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  1. #1

    Default Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    It strikes me that the longer people are around fragrances, the more they seem to favour skill in composition over the quality of smell of ingredients used. They process the qualities of the notes faster and thus look for interest and stimulation in structure. They get deeper in abstraction.

    I have seen this in music too - teachers in music colleges tend to value the obscure, the experimental, the abstract. However I have found that musicians who succeed performing keep in touch with the simplicities - the raw feeling - the production of a beautiful note, the factors which trigger an emotional response. Of course everything is a balance between emotive and cerebral to a certain extent, but to me the beauty of simple natural smelling notes always outweighs the clever construction which disguises cheaper ingredients.

    Thoughts anyone?
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 10th June 2008 at 10:29 AM.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    I favor the composition to the quality of the ingredients in fragrances. Like a soulful Carlos Santana solo to any of the 100 mph shredders on guitar, I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into the feel and flavor of a great blend. Take Balenciaga Pour Homme or Van Cleef &Arpels pour homme for examples if you will, both chypres or Oriental woodies, whatever they call them. And these were absolutely never expensive fragrances, although they do have ritzy names. Unlike a brand I won't mention that does promote their quality ingredients as a reason to pay through the snoot.

    I'll take my $15.00 Tabac Original and store it next to the other chypres in my collection proudly.

    I'm a lover of the chypres overall and don't get too concerned about the ingredients in the pyramid. I don't know how to identify the notes and accords in a chypre and I get bored to tears listening to a trio of speed demon guitarists doing the runs all over the neck like junior Liszt's. These may be faults. I don't know.

    Tangentially my music teacher insisted that I stick to his regimen while I was taking bass guitar lessons and I realized that what he was doing was exercising all of me to play well and not just teaching me Stairway to Heaven. As I stuck with him I began hearing stuff on records that I knew I could do with a half an hour of practice. I did get my fundamentals first but I knew at that time that there were teachers in the same town who taught songs and they made a great living.

    Back to the fragrances. Give me a perfumer who knows how to intoxicate myself or my date rather than one who is running around the world buying real estate with his enormous profits so as to grow more quality ingredients.
    Last edited by fredricktoo; 10th June 2008 at 02:27 PM. Reason: clarity

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    ...
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 10th June 2008 at 02:45 PM.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by fredricktoo View Post
    I favor the composition to the quality of the ingredients in fragrances. Like a soulful Carlos Santana solo to any of the 100 mph shredders on guitar, I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into the feel and flavor of a great blend. Take Balenciaga Pour Homme or Van Cleef &Arpels pour homme for examples if you will, both chypres or Oriental woodies, whatever they call them. And these were absolutely never expensive fragrances, although they do have ritzy names. Unlike a brand I won't mention that does promote their quality ingredients as a reason to pay through the snoot.

    I'll take my $15.00 Tabac Original and store it next to the other chypres in my collection proudly.

    I'm a lover of the chypres overall and don't get too concerned about the ingredients in the pyramid. I don't know how to identify the notes and accords in a chypre and I get bored to tears listening to a trio of speed demon guitarists doing the runs all over the neck like junior Liszt's. These may be faults. I don't know.

    Tangentially my music teacher insisted that I stick to his regimen while I was taking bass guitar lessons and I realized that what he was doing was exercising all of me to play well and not just teaching me Stairway to Heaven. As I stuck with him I began hearing stuff on records that I knew I could do with a half an hour of practice. I did get my fundamentals first but I knew at that time that there were teachers in the same town who taught songs and they made a great living.

    Back to the fragrances. Give me a perfumer who knows how to intoxicate myself or my date rather than one who is running around the world buying real estate with his enormous profits so as to grow more quality ingredients.
    First thanks for taking the the time to read and respond.
    I am a bit confused by your musical analogy - I would prefer a simple emotive note from CS to a prepared and practiced shred-em-up too. I equate CS with a simple clear note (say Lemon ) and shredmeister with a wonderfully clever complicated accord (say dior homme). I like a really good note without too much clutter...

    I am not saying that cheap fragrances can't be good, just that I think that after a long time immersed in fragrances sometimes people seem to "forget to stop and smell the flowers" , and look for interest in more cerebral areas.

    As someone who teaches music I would like to say that your teacher was lucky - you got it. The majority of students who just want licks on a plate are so boring (and usually going nowhere.........)
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    It'd be interesting to compare the effect of 'cheap' fragrances compared to natural fragrances on my sinuses. I've found that Paco Rabanne - XS and Joop! Jump give me a banging headache and inflame my sinuses like crazy, while Bvlgari - Aqua & pH, D&G pour Homme (even though everyone says its cloying, too strong etc), Nightflight and a few others I have absolutely no problem with.
    Could it be the ingredients? A particular note? Or is it just that my nose is weird?
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Let me clarify my musical analogy. From Carlos Santana I get the feeling that long since he was taught to play his instrument he has poured a lot of himself into the achievement of a great tone and seductive style. I know it's something he was probably born with also so genetics are also involved. = Great accords and blends and stuff that gives you the shivers when you smell the juice.

    The shredders not so much. I do get lemons, as in turn it off or I'll... with that sour look on my face.

    It seems we agree with about 180º of difference. And in music as in fragrances, they are a joy to behold and and a lot of fun learning about.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    I do not approach fragrances from an intellectual perspective. I pay little attention to issues such as whether a particular fragrance advances the frontiers of perfume composition or is a copy of another fragrance. The main thing that interests me is whether I love the smell of a particular fragrance.

    I should add that most fragrances that captivate me are often masterfully executed. In this sense, “skill in composition” and “quality of smell” frequently go together. In those instances where their paths diverge, I follow the “quality of the smell.”
    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. (Keats)


  8. #8

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by uli View Post
    I do not approach fragrances from an intellectual perspective. I pay little attention to issues such as whether a particular fragrance advances the frontiers of perfume composition or is a copy of another fragrance. The main thing that interests me is whether I love the smell of a particular fragrance.

    I should add that most fragrances that captivate me are often masterfully executed. In this sense, “skill in composition” and “quality of smell” frequently go together. In those instances where their paths diverge, I follow the “quality of the smell.”
    Same for me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    I sort of find I have the opposite experience.

    To me, at the end of the day, no matter how much I like the composition of a fragrance, how creative it is, or what a good "idea" of it - if the ingredients are garbage, then I just can't wear it. Concurrent to that is that when I get to know a fragrance where I don't particularly like the concept, or even the elements of it, if the ingredients are good, I feel like I still appreciate it, and want to keep smelling it.

    Concrete examples - I love the composition of M7 and M7 fresh. I love the composition of Xeryus Rouge. I love the composition of Opium PH EDP. I think they're great ideas, but I can barely wear them for more than 30 minutes because the ingredients are 2nd rate vs the niche stuff I've become accustomed to. They just decompose into nuclear hazmat. If someone put together the exact same fragrances with real ingredients, I'd wear them constantly.

    On the other side of the fence, you have things like Montale White Aoud, or Serge Lutens La Myrrhe or Muscs Koublai Khan. Those fragrances don't really appeal to me. I don't like the vanilla cream puffs in White Aoud, the Myrrhe in la Myrrhe or the civet in MKK - those being foundational notes of their respective fragrances. And I don't like the ultra dessicated drydown of La Myrrhe. Civet makes me sick in any fragrance - I can barely wear my Sarrasins because of civet, though I otherwise adore it.

    However, I used like 10% of White Aoud, usually at night in bed just marvelling at the notes and contemplating them. I use La Myrrhe the same way. It's a really fascinating fragrance with a crazy devellopment. MKK I had a tiny sample of, but used it all just marvelling to myself how anything could possible be this scrotal and gross! I keep coming back to these because of the quality of ingredients even if they don't suit me, or even if I don't like them!

    But my YSLs and Givenchy's, even if I love them I can't stand them!
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Firstly I have to like a smell. I tend to like the stranger scents (as in: strange to the general public, not to us BN'ers ofcourse ). Then I look at how well it's crafted (how does it evolve on my skin, are there off notes, etc). Quality of the ingredients is only a factor if it's very low (as in very synthetic smelling).
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    They go hand in hand with me. Ones no good with out the other. Gotta have my cake and eat it too.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Speaking of Santana, here's a good laugh:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BrLEuzVCVQ

  13. #13

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR View Post
    Concrete examples - I love the composition of M7 and M7 fresh. I love the composition of Xeryus Rouge. I love the composition of Opium PH EDP. I think they're great ideas, but I can barely wear them for more than 30 minutes because the ingredients are 2nd rate vs the niche stuff I've become accustomed to. They just decompose into nuclear hazmat. If someone put together the exact same fragrances with real ingredients, I'd wear them constantly.

    But my YSLs and Givenchy's, even if I love them I can't stand them!
    I do agree
    By the way, you should try Tom Ford Oud Wood - it's a kind of M7 made with quality materials.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Speaking of Santana, here's a good laugh:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BrLEuzVCVQ
    I've seen that many times already and I still LOL everytime. Thanks for reminding me of it!
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quality of ingredients?How can we judge those quality?Some people seems to have labs at home I guess.....Some ,,niche'' scents are just jokes, with very secret,,natural' ingedients. So I go for the good smelling ones with some hope they used the right stuff in their compositions.Whatever the name of a scent is...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    I think the two are inseparably interwoven. Poor composition with the finest and most expensive natural and synthetics (or all naturals) leads to nothing but a muddy composition with no direction; it's like listening to an absolute beginner pick up and noodle around on a Stradivarius. On the other hand, great composition with the poorest ingredients is like listening to a terribly scratched record on a record player with a bad needle pumping the music out through blown speakers.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Quality of ingredients vs. quality of composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Speaking of Santana, here's a good laugh:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BrLEuzVCVQ
    That wasn't from his Mahavishnu Orchestra days? lol

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