I agree up to a point. Sophomore efforts are notoriously patchy--look at authors, for example. But some of the brands you mentioned have gone on to great things--Dunhill, for example. Their eponimous 1934 offering was and remains a masterpiece. However, I think that their 1984 EDITION is every bit as good and that their Blend 30 was excellent. Now some of their more recent offerings have been disappointing..... but you cannot say that they only had one good product. Some houses have gone the other way, a few quiet duds while they gear up to greatness and you only remeber the great ones, forgetting the mediocre offerings that came before. I actually think that Must and Declaration are better scents than Santos although I might agree that Pasha was a disappointing second effort by Cartier.