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  1. #1
    JoNnY 4's Avatar
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    Default Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    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.

    The issue is that why do the so called "basenotes super members" try to influence everyone into liking a certain frag just because its different. I think some of us just want to buy a decent nice smelling frag that lasts..and not something that pulls the attention of everyone around when we walk past. And when the frag is decent like YSL L'homme is released these "super members" will then give remarks and reviews like meh, sellout, yawn, etc. Sometimes we might think and consider ourselves experts in perfumery with a lifetime of experience and makes us feel fit to judge a frag for everyone else. I mean give ppl a chace to sniff the frag even though u think it sucks. Don't try to influence ppl in the forums too much. I am in no way writing this as a personal attack against anyone...i am just stating my own observation and opinion after goin through the forums for the past 3 months. Also i am not defending YSL L'Homme in any sort of way.

    I think a lot of ppl new to this forums get influenced by these "super members" and end up buying frags that are so different and end up feeling a sense of regret because they themselves actually don't like the frag and bought it merely because some ppl in the forums said it was the best, awesome, groundbreaking, holy grail. Yes i have to admit it happened to me.

    Guys and gals don't get offended by anything i wrote. If u are, sincerest apologies. I just want to see if there are anyone out there that feel like i do.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Wait, are you trying to influence me in liking mainstream frags?

    Well I do like a lot of them, actually. And am considering Gucci PH 2 for my wardrobe.

    What I really LOVE is finding a mainstream frag that is cheaper than a very similar niche frag that costs thrice as much. I find Gucci PH 2 too similar to Annick Goutal Duel to shelf out money for the latter one.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 14th February 2009 at 04:17 AM.
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  3. #3
    DustB's Avatar
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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.

    The issue is that why do the so called "basenotes super members" try to influence everyone into liking a certain frag just because its different. I think some of us just want to buy a decent nice smelling frag that lasts..and not something that pulls the attention of everyone around when we walk past. And when the frag is decent like YSL L'homme is released these "super members" will then give remarks and reviews like meh, sellout, yawn, etc. Sometimes we might think and consider ourselves experts in perfumery with a lifetime of experience and makes us feel fit to judge a frag for everyone else. I mean give ppl a chace to sniff the frag even though u think it sucks. Don't try to influence ppl in the forums too much. I am in no way writing this as a personal attack against anyone...i am just stating my own observation and opinion after goin through the forums for the past 3 months. Also i am not defending YSL L'Homme in any sort of way.

    I think a lot of ppl new to this forums get influenced by these "super members" and end up buying frags that are so different and end up feeling a sense of regret because they themselves actually don't like the frag and bought it merely because some ppl in the forums said it was the best, awesome, groundbreaking, holy grail. Yes i have to admit it happened to me.

    Guys and gals don't get offended by anything i wrote. If u are, sincerest apologies. I just want to see if there are anyone out there that feel like i do.
    Selfishly, I was hoping your post was just the subject question: Is weirdness in a scent so important? because I read that on the forum list and thought, god, what a great question, why didn't I ever think of it before, and now I can't wait to answer just that question.

    Indulge me by letting me, and then I'll get to your comments on the super members and what you feel is a dismissive attitude.

    Yes, I say, weirdness in a scent is important to me. It makes me love a scent. It makes me not tire of it. It takes me where another scent hasn't gone and it makes one instant of the same scent different from other instants of the same scent. I love it when I wear one scent for the day but it changes through being three scents during the day. That is a party and a nose trip for me--a vacation no matter how much work I'm doing that day.

    Yes, weirdness in a scent is fantastic for me, and it is trippy in other ways--in how people react to me by how I smell (in some cases, as I've written about Yatagan, for example on a thread I started about it) and how I get to watch those reactions change.

    I love it this way and I like it that a scent teaches me how to smell all over again, teaches me beauty by contrast, for example, as in the amazing way Amen shows me sweatness and powder coupled with tar. How neat, and whoda' thunk?

    Now, on to your second point about how it seems like your super members are dismissive and don't give new people or new scents a chance, and even look down on members who like the scents that the super members look down on. I sincerely think you're wrong.

    It can look that way, sure, since we talk about things in ways that try to seek out the special and the different, and the odd, and the things that change us, or change our noses or change our perceptions of what our noses lead us to think about, but we're not giving lip service when we say everyone should find the thing that makes them happy.

    If a scent of whatever non-weirdness makes you happy, all super members here will say, damn, go forward. Your nose says you like some scent, that's a party, and the way it should be.

    Truth is the forum has a history of newer members calling elitism here, and feeling like judgment is against them. It isn't. Many of us have smelled a few thousand commercial scents and we do find we want to be provoked, and sure, just like anyone, we have things we don't like and sometimes we don't like things because they don't meet our taste for complexity or weirdness--you could say that--but in all frankness and candor, we have our opinions and can have them. We can talk about them and when we say recently released scent-X is dull, commercial, feed the masses, unspecial, we're saying that's the way it appears to us, or even just the one of us who says that. It's a legitimate way to have an opinion and it's a reasonable thing to think.

    It doesn't mean we think the same thing of anyone who likes the scent though. Because we think a scent is mainstream, common, ordinary, done before, not-weird, not-interesting, in no way, in our minds, does that mean anyone who likes Scent-X is those things either. We might not agree, but we're sincerely going to want you to rejoice in liking the scent. No lie.
    --Chris
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    I love it this way and I like it that a scent teaches me how to smell all over again, teaches me beauty by contrast, for example, as in the amazing way Amen shows me sweatness and powder coupled with tar. How neat, and whoda' thunk?
    That is a beautiful paragraph, and mirrors how I feel.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Hey, if you want cheap, "mainstream" frags that smell nice, just check out my sales thread. I have no incentive to try to get you NOT to buy those kinds of frags! LOL.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I agree with Turin's notion that discordant accords are often where true beauty is found. I think you can apply this to music, the visual arts, food, etc., as well as perfumery. Symmetry is overrated and not found in nature.
    Some of the 'super members' perhaps prefer to be challenged rather than comforted.
    That said, comfort is not a bad thing at all.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th February 2009 at 04:50 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Symmetry is overrated and not found in nature
    Symmetry is found in nature and can be heart-piercingly beautiful. The symmetry of a butterfly's wings. The symmetry of a flower. Symmetry in a fragrance can also be a very desirable, very beautiful thing.

    Now, although we disagree about symmetry... we do agree on assymmetry and contrasts! I fully concur with Turin's comments also. As much as I can't bring myself to love some of the 'weirder' notes in certain frags, I respect them and am glad that perfumers are exploring the boundaries.

    For the original poster... don't hold it against the "super members"! Everyone enjoys the "simpler" scents, just know that there are other more "interesting" things waiting in the wings. I for one appreciate the super members' attempts to bring them to our attention. In the end, what you end up liking is down to you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trufflehunter View Post
    Symmetry is found in nature and can be heart-piercingly beautiful. The symmetry of a butterfly's wings. The symmetry of a flower. Symmetry in a fragrance can also be a very desirable, very beautiful thing.

    Now, although we disagree about symmetry... we do agree on assymmetry and contrasts! I fully concur with Turin's comments also. As much as I can't bring myself to love some of the 'weirder' notes in certain frags, I respect them and am glad that perfumers are exploring the boundaries.

    For the original poster... don't hold it against the "super members"! Everyone enjoys the "simpler" scents, just know that there are other more "interesting" things waiting in the wings. I for one appreciate the super members' attempts to bring them to our attention. In the end, what you end up liking is down to you.
    I have never seen a symmetrical flower. If you look closer at all those symmetries you'll find uniqueness in each petal and wing. Just like a tree's branches and leaves. My right leg is slightly longer than my left, as I suspect is true, to a certain extent of every living thing. Symmetry is artificial.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th February 2009 at 05:22 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I think in terms of "rough edges." Adidas Victory League has an odd combination of notes, but they balance out and there is very pleasant dynamism, for instance. Lomani is also well balanced (no roughness), but smells too typical. However, if we were raised to smell AVL type smells at barber shops, and never smelled the Lomani notes together, would it be the other way around?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 14th February 2009 at 05:21 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Jonny: I can say with absolute certainty that even as a BN newbie, I am not influenced by the veteran BN'ers tastes at all. Have a look at my BN wardrobe and I bet you that no veteran BNer would agree that the top 2-3 in my wardrobe are the greatest ever - but I swear by them when the chips are down.

    And for the record, I've tried YSL Homme and got an immediate "Meh - like Cool Water but doesn't make me want to scrub it off right away" reaction out of me.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Like Chris, I feel a need to address both the thread's title question and the body of the post.

    "Is weirdness in a scent so important?" Well, if by "weirdness" you mean a distinctive or unusual character, then yes, to me that's a point of interest and attraction. I admire originality and I enjoy provocative scents. Given a choice, I'll usually reach for something imaginative to wear. Even so, I don't always want to wear an unusual scent. There's a time and a place for Muscs Koublai Khan, and a time and a place for a good traditional Eau de Cologne. Wearing a relatively conventional scent does not indicate a lack of taste. It merely means someone enjoys, or is in the mood for something that's not challenging.

    As for the body of JoNnY 4's initial post, I'm surely guilty of dismissing a great number of conventional fragrances, but that's not because I like to condescend. Fact is, once you've smelled and reviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of fragrances, you find many that are similar enough to be redundant. How many fruity-aquatic fougeres do we really need? How many aquatic "sport" fragrances can you distinguish blindfolded? (I've got a reasonably discerning nose, and I can't tell most of them apart.) Given the crowded market and the degree of sameness among scents, here's my manifesto: if a scent is relatively conventional in structure and character, it had better be outstanding in quality or offer some original twist on the commonplace formula. Otherwise, what need is there for it to exist? At this point in my exploration of scent, I can't show much enthusiasm for any but the best examples I encounter among the very popular fragrance types.

    If I must confess to an agenda of sorts when discussing fragrances with newcomers, it's not to belittle their tastes, impose my own, or bully them into wearing something they don't like. It's to encourage exploration and give others license to define their preferences through experimentation. It's to help emancipate and eduacate their noses, if you will. Others here have done that for me, and I want to pass along the favor. I'd be saddened if encouragement of learning were taken as hostility, and while I can't speak for other established Basenoters, I'd like to think they feel the same.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    All you need to do is trust your own nose. Fragrance is only good if it makes you happy. Opinions are abundant and you can't agree with every one of them. Sample before you buy a full bottle without taking hype as the truth. Truth is what you make of it. I can't tell you how many times seasoned basenoters have raved about certain scents enough to make me purchase a sample. And low and behold, I hate it. Or it's not strong enough to be noticed by anyone but me, and so on and so forth. And there are many frags I adore that others deplore, I could care less! That's the beauty of the world, all the differences. We won't ever agree on anything. You need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and follow your own path. Sample away and buy what YOU like regardless of what anyone else thinks! Presto! Instant happiness!
    ~~~~~~~~Pulsing veins of green rushing nutrients through unfurling leaflets , dirty-faced little blooms poking their sleepy heads up through cold March dirt...the promising scent of unfallen rain hanging heavy in the dark cloud-ladden air...Oh the beauty of Spring here in the country!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Since I'm a classical musician I want to relate it the issue to music. I love classical music, from Mozart and his beautiful symmetry and perfect balance of tension and release as much as I love Brahms' lush, gigantic soaring romantic textures and melodies to Shostakovich's harsh, fierce symphonies with wailing brass instruments and percussion you can feel in your chest, to modern composers like Schonberg whose atonal music is both almost mathematical and thought provoking. That said, I actually also like hip hop and rap, salsa, jazz, etc.

    I find a direct parallel with fragrance. Sometimes one is just in the mood for something challenging, something harsh, something luxuriously rich, something luscious, (any number of Serge Lutens, Parfumerie Generale, or Montale fragrances for just a few examples), but I also like my Bulgari Aqua and a couple Creeds and several department store fragrances (though I admit I like the weirder ones haha if I might go as far as to call Declaration and Terre d'Hermes "off the beaten path").

    I think when one comes to the hobby level or collector level, the nose starts to want more adventure. It's not even necessarily about preference but the idea of experiencing new and daring or exciting accords that can be daring for the sake of being daring or be daring in effort to evoke something outside of the realm of just smelling good. I haven't really bought a full bottle in about a year because I just want to smell different things. My nose has gotten greedy and when I read some of the incredible reviews here and elsewhere, I just have to experience that as well.

    There's nothing wrong with enjoying mainstream fragrances. I think looking for weird in fragrances comes from the adventure seeker in the fragrance enthusiast. Though I've been actively seeking some of the more interesting fragrances out there, I've also started coming back around to enjoy more traditional fragrance compositions as well. I think any agenda might be just that we all want each other to experience these fragrance "oddities" as well, just for the sake of trying them and broadening our horizons. This community and these forums are populated by enthusiasts so there's only so much you can say about the certain genre of mainstream fragrances. I don't think you are so far off by mentioning that there is a certain naysaying involved when approaching mainstream offerings (especially, fresh, aquatic, "sport" fragrances). But I think that's mostly because once you smell those, there's just not much to say. That doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable.
    Last edited by nthny; 14th February 2009 at 07:17 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    In answer to the title...

    It's not important at all. In fact, I'd say a fragrance in a popular style that stands out from the crowd impresses me more than a freaky fragrance.

    That being said, I often love fragrances that are "weird" by others standards. Sometimes I don't really smell what others see as weird ( CdG Original is spicy and interesting, but not outright weird to my nose ), sometimes I do and love it ( Tubereuse Criminelle's wintergreen-tuberose accord ).

    Sometimes people don't smell something as weird that I do, for example the horror known as Velvet Gardenia that others seem to tolerate, and even love.

    In answer to the post...

    I talk about the fragrances I do and don't enjoy. That is my standard - how I feel about a fragrance. There is no agenda here other than that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I think after a person has smelled hundreds to thousands of scents, it becomes rarer to find something original and unlike other things. That's why it's exciting and refreshing to discover a "novel" scent (you call it "weird").

    When I first smelled A*Men, it was maybe the 10th frag I've ever smelled and certainly unlike any of those previous ones. Its boldness instantly put me in heaven, and I was never the same again.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Given the crowded market and the degree of sameness among scents, here's my manifesto: if a scent is relatively conventional in structure and character, it had better be outstanding in quality or offer some original twist on the commonplace formula. Otherwise, what need is there for it to exist?
    The old dog hits the nail on the head yet again. Excellently put.
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  17. #17

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoNnY 4 View Post
    The issue is that why do the so called "basenotes super members" try to influence everyone into liking a certain frag just because its different.
    Super Member is an unfortunate name choice, I agree, it's best to just ignore it. Everybody is tagged that way at a stage between 'New Member' and 'Dependent', a tag indicating a certain number of posts somebody has written. (Maybe there is a time factor too, but I wouldn't know anything about it.) You will be able to change the once you have been here for a while. Since I discovered that possibility I use varying text instead. And recently the number of members who do the same has grown.

    Vibert has just written a very careful answer which reflects thoughts many other longtime members may share. Most of my own posts are a response to other members I have known for a long period of time, not seldom on matters that have a little history on BN. Regrettably, I seldom consider the needs young and new members may have. But never has ignorance or bad will been the cause. When I started to buy perfume I chose what was new and available. But years of practice taught me that in perfumery 'new' isn't a synonym for good! I joined Basenotes at a much later stage, when I knew a few things about perfume already. I joined, because this is the only place where they also discuss older, and hard to obtain perfumes for men.

    I am still more focused on those, but if you look at my wardrobe, or any wardrobe of longtime members, you will find fragrances that you are familiar with, and which are neither too expensive nor too difficult to buy. Often they get the same 4 - 5 stars as those with the 'snob appeal' (I try to get rid of three star fragrances. Three star fragrances are not the same which get lesser ratings here or in some publication. Only I decide which they are, and I only rate them for my own wardrobe!

    I don't own Acqua di Gio pH, but I am one of the few who keep defending this fine cologne, like I defended Old Spice, Brut and Kouros. That said, I may add: Writing the same posts for new generations of BN members year after year can be tiresome, and I am glad when younger Dependents feel more motivated to do that nowadays.

    Symmetry is nature
    Last edited by narcus; 14th February 2009 at 04:15 PM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    This topic is pretty cool, because I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately. Not in terms of the members here being pretentious mind you, but my own taste from a comparative standpoint. All of my life, I have had a tendency toward "intellectual" interpretations of subjects that border on elitism (at least in the opinion of the various people around me), and my foray into the fragrance world has had a different outcome. My taste in perfume, by comparison to seemingly most of the basenotes community, is pretty pedestrian. I am o.k. with it. It probably has to do with social conditioning or whatever. I like frags that are "likable." Creed, Bond no. 9 etc. I want quality, long lasting fragrances that are fresh, clean and inoffensive (which around here is always meant as a slam). I want to smell nice more than I want to be unique. I guess that I just like what I like, and I'm not always going to be the smart guy in the room. Meh.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    It is discussions like this one that keeps me returning. This is the one place I know of where people with a common denominator genuine interest in the world of scents come. In that world, there is bound to be some some "wierdness". Guerlain Homme (which I also own), for example, is "wierd" - wouldn't you agree? I mean - a scent with mint and lime resembling a mojito...it doesn't get much wierder than that!

    I absolutely must add my 2 cents to the discussion of symmetry which I found thought provoking. I've been in a phase where I've made an effort to not be symmetrical when arranging furnature etc. But there is a proven biological tendency in many species (including our own) in "choosing a potential mate" to look for symmetry. People generally tend to buy symmetrical clothes.

    Perhaps balance is a better word when speaking of fragrance? With what is patchouli symmetrical? - vetiver? ...amber?. Natural landscapes are generally asymmetric. Perhaps a fragrance landscape is a better representation(?).
    Last edited by Delmar; 14th February 2009 at 12:14 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I do not try to influence anyone. I just state my opinion.

    Also, I do not care for weirdness. I look for pure awesomeness. An awesomeness not found in Armani, Hugo, Guerlain Homme, any of the Polos, etc, etc, etc)
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Regarding perfumes, I mainly look for high scores on two dimensions:

    1. Intelligence-Understatement

    2. Coherence-Balance

    "Weirdness" without high scores on these two irritates me.

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    My appreciation of any art form, and perfume is an art form, is usually quite broad. My wife who loathes most modern art will certainly testify to this when I drag her to an exhibit and am enraptured by a piece of abstract art she just can't enjoy. On the otherhand we both feel the exact same joy at Marc Chagall's stained glass work which we both think is brilliant.
    This example addresses both the question stated in the topic and the assertion from the body of the OP.
    When it comes to "weirdness" in a scent I think that term could be as frought with debate as "niche vs. designer" if it came down to it. The rubber note in Bvlgari Black would probably universally be acknowledged as weird. Would the use of pepper in many scents like Armani Prive Bois D'Encens be considered weird? Depends on where you're coming from. For someone who is experiencing a pepper note for the first time it is weird. For someone who has worn Caron's Poivre, Heremessence Poivre Samarcande, or L'Artisan's Poivre Piquant it becomes another interesting take on pepper in scent. Weird like anything we experience is in the eye, or nose, of the beholder and it can be a wonderful discovery or an off-putting expereince depending on the beholder. For me, I wear so many different things and try so many different scents because I want to experience the full pallette of what these artists attempt to use to create these scents. That being said each one of us here should have a different raison d'etre for wearing perfume and in some of those cases "weirdness" is going to be prominent in one's personal exploration.
    To the other point expressed by the OP. I use an example that I start every wine class that I teach off with. My nephew's father-in-law is a very wealthy man and has a wine cellar that is the best I have encountered. On the occasion of my nephew producing the first man grandchild at the christening we were down walking through his wine cellar. On the floor was a wooden crate and I asked him what it was and he said a case of 1961 Chateau Petrus he had picked up at auction. Being very suave and thinking he might be in an expansive mood and knowing darn well my chances of ever trying this bottle of wine were slim I asked if he had tried a bottle yet. He responded no why don't we open one up. Inside I'm jumping up and down like my team has won the Super Bowl and World Series. Outside I'm saying all cool why don't we go try it. We go upstairs, we decant, we pour ourselves glasses and we ooh and aah and compare it to everything from fine jewelry to the Empire State Building. At this point my mother walks in and asks what we are doing. It is at this point that I lose my cool and in a burst transmission that takes about two seconds to come out of my mouth I say. "Mom! This is a 1961 Chateau Petrus it is probably one of the greatest bottles of wine ever made and I can't believe I'm drinking this!!!" My mother says really I'd like to try a glass. Our host pours her a glass, she swirls, she sniffs, she sips and she says, "Not Bad, you know what my favorite wine is?" Now I do know what my mother's favorite wine is and I know what she's about to say. My mother says "I love that Ernest and Julio Gallo Rhine Wine" OMG, OMG she just compared what might be arguably one of the finest bottle of wine ever made to a $6 jug wine quick call the taste police. Ahhh but here's the rub and I'm going to put this all in caps because I stress this when I say it in class, SHE'S NOT WRONG.
    My mother knows what she likes and she has tried other things and she still knows what she likes. That is the key here to say you like something over other things after you have tried them means you know your own taste and that is the key to enjoying anything. What I am doing and I assume other "super members" are doing is sharing our experiences. Have I tried things that others have raved about that I'm not crazy about, absolutely. Tauer L'air du Desert Marocain is the one scent that I keep convincing myself I'm just not getting but it leaves me cold every time. Alternatively I love Carthusia Uomo and it gets one star from Turin and Sanchez and is not well-liked here but I love it on me and that is all that matters. Any review I write is as much for me to get my thoughts out and to share in a conversation about something that we all love. It is no reflection on anyone if they like different scents from me. Everything we do here should be in using scent to make ourself happier and that is going to mean different things to all of us. For some it will be the search for the weird, for some it will be the search for a compliment, and for others it will be the search to just smell good. Whatever it is your searching for just remember to have fun while you're doing it and to tell us about it because it is the shared experience that makes Basenotes a special place.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    if a scent is relatively conventional in structure and character, it had better be outstanding in quality or offer some original twist on the commonplace formula. Otherwise, what need is there for it to exist?
    A fragance doesn't need to be wierd, but it does need to be GOOD. There's a classic test that is applied to perfume and it's the simplest one in the world: Does it smell good? If a fragrance smells great it doesn't matter if it's mainstream or niche, cheap or expensive. There's a woman's fragrance from Rochas called Tocade which was a surprise hit because it... smells good. Luca Turin is very voluble on this subject and I agree with him on this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    In answer to the title...
    I talk about the fragrances I do and don't enjoy. That is my standard - how I feel about a fragrance. There is no agenda here other than that.
    Yup, me too. I do try to challenge myself by trying things I wouldn't usually try - like celebrity perfumes and men's fragrances - and I am often surprised and delighted. I try very hard not to be a perfume snob and I think there are a lot of fellow Basenoters who similarly try to keep an open mind on anything we smell.

    Quote Originally Posted by karisuma View Post
    I think after a person has smelled hundreds to thousands of scents, it becomes rarer to find something original and unlike other things. That's why it's exciting and refreshing to discover a "novel" scent (you call it "weird").
    And yes, it's easy to get carried away by some strange combo you've never smelled before and that gives you DustB's brilliant 'Wow, who'da thunk?' reaction. Sometimes we get swept off our feet by a delightful new thing that we met for the first time and we get a big crush on it and just can't stop talking about it because we're so excited to have discovered it. We're all human!

    I often turn to the many mainstream fragrances in my wardrobe when I feel fragile or I can't cope with the complexity of wearing something I have to think about. Kenzo Flower is pretty and easy to wear, Kenzo Amour is cozy and comforting, Opium is a stunner, Rykiel Woman is utterly pretty as is Westwood's Libertine. I wear these a lot. In fact, I'm wearing Coco today - I don't know if you'd call that a mainstream fragrance or a classic.

    Having said that, I still like my wierd. I have days when I need to wear Bulgari Black or Dzing! or Bal a Versailles and just let the skank out. I found the wierd that feels good to me. But I still like pretty and I still love classicism. It's just that adding in a bit of wierd gives me more to play with and to me perfume is fun.

    I think we sometimes don't appreciate the mainstream fragrances because they're there. It's a bit like not appreciating your Mum until you leave home and have to cook your own dinner and wash your own socks.
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729

  24. #24

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbird View Post
    Having said that, I still like my wierd. I have days when I need to wear Bulgari Black or Dzing! or Bal a Versailles and just let the skank out. I found the wierd that feels good to me. But I still like pretty and I still love classicism. It's just that adding in a bit of wierd gives me more to play with and to me perfume is fun.
    This reminds me of one of my most memorable experiences smelling someone else's fragrance sillage. A young couple sat down next to us at an outdoor restaurant in southern Europe late summer 2005. The young lady was wearing something utterly novel (read 'wierd') - yet so perfect for that setting. I wish I had had the courage to ask her what fragrance it was. I'd almost give my right arm to know what fragrance it was. As I recall, it seemed either rubbery or leathery or a combination of the two. I've been wondering lately if it was Bulgari Black, Dzing, or maybe even Tea for Two.

  25. #25
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    I am also new here but I have been a fragrance aficionado for 20 years.
    I got tired of the lack of creativity among designers, once in a while I will find something different and I will buy it. The truth is that I got a point where I had tested and bought hundreds of fragrances and seemed nothing new under the horizon seemed to get me really excited.
    I found Basenotes and I discovered a new world. I was scratching the surface for 20 years, a lonely walk in the desert... until now.
    Yes,weirdness is important, maybe not weir but originality, creativity, surprised factor, that amazing feeling of smelling something unique that makes you go WOW.
    I have to thank everyone here for giving their opinion and tips of great new and old fragrances. There is people that know best, have more knowledge and nose. They have tried many niche fragrances and they make our (my) fragrance life much more interesting. They do not have better or worse taste, they just know more than others.
    Last edited by Basteri; 14th February 2009 at 01:43 PM.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

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

    You will buy whatever I say and you will shut your mouth and like it!
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

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

    Wow...i started quite a debate...okay guys thanks and many apologies...i didn't mean to offend anyone. Earlier i was pissed off because i was going through my frag collection and i realized i wasted so much money on frags i don't actually like and was bought on impulse...much of it contributed to browsing the forums. Examples such as Terre D'Hermes (i just can't find the right occasion to wear it and my family & gf hates it)) and CK Man (bought it when i began my frag journey of discovery and now i think it was an utter mistake)..oh ya and also CK Euphoria Men (now my car's air freshener).

    After a really relaxing day i now see the light. Weirdness is important and there is no perfection in life and nature. Some of the frags I own, Fahrenheit, Dior Homme, Chanel Antaeus and M7 i absolutely love and i must admit i was influenced by the reviews and posts on basenotes. They were really good buys and cheaper then the CKs i bought. In my country frags are really expensive and there are no niche frags as far as i know.

    So to the so called "super members" thank you for your views on frags. I really appreciate and respect the knowledge and experience in your posts. I must admit that it was kinda rude for me to make those earlier comments at the start of the thread. Terima Kasih banyak-banyak.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentronic View Post
    You will buy whatever I say and you will shut your mouth and like it!
    Yes i will. Pls let me know what i should buy...LOL...

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    by that way most of my fragrances are designers also apart from a few creed, Caron , Knize and niche samples that I have
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Is weirdness in a scent so important?

    Experiments with perfume are useful to me, as opposed to just finding a few things that are pleasant to wear, because of how small, seemingly isolated things change how we see the world. After the birth of my eldest daughter, for weeks the world seemed saturated with color. I got little sleep but I was focused and content because everything, quite literally, was about her. The poet Li-Young Lee talks about how what's in the foreground of your life changes depending on how you see it in relation to the vanishing point. What you think of a flower depends in part on what you think about God/ultimate reality/Whatever. Well, so everyone gets that, right but I think the significance that we attribute to things can go the other way, too. Your experience of the flower-- especially if you learn about it, study it closely, sketch it, thread it through stories, fill baskets with it, dry it and put it in your shoes-- can have a lot to do with what you think about The Big Whatever-It-Is.
    The poet Geoffrey Hill says that often the most helpful things that a writer learns in the course of learning the craft have to do not with big life lessons but with little technical methods. So what happens when a poet abandons the stately pentameter for jaunty little four-beat lines? A lot, as it turns out. Eugene Onegin or Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate would feel ponderous and unfunny in five beat lines. What happens when a poet abandons regular meter altogether? Well, then you have to start listening for the ways in which phrases themselves have music, rather than fitting into the larger music of the repeated line length. You have to start listening in a new way, and not just to the poem, to everything. Oh, man, you thinks, it gets all strained and technical and boring. Yup, guess so, but it's that level of stuff that shapes a life, too.
    My wife moved a little cabinet in the kitchen last week. Madness! Where will we put the phone books that we never look at? As it turns out she was right: I feel calmer in the kitchen with more continuous counter exposed, cleaner lines, more like being on a mountain where I feel comfortable.
    So yesterday I wore Yatagan. It is lonely to wear, maybe because it smells like deep woods, like being somewhere far away from roads and people. But also because it's hard to imagine very many casual strangers finding it pleasant. It makes closeness intimate. It feels not like pleasant conversation but like deep secrets, or like sharing what you are afraid is strange and unlovable about yourself. Lonely but very powerful, full of life, beautiful. And I wore it partly because I knew I was going to be in a meeting about what books to teach to high school freshmen, in which I would normally be a much more safe, conciliatory version of myself. I don't know that I behaved differently that I would have if I'd worn something that feels safe and domestic to, but I felt quite different. I felt already exposed--somehow Yatagan foregrounds my own (probably mostly imagined) sense of strangeness.
    I think the "What Should I Wear to X" threads show that lots of people think of perfume in this way. I'm sure some people ask because they want to show up in something fitting. But other people are trying to imagine how what they wear will change how they feel. Perfume is not only part of the sensorium, it is one way of conditioning how you focus your senses.
    But I got nothing against unstrange frags, short answer.

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