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  1. #1
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Prophets of Fragrance.

    I have had a few PM's lately regarding fragrances that the writers want to try but, are put off by some of the professional fragrance critic's negative reviews. I would like to speak to this issue of, do I trust the critics? The answer is NO. I have found that critics are only human; who are predisposed to personal preferances and biases just like we mere mortals. There are two critics here on Base Notes that I find generally represent my likes and dislikes in fragrance and therefore, I give their recomendations some weight in making a decision to buy or not to buy a given fragrance; their names shall remain undisclosed. So, rather here on Base Notes or critics from the press I reserve the unltimate decision based on testing of a fragrance to me; this too should be your way. No matter how much a critic is held in esteem it is you that has to wear and enjoy the fragrance so, take responsibility, realize that we learn from our mistakes, and that the process is truly enjoyable. Of course for the real gambler there is the blind buy which, I find intensely enjoyable but, not always rewarding. What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by N_Tesla; 9th May 2010 at 10:01 PM.

  2. #2

    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Great topic!

    Some of the prophets are wise and visionary. Some are madmen and fools. Some are all of the above.

    I look to their observations and reasoning, then blend them with my own, and point the whole equation to my own desires, with unflinching honesty to the self. In this way, I found true love in a Chanel that Turin kicked to the curb for honest reasons. And I have avoided esteemed classics which do not speak to my heart.

    To borrow from Jaime's signature quote...

    Let fragrance be loved, even if the sky should fall.
    * * * *

  3. #3

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    I very rarely allow a critic's negative review to prevent me from trying a fragrance.

    On the other hand a critic will sometimes point me towards a fragrance I might have overlooked or unfairly dismissed.

    Whatever the case I make my own decisions. Critics may guide me, but do not decide for me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Nor do I. Just like other "mere mortals" critics have their biases, their predispositions, and their personal reasons for liking or disliking a frag.

    Blind buys have always worked for me, because I take from reviews what I like and leave the rest. Whether Luca or Chandler love it or hate it, if I like it, that's what matters.
    Actias luna's fragrance reviews | Now blogging with AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty at Il Mondo di Odore
    Art: Actias luna's other hobby
    - along with some impromptu "performance writing" here on Basenotes!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    I respect Luca Turin's technical knowledge in the field. That being said, taste is a lot more subjective, and my personal taste is quite removed from his when it comes to many fragrances.

    I've yet to really understand Chandler Burr's connection to fragrance other than a desire to write about it, so that essentially makes him no different than any Basenoter. ( The only thing that troubles me is when he furthers inaccurate technical information about fragrance, and that gets repeated because he's a popular writer, thus creating common misinformation - he's not an expert, so I can forgive the gaffs, but it can get annoying when they proceed into "popular" fragrance culture as facts ).

    Anyone's review should be taken with a grain of salt. If you like it, that's all that counts.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    I enjoy reading the critics reviews. Admit it was reading Turin's comments on Ambre Sultan, Apres l'Ondee which made me want to go buy them.
    Time has passed and I have found his is human like the rest of us and can take his reviews or ignore them if I chose.

    If a fragrance interests me and I cannot get a sample I will read the critics reveiws, but always come to Basenotes and read here and also MUA before making a decision.

    Have to say I have been really lucky with any blind buys I have based on the above.
    Personal taste always plays a very large part in reviews, a critic might have a totally different skin chemistery to me so what smells fabulous to them might smell like dog doo on me.

  7. #7
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    kbe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    There are those critics of food, wine, literature etc. whose taste seems more in line than others with my own. I tend to rely on their description for unknowns, at least to the point of my trying whatever it is they recommend or dismiss whenever practical. With the myriad of fragrances out there I would rather have a trusted someone's idea of good and evil under my belt before I challenge the new beast.
    Last edited by kbe; 10th May 2010 at 12:24 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    I find reading the critcs interesting and informative -- it's helped me develop a vocabulary to think about scent with. It's really helped me identify things that I might like, or that I "should" smell in order to understand the art of perfumery. But if something smells wonderful to me, I'm not going to decide I'm wrong to enjoy it because someone else despises it!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    I don't take the opinions of critics into account at all. I think it's interesting to read someone's take on a fragrance though since we all perceive fragrance differently and have a different sets of experiences that affect our perception. I like reading member reviews as well. There will of course be reviewers whose tastes happen to coincide more closely with my own and that may give me the push to move a fragrance up or down on the list of scents I want to try. I want to find out for myself whether I like something, testing new things is half the fun.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Quote Originally Posted by noggs View Post
    I very rarely allow a critic's negative review to prevent me from trying a fragrance.

    On the other hand a critic will sometimes point me towards a fragrance I might have overlooked or unfairly dismissed.

    Whatever the case I make my own decisions. Critics may guide me, but do not decide for me.
    I am the same way.....this is a Fantastic topic.....I sample and get my Honey's opinion.....This is a Great topic N_Tesla!!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Anybody can name himself an expert and just waffle about personal preferences.

    "profesional" about what? sniffing perfumes? that's silly.

    another ridiculous term "sniffeuse" ...really got ne laughing to read that the first time.

    P.S.- wine/water and so on tasting have some basis to it, that makes it possible to comment in a neutral, objective way. This is not possible with perfumes.

    P.S.2- and NOBOBDY ever learns from prophets anyway. They all go to waste,wether if true or false their prophecies, they have the same destiny- nobody cares about what they say, it's just curiosity, at most.
    Last edited by w3pearl; 10th May 2010 at 09:53 PM.
    "Diego: Why did you do that? you could've died trying to rescue me.
    Manfred: That's what you do in a herd: you look out for each other. " (Ice Age)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Reading reviews for new perspectives or suggestions re: what to try next can be very worthwhile - but once YOU know how you feel about a scent, there's no need to take LT's opinion personally until he invites you to dinner and you need to decide what to wear.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Prophets of Fragrance.

    Oooh, dinner chez Luca would be mind boggling! I could NEVER decide what to wear for fear of being the first course!

    I like to read critic's and members reviews, but my real test is my skin and nose!


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