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  1. #1

    Default Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    LT calls them "foghorns." So what? Just use less! The question, it seems to me, is: were the heights of the "masculine" designer frag attained in the 1980s? Just search the BN directory for masculine frags that were first marketed between 1985 and 1990, for example. And that won't even turn up JHL or Oscar Pour Lui, which came out earlier in the decade! Havana was a bit late to the party, but that's still more than 15 years ago (1994). So why didn't LT notice this? Instead, he complained about how pathetic masculine frags are (and have been, historically), dismissing the 1980s with the proverbial wave of the hand! I've been exploring these frags over the last couple of months, and I am quite impressed with these frags: the naturalism, the construction, the balance, the dynamism, etc. And of course the sillage and longevity are usually outstanding. But there's another very important point: they are quite diverse too, that is, not all of them are "lavender bombs." And even those with large amounts of lavender up top often have a drydown where the lavender fades into the background, or is hardly detectable any more. Thoughts ?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th June 2010 at 03:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    In general I have to agree with Turin that men's fragrances have, at least in the past, been "pathetic" creations compared to the quality of ingredients and care in balancing fragrances marketed toward women. Notice I said in general as there are some very good fragrances pour homme out there. The vast majority of purchasers has been women so competition for sales prompted better quality scents. The tide is now turning to some extent as the appreciation of fragrance by men is becoming more sophisticated and fragrance gender barriers are beginning to dissolve. There is a much higher rate of crossover purchases for classic fragrances that, though marketed to women, are perfectly appropriate for men. Mens fragrances are getting better but the movement toward unisex fragrances is inexorably making progress.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Well, I have quite a few "women's" frags now, including some "classics," and I don't find them to be all that interesting, especially when compared to some of the 80s "men's" frags. In particular, there are rarely any "gutsy" notes in the base, other than in chypres, of course, which basically have "unisex" drydowns anyway. And even with chypres, I prefer Pheromone for men by Miglin to Mitsouko, Bandit, etc. What impresses me the most about many 80s "men's" frags is how they can have so many notes, remain "legible," be "natural," etc., along with having "gutsy" base notes. Expensive "niche" frags are boring to me, by comparison, as well. The only thing that comes close that was made recently is Cumming the Fragrance, though of course there are plenty I have yet to try, unless you include Michael for Men, though I think that is a bit lacking in the "naturalness" department.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th June 2010 at 04:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    If the subject is the high-grade of 1980s scent creations, you betcha, I'm in full and complete agreement about their value! Bring them on and bring them back, oh yeah! JHL, I'm glad you call out, Bigsly, is what Zeus wears. Quorum? Mars wears that. Apollo wears Kouros. Hephaestus wears Aramis. Fahrenheit is on Hermes/Mercury. Amazing stuff all. The guts on these and the other 80s big-vision scents are wonderfully out there, Bigsly, and I'm entirely with you.

    As to LT's judgment, that's less important to me. Some things don't work for him I guess. No loss.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    LT seems to think that such frags were "neither here nor there" (I think he called them lungfish) or basically "women's" frags with some lavender up top to make them seem "masculine" (like Heritage). I may agree with his assessment of frags like Heritage, but what about a frag like Montana Parfum d'Homme? My guess is that for some reason he found them to violate an unwritten rule of perfumery. Otherwise, I can't understand why "men's" frag get such "bad press" in his "Guide" book, with so many of these frags not discussed (or not discussed positively). Does anyone disagree with me that LT gives the reader a sense that "men's" frags are quite unappealing, with just a few exceptions, in that book?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th June 2010 at 04:50 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Doesn't Turin give a lot of top marks to the powerhouse fragrances from the 70s and 80s?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Well, there's a difference, IMO, between frags that are simpler than the ones I'm talking about. Antaeus, for example, might be a "powerhouse," but it's not as complex. My point is that getting all those notes to work well together and remain legible, smell "natural," have good dynamism, etc., is quite an accomplishment, one which he simply never acknowledged. If I were to write a fragrance guide of some sort, these kinds of frags might be the "stars of the show," rather than frags like Mitsouko, which might be important for the development of "modern" frags, but I can't consider as being on the same level of accomplishment (though if you want to argue that these were necessary "stepping stone" frags, I would not disagree).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Just a quick interjection: I don't think there is any direct correlation between the listed number of notes and the complexity of the fragrance. I am sure that there are any number of cases where fragrances with less listed notes actually utilize more chemicals/notes than those with more listed notes.

    I always found it funny that people thought Antidote was complex simply because of the notes list. I mean, one scent might list "amber" in the base, while the other might list every note that goes into the amber accord "opoponax, myrrh, benzoin, patchouli, vanilla, tolu balsam, etc." The one that merely lists amber may actually have a far more complex amber accord. Who knows? This can be true of any and all notes. "Carnation" as a note, may be a combination of many things, and may not feature any carnation absolute at all. I remember Scentophile stating that there was one highly regarded vetiver fragrance that doesn't use any vetiver at all.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 4th June 2010 at 05:34 AM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    That's why I used the term "legible," in reference to the many notes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I don't really care what LT likes or dislikes. I love many things about the 80s, including men's fragrances - much better than the long list of "anti-fragrances" that followed.
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Well, there's a difference, IMO, between frags that are simpler than the ones I'm talking about. Antaeus, for example, might be a "powerhouse," but it's not as complex. My point is that getting all those notes to work well together and remain legible, smell "natural," have good dynamism, etc., is quite an accomplishment, one which he simply never acknowledged. If I were to write a fragrance guide of some sort, these kinds of frags might be the "stars of the show," rather than frags like Mitsouko, which might be important for the development of "modern" frags, but I can't consider as being on the same level of accomplishment (though if you want to argue that these were necessary "stepping stone" frags, I would not disagree).
    Bigsly, I think you're an interesting critic and I think your guidebook of fragrance reviews and criticism will be very interesting.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    If the subject is the high-grade of 1980s scent creations, you betcha, I'm in full and complete agreement about their value! Bring them on and bring them back, oh yeah! JHL, I'm glad you call out, Bigsly, is what Zeus wears. Quorum? Mars wears that. Apollo wears Kouros. Hephaestus wears Aramis. Fahrenheit is on Hermes/Mercury. Amazing stuff all. The guts on these and the other 80s big-vision scents are wonderfully out there, Bigsly, and I'm entirely with you.

    As to LT's judgment, that's less important to me. Some things don't work for him I guess. No loss.
    Very wise words!

    The thing with opinions such as Turin's is that while they may have "authority" they are not neccessarily always correct.

    Personally, the 80s was the zenith of men's mainstream frags. And my nose is still stuck in the 80s
    Last edited by perfaddict; 4th June 2010 at 06:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    LT is really good at pushing buttons. At the end of the day, he's just a another guy with an opinion.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Yeah, I thought Turin had lots of love for big '80s scents like Azzaro, Aramis Tuscany, and the original Fahrenheit, among others, not to mention the feminine equivalents (Poison, Opium, Angel, etc). All scored high marks in the Guide.

    I find nothing wrong with such "foghorns", precisely because you can play with the volume, something impossible to achieve with the sheer, watery concoctions of the mid/late-'90s (and beyond). An inherently loud scent like Angel or Drakkar Noir becomes more subdued and intriguing when dialed down. Spray on more L'Eau d'Issey or Light Blue, on the other hand, and you'll just smell like an alcoholic lemon popsicle soaked in Febreze. It's like trying to lighten an underexposed photo: If you've got little to work with, you just end up emphasizing all the sharp edges and noisy haze, and the final image is a wash. But darken a properly exposed photo, one with a lot of contrasts, and you get a more subtle, but still clear, impression.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by subhuman85 View Post
    I find nothing wrong with such "foghorns", precisely because you can play with the volume, something impossible to achieve with the sheer, watery concoctions of the mid/late-'90s (and beyond). An inherently loud scent like Angel or Drakkar Noir becomes more subdued and intriguing when dialed down. Spray on more L'Eau d'Issey or Light Blue, on the other hand, and you'll just smell like an alcoholic lemon popsicle soaked in Febreze. It's like trying to lighten an underexposed photo: If you've got little to work with, you just end up emphasizing all the sharp edges and noisy haze, and the final image is a wash. But darken a properly exposed photo, one with a lot of contrasts, and you get a more subtle, but still clear, impression.
    Exactly! The trick with all the 'powerhouse' fragrances is careful application - the negative image I held of some of these fragrances were from experiencing over-application on others when they were at the height of popularity. For example YSL Kouros (which I now regard as a masterpiece) could be smelled regularly in many UK pubs & nightclubs but almost always the wearer had doused himself in the stuff to the point of being a walking olfactory weapon! It took me many years to leave this association behind and learn to re-appreciate these fine fragrances which when applied in keeping with their strength are nothing short of magical.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I'm sat on the fence and can neither agree nor disagree with LT - I think the 80s represents both the best and the worst of male fragdom (yes, even when comparing the slew of aquatics in the 90s and 00s and all those "classic" frags from the first half of the 20th century that most people wish were still around). Lots of excessive pongy powerhouses lacking the restraint of their 60s and 70s counterparts (I'm looking at you, Boss No. 1), much like the decade in general, but also lots of really interesting invention thanks to the (then) new ease of transporting raw materials around the globe before restrictions and bans started creeping in in the 90s.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by subhuman85 View Post
    Yeah, I thought Turin had lots of love for big '80s scents like Azzaro, Aramis Tuscany, and the original Fahrenheit, among others, not to mention the feminine equivalents (Poison, Opium, Angel, etc). All scored high marks in the Guide.
    Agree.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 4th June 2010 at 12:56 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    farenheit got 2 stars. he liked kouros, versace l'homme, antaues, krizia uomo, dior jules and just a few more. i wish he'd review more older frags that are still available rather than just the new ones the companies sent to him. i think he likes pre 70's perfumery more. but it's all so subjective. i noticed he really likes lavender. what if that's not your favorite note for fresh perfumes? vetiver the best note for woodies?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I find both men's AND women's scents of the '80s to early '90s ( there is some overlap during that time ) to be in general richer, more complex, and often more natural-smelling that what designers offer today. Some of my favorite genres, for example the dark feminine chypres ( things like Ungaro Diva, L'Arte di Gucci, and Rose de Nuit ) were truly products of the era, infrequently found before and almost never found after.

    That being said, there is some truth to the fact that men's releases were often modified variants of women's fragrances. Smell Aramis 900 and Aromatics Elixir for probably the best example of that I can think of.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Bottom line is that, if YOU LIKE the creations from this era ( I truly do), then that's all that matters. I'm as opinionated as Turin, so I can't fault him there. He likes what he likes. We don't have to agree or disagree with him.

    I think masculines will come full circle again, but through the niche houses who seem to have less constraints than their designer counterparts.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I thought that it was about time for another "Hey guys, isn't Luca Turin an idiot?" thread from Bigsly.

    As previous posters have already noted, with specific examples, Turin did not "blow it" regarding 1980s fragrances.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I don't really care what LT likes or dislikes. I love many things about the 80s, including men's fragrances - much better than the long list of "anti-fragrances" that followed.
    JC, I agree. Luca Turin is great at reviewing, but we all need to keep in mind that enjoyment of scent is like the enjoyment of food, wine or art. What someone adores, another abhors.

    How many times have we discarded a bottle scent to a relative of friend who was enraptured?
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I think most of the "non-expert" (non-BN fanatic) crowd gets the impression from the book that aside from a few exception, the 80s were not a good decade for "men's" designer frags, whereas my experience leads me to conclude that the opposite is the case. This is my main point. You can agree or disagree with it. However, if you agree, I think the next logical step is to think that LT made a rather big and incomprehensible error, even if it is just that he doesn't spray less when he tries these frags. It would be nice if he posted here and clarified his position. I really don't care about "showing anyone up," but rather I know he has tremendous knowledge on his subject and I'd just like an explanation.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th June 2010 at 09:20 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Some perspective is needed: The 80s - 10 years out of the roughly 120 that modern perfumery has existed. As Haircut 100 sang in the 80s: ay yay, yay, yay, yah!
    Honestly, I don't think the 80's fragrance mentality ever really went away. Aquatics began in the 80s - New West, Cool Water, they're certainly still with us.
    And the big and loud aesthetic certainly lives on in many of the creations of Maurice Roucel. His Insolence and Lalique pour Homme are quintessential big 80s fragrances, created after the fact.
    There were some good fragrances from the 80s, just like any other decade.
    Turin doesn't single them out for hate or ignore them in The Guide. BTW: Aramis came out in 1965.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 4th June 2010 at 11:21 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    We know a different Luca Turin.

    From The Guide - Not all 80's but close enough. The word "powerhouses" is highly subjective.

    Numbers indicate star ratings:

    Yatagan - 5
    Kouros - 5
    Azzaro pour Homme - 5
    Or Black - 5
    Jules - 4
    Lauder for Men - 4
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme - 4
    Rive Gauche pour Homme - 4
    Bel Ami - 4
    Krizia Uomo - 4
    Halston Z-14 - 4
    Polo - 4
    I can't remember them all right now....

    From various Turin reviews in the 90's:

    Balenciaga pour Homme - 4
    Havana - 4
    Montana Parfum d'Homme - 4
    Givenchy Gentleman in its original formulation - 4
    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui - 4
    Ungaro 1 - 4
    JHL - 4
    Zino Davidoff - 4
    Ted Lapidus pour Homme (1979) - 4
    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme - 4
    Leonard pour Homme - 4
    More when I think of them....................
    Last edited by pluran; 5th June 2010 at 12:15 AM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I think most of the "non-expert" (non-BN fanatic) crowd gets the impression from the book that aside from a few exception, the 80s were not a good decade for "men's" designer frags, whereas my experience leads me to conclude that the opposite is the case. This is my main point. You can agree or disagree with it. However, if you agree, I think the next logical step is to think that LT made a rather big and incomprehensible error, even if it is just that he doesn't spray less when he tries these frags. It would be nice if he posted here and clarified his position. I really don't care about "showing anyone up," but rather I know he has tremendous knowledge on his subject and I'd just like an explanation.
    The book left me with the impression that the 90's were the beginning of weak and bloodless masculines.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    We know a different Luca Turin.

    From The Guide - Not all 80's but close enough. The word "powerhouses" is highly subjective.

    Numbers indicate star ratings:

    Yatagan - 5
    Kouros - 5
    Azzaro pour Homme - 5
    Or Black - 5
    Jules - 4
    Lauder for Men - 4
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme - 4
    Rive Gauche pour Homme - 4
    Bel Ami - 4
    Krizia Uomo - 4
    Halston Z-14 - 4
    Polo - 4
    I can't remember them all right now....

    From various Turin reviews in the 90's:

    Balenciaga pour Homme - 4
    Havana - 4
    Montana Parfum d'Homme - 4
    Givenchy Gentleman in its original formulation - 4
    Oscar de la Renta pour Lui - 4
    Ungaro 1 - 4
    JHL - 4
    Zino Davidoff - 4
    Ted Lapidus pour Homme (1979) - 4
    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme - 4
    Leonard pour Homme - 4
    More when I think of them....................
    Grey Flannel was considered "a masterpiece" in The Guide.

    Tania Sanchez seems to think Jovan Sex Appeal warrants 4 stars. WTF???

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by karlovonamesti View Post
    Tania Sanchez seems to think Jovan Sex Appeal warrants 4 stars. WTF???
    Funny thing is, I bought this with no expectations - in fact negative ones; I thought it would be trash - and found it very enjoyable.

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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    Funny thing is, I bought this with no expectations - in fact negative ones; I thought it would be trash - and found it very enjoyable.
    Yeah it's not a bad scent, but I find it strange that the fragrance made it that far in the ranking. Although she does sort of disparage it by likening it to something cheesy guys would wear . . . like she's nostalgic for the brash cheesiness of the past more than she actually likes the scent itself. Huh. Weird. What does one take from that I wonder? Like, this is a scent you should buy because it's the best of the "cheesy" men's colognes?

  30. #30
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I guess we can chalk one up for the masculine cheese.

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