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  1. #1

    Default What makes *trend*?

    A reviewer said "this is a modern fragrance" It's for people who like what's modern, not something that smells "mature" or like your father's generation wants to smell. He stressed modern a few times, indicating that the word meant strong approval. (He was reviewing a current scent on most every fragrance counter.)

    We've had loads of regular "young guys understand this!" versus "old man" threads and I want to make a challenge to readers and posters to try to avoid that old saw/rut. What I want to ask is what you think causes a new trend, what brings about the new vogue that makes the ardent argument?

    What causes trend? Why does our time apparently call for or demand a certain smell? Does the air smell different from the 1930s and thus need a different olfactory counterpoint? Is there something in the firmament of the world we walk around in that causes and insists on a specific genre of smell?

    There is trend, to be sure, and there is trendy, and I'm sure I'm not immune any more than anyone else, but my question is what do you think causes the creation of something with the institutional power of "this is a modern fragrance"? Why is this period of commercial scent manufacture so rigid?

    For me it's like Juliet's line about Romeo's last names. Non-Modern could just as well be substituted for Modern:

    "O Modern, Modern! wherefore art thou Modern?
    Deny thy father and refuse thy name!
    Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
    ...
    "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
    Thou art thyself, though not a Modern.
    What is Modern? It is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
    What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.
    So Modern would, were he not Modern called,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Modern, doff thy name;
    And for that name, which is no part of thee,
    Take all myself."

    I don't only see a name game, I think it's deeper than that, but I want to ask how you account for the deeper part: what causes trend?
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    This may seem snarky, but I think corporate marketing departments cause trend. I'm sure it's easier for companies to make various riffs on a single scent theme, than to continually invest energy in creating the new.

    If a company can convince consumers that virtually identical scents that follow the same formula are cutting edge and hip, and people buy them without concern for uniqueness, why wouldn't they actively reinforce trends?

    I don't think it's coincidence that perfume trends have solidified as business strategies like market targeting and segmentation, cost-cutting through economies of scale, etc. (all aiming toward efficiency and easy profit) have become more sophisticated and purposeful.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 25th February 2010 at 07:48 PM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  3. #3

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    DustB, people define a fragrance as 'old' or 'old-fashioned' because in their past they have smelled it and they unconsciously think about that period of time, which is in the past and indeed it's old. This thing happened to me on Paco Rabanne PH, but it's all just a mind trick, after you tell yourself that fragrances don't have age, you'll eliminate "modern"/"old" adjectives from a fragrance review/impression.
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Just as with other "trends" in the marketing world (clothing, automobiles, perfumes, etc.), I think modern consumer "trend" denotes whatever is being pushed by the major manufacturers and bought by the public at large.

    For the first step, I think trends start out fresh and new (often, in reality, really old ideas that have been forgotten) and taken up by the populace as desirable and being "in."

    The next step is the the mass consumption phase. The third and last phase is when people tire of the trend. In 10 years, the fashion/trend is "hideous."

    Some people see old man/old lady scents (those wonderful vintages!) as hideous while preferring what is "in" and therefore "smart."

    This is really a short perfume take on the fashion historian's rundown called "Laver's Law," after the great clothing historian James Laver. (Scroll down.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Laver
    Last edited by Primrose; 25th February 2010 at 07:54 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I think there is a restless desire for the new in people. We're fickle - we want something different, but not too different. I think mainstream marketing trends can appeal to this sense of new without ever actually delivering something new by new advertising, a new name, a new bottle. Even if the juice is identical, its newness is only half a lie, as a fragrance is about more than just the juice, and is as much about image as anything.

    For a truly "fair" fragrance market based on the virtues of the scent, it would be best for all companies to sell fragrances unlabeled in identical bottles - and where's the fun in that?

    Still, trends can come from all sorts of sources in fragrance. Often the discovery of a new aromachemical sees it being used ( or overused, depending on your taste ), in a whole number of new releases. I believe the current oud-sanity is caused by a reasonably priced synthetic oud, though probably the appeal of the exotic plays a part, too. Other times fragrance may follow general fashion trends - it's hard not seeing the hard-edged, aggressive fashion the '80s being related to the powerscents of the decade. In terms of environmental factors, far more people smoked a half-century ago, and I can't imagine that not effecting tastes in fragrances.
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 25th February 2010 at 08:42 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    "Trend" emerges from one of two things in my eyes:

    1. New innovation
    2. Reinvention

    "New trends" seem to be a new innovation or invention (ipods, cabbage-patch dolls, Harry Potter), whereas "Reinvented trends" are those in which we reach back into our past and re-interpret and revive the modes and biases of yesteryear (Hollywood glam, Converse sneakers, pearl necklaces).
    As far as the term "modern" is concerned - I feel its not necessarily always a good thing... "modern" can be interpreted as "naïve", "fleeting" and "experimental" as much as it can be considered "contemporary" and "to-the-minute".
    In perfumery, the term "modern" is thrown around much like the term "fresh"; an attempt to remove itself from the familiar and traditional. Often though, the "traditional" has withstood the test of time for a very good reason. Unless there is INNOVATION thrown in the mix, I tend to shun most scents labelled as "modern" and opt for the respectable conventional ones.

    "Modern" is a buzzword when applied to perfumery.
    "Trend" is simply a term used to try and label a movement or inclination.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    The opposite of the "fresh trend" in marketing is the word "classic."

    "Classic" implies that it is not new, has been around a long time, and is still worthy of admiration.
    Last edited by Primrose; 25th February 2010 at 11:35 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    how do i come to a conclusion on whether a scent smells old/modern?

    Well, the way i look at it, we have come a long way in terms of every aspect of technology and; innovation has scaled new heights. the same is applicable in the field of perfumery.

    To my mind, scents that smell "old" contain certain aromachemicals that have been refined over the years and we currently are used to the newer perfumes. Hence, comments such as this scent smells old or from another era is common. i mean, it's not a bad thing to say our folks were from the Led Zep Era. also, it doesnt mean a scent is "bad" or dated coz of the same. Like Led Zep, there are different ways one would look at this band. younger generation would find Led Zep to be cool to dated...it depends on an individuals taste...

    When it comes to setting a trend, it;s purely on the merit of the product - L'Air, Black Oudh, Green Irish Tweed, Incense series et al..
    Last edited by jenson; 25th February 2010 at 09:15 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    The core of the art in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection is over 75 years old. It is modern art, but to a 30 year old it surely looks very old man.

    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 26th February 2010 at 01:14 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    It's an intriguing question and if I knew the answer I'd be a billionaire. While the "forces of consumer capitalism" unquestionably push trends on consumers it has always proven impossible to predict which trends will spark and go mega. I suppose sociologists working with chaos theory and models of self-organization may have some interesting theories. I can only imagine it involves an extremely complex interaction of producers, traditional (magazines) and new (blogs) gatekeepers, consumer/fan networks (basenotes), socio-cultural and economic factors and frameworks, and, of course, coincidences. Cultural historians have it easier, as in hindsight, trends appear more easily (but perhaps deceptively) as parts of larger, recognizable patterns - Tabac Blonde and similar "transgressive" scents as an incarnation of a new type of woman in the 1920s, to use a rather simplistic example.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I think when people realize, "Oh hey, Iris (per example) isn't really just for old florals, its so good we could FEATURE IT!!!!"
    or when people rediscover a structure, create, or publicize one (Rose+Aoud, Incense/Woody, Aquatic etc.)
    or when an innovative, new, extraordinarily good, or out of the ordinary fragrance is widely well-received and highly successful, a trend starts.
    If fragrance has a gender, so does all art.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I think it Has a lot to do with Marketing. Especially with Celebrities

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I see the point made by responders to this thread about marketing, chasing after money, and so on. I, too, feel that this is one important aspect of what drives the fragrance industry. I gripe, and bitch, and moan about it, and I keep buying a lot of OK or not-so-great stuff, thereby supporting the money-grubbing, venal side of the industry.

    That said, I also think that there's another factor in all this, and that's that art thrives on innovation.

    A lot of artistic activity is about discovery: discovery of new ideas, new methods, new materials. Folks like Symrise and the other synthetics and aromachemicals outfits are providing lots of fodder to perfumers. Then with every new material comes the challenge to see how it can be made to fit into existing formulas, how it can be used to twist them, what can be done to drum up a demand for scents that employ it.

    The last great wave of this was the Aquatic Revolution of the 1990s. There's a new one on the horizon that's coming about as a result of IFRA restrictions on naturals and the search for alternative ways to mimic naturals without using as much of them. The value of this project is great in terms of money for the synthetics labs, but I think it will also be a great impetus to the noses to widen the old genres and add to them. I have thought about chypres without much oakmoss, like Moss Breches, and tried to wrap my mind around the question of what other bitter, resinous notes could replace it and its function in chypres. So far, it seems cistus labdanum is retreating, patchouli advancing, and a bunch of new "trial" notes appearing to try to rebalance the traditional chypre accord, either in the direction of restoring something to it, or morphing it into a related, but distinct "modern" vibe.

    To the extent that oakmoss fulfills a similar function in fougères, there is a similar movement there. The rise of the "aromatic" fougères in the 1970s was the last movement in this genre. Now people are talking about "modern" fougères which seem to feature metallic notes or "fizzy" notes, like Fuel for Men or Dirty English. Some of these try to incorporate elements that hark back to the older fougères, while others twist on the theme and push it in new directions.

    And the orientals that in the 1990s were morphing into gourmands are now looking at novel combinations, too. Gourmands with herbals, inky vetivers, where "inedible" notes (as Luca Turin calls them) creep into the foody, sweetish first-wave gourmands. How about aging them in whiskey or cognac barrels? Voilà, Liqueurs de Parfum!

    Ideas, materials, methods. Vacuum distillation, supercritical solvent extraction, Mane's molecular distillation rose, synthesizing truffle notes, oud notes... A field day for the creative artist, the aroma chemist, the technophile.

    Maybe all this is what is making "trend" at the creative level of the fragrance industry today.

    BTW, this is a great thread, in my opinion just the kind of thing we should see more of on the Men's Fragrance board.

    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th February 2010 at 09:15 AM.
    Yr good bud,

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    "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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  14. #14

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post

    BTW, this is a great thread, in my opinion just the kind of thing we should see more of on the Men's Fragrance board.

    Can I gedda Hallelujah?!

  15. #15

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    At its most elementary a trend is a shift, or a totally new paradigm.

    A trend that stands the test of time will not be dismissed in the future as something just "temporarily popular". Some trends whilst shortlived have a great impact, others just fizz.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    To me it's all a very simple, yet highly subjective choice: in my opinion, just understated and timeless class and elegance of a frag creates trends, period.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I think of trends as reactive crowd behavior, like the audience wave. Participation without leaving your seat, the politics of the mob. I dislike the comfort of trends and prefer the raw beauty of existential dilemma.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 26th February 2010 at 03:20 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    JaimeB, I like what you're saying above, and I agree that there are many fragrances that push the boundaries and use modern synthetics to great effect. However, I think that this select population of scents represents the creative minority, not the the trend. The trend seems to be the use of synthetics not for the artful recasting of great accords, but for automaton scents for mass consumption.

    However, I suppose successful creative minority scents spark trends, and are exploited, to the annoyance of Basenoters. The upper echelon gets mimicked for profit until the next big, new, creative scent comes out, and the whole thing starts over.


    Also, I realize that I'm defining "trend" a little superficially. While some might see the trend as "the unprecedented use of modern aromachemicals" (which is valid and maybe not a bad thing), I am defining "trend" as "the current flurry of calone-infused bland woody crap."

    It's the short term trend that I grow impatient with.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  19. #19

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    Can I gedda Hallelujah?!

    Hallelujah!!!
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 26th February 2010 at 03:56 PM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I think of trends as reactive crowd behavior, like the audience wave. Participation without leaving your seat, the politics of the mob. I dislike the comfort of trends and prefer the raw beauty of existential dilemma.
    Sounds very Heideggerian of you. I suppose I should recall one of the quotations in my own Basenotes posts signature, the last one: "Multitudo non est sequenda."
    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th February 2010 at 03:58 PM.
    Yr good bud,

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    "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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  21. #21

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Sounds very Heideggerian of you. I suppose I should recall one of the quotations in my own Basenotes posts signature, the last one: "Multitudo non est sequenda."
    I'm enjoying my existential dilemma with Oudh Lacquer today.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I'm enjoying my existential dilemma with Oudh Lacquer today.
    Kewl! If I weren't a such a g*ddamn philosopher, I'd be jealous!
    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th February 2010 at 04:05 PM.
    Yr good bud,

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  23. #23

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Kewl! If I weren't a such a g*ddamn philosopher, I'd be jealous!
    From what I've read, you'll soon be livin' in Soivohle, too.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by trapper View Post
    DustB, people define a fragrance as 'old' or 'old-fashioned' because in their past they have smelled it and they unconsciously think about that period of time, which is in the past and indeed it's old. This thing happened to me on Paco Rabanne PH, but it's all just a mind trick, after you tell yourself that fragrances don't have age, you'll eliminate "modern"/"old" adjectives from a fragrance review/impression.
    well put

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    From what I've read, you'll soon be livin' in Soivohle, too.
    A Stoic would piously expect the worst, so as not to be disappointed if it were to fail to satisfy, and to derive some suitably placid pleasure if it did. I try not to anticipate at all: It will come when it comes, and it will be what it is. My only objective interest in the matter is the money (my labor) which I wagered on the outcome.

    With so many gentlemen of refined taste singing its praises, it might turn out to be good after all... Videbimus.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th February 2010 at 11:16 PM.
    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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  26. #26
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    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    JaimeB, I like what you're saying above, and I agree that there are many fragrances that push the boundaries and use modern synthetics to great effect. However, I think that this select population of scents represents the creative minority, not the the trend. The trend seems to be the use of synthetics not for the artful recasting of great accords, but for automaton scents for mass consumption.

    However, I suppose successful creative minority scents spark trends, and are exploited, to the annoyance of Basenoters. The upper echelon gets mimicked for profit until the next big, new, creative scent comes out, and the whole thing starts over.


    Also, I realize that I'm defining "trend" a little superficially. While some might see the trend as "the unprecedented use of modern aromachemicals" (which is valid and maybe not a bad thing), I am defining "trend" as "the current flurry of calone-infused bland woody crap."

    It's the short term trend that I grow impatient with.
    I am fervently hoping that the reign of King Calone (methylbenzodioxypinone) is within sight of its end. I like to call it by its chemical name; it captures the feel of it so much better than the bland trade monicker, don't you think?
    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th February 2010 at 11:27 PM.
    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!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    Male irato ferrum committitur.
    It is an evil thing to arm an angry man.
    —Seneca

  27. #27

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I really thank you guys for all the thoughts. There are too many in a way.

    I've got to agree with the wisdom in so many ways: chemical innovation spurs thrend, as JaimeB's posts suggest, and the consumer's craving for something new, and the industrial need to advertise to cause a need for the new.

    Also, like Trapper does indeed put it well, we're sort of born into the cauldron of the smells of our time and they're the ones that sort of make sense to us (if Trapper will allow me to take the liberty of adapting the phrasing of the first part of his post). Previous trends can seem odd from the cauldron we happen to be born into.

    But you know, I've just got a hard luck love/hate relationship with trend and it only irks me.

    I love to think in terms of trend because part of the rich thing about scent collection and scent love is to be able to go smell an old scent and realize that it was of its trend in its day, and that that trend reflected what the people of the time thought, in this forum's case, what a man should smell like. How rich and full of experience it is to think of Guerlain's Vetiver or Givenchy Monsieur created in the late 1950s! Think that I today can tap into that with a sniff and think of people then saying "this is the bees knees, pal, fire up the Studebaker and let's paint the town red tonight!"

    So I love trend and what trend can tell me about a different time and take delight in reaching back, sort of, every day. And I wish I could get a glimmer of why people shifted, back then, to suddenly say those things aren't good enough for them any more. Now they needed Habit Rouge, say. I guess it's the same way Jenson says Led Zep doesn't turn over the next generation the same way. But also, in contrast to what Trapper said, I really don't think that with scent we get too used to and repulsed by the previous generation's birth scent cauldron. I might smell one other person's scent each day if I'm lucky. The scents of the previous cauldron aren't floating all around us and we get sick of them and need our own. We can all sing along with our parents' Led Zep because we've heard it so many times on the radio, but it's not that way with scents: we don't smell the previous zeitgeist as we walk out the door and get to know it so intimately. Further, if my dad and his dad, and uncles and everyone wore scents of their times I'm inclined to like those scents for that reason rather than need punk rock louder than Zep. So I don't think we instinctively, tangibly, and in full exact knowledge, know and know to reject, the previous cauldron.

    Alas, though, we do crave our very own cauldron's scents, and we have powerful visceral reactions of love for those we discovered in our own learning time's scent cauldron.

    It's so neat to cross trends. I wrote something up a while ago that said Sisley's Eau du Soir was something that your grandparents would understand, and that I thought it was very cool as a result.

    On the other side I hate and am so bothered by "trend." What makes a scent so proprietary to a birth-scent cauldron? Wouldn't we all be a part of a different scent cauldron if we were born at different times? (But still we so easily cross cauldrons). What makes our minds force our minds to believe a scent belongs to a certain cauldron, when it's just a smell, and neither hand, nor foot, nor thing of its nature that makes it have to belong. Why is this so powerfully grafted on to a scent, like it's 1965 and now you've got to have Habit Rouge; that Vetiver from the house, that's so passe!

    When I wear scents from 50 or 60 years ago the people who smell them on me don't think of them as dated, when I ask them. They think of them in terms of whether or not they like them. These smellers seem to see the smell as today's possibility since I'm wearing it today. When we talk scents they don't kibitz about crossing paths with anyone who smelled of some other time either. (The usual issue is whether anyone wore "too much.")

    Forgive me, I ramble. Much better thoughts in replies above this post. Thanks to all contributors!
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    When I wear scents from 50 or 60 years ago the people who smell them on me don't think of them as dated, when I ask them. They think of them in terms of whether or not they like them. These smellers seem to see the smell as today's possibility since I'm wearing it today.
    Thanks for the ramble DB, rambles are always very human.
    When I wear an oldie like Shalimar, I'm always aware of the fact it's a new version based on an old photograph and not actually an old scent. I love visiting this store on 42nd Street near Grand Central called 42nd Street Perfumerie, they have all the old designer classics that are still in production, but are too out of fashion for stores like Sephora. Of course most of them have been reformulated over the years, but it's fascinating and comforting to know that they're still being produced for the devoted fans.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 27th February 2010 at 06:03 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Relatively recent bestsellers set trends. Think CK Eternity and Acqua di Gio. If the market wants something, smart businesses will deliver. Don't be sad, just save your money; there's always niche and oldies.
    Last edited by Spray; 27th February 2010 at 07:13 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    RUGGLES, I love that Store on 42nd Street also

  31. #31

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Kewl! If I weren't a such a g*ddamn philosopher, I'd be jealous!
    JaimeB, I expect to be firmly in the camp of the Epicureans as I await my sample of Tobacco and Tulle...
    Last edited by Primrose; 27th February 2010 at 06:14 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  32. #32

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Great thread DustB. This is why I missed you during your long absense.

    To the question at hand and I hope I am answering this correctly:

    I think Chandler Burr's book The Perfect Scent and Cathy Newman's The Art and Science of Scent have had a firm influence on how I feel about this matter. Panic in the corperate office's causes trend. Best selling fragrance causes trend. The panic to "catch up" with those best selling fragrances ( on the market) causes trend.

    Also, its sociological ( I think this is the correct term?). Is it appropriate to wear a certain type of fragrance considering things like the Aids issue in the 1980s ( loud fragrances). Or even is it apporpriate to wear a fragrance like Lauder for Men when it may be percieved as "unclean" smelling. I sometimes feel there is a social pressure to not wear alot of fragrances. But my age forces me into feeling this pressure as well ( I'l blame my age )
    Last edited by Surfacing; 27th February 2010 at 06:15 PM. Reason: spelling
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge, Concentré D'Orange Verte...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

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    Please PM me !

  33. #33

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Just dropping by to express my appreciation for this really interesting, thoughtful thread. I've thought about this for a couple days and have concluded that I really don't know what creates a trend. The related question of what creates not marketing trends but taste is--or so I imagine--a little bit easier for me to get at. The culture's sense of gender roles and 'nature' and 'clean' and 'sexy' and 'refined' change and scent attempts to express those things as they change. A cultural history written through fragrance would be really interesting.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Trends: Here's my Marxist Theory interpretation: Trends are overt or subliminal manipulations of the market place to create awareness of new or surplus commodities. Vogue magazine, for instance, creates trends by featuring fashion stories that define the season at hand's creations. But what Vogue doesn't show you is that their editorial choices are based on who advertises in Vogue. Those Chanel No. 5 ads pay off in dividends when it comes to getting editorial pages.
    There will be a few non-advertisers that get editorial coverage, usually small companies that are actually innovators, but the majority of the clothing featured in their editorials will be Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Prada, etc.
    So I would say it's the media: print, movie, TV and web-based, who are behind creating most of the Trends.
    Word of mouth and niche trends are the free laboratories for all the corporate players. If you create an interesting new product independently that has a good business plan you will surely be bought out by the big guys.
    Such is life.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 27th February 2010 at 09:22 PM.

  35. #35

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    I think it's a pretty complex topic with a lot of good insights here. I think a lot of it is driven by the biggest mainstream department store designers. Armani, CK, for a time RL develop scents, advertise them like crazy, and they get snapped up and sell well. Then other perfumers follow suit with frags in the same "arena." The question I want answered is what drives the perfumer to create something like AdG, or Dior Homme?

    Someone far better versed in male frag history than I could probably point to a handful of designer frags that then shaped many many subsequent offerings.
    Last edited by StylinLA; 27th February 2010 at 11:44 PM.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    The question I want answered is what drives the perfumer to create something like AdG, or Dior Homme?
    I work with high end clothing designers in product development. A new collection always starts with the choice of fabrics, the sketches/designs come afterwards. There is an international fabric show in Paris, PREMIÈRE VISION, twice a year, in February and September, it's the first stop in designing a collection. All the nest season's planned fabric trends and innovations are shown to the designers/stylists there; the colors trends of the season are also dictated by the fabric houses at these expositions. This is why all the clothes in the fashion shows in New York, London, Paris or Milan, have the same cohesion to them.
    Annual and bi-annual trade shows exist for all major industries. In industrial/technological societies trends are started by the suppliers. Whether a trend catches on with the public is another story.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 28th February 2010 at 12:24 AM.

  37. #37

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    In industrial/technological societies trends are started by the suppliers. Whether a trend catches on with the public is another story.
    Yes, but the suppliers also start somewhere. I know someone who is a consultant/trend watcher and she works for textile manufacturers among other things. It's really a chicken/egg situation to pinpoint where and how trends are born, isn't it? They come from the streets, the media, manufacturers and they filter upwards, downwards and sideways...

  38. #38

    Default Re: What makes *trend*?

    Quote Originally Posted by tott View Post
    Yes, but the suppliers also start somewhere..
    You're absolutely right, it's the classic chicken/egg analogy.

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