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  1. #31

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    Scentemental's post is interesting but there are so many costs and other levels from A (formula) to Z (wholesaler).

    All that I can say is that I go to a restaurant in France and buy a salad and pay 20 euros for a great salad. I can buy a head of lettuce for less than an Euro in the markets. I buy a dress shirt for 50 euros and I'm sure that it was pennies to make....

    The mathematics and economics of perfumery is not very different than the clothing industry, the automobile industry, beverage industry, etc.
    Again, I didn't start this thread with the intent to bash TdH or to bash houses that charge more than others. The primary reason I made the thread was to reiterate the fact that there is no direct or permanent correlation between price or brand and quality of ingredients or cost of composition. Sokkou's comments in particular are the kind of thing I'm talking about.. the assumption that because something is from Bond it is unquestionably "higher quality." That may be true in that specific comparison - I don't know and don't care as it's not relevant to my point - the point is that it is not guaranteed to be true. And yet, the belief that correlation does exist and is permanent when regarding one house vs another or one price group vs another only diminishes our ability to be objective and in turn, our ability to fully appreciate any and all scents we come across.
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  2. #32
    Sokkou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Well Sculpture,my point was, certain price points exude quality I believe, and in my personal experience, Bond is one of them, I used them as an example for this reason, while at the designer level, like the Terre you used as an example, the same is not true. It's hit-or-miss. Just trying to clarify my point in relation to your original post, I realize you don't care, but I'm presenting an experience in which the correlation does exist I believe.
    Last edited by Sokkou; 4th June 2009 at 04:51 PM.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Sorry, I shouldn't have singled you out as I generally agree with your views (I find MPG and Creed generally smell of higher quality, for instance), but I still think it fallacious to assume that that is always the case.

    My stance is more like that of Hirch's - a certain price point does not guarantee quality, but a sufficiently low price point (especially on a recent release which still needs to recoup its development costs) does lower a frags upper bound on quality of ingredients (but not necessarily its composition.)
    ***For sale:

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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Yes, Price =/= Quality.

    And I will add something which has been discussed before: Niche is dead. It seems like there are more niche houses than there are designer houses. Every budding Tom, Dick and Sally with a bit of daddys' money or savings and a chemistry set is now starting a 'unique, personalized, fragrance house for the discerning consumer' ...
    Last edited by zztopp; 4th June 2009 at 05:42 PM.
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  5. #35
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    The answer to the relationship between high prices and quality has to address a company's cost structure, financial and marketing goals and quality perception.

    Companies have to cover costs if they want revenues. At the same time, pricing policies will be defined according to financial and marketing goals. Usually, companies have different product and brand lines targeting different markets. Among these, high price policies in premium / specialty - good markets are key, for high prices trigger high quality perception. This is even more so when goods are difficult to asses, such being the case of products revolving around organoleptical (sensory) perceptions. Contrary to this case, homogeneous shopping goods can be easily compared due to technical characteristics. In lay terms, comparing computers is a lot easier than comparing perfumes or wines, thus the importance of pricing policies (BTW, ever heard about a perfume selling better after a steep pirce increase? The story is told in the 2001 edition of Kotler's Marketing Management).

    However, there are "discerning" customers with the ability to distinguish overpriced from justly priced goods, acttualy this being a mater of taste and perception (here such comments is "how come Turin have sid the XX is such a good blend????"comes to mind). Plus, customers set spending policies according to their cultural background - some liking gentlemanly scents as a way of expressing their self image on and economical situation... so, an ilogical choice for me like spending USD 120 for 30 ml on an EdT, won't be the case for other people.

    That is the reason I like being a BN member, it improves your critical criteria when it comes to perfumes.

    So, just enjoy your hobby.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    I have two "hard insider facts" in my post in the following thread one of which confirms your point:

    "Purchasing Bond No. 9 on eBay" thread

    scentemental

    Thanks for the link, scentemental. The 50% difference between grey market and retail is consistent with what I learned working at a book store long ago. Books get market up 50% (I.e., the store pays $16 and charges $24) and "luxury goods" get marked up 100% (i.e., store pays $40 and charges $80). Some of this is the difference bwtween running an internet business versus bricks-and-morter, but I don't know how much.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    First of all, everyone is talking about "quality" but nowhere in this thread has anyone defined what "quality" is? Undefined, "quality" is just a vague word that could be used in a multitude of ways.

    Are people talking about the quality of the smell? If so this is a purely subjective criteria that is just saying that one perfume has a higher aesthetic value to the smeller than another fragrance. If this the case then one cannot argue that the person having the aesthetic experience is wrong, as the person is judging her own aesthetic experience; an experience which is private and inaccessable to others.

    Also, if we are speaking of quality as the aesthetic value of a fragrance to an individual, and if that aesthetic experience is enhanced by knowing that a perfume is expensive (which I believe studies have shown that a person's experience of a product is often affected by what they think a product costs) then it can be argued that the price of a perfume and its quality (with quality defined as the aesthetic value of the experience of a perfume to the individual) are related.

    Are people talking about the quality of the ingredients? If so, then how are we to judge the ingredient quality without knowing exactly which ingredients are in a composition. A master perfumer may use low grade essences and oils and make something that is universally lauded as smelling great, while a lesser perfumer could use the highest quality materials available and still create something that smelled like monkey shit.
    Last edited by surreality; 6th June 2009 at 12:35 AM.
    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

  8. #38

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Trying to figure out the pricing issue is like staring into the abyss. Pretty soon, you become the abyss. Unless you're an insider, we can only surmise the natural/synthetic content. But we all know that all fragrance is supremely overpriced and that the markup runs into the jewelry stratosphere (in the hundreds of percent). I've accepted it and generally only buy where I can get a good deal. High prices and limited distribution usually mean no sales to me. Fortunately, there's people like Luca Turin who say that price in most cases does not equal quality. For example, I tried most of Lutens frags, and I don't think they have anything as good as Halston Z-14. The lesson here is good perfumers can take "cheap" ingrediants and make magic. Bad perfumers can take expensive ingrediants and make forgettable frags.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

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  9. #39
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    First of all, everyone is talking about "quality" but nowhere in this thread has anyone defined what "quality" is? Undefined, "quality" is just a vague word that could be used in a multitude of ways.
    Because perfumes, food and drinks are difficult to evaluate. So "quality" in these products is, to some extent, subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Are people talking about the quality of the smell? If so this is a purely subjective criteria that is just saying that one perfume has a higher aesthetic value to the smeller than another fragrance. If this the case then one cannot argue that the person having the aesthetic experience is wrong, as the person is judging her own aesthetic experience; an experience which is private and inaccessable to others.
    Subjetive... to some extent. Do you like Brie Cheese? Chances are you are a highly educated / high income individual. Why? Tastes are shaped by an individual's social background . Since tastes are acquired through education and culture, your cultural and educational background will determine your tastes. Plus, education and culture correlate strongly with income. Now, that does not mean all highly educated / high income individual will like Brie cheese, but probabilities will be higher than the general population, wich will prefer Velveeta cheese.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Also, if we are speaking of quality as the aesthetic value of a fragrance to an individual, and if that aesthetic experience is enhanced by knowing that a perfume is expensive (which I believe studies have shown that a person's experience of a product is often affected by what they think a product costs) then it can be argued that the price of a perfume and its quality (with quality defined as the aesthetic value of the experience of a perfume to the individual) are related.
    That is perception, plain and simple. High prices will be taken as an indication of good quality, low price, as bad quality. That is why many BNoters crave for expensive niche scents, while at the same time they ignore inexpensive perfumes sold in drugstores under common / acesible brands - this meaning, most will talk about YSL perfumes sold at TJ Maxx for 20 USD but ignore many others.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Are people talking about the quality of the ingredients? If so, then how are we to judge the ingredient quality without knowing exactly which ingredients are in a composition. A master perfume may use low grade essences and oils and make something that is universally lauded as smelling great, while a lesser perfumer could use the highest quality materials available and still create something that smelled like monkey shit.
    Only technicians specializing in perfume making can asses quality form ingredients. I hardly know what lemonen, linalool, hydroxyisohexyl, citronellol, carboxaldehyde, hexyl cinnamal, citronelol, geraniol, benzyl alcohol, coumarin, citral, evernia prunastri (wasn't that forbidden????) extract, eugenol (dentist's smell), alpha -- isomethyl ionone, butylphenil, methylpropional, cinnamal, benzyl salicilate, benxyl benzoate, hydroxycitronellal, evernia purpuracea, farnesol and anise, pus alcohol, but I think that Azzaro for men is fine and smells great on me, however a little bit tacky and dated.

    No, I bet we, most of BNoters have the LEAST idea what all these chemicals are - except for calone and iso e super - so there is no chance we can judge a fragrance from the chemicals it is made of. So, we follow suit and judge on binary perceptions (good / bad) grounded on explanations based on the olfactory pyramid. Which is sort of silly - discussions are based on comments like "smells like urine cakes", "it is like rubbying candy cotton on your chest", and so forth. OK, I enjoy it and I think it is funny since explaining the unexplainable is challenging and demands creativity. But from a technical point of view, there must be more than a chemist laughing at our pretentiousness. So, it is funny, but useless.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Just adding some food for thought. I have a very varied and extensive scent collection, but my least expensive fragrances have received the most compliments.
    Yesterday I was wearing Arielle by Fragonard, I do adore Fragonard, and two women who worked in the bank I went to could not stop raving about how delicious I smell. I have had this on many occasion with other scents such as; Tabu, Galimard scents, Ciara, etc... But rarely do I receive these same compliments on my Creed, Guerlain, or other pricey scents.
    So in effect, price does not correlate with perception of a nice scent. My Arielle is usually available on ebay for just a few dollars, even when it was in production (I think it has been discontinued) it was very reasonable, as most Fragonard scent are, from the boutique in Paris.
    So spending more does not always equal better, I actually find myself rarely reaching for any of my Creed scents.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  11. #41

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    Just adding some food for thought. I have a very varied and extensive scent collection, but my least expensive fragrances have received the most compliments.
    That could be because the inexpensive fragrances are designed to appeal to the widest cross section of consumers as possible, and as such are more likely to garner the most compliments.
    Last edited by surreality; 6th June 2009 at 12:11 AM.
    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

  12. #42

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Subjetive... to some extent. Do you like Brie Cheese? Chances are you are a highly educated / high income individual. Why? Tastes are shaped by an individual's social background . Since tastes are acquired through education and culture, your cultural and educational background will determine your tastes. Plus, education and culture correlate strongly with income. Now, that does not mean all highly educated / high income individual will like Brie cheese, but probabilities will be higher than the general population, wich will prefer Velveeta cheese.
    I think I understand what you are trying to get at (although I disagree with your analysis), but the facticties of our lives (cultural upbringing, level of education, gender, age, ethnicity etc) do not make the judgments of an aesthetic experience any less subjective. When a person judges that x perfume smells like it is of better quality than y perfume it is a purely subjective statement. It is a statement about the perceiver and not the perfume itself, even if it is couched in language that makes it seem as if the statement is objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    That is perception, plain and simple. High prices will be taken as an indication of good quality, low price, as bad quality. That is why many BNoters crave for expensive niche scents, while at the same time they ignore inexpensive perfumes sold in drugstores under common / acesible brands - this meaning, most will talk about YSL perfumes sold at TJ Maxx for 20 USD but ignore many others.
    No, that is psychology not perception.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    . . . so there is no chance we can judge a fragrance from the chemicals it is made of..
    That was exactly my point; unless we know all of the ingredients in a perfume then we cannot make meaningful statements about a perfume's quality by appealing to its ingredients.
    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

  13. #43

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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by manicboy View Post
    The lesson here is good perfumers can take "cheap" ingrediants and make magic. Bad perfumers can take expensive ingrediants and make forgettable frags.
    Bravo. That's exactly what I wanted to say.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    I think I understand what you are trying to get at (although I disagree with your analysis), but the facticties of our lives (cultural upbringing, level of education, gender, age, ethnicity etc) do not make the judgments of an aesthetic experience any less subjective...
    Your are right, but how do we describe the fact that there will more chances that a highly educated individual will show a taste patterns radically different than the ones common among less educated people? (take music, for example).

    I really think that my analysis fails due to a deterministic approach, but sometimes experience tells me that part of the reason why people choose the things they choose is because of these cultural and socio economic variables.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    No, that is psychology not perception.
    Perception is one of the variables influencing purchase decisions; in Marketing, it is considered under psychological factors, together with motivations, attitudes and learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    That was exactly my point; unless we know all of the ingredients in a perfume then we cannot make meaningful statements about a perfume's quality by appealing to its ingredients.
    One might judge fragrances from the point of view of consumers, or do it according to the point of views of professionals. In order to follow suit, the only choice would be take a course in perfume making and work in the fragrance industry. I would like that

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Carven Homme = gorgeous at 20$
    Creed Himalaya = "a monkey f@#*ing a football at 150$
    very hard to distinguish monetary value vs. perceived value

    I'll take the Carven and five tanks of gas please
    At your service

  16. #46

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Even though I'm not an industry insider, I've read the Curtis book on perfumery I understand the steps all the way from a perfume idea all the way to its final production (and have enough of a business mind to figure out the expenses).

    What I still don't understand though is something that have been immensely popular and been around for a long time, like some of the older Guerlains or even something more recent like the Issey Miyakes or Acqua di Gio - they should be a lot cheaper than they are now.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    What I still don't understand though is something that have been immensely popular and been around for a long time, like some of the older Guerlains or even something more recent like the Issey Miyakes or Acqua di Gio - they should be a lot cheaper than they are now.
    Issey Miyakes or Acqua di Gio are still best sellers -- why reduce the price on your cash cows?

    In case of Guerlain, I'm guessing they control their distribution pretty tight so you don't see them at discounters as much, or at a low percentage off (not 30-40% off typical of designer releases.)
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    We cannot generalize if high price indeed reflects high quality or vice versa.

    Look at YSL

    Jazz, Live Jazz, Kouros, Ysl pour homme are all excellent fragrances ( I think most of you would agree with me) and all of them are sold for less than US$40 online.

    Davidoff Zino, Bogart pour homme (signature) - both are dirt cheap and are excellent frags.

    Look at Tom Ford

    Black Violet, Italian Cypress

    They cost atleast US$100 online and both of them are horrible IMHO.

    Whereas the same house has Tuscan Leather, Tobacco Vanille which also Retails for the same price as the above two but I find them to be far superior in quality and feel.

  19. #49

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    Even though I'm not an industry insider, I've read the Curtis book on perfumery I understand the steps all the way from a perfume idea all the way to its final production (and have enough of a business mind to figure out the expenses).

    What I still don't understand though is something that have been immensely popular and been around for a long time, like some of the older Guerlains or even something more recent like the Issey Miyakes or Acqua di Gio - they should be a lot cheaper than they are now.
    Both Issey and AdG are so wildly popular they sell wherever they are put up. It is not reasonably possible to overstock either of those fragrances. Thats also why there is such a large counterfeit market for both AdG and Code.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Your are right, but how do we describe the fact that there will more chances that a highly educated individual will show a taste patterns radically different than the ones common among less educated people? (take music, for example).
    Education, upbringing and the dominant culture that one is immersed do affect one's tastes, but tastes are just preferences, and preferences (or any value judgments) are purely subjective in nature. Just because one has a higher level of education does not mean that their opinions about a matter of taste are any more objective than a total novice's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Perception is one of the variables influencing purchase decisions; in Marketing, it is considered under psychological factors, together with motivations, attitudes and learning.
    I think you are using perception in a different way than I am. For me, perceptions are those datum given to us by the senses; touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. Marketing doesn't change our perceptions, it changes our conceptions; the ideas that we form about a percept..

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    One might judge fragrances from the point of view of consumers, or do it according to the point of views of professionals. In order to follow suit, the only choice would be take a course in perfume making and work in the fragrance industry. I would like that
    I think knowing to much about the "behind the scenes" of the perfume business would take away some of the enjoyment we get from perfume. Just as a a film-maker doesn't watch films the same way the general public does, a perfumer would experience perfume in a totally different way than the average hobbyist.
    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

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    This is probably worth mentioning.. JC Ellena said in one of his interviews that the quality of ingredients is the same in both the Hermessences and the standard Hermes fragrances such as TdH. So in this case atleast, you are paying more for artistry ..
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  22. #52

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by manicboy View Post
    The lesson here is good perfumers can take "cheap" ingrediants and make magic. Bad perfumers can take expensive ingrediants and make forgettable frags.
    I strongly disagree with this. A good perfumer may be able to make an interesting composition from poor ingredients but this is not the same as a good fragrance to me. I find that after the initial interest this composition holds (a few minutes) I see through it to the ingredient quality and never want the stuff to touch my skin again. The fact is that some time ago it was possible to find frags made of good ingredients at a reasonable price but now its not.

    Of course bad perfumers can screw up good ingredients.

    It like listening to a really good sax player playing a rubbish cheap, leaky instrument. Of course his ideas will still be interesting but his delivery of those ideas and their emotional impact will be greatly imparied.
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 7th June 2009 at 10:01 PM.
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  23. #53

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I find that after the initial interest this composition holds (a few minutes) I see through it to the ingredient quality and never want the stuff to touch my skin again.
    How can you see through the ingredient quality? Are you a gas chromatographer?

    Next, what do you mean by good quality ingredients? Expensive stuff?
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  24. #54

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    How can you see through the ingredient quality? Are you a gas chromatographer?

    Next, what do you mean by good quality ingredients? Expensive stuff?
    Because it smells crap and similar to everything else, chemical, a bit nasty. My nose tells me that. Maybe yours doesn't?.(I don't what your motivation is for the challanging tone of your post, but it is not mitigated by putting smileys after it.)

    I can tell the difference between crap processed cheese and good quality cheese too. Or good coffee made well instead of instant coffee. it isn't difficult. Or as I mentioned, a musician playing a crap instrument rather than a good one. Not perfectly, there will always be new factors to learn which may lead to misjudgements.

    It is well documented that the amount of money spent on formulae of moderrn mainstreams is much lower than it used to because they use cheaper, lower quality ingredients, especially in the base notes.

    Good quality ingredients means, well good quality ingredients. The ones the perfumers would use if they didn't have cost restrictions. Often naturals instead of cheaper synthetic replacements. There are better and worse smelling sythetics too but I know less about the relationship between price and quality.
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 7th June 2009 at 06:51 PM.
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  25. #55

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
    Good quality ingredients means, well good quality ingredients.
    There you go, that is the crux of the whole story: you simply don't know.

    It's all about perception. You can perceive something as good quality or nice, while you don't know whether the stuff is expensive. If it were good and cheap, everyone would be using it and you would get bored, making it mediocre again. The 'best of class' paradox.

    While quality might be linked to price in many instances, it is not a written rule like you pretend it to be. Just look at the raves of Carven Homme, YSL Rive Gauche PH or Escada PH.

    Your crap processed cheese is most delicious on a hamburger, no so when combined with a glass of red wine. Think about it.
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  26. #56

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    There you go, that is the crux of the whole story: you simply don't know.

    It's all about perception. You can perceive something as good quality or nice, while you don't know whether the stuff is expensive. If it were good and cheap, everyone would be using it and you would get bored, making it mediocre again. The 'best of class' paradox.

    While quality might be linked to price in many instances, it is not a written rule like you pretend it to be. Just look at the raves of Carven Homme, YSL Rive Gauche PH or Escada PH.

    Your crap processed cheese is most delicious on a hamburger, no so when combined with a glass of red wine. Think about it.
    You have not read my posts properly and I find your tone rude and insulting. I will no longer dialog with you.

    Just for clarity:

    I can smell the difference between good rose oil and crap synthetics.
    It is not all about perception, that is a facile argument which leads to the deconstruction of everything. There are ablsoute (pun intended) quality issues.
    I never pretended it was a written rule - again you have not read my posts - just plugged them into the argument you wanted to have.
    And I don't get bored of something that smells good.
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 7th June 2009 at 09:10 PM.
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  27. #57

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I think the blind sniff thread offers a first hand look into how are perceptions are being shaped by bottle, brand, and our associated preconceptions.

    Didn't Alex (Scentophile) mention a well known and raved about niche Vetiver that contained basically NO vetiver at all? And what is the reference for 'amber' and how we compare against it? And what does an orchid note smell like (considering there are 100s of different orchids with different - or no - scents). I only point these examples out as more examples of the ambiguity involved in deciphering perfume that we routinely ignore or circumvent with the preconceptions we allow ourselves to believe in.

    As I sit here and sniff the drydown of Bois de Turquie, I realize that had I been sprayed with this at random and without knowledge of what it was, I could imagine the drydown being from a designer scent. Is it quantifiably "better" than cheaper/designer scents? No. But I like it. And that's what matters. It doesn't need to be 'objectively better' (if such a thing can exist in art) than anything else for me to subjectively like it more.

    It would be silly to sell off TdH or Encre Noir or another similar iso e super laden frag that you happened to love just because iso e super is overused and perceived by us who know what it is as 'cheap.' Yet often times people are convinced they need to find some niche alternative that is 'better' than something they love. Now, I've no problem with seeking out frags that are similar and potentially better (to you, subjectively, of course) than the ones you currently love, but the pressure and general consensus from the community can - I believe - actually convince people that X is better than the Y they have even though if they listened to their nose alone they'd realize they happen to like Y better.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 7th June 2009 at 09:17 PM.
    ***For sale:

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  28. #58

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    I think the blind sniff thread offers a first hand look into how are perceptions are being shaped by bottle, brand, and our associated preconceptions.

    Didn't Alex (Scentophile) mention a well known and raved about niche Vetiver that contained basically NO vetiver at all? And what is the reference for 'amber' and how we compare against it? And what does an orchid note smell like (considering there are 100s of different orchids with different - or no - scents). I only point these examples out as more examples of the ambiguity involved in deciphering perfume that we routinely ignore or circumvent with the preconceptions we allow ourselves to believe in.

    As I sit here and sniff the drydown of Bois de Turquie, I realize that had I been sprayed with this at random and without knowledge of what it was, I could imagine the drydown being from a designer scent. Is it quantifiably "better" than cheaper scents? No. But I like it. And that's what matters. It doesn't need to be 'objectively better' (if such a thing can exist in art) than anything else for me to subjectively like it more.
    Agreed there are many expensive scents which are not made from better materials. And making a scent from expensive materials doesn't make it good, it needs coherent composition too. There are many ambiguities. But the older guerlains do smell better than the newer ones, because of the ingredients. Patou pour homme smells better than most moden fragrances. Creed Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare smells of beautiful rose oils, natural and complex. Chanel pour monsieur smells better in its older incarnation with more natural oakmoss. ETC

    There are real quality issues and in todays market conditions, it is difficult to imagine a cheap scent having those real quality ingredients.
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 7th June 2009 at 09:20 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

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  29. #59

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    While I am inclined to agree with you personally, I'm not sure the same can be said objectively.

    People who grew up with black and white television programming may feel that something was lost when color tv's hit the market. Many who grew up surrounded only by color television can't see the charm or appeal in b&w. Are either of them right, objectively?

    (This is an odd argument for me to make as I personally work only with natural ingredients for a couple of reasons. But when it comes to purchasing or enjoying something, I really try my best to rid myself of all preconceptions. It remind me of the parable of the student who asked the zen master what the first principle was, to which the master replied "If I answer that, it will become the second principle." The first principle is just reality, the objective truth, and in relation to our scenario, how the objective reality of the scent interacts with our brain.)
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  30. #60

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    While I am inclined to agree with you personally, I'm not sure the same can be said objectively.

    People who grew up with black and white television programming may feel that something was lost when color tv's hit the market. Many who grew up surrounded only by color television can't see the charm or appeal in b&w. Are either of them right, objectively?

    (This is an odd argument for me to make as I personally work only with natural ingredients for a couple of reasons. But when it comes to purchasing or enjoying something, I really try my best to rid myself of all preconceptions. It remind me of the parable of the student who asked the zen master what the first principle was, to which the master replied "If I answer that, it will become the second principle." The first principle is just reality, the objective truth, and in relation to our scenario, how the objective reality of the scent interacts with our brain.)
    No neither of them are right in your TV scenario. However, if they replaced all real actors in a drama series with animatronic robots or CGI people I think that the drama would be less good.

    The argument that new perfumes are not made with cheap formulae to save money but because they are artistically better seems unlikely to be true to me. Why do musicians play the best instrument they can afford?

    I do arrive with preconceptions. I cannot avoid them, so I do not try. I do try to be open to them being challanged or changed.
    "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

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