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  1. #1

    Default Does The House Really Matter?

    I was thinking about this after reading the thread about houses that should be discussed more often. So I know that some houses have a certain aesthetic or purpose in mind, such as Malle getting great perfumers together or Montale being the Oud connection. But really, on the whole, doesn't it come down to the perfumer when we talk about scents?

    I also remember reading about a house, where the owner wrote a poem, and the perfumer translated that into an olfactory experience. Even in this case though, the input seems minimal.

    Any thoughts good folk?

  2. #2
    Thrax
    Guest

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    It would probably be more realistic to put label bottles with the perfumer instead of the house. But then they wouldnt get to charge all that extra money...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    I don't think it works that way. The same perfumer may be given freedom to do whatever (as Malle claims) but elsewhere may have to abide by what ideas the house wants realized (for targetting a certain group). I've said it before, I'd LOVE to see bottles always list the nose, the bottle designer, and the notes. I just think it would be the natural thing to do on a work of art.
    RM

  4. #4

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    The houses have a lot of say as to brief, target market, how much floral-fruitiness etc... I'm sure there are a lot of cases where the perfumer wouldn't want his/her name anywhere near the bottle. There are very few commercial houses where a perfumer would get free reign

  5. #5

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    I think house matters in terms of the brand recognition and reputation: we expect certain quality from Chanel and YSL and something totally different from Nautica.
    Perfumers matter less just because it seems like they have less power to get what THEY LIKE to the market.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrOfTheSoul View Post
    I was thinking about this after reading the thread about houses that should be discussed more often. So I know that some houses have a certain aesthetic or purpose in mind, such as Malle getting great perfumers together or Montale being the Oud connection. But really, on the whole, doesn't it come down to the perfumer when we talk about scents?

    I also remember reading about a house, where the owner wrote a poem, and the perfumer translated that into an olfactory experience. Even in this case though, the input seems minimal.

    Any thoughts good folk?
    That`s true anti-brand approach! ))
    We all would like to get our boots, suits, cars, mobiles, sigarettes, whisky, whatever - WITHOUT BEAUTIFUL LOGO, if it would give us the same quality for cheaper price!!!!

    But when people can not see the logo, they begin to find out about the quality, think about their buyings more... That`s a story of branding as part of marketing strategy.That`s how business (and our minds) works.
    It is just easier for everyone to remember one word and one logo - than looking for the whole information every time...
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    The brand or the perfumer? The creativity largely belongs to the perfumer. However, brands matter both for marketing purposes, as pointed out above, and also because the autonomy granted to a perfumer depends on the attitude of the managers of the brand. Also, some brands have "house accords" that guide the artistry of the perfumer.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    eh, even perfumers are patchy considering they work towards design briefs given to them by the houses/advertising/marketing types. even malle has alluded to subtlely directing perfumers towards a particular idea. at the end of the day, only one thing matters:

    test everything you can get your hands on!
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  9. #9
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    My interest in following what 'house' releases what fragrance could be compared to my interest in what record company releases a certain record.

    All of my life I have been a huge fan of music. When I was a teen I obsessed over certain record labels and every single artist single, album, E.P. that they released I would consider because I had a lot of respect and admiration for the record label. Was this just a case of me falling under the 'marketing' of the label? Yes, but this was not the only reason.

    I really loved 4AD records - they had such a strong artistic element to their record art, sleeves - some of the same producers worked under different guises. Of course there were a few bands who released records on 4AD that I didn't like and didn't buy. But I made it a point to listen to the artist because of the record label.

    I apply this same behavior to my love in fragrances. I devote a lot of concentration and effort in trying all of the fragrances that Comme des Garcons, Hermes and Le Labo release. Of course, I find several that I dislike, others that I love and the majority that I think are just ok. So, yes - to me, the house does matter.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  10. #10

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    I wear Nautica Blue in contempt of my niche frags. What does this say? Wear what you like and what you think works.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    The perfumer as such is a designer, an artist, a protyper (?) if you will.
    A house will only release a blend that thinks fits its and general image. In this case, the house is the publisher and the manufacturer.
    Yeah, you might give a perfumer certain liberty to create an EDT but by the fact that the house is choosing beforehand the creator of the perfume, it is already excreting control (limiting the possibilities) of the final scent.

    Houses do not release scents randomly. i.e. the input of the company may be minimal, but the output of the perfumer is not sold if the company does not approve it.

    Moreover, the perfumer does not personally mix every single bottle to be sold. A company does it and different companies have different degrees of quality. For instance, I just like to know that the house I am buying from is not lying to me or harming the environment/my skin.

    Consciously or subconsciously, we do look at brands. If someone tells me otherwise, most of the times I think they are deceiving themselves. But that is something I will not be able to prove.

    Finally, houses are a good reference point. Let's say 4 fragrances are release each day. I do not have the nose, opportunity or the money to try them out. If a brand has disappointed me over and over again (Hugo, penhaligons) and they release a new scent, I will not run to try it out (perhaps some day I will give another opportunity). If a good brand releases another scent (Gucci, Guerlain, YSL, MontaIe) I will certainly try to get a sample.
    Last edited by irish; 26th March 2008 at 04:55 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    I do think the label matters to an extent. I won't give certain brands a sniff because I perceive them to be low quality/synthetic: stuff like Calvin Klein or Hugo Boss. Others I associate more with quality (Hermes especially). Creed is Creed because of branding, after all.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    The perfumer as such is a designer, an artist, a protyper (?) if you will.
    A house will only release a blend that thinks fits its and general image. In this case, the house is the publisher and the manufacturer.
    Yeah, you might give a perfumer certain liberty to create an EDT but by the fact that the house is choosing beforehand the creator of the perfume, it is already excreting control (limiting the possibilities) of the final scent.

    Houses do not release scents randomly. i.e. the input of the company may be minimal, but the output of the perfumer is not sold if the company does not approve it.

    Moreover, the perfumer does not personally mix every single bottle to be sold. A company does it and different companies have different degrees of quality. For instance, I just like to know that the house I am buying from is not lying to me or harming the environment/my skin.

    Consciously or subconsciously, we do look at brands. If someone tells me otherwise, most of the times I think they are deceiving themselves. But that is something I will not be able to prove.

    Finally, houses are a good reference point. Let's say 4 fragrances are release each day. I do not have the nose, opportunity or the money to try them out. If a brand has disappointed me over and over again (Hugo, penhaligons) and they release a new scent, I will not run to try it out (perhaps some day I will give another opportunity). If a good brand releases another scent (Gucci, Guerlain, YSL, MontaIe) I will certainly try to get a sample.
    That's a very well thought out post. Thanks everyone for the replies.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    My interest in following what 'house' releases what fragrance could be compared to my interest in what record company releases a certain record.

    All of my life I have been a huge fan of music. When I was a teen I obsessed over certain record labels and every single artist single, album, E.P. that they released I would consider because I had a lot of respect and admiration for the record label. Was this just a case of me falling under the 'marketing' of the label? Yes, but this was not the only reason.

    I really loved 4AD records - they had such a strong artistic element to their record art, sleeves - some of the same producers worked under different guises. Of course there were a few bands who released records on 4AD that I didn't like and didn't buy. But I made it a point to listen to the artist because of the record label.
    Well, I love 4AD, Cocteau Twins, etc. However this is rare example. Most artists released albums on different labels, and you would rather listen to the albums rather than follow those major labels.

    So I guess it's both - I watch the fragrance houses and also perfumers especially when they produce something with small or new to me label.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boal View Post
    Well, I love 4AD, Cocteau Twins, etc. However this is rare example. Most artists released albums on different labels, and you would rather listen to the albums rather than follow those major labels.

    So I guess it's both - I watch the fragrance houses and also perfumers especially when they produce something with small or new to me label.
    Ahhh, those were the days: Red House Painters, His Name Is Alive, Throwing Muses, Dead Can Dance...

    But, yeah, it's both but the company would have a greater influence on the finished product. After all, like music labels, it's impossible to operate based solely on artistic idealisms.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Does The House Really Matter?

    House matters to me. What does Avon or Dana offer that compares to anything YSL or Givenchy?

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