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  1. #31
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Being a fan of both classic scents and the powerhouse style macho frags, I can understand where Turin is coming from, even though I don't agree with him. I think it's pretty simple - he's a classic scent guy, and not a big fan of super-heavy fragrances. Particularly, he seems to be a big fan of classic chypres. The 80s re-defined what a men's chypre was: no longer was Chanel Pour Monsieur acceptable - the chypre structure in the 80s needed to have a megaton of oakmoss along with enough patchouli to kill off every moth within 5 miles. For someone like Turin who was used to stuff like Chanel PM, the 80s powerhouse must have seemed like an abomination. Personally, I love those old power scents, but I can understand where he's coming from. Plus, he was probably around guys who bathed themselves in Fendi Uomo back in the 80s.

    The problem I have with Turin's position is that he implies that most 80s-style frags were of poor quality and lacked artistry. I don't agree at all with that. Sure, after a while the powerhouse frags seemed to duplicate one another (patchouli - leather - oakmoss), but that doesn't mean they were of poor quality.
    Last edited by shamu1; 5th June 2010 at 02:15 AM.

  2. #32

    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.
    What a coincidence that Sex Appeal is being discussed now, I actually tried it again on Wednesday and I found it to be quite wonderful. There is a point in the drydown where I thought I was wearing Jicky and then it morphed into Ambre Sultan. Stetson and Chaps are always called the drugstore masculine masterpieces, I'm not a big fan of either, but Sex Appeal really delivers the goods. An easy ****, IMHO.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 5th June 2010 at 03:01 PM.

  3. #33

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

    I agree with shamu1. LT seems to like classic colognes, chypres, and the women's classics especially. He also likes simple lavender frags. And that is what I was getting at: he seems to think the 80s frags are too complicated or something, whereas I view them (the "power frags") as an incredible achievement, because there were a lot of contrasting notes, with good legibility and naturalness (the many "good ones," of course, though not all were). So it sounds like a "generational thing." As to the ratings, few casual readers are going to add them up. However, the essays at the front of the book, along with comments about "foghorns," "lungfish," etc., in some of the reviews, give that reader the impression that there are a few "good" men's frags here and there, but that women's frags are generally much "better." I disagree because the power frags were able to incorporate much more than any of the women's frags (again, because there are a lot of notes, the notes contrast well, they are legible, and there is an overall "natural" feel), now or in the past. The only major exception is the chypre, but that is really a unisex drydown (and at least for me, the chypre is somewhat boring and can only be worn every couple of weeks anyway).
    Last edited by Bigsly; 5th June 2010 at 03:36 AM.

  4. #34

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

    Turin made a good point: a lot of 1980's fragrances are very, very strong. That doesn't necessarily mean that they were "bad," as others pointed out, and it doesn't mean that there weren't "quieter" fragrances in the 1980's but he did capture one trend of the decade, much as the 1990's gave us a lot of calone-based fragrances and now we're in fruity-floral land.

    I think another point Turin was making was that in the 1980's men's fragrances were mostly fougères; unlike women's fragrances, many of the 1980's men's fragrances stuck to that particular category. So part of his critique was the lack of range available to men as opposed to women. It does seem to be generally true to me that innovation in perfumery tends to be in women's or unisex rather than men's perfumes.

  5. #35

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

    I don't agree. Instead, I got the impression that many were basically women's orientals that were changed just a bit so that they could be marketed to men (perhaps true for JHL but not the majority). You may be right that LT thought this, though, because he may have just taken a quick sniff on paper, as many of these frags do have a fougere-like opening, but then change significantly (quite a few go into sweet leather, with oakmoss, patchouli, etc., after a complex middle with floral notes, for example). I'm finding the range to be excellent rather than narrow, actually, now that I can tolerate the strong lavender top notes, which are common. As I said, if LT could jump in here and clarify, that would be great.

  6. #36
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I always thought fougeres were more of a 70s thing, not an 80s thing. I think of the 80s as the era of the men's Power Chypre.
    Last edited by shamu1; 5th June 2010 at 10:58 AM.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    If you regard fragrances as wearable accessories, you'll realise what the 80's & early '90s stood for: big hair, shoulder pads, baggy pleated trousers, double breasted boxy suits. Cue Joan Collins in Dynasty. Now that slimmer profiles are in vogue, is it any wonder that many of the new releases are lighter and sheer?
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 5th June 2010 at 11:13 AM.
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  8. #38

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

    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.
    are villoresi stuff powerhouses too? he also doesn't like them.

    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....................

    Read more: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/253...#ixzz0q0KQNDyx
    i have most of these. any link to where he reviewed them? was it in the french version of his guide? his blog reviewed mostly new stuff.


    also the way he tests them as i''ve read in the faq of which tania sanchez is mostly the author would be hard to notice longevity but they do mention it sometimes i guess only when they notice it.
    Last edited by pourhomme; 5th June 2010 at 06:47 PM.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Bigsly - have you tried writing or emailing Luca directly?

  10. #40

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

    Sorry, but I have an aversion to "bothering people" so I won't contact someone. My thought is that if he or she doesn't read the thread (or did but doesn't want to respond) then that is "the end of the story." Even if LT said that he didn't think most people were smart enough to spray less, that would be a reasonable explanation to me, though it would then mean that this should have been mentioned in the book. I think it's really simple: either you think the period circa 1980 to 1990 represented a great achievement in "modern perfumery" for "masculine" frags or you do not. In his book, LT gives the reader the impression that this period did not represent anything especially good, let alone great. My conclusion is that this was not just a great age for "masculine's" but should be considered the greatest achievement of all time (though tastes may have changed), in perfumery. LT seems to have put his preference for simpler, more "transparent," etc. frags above the obvious great technical achievement of the 1980s. How long did he say he wore PdN's NY? I get bored by it within a couple of hours, and that is based on a few wearings only. I think LT's terminology (lungfish, foghorns) provides us with the most likely explanation, which as I said, is that he was unable to put aside his personal tastes and spend some time explaining to the reader what a great achievement these kinds of frags were. In fact, the reader is told men's frags are a kind of "wasteland," even though many of the 80s frags are still available and not expensive.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 5th June 2010 at 08:06 PM.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I won't speak for Luca, but I think I'd be far more bothered by someone writing a thread about me - a thread I might not not even be aware of - and speaking for me on my opinions on a subject. I think it would be much fairer to Luca - and the only chance this thread has of a real resolution - to give him the chance to answer these comments.

    A thread came up about Luca calling niche perfumery "all base notes" and was similarly cleared up when people looked closer and read the comments in context, so I think it's worth giving getting the opinion from the source.

  12. #42

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

    Then go ahead and contact him and tell him about this thread. You have my blessings !

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    I'm not particularly wrought up about opinions one way or another. Luca doesn't decide what fragrances I wear, and I don't decide for him. I've tried a few of his personal favorites and they don't work for me, and many of my favorites he's not too fond of ( for example, some of the modern versions of the Carons ).

    It's all personal taste, in my view.

  14. #44

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

    Yes, that is my point too, that is, he appears to have put his personal tastes above a great achievement, and in doing so the reader is given an impression that is clearly not correct. Is Shalimar any less ornate than those men's "power frags"? I do remember him writing that projection is not good for a masculine frag (I don't remember the exact wording), so the question now is, does anyone disagree that LT seems to have let his personal tastes interfere with his assessment of these frags, in general?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 5th June 2010 at 08:28 PM.

  15. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Yes, that is my point too, that is, he appears to have put his personal tastes above a great achievement, and in doing so the reader is given an impression that is clearly not correct. Is Shalimar any less ornate than those men's "power frags"? I do remember him writing that projection is not good for a masculine frag (I don't remember the exact wording), so the question now is, does anyone disagree that LT seems to have let his personal tastes interfere with his assessment of these frags, in general?
    Well, yes, of course he does :P He's a critic and critics can't help but be subjective. If you think 80's powerhouses are just as good as Shalimar you are just as correct as anyone else (and depending on which ones, I'll agree with you). But LT gives 5 star ratings to a number of power masculines so it looks like you all just might be agreeing.

    I don't recall him having anything against longevity except when it was a particularly uninspired or obnoxious note. Could you find the source for us?

  16. #46

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Yes, that is my point too, that is, he appears to have put his personal tastes above a great achievement, and in doing so the reader is given an impression that is clearly not correct. Is Shalimar any less ornate than those men's "power frags"? I do remember him writing that projection is not good for a masculine frag (I don't remember the exact wording), so the question now is, does anyone disagree that LT seems to have let his personal tastes interfere with his assessment of these frags, in general?
    Being a professional critic is of course an exercise in subjectivity to some extent, and I think any critic has to struggle to completely put aside his personal tastes. I don't always agree with LT's comments. But I disagree that he lets his personal tastes interfere with his assessment of fragrances or that he gives "an impression that is clearly not correct." Look, the guy has been doing this for decades now. He knows the industry, he's trained in the notes, he's a chemist... if he has a reputation as a critic then it's because he deserves it. Most of us here are amateurs by comparison, if only because we don't have any of his professional experiences. So in general, I'd be inclined to trust his judgment. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to wear something just because I like it and he doesn't.

    It's great that you like men's fragrances of the 1980's but I don't think LT's assessment of them was necessarily unfair.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Bigsly, I think you're way off base. The man's a critic and he writes about he thinks about scents. You seem to take it as for granted that the period of scents in question is a magnificent achievement and that your conclusion is somehow more certain, more absolute, more fixed, more whatever; Turin, however, you say, lets his "personal opinion" get in the way of recognizing the magnificence of the period of scents you like. For the purposes of debate here, although many posters have made it clear Turin praised highly many scents of the period, ne doesn't agree with you, Bigsly, he doesn't agree with you. He doesn't think your conclusion is right. Who are you to claim greater certainty for what a critic's audience of readers should be told when it's really the critic's duty him or her self to testify what he or she thinks? Bigsly, you are way off base.
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  18. #48

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

    Why I don't think I am way off base can be found in the book itself (I only have the first, hardcover edition). In his chapter on "masculine elegance...," he does not include any discussion of these kinds of frags. None, whatsoever. Whether they are a great achievement "artistically" or not is subjective, but whether or not they are one technically is not. If a professional perfumer wants to chime in here and say that for some reason no perfumes were made like this before, great. I want to hear his or her explanation about that.

    Later in the book, in the Heritage review, we are told that Joe Blow wasn't ready for these kinds of frags and that they missed their intended target by miles. Fine, but what does that have to do with wearing them today (especially if you are the kind of guy who reads such books!)? He tells women to consider wearing Yatagan, for goodness sake! Yet as others have said, he (and TS) gives some of these frags high marks (many are not reviewed of course). There is an undeniable logical inconsistency here, regardless of the subjectivity involved in criticism. But this is so strange that only LT could clear it up at this point, too my satisfaction at least.

  19. #49
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    The overall impression I got of Turin's views on the 80s scents were that there were many excellent ones (e.g., Kouros, Poison), but after awhile they became tiresome because they basically, in his eyes, repeated the same super-heavy feel over and over again. Uniqueness in perfumes also seems to be an important factor in Turin's reviews, which may account for some of this.

  20. #50

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

    That may be it, but I wish he had told us. This was probably my impression too, until recently. What happened is that I had developed a bad aversion to lavender so I couldn't explore these frags as much as I would have liked until the last few months. I've been quite surprised at how much variety there is, however, and at some point it struck me that this general idea that guys have been given the short end of the stick is nonsense. Women's frags lack those "gutsy" base notes, with very few exceptions (or the aforementioned chypres, which are basically unisex, and are simpler anyway). If you acknowledge the greatness of the 80s men's frags, then LT's thesis, as I understand it, does not hold water. In fact, he seems to agree on some strange level (perhaps not entirely conscious), by his suggestion that women wear Yatagan (and a couple of others, I think).
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th June 2010 at 03:03 AM.

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Whether they are a great achievement "artistically" or not is subjective, but whether or not they are one technically is not. If a professional perfumer wants to chime in here and say that for some reason no perfumes were made like this before, great. I want to hear his or her explanation about that.
    You're playing word games here and you're suggesting only a professional can properly answer you, those of us who are replying to you already effectively aren't qualified. Again for the purposes of your debate (since many posters above have pointed out Turin's thoughts about the scents in question) Turin didn't mention what you think smells of masculine elegance in his description of what he thinks that is. You claim "technicality" about something that is about a critic's tastes. The man has to do justice to his thoughts on scents. The man doesn't have to do your thoughts justice for you. You do, so write your own book about the milestones as you see them regarding masculine elegance. We all know the field is wide open.

    There is an undeniable logical inconsistency here, regardless of the subjectivity involved in criticism. But this is so strange that only LT could clear it up at this point, too my satisfaction at least.
    I don't agree with you. You should stop being so passive/aggressive in your seeking of Turin's attention. You want it? Be a man and do the man the respect of seeking it directly.
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  22. #52

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

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    Uniqueness in perfumes also seems to be an important factor in Turin's reviews, which may account for some of this.
    I completely agree with this statement.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 6th June 2010 at 02:44 PM.

  23. #53

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

    Luca Turin is a great connoisseur. I have his guide - Tania is there just for filling in, no offense ( : . However, he has a thing for so-called classic Guerlains and such which doesn't always convince me.

    When reading a LT review (he IS an enjoyable writer), enjoying one of his Guerlain or Patou gushing ***** reviews more than the reviewed perfume itself becomes a problem, in my metaphorical book.

    Also he has a marginally annoying propensity for Creed-bashing. Some Creeds he doesn't like (e.g., Love in White) I don't like. I know though enough Creeds, and closely enough - AND the perfumes he compares them disparagingly with - to think, perhaps subjectively, that there is something more than mere taste there. He doesn't seem to like the arguably over-sold upper class of the *brand* itself, imo.

    Five stars for Cool Water and four for GIT... with NO credible detail about it. Awful, just unjust reviews of many other Creeds, too. Some excellent Creeds ignored altogether...

    Just my 2c. I like HOW he's expressing his opinions, anyway. You don't have to agree with him.

    He does make you think and that's a plus.
    Last edited by Addict; 6th June 2010 at 05:12 AM.

  24. #54

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

    I am satisfied with the argument I made in this thread, and short of having a moderated, formal debate on this subject, I don't think I have anything more to say that is relevant.

  25. #55

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

    Why does it matter so much what Turin thinks? Or what you think of what Turin thinks? I really think this thread should be aimed at creating a conversation with BNers about our opinions regarding the subject - not our opinions on Turin's opinions - or else it shouldn't have been made (no, I'm not saying can't be made or that it should be locked or anything, just that you ask yourself what this discussion is bringing to BNs as a whole).
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  26. #56

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

    Quote Originally Posted by perfaddict View Post
    The thing with opinions such as Turin's is that while they may have "authority" they are not neccessarily always correct.
    I agree. He may be a very respectful critic, but his points of view can't always be right.

    And there is nothing wrong about criticizing his work. Isn't it what he does with other's work?

    Also, probably he would prefer a reader that thinks and discuss about what he said, rather than a mindless one that just accept and repeat his thoughts. I'm not telling anyone here is like this, just mean the discussion can contribute with everybody's continuous learning.

  27. #57

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

    I see no reviews of Bijan, Giorgio, Sung Homme, or Fendi. That is blowing it, in my opinion, as the 80's were the golden age of modern fragrances. And no Boss #1, Lapidus, Obsession for Men, or Drakkar Noir; I am not sure what to say.
    Last edited by Asmo; 6th June 2010 at 11:33 AM.

  28. #58
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Turin really "blow it" ? The Greatness of the 80s !

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmo View Post
    I see no reviews of Bijan, Sung Homme, or Fendi. That is blowing it, in my opinion, as the 80's were the golden age of modern fragrances.
    I like Luca Turin's reviews a lot, and I too would really be interested in knowing what his opinions would be of these three. These three are pretty representative of the 80s style IMO. Though I like all three scents a lot, I could easily see why someone would call them (esp. Sung Homme) "rivers of syrup".

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