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  1. #1
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Unhappy The Fragrance Directory.

    I have heavily used, as I think many have, the Fragrance Directory here on Base Notes. It is a good resource but, many of the reviews are just unstructured personal comments that want for objectivity and good reporting. I would like to see a template that sets minimum information standards for creating a review so that the Fragrance Directory can become a more complete tool for those doing research. Comments like "it's too sweet" (compared to what?). Structure is not a bad thing here. Your comments welcome.
    Last edited by N_Tesla; 11th June 2009 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I would rather not see a structured format. There are many ways of writing reviews, and I would prefer that reviewers have the freedom to express themselves according to their own personalities. I realize that some people strive for objectivity, but perfume reviewing remains primarily a subjective activity. How would the creative and wonderfully entertaining reviews of Naed_Nitram fit into a structured system?

    I do agree that some of the reviews are unhelpful. A review should be descriptive, a thoughtful assessment of the reviewer's perception of the fragrance, be it scientific or rhapsodic or meditative. But brief standalone comments like smells like urinal cake or this is awful or smells like old man or Ugh...too sweet shouldn't be allowed to remain in the review database unless they are part of more extensive reviews. If the reviewer isn't going to put some effort into something meaningful and at least attempt to explain these remarks, then why bother and why subject others to the nonsense?

    I am already a bit annoyed by the increased moderator interference, so I wouldn't want to encourage more meddling. But on the other hand I'd rather not see a free-for-all on the boards or in the review database.

    This is a tricky issue. How does Grant handle it without hurting peoples' feelings or suppressing their desire to express themselves in their reviews? How best to maintain minimum standards for fragrance reviews? How do other people feel about this?

    BTW, this topic is probably best suited for the Basenotes Community section.

    noggs
    Last edited by noggs; 11th June 2009 at 04:30 PM.
    Currently wearing: Good Life by Davidoff

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Yes I do agree somewhat with this statement and request. I think ot is a very good idea! ... I also think that more importantly, we really NEED the edit function for the reviews, up and running ! (sorry about the pressure here Grant ) I have actually stopped reviewing all together because of this. ... I also think it is important that people should refrain from reviewing frags based on just one cursory sampling (as seems the case in many of them), as we all know how very unreliable this can be. .... Now if we were sticking to some structure, then the reviews would definitely be much more valuable. For sure ! ... So you totally have my vote there !

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Structure vs. Edits?
    Rather than go to the trouble of adding fields for structuring the reviews, it seems to me that simply fixing the edit feature so it works would help tremendously to fix many of the problems in reviews. Many of the mistakes or omissions in reviews can be corrected if we were able to edit after publishing the review.

    Edit: I second Sybarites comment just above about the need for edits. Fortunately I can edit my comment to fix this oversight.
    Last edited by Buzzlepuff; 11th June 2009 at 05:05 PM.

  5. #5
    DocmanCC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Perhaps another solution? How about a feature to rate reviews, similar to Amazons "4 of 4 people found the following review helpful"? This way we would not be restricting the freedom of reviewers to add their thoughts, no matter how brief or useless others may inperpret them, while at the same time giving the community the ability to promote reviews we like.

  6. #6
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I propose an incentive for writing quality reviews, like a feature, which allows us to "rate" other people's reviews....And an edit feature.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I think they should be open. Some people is very articulate and experience in giving fragrance descriptions some other people is less familiar with the terminology but yet they manage to pass the message. I think the beauty of the directory is the combination of professional (sort of speaking) description and amateur (sort of speaking also). It gives a more human and less commercial touch.
    Leave it as it is please.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I haven't made any reviews yet.. I don't plan to until I learn a LOT more about perfumery and notes and so on. I have no issue with describing things and whatnot, I just feel the things I'd say wouldn't have as much merit as someone who had a hefty amount of experience.

  9. #9
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Let me disagree with you Canwllcorfe. Sometimes plain language can be more descriptive than grandiloquent wording. I have read some reviews that described perfectly how the fragrance smell like it without using a single note.
    However, for the most part, well done and elaborated description by experience people are the best ones. As I said before the beauty is the combination of opinions
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I propose an incentive for writing quality reviews, like a feature, which allows us to "rate" other people's reviews....And an edit feature.
    Agreed - I think a rating system that would adjust the order they were presented would be awesome. It would keep relevant, helpful reviews (whether short or long) up front and stuff like a thumbs down "I ain't smelled it, but the bottle's ugly" at the bottom of the list.

    To the OP - not to be a party pooper, but this belongs over in the community centre (where it'll get more of the proper people seeing anyways.
    I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Yeah I guess that's another way of looking at it.. it's more about experience for me than it is about wording and description. That's the part I don't think I'd have too much of a problem with.. although I can be a bit garrulous

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Every time anyone posts a review they are given a "warning" that a review could be removed if not suitable. I wonder if there are actual examples? I am sure there are, but we probably won't see them here.

    I think that for a review to be thorough, it will contain both an objective description and a subjective opinion. The reviews I enjoy most have both. On occasion a short opinion will be striking, but that is infrequently the case to me.

    The problem with the template that N_Tesla proposes is that not everyone is looking for what he or I are looking for. Some (many) people prefer the review style I find least helpful.

    I agree with Sybarite that we need an edit function.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  13. #13
    Lean in closer, dear
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Another observation: For many contributors, English is not their first language. I'd not want to discourage their expressing themselves however they can.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  14. #14
    vita odorifera
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    The beauty of BaseNotes is its openness to a very diverse spectrum of members with one interest in common - the love of fragrance. There will always be different styles and depths of reviews by such a collective of members, since there are no restrictions as to who may or may not post reviews. That said, i believe it is the responsibility of the "serious researcher" to discern (again through experience and time well spent in BaseNotes) who his/her reviewers of choice are, collate their reviews and arrive at whatever conclusions they need.

    Some of the so-called inexperienced reviews have their own usefulness, if one can overcome one's mindset. For example, personally, i would wonder why someone would say a frag smells like old man; is it because of an unpleasant note i need to watch out for, or is it a perception due to the gap in the reviewer's age and the date/period of issue of the frag? Ultimately, the onus of the search for knowledge is on me, not on the particular "noob" reviewer.

    Out of the mouths (read Reviews) of "innocents" is a lot of wisdom for the discerning.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I like the diversity and have no problem with unstructure. But I do wish for some way to rate/vote/flag when a review is utterly meaningless. I was searching for something the other day and came across a couple of "reviews" from members who admitted they have never smelled the fragrance in question.
    "I WANT TO TRY THIS" and "this perfume sounds awesome" should not be in the directory.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by the non blonde View Post
    I like the diversity and have no problem with unstructure. But I do wish for some way to rate/vote/flag when a review is utterly meaningless. I was searching for something the other day and came across a couple of "reviews" from members who admitted they have never smelled the fragrance in question.
    "I WANT TO TRY THIS" and "this perfume sounds awesome" should not be in the directory.
    I agree that those should certainly be removed. It seems to be older reviews, not current ones that read that way.

    I like the idea of flagging reviews for "abuse" (similar to posts).

    I
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    No, Turin and Sanchez as producers of commodified reviews should write reviews containing a minimum of structured information and held to certain standards, beyond which they're free to add as many free-floating impressions, puns and anecdotes as they wish. The directory should remain entirely free of additional restrictions. Most fragrances do not have such a high number of reviews as to make it tasking to puick out the good ones. Also, there is by no means that much consensus on what reviews readers may find helpful. I've read very elaborate and studied reviews only that they seem to describe an entirely different fragrance from what I was smelling. And sometimes an obscure one liner hits the nail on the head. Also, I couldn't do without naed_nitram.
    My Wardrobe
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  18. #18
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Wink Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    The fact is that when I surf the Fragrance Directory I look for a usual few, reliable, structured and entusiastic critics who bring fragrances, that I have not tried, to life for me. I would endorse the rating system as a means to improve the quality of reviews as suggested but, still think some structure is needed. Reporters deal with who, when, where, how and why. Something similar surely cannot be considered restrictive. the rest open to artistic license. Writing a review with, in mind, what you would want to know about a frag. simply makes good sense. By the way, had I posted this here in the community center I think very little attention would have been paid the thread. My presumption seems to have been logical given the response.
    Last edited by N_Tesla; 11th June 2009 at 07:59 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by N_Tesla View Post
    The fact is that when I surf the Fragrance Directory I look for a usual few, reliable, structured and entusiastic critics who bring fragrances, that I have not tried, to life for me. I would endorse the rating system as a means to improve the quality of reviews as suggested but, still think some structure is needed. Reporters deal with who, when, where, how and why. Something similar surely cannot be considered restrictive. the rest open to artistic license. Writing a review with, in mind, what you would want to know about a frag. simply makes good sense. By the way, had I posted this here in the community center I think very little attention would have been paid the thread. My presumption seems to have been logical given the response.
    I agree that you would have had a whole lot more dialogue out of the community centre. Good threads can die pretty easily here.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    What's the problem, exactly?

  21. #21
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    First, I add my voice to the substantial chorus requesting a working edit function. Hooray for the emergence of basenotes.de and the subforums in the City Shopping Guide, but following the last BN hiatus a few weeks ago I was hoping this issue would be resolved. It has been nearly 11 months since we could last edit reviews.

    I agree with those who say there should be no requisite structure for reviews. perfaddict (and others) have made many good points that express my own thinking. Different reviewers have different styles, and (as we have seen in some past attempts at creating a poll for favorite reviewers) various readers prefer various styles. There is something in the directory for everyone. I also agree that Basenotes would be much poorer without the delightful reviews of Naed Nitram, which would surely fail to fit into any required template. Structure is not a bad thing, but ofttimes mandatory conformity is.

    Posting this thread initially in the MFD was probably the right move. Coincidentally, I started a thread here yesterday about the possibility of reporting inappropriate reviews, and it has received far fewer views and little commentary.
    Last edited by Heartwood; 11th June 2009 at 09:13 PM.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Yep ... on further "reflection". ... I think that the rating system would definitely be the most useful. As I totally agree that creativity should not be curbed, in any way. ... Even many a "one line review" can be spot on !
    Perhaps a rating system where not only can one rate a review as "helpful", but one where you can rate it negatively too. And so many (perhaps 10 ?) negative ratings, would result in an automatic deletion ???
    (But I stress once again ... that the edit function is the most necessary. I understand that Grant is probably weary of introducing this edit funtion, as it would then mean that reviews that have already been "checked" by him, would need re checking again ("ad infinitum"). ... But perhaps then have the edit function available to just the supporting members, if this is the case !

    As I am pretty sure that a good 75% (at least) of reviews would have already been modified by now, for many different reasons. (As our experience grows ... and certain frags "grow on us" causing us to change our minds, etc etc etc etc etc !) - ... Pleeeeeeease Grant give us an Edit Function ! - The reviews would be soooo much more accurate as a result !

  23. #23

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Imposing standards on reviews would make this place a bit too hardcore for me. I think that anyone should be able to post a review in any manner, as long as it’s about the fragrance and isn’t hostile or obscene. If it meets those criteria, then I think anything should be fair game. I also think that standards would serve only to support the fragrance intelligentsia and would flush out some of the more general consumer-minded people who happen to like fragrances, enjoy visiting the site, and would like to contribute in whatever way they can. There should be room for all.

    As it is, I think that this site is an enjoyable place to visit and a great resource. I would hate to see it become one of the “only certain types of people are welcome here” kind of boards, and I think that imposing review standards might lead to that.

    All that said, I agree that editing should be restored so that people can update and refine their reviews as they gain experience.

    Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by N_Tesla View Post
    The fact is that when I surf the Fragrance Directory I look for a usual few, reliable, structured and entusiastic critics who bring fragrances, that I have not tried, to life for me. I would endorse the rating system as a means to improve the quality of reviews as suggested but, still think some structure is needed. Reporters deal with who, when, where, how and why. Something similar surely cannot be considered restrictive. the rest open to artistic license. Writing a review with, in mind, what you would want to know about a frag. simply makes good sense. By the way, had I posted this here in the community center I think very little attention would have been paid the thread. My presumption seems to have been logical given the response.
    One thing that may be useful is a filter so you can find (or avoid) reviews you are looking for.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  25. #25
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I don't agree with having a rating system because it can be too easily abused. Anyone who feels a review doesn't meet their standards for acceptability would have some power over its position in The Directory. Anyone who simply doesn't agree with a review also has this influence. I'd rather these people have their voice heard by writing their own reviews, not by attempting to silence or negate others.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  26. #26

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    I think the directory is fine the way it is. It's easy enough to avoid the reviews that say "EWW SMELLS LIEK OLD MAN!!!!!11." Why turn basenotes into a police state?

    "The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state" - Cornelius Tacitus

    An edit function would definitely be nice though.

  27. #27

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by an_oud_girl View Post
    I don't agree with having a rating system because it can be too easily abused. Anyone who feels a review doesn't meet their standards for acceptability would have some power over its position in The Directory. Anyone who simply doesn't agree with a review also has this influence. I'd rather these people have their voice heard by writing their own reviews, not by attempting to silence or negate others.
    :toppie:

  28. #28
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by an_oud_girl View Post
    I don't agree with having a rating system because it can be too easily abused. Anyone who feels a review doesn't meet their standards for acceptability would have some power over its position in The Directory. Anyone who simply doesn't agree with a review also has this influence. I'd rather these people have their voice heard by writing their own reviews, not by attempting to silence or negate others.
    Personally, I would infinitely rather get back the "edit" function for reviews. And the ability to flag reviews for abuse.

    I think we need to be realistic: any changes we get are likely coming slowly and incrementally. We have been without an edit function for how long? a year or more?

    And keep this in mind: the average fragrance in the basenotes directory has about 4 reviews. Yes, the range is from 0 to 100+, but the average is just about 4! Not really worth the effort for a sort honestly.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  29. #29

    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Just in case it hasn't been mentioned, it would be great to get back the edit function . Really, this matters more than anything else right now on BN.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 12th June 2009 at 01:41 AM.
    My Wardrobe
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  30. #30
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Fragrance Directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Just in case it hasn't been mentioned, it would be great to get back the edit function . Really, this matters more than anything else right now on BN.
    Even though it was probably given secondary status because of the creation of basenotes.de?
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

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