Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1

    Default The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Should a beginner start with relatively cheap frags (since we don't know our heads from our butts yet, perfume-speaking), and increase the quality of our purchases as we begin to truly appreciate the good stuff... Or should we start from the top, spoiling ourselves with high quality brands from the start?

    I ask this because I'm curious about Creed. But is this the right time to sample it? I know little about perfume, and I'm just starting to explore this world. I'll probably enjoy a $250 bottle of Creed just as much as a $50 bottle of some ordinary brand. Is it worth spending the extra $$, and go straight for the good stuff, or should I start at a lower level?

    And by the way - does price tag equal quality? Which high quality perfume houses offer relatively low prices?

    Mila
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  2. #2

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Price equals quality: not necessarily. I think Creeds are hit and miss, I would not buy at that price level without sampling first.

    I consider Hermes to be a good high end "starter" brand ; especially their Jardin-series. They are well composed, easy to like, "commercially" pleasing but not sugary dreck. And you can find small bottles online at a good price.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    At the beginning, you should smell a lot rather than buying - apart from quality, it's just that your taste hasn't settled yet. Even if a perfume is a masterpiece, you may end up not wearing it because you don't like the style.

    That said, if you smell, you should also be smelling top quality stuff, to get some ideas of the potentials. As furrypine was saying, price unfortunately doesn't correlate well with quality, although some of the best perfumes are much more expensive than the others. Also, there's the issue of concentration. Usually, you find eau de parfum or eau de toilette. But some brands also have more concentrated versions in parfum or extrait concentration, and these tend to be better. Unfortunately, they cost a lot and you cannot get samples, but some upscale stores may have testers.

    Creed is a very controversial house. Some think that it makes great, simple, wearable perfumes, others (like me) think it makes uninspiring, overpriced stuff. For quality, I think that for a newbie (as I am too) it makes sense also to try to explore the classics, as a reference point. Guerlain and Chanel are perhaps the two best extant old houses. Their classics are things like Mitsouko, l'Heure Bleue, Jicky, Vol de Nuit, Chamade, Apres l'Ondee (Guerlain), No. 5, Cristalle, no 19 and some of the (hard to find) exclusifs Bois des Isles, Cuir de Russie, No 22 (Chanel).

    cacio

  4. #4

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    The usual per ML for niche is about $1.9 per ML.
    Anything more is on the very expensive end of the spectrum.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I think it makes sense to start with the stuff that's readily available to smell, like whats in the pharmacy and duty free. I smaple way more than what I buy. If you live in a big city its great, you can sample heaps from department stores. If you live far away you have to order from the internet which ive never done it sounds expensive!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I think that If you find something you love, then it's worth the price. To me there is a huge difference between the fragrances I wear now, and what I wore 10 years ago. I would rather spend $160 for a bottle of Bond that I love than buy more of something less pricey that smells like everything else and is gone after 30 minutes. I found the less expensive lines to be very linear, while the Creeds, Bonds, and Killians actually evolve. Well, not all of them, but many of them do.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    In my opinion it depends on what style of perfume you want to wear. If you want to wear traditional perfumes, there are many which you can buy inexpensively: Canoe, Agua Brava, Old Spice, Zizanie, Kanon, Jovan Musk.

  8. #8
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    McLean, NYC, & B˙zios
    Posts
    77,276

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Quote Originally Posted by ysmdy View Post
    Should a beginner start with relatively cheap frags (since we don't know our heads from our butts yet, perfume-speaking), and increase the quality of our purchases as we begin to truly appreciate the good stuff?
    I would say so.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    If you do not like synthetics don't go with cheaper frags. What I would recommend is go to a high-emd store and try out a sample.

    Going from a Givenchy to a prada slightly higher price is a small noticeable difference. But then you have to consider preference too. When you start to move on to something like Montale, it is a completely different fragrance quality wise and I mean it smells very close to real natural smells. As you move up you will get to Xerjoff and Amouage which may have a bit more sophistication and maybe better "mixing" in the scent but that does not make it better then montale.

    You should get a scent that you like because its going to be stuck with you for awhile. If you have no idea were to start I have start a thread on those scents I am currently reviewing. I did to a bit of comparisons to cheaper popular fragrances when I first started I hope it helps.

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/275...ures-included!

  10. #10

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I'd recommend starting with small bottles or samples of the classics (i.e. Polo, Drakkar Noir, Aramis-or what ever it is for you) to set a baseline, then branch out from there with higher-end samples. If your interested in learning about fragrance that is. I always prefer an organized approach.

    If you are interested in finding frags you like, I would just branch out from what you currently like towards the higher-end.

    I personally don't think that there is much correlation between price and quality. I've gotten fantastic scents at bargain prices and have also purchased over priced ones (quality vs. value). Also, just because something is made with high quality ingredients doesn't mean that it is well made - as well as vise-versa. A great perfumer can make a fantastic piece of art from sub-par material.

    As far as a high quality house with relatively low prices, I would recommend Etat Libre d'Orange. Their full bottles run about $80US. They are, however, an "art-house" perfumery and most of their compositions require a basic understanding of frags to "get".

    I hope this helps.

    Regards,

    ...NDN-01!!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I would recommend doing lots of reading here - start with 'most reviewed' or 'best feminines/masculines' type threads and pick a few that sound interesting to you and then check out them at the counter to get a feel for them - if there are samples available even better. Next step might be to put in order for some sample decants of the stuff that is not readily available, but Sydney has a pretty good spread I believe - several niche lines as well as the designers and classics.

    This is all very sensible, of course, but if you're human you probably just want to go out an buy some stuff - in that case I'm with cacio. Far better to have a handful of classics sitting there that there is very good chance you will appreciate more with time than a lot of cheap stuff that seemed like a good deal at the time but you can't abide wearing after your nose has become more attuned to quality.

    Price does not equal quality, but usually quality comes at a price

  12. #12

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Thanks everyone for your input. Notes taken!

    Mila
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  13. #13

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I stated with several "cheapo" frags that got good reviews, mostly here on BN. I tried to get different ones, oriental, fougere, gourmand, chypre, etc. I studied them while continuing to read and I did some sampling at the local stores too. I suggest that whatever you, you avoid spending a lot of money until you can at least identify the major notes. When you can do that, there's a good chance you'll have established your likes and dislikes.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I've found that sampling decants has been a revelation. Your sense of smell actually develops quickly, as does your appreciation of the differences between quality and ordinary fragrances.

    I can honestly say that within a matter of a couple of months, I have discovered a depth and fullness of experiences from my perfumes that are just poles apart from what I could perceive just a short time ago.

    I do think that quality sings when it comes to perfume. This is related as much to the skill of the perfumer who created it, as to price. I am, for example, not overly impressed with the Creeds I have sampled. To my perception they just lack the poise and balance that some of the better French fragrance houses like Chanel, Guerlain and Caron achieve.

    I find sniffing and then reading, or reading, and then sniffing brings enormous growth in one's sense of smell. I think that we have poorly developed senses of smell, because we rely so heavily upon sight and hearing in our day to day lives. Once you 'wake up' that sense with new experiences, a whole new world opens up.

    In particular, the better perfumes, to me give you a full experience, a journey, a development of a fragrance that is just not there with the linear, cheaper lines. Nor is there the depth of different ingredients.

    So whatever type of fragrance appeals, read, read, read, and sample, sample, sample. I am quickly discovering new styles of perfumes, new fragrance elements, and also ingredients that don't appeal. For example, anise in a women's perfume, does not appeal at all.

    I have discovered Mimosa, and Heliotrope, and they are just heavenly. Yet at first, when I smelled them, I wasn't particularly impressed. But as my sense of smell grows more adventurous, and as I perceive more deeply, the experience of these, at first strange perfumes, is wonderful.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I'd suggest that you start with samples and decants, and hold off on full bottle purchases as long as you can possibly resist. I didn't actually do this, but I wish I had. Creed is, IMO, premium priced for middling quality, so I don't think I'd ever recommend paying full price for a bottle of Creed.

    If you were to ask me what houses to start with, in sampling, I'd say Chanel (the classics, preferably), Serge Lutens, Parfumerie Generale, and to a lesser extent L'Artisan Parfumeur, Annick Goutal, Lorenzo Villoresi. But that's just my list of preferences. Smell everything, but for the more conventional fragrances, I'd suggest going to the store rather than spending money on samples.

    If you really _really_ want to buy yourself a bottle of something but don't want to regret spending a fortune, I think that the Elizabeth W solifores (Rose, Magnolia, Lilac, etc.) are extremely good for the price, and they won't be what everyone else is wearing. And the travel sizes are even less expensive.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    A huge thanks to each of you for your insights. Hearing your advice makes me feel much more confident to get started on the right foot. :-)
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  17. #17

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    I would say dive right in...to samples.

    Avoid full bottle purchases, especially the expensive ones, for the sake of building a collection; you don't sound like a museum curator (I don't think?) but simply an enthusiast. When you are ready to buy stuff, I would advise getting smaller bottles--they cost more on a per-mL-basis but you wait for deals and your total outlay is less, which lets you buy more bottles of other things. Since all you really care about is the next two, three, four sprays and not the next 400, the only real reason to purchase a bigger bottle is because you like the way it looks or feels, or it is absolutely your favorite scent ever.

    In the meantime, until you have a better idea of all of the strange and wonderful stuff that is out there, spend time getting to know vials of both new and old releases. Even things you don't like can teach you something and are valuable in forming tastes.

    Don't be afraid of attempting to procure or ultimately test niche samples, as I was, just because you might feel like this potentially-great thing you hold in your hand is "wasted" on your "inexperienced" nose. One of the most instructive waypoints on my own journey was sniffing Parfums de Nicolai New York for the first time, because it forever changed my expectations of what a masculine fragrance should be in quality, complexity, and feel. And that kind of experience is never a "waste".

    You may eventually come to realize that there are some $30 fragrances that you enjoy more than certain $300 ones, and that price is just a variable barrier to keep you from getting what you want. Around here, they call that enlightenment. Embrace it, because your nose is the most important thing.

    Oh, and don't take it all too seriously. When it stops being fun, it isn't worth it. In the meantime, good luck!

  18. #18

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Quote Originally Posted by ysmdy View Post
    Should a beginner start with relatively cheap frags (since we don't know our heads from our butts yet, perfume-speaking)
    Probably not, because you might find so many more that you love enough to wear regularly that several of these purchase end up collecting dust - and that makes any frag relatively expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ysmdy View Post
    , and increase the quality of our purchases as we begin to truly appreciate the good stuff... Or should we start from the top, spoiling ourselves with high quality brands from the start?
    There are so many styles and classes of fragrance - green, fougere, chypre, leather, oriental, floral, woody, abstract, animalic, to name a few (not to mention combinations) and great soliflores as well, that you may be better off sampling widely to identify your likes and dislikes. Include high-end designers, niche, and the various "classics" for sure, because you'll end up with a better appreciation for the really good cheapos and better avoid the overpriced and overhyped "good stuff"


    Quote Originally Posted by ysmdy View Post
    And by the way - does price tag equal quality? Which high quality perfume houses offer relatively low prices?
    In some cases, a fragrance is cheap now because the development costs were recouped decades ago and the volume of product plus copycats may have driven aromachemical costs down - but the quality may be as good as IFRA restrictions and other later reformulations allow.

    Which houses to try for? All of them. The goal is to match your style, your tastes, and smell best on your skin. That could be Caron, or BPAL, Amouage, or Dana. You won't know until you have a chance to try them.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    I would say dive right in...to samples.

    Avoid full bottle purchases, especially the expensive ones, for the sake of building a collection; you don't sound like a museum curator (I don't think?) but simply an enthusiast. When you are ready to buy stuff, I would advise getting smaller bottles--they cost more on a per-mL-basis but you wait for deals and your total outlay is less, which lets you buy more bottles of other things. Since all you really care about is the next two, three, four sprays and not the next 400, the only real reason to purchase a bigger bottle is because you like the way it looks or feels, or it is absolutely your favorite scent ever.

    In the meantime, until you have a better idea of all of the strange and wonderful stuff that is out there, spend time getting to know vials of both new and old releases. Even things you don't like can teach you something and are valuable in forming tastes.

    Don't be afraid of attempting to procure or ultimately test niche samples, as I was, just because you might feel like this potentially-great thing you hold in your hand is "wasted" on your "inexperienced" nose. One of the most instructive waypoints on my own journey was sniffing Parfums de Nicolai New York for the first time, because it forever changed my expectations of what a masculine fragrance should be in quality, complexity, and feel. And that kind of experience is never a "waste".

    You may eventually come to realize that there are some $30 fragrances that you enjoy more than certain $300 ones, and that price is just a variable barrier to keep you from getting what you want. Around here, they call that enlightenment. Embrace it, because your nose is the most important thing.

    Oh, and don't take it all too seriously. When it stops being fun, it isn't worth it. In the meantime, good luck!
    The executive summary: Sniff anything and everything you can get your hands on, and when something really moves you--and only then--buy it in a small bottle.

    There you go.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    There are so many styles and classes of fragrance - green, fougere, chypre, leather, oriental, floral, woody, abstract, animalic, to name a few (not to mention combinations) and great soliflores as well, that you may be better off sampling widely to identify your likes and dislikes. Include high-end designers, niche, and the various "classics" for sure, because you'll end up with a better appreciation for the really good cheapos and better avoid the overpriced and overhyped "good stuff"
    That sounds like really sound advice. And it makes me rethink my eagerness of running and buying a million Jo Malone samples. Sure, I love them, but they are all basically the same style... I think I will pick only a few, and try to vary houses and styles.

    Mila
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  21. #21

    Default Re: The ideal "quality level" to start / Price tag vs quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    I would say dive right in...to samples
    Wise Words!


    Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here

Similar Threads

  1. Cologne quality over time/ quality from supplier
    By Mike357 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24th August 2010, 03:03 AM
  2. Price =/= Quality
    By SculptureOfSoul in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 8th June 2009, 10:32 PM
  3. What quality defines an "aromatic" fragrance?
    By Scentronic in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 8th April 2009, 11:15 AM
  4. Intensity/ Quality of scent in "deodorants"?
    By Hillaire in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31st December 2008, 07:24 PM
  5. Does a higher price equal better quality?
    By Allen-on-Holiday in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13th April 2006, 12:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •