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  1. #1

    Default "mature" fragrances

    Hello! I have a random sort of question.

    I am wondering what makes a fragrance seem "mature"?

    For example, which notes are associated with mature fragrances, and why would different fragrances be considered "young" or "mature"? Any examples?

    I know this is a matter of opinion but I must ask because I am curious.

  2. #2
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta

    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    Interesting question. I'm sure you'll get different responses.
    For me, "mature" indicates depth and complexity. Maybe layers.
    I'm not even sure how to characterize the opposite except to say that it would be fresh, lively, more focused on one or two elements. "Young" doesn't quite do it justice.
    Some soliflores might be called young. Thierry Mugler cologne seems young and cheerful to me.
    Some scents with evolving complex stages might be called mature. A scent with a wistful, contemplative, even melancholy air might be called mature. Darker and earthier notes. Or very austere notes, like a dry incense or woody scent.
    Each are great, each have an appeal.

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  3. #3

    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    Thanks Odysseusm.

    That was a thoughtful answer to my question.

    Another way for me to ask the same question is, "What is it about my mom's Elizabeth Arden Red Door which causes me to agree with my teenage cousin that it smells "old ladyish?" (for example)

  4. #4
    Sunnyfunny's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    Hey misscasey! :wave:
    There is obviously a note (or a few) in Red Door that doesn't agree with you. If you check out its directory page here, you might find some clues that lead you to what it is you don't like. One of the fun things about this whole perfume thing is sniffing and deciphering individual notes. Some won't agree with you, some will, and some you'll do a 180 on, maybe more than once. It's all a matter of opinion and chemistry. As far as the "old lady" thing goes, here's a thread, now closed, that you may find interesting. I sure did.

    Have a great time here! Basenotes is a really fun place!

  5. #5

    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    It's said that there is nothing new, only that which has been forgotten.

    In perfumery, as in everything else, this seems true.

    Chanel No. 5, for instance, is seen as an "old lady" fragrance now because, well, old ladies wear it because they wore it as young women. Marilyn Monroe caused a rise in No. 5 sales because she said all she wore to bed was a drop of this. In the 1960s, this was the "must have" fragrance. I am sure there will come a time when young older teen girls and 20-somethings wearing D&G The One will seem old and out-dated.

    Only time will tell if a fragrance becomes a classic to be worn through the centuries.

    This month's ad campaign with Audrey Tatou promoting No. 5 (as she will play Coco in the upcoming film "Coco Avant Chanel") hopes to draw a newer, younger customer base.

    For that reason, older fragrances seem "fresh' because no one has smelled them in so long. If the first thing that comes to mind is "old lady or man," then I think it's dated.

    Don't worry--wear what YOU like and don't let anyone dictate to you!

  6. #6

    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    Thank you, Primrose and Sunnyfunny.
    And Sunnyfunny, thank you for referring me to that thread which you mentioned. I agree with most members in that "old ladyish" is not the most appropriate term and can seem rude and degrading to older women. I meant no disrespect but will keep in mind my faux pas so as not to repeat it.

  7. #7
    Aznavour's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Los Angeles
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    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    I don't think it's just a matter of perspective or association. Perfumes released during certain eras participated in the trends of that era. So if by "mature" you mean "something that smells like it was formulated before the 70's," then I'd say certain treatments of aldehydes, ambers, musks, and galbanum are "mature." Vintage isn't my thing so I can't roll examples off my tongue, but... I think you'll know it when you smell it.

    Now if by "mature" you mean "more suited to an adult," I agree it's up to a fragrance's complexity, depth, and strength, but I also think that it depends on how wearable a fragrance is. Like, I think Annick Goutal Petite Cherie is (by design) a great example of a young fragrance because it is light and floral and inoffensive; anyone can wear it. On the other hand -- I mean, just to compare something from the same line -- Mandragore is herbal and citrusy and a bit dark, so it's not exactly something everyone can pull off; I think one would need more character to be able to wear it. Maybe character = maturity....

    You know, the various incarnations of Chanel No. 5 are a good demonstration of this whole deal. Try comparing the current EDP versus Eau Premiere, see what you think of each.
    Last edited by Aznavour; 24th May 2009 at 05:14 AM.

  8. #8
    Sunnyfunny's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: "mature" fragrances

    There was a thread a while back asking if you "wear your age." I surmised that I don't know. I don't know what a 30-year-old is supposed to smell like, you know what I mean? There are scents specifically marketed towards a younger crowd, key word being marketed, because it's as much in the packaging and advertising as it is the actual perfume. I sort of think everything beyond the 15-23 target (or whatever it is) is a grey area. Hang around here long enough and often enough and any line between age or gender will sooner or later become blurred and eventually non-existent.
    I think I do get what you were originally asking, though, misscasey. My mom kindly noted awhile back that some of my perfumes hearkened back to another era, or something like that. I don't know exactly what this means, what common denominator they share, but I do know that I like oakmoss and aldehydes. If you ever run into Brielle87 on here, she is our resident vintage genius and will be able to tell you the differences between vintage and reformulated.

    Sorry for talking your ear off.
    Last edited by Sunnyfunny; 24th May 2009 at 05:54 AM.

  9. #9

    Talking Re: "mature" fragrances

    Aznavour, that is a good point. Thank you for the suggestions. The number 5 vs Eau Premiere would be a good idea to try someday. (I don't do much sampling as I live in a small town and do most buying on the internet, buying full bottles only for a better dollar value).

    No worries about talking my ear off.

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