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  1. #1

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    Default Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    I've been around long enough to realize that fashion is a cycle and that what is old and frumpy today will someday be new and fashionable. The "Fresh" and "Aquatic" scents seem to have been dominant for a while now so my expectation is that before too long we are going to see a movement away from them. I don't expect that they will ever go away but they will be less

    What are your thought on when and where fragrance fashion is going in the next few years?

    Personally I see fragrance fashion moving towards more complex and masculine scents over the 5 years, away from the "Fresh" and "Aquatic" scents which are in vogue today. I base this on the fact that younger people by their very nature tend to reject the fashion choices of their parents wanting to define their own identity. Typically people have a lot more in common with their grand parents then their parents. The people who came of age in the Fresh/Aquatic era have kids who are reaching high school/college age so I see things starting to swing back to the fragrances of the 70's and 80's. Anyway, I'm looking forward to telling people who wear the Fresh/Aquatic fragrances that they have that "Old Man" smell ;-)
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  2. #2
    genvy5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Don't forget to use your sociological imagination here. Is that the only reason the young crowd has been interested in fresh aquatics?

  3. #3
    Pepe Le Pew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evolution

    I see distinctions of "masculine" and "feminine" in fragrances disappearing, or becoming less important as what is designed to be worn by men is moving closer to what is designed to be worn by women (and vice versa). Please note the proliferation of "unisex" fragrances that has occurred in the last decade, since Calvin Klein introduced "One" in 1994. Almost everything in Comme des Garçons' line is classified as "unisex," and I'd say that the majority of L'Artisan's and about half of Bond No. 9's line is "unisex."

    About the young people's interest in fresh aquatics: it was something different, something that hadn't been done before, and so was a way for them to assert their individuality and difference from generations that had preceded them. Also, if "fresh" suggests "new," then it can suggest "young" as well, which would suit younger people.

    I must say that "fresh aquatics" don't seem to correspond to much of what I associate with young people these days, which can be rather dark: rap (particularly "gangsta rap"), grunge, the "Goth" look etc. I would think that a fragrance like Salvador Dalí for Men would hold more appeal for those types . . . but that is just my opinion!

    EDITED TO ADD:

    Another possible reason for the popularity of the "fresh aquatics" scents is that they are perfect for summer wear. There seemed to be a paucity of fragrances that could be worn well in the summer; it seems to me that most classic frags "play" better in the winter and in autumn.
    Last edited by Pepe Le Pew; 20th February 2007 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Had Another Idea

  4. #4
    LiveJazz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    I dunno, it seems like we're going from light aquatics to light barbershop and light spicy dry scents. Look at Polo Black/Double Black, YSL L'Homme, Prada Man, and basically all of the new scents that are selling well now.

    I see many of these new scents as even less interesting than aquatics, and in most cases weaker. I don't think it matters what category new releases fall under. The issue is that they are getting more and more homogeneous once a trend has been started. Let me explain. First there was the 80s power scent phase. They shared some aspects (they were strong; they were mainly cyphres, they had many wild and crazy notes), but for the most part they remained unique...barely close enough to each other to be clumped into one family.

    The 90s orientals (Obsession, etc), were still strong and interesting, but shared more aspects than their immediate predecessors.

    The first aquatics were actually relatively strong and unique (ie Issey Miyake and AdG), but the hordes that came after them set a new standard in uncreative note stealing, which continued for over 10 years. Now a new era of spicy and barbershop scents seems very creative to us solely because they are not aquatics. Fine for now, but just wait a few years. My guess is that they will be even more closely related than the now fading aquatics, and probably weaker.

    EDIT: one more thing just crossed my mind. Going off of what Pepe said, this country is obsessed with summer. Even if people live up north where heavier fragrances might be approptiate more of the time, they want to exude that fashionable "summerness". Hence the popularity of clothing brands like Hollister, Abercrombie, Billabong, etc. Anthing to be seen as a sexy surfer dude.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 20th February 2007 at 11:02 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Interesting point about things going more towards the Unisex fragrance and it certainly is hard to predict the future but personally I see the Unisex thing just being part of the evolution of the Fresh/Aquatic fashion. When you get down to it, there really is not that much difference between Fresh/Aquatic for men or women, so why not go Unisex. I also feel that this matches up very well with the overall metrosexual fashion where men moved away from the strongly masculine.
    In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane - Oscar Wilde

  6. #6

    Wink Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    I see many of these new scents as even less interesting than aquatics, and in most cases weaker. I don't think it matters what category new releases fall under. The issue is that they are getting more and more homogeneous once a trend has been started. Let me explain. First there was the 80s power scent phase. They shared some aspects (they were strong; they were mainly cyphres, they had many wild and crazy notes), but for the most part they remained unique...barely close enough to each other to be clumped into one family.

    The 90s orientals (Obsession, etc), were still strong and interesting, but shared more aspects than their immediate predecessors.

    The first aquatics were actually relatively strong and unique (ie Issey Miyake and AdG), but the hordes that came after them set a new standard in uncreative note stealing, which continued for over 10 years. Now a new era of spicy and barbershop scents seems very creative to us solely because they are not aquatics. Fine for now, but just wait a few years. My guess is that they will be even more closely related than the now fading aquatics, and probably weaker.

    I agree with your point that fragrances from the same decade shared the same mood, after all, there are just a handful of mega-flavor and fragrance conglomerates creating for all the big houses.
    But, I disagree with your point that fragrances will just get weaker and weaker. Case in point, the ubber 80's potions. Where did they come from? The 60's were about citrus and the 70's about Musk.
    With the popularity of the internet everything has become more fragmented and more individual and unique. I see the future trend being "no trend". Niche fragrances, re-discovered gems, natural oils as well as artificial scents like the CDG Odeurs.
    I also believe in Unisex, big time. The concept of "old man" may even become trendy.
    Brave New World.

  7. #7
    genvy5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz
    EDIT: one more thing just crossed my mind. Going off of what Pepe said, this country is obsessed with summer. Even if people live up north where heavier fragrances might be approptiate more of the time, they want to exude that fashionable "summerness". Hence the popularity of clothing brands like Hollister, Abercrombie, Billabong, etc. Anthing to be seen as a sexy surfer dude.
    Bingo.

  8. #8
    Pepe Le Pew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by genvy5
    Bingo.
    Consider the aging of the population. People are living longer, so there are more older people. Plus, the birth rate in the USA has been declining. The older demographic is much more important now than it used to be. And older people tend to prefer warmer climes. I remember how popular the "Sun Belt" (especially Florida) became for older people around the 1970s. Older people tend to like those climates, and that is the kind of climate where an aquatic scent would work well I think. You just don't hear a lot of older people saying, "Gee, I think that I'll move to Minnesota" or "I'm going to retire in Alaska."

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    I'm sorry but I just can't buy the "people are moving south" theory. People have been moving to the Sun belt since the 50's when air conditioning first became available. If that were the cause, why did it take so long to happen? I mean when the uber-scents of the 80's were in vogue the demographics of the US was not that much different then it is now. I would say it is more likely the trend towards Metrosexual styling.
    In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles
    I see many of these new scents as even less interesting than aquatics, and in most cases weaker. I don't think it matters what category new releases fall under. The issue is that they are getting more and more homogeneous once a trend has been started. Let me explain. First there was the 80s power scent phase. They shared some aspects (they were strong; they were mainly cyphres, they had many wild and crazy notes), but for the most part they remained unique...barely close enough to each other to be clumped into one family.

    The 90s orientals (Obsession, etc), were still strong and interesting, but shared more aspects than their immediate predecessors.

    The first aquatics were actually relatively strong and unique (ie Issey Miyake and AdG), but the hordes that came after them set a new standard in uncreative note stealing, which continued for over 10 years. Now a new era of spicy and barbershop scents seems very creative to us solely because they are not aquatics. Fine for now, but just wait a few years. My guess is that they will be even more closely related than the now fading aquatics, and probably weaker.

    I agree with your point that fragrances from the same decade shared the same mood, after all, there are just a handful of mega-flavor and fragrance conglomerates creating for all the big houses.
    But, I disagree with your point that fragrances will just get weaker and weaker. Case in point, the ubber 80's potions. Where did they come from? The 60's were about citrus and the 70's about Musk.
    With the popularity of the internet everything has become more fragmented and more individual and unique. I see the future trend being "no trend". Niche fragrances, re-discovered gems, natural oils as well as artificial scents like the CDG Odeurs.
    I also believe in Unisex, big time. The concept of "old man" may even become trendy.
    Brave New World.

    For future reference, the quote will show in a quote box and you don't have to copy and paste if you press the "quote" button on the bottom right of the post you would like to reference. It just makes who you are quoting and what part of you post consists of the quote more clear.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles
    With the popularity of the internet everything has become more fragmented and more individual and unique. I see the future trend being "no trend". Niche fragrances, re-discovered gems, natural oils as well as artificial scents like the CDG Odeurs.
    Yes, but what percent of the population actually wears niche frags and natural oils? I'm talking about frags that you'll find in the Macy's and Dillards. Yes, many people are looking to be unique, and some even hold an interest in scents in those circles, sure, there are tons of unique options. But for the average Joe looking through the glass at the department store counter, I doubt we'll see improvement, even if the fragrance classification changes.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 21st February 2007 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  11. #11
    The_Giraffe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    I predict that the trend will turn towards lightly sweetened, relatively subtle quasi-oriental fragrances (read: Armani Code). I have a feeling that aquatics will be popular for quite some time because of summer editions and whatnot, but that within 8-10 years they certainly won't be the biggest sellers.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    My point is, the concept of the "average Joe" is fading fast. Gender lines are bluring. I don't like the word Metrosexual, because it seems like it was made up as a marketing tool for "average Joes" who think living in NYC is like an episode of Sex in the City. Old stereotypes are being seen for what they are, old stereotypes. Welcome to the world of fluid identity.
    You can be a Givenchy Gentleman, a Daim Blonde, le 3e Homme or The Dreamer.
    And if you can't afford to walk into a store you can always find a heavy discount on some amazingly obscure fragrances on the internet.
    A store on Amazon offers a tester of Arabie by Serge Lutens for $60.
    Look at cars: Minis, giant SUV's, European Luxury sedans, Hybrids, can you tell me there is a trend going on there? Looks more like a bunch of niche markets to me.
    I believe that all consumer products are moving in this direction. Freedom of choice, live your fantasy. Pick your price point.
    And what about bringing high culture to the masses. Proenza Schouler for Target, who even knows how to pronounce that one? $28 at Target, $2800 at Neiman Marcus.
    The frags you will find in Macy's and Dillards, with a few exceptions, have always been and always will be watered down versions of what's on offer at more upscale places like Barneys, NM and Bergdorf Goodman. Just like the clothes.
    Cheers!
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 21st February 2007 at 04:24 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Ruggles, You do have some valid points about increased choice, but especially with younger people, when people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Sure there will always people who go there own way but my experience has been that most people value fitting in over individuality.
    In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane - Oscar Wilde

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by oolong
    I'm sorry but I just can't buy the "people are moving south" theory. People have been moving to the Sun belt since the 50's when air conditioning first became available. If that were the cause, why did it take so long to happen? I mean when the uber-scents of the 80's were in vogue the demographics of the US was not that much different then it is now. I would say it is more likely the trend towards Metrosexual styling.
    This really doesn't have anything to do w/ fragrance, but I thought I'd point this out. I looked into moving to Phoenix a couple years ago, after an exceptionally cold winter in Kansas. I went down there for about a week and a half looking for jobs. I took taxis everywhere and struck up conversation with the drivers. Not a single one of them grew up anywhere close to the area. They were all from Chicago, Iowa, South Dakota, and I even found one that was from a couple hours south of Kansas City. Plus, my parents retired last summer and moved to Sedona, AZ. People are still moving south .

    I think those who said that the US is obsessed with summer though are dead on. I personally hate it, lol. I'd probably feel different if I lived somewhere that isn't so miserably hot and humid, though.
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by CologneJunkie
    This really doesn't have anything to do w/ fragrance, but I thought I'd point this out. I looked into moving to Phoenix a couple years ago, after an exceptionally cold winter in Kansas. I went down there for about a week and a half looking for jobs. I took taxis everywhere and struck up conversation with the drivers. Not a single one of them grew up anywhere close to the area. They were all from Chicago, Iowa, South Dakota, and I even found one that was from a couple hours south of Kansas City. Plus, my parents retired last summer and moved to Sedona, AZ. People are still moving south
    I NEVER said there was not a general movement south, without question there is, if you really read my comments you would see my point is that it is such a long term phenomena dating back to the 50's it does not make sense to attribute the recent trend in fragrance to that. The migration south was very well established and very far along in the 70's and 80's when we had very heavy scents as the fashion so I'm not seeing any correlation between fragrance fashion and the migration south.

    I live in Seattle, Washington and could say the same thing as you say the same thing about Seattle as you said about Phoenix, AZ. So the general movement in the US is both south and west.
    In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by oolong
    Ruggles, You do have some valid points about increased choice, but especially with younger people, when people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Sure there will always people who go there own way but my experience has been that most people value fitting in over individuality.
    Well said. If you look into ANY market...from vacuum cleaners to cars to fruits to coffee...there is going to variety in niche segments. But only those who know about them and are willing to seek out the products in them are going to reap the benefits. Call me a pessimist, but I think a lot of people are lazy sheep when it comes to consumer goods. They are guided around by the ear by magazines and TV ads.

    Ruggles, I would say that higher priced items like cars warrant a little more research in an attempt at differentiation, so yes, perhaps people are more inclined to buy cars and other larger investments that could be considered niche.

    Niche fragrance market research on the internet? Nahhhh...Men's Health says that if I wear Euphoria for Men (Hey, another new wave, boring, non-aquatic!! Speak of the devil!!), chicks will eat me alive! What more information do I need?!
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 21st February 2007 at 05:03 AM.
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  17. #17

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    Default Re: Fragrance Fashion Evoloution

    Quote Originally Posted by oolong
    I NEVER said there was not a general movement south, without question there is, if you really read my comments you would see my point is that it is such a long term phenomena dating back to the 50's it does not make sense to attribute the recent trend in fragrance to that.
    Sorry! I misread your post. Forgive me, it's been a long day .
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