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  1. #1

    Default Price =/= Quality

    This was taken from a post I made in another thread, but I think deserves its own thread. I often hear things like - "Well, this CK frag is nice, but obviously not Hermes quality" or something like that. Or, people question how a $10 or $20 frag could be as "high quality" as a $60 frag. Well, here's something to think about (quoting myself from that other thread, with a few minor changes and addendums )

    "Price does not neccesarily relate to or imply quality. Old Spice is dead cheap and still smells higher quality than a lot of stuff out there, imo. Grey Flannel, too. Just about every mainstream juice is going to be working within a similar budget, probably less than $2 in ingredients per bottle. In fact, possibly much less (my guess is $0.50-$1.00, and this is based upon pricing out my natural blends and taking into consideration the lower concentration of most designer EDTS, and the overuse of quite cheap synthetic musks and such that can comprise a huge portion of the scent (iso e super, anyone?)). Terre d'hermes is like 55% Iso E super, and is an EdT, so maybe a 10% concentration. That means that in a 100ml bottle, 10ml = actual perfume, and 5.5 of those are iso e super. Now, you can buy Iso E super for $10.50 for 80ml, and that's from a middleman (Perfumer's Apprentice).. surely the big houses get it much cheaper buying in massive bulk quantities.

    Even at this marked up price, 5.5ml of iso e super comes out to $0.72. Many of the other ingredients are in the same price range as iso e super. Yes, some of them are more expensive, some of the musks are say, $50 for 80ml, but they usually only comprise small portions of the overall blend, and so they don't contribute huge costs to the formula.

    Even if we assume the rest of Terre is made up of ingredients averaging twice as expensive as Iso E Super, the cost per 100ml bottle is still only $0.72 + $1.18 (the rest is only 45% of the solution).. so, exactly $1.90 a bottle. And that is when we purchase the aromachemicals from a middleman. I imagine the large houses can get them at least 30% cheaper, if not considerably more so. If they can get them half as cheap, the juice in a 100ml bottle of TdH in this example would cost $0.85.

    It's silly to discriminate based on price when it comes to the designers. Even many many niches are dead cheap per bottle. Ironically, those with lower longevity often times use more naturals and hence more "quality ingredients." Many Montale's just smell cheap to me (and if the oud and other ingredients were really so expensive, do you think they'd offer to increase the concentration by nearly half, for free?) - blended with a heavy hand - but their oft-times overbearing power and sillage seems to equate to 'quality' to many here. I don't get it."
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 05:30 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I'm fine with paying top dollars for scents like Chergui, Fumidus, Tuscan Leather, Black Aoud, Patchouli 24, etc..

    I can never find dead ringers for $20-60 dollars.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Well, if you enjoy it and can afford it, buy it. I'm not against that at all! I don't have much of a frag budget myself these days (poor student ) but I'm considering splurgin on Bois de Turquie. I'm just not under any illusion about it being inherently higher quality or utilizing any fewer synthetics than anything else I own.. I just love the smell!

    I just think that the more we know about the industry the better. Many are either under the illusion or willfully deceiving themselves that higher price inherently = higher quality, and I think that is why many designer scents don't get a fair shake (although yes, there is a lot of derivative drivel out there, too!).

    On the flipside, just for thought, consider this: a 20% EDP strength 100ml all natural perfume (which will still likely be weaker in regards to longevity and sillage than a 7-10% synthetic based EdT) composed of just 5% Neroli oil (at about $125 an ounce bought in bulk) already costs $4.17.. now figure in the other 95% of the composition.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 05:29 AM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I've just finished university, so I can't really afford any scents within that price range. Occasionally I buy a decant or a sample to try some of these scents. Some of them are rather pleasant but very rarely have I come across something which justifies the extremely hefty price tag.

    With regards to nice fragrances, I did splash out a bit and bought a bottle of Acqua di Parma - and I don't regret that. I think its a wonderful scent which makes me feel extremely good.

    Other scents can be far too ordinary to justify their extraordinary price tag.
    Last edited by mlt.perfume; 4th June 2009 at 05:30 AM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I think profumo.it fragrances are high quality and a very fair price. He uses some very expensive ingredients, so I think it is fair to price the product accordingly.

    Most other niche I have tried are not great quality but have a high price. For example I am appalled that SL Feminite du Bois now costs $120 when it used to be around $60 for a 50ml bottle. It is at least 40% Iso E Super, so what is the reasoning behind the price other than "prestige"? It is a masterful fragrance, but PLEASE!
    Last edited by Asha; 4th June 2009 at 05:35 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    You've got a point, but in case with TdH you're also forgetting the time it cost Jean-Claude Ellena and his way of playing with ingredients, the marketing costs.

    Sure you're right about the costs for ingredients, but I don't believe it's that simple.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by robbert View Post
    You've got a point, but in case with TdH you're also forgetting the time it cost Jean-Claude Ellena and his way of playing with ingredients, the marketing costs.

    Sure you're right about the costs for ingredients, but I don't believe it's that simple.
    Well, I do realize there are a lot of other extraneous costs, especially for the big name launches that have a huge marketing push. I'm sure companies pay money to have the SAs push their product at launch, etc. But what I am saying is.. all of that money doesn't make a fragrance smell any better or worse. I originally pointed this out when someone said that Halston Unbound, at about $15 a bottle, was obviously not as high quality as Aqua di Gio. Whether it is or isn't, I"m not going to debate, but I am just raising the point that just because it is priced lower does not guarantee that it is lower quality. There are many approaches to profitablity in the perfume industry.. high profit margins and low volume (something like By Kilians, perhaps?) and low profit margins and high volume (Old Spice, Brut, etc).

    I'm not saying a company isn't justified in charging whatever they want; just that the price really shouldn't affect our perception of the fragrance.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I think mostly in terms of notions such as dynamism, note articulation, strength without harshness, balance, etc. Of course, if it's not technically sound, then forget it (poor longevity or sillage). Almost all niche I've tried I've found to be "failures" but it seems as though those who buy these frags want ones that are clearly unbalanced, for example.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I'm sorry but pricing is not that simple and I think that focusing on the use of iso e super from that angle puts you farther away from the truth. Most fragrances today contain iso e super and hedione and they are VERY cheap. As mentioned before, you cannot even use this price as a reference (the prices through perfumer's apprentice does not reflect the industrial prices).

    We can talk about the pink pepper used in Terre d'Hermes which costs more than 100 times more than iso e super, and there is quite a bit of it inside TdH. I am intimate with TdH's fragrance structure, and I can tell you that it is a formula of value.

    It is the trace materials that is expensive. The smell of a fragrance has a lot to do with the price but at the same time it does not. A good perfumer can make a cheap formula smell real and good. And I have seen expensive fragrances on the market but smell cheap.
    Last edited by scentophile; 4th June 2009 at 10:15 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    It's silly to discriminate based on price when it comes to the designers. Even many many niches are dead cheap per bottle. Ironically, those with lower longevity often times use more naturals and hence more "quality ingredients." Many Montale's just smell cheap to me (and if the oud and other ingredients were really so expensive, do you think they'd offer to increase the concentration by nearly half, for free?) - blended with a heavy hand - but their oft-times overbearing power and sillage seems to equate to 'quality' to many here. I don't get it."
    you bring up a good point. I've been wondering if Montale Aoud line has any 'natural' oud. Does it?
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    But what I am saying is.. all of that money doesn't make a fragrance smell any better or worse.
    I agree. Completely

    But for instance when I would want a fragrace to smell like a rose for instance instead of something fairly abstract I have found out ( so far in my limited testing ) that I prefer natural ingredients.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by kess View Post
    you bring up a good point. I've been wondering if Montale Aoud line has any 'natural' oud. Does it?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    I'm sorry but pricing is not that simple and I think that focusing on the use of iso e super from that angle puts you farther away from the truth. Most fragrances today contain iso e super and hedione and they are VERY cheap. As mentioned before, you cannot even use this price as a reference (the prices through perfumer's apprentice does not reflect the industrial prices).

    We can talk about the pink pepper used in Terre d'Hermes which costs more than 100 times more than iso e super, and there is quite a bit of it inside TdH. I am intimate with TdH's fragrance structure, and I can tell you that it is a formula of value.

    It is the trace materials that are expensive. The smell of a fragrance has a lot to do with the price but at the same time it does not. A good perfumer can make a cheap formula smell real and good. And I have seen expensive fragrances on the market but smell cheap.
    Scentophile!

    I was hoping you'd chime in. I admit that I am drawing conclusions from a very limited set of info - I'd love to be intimate with TdH's or any other mainstream frag's structure - alas I have to try and make educated guesses from the outside.

    Anyhow, I know you can't divulge too many of the insider secrets, but can you perhaps tell us what the average cost of ingredients is per bottle, or what the typical budgets are for various houses (or mainstream houses as a whole?). Any info you can divulge on the topic would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 08:14 AM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    SculptureOfSoul,

    What would those By Kilians (especially A taste of Heaven) be worth? They are 175 euros / 225 dollars, with an awsome bottle and an awsome box! I still want to get this one, but I'm afraid this is too much for any perfume.
    unico grande amore.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

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    Last edited by Trebor; 4th June 2009 at 11:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I wish I knew a pointer to a good site on economics. But clearly UMC (unit material cost) is only one part of final price. There are the salaries and the materials used by the people who create the scents. There are the plant costs, energy usage and salaries required to manaufacture the scents. There are costs for bottles and packaging. There are costs for shipping, storaging, distributing. And then there's rent and utilities and salaries at the retail store. Oh, yeah, profits for the people who own every business involved, otherwise they'd just keep their money in the bank. And the costs of failures.

    So why is Grey Flannel only $14.99 at TJ Max this week? First, it's been around a long time so all the development costs have been paid back. Second, TJM spends much less money than Sephora or Lord and Taylor on shelving and display and no money at all on SAs. This is a real opportunity if you're replenishing a supply of something you've worn & are going to continue to wear, or for me, starting out, looking for examples of different types of scents and spending lots of time shopping, looking up what I see in BN and Perfumes: The Guide, then going back. But if you want the latest thing & you want to smell 20 on the way to picking 1, don't begrudge the $70 you wind up spending.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Let's face it, the profit margin on scents are stellar. It's all about perception: if the brand equity is high enough and people want to buy it because it smells nice to them, people will buy it.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Let's face it, the profit margin on scents are stellar. It's all about perception: if the brand equity is high enough and people want to buy it because it smells nice to them, people will buy it.
    Oh yes, I doubt whether a bottle of Creed or nasomatto, all costs included, runs at more than $10-$20. Some hard insider facts would be welcome, though.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 4th June 2009 at 11:24 AM.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    We all know that the cost of the materials is a small fraction of both the retail price to the consumer and also the total cost of getting the bottle of perfume onto the shop shelf to the company. Also actual final price point has more to do with which market you place the product in than its production cost.

    Consider this though - you would be very unlikely to find a good qulaity composition realeased now and made from excellent ingredients in a low price range.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Fine Thread. I also don´t believe that the ingredient costs of as example Tdh for hermes is only at around 1 dollar. Maybe 5 or 10 dollar but that´s not so important for me. I like it a lot and want to be never without.

    I coult test last week some of the drugstore Ulric de Varens frags and was surprized that they are really not bad for 6 € (normally in 60 ml but black and man now + 40 ml in 100 ml). TdH should cost also 6 € not 60 € it would be perfect but i don´t believe that it would be the same quality.

    It´s also interesting that frags like Lagerfeld Photo are available here in germany with an 125 ml bottle for 20 € after 20 years and the quality isn´t the same as in the 90 ties. Why ?
    Last edited by sanatik; 4th June 2009 at 01:11 PM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Please don't think I made this thread with the intent of saying so many fragrances are overpriced or anything like that. My point was more that the price that you pay for a bottle does not necessarily have anything to do with the price of the ingredients, and hence it is fallacious to assume that a $15 scent can't be of "equal quality" to a $60 scent. I think it is that kind of thinking that leads so many to dismiss designer scents (along with other extraneous things like the celebrity who's endorsing it, etc), or cheaper scents in general.

    Now, what Hirch says is, I believe, true:
    Consider this though - you would be very unlikely to find a good qulaity composition realeased now and made from excellent ingredients in a low price range.
    But from that we can not deduce that everything that is expensive is a good quality composition with excellent ingredients. Surely something that costs $20 in raw materials per bottle will fetch a hefty price (and still may have a lower profit margin %!) but not all things that fetch hefty prices are composed of expensive formulas. Scentemental had surmised that Fumidus by Profumum was likely composed of primarily javanese vetiver oil. Turin remarked that Acqua Di Sale was an overdose of Helional (his two word review of AdS: Helional Alone). If either of those are true, that means the juice in those scents is likely a few dollars or less, for a bottle that is fetching $240. I've no problem with them charging what they will for their product - I just have a problem with the disillusionment the perfume community as a whole has in regards to the price and name = quality issue.

    It seems like the majority of reviews on the perfume blogs will point out the few redeeming qualities of a banal release by a big name, while a similar or even more interesting release by a house who garners little respect gets quickly dismissed after a cursory sniff. It's that prejudice I have a problem with, and I thought that pointing out some behind the scenes pricing as best as I could surmise would help make a dent in the issue. (perhaps TdH wasn't a great example. I used it simply because it is documented that it is comprised of a huge dose of Iso E Super. I did take some liberty in guessing the price of the rest of the formula, but tried to guess fairly based on the cost of the many synthetics out there. Also, I was working with the prices of the materials bought in small quantities from a middleman, and I am sure that these ingredients are significantly cheaper when bought in massive bulk for large production runs.)

    I really don't have any problem with a company charging what it will - we just need to stop smelling with our eyes and our wallets, and instead only with our noses.

    An aside: Alex, does that pink pepper cost 100 times more than the price of the Iso E Super I have listed, or the price that the companies pay for Iso E Super? Or rather, can you just tell us about how much that pink pepper costs per ounce, and how much of the composition it accounts for. If not that, could you tell us approximately how much is spent on pink pepper for each bottle of TdH without going into its per ounce cost and compositional amount. Thanks! .
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 01:28 PM.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    If anyone doesn't want price be an influence on which fragrances they buy then I suggest that when you purchase some samples of the different fragrances your interested in, cover the whole sample vial apart from the area that expels the fragrance and than test each fragrance once at a time (so the fragrance name is covered up)

    This way you will know if you truly like the fragrance instead of price or brand name effecting your decision.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Oh yes, I doubt whether a bottle of Creed or nasomatto, all costs included, runs at more than $10-$20. Some hard insider facts would be welcome, though.
    I have no idea. I can tell you that I've priced out various all natural blends that are heavy with some expensive ingredients (say, 2.5% rose otto, 1% champaca absolute, 5% neroli, 5% orris root, etc) and the cost for a 20% dilution 50ml has fallen in the range of $10-40 (of course it can go higher, but it would have to be a quite economical formula to get under the $10 mark.. and this is for a 50ml size!). That is calculated with ingredients purchased at a small scale production size (maybe enough for 50-100 bottles at a time) and so does not figure in the bulk savings the larger companies would surely enjoy.

    Given the ridiculous longevity of the Nasomattos, I am sure they are loaded with synthetics. I believe most Montales are at 20% concentration to start with (can anyone confirm this?), so the Nasomattos are probably in the 20-25% range. Given that they're only 30ml bottles though, i'd wager that the cost of ingredients in the average Nasomatto is < $10, and probably less than $5. In fact, it wouldn't even surprise me if some of their formulas were cheaper than some of the designer scents out there.

    The Creeds *seem* to use a higher portion of natural ingredients from what I can smell, and based on their low longevity despite being EDPs, but I wouldn't doubt that you are still on the mark or even quite high with your estimates.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 01:38 PM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    If the profit margin on scents is so spectacular why are so many houses either filing bankruptcy or severely scaling back their operations?

    Unless required by law or scarcity of raw materials, why would any company jeopardize a successful product by reformulating it if product costs are already so insignificant?

    Take L'Air du Desert Marocain for example. LDDM's success allows Andy Tauer to develop, introduce and market new scents on a fairly regular basis. Not all of the recent introductions have been well received so it is not fair to assume that LDDM's profit equals the House of Tauer's profit. The successful fragrances have to carry everything else.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  25. #25

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Unless required by law or scarcity of raw materials, why would any company jeopardize a successful product by reformulating it if product costs are already so insignificant?
    For the same reason that Microsoft didn't install $0.50 bumpers to prevent a spinning disc in the Xbox360 from bouncing up and hitting the laser mechanism, thereby ruining the disc. When you factor in the huge number of units moved (millions, in this case), that 50 cent savings per unit becomes noticeable.

    Reducing a formula from say, $2.00 per bottle to $1.25 is a noticeable change, especially considering the packaging and other things are going to be as cheap or cheaper than the cost of the juice (and also, a relatively fixed cost).

    If you move 60,000 units a year, that $0.75 cent savings just pocketed you an extra $40,000.

    Tons of industries bring in bean counters to help them cut costs (and corners!) wherever they can. Unfortunate but all too common.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Well, think about it in this lens.

    Halston Unbound, $13 @ Luckyscent - Chemically, cheap quality IMO
    Bond no. 9 Chez Bond, $198 @ Saks - Amazing, luxurious, smooth quality

    To my nose, the difference is clear. At the designer level, its hit and miss. Building on what you said with Terre, Chanel frags are the same price, but use much higher quality ingredients.
    Last edited by Sokkou; 4th June 2009 at 03:07 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    For the same reason that Microsoft didn't install $0.50 bumpers to prevent a spinning disc in the Xbox360 from bouncing up and hitting the laser mechanism, thereby ruining the disc. When you factor in the huge number of units moved (millions, in this case), that 50 cent savings per unit becomes noticeable.

    Reducing a formula from say, $2.00 per bottle to $1.25 is a noticeable change, especially considering the packaging and other things are going to be as cheap or cheaper than the cost of the juice (and also, a relatively fixed cost).

    If you move 60,000 units a year, that $0.75 cent savings just pocketed you an extra $40,000.

    Tons of industries bring in bean counters to help them cut costs (and corners!) wherever they can. Unfortunate but all too common.
    Since you didn't disagree, I assume you agree with my main points: that unsuccessful fragrances drag down the profitability of the House as a whole and that raw material costs represent a small fraction of the total cost of operating a fragrance business. I have been self-employed for 26 years. Even though material costs are very significant in my business, they are only about 30% of our total operating expenditures.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  28. #28

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    I agree entirely with your points TwoRoads. I just don't understand the reasons why people who are aware of this still buy into the hype and marketing of so many niche houses, etc (I'm not saying there aren't houses out there that are generally "higher quality" than various designer scents, but *none* of that changes how something smells. On the other hand, research shows that our expectations and preconceptions DO change how we perceive things. If we can get rid of the House X = junk and Cost > X = some guarantee of quality ingredients mentalities, we could be more objective in our assessment of fragrances, and that is what I'm really hoping and fighting for, here.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2009 at 03:22 PM.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Oh yes, I doubt whether a bottle of Creed or nasomatto, all costs included, runs at more than $10-$20. Some hard insider facts would be welcome, though.

    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

    Last edited by scentemental; 4th June 2009 at 03:27 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Price =/= Quality

    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.

  31. #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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  32. #32

    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.

  33. #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.)
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  34. #34

    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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  35. #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.

  36. #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.

  37. #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

  38. #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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  39. #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.

  40. #40

    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

  41. #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

  42. #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

  43. #43

    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.

  44. #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

  45. #45

    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

  46. #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.

  47. #47

    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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  48. #48

    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.

  49. #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.

  50. #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

  51. #51

    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 ..
    -

  52. #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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  53. #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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  54. #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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  55. #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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  56. #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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  57. #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.
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  58. #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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  59. #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:

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  60. #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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