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  1. #1
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Question You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Don't misread just yet. Fragrance houses that used to be good that now suck, or that are only getting worse. I've concluded that both the CK house and the Ralph Lauren house are guilty of this. It really disappoints me with CK though. Here's a house with some of the biggest sellers of all time. CK One, Obsession, Eternity, Be.. all the older stuff. But the past 10-15 years has just been garbage after garbage.

    What other fragrance houses/brands do you feel have deteriorated?

  2. #2
    PaulSC's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Aramis!

    And I agree re: CK and RL...

    (But there are so many, really, it might be easier to list the houses that have kept up!)
    Spray it, donít say itÖ
    WARDROBE

  3. #3
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    The worst is Chanel.

    They are really a boring perfume house now.

    Once upon a time we were waiting to see what perfume magic house of Chanel would bring to our lives! I kid you not!

    And their classics line-up is unrecognizable.

    And my runner up is a tie.

    Once both the embodiment of French elegance and the perfume houses to outclass:

    Nina Ricci
    YSL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I have a feeling there are gonna be a lot of Chanel's, given the majority of disappointments from Bleu de Chanel.

    Also Guerlain. Guerlain Homme and its flankers are pretty dire compared to their previous work.

  5. #5
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Did I mention Guerlain?

  6. #6
    PaulSC's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I think the best of the recent releases from Guerlain and Chanel are as good as their classics. (And better than anything from CK or RL, past or present.)
    Spray it, donít say itÖ
    WARDROBE

  7. #7
    Bossa Nova's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Davidoff!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Did you notice that your are mentioning houses belonging to BIG multinationals? RL belongs to L'Oreal, CK belongs to Coty, Chanel is owned by Wertheiner (not a big multinational corp., though), and so forth. Think of it this way:

    1. These co's are run by managers
    2. Manager manage companies in representation of the co's owners
    3. The have the obligation of making owners richer than they were
    4. So, cost structures should be optimized
    5. Plus, they have to reduce risks

    All this meaning: the just won't bet on originality.

    Thus, if looking for this, better look after niche scents. At least that is what I am going to do as soon as I get the money in order to venture into this new dimension.

  9. #9
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Did you notice that your are mentioning houses belonging to BIG multinationals? RL belongs to L'Oreal, CK belongs to Coty, Chanel is owned by Wertheiner (not a big multinational corp., though), and so forth. Think of it this way:

    1. These co's are run by managers
    2. Manager manage companies in representation of the co's owners
    3. The have the obligation of making owners richer than they were
    4. So, cost structures should be optimized
    5. Plus, they have to reduce risks

    All this meaning: the just won't bet on originality.

    Thus, if looking for this, better look after niche scents. At least that is what I am going to do as soon as I get the money in order to venture into this new dimension.
    CK has always been with Coty, Joop! is a Coty fragrance but we all know the projection and longevity on that stuff is legendary. You don't like any older fragrances from any of these houses?

  10. #10
    Sur la Plage

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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Versace
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  11. #11

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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    It really is just a matter of business. Any line that needs to maintain its presence at big retailers like Bloomies, Nordies or Macys has no choice but to churn out commercially viable (e.g. "safe") product because if they put out a masterpiece that the masses don't understand (and buy) they'll lose precious counter space and location in the perfume dept. I'm not terribly pro-niche, but I have to concede that if you want something that is both new and remarkable, you probably have to go that route.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I am currently about to complete my tour of the Penhaligons house and if they really were as good as people say they used to be, then wow, the downfall must have been humbling. Their fragrances such as the Bouquet duo, English Fern, and maybe Lavendula (if I am being generous) can give off the impression that they can hang out with the big boys of niche, but exploring the others in the line, especially the florals, is a disastrous experience with obviously mediocre ingredients evaporating off every second the droplets are on your skin. Even Castile, a fragrance I used to like, smells like a shadow of its former self. At a party with Serge Lutens, Creed, Malle, and others, Penhaligons would be punched, slapped and picked on like an anemic kid with brittle bones and little pocket change.

    To make matters worse, even after hiring some famous perfumers for their recent stuff the quality hasn't improved one bit. Thank god for Floris I hear the Penhaligons head honchos say...
    -

  13. #13
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    CK has always been with Coty, Joop! is a Coty fragrance but we all know the projection and longevity on that stuff is legendary. You don't like any older fragrances from any of these houses?
    You said it, older. But I don't expect remarkable future releases from them. Andm, for sure, if they are, be assured they will be discontinued.

  14. #14
    mr. reasonable's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I wonder about Maitre Parfumeurs & Gantiers.

    One new release in the last few years (?) and murmurings that some of the reworkings since the 100ml bottle was introduced seem to be sub par - certainly Santal Noble has fallen from grace. The restrictions have affected everyone but some houses seem to be better equipped to roll with the punches than others.

  15. #15
    DeepSilence
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    In 2-3 years ago CK sold Euphoria very good here.
    1+ Aramis
    1+ Davidoff

  16. #16

    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Chanel and Guerlain like Hillarie said, for sure.

    Some of their good offerings are now only on whatever exclusive line they have at the moment and some aren't even that great, the "normal" products are most often than not sub-par.

    I still believe that a great product can be produced out of simple materials, like a photograph, the camera doesn't have to be top of the line to get an amazing picture.
    Just look at the simple, yet genius composition of the original Shalimar.
    Last edited by castorpollux; 15th August 2010 at 06:15 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Although not really a house with a long history Dolce & Gabbana is kinda starting to fail if you ask me. The discontinuation of By was ludicrous. Light Blue and The One are a snorefest and don't get me started on that silly numbered tarot collection they are offering now....

  18. #18

    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    What do perfume houses/brands really even mean? I used to think of houses as being like authors and other artists, releasing products that followed a certain aesthetic style or level. Now I think of them as publishers or record labels; the brands don't develop the scent, most of them don't even manufacture the juice anymore, they just decide what to bottle and how to market it. The author is the nose, perhaps we could shift our dialogue in that direction.

  19. #19
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    The final decision is almost always 'commercial' - a decision the nose doesn't get to make. There are focus groups & creative directors. And decisions are often based on what will appeal to the consumers. With less sophisticated consumers, it is commercial suicide to peddle boundary-pushing high concept fragrances. Instead it is more marketing-driven going for 'repeat sales' as we can see from consecutive flanker releases riding on the coat tails of a popular original.

    I agree with the houses already mentioned though I think Chanel keeps its better ones for their Les Exclusifs. I'll add Yves Saint Laurent to this dismal party, releasing multiple flankers of Opium, Paris, Kouros etc. The good stuff are all from the last century and now they are peddling sedatives disguised as fragrances with L'Homme & La Nuit, & fruity stuff in cutesy packaging like the Baby Doll line.

  20. #20
    Zgb's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bossa Nova View Post
    Davidoff!!
    Agreed.

    Cool Water - great classic

    Zino - erotic, tamed beast

    Silver shadow classic - really smooth and erotic

    Adventure fraiche - worthy of attention

    But all the rest is just one big B L A H!

  21. #21

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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Probably Coty but since they fell before we were born--Have we really noticed that Chypre de Coty was better than Raw Vanilla?
    My Wardrobe

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    Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

    My Antaeus can beat up your Armani.

  22. #22
    mr. reasonable's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizanioides View Post
    What do perfume houses/brands really even mean? I used to think of houses as being like authors and other artists, releasing products that followed a certain aesthetic style or level. Now I think of them as publishers or record labels; the brands don't develop the scent, most of them don't even manufacture the juice anymore, they just decide what to bottle and how to market it. The author is the nose, perhaps we could shift our dialogue in that direction.
    "What to bottle, how to market it" + the brief to the perfumer and how much of a budget he/she has to work with.

    It's an interesting topic and any decline overall seems to me to be due to various factors: IFRA restrictions, corporate financial policies within respective houses, a saturated market leading to declining sales for each and every house therefore leading to a need for showy 'crowd pleasers' and 'me toos' to elbow thru the crowd etc.

    I agree with the music biz comparison inasmuch as there are still a handful of labels who throw squillions into marketing very mainstream musical content, but I think the comparison ends there because at least when Chanel do their big budget films they know people will pay money for the perfumes and there's profit to be made - the record labels don't have that luxury any more - paying customers, that is

    Reformulations aside I think Guerlain & Chanel are trying to keep their end of the deal up where they can, but as with other bigger houses (Dior, Hermes) it's more often than not the 'exclusives' that offer a bit of pizzazz.

  23. #23
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizanioides View Post
    What do perfume houses/brands really even mean? I used to think of houses as being like authors and other artists, releasing products that followed a certain aesthetic style or level. Now I think of them as publishers or record labels; the brands don't develop the scent, most of them don't even manufacture the juice anymore, they just decide what to bottle and how to market it. The author is the nose, perhaps we could shift our dialogue in that direction.
    Yes, I know, but wrong thread dude lol.

  24. #24
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I was thinking of adding Tommy Hilfiger to this list, but they never really had anything that was above average from the get go. The first one, Tommy was by far the best, most original too. RL, CK, and others all had some huge stuff in the beginning. From RL -- Polo original, Safari, Purple Label, Crest, even Chaps.. all were big sellers at one point or another. Then of course CK with One, Be, Eternity, and of course Obsession. But, lately it's just been Euphoria this, CKIN2U that and their millions of flankers to follow.

  25. #25
    Craig's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Amouage (I'm ready for an ear bashing lol). Since the release of Lyric, I don't think any male fragrances have been as good as the predecessor's. For me the last good one was Jubilation XXV.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zgb View Post
    Agreed.

    Cool Water - great classic

    Zino - erotic, tamed beast

    Silver shadow classic - really smooth and erotic

    Adventure fraiche - worthy of attention

    But all the rest is just one big B L A H!
    you summed it up nicely but I think original Adventure proved at least daringness (sesame) , SS Altitude was decent for an aquatic and half of the Summer Cool Waters find my approval.

    Overall the ratio isnt half bad, no?

    Anyways, my vote goes to Guerlain, as well. Homme, Homme Intense, Habit Rouge Sport, I mean is that why they hired Thierry Wasser?

  27. #27

    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    Yes, I know, but wrong thread dude lol.
    =X Yeah, I didn't introduce that well into this topic. I've just gotten really frustrated as most brands release lots of junk. Not that every scent needs to be amazing/something I enjoy. To contribute, I second Guerlain as a pretty big disappointment although they haven't utterly marred their classics to the extent of Dior. Shalimar isn't as good as it was but it hasn't been ravaged like Dioressence and Diorissimo.

  28. #28

    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    I would also like to add that Guerlain has also fallen to the bully/thug side when they started to threat bloggers to take down the bad reviews of their scents "or else hear from our lawyers", for ex. what happened with 1000frags blog.

    It's disgusting, and i have never seen such a bad reaction to freedom of speech from a frag house like that.

    If it's so important for them, then they'd better start to make some more decent output.

    The new suits are to blame of course.
    The house has had many many great scents in the past and we still have fond memories of its history and relevance and it's difficult for us fans to see things like that.

  29. #29
    Ken_Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: You used to be great.. What happened!!?

    Gucci: while Gucci Nobile- in a conservative tone and Gucci Envy for Men- as a quirky, yet sexy gourmand approach were masterpieces or near masterpieces, the rest of their male frags released after that (and, to a certain extent, even the reformulation of Gucci Envy for Men) are, at best, average; however, I do not know how they are doing in the line of work regarding female frags

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