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  1. #1

    Default Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Just curious about your thoughts on what in your opinion makes a fragrance "complex" compared to rather linear fragrances. I enjoy linear scents but lately hearing things about Narciso Rodriguez for Him and its "complexity". I really enjoy it and will be buying it shortly.

    So what other fragrances are there?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by wajenius View Post
    Just curious about your thoughts on what in your opinion makes a fragrance "complex" compared to rather linear fragrances. I enjoy linear scents but lately hearing things about Narciso Rodriguez for Him and its "complexity". I really enjoy it and will be buying it shortly.

    So what other fragrances are there?
    I'll take a stab at an answer to your question. Some people feel that well-constructed scents ought to present a sequential experience. The top notes wear off after a bit, revealing a progression into a somewhat different heart accord, which then evolves after some time into a variant basenote accord.

    A linear scent doesn't do this very much. The top, middle, and base are similar or "thematic" in a way that seems to present little variation.

    I enjoy both kinds of scents, but I must admit I find the more complex creations more satisfying in the long run, and sometimes tire of a linear scent, or of wearing too many linear scents in a short period of time.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 3rd February 2008 at 08:00 PM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I think complexity is a factor of how well blended the fragrance is. Too much, and the fragrance is basicly a single "accord" if underblended, the fragrance will be discordant and unstructured.

    An example of that would be Co Bigelow's Bay Rum or other "natural" fragrances based on essential spice oils and made without fixatives. The spice notes all come off together and don't keep to a constantly aesthetic ratio.

    Development adds to complexity, but if you get it right the first time, why change?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I think that complexity just increases with the amount of different notes and accords within the fragrance, but you can definatley have a complex and linear frag, it would just be a very abstract frag with alot of notes that dont change so much over time, possibly something with very heavy woods and spices would not change so much over time, since they are all long lasting notes

  5. #5

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    To me, a complex scent means one that has either a noticeable progression from top notes to dry down, or one in which I can smell multiple layers of scent. In some fragrances, I'll smell one thing first, but then they have an "aftertaste" of something else. It's like smelling multiple layers, that still harmonize with each other, in one inhalation.
    Currently digging: Le Labo Rose 31 and Oud oils.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I would consider Bois du Portugal, Antaeus and Third Man to be rather complicated scents.
    Blenheim Bouquet is another neat experience of unfolding notes over time.

    I am not all that familiar with a wide range of masculine fragrances, actually.

    As far as feminine fragrances, En Avion is a remarkably evolving, non linear scent. I experience a number of the Caron perfumes that way, like Parfum Sacre and Tabac Blond, for exampe.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I think 'complicated' scents are not the same as 'complex' scents.

    When I speak of a complex scent, I agree with what Jaime said above: a transition from many different smells throughout the longevity of the scent on my skin. I think the Comme des Garcons line represents many complex scents. Do yourself a favor and spray some Odeur 53 on your skin next time you encounter a tester. Then sit back and enjoy the virtual rollercoaster ride across many, many different notes.

    'Complicated' scents, on the other hand, are complex scents that are annoying in their complexity. To me, they smell like you've just applied three different fragrances at once. One that comes to mind immediately is John Varvatos Vintage. Ugh! Another complicated scent that I am still trying to find out if I love or hate is Aoud Lime by Montale.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 3rd February 2008 at 04:15 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    To my nose, Versace's The Dreamer qualifies as a complicated scent. I'm not sure I would characterize it as "annoying" in its complexity, but it certainly has a lot of superficially conflicting notes that combine and reform in lots of different ways during its evolution.

    Teddius

  9. #9

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I think 'complicated' scents are not the same as 'complex' scents.

    When I speak of a complex scent, I agree with what Jaime said above: a transition from many different smells throughout the longevity of the scent on my skin. I think the Comme des Garcons line represents many complex scents. Do yourself a favor and spray some Odeur 53 on your skin next time you encounter a tester. Then sit back and enjoy the virtual rollercoaster ride across many, many different notes.

    'Complicated' scents, on the other hand, are complex scents that are annoying in their complexity. To me, they smell like you've just applied three different fragrances at once. One that comes to mind immediately is John Varvatos Vintage. Ugh! Another complicated scent that I am still trying to find out if I love or hate is Aoud Lime by Montale.

    Totally agree. I definitely enjoy "complex" over the "complicated" scents in this regard. As long as the fragrance is well crafted I enjoy it. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by a well structured scent in trying to figure it out and thats where the confusion occurs.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    What Mike said! The highly touted Rive Gauche, to me, has way too many ingredients. It is as though the creator had no idea which direction they were going in.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I like that definition Complex vs Complicated(Overly Busy?) - but of course its a matter of taste.

    I have been discovering niche perfumes, and one thing I noticed it was easier to both enjoy the whole scent as well as pick out individual notes without discord, muddiness or being overly distracting.

    I agree that Varvatos Vintage is overly busy.

    Right now I am wearing Parfums DelRae Eau Illuminee - and I an finding it pleasingly complex. (Picking out notes of Bergamot, and herbal notes - but enjoying it "as a whole" as well.)
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuigi View Post
    What Mike said! The highly touted Rive Gauche, to me, has way too many ingredients. It is as though the creator had no idea which direction they were going in.
    That's how I feel about it - lost in a strange city. I wonder if I should try the feminine RG to get the original idea?
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I tend to separate complexity and temporal progression. I think of "complex" fragrances as containing many notes that play off of one another and provide depth to the composition (Havana, Patou pour Homme, M7, New York), while "simple" scents consist of just a few notes (Cologne Bigarade, Eau d'Orange Verte, Mure et Musc, CdG Carnation). Either type can be a great scent, and either may or may not alter and develop over time. For instance, Ambre Precieux is arguably a complex scent, but it remains linear for hours on my skin. Meanwhile, Black Aoud, while ostensibly quite simple, evolves tremendously (if very slowly) as I wear it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    That's how I feel about it - lost in a strange city. I wonder if I should try the feminine RG to get the original idea?
    There really is no comparison between the men and women's RG. Entirely different animals, IMO.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Some scents are complex in their simplicity..

    VE by Malle, Bulgari Black and Eau Sauvage come to mind for me. They are all meant to be something, but smell very different on each unique user.

    MI is another very complex scent to me, that is quite simple overall.

    Then there are heavier scents like the afformentioned BdP, along with Habit Rouge and LV Musk that are literally very complex. Many different smells over many different hours.

    I would also like to mention to the owner of this thread that Narsico for him is a MUST TEST prior to purchasing. One of the nicest scents I've ever smelled that I hate. Yes it will get you compliments, yes it is slightly interesting in today's dull marketplace...It may also leave you with a monster headache, a dirty feeling by noon and a sinking feeling that you just bought a more synthetic, linear version of Rive Gauche for 5 times the cost.

  16. #16

    Talking Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    I always find myself wanting linear versions of my favorite stages of complex scents.

    I.E. to smell like the top notes of Colonia and never like the drydown.
    Or to smell like the Incense heart notes of Eav des Bavx without then going heavy vanilla.
    I'm sure many here would like a linear edp that smelled only like the drydown of BDP or GIT.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Such a thing as a "complicated" scent?

    Thanks for the input everyone!

    Now I am having second thoughts on purchasing a full bottle of this one. I did give it a full wearing, I like it but it seems to wear somewhat close to my skin and I wish it had more sillage. Also I am getting just a hint of similarity with Rive Gauche but I'm fascinated by its sharp, dry, dusty, 'wet cement' note whatever that may be. Are there other scents that have similar notes including the violet and amber in its middle and later stages. More sillage would be great.

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