Luca Turin had a little more to say about bespoke perfumes. Here is a link for downloading Luca Turin's blog:

    www.flexitral.com/research/Blogtextweb.pdf

    Once you have the blog text downloaded, search for the word “bespoke” or go directly to pages 126 and 127 in order to read Luca Turin’s comments about bespoke perumes. Here is some of what he has to say:

    From an aesthetic standpoint, perfume is a shared, industrial product, more like wine, music and books than like a painting or a jewel, and there is something ugly about asking a great artist to do one just for you. From a commercial standpoint, I couldn’t figure out what makes these well-paid professionals (and the houses that employ them) do such a thing. After all, why waste a good idea on some rich bitch when you can have everyone wearing it? I asked around, and some answers emerged. First, the daily grind of the perfumers’ job, making things that smell good with 100$/kg to spend on the formula, i.e. using ingredients that mostly smell less than great, is getting depressing. All involved in bespoke perfumes relish the opportunity to use great raw materials, ignore all “health” regulations and travel back in time to the golden age of fragrance.

  22. #22

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Yeah, I'm a total prick, lol. I actually agree with him. I should've looked up "bespoke" before I spoke. Did I just accidentally make a pun? =)

  23. #23
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Yea I guess bespoke/made-to-order suits and dresses for the elite by famous designers is also pretty stupid...

    The personalized fragrance is a service, and the perfumers/houses charge a hefty amount for it. The world famous houses probably know more than Luca Turin about the industry economics. If the perfumers/houses feel that they are "burning out", they can always stop offering the service. Pretty simple really.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    The only good argument I can see for bespoke fragrances is that you may be able to make something with no expense spared on constituents, something that is not commercially viable. Or that breaks EU restrictions on the use of particular oils.
    Eluard, I am impressed! You have discerned pretty much exactly what Turin discovered when he asked around to figure out why professional perfumers created bespoke fragrances (see the Turin quote in my previous post).
    Last edited by Rockford; 14th February 2007 at 03:04 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockford
    Eluard, I am impressed! You have discerned pretty much exactly what Turin discovered when he asked around to figure out why professional perfumers created bespoke fragrances (see the Turin quote in my previous psot).
    Isnt that the premise behind the Frederic Malle perfumes ?
    -

  26. #26
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp
    Isnt that the premise behind the Frederic Malle perfumes ?
    I do believe you are right!

    Except that the Malle perfumes are sold commercially and therefore cannot ignore health regulations regarding the ingredients used in the creation of the perfume.
    Last edited by Rockford; 14th February 2007 at 03:17 AM.

  27. #27

    Exclamation Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    I tend to agree with Turin. IMO, part of a fragrances appeal is the mystique of the house, the nose and the packaging. Also, it's about branding. In the end, like the French Couture concept, you will have a handful of clients that are rich enough and vain enough to order Bespoke Creations and perhaps the houses will make enough money to break even. But, like Graucho Marx said, "I would never want to be a member of a club that would have me for a member".

  28. #28

    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockford
    Eluard, I am impressed! You have discerned pretty much exactly what Turin discovered when he asked around to figure out why professional perfumers created bespoke fragrances (see the Turin quote in my previous post).
    Yes, but now I am puzzled about Turin's outburst! How could he have listened to the "noses" and been sympathetic to what they say, and then turn around in this interview and ignore their opinion and damn all bespoke creations? Or was the blog entry written after the interview was done. (Surely not.)
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    Yes, but now I am puzzled about Turin's outburst! How could he have listened to the "noses" and been sympathetic to what they say, and then turn around in this interview and ignore their opinion and damn all bespoke creations? Or was the blog entry written after the interview was done. (Surely not.)
    See Turin's blog entry on p.126 - posted July 05, 2005
    “....A perfume is a message in a bottle, not a smell, and the message is written by the perfumer and read by the person who smells it.” Luca Turin

    www.perfumestheguide.com
    doublebasenotes.blogspot.com
    arabia.style.com/author/luca-turin/
    www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/23038/page/2
    www.scenthurdle.com
    www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/43464
    www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/3408
    www.nstperfume.com/the-blogroll
    www.yesterdaysperfume.com
    www.boisdejasmin.com
    www.monsieurguerlain.com
    www.graindemusc.blogspot.com
    www.sorceryofscent.blogspot.com

    www.neroprofumo.blogspot.com
    www.yeoldecivetcat.blogspot.com
    tinyurl.com/q2eeycp

    tinyurl.com/qd2nthg
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: - The rise of "Bespoke" fragrance services -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    Yes, but now I am puzzled about Turin's outburst! How could he have listened to the "noses" and been sympathetic to what they say, and then turn around in this interview and ignore their opinion and damn all bespoke creations? Or was the blog entry written after the interview was done. (Surely not.)
    I would assign more credence to what Luca Turin himself wrote on his blog rather than what he was quoted as saying in an article stitched together by a different writer. On his blog, Turin had total control over the communication of what he wanted to say. On the other hand, Turin’s quotes in the article written by someone else could have been taken out of context and inadvertently twisted and interpreted in a way that didn’t exactly express Turin’s thoughts and feelings.

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