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  1. #31
    mtgprox05's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    OK, at the risk of sounding redundant, I'd like to add my quick .02. I don't understand the notion that elitism exists on this board. On the contrary, I find this board to be rather exempt from this. The long-standing members on this board (as well as some newbies) are incredibly experienced, and I have found most, if not all, to be incredibly patient and willing to pass that knowledge along to the rest of us, without the slightest bit of elitism.

    On the topic of the question regarding "weirdness" in a fragrance. I feel that it has its place and time, and I greatly appreciate it in those times. When you have reached the point where you are appreciating fragrance as an artform as opposed to a "chick-magnet" you learn to enjoy seeing how beautiful something that is seemingly different or odd can be. I for one often times like to go for something that just plain smells good, something that is comforting in its relative simplicity, but at the same time I own, and enjoy exploring scents that cause me to think because of the complexity or "weirdness" that is implemented.

  2. #32
    KMF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I don't think weirdness is important in a scent, but I do think uniqueness is... That's not to say there aren't any "common scents" that smell great. I just think if there are hundreds of aquatics out there to smell (just an example), chances are there will be very few, if any that will stand out enough to make you want to repurchase that same bottle when it's finished. However, if you're lucky enough to find something that smells great and also happens to be unique enough that it would be almost impossible to replace if that scent were ever to disappear, then chances are you will have a friend for life... (Or at least till they discontinue or reformulate it... )

    Weird will not get you far. Weird and awesome will get you very far....

  3. #33

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    The only, truly weird fragrance I could think of is Secretions Magnifique. I call it weird because the famous bilge note is without end. Weird because of its unnatural longevity.

  4. #34
    vita odorifera
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Weirdness: strikingly odd or unusual character; strange. Could be interpreted as being distinct.

    A scent should have its own identity, and what makes it distinct is therefore important, especially if what makes the scent distinct is nice-weird, not cringe-inducing. But what do i know?
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!
    Currently wearing: Vetiver Geranium by Creed

  5. #35

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Since becoming aware of BN, I have always looked forward to the opinions of all contributors and feel I have benefitted from a tremendous amount of knowledge. I have purchased fragrances "blind" due to their reviews and opinions and have not looked back. To me the ones that have been reviewed as "strange", i.e. Yatagan (celery note), L' Anarachiste (blood?), etc. have been some of the most enjoyable in my wardrobe. Another wonderful and, to my nose, different and highly regarded fragrance is "R" de Capucci which I absolutely adore.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Weirdness is overrated. Itīs comfort I search for in a fragrance. Weird is great for a few hrs,or days, but after that it gets anoying. In the end I just want to smell nice, and if thatīs with a boring designer fragrance or a expensive niche fragrance, that doesnīt matter. Do I want to smell like smoke, burned tires dipped in candy all day? Do I want people to think I smell awfull? Hell no, but if youīre comfortable or donīt care about that then good for you.
    We all have (had) our rebelious phase in fragrance, but Iīve been there, done that and Iīm bored with that now.At a certain time you just wear what you like and if thatīs with smelling weird,or smelling mainstream, it just doesnīt matter anymore.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Yes.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    No.
    No guru, not method, no teacher
    Just you and I and nature

  9. #39

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    you know
    I realized that one thing that is very unique to each individual is cologne
    The best thing to do is this
    Find a long time BNer who has a very close or similiar taste you have and see how he rates others
    this is probably the safest way to blind buy going off of BN reviews
    trust me
    there are alot of members here that have weird tastes
    and I learned the the hard way
    Off-Site Decants =) (updated 05/16/12)
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic....7994440fd3c0ab

  10. #40
    Molten Gin

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    There is no hidden
    agenda, but influence
    is inevitable.


    Currently wearing: Pohadka by YS Uzac

  11. #41

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    In thinking about the subject question rather than the body-of-the-post question, I found it helpful to define a few terms (which may sound familiar if you've studied literature, which I did; forgive me): picturesque, beautiful, and sublime. Now, the first may not typically be applied to fragrance (or anything other than, well, pictures), but in aesthetics, it has a specific meaning, that of being just so, comfortable, balanced, charming, quaint, perfect, etc. If this were a painted landscape, you'd leave out the telephone lines. This is Thomas Kinkade, this is Clinique Happy, this is Nicholas Sparks. There are scents like this, and there's nothing wrong with them. They are what they are, and that is something nice. Then there's beautiful, which is sort of similar, though it goes far beyond, picturesque. Beautiful things give pleasure, they exalt the senses, they're excellent, refined, etc. This is Claude Monet, this is Coco de Chanel, this is Milan Kundera. There are scents like this as well. And then there's the sublime: lofty, grand, transcendent, awe-inspiring, etc.; this is beauty near the edge of fear. This is Picasso, Da Vinci, Dali, this is Black, Angel, Shalimar (in my opinion), this is Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Cummings (Edward Estlin, not Alan). There are different levels of (I want to say beauty but can't) aesthetic pleasure, and those different levels can be had from different artists, whether they be painters, authors, or pefumers. Some people are content to hang and appreciate Kinkade, just like some people are content to spray and smell Happy, and they're welcome to. I don't want to disparage those who do; those things are just not for me. Perfume, like all forms of art, is a matter of taste, and to each his or her own. But, tastes can change, tastes do change, and as we branch out from the safe and familiar, we often find new, exciting, life-changing things. And if those things are weird at first, that's okay. If they stay weird in an unpleasant way, that's okay too. The most important thing is to find what you like and enjoy it.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    So much of what determines what you think is "weird" is the accident of personal and historical taste. I guess that "weird" has a sort of useful social meaning if what you mean by "weird" is stuff that most people haven't been exposed to enough to feel that's it's acceptably familiar. But let's not confuse this with some sub-group of substances that were smuggled to earth from Planet Weirdo and that any clear-thinking, red-blooded man of the people will unfailingly turn up his nose at.
    It's more like if you're from a Western culture the first time somebody serves you sweet beans it's weird; and if you're from an Eastern culture the first time someone serves you savory beans it's weird. The Man of Total Equilibrium will breathe deeply until his heart stops racing madly. He will smile and and ask questions and make discrete yummy noises for the benefit of the Mom present who made the beans. He knows that she is trying to please him, and that she is merely formed by a different culture. He will give it a try before he concludes anything.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    curtis.w, great first post. Say more! Stick around!

  14. #44

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

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    Last edited by scentophile; 15th February 2009 at 06:16 PM.

  15. #45

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    for me i look for weirdness 1a and scent 1b, so some of the bn members have helped me a lot in that regard, because at least 95% of my purchase are blind buys.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Just some comments on the body-of-the-post inspired discussion:

    I've never found any elitism among the longtime BNers. I value their opinions; I don't always agree with them. Nearly everyone around here affirms the importance of exploring perfumes on your own, reaching your own conclusions, discovering your own tastes. Some people get frustrated when they buy something blind on the basis of BN raves and discover they don't like it. Well...that's the danger of blind buying. But BN is also great for those like me who like to buy blind. I've come to have a pretty good idea of whose tastes I share and what reviewers I usually end up agreeing with. And that's the most valuable possible foundation for a blind buy. That being said, I always take responsibility for my own purchases, even if they don't work out.

    Some people seem to simply hate negative reviews...especially of fragrances they like. That tendency contributes to the Turin-and-Sanchez bashing that occasionally breaks out around here. And lately it seems also to have spurred some attacks on longtime basenoters (some of which, it should be said, are unintentionally hilarious, though perhaps everso wouldn't agree!). My response: everyone should chill. There are almost certainly some fragrances you like which some SuperMember will one day denounce. It's not a big deal. You're still entitled to your opinion.

  17. #47
    Surfacing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoNnY 4 View Post

    So to the so called "super members" thank you for your views on frags.

    No. Thank you Johny...
    Last edited by Surfacing; 14th February 2009 at 10:53 PM. Reason: .

  18. #48
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Now that this thread has taken wing (hurrah - it's a good one!) I want to elaborate a bit on my initial late might response. In that post I said I valued novelty and originality (which could be taken as "weirdness") in fragrances. However, novelty alone does not make a good fragrance, or even one that will appeal to me. Originality might make me try a scent, but it won't necessarily make me wear it again - or like it. For that the scent must, as Guy Robert has been quoted, "smell good." Using an example cited elsewhere in this thread, consider Secretions Magnifiques. There is no doubt that it's original - it smells like no other scent I've tried. But its combination of stagnant pond, calone, and aldehydes is nothing that I want to smell again, much less wear. On the other hand there's the aforementioned Tubereuse Criminelle, which Galamb_Borong accurately describes as "wintergreen-tuberose." It's just as novel and far fetched, but I think it smells good. I think it smells good on me. So does my wife. If someone else (Dr. Turin perhaps?) wants to smell like Secretions Magnifiques, let them. I'm content to have worn it a couple of times, to have reviewed it, and to be rid of it.

    All that said, tastes change and evolve. When I started reading Basenotes, I wore Jaipur Homme, Bvlgari Blv, and Tuscany almost exclusively. When I later began reviewing scents for the Directory, I was shocked and repelled by many scents that are now staples in my wardrobe. Oh how I laughed as I revised my old reviews of Santal Noble ("expensive suntan lotion"), Muscs Koublai Khan (something about "homeless people" and "unwashed orifices"), and Carnal Flower, about which I wrote "Sadly, Carnal Flower is also too resolutely floral for me to pull off. I'm just going to have to sell it to my wife ;-)." I did. She liked it better on me, and I've been wearing it ever since.

    In closing, I'll repeat what I've said again and again when corresponding with newcomers: test fragrances, and follow your own nose. Test lots of them, and you may discover things you never thought you'd like. Just don't blame me when you start spending too much money...

  19. #49

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    No, weirdness or uniqueness is not necessary. I know what I like when I smell it. I wear what I like.

    This hobby is totally subjective, so you should always rely on your own nose, and not the reviews or comments of others. Of course you can consider the comments of others, but I find that I often like frags that are not universally loved by others (and vice versa).

    Sample everything.
    Wear what you are attracted to.
    Also, enjoy the diversity of opinion you can get here on BN.
    Last edited by JonB; 15th February 2009 at 12:35 PM.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Kind of funny, I just saw this thread.

    Last night I went to a gallery for a big erotic art show in town. I put on a black jacket and jeans and spent about 20 minutes thinking about what fragrance would be appropriate for an over-the-top kind of vibe of such an event. I thought about my Comme des Garįons fragrances... Maybe Skai with its fake leather/PVC fetish smell... or Avignon with its rumors of Catholic guilt. Then I thought maybe something dirty and sexual-- maybe Kouros or one of its spinoffs...maybe a Creed like Acier Aluminium perhaps... How about something crazy like the gasoline smell of Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia?

    I had all these great eye-popping choices circling around in my head. Then I cleared my head, walked over to my ample drobe and found myself getting out my Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme and spraying myself twice with it.

    I didn't regret it. Sure, I might have enjoyed wearing one of my zanier colognes, but sometimes I'm just in the mood for L'Homme. I don't know why, but sometimes it really satisfies me. I thought it was a sad day for YSL when it was released, but once I experienced it I really came to like it. It's not really as boring as it seemed on first impression. L'Homme is really good.

    I like the weird ones and I like the ones that smell good. Some manage to do both. It just depends what kind of mood I'm in.

  21. #51

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I'll lay my thoughts out

    1) I always try and believe that this board is so diverse that there will be pure niche people, pure designer people and in between

    2) Since joining I have gone way outside my bounds and tried many niche and different fragrances and have enjoyed this part of the journey. Many of the different ones were unwearable to me but I got to see what they were all about. The differences made them special in many ways

    3) #2 actually made me appreciate my simple tastes for designer ones more. Instead of heading into the niche or different phase I have gone back to loving the simple ones because simple makes me happy.

    4) My main goal when coming here was advice, counsel and smelling goods. So being different didn't matter in the grand scheme of things but I loved smelling the differences to find my personal loves and to decide with more knowledge. In the long run, simple designer was good for me.

    I just try to make it simple and when it comes down to it, I do think there are some snobs when it comes to different but I enjoyed being pushed to try many things. It help me discover what was important to me. I'm sure others will tell me I'll change..but I won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    Weirdness is overrated. Itīs comfort I search for in a fragrance. Weird is great for a few hrs,or days, but after that it gets anoying. In the end I just want to smell nice, and if thatīs with a boring designer fragrance or a expensive niche fragrance, that doesnīt matter. Do I want to smell like smoke, burned tires dipped in candy all day? Do I want people to think I smell awfull? Hell no, but if youīre comfortable or donīt care about that then good for you.
    We all have (had) our rebelious phase in fragrance, but Iīve been there, done that and Iīm bored with that now.At a certain time you just wear what you like and if thatīs with smelling weird,or smelling mainstream, it just doesnīt matter anymore.
    I'm with JWS below..Bravo!And it goes to my whole thing above. I came here to smell good, not make a statement about how different I can smell. I enjoy the journey byt it just brought me back to the same place..smelling nice no matter the rating or scent.
    Last edited by ToughCool; 15th February 2009 at 03:45 PM.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  22. #52

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    Weirdness is overrated. Itīs comfort I search for in a fragrance. Weird is great for a few hrs,or days, but after that it gets anoying. In the end I just want to smell nice, and if thatīs with a boring designer fragrance or a expensive niche fragrance, that doesnīt matter. Do I want to smell like smoke, burned tires dipped in candy all day? Do I want people to think I smell awfull? Hell no, but if youīre comfortable or donīt care about that then good for you.
    We all have (had) our rebelious phase in fragrance, but Iīve been there, done that and Iīm bored with that now.At a certain time you just wear what you like and if thatīs with smelling weird,or smelling mainstream, it just doesnīt matter anymore.
    Amen brother!

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Eric, TC, Indie, and Jock,
    It is hereby ordered that you guys turn in your weird scents forthwith. For the purposes of verification your compliance, you'll need to send them to me. PM for address.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  24. #54

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Oh, what a great thread!
    Guys, I`m glad to be here - just to read that.

    Weirdness is important. It awakes our noses and gives knowledges and broadens our scented horizons.
    It could sell frags too, but much less than least common denominator scents.
    And sure - weirdness alone just makes us curious. Then we could love it or loathe it.

    As a side note - if Super Member feature does disturb someone, maybe it could be eliminated?
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoNnY 4 View Post
    I have begun to notice here in the forums that frags with a weird note inside tend to be highly rated (ex. M7, A*MEN, Gucci PH,...). And decent smelling frags like YSL L'Homme, Guerlain Homme and even Gucci PH 2 get so much of stick. I own YSL L'Homme, Guerlain Homme and Gucci PH 2 and they are all alright frags.but that is not the issue.
    Johny, you live in a hot climate. The frags you mention above as being weird are suited for a cold climate...like where I live. Climate ( to me) is everything. Just because the fragrance is not suited for your climate does not make it weird.

    To me, many hot weather fragrances smell weird. CSP Aqua Motu or Aramis Bermuda Tonic or Acqua di Gio pour Homme all smell weird to me. I had to give them away. I found them to be unwearable. At times, I regretted it. But most of the time I realize why I had to give them away.

    Sure, it gets hot where I live. It is common to have 28 Celcius weather in summer ( where I Iive). But I tend to use more versatile fragrances for summer, such as Rive Gauche pour Homme and hopefully soon Mugler Cologne and Versace Baby Blue Jeans.

    And as far as the fragrances with the "weird note" in them you mentioned, I find that not only do a lot of people like them, but a lot of people do not like them. And to say that YSL L'homme, Guerlain Homme and GpH 2 are "decent smelling frags", well some may say that they are not. Some fragrance users are revolted by the smell of tonka, black tea, myrhh or my all time worst enemy ...violet.


    Quote Originally Posted by moon_fish View Post
    Oh, what a great thread!
    As a side note - if Super Member feature does disturb someone, maybe it could be eliminated?
    Better yet, just eliminate the "Super Members".

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    Johny, you live in a hot climate. The frags you mention above as being weird are suited for a cold climate...like where I live. Climate ( to me) is everything. Just because the fragrance is not suited for your climate does not make it weird. ...
    Excellent point! Something that smells weird at 80 degrees F may seem perfectly ordinary at 45 degrees. I often forget what the idiosynchratic temperatures (low) and humidity (high) in my "natural habitat" might do to a fragrance. As I think about it, even regional context could impact how "weird" a fragrance seems. For instance, the "lumberjack" aura of Parfum d'Habit might seem truly odd in say, Singapore, but it's perfectly natural in the context of the American Pacific Northwest's mountains and conifer forests.

  27. #57
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Excellent point! Something that smells weird at 80 degrees F may seem perfectly ordinary at 45 degrees. I often forget what the idiosynchratic temperatures (low) and humidity (high) in my "natural habitat" might do to a fragrance. As I think about it, even regional context could impact how "weird" a fragrance seems. For instance, the "lumberjack" aura of Parfum d'Habit might seem truly odd in say, Singapore, but it's perfectly natural in the context of the American Pacific Northwest's mountains and conifer forests.
    Even in a moderate climate, seasons can change the experience of a fragrance, too. Victoria's seasons are fairly mild ( around 5C in winter and 20C in summer ), but Fleurs de Sel smells sour on me in summer and nicely green in winter.

  28. #58

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Interesting discussion. Thank you for all who have participated so thoughtfully. It's refreshing to read a thread that brings out the thoughtful posters who think so clearly on the question.
    Interestingly, I was just involved in a very similar discussion on a music forum, and I can remember having an almost identical, although much more heated argument in a Faulkner class many years ago. As a poster above pointed out, the issue of strangeness, novelty, and quality in art and its relation to the mainstream or the "comfortable" has been an issue in most areas of artistic endeavor Usually it becomes an opportunity for claims of elitism on the one hand and ignorance on the other. It's a testament to this community that we can avoid going there.


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  29. #59

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    I came here to smell good, not make a statement about how different I can smell.
    For some people the whole "I smell like no-one else I know is important"; however, I think that some of us got into "weird" fragrances not as an act of rebelion or as an expression of individuality but as explorers of what the world of scent can offer. I came here looking for a nice musk scent and something light and citrusy for summer wear but before too long basenotes had taken me on an olfactory rollercoaster ride. The suggestions of the "super members" opened my eyes to the world of niche perfumery, without them there is no way I would have found Serge Lutens, Parfumerie Generale, Montale, Histoire de Parfums or many other houses that I consider an integral part of my current wardrobe.

    I may be way off base, but I don't think many new members want Basenoters to suggest stuff that they can go check out at the local Perfumania or Macy's. Complaining that "super members" suggest "weird" fragrances or seem to discount many mainstream frags on a board dedicated to all things fragrant that has quite a few fragrance experts is a bit like going into an exotic restaurant and complaining that the wait staff only suggest "weird foods."
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  30. #60

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    May I add that 'weirdness' in life is important, too!

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