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  1. #1

    Default A three-tier model of contemporary perfume cultures

    As a constructive suggestion in reference to a recently closed post, let me posit a three-tiered model of (perfume) culture:

    1. globalizing culture: the world-wide Acqua di Gioficiation of trends and tastes driven by international corporations, technological innovation, globalized media and commodity flow. Result: uniformity. Even in supposedly culturally resilient/conservative Islamic cultures there's now a distinct presence of modern aquatics, whether marketed as consciously Western or under the guise of traditional names.
    2. residual national/regional cultures: still relevant, national culture often really being a set of (formerly more) dominant middle or upper-class consensus values in a particular country rather than the reflection of national "character." The English tradition of men's colognes until after WWII might be an example. That style has been abandoned (Crown), but for the facade (Trueffit), reborn&modernized after bankruptcy (Penhaligon's) or doggedly hanging on (Trumper's) - it's still present, but not as all-pervasive as it used to be, and it has become an international style for those who enjoy it.
    3. Subcultural cosmopolitan culture: A trend in a certain style of club in London will spread to similar clubs in Berlin, Chicago, Sao Paolo, St. Petersburg, Tokyo in no time, and vice-versa. Globally networked niche cultures cross-fertilizing each other, independent of corporate culture (which will pick up and try to popularize such trends - cf. vogueing in the 90s) or older type homogenous national cultures. BN is a nice perfume example. Someone in Europe raves here about Domenico Caraceni - a perfume most people will never hear of in their lives. A few months later luckyscent stocks it due to prodding from US basenoters who have gotten samples and want it.

    View these three together and you may get an approximation of how outdated national (not to speak of continental) juxtapositions have become.

    Constructive feedback, criticism and elaborations welcome.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 7th April 2008 at 04:18 PM.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A three-tier model of contemporary perfume cultures

    Agreed with your 2nd and 3rd points. I agree with your first one, but I am not sure if I like the way it is presented. While I believe that a huge marketing tool of Armani scents is their trendiness, I also think that AdG, LEau DIssey and all calone based fragrances are essentially nice and likable for any untrained nose. They do not need to be pushed to sell (e.g. it is easier to sell Harry Potter than Ulysses by James Joyce). Another requirement for your first premise, IMO, is brand image and prestige, which is not exclusive to Aquatics. i.e. Why push only aquatics? Why not push and make trendy gourmands and floral?

    And now that I think about it, the 3rd and 1st points are not that different. One of the differences is that the last one is "underground" (?) or upper level and has an image of being more intellectual/exclusive/refined. Also, the third one does not use international corporations, but it does need technological innovation, globalized media and commodity flow.
    Unless, I am missing your point entirely.
    Also, I would put Trueffit and hill on the group of colognes that are being sold "under the guise of traditional names" but adhering to the most trendy movements. T&H is far from being traditionally English.
    Last edited by irish; 7th April 2008 at 04:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Question Re: A three-tier model of contemporary perfume cultures

    Is this about perfume...
    ...or your global worldview of the near future ?

  4. #4

    Default Re: A three-tier model of contemporary perfume cultures

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    Is this about perfume...
    ...or your global worldview of the near future ?
    It is an explanation of how the current global trends help to shape the local market of perfume… I guess.\

    Which makes this thread more appropiate for the Fragrance Industry Sub-board.
    Last edited by irish; 7th April 2008 at 05:33 PM.

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