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  1. #1

    Default Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    It's well known that though a perfumer creates the prototypes of a fragrance based on the brief handed to him/her, ultimately it is the fragrance house that makes the decision on which prototype is selected. In fact, there are often several rounds of selection before a final prototype is chosen, all the while the perfumer is being steered here and there by the whims of the house's head.

    With that said, are we (the BN Community) too hard on the "Noses"? Do they shoulder too much blame for the shortcomings of fragrances?
    Fall/Winter Rotation:

    Versace Man by Versace
    Iceberg The Fragrance by Iceberg
    Amber Intense by Prada
    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
    Burberry London
    Lanvin Avant Garde

    If smelling good was a crime, I'd be serving a lifetime sentence....

    - OE (olfactoryexperience)

  2. #2
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    Diamondflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I seldom see perfumers getting the short end of the stick here but I suppose certain perfumers do get repetitive with their creations. For instance, how many iterations of Oud do we really want to smell?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    it's the perfumer's call to finalize and adopt a product. if they are ashamed of what they are supposed to do, or what they did, they can walk away or disown the fragrance.

    If they are to be commended for "selling" a fragrance they are proud of to their customer, which is often the case for any creative process, it's only natural to boo when they sell out.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I'm don't think so, no.

    Most perfumers are not free to express their artistic vision as they might wish, which would allow them to be judged on their own merits.

    Their task is to give the customers what they want. It depends on how specific the brief is, but if the clients are satisfied with a banal fruity-floral and plough through 100 iterations of the same dispensable tripe until they think they smell a "winner", the fault lies largely with them and not the nose. You might blame the perfumer for not producing something better than what the clients think they want, but too much of that and you end up out of a job.

    Of course, when the customer is shrewd and the art direction is impeccable, the credit should be divided among the parties.
    Last edited by Emlynevermore; 27th April 2011 at 04:38 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I would never completely blame one person if more were at fault.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    No, because, as far as I am concerned, no matter how critical I am I also tend to focus on the fragrances which the noses in an ultimately "near flawless" manner, mainly on that kind of scents which may not be crowdpleasers, but tend to be liked by both fans and harsh critics alike (e.g. classics like No. 5, Eau Sauvage etc. are more likely to be associated to a perfumer, rather than the same perfumer's shortcomings)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    Quote Originally Posted by OlfactoryExperience View Post
    With that said, are we (the BN Community) too hard on the "Noses"?
    I don't believe so.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I felt prompted to pose this question after reading a fragrance review that criticized Thierry Wasser's work and called in to question his qualification for his new position as the head of fragrances at Guerlain. The reviewer felt their disappointment with Wasser's recent productions justified their concern for the good of Guerlain.

    I personally think that its hard to judge a "nose" purely by the fragrances for which they are ascribed credit. We have to consider that they do their job in order to make a living, and ultimately their job is not to please us, the masses, but to please their employer, the brand. If Diesel puts out something banal and weak, than we must assume that is exactly what the brand wanted to do. If anything, we should be very critical of the people really calling the shots, like the heads of the fragrance houses. They ultimately define the scheme for the fragrance briefs and determine which prototypes represent the scheme best.

    Ultimately a "nose" is an artist, but not like the artists of the Renaissance - their patron is not the masses as such, but more so the marketing company or perfume director, in whom they must find approval. A job well done could easily result in a universal dud...
    Fall/Winter Rotation:

    Versace Man by Versace
    Iceberg The Fragrance by Iceberg
    Amber Intense by Prada
    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
    Burberry London
    Lanvin Avant Garde

    If smelling good was a crime, I'd be serving a lifetime sentence....

    - OE (olfactoryexperience)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    We are exactly as praiseworthy/scornful as we should be.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I think an artist can always insert at least a spark of brilliance in an otherwise run of the mill, built to perform commissioned work.
    If inclined to do so and if not completely disillusioned.

    Even if that wasn't the case, the portfolio of an artist is the only reference that matters. Nobody cares about your potential other than people who care about you.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    The ultimate culpability lies with the consumer. If the consumer is not educated in appreciating the complexities of an art form, whether it is painting, music or perfumery, it is THEIR choices that will actually direct the corporate focus for developing and marketing a perfume.

    The Nose is an artist, and given the knowledge or skill to create something will almost always be interesting if someone takes the time to try and appreciate it for what it is. Itís the Corporate Machine that funnels creativity toward the money, not the art. So Yes, I would say we are overly critical of Noses and overly-respectful of the big houses.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I think if you work for yourself and you have unlimited funding, you can do whatever you want. The nose can take all the time they need, they can go off in interesting directions, take creative risks, they can do small batches for a small group, etc.

    Designing for a large company that needs to sell blockbusters so that their employees are paid, and so that the company can remain viable, sustainable, grow with profits, etc. is an entirely different story. I don't think the nose gets as much creaative wiggle room in this kind of context.

    Are we too hard? No I don't thinks so. I think our internet community here represents an expanding educated consumer and we give voice to it. This forum and our group learning and dialogue is also free marketing for fragrance makers, and it also creates more consumerism and specific demands for quality and creativity. And thats a good thing.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    Quote Originally Posted by firehorse View Post
    Are we too hard? No I don't thinks so. I think our internet community here represents an expanding educated consumer and we give voice to it. This forum and our group learning and dialogue is also free marketing for fragrance makers, and it also creates more consumerism and specific demands for quality and creativity. And thats a good thing.
    I agree. We definitely represent the increasing awareness and education of the consumers of perfume/cologne, and I hope that what you suggest is true. Maybe in the long run, or maybe even as we speak (or type...lol), the industry is benefiting and will benefit from our criticisms and dialogue.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarıpatates View Post
    I think an artist can always insert at least a spark of brilliance in an otherwise run of the mill, built to perform commissioned work.
    If inclined to do so and if not completely disillusioned.
    I would love to hear the opinion of a true perfumier on your comment, but I tend to believe this is true also.
    Fall/Winter Rotation:

    Versace Man by Versace
    Iceberg The Fragrance by Iceberg
    Amber Intense by Prada
    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
    Burberry London
    Lanvin Avant Garde

    If smelling good was a crime, I'd be serving a lifetime sentence....

    - OE (olfactoryexperience)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I don't think we're too hard on perfumers at all. Most are in it for a profit (whatever their enjoyment may be) and are duty bound to perform. I think the more adventurous of the noses may get a slam dunk and be rewarded, but from what I've seen, it appears that this industry has trends. Oud's in vogue, Iso E super was/is very popular recent, calone was big with the aquatics gourmands, aquatics, etc. We see phases in perfume releases where most of the large mainstream houses are catering to a perception of the prevailing zeitgeist. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does get tiring after so many uninspired iterations.

    This is exactly why I want to start supporting smaller niche houses where the perfumer is [more] free to creatively express his own ideas and fully explore a diverse aromachemical palette. To me, the very best fragrances conjure up a personal experience, a reflection of an event in one's life. I don't really get that with mainstream fragrances--they're almost neutered. This is not to say that there aren't excellent mainstream fragrances that are fashion statements in their own right.

    Smelling good isn't all it's about--I often wonder what the Nose was thinking when they made this and what, if any, personal preferences played out in the formulation.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    No, I think most of us are irritated by the reformulations, which the "money crunchers" are responsible for, not the perfumers.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    I don't think we are.
    If anything we're too laid back.
    Olivia Giacobetti should have been requested to create more for Frederic Malle for example and certain perfumes should note be exclusive to a city/country for more than 6 months.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    One man's trash is another man's treasure.
    SEEKING BOTTLES OF:

    Aramis New West (preferably old bottle)
    Patrick by Fragrances of Ireland
    Azzaro Aqua
    Gloria by Cacharel

    PM me if you have bottles that you're willing to sell or trade!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on the Noses??

    Depends on the nose. Jacques Polge seems to get a lot of flack, and he's trying to steer the helm of a massive company's fragrance emporium. But just like movie directors who cater to big studios, but slip in some nice touches, noses can find inventive ways to dignify boring briefs. I think Polge could try harder, but then again it doesn't matter what I think, about him or any other perfume creators. They're going to make what they're told to make, and try to do it as well as they can.

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