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  1. #31

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    I have to disagree with noggs. Usually price is only considered on "consumer" grade products. However, price is almost never a concern for audiophiles, art collectors, haute couture, and the like. These products exist in their own space, separate from the Best Buys and Macys. In our case, niche and designer fragrances are wholly unique experiences, each catering to a different audience.

    I think Comme des Garçons and Ralph Lauren best represent what I'm trying to say. You can't compare the two, anymore than you can compare a Honda or a Spyker. In the case of niche, it is simply good or not good, and that in and of itself, is the value.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    I definitely factor price when comparing/purchasing fragrances

    I mean, for me at least, if two scents smelled very similar and one cost 10x than the other, well then you have cant put them on the same level can you. At least I can't

    the way I look at it is that there is a reasonable threshold that exists, but not established, in each of us. If the price difference is say 30% higher/lower than the market then you can say it can be somewhat ignored and the juice is judged strictly on its components. However, if the price is 80% +/- what the average cost is, well then I think it becomes much more of an issue in deciding whether or not the fragrance is bottle worthy or not.

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  3. #33
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    But price is SUBJECTIVE! That's the point! Putting in YOU'RE opinion on if it's "worth" the asking price or not, is pointless, since we don't all have the same opinion on pricing. So what if reviewer X thinks Fragrance Y is too much, Reader A.B,C disagree, so adding it to the review adds nothing of merit.
    By this line of thinking fragrance reviews themselves are subjective, so what is the point of having those?? I think fragrance X is da bomb. Readers 1, 2, & 3 think fragrance X is overrated poppycock. Since no one agrees, I guess reviewing fragrance X is an exercise in futility...

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMF View Post
    By this line of thinking fragrance reviews themselves are subjective, so what is the point of having those?? I think fragrance X is da bomb. Readers 1, 2, & 3 think fragrance X is overrated poppycock. Since no one agrees, I guess reviewing fragrance X is an exercise in futility...
    Excellent point

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMF View Post
    By this line of thinking fragrance reviews themselves are subjective, so what is the point of having those?? I think fragrance X is da bomb. Readers 1, 2, & 3 think fragrance X is overrated poppycock. Since no one agrees, I guess reviewing fragrance X is an exercise in futility...
    Not entirely. Yes smell is subjective, what smells good is subjective as well. IMO a scent review, should address things that we all want to know about said fragrance: longevity, sillage, sweetness, blending, what notes are most pronounced. I don't feel like playing devil's advocate, and as I stated in a previous post, I find it appropriate and helpful to mention price in comparison with similar frags at similar prices. But, price is too much of a subjective entity to be offering up opinions on. IF, you feel the need to mention it in a review, at least preface it with IMO.
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  6. #36

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    Not entirely. Yes smell is subjective, what smells good is subjective as well. IMO a scent review, should address things that we all want to know about said fragrance: longevity, sillage, sweetness, blending, what notes are most pronounced. I don't feel like playing devil's advocate, and as I stated in a previous post, I find it appropriate and helpful to mention price in comparison with similar frags at similar prices. But, price is too much of a subjective entity to be offering up opinions on. IF, you feel the need to mention it in a review, at least preface it with IMO.
    I think price is much less subjective than all the things you mentioned (sillage, longevity, sweetness..). Most designers and niche scents have a price range alike, comparing each one in their category. If you list all prices of niche scents out there, probably 70% of them have a common price range, with little variations. It happens the same thing with any other product for sale. Good cars in the same category costs around the same, same for fragrances (even niche) and everything else. The prices of products for the same target consumers are most times around the same.

  7. #37

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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Personally I don't make price a factor in reviews - but I do tend to mention it. I do find that the same rule applies, roughly, to anything.. higher quality demands higher prices. There are exceptions to the rule, but few and far in between from my experiences, thus far.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Price should be a factor in reviews to the point where if there's an equal or better alternative to a lower price, that should surely be recommended in reviews.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chêne View Post
    In our case, niche and designer fragrances are wholly unique experiences, each catering to a different audience. .
    I think people are reading way too much into the term "niche." Niche need not mean expensive; Ava Luxe is a niche line yet these perfumes very reasonably priced, as are many Commes des Garcons frags. Nor is niche a "wholly unique experience" incapable of being compared to so-called designer frags, whether fragrances are designer or niche, all perfumes are created for the users to derive some type of pleasure.
    Last edited by surreality; 30th October 2009 at 01:51 AM.
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  10. #40

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    As long as the only options are thumbs up, down, or neutral, I don't think that price should be considered for that decision.

    That doesn't mean that I don't care - I'd be happy to see a Value rating, and I'm interested in that information in the text of the review. But I want to know if the fragrance is good, irrespective of the price.

  11. #41

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMF View Post
    By this line of thinking fragrance reviews themselves are subjective, so what is the point of having those?? I think fragrance X is da bomb. Readers 1, 2, & 3 think fragrance X is overrated poppycock. Since no one agrees, I guess reviewing fragrance X is an exercise in futility...
    Exactly.
    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: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Here's the consumer review vs perfume critic debate. A consumer review must always consider the price factor but not necessary so for perfume critic.
    Firstly, is there an implication in the above quotation that perfume reviews are akin to art criticism? This creates a whole slew of problems in and of itself.

    Secondly, I would guess that many, if not most, people that use the basenotes directory and read the reviews, read them as consumer reviews, as an aid to decide which perfume to buy.
    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: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Prices? It's only money. I think that the quality must be compared to the price as part of the overall evaluation.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Some years ago, Consumer Reports actually had an article on perfume-- value ratings were based on price, of course, not on quality. It was ridiculous. Ha, I may look for the issue in a periodicals index at the library for a laugh. It was a once-off; they never ran a perfume article again.

    Price does influence whether I buy but not nearly as much as I thought it would a year ago. In the end, a perfume is "worth it" to the person who likes it enough to be willing to pay for it. And I've decided that the costliest perfume is the one that sits in my drawer unused because after buying it, I discover that I don't like it enough to wear it. That is truly a waste of money, even if it was relatively "cheap."

    Now I think more in terms of price per wearing. Some very costly fragrances (like Amouage Gold) are so strong that one only need use very little. That reduces the cost per wearing.

    All in all, I think price should not be a major factor in a perfume review. If the perfume in question is significantly costlier than a comparable scent, then mention it (maybe I'll want to try that other scent instead and pocket the difference!), but whether it smells good or not is unrelated to price.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Firstly, is there an implication in the above quotation that perfume reviews are akin to art criticism? This creates a whole slew of problems in and of itself.

    Secondly, I would guess that many, if not most, people that use the basenotes directory and read the reviews, read them as consumer reviews, as an aid to decide which perfume to buy.
    I know you're right, but I personally think about perfume as a beautiful intersection of art and fashion. No one would say that Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings are "nice, but not worth the price". The people interested in Chanel couture probably aren't that worried about fluctuations in price - they're in it for the fashion and the style.

    Really, most scents (niche or not) fall somewhere between $40 and $150. If something falls outside of that, I may mention it in a review , but if it falls into the middle of the bell curve, it seems kind of pointless.

    I think I mainly take umbrage with reviewers who won't ever give a good review to anything over a certain dollar amount. Are you reviewing the price? Ok, we get it. You're offended that it's expensive. I personally don't know how much value that adds to the discourse. (This also applies to people who give reviews that a cheap frag smells "cheap." Duh. Step away from the Azzaro and go back to sniffing your Lutens...)
    Last edited by rogalal; 30th October 2009 at 03:19 AM.
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  16. #46

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Of course! It is a product review. All important facets of the product should be accounted for.

    When I am deciding whether or not to buy a scent, an automatic list is compiled in my head of positives and negatives. Notes I like and dislike, longevity, wearability, packaging, availability, and price are all important characteristics of the product.

    For those of you saying "no," can you really rate something based on longevity then? What if the bottle has to be smashed open with a hammer to get any juice out? Maybe it turns after 5 minutes of air exposure?

    What it boils down to is that you should rate something based on your enjoyment of it. If a cheaper price tag makes you happier about it, you should rate it better. If you do not feel the scent justifies the price tag, that might lessen your enjoyment of the product, and it should therefore be rated lower. If its price doesn't matter to you, then of course you should not factor this into your review. Reviews are totally subjective. That's kinda the point.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Just a thought:

    Do a count of the number of posters on this thread. Now assume we were all reviewing the same frag and someone not too knowledgeable about scents is really searching for olfactory answers. How illuminating will the reviews be to the reader?

    Everybody's circumstances and value perceptions are different, but tuberose is tuberose. A hapless reader will be saddled with the burden of deciphering the differing opinions about the frag's tuberose, coupled with the differing value perceptions of the reviewers. I believe readers are as financially savvy as us reviewers, or at least thave their own perceptions. Our value-added, really is our informed opinion of the scents reviewed. Again, i believe the value decision should be left to the reader. Reviewers who feel strongly about value and feel they must inidicate their thoughts may do so, but not in a way that distracts from their olfactory opinion of the scent under review.

    Of course, if a question is asked about value, then the OP of the thread should get ready for the differing opinions that will be received. That is the stuff of polls.
    Last edited by perfaddict; 30th October 2009 at 07:04 AM.
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    What's your take on this issue? :brolly:
    I disagree. For starters, a review reflects the opinion of the reviewer who is in no way obliged to keep the opinion of others in mind. If the reviewer wants to give a neutral rating because he feels the fragrance is overpriced then that's his right. I do agree with scentsitivity that he she should this in the review. Furthermore, I think that all fragrances should be reviewed in light of their price. What if, say, Une Rose was composed of 50% Bulgarian rose absolute and 50% steam distilled poo? It would probably be very expensive due to the rose absolute, but the end result would be so bad it would never, ever justify the price!
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  19. #49

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    I think that the primary focus should be the scent, but price is a factor that should be taken into account.

    I will give a thumbs up for a scent that smells good, even if I think that it doesn't smell special enough for me to pay the price of a bottle.

    But if I'm in doubt if the smell is a thumbs up or a neutral, price will make a difference. A more expensive fragrance will be more likely to get a neutral rating in those cases.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    No one would say that Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings are "nice, but not worth the price".
    Really? I think that many art collectors who really do appreciate art for art's sake set limits at art auctions have that exact mindset.
    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

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    no, just as it shouldn't matter how cheap a fragrance is
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  22. #52
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    As long as they are well argued, differing opinions are more than welcomed so keep them coming.
    A cheap scent can smell good. A high quality and expensive scent usually smells better. Both deserve 'thumbs up'. It's up to the consumer to decide which offers the better value. But I have to agree affordability does have an effect on consumer satisfaction and as someone pointed out earlier, many consumers use Basenotes to look at consumers' reviews: no. of thumbs up vs thumbs down, etc.
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  23. #53

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    ...oops double post
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 30th October 2009 at 06:32 PM.
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  24. #54

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    I don't think there has to be a divide between "artistic" reviews and "consumer" reviews.

    Yes, we are all collectors concerned with the artistic merits of scent, and we can write reviews concerned only with artistic merit. But we also have to decide whether we value the artistic merit of a scent enough as artistically driven collectors to merit a purchase at a given price. I think it's reasonable for collectors to expect more from an expensive scent.

    And again, price concerns are subjective. We obviously have different income levels. But value judgments should be relative to other fragrances, and not to our individual purchasing abilities.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 30th October 2009 at 05:49 PM.
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  25. #55
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    As long as they are well argued, differing opinions are more than welcomed so keep them coming.
    A cheap scent can smell good. A high quality and expensive scent usually smells better. Both deserve 'thumbs up'. It's up to the consumer to decide which offers the better value. But I have to agree affordability does have an effect on consumer satisfaction and as someone pointed out earlier, many consumers use Basenotes to look at consumers' reviews: no. of thumbs up vs thumbs down, etc.
    I think it is fine for a reviewer to state their opinion as to what is better value, provided they have something in mind to compare it with.

    So take two fragrances that are very similar. One costs half the price of the other, but it is equally satisfying to the reviewer. I think it is appropriate and even helpful for the reviewer to make recommendations and relative comparisons as part of the review. I think relative cost can be a consideration in such recommendations.

    One can also do similar linkages between relative cost and longevity.

    And other linkages as well (e.g., cost and concentration, cost and quality of bottle, etc).

    I try to avoid thinking of cost of a bottle as a stand alone factor though.
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  26. #56
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    I think people are reading way too much into the term "niche." Niche need not mean expensive; Ava Luxe is a niche line yet these perfumes very reasonably priced, as are many Commes des Garcons frags. Nor is niche a "wholly unique experience" incapable of being compared to so-called designer frags, whether fragrances are designer or niche, all perfumes are created for the users to derive some type of pleasure.
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  27. #57
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Ok, fine, I'm retracting some of my statements, and going to state a new (hopefully improved) theory. Price is important. For the most part, whether we're consciously aware of it or not, price will factor into our decision on just about every purchase, fragrance related or not. That being said, I don't think it should affect the outcome of you're review. In our current setup, with only three possible ratings, I don't think it's fair to give a very good fragrance, that would otherwise get a thumbs up, a neutral simply because of the reviewer's percieved value of the fragrance. Similarly, I don't think a relatively "cheap" fragrance, that manages to be merely average, and would in a perfect world score a neutral, be moved to a thumbs up because, it can be had inexpensively. Basically, I think price should or can be mentioned, but it shouldn't factor into the rating of the SCENT, it should be left up to the person reading to formulate their own opinion based on the price.
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 30th October 2009 at 07:22 PM.
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  28. #58
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Price is a big consideration. BUT make sure you put it in the review that you are factoring it in.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    In our current setup, with only three possible ratings, I don't think it's fair to give a very good fragrance, that would otherwise get a thumbs up, a neutral simply because of the reviewer's percieved value of the fragrance.
    It is interesting that you bring up the notion of fairness. However, this brings me to ask "what has fairness got to do with a perfume review?" Making value judgments based on subjective and highly personal criteria about anything seems unfair, for doing this is merely the projection of our personal biases (which often have no rational basis) onto a thing. For instance, it seems no less unfair to say that because a fragrance smells "dated" and giving it a thumbs down based on that criterion than it does to say that one does not find a certain fragrance to be good value for money and giving it a thumbs down for that criterion.

    If fairness is to be taken into consideration when writing a review, and if value judgments based on highly personal judgements are unfair, then it follows that one should not include these criteria in a review either. But to say that seems absurd, for what would be left for a reviewer to say but a series of sterile, quasi-scientific statements about those aspects of a fragrance that have some level of objectivity (or at least highly confirmed intersubjectivity).
    Last edited by surreality; 2nd November 2009 at 02:14 PM.
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  30. #60
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    Default Re: Should price even matter when reviewing niche scents?

    - Smells fantastic but overpriced (to me) so a Neutral rating.
    - Smells fantastic but money is no object (to me) so a Thumbs Up.
    - Smells good but similarly competent scents can be had for much less so a Thumbs Down.
    - Smells good at a very affordable price so a Thumbs Up.
    - Smells good but a little pricey so a Neutral.
    - Smells fantastic, so a 'Thumbs Up' if money is not an issue but 'Neutral' if on a budget constraint.
    - Smells good but a little pricey; check out X which is very similar but more affordable. Neutral or Thumbs Up

    etc.

    Just some simplified variations of reviews with price as a consideration. I think readers are discerning enough to use their own judgement re: value for money factor and decide which scent is worth sampling or buying.
    Currently wearing: Cuoio by Odori

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