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  1. #1

    Default So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    The photos of people's collections were interesting! Some were very expensive and exclusive, and many were surprisingly small... and that got me thinking.

    I like picking up all kinds of fragrances, mostly second-hand. What I actually wear is a bit haphazard. I think I'm more excited about the hunt than finding the perfect fragrance. Is that weird?

    I've never been to an upscale boutique (lol) and never bought a decant. But I've got a pretty big assortment of new, vintage, men's and women's fragrances... and now I'm wondering which Basenoters are collectors (with a lot of assorted bottles) and which are connoisseurs (with more focused interests and purchases)?

    I hope I framed the question OK, because I don't mean to be presumptuous or offend

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hollandaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I'm one of the few minimalists here. I'm the in-betweener that's got potential to be a Basenoter, but still remain just a regular ass dude. I just buy what works and whatever works best for me towards a particular purpose at the moment. I'm not ashamed or proud of being either thing. I'm just here, really.

  3. #3

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Actually, I read some of your previous posts (very enjoyable!) and so I know that you are on a quest

    Can you still count your collection on two hands?

  4. #4

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I think most Basenoters are connoisseurs, which we could roughly define as educated consumers. We try as many different things as possible and buy what we like.

    Collecting to me means something more specific. If one were buying everything in a given fragrance line, that is collecting; or everything by a certain nose (I considered collecting all of Olivia Giacobetti's frags) -- that would also make one a collector. Heck, buying every frag with "Noire" or "Black" in the name would be dumb, but it would be collecting. I remember a Basenoter who had collected pretty much every vetiver fragrance ever made -- he was a collector.
    Last edited by Carlos; 14th February 2010 at 02:13 AM.
    "When he shook hands with me my nostrils were assailed by all the perfumes of Arabia."
    - W. Somerset Maugham

  5. #5

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    [ I remember a Basenoter who had collected pretty much every vetiver fragrance ever made -- he was a collector.[/QUOTE]

    I read a thread here (or maybe in the female group?) about one person's quest for sandalwood. I found that very interesting. Some of the comments were very helpful, too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    I think most Basenoters are connoisseurs, which we could roughly define as educated consumers. We try as many different things as possible and buy what we like.

    Collecting to me means something more specific. If one were buying everything in a given fragrance line, that is collecting; or everything by a certain nose (I considered collecting all of Olivia Giacobetti's frags) -- that would also make one a collector. Heck, buying every frag with "Noire" or "Black" in the name would be dumb, but it would be collecting. I remember a Basenoter who had collected pretty much every vetiver fragrance ever made -- he was a collector.
    I like how you put this, Carlos. We are connoisseurs of scent, in the same way people taste and critique wines. Some cheap wines are wonderful, and some people will spend a small fortune for a fine bottle at auction. We have a vocabulary similar to wine connoisseurship, too.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  7. #7

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Collector: Takes a pleasure in owning a lot of mostly good fragrances.
    Connoisseur: Takes a pleasure in whittling down to what they believe is a collection of the most exquisitely crafted and beautiful fragrances.

    I feel like I middle the road.
    Last edited by justaguy; 14th February 2010 at 02:24 AM.
    If fragrance has a gender, so does all art.

  8. #8

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I feel like I middle the road.[/QUOTE]

    Do you ever buy 'women's' fragrances?

  9. #9

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I've got a pretty large "collection" of fragrances, but they're all ones I like and picked because I'd wear them. I don't get fragrances just to gather them as there are many I don't like and don't buy.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Can I be both?

  11. #11

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I consider myself more of a collector than a connoisseur.

    I buy a fragrance not only because I like it but also because of the bottle or the name or a bit of funkiness or cheesiness or rarity or whatever. I tend towards buying older, discontinued frags rather than current ones or expensive niche offerings.

  12. #12

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I'm definitely on the connoisseur side of things

  13. #13

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    What about us aficionados? LOL. Seriously, I think the "collectors" are better thought of as "hoarders!" Also, there have been threads about "frag snobs," so that's another thing to consider. I've tried a lot of niche frags, and haven't liked any enough to buy a bottle (I have quite a few decants, but rarely reach for them). I have been fortunate in swapping, and now have frags like Messe de Minuit, which I would not pay retail prices for, but not much else in terms of niche bottles. I guess it's a good idea to define oneself in terms of actual activities, rather than just words like "connoisseurs."

    So, for me, there is now a need for variety, meaning different types of frags as well as a large rotation. Some frags now seem too simple, relative to how I thought about them a year or so ago, but many of those I still enjoy once in a while. I've also come to dislike certain notes if they are too strong, such as the dreaded lavender/fougere thing. The question of "expertise" is interesting. While I respect and enjoy reading the reviews of Turin and Sanchez, for example, I believe there are some very serious and basic errors in many of them. I've come to conclude that one must really get to know a frag before coming making strong claims for or against them.

    One example is Higher by Dior. Not a great frag, IMO obviously, but I don't have anything else like it and I enjoy it once in a while (it's a dry, herbal, woody frag with a pear note wafting around here and there). Sanchez dismissed it as a typical boring "sports" type of frag. At first, I didn't think much of it either, but I always wear a frag a few times (unless it nauseates or overwhelms me, such as Black XS and Kouros, respectively), and "give it a chance." This has led to me reversing my initial opinions (in both directions) more than I could have ever imagined.

    Collecting is not of interest to me, but I am more than willing to grab an old bottle that has some "collector's" value if I get it for free or really cheap, so I'm not sure what that means in terms of whether one qualifies as a collector or not.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 14th February 2010 at 02:55 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    I think most Basenoters are connoisseurs, which we could roughly define as educated consumers.
    +1 I like to think of myself as an educated consumer, but I suppose I could be considered a bit of a connoisseur as well.

  15. #15

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    What about us aficionados? LOL. Seriously, I think the "collectors" are better thought of as "hoarders!" Also, there have been threads about "frag snobs," so that's another thing to consider. .
    I think maybe I am a little bit of a hoarder. But today, for instance I picked up the EdT version of something I already had as EdP... and I look forward to comparing them in a side-by-side sniff-off. Someday, at my liesure, because I have them both in my basement now

  16. #16
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I consider myself a collector more than a connoisseur who has amassed an enormous collection over the years approaching 4 figures with very narrow criteria in terms of selection. Obsessed? Yes. Any regrets? No.

  17. #17

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I just want to own stuff that I really like, I don't care if that's 5 bottles or 50; it's not about numbers. Sure, I'll do the odd impulse/blind buy but that's part of the fun in this hobby. I do the same sort of thing with whiskeys, craft beers and cigars...

  18. #18

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I own what I like. I don't consider myself to be a collector because my intrinsic nature doesn't like clutter and although fragrance may be seen as a luxury to some, it is a necessity for the connoisseur, but only that which provides utility in our lives.
    Last edited by Scentologist; 14th February 2010 at 03:50 AM.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  19. #19
    Hollandaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Late-Hit View Post
    Actually, I read some of your previous posts (very enjoyable!) and so I know that you are on a quest

    Can you still count your collection on two hands?
    Yup, 4 bottles as of now. If I sell my YSL L'Homme, then 3. I'm working on doing a gauntlet of testing to get something else I'll stick with. I've been taking years on and off, here and there, to figure out what I want out of a wardrobe. Either I do spend a lot of money on a bottle or I can find some gems that even regular people find reasonably priced. I'm just going by JaimeB's tagline under his handle name, "I just want to smell good". Just like how I don't believe in finding the perfect woman, I don't believe in holy grails. Part of the fun for a lot of people is chasing perfection, even though it's impossible. It's the thrill of the chase.

    Everyone's learning one way or another and at their own paces. We just hang out here to share those experiences just in case someone else is in the same position they are. There will be a bottle or two in my life time where I'm like, "I have to get this to wear it a lot. I love this stuff." I'm trying to be open minded lately and eventually get into classics just to understand how the fragrance industry's progressed in the past several decades. The old school stuff probably won't fit my style nor will I feel right wearing it, but at least my nose will get to sniff some history around here. Those "old man/grandpa" scents could be the blueprints for some of the modern stuff I feel comfortable wearing now.

  20. #20

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I consider my self to be someone that likes to smell good. I don't have a lot of scents (6 bottles) but the ones I do have I have taken a lot of time to choose. A collector? I'm not sure if 6 bottles makes me a collector. A connoisseur maybe. Obsessed? Potentially.

  21. #21

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I think a lot of us are a little of both. I certainly am. I've got some Patou Pour Homme, Windsor and Vintage Tabarome, but two of my constant favorites are Rive Gauche PH and Verasce L'Homme, neither of which are pricey or hard to get.

  22. #22
    Hollandaze's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
    I consider my self to be someone that likes to smell good. I don't have a lot of scents (6 bottles) but the ones I do have I have taken a lot of time to choose. A collector? I'm not sure if 6 bottles makes me a collector. A connoisseur maybe. Obsessed? Potentially.
    That was my problem at first. The instant gratification of settling for something that's remotely to my liking. I didn't have enough patience to thoroughly think each of my purchases through. There hasn't been many bottles during my time here that I've felt I can wear for years and I'm just starting to understand that with Bulgari Aqua. I may not name drop something obscure or something that costs a lot for internet points. Just whatever I feel I can afford at the moment to enjoy greatly and feel very comfortable wearing. If only I had put in as much time into buying each bottle as I did picking out the right pair of basketball sneakers at the Nike Outlet to play hoops in, I would have tried many other things before spending my money on the next flavor of the week/month.

  23. #23

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    My wardrobe is a little dysfunctional at the moment. Less than half are things I regularly wear, yet a number I have no intention of giving up - Iquitos, Success, Ebene - because I do still like them and they're discontinued, even though I know I'm only going to wear them every other month or so.

  24. #24
    Dependent

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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Collector + Enthusiast = Me.

  25. #25

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I'm with Rawk Lee: regular guy looking for nice scents.
    Last edited by Spray; 14th February 2010 at 04:44 AM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    Collector + Enthusiast = Me.
    So very well put!

    The enthusiast in me makes me appreciate cheapies as much as i do costly niche offerings. The research is educating. The hunt, discovery and eventual "capture" is a thrill. The wearing and enjoyment all day, a feeling i don't want to be without.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    Can I be both?
    Some of us might just be multi-faceted: collector, connoisseur, researcher... just plain passionate about scent... That might apply to a number of people I have known on these boards.

    Don't leave us languishing on Procrustes's bed.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 14th February 2010 at 05:50 AM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  28. #28

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Late-Hit View Post

    Do you ever buy 'women's' fragrances?
    I don't judge by gender tags, I buy what I think it artistically beautiful and simply good-smelling. My male:female:unisex ratio is 2:2:1.
    If fragrance has a gender, so does all art.

  29. #29

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Late-Hit View Post

    Do you ever buy 'women's' fragrances?
    You can do a search on this topic and have many days worth of reading entertainment.

  30. #30

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Interesting question.

    I think I'd lean more to the connoisseur side but that doesn't mean to say I don't like having a variety of different fragrances - because I do. There's actually quite a lot of people who blow my mind on Basenotes... having like over 100 fragrances, that's obsessive in my opinion and I personally think there's no point of having that amount of fragrances... especially if you don't use some but I suppose it's about collecting them too which a lot of people like doing. But it works two-ways I suppose... I call people with over 100 fragrances 'obsessive', but at the same time my sister says the same thing about me but I only have 20 fragrances haha.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by perfaddict View Post
    The enthusiast in me makes me appreciate cheapies as much as i do costly niche offerings. The research is educating. The hunt, discovery and eventual "capture" is a thrill. The wearing and enjoyment all day, a feeling i don't want to be without.
    Even better put!

    We are the S A M E.
    Last edited by MFJ; 14th February 2010 at 06:25 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  33. #33

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Not a collector here, but i'd certainly like to think of myself as a connoisseur


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  34. #34

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I guess I'm an even mix of both

  35. #35

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    I just want to smell good.


  36. #36

    Default Re: So who are collectors, and who are connoisseurs?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post

    Don't leave us languishing on Procrustes's bed.
    Ouch! That made me draw up my legs!

    I'm like a shepherd, only I herd bottles and phials. "Come to me bottles!"
    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift;
    that's why they call it the present."

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