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  1. #1
    trapper's Avatar
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    Default What makes a fragrance great?

    In your opinion, why are you favorite fragrances your favorite?
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Great fragrance to me means fragrance that:

    - smells good, sophisticated and expensive
    - lasts long with decent sillage
    - doesnt make me dizzy/gag/sneeze
    - smells as natural as possible
    - is unique to some extent so when somebody wears it you know it is THIS fragrance
    - is also accepted by majority of nonbasenoters (people wont say that you stink even if they dislike it)

    From my wardrobe it is definitely: Encre Noire, Pure Malt & Dior Homme
    I consider all of them to be masterpieces.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Yes you might be right, but for example, I have fragrances that have more quality, a better smell and yet they still can't beat my Versace The Dreamer or my Burberry London. I think it's got something to do with the association that fragrance has for us.
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer81 View Post

    - smells good, sophisticated and expensive
    - lasts long with decent sillage
    - doesnt make me dizzy/gag/sneeze.

    All of these.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    My great fragrances are those I never tire of; I go to them year after year and they are as new and fresh as ever; they never go out of fashion because they are the essence of style. My greats are: Jicky; En Avion; Arpege; DV Houbigant; Eau Sauvage; Mitsouko; Paloma and Polo.
    "It's not the scent that recalls the person; it's the person who recalls the scent"

  6. #6
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Many of these traits are about proportion rather than absolutes:

    -- Raw materials, memorability, character, strength, diffusing capacity, smoothness, clearness, volume, and persistence.

    Though some of my favorites don't share all of those capacities to a great intensity.

    And above all, they must smell good - "sent bon".
    Last edited by pluran; 29th June 2010 at 01:52 PM.

  7. #7
    blackened's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    particularly its trail.It must be seductive.
    Smell good? yesss, smell sophisticated and expensive?? not necessarely.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Perfumery is primarily art, not science. As such it is not just about liquid in a bottle. To be considered "great" a fragrance also has to have a sense of time, place, lifestyle and environment. In fact I consider these things to be far more important than how expensive, exclusive or even technically well-made something is.

  9. #9
    Ken_Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Highly subjective to judge, but, in my opinion, remaining at least as long-lasting, as elaborate and as skilfully crafted, as its initial (often vintage and/or historically significant) formulation

  10. #10

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    Great fragrances, for me:

    ___Structure & Dynamics___

    -- At first, they smell like a nearly harmonious musical chord and NOT of one particular note. Then, upon further "listening" I might be able to pick out a note or two -- an INSTRUMENT or two.

    -- Some, very well designed fragrances, have notes which stand slightly above the chord. These are exciting and fun to "listen" to as I never know where they'll go and they maintain interest. These "jagged" notes are not required for a great fragrance, but wonderful when they are included.

    -- A great fragrance will be structured for its purpose even if that is unto itself. Office, romantic, anytime, male, female, unisex, etc.; it will fulfill its role. A scent liked anytime will probably not be loved at any particular time. This is the fragrance equivalent of "he who tries to please all, pleases none". This is only a generality; there are always exceptions.

    -- The dry down. Linear (staying the same) or leaving the base notes. Either way, they should last 8 hours. A great fragrance will maintain its composition or dry down into something pleasant.

    ___The Notes___

    This is personal preference. I like leather, vanilla, pipe tobacco, cinnamon, ambergris, woods, CURRENCY, the sea, cut lawn grass, etc. Really, this list can get lengthy. I even like bizarre things like a little chlorine.

    ___Quality___

    The ratio of oils to alcohol is important. Obviously, higher oil/absolute content usually leads to better longevity - but not necessarily. Too much oil/absolute and there may be projection issues. The notes themselves must smell like their natural or unnatural counterparts. If it isn't found in the real world, then I guess it must simply be appealing. Whether this is achieved through more or less processed means, I really don't care.

  11. #11
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    I'd consider a fragrance 'great' if it:

    i) evokes a fond memory
    ii) captures the imagination
    iii) inspires one to match its impeccable taste/style
    iv) is ageless & timeless

    Balance & composition is therefore more important than the actual notes.

    Otherwise, it's just plain 'good'. I'm not too hung up over extensive sillage or longevity either.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 29th June 2010 at 06:24 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    If I were to call a frag "great" it would have to at least be somewhat unique. The rest is obvious:

    1. "Naturalness" (meaning the impression, not necessarily the reality).
    2. Dynamism ("internal" or development over time).
    3. Well blended (not over blended), so that there is no harshness.
    4. Technically sound (not too simple or too complex, with good longevity and sillage).

    The last thing I'd mention is clearly "subjective," which is whether or not I find it pleasant. I might call it "great" but never wear it, but I'm not sure, so I didn't list it as 5. This seems to be an issue that would have to involve agreement among those making the decision.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 29th June 2010 at 07:37 PM.

  13. #13
    SmellChaser
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    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    To me, the questions What makes a fragrance great? and In your opinion, why are you favorite fragrances your favorite? are two different thoughts.

    Greatness has nothing to do with me as a frame of reference. It is a larger question than being a favorite.

    For me:

    A favorite fragrance is one I enjoy and find satisfying irrespective of what anyone else may think.

    A great fragrance is one that has historic relevence that transcends the present. It was groundbreaking in its creation and is admired to this day whether it remains in production or not.
    Last edited by scentsitivity; 29th June 2010 at 07:57 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What makes a fragrance great?

    For me a great fragrance is one which smells pretty good


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