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  1. #1

    Default How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    As I was reading through "the guide" book recently, I was surprised by how many reviews did not discuss the actual smell of the frag at all. However, there were many one-sentence reviews that were very useful, provding a good sense of the smell. So, I got the idea that it would be interesting for us to write reviews that we think LT might write if he had decided to discuss the actual smell. I will start with Polo Double Black:

    "A combination of notes, including mango, pepper, coffee, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla, that only a committee would consider for a fragrance. There is no artistry here; perhaps each committee member was allowed to contribute one note to the final result, and the decision was made to not even to test the product of this process. Avoid spraying this on just after you have eaten."

    I'm still on the fence about PDB. It is interesting but does seem to be thrown together without much thought. Now, would anyone care to submit one for Obsession for Men?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th November 2009 at 05:10 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    The only thing that irks me about LT's reviews is his use of stories and abstract comparisons that do not explain the way the fragrance smells, its history, or its quality. I agree with most of his masculine five stars like Chanel pour Monsieur, Eau Sauvage, Habit Rouge, etc. He disappointed me by giving Acqua di Parma Colonia a three though.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    For those without a copy of PTG handy, here is the actual Polo Double Black review, in its entirety:

    Polo Double Black (Ralph Lauren) two stars - sweet fougere

    I like the idea that black can be doubled, as in Double Stout. This said, the fragrance is what the local street kids in my trash neighborhood are wearing, and I don't feel any particular kinship to their tribe.

    I dunno, that pretty much says it all, doesn't it? :-)

  4. #4

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Perhaps I am totally out of touch with such "youth," but even so, if you could interpret that review for me I'd appreciate it.

    I don't expect perfection from anyone (especially myself!), but it was disappointing at first to look up a frag in that book, only to find that there was no description of the actual smell. Now, however, I am confident that I can get a grasp on a frag without such assistance.

    I do find his more general ideas to be useful, whereas a year ago I didn't understand some of them. For example, the idea that the traditional "women's" woody floral (such as Arpege) is better as a "men's" frag these days. I'm not bothered as much by the lack of specific descriptions of actual smell because that can usually be garnered on sites like BN. I do think about what LT might have said if he did describe the smell, and so I decided to write the original post.

    EDIT: How in the world can PDB be called a fougere? That really confuses me !
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th November 2009 at 04:37 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NillaGoon View Post
    Polo Double Black (Ralph Lauren) two stars - sweet fougere I like the idea that black can be doubled, as in Double Stout. This said, the fragrance is what the local street kids in my trash neighborhood are wearing, and I don't feel any particular kinship to their tribe.
    First of all, nothing replaces one's first hand experience as one's decision maker. That said, I don't think it was ever Turin and Sanchez's point to replace other people's actual experiences with theirs. To live vicariously through Turin and Snachez's olfactory experiences would be the equivalent of watching television to learn about geography.
    In other words, I think he expects those of us who are seriously interested in fragrances to smell things for ourselves and form our own opinions.

    That said, what I glean from his PDB review is this, Turin feels that Polo Double Black smells like a mass produced fragrance that would appeal to a young, under-educated and unsophisticated adolescent. In other words, the accord is one not worth going in to detail describing because it is crude. I understand and completely respect his review.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 6th November 2009 at 04:57 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    That's an interesting idea because PDB is not cheap, and you can get stuff like Stetson cheaper and it's probably more available to the "underclass," or however you want to classify people who aren't sophisticated nor well educated, in terms of where they usually shop for such items. My guess is that Stetson type frags are selling at least reasonably well, all things considered, so what do guys who buy that frag get classified as? LOL.

    EDIT: To be fair to the people who put PDB together, I would say that the book seems to have been a bit rushed too. Again, how can PDB be classified as a fougere? Since no description of the smell is given, for all we know, he was given a mislabeled sample !
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th November 2009 at 05:13 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    That's an interesting idea because PDB is not cheap, and you can get stuff like Stetson cheaper and it's probably more available to the "underclass," or however you want to classify people who aren't sophisticated nor well educated, in terms of where they usually shop for such items. My guess is that Stetson type frags are selling at least reasonably well, all things considered, so what do guys who buy that frag get classified as? LOL.
    We're talking capitalist politics here! The fact that PDB is not cheap, but not really expensive, is what makes the Polo cash cow smile. Polo is an emblem and a trophy, it's wisely kept one step higher, on the financial level, than its audience. While Polo's actual design, and I believe this also includes its fragrances, is always traditional and mainstream, it's the use of bright colors and the logo that makes the designs stand-out. Black was a big marketing color for quite a few years and Polo chose to double it!
    IMO, Stetson is for adults with no aspirational qualities. I think it appeals to the same demographic as Old Spice, regulars, like your dad and Warren Buffet. The exact opposite of Polo Double Black.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 6th November 2009 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I thought LT's review of Obsession was pretty funny.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    The fact that PDB is not cheap, but not really expensive, is what makes the Polo cash cow smile. Polo is an emblem and a trophy, it's wisely kept one step higher, on the financial level, than its audience.
    You are absolutely correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    First of all, nothing replaces one's first hand experience as one's decision maker. That said, I don't think it was ever Turin and Sanchez's point to replace other people's actual experiences with theirs. To live vicariously through Turin and Snachez's olfactory experiences would be the equivalent of watching television to learn about geography.
    In other words, I think he expects those of us who are seriously interested in fragrances to smell things for ourselves and form our own opinions.

    That said, what I glean from his PDB review is this, Turin feels that Polo Double Black smells like a mass produced fragrance that would appeal to a young, under-educated and unsophisticated adolescent. In other words, the accord is one not worth going in to detail describing because it is crude. I understand and completely respect his review.
    I wish that I had written that. What a clear explanation!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    As I was reading through "the guide" book recently, I was surprised by how many reviews did not discuss the actual smell of the frag at all. However, there were many one-sentence reviews that were very useful, provding a good sense of the smell. So, I got the idea that it would be interesting for us to write reviews that we think LT might write if he had decided to discuss the actual smell. I will start with Polo Double Black:

    "A combination of notes, including mango, pepper, coffee, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla, that only a committee would consider for a fragrance. There is no artistry here; perhaps each committee member was allowed to contribute one note to the final result, and the decision was made to not even to test the product of this process. Avoid spraying this on just after you have eaten."

    I'm still on the fence about PDB. It is interesting but does seem to be thrown together without much thought. Now, would anyone care to submit one for Obsession for Men?
    Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are the authors of Perfumes: The Guide. They hold the copyright on, among other things, the text. This copyright extends to derivative works. Therefore, Dr. Turin and Ms. Sanchez would have to give permission to anyone who wanted to "rewrite" their text. I doubt that they would give such permission, because several years ago, someone was translating Dr. Turin's original guidebook from French, and Dr. Turin asked that person to stop.

    However, everyone is free to write his or her own perfume guide book, find an agent, and get a contract from a publisher. Please do come back and tell us when it is available for purchase.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I don't get the point of re-writing someone else's review? Write your own review if you don't like Turin's.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    i don't get the point of re-writing someone else's review? Write your own review if you don't like turin's.
    outstanding post!
    Last edited by scentsitivity; 6th November 2009 at 04:02 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I've never been to Moscow, but a thought keeps nagging me - whether Moscow night time taxi drivers are really so classy that they wear exotically delightful scents like Laguna.

    And I keep trying unsuccessfully to find that shampoo that smells like Chrome - I'd buy a gallon of it if it was available.
    Renato

  13. #13

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I think he means "write your own review in the style of Turin, but discuss actual scent attributes."

    Still a difficult request, as Turin's lack of note discussions is his "style." I'm not sure i find them useful, though I guess they can be entertaining ("a dove flies past the window..." )


    And for the record, I like (only) the topnotes of Double Black :brolly:
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 6th November 2009 at 04:58 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Reviews could be likened to art styles. We have the abstract, the surrealists, the cubists, the impressionists etc. Turin has his own style, very 'tongue-in-cheek'. How each of us perceive scents may vary but we don't need to describe the actual notes to explain how we feel about a particular scent. But I certainly won't expect everyone to simply 'get it'.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 7th November 2009 at 07:14 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    That said, what I glean from his PDB review is this, Turin feels that Polo Double Black smells like a mass produced fragrance that would appeal to a young, under-educated and unsophisticated adolescent. In other words, the accord is one not worth going in to detail describing because it is crude. I understand and completely respect his review.
    Still a very insular way to describe fragrance since the image invoked is extremely location & culture dependent.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

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  16. #16

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    It's a "tongue in cheek" idea, and I think LT would be amused by it. Too bad he's not around here to tell us !
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th November 2009 at 10:21 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    Still a very insular way to describe fragrance since the image invoked is extremely location & culture dependent.
    You're right, it certainly isn't a literal description, but for all intensive purposes I can imagine the smell: a loud, crude mix of aroma chemicals that smells 'current.' It would fit nicely on the shelves of a department store or a Sephora and not make any waves. Easy to recognize, too. Yet unremarkable. Do I need the excruciating details? I think not.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 7th November 2009 at 04:50 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I understand the notion of fragrance "artistry," but sometimes I want to smell a certain combination of notes, which is why I'm still on fence with PDB. Having a frag like this helps prevent boredom. LT himself has talked about "recalibration," and I find that my large rotation allows me to feel that I'm almost smelling a frag for the first time (which is usually the best experience) when I finally get around to wearing it again. Because PDB is a unique combination of "pleasant" notes, I've sometimes enjoyed it, though other times it came across as a discordant jumble.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I understand the notion of fragrance "artistry," but sometimes I want to smell a certain combination of notes...LT himself has talked about "recalibration,"...Because PDB is a unique combination of "pleasant" notes, I've sometimes enjoyed it, though other times it came across as a discordant jumble.
    I didn't perceive LT's review of PDB as being particularly dismissive or negative. He gives it two stars, which means it smells good and doesn't offend him. You're allowed to wear it and enjoy it.

    LT isn't telling you that the scent is invalid and that you'd have to be a disaffected street punk to wear it; that's just his short-form description of the scent's evocations for him and the apparently somewhat soulless commercial quality of the fragrance. The main message seems to be that he doesn't find the composition particularly interesting or worthy of scrutiny. That in itself is information.
    Last edited by NillaGoon; 7th November 2009 at 12:07 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    "I didn't perceive LT's review of PDB as being particularly dismissive or negative"

    Then I guess we will have to agree to disagree in the strongest possible terms ! LOL.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    I don't always find myself in agreement with Turin. "Direct experience is the best experience" as Turin himself (or was it Sanchez) pointed out in the Guide. To me Polo Double Black is easily a 3-3.5 star fragrance which I enjoy more than Polo Black.

  22. #22

    Default Re: How about re-writing some of LT's reviews ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    LT himself has talked about "recalibration," and I find that my large rotation allows me to feel that I'm almost smelling a frag for the first time (which is usually the best experience) when I finally get around to wearing it again.
    I find that, too. One of my strategies for not buying new fragrances compulsively is to wear something that I already have that I have not worn in a long time. It's almost like having a new fragrance.

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