He obviously doesn't like fashion. It seems that he's "figured it out", I believe the saying is. The reason he doesn't like fashion is that it has all been derived from the preceding presiding fashion companies. Apparently, he'd still have us running around in frills and top hats. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but fashion is a constantly evolving industry, and where else would they get their ideas for this year's shows? Perhaps ancient Martian clothing? He seems to think that remaining dynamic is a bad thing, and maintaining style as a constant would be his way of doing it.
No offense to your favorite writer, but that's not my belief. I think that as a culture and a race, humans have to constantly evolve to better position themselves on the food chain. Your author would be a big fan of teaching "Non-Changist Static History" (I just saw Pleasantville last night, and that cracked me up). In fact, he would love to live in Pleasantville it seems.
All that aside, fragrance has to constantly change, and if we didn't derive our fragrances from perfumers past, where would we derive them from? (Of course, CdG has taken the non-derivative idea of creation, BUT as a line, CdG only has a few good scents, and those could all be seen as derivative. The ones that aren't derivative (Oduer 53, Synthetic Line, Sherbert) are mostly not-so-good, with one or two good ones in there.)
If we were still wearing the fragrances from way back when, we'd be stuck with those, and not have some of the wonderful creations that have arisen today. You could definitely say that Rose 31 is derivative, if just for the fact that its a damn rose, but does that make the quality of it any less? Maybe for you, but definitely not for me. I also think that derivatives can be better than the original, and in many cases are. If you consider Black Aoud, Chanel PMC, or Eau Sauvage to be derivative, then I would consider them to be superior derivatives. The fragrances nuts like you and me will always find what we want, and if we have an opportunity to smell the classics, we will know when a derivative is inferior, and would rather have the original than the copy. Yes, there are crappier scents surfacing every day (Escada Sunset Heat, Lacoste Orange (Maybe Hot Play), and Burberry Summer, yet another damn aquatic), but that shouldn't blind you to the wonderful creations of other artists that put real effort and time into making a fragrance what it should be: A piece of art worthy of standing alone, and capable of comparison to other fragrances. Burberry Summer on it's own smells nice, but when compared to other fragrances, you notice that it is not original nor is it groundbreaking. When you compare Garage by CdG, it is original, and completely off the charts, but when analyzed alone, it usually isn't something you want to smell like. So, he has taken into account only the second part to this method, comparing exhibit A to the ghosts of fashion past.