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  1. #1

    Default The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    I have been flicking through T & S's Perfume Guide for about the 99th time and started to notice that some of the reviews don't seem to match the perfumes. On one or two of them that I noticed, I actually wondered whether they were sniffing the same scents that I was.

    For example, I have a bottle of Rosine's Twill Rose and the review in the guide bears no resemblance to what I perceive the fragrance to be.

    Has anybody else noticed any strange reviews that don't seem to match up with the scents?
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    I've thought the same thing about certain scents, but I guess it's all part of perspective.

    I found the Twill Rose review to be right on actually...a nice green-rose topnote followed by an overdose of Animalis. Strangely though, I found the first sample of Twill Rose I smelled to not smell the same as the recent sample I obtained from Les Senteurs. Could be my memory, it something may have changed in the formula.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    L'Instant de Guerlain PH is named 'green citrus' in the Excel-file. I've always wondered if this was a mistake. L'Instant PH is definitely not green (woody gourmand) and the citrus lasts 5 seconds in the topnotes before the anise overshadows it.
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

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  4. #4

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    You get anise? See, I get citrus, then synthetic-sandalwood...and not much else. All in the nose of the beholder!

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    You get anise? See, I get citrus, then synthetic-sandalwood...and not much else. All in the nose of the beholder!
    Really? Hm.

    So you think 'Green citrus' is a good description? I'd say it's something for Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermes or something in that vein, which is miles away from L'Instant PH....
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Really? Hm.

    So you think 'Green citrus' is a good description? I'd say it's something for Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermes or something in that vein, which is miles away from L'Instant PH....
    I would have said Citrus Sandalwood personally.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    i agree with LT review too.. infact i find (LIph)t to be "watery green citrus"

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Thanks Jenson, that's making me more confused.
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    There are several examples. One is that the two Azzaro frags that are the same, Onyx and Silver/Black, are reviewed as if they are different. Two is there is no way Polo Double Black is any kind of "fougere." Third is Individuel by Mont Blanc, which is clearly not a "citrus green" (I think that's the classification but it could be "green citrus" or something like that). Etc.

    Then there are ones that just don't seem like a very good description, if not totally wrong, such as Habit Rouge being "sweet dust" or whatever.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 25th November 2009 at 07:07 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    I thought sweet dust was the perfect description for HR!

  11. #11
    NillaGoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    I do wonder about the description of Rose 31 as "carrot juice" and "not rose", along with the two-star rating. It's all a bit hard to explain.

    I find this on Basenotes as well, not with this specific juice, but in general. Sometimes it seems like I'm smelling exactly what other people are smelling, and sometimes there's no overlap between my perceptions and the reviews at all.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Actually, calling HR sweet dust makes it sound like a recent super-sweet cheapo frag like Thallium, which it obviously is not (much more complex and interesting, at least for a while, if too much of a "nose twister" for my tastes).
    Last edited by Bigsly; 25th November 2009 at 07:19 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by NillaGoon View Post
    I do wonder about the description of Rose 31 as "carrot juice" and "not rose", along with the two-star rating. It's all a bit hard to explain.

    I find this on Basenotes as well, not with this specific juice, but in general. Sometimes it seems like I'm smelling exactly what other people are smelling, and sometimes there's no overlap between my perceptions and the reviews at all.
    I think that's just a fact of life...I was just discussing with another member the description for a certain scent that she found to be one thing, and I found to be another. Neither of us are wrong necessarily.

    ps - I realize I sound like a Turin advocate.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    It could be that to review all the fragrances that Turin and Sanchez manage to review, one could only spend a few hours at most with the fragrances before they write their reviews.
    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

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    I thought sweet dust was the perfect description for HR!
    I thought so too!
    "I don't know what the different scents is. I just know what I like." -- Sephora SA

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Ditto on the "sweet dust" for HR

    What about his description of Opium PH as an "aromatic fougere"? I thought it was firmly in oriental territory.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    ...Has anybody else noticed any strange reviews that don't seem to match up with the scents?
    Yes.

    However the same can be said about threads here on BN and/or reviews in the Directory.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    He calls HR Sport "citrus spicy," which I think is at least as appropriate for HR (better than "sweet dust" for the full run of the frag rather than the first few minutes). A few more examples: U Ungaro Him is "lavender musk," but I don't get any lavender and don't find it especially musky (the pyramid doesn't list lavender and I really dislike lavender except in very small amounts). Versace l'Homme is "citrus 'ginger,'" but the base notes make this one special, and I don't remember getting much ginger at any point. Belle en Rykiel is "fruity amber," but I don't remember any strong fruit note. I don't perceive Gucci PH2 as any kind of "fougere." Does anyone perceive Herrera for Men as "immortelle citrus?" HM as a "lavender green" doesn't make much sense, because there is no strong "green" note at any time. Jaipur Homme is very heavy and I can't imagine anyone thinking of it as a "powder" frag ("sweet powder"). How is L'Instant Homme a "green citrus?" Is M7 Fresh particularly spicy (don't remember spice, but that was a while ago)? I don't remember Very Irresistible for men as having a strong wood note.

    Of course, nobody is perfect, and I think the book is very helpful, if you know how to use it. However, while I think LT's vibrational hypothesis is more consistent with the evidence, his "mistakes" in this book make you question his claims about how certain molecules smell. Considering how critical he has been of others in the frag industry, I think it would be best for him to admit his mistakes and correct them in the next edition or provide an online link to a web page that contains such corrections. One thing he could do is to tell us that he spent very little time on some of the frags he reviewed in this book, if that is the case. Thinking as an "academic," I view this as no "big deal" (if the corrections are made in a timely matter). I understand the magnitude of his contributions in this field, regardless of the current status of his vibrational hypothesis in academia in general, and by admitting your mistakes, you will heighten your stature, not lower it, among those who are approaching the issues involved here with an open mind. Those with closed minds are beyond reach anyway and it's a waste of time to worry about them.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 25th November 2009 at 08:20 PM.

  19. #19
    Off-Scenter
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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

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    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 27th November 2009 at 03:56 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Yes.

    However the same can be said about threads here on BN and/or reviews in the Directory.
    Trudat.

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    See, as soon as those CERN scientists start their Hadron collider, threads from 2007 manifest themselves in 2009...next comes Bulgari Black Hole...
    My Wardrobe
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  22. #22

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Yes, "science" can be quite disappointing when compared to stories we were told as children, which inferred that it was a "progressive" and "objective" pursuit of "truth."

  23. #23

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    While he is a fabulous writer and the book is worth having just for that, he is not a highly trained nose and so does make some errors in his assessments of scents. For example his review of Selection Verte is just wrong on many levels - partly for its oversight - he clearly spent no time with this and misses most of the scent -(no mention of mint or florals) but not least the statement "mostly high grade lemon oil". Lemon oil oxidises very quickly and is very rarely used, certainly wouldn't be the basis of a scent.
    He does have very cultured, experienced and well thought out taste though and that counts for a lot; it gives a strong and coherent viewpoint. It is a very valuable book and is thought provoking but it does need to be taken with a pinch of salt.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  24. #24

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Yes.

    However the same can be said about threads here on BN and/or reviews in the Directory.
    Yes, but the reviewers on BN don't claim to be professional reviewers.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  25. #25

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    See, as soon as those CERN scientists start their Hadron collider, threads from 2007 manifest themselves in 2009...next comes Bulgari Black Hole...

    Do you think the new fragrance Higgs Boss "on" will show that Pi is worth less than its currently ascribed value?
    "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

  26. #26

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by the.angels.fell View Post
    Ditto on the "sweet dust" for HR

    What about his description of Opium PH as an "aromatic fougere"? I thought it was firmly in oriental territory.
    I believe he also called Opium ph as woody (what wood?) and smells like Cool Water???? His sample was definitely off or something.

    I get no greens whatsover in L'Instant ph. Green as in grass? Vetiver? Leaf? What is it?
    "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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  27. #27
    smeller
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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    To me, his reviews sound perfectably acceptable to describe how these scents smell ON PAPER.

  28. #28

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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    Yes, but the reviewers on BN don't claim to be professional reviewers.
    Neither do Turin and Sanchez.

    Luca Turin is just ahead of everybody else by having written two successful critical perfume guides within the past two decades. Also, he has been the first to publicly acknowledge merits of individual perfume designers. He was also the first to recommend well known feminine perfumes to men, and vice versa. But what appears to be no particular merit these days was rather different during most of the twentieth century, even in France. I wonder where we might be today had Turin not continuously been writing about masculines for women or feminines for men since the early nineties (Much later Burr tried to copy him in that too). The industry has picked up and we can obeserve that the number of perfumes not labeled for 'women' or 'men' has been exploding during the past 10 years.

    Recent organizational changes at two of the most famous perfume houses seem to have been inspired by Luca Turin, an indicator that his judgment and advice may be more appreciated by some big shots in the business than seems to be the case with an armada of young amateurs and fragrance bloggers still suffering from a limited capacity to recognize the natural authority of truth and experience. If nothing else LT has a lifetime of the latter!

    The world is big enough for more than one guide only. And there are more ways to write them than the ones we know todate. I only hope the next one will be at least half as good as Parfums le Guide (Paris 1992) or Perfumes The Guide (London, New York 2008, & 2nd edition 2009). Not to forget, the latest PTG has actually two cosmopolitan minded authors and covers the whole western market of perfumes. Authors from bloggers' communities or elsewhere may fare better to start with a limited selection of perfumes and exactly that kind of readership in mind which they are (best) familiar with ( English or French, Spanish, German, etc.).
    Last edited by narcus; 18th March 2010 at 08:43 AM. Reason: grammar
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  29. #29

    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    To me, his reviews sound perfectably acceptable to describe how these scents smell ON PAPER.
    So his reviews are based on how frags smells on the paper? Is it true?

  30. #30

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    Default Re: The Perfume Guide - Confusing reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by vitorscpaiva View Post
    So his reviews are based on how frags smells on the paper? Is it true?
    Of course not! But malicious insinuations continue being dropped.
    Last edited by narcus; 26th November 2009 at 11:15 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

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