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  1. #1
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    The recent release of CK Red triggered this thread.

    A trip overseas gave me the chance of spending two hours trying realeses - I was the last one to get into the plane: yes, fumeheads do that, among other things that may make people thing we suffer from OCD - that is off topic, sorry. BTW; my psychiatrist says that that is not my case, seeing green aliens is.

    So, there I went with blotters galore, spritzed the latest releases - yes, the ones marketed with tacky, run-of-the-mill advertising creativity - and analyzed them, being chased by the SAs saying "can I be of any help?", me replying "no, thanks, I am making up my mind, mind you" accompanied it with a forced smiled meaning, "Hey, I am being gentle, but please would you mind minding your own business and get the... out of here?" (If any SA reading this, identify these kind of reaction as being that proper of a fumehead. 1. Sorry. 2. Just don't mind and move ahead).

    On the plane while on my way to Rio (work trip, for a day: no fun in it) I did not mind the wind storm nor the bumps, not the disgusting meal served nor the real narrow seats nor the inexistant leg space. I only thought of one thing: afer trying like, what, ten to twenty scents of which three made it on my skin, why I did not like any of them?

    Well, I concluded that they all smell like a mish mash of notes and accords that, at the sake of originality, end up being either unbalanced or run-of-the-mill.

    So, here we have a blend compoosed of Kumquat (synthetic), Nish (what the hell is that?), Tiare Jazmin from Tahiti (synthetic), Magnolia (synthetic), Rubber (synthetic, obviously), Copper (synthetic, obviously: metals don't smell, the bacteria on it do, so it'd be "bacteria on copper") and some exotic chemical with the -lol ending in order to make it customer - friendly plus the ones that are true to their names: patchulol, vetiverol, linalol, citrenalol and desoxi-ribo-isu-buti-exo-queninelol-34-X,

    Let's trace an analogy with food: it would be like a salad with pitches, ruccula, almonds, mayonaise, cellery, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, almonds, nuts, peanuts and monosodic glutamate, BHT and... vitamin B-12 (we want the kids to grow up stronger, dont we?).

    Or, else, pizza, again. Wify does not feel like cooking and Dad is a mess at that (he can iron, though).

    Plus, people w/out olfative training and crappy ads people like because they don't know they are bad, because ad creatives are ignorant as to the cosmetic industry: I am a witness to that in an advertising creativity school. Students working in a perfume campaign don't know what a fragrance is, not even that noses are briefed, how the hell will they come up with good ideas?

    And... the big five essence corps pressing noses to use their latest inventions because patents will go publc five years after their release.

    Guys and Girls: If I am a fogey heading to fragrance snobbery, it is because they are forcing me to. So here I am hoarding classics before they are reformulated for the bad and delving into niche offerings with a classic twist.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    What did you expect at a fucking airport? Rows of Gantier and Parfums D'Histoire fragrances to try?

    They cater to the lowest common denominator and basically people who don't give a shit or understand anything about fragrances. The same applies to plane food as you know.

    It's not snobbery -- you've moved on is all.

    Nice post

  3. #3

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    "Well, I concluded that they all smell like a mish mash of notes and accords that, at the sake of originality, end up being either unbalanced or run-of-the-mill."

    Exactly.

    I can't pinpoint the year but there was a certain point in the late 1990's, maybe earlier, where everything just started smelling so....indistinct.
    The ensuing years were the entry into what I call the Banal Tunnel.

    It's gotten to the point where I see a new release and I start reciting "pink pepper, water lily, sheer blonde woods" and 90% of the time I've got the notes without even needing to read a description.

    Fellow fogey here, in good company!

  4. #4

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    I agree with Kaern, you moved on. It was fun reading it

  5. #5
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    What did you expect at a fucking airport? Rows of Gantier and Parfums D'Histoire fragrances to try?

    They cater to the lowest common denominator and basically people who don't give a shit or understand anything about fragrances. The same applies to plane food as you know.

    It's not snobbery -- you've moved on is all.

    Nice post
    You are in the UK!!! Down here that is all you get (poor us!). Yes, there is this company importing niche stuff, but the ugly ones, for Heaven's sake... For instance, no Creed's Bois de Portugal: of course, only Aventus and Santal - no, not again! Please refrain from bashing me on my ops on these two, please. They are importing a limited range of The Different Company's line, of which the only interesting one is a Parfum de Sense et Boi. Sel de Vetiver? Noooope.

    So here we are sticking to ol' Chanel, and if you are lucky, vintage ones for our modest and decades-long decadent economy allows us to get some that fly away in more prosperous markets.

    S'thing else: Gantier and Parfums D'Histoires at duty free airports? HELL YES!!! If I'd be the one responsible for supplies, I'd give them a try. I think ignorance abounds in the industry, seriously.

    Moving on due to smelling traing, makes sense. I still enjoy Tabac - well, here comes the ol' BN cliché "but the vintage is sooooo much better".
    It seems there is no way you can't scape this road. Fumehad-related-fate-disssorder, according to the DSM IV?

  6. #6

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Well, it depends on where you're looking doesn't it? I mean, mass-marketed commercial stuff tends to be like the fast food of the perfume industry. It's mainly marketing, advertisements, placement, bottle design, and faux-luxury; the scent itself is somewhat irrelevant. My experience has been (and not just in perfumes) that products pushed in your face are done so to disguise fundamental flaws while moving units; discovering work of real value takes some research and digging (as well as a healthy skepticism about mass-marketed production). That's why websites such as this exist—to discuss the kinds of fragrances that sidestep the kind of thing you'd find in airports / gas stations / Walmart etc.

    For example, Masque's Montecristo is a new release and is one of the most impressive things I've smelled in some time. Tracking it down, however, takes a bit of work as it's certainly not indicative of mainstream tastes and would be largely rejected as such. Yet it's an evocative, intense thing that plays some seriously original chords.

    And watch your language there young Kaern or we'll wash your mouth out with flankers and airport scents!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    You are in the UK!!! Down here that is all you get (poor us!). Yes, there is this company importing niche stuff, but the ugly ones, for Heaven's sake... For instance, no Creed's Bois de Portugal: of course, only Aventus and Santal - no, not again! Please refrain from bashing me on my ops on these two, please. They are importing a limited range of The Different Company's line, of which the only interesting one is a Parfum de Sense et Boi. Sel de Vetiver? Noooope.
    What about shipping? A good amount of the stuff I'm interested in isn't sold in stores either, so I have to rely on mail order -- which can be a pain.

  7. #7
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    ...

    And watch your language there young Kaern or we'll wash your mouth out with flankers and airport scents!

    - - - Updated - - -



    What about shipping? A good amount of the stuff I'm interested in isn't sold in stores either, so I have to rely on mail order -- which can be a pain.
    Argentina is a very particular country. Just to make it short, shipment is not an option - last XP w / shipments to Buenos Aires: two cheap dirty blind buys ended up costing three times their original price due to taxes and warehouse fees. So I got two chiepies for the price of a Lutens. I am telling everyone when complimented that these are Lutens fragrances, which no one knows around here. Nice. Add to this we are closer to Antartica (6000Km) than to New York (8000 Km)!

    Still, I have contacts in the Embassy of Outer Bongolia who will make me the favor of bringing stuff down here - once or twice a year.

    Hurray, hurray. Let's have a toast for that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Nice post!

    BTW I saw the Armani Privé-line at the duty free shop in the airport this summer in Turkey and it was more expensive then at home...

  9. #9

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Nice hook up at the Embassy Amigo....So there is light after all
    "Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "

  10. #10

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    I cannot understand why you don't share these thoughts with us via a video clip.

    for swap/sale:





  11. #11
    Dependent bigbz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Highly entertaining read! Just what I needed to start my Monday off, thanks!

  12. #12
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by magnus611 View Post
    Nice hook up at the Embassy Amigo....So there is light after all
    Off topic: I have a problem with that. They are into the diamond smuggling business so it is kind of dangeours masking illicit operations with the shipment of niche scents. But I get good prices in the deal. So far, I have not been subpoened (pun intended. BTW, I feel I am at risk; is the NSA reading this???)

    Sort of on topic: A friend of mine actually living in Spain. Yes, there is light after all. So far, a bottle of Piper Nigrum, two Goutals and that is all. Blind buys, not to my tastes unf. Mouchoir and Jicky are next thanks to a kind BN.

    On topic: Polo RL Red is NOT sellng good down here. Terre runs unbeaten, even though its hefty price, as reported by a stockist were I usually buy hard-to-find stuff.

    As per what you get on the streets, 1 Million is the one - or might be, for there are zillions of smell alikes. And the aquatics first time in the morning. One or two Le Mâles... and that is all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I cannot understand why you don't share these thoughts with us via a video clip.
    Dear Hedonist,

    WHAD??? Not in my afterlife!!! I hate being filmed!!!

    Still, thanks for the suggestion. I guess if I get more comments like yours (at least 1000) I'll look after a producer.

    Best,

    Pollux

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    ... a certain point in the late 1990's, maybe earlier, where everything just started smelling so....indistinct.
    The ensuing years were the entry into what I call the Banal Tunnel...
    If memory fails me not, it was after RL's Safari (1992) > Chanel's Egöiste Platinum (1993). And then it came Paco XS (1993) > Burberry Men (the one in the red box and the B pattern on the bottom - 1995) > local chiepies: Aliance by Carlos Benaim (the nose behind Polo, rest assure, an excelent version of all these sold for peanuts) > ... - time warp - ... > Davidoff's Champion > Montblanc's Legend (2000's).

    I have the impression the noses in the case of mainstream scents just don't blend blends, they tell big multis how the thing has to be like, and with the help of a computer, chemists work after an aromachemical that will be in line with that, manfacture it and, voilá, there we have the new "Designer + Color" + celeb + print and TV ads shot by reknowned film directors.

    In other words, the organ is just like the pyramid, a construct or a thing of the past, only to be used by those towards a classic approach to perfume making: indy and niche scent manufacturers (some of them: I have the feeling there are many "faux-niche" around).
    Last edited by Pollux; 25th November 2013 at 07:16 PM.

  13. #13
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Some rare finds at Duty Free shops along with a scant few new releases warrant a closer look. Most however aren't worth the time IMO.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Some rare finds at Duty Free shops along with a scant few new releases warrant a closer look. Most however aren't worth the time IMO.
    During the time my account took place, only mainstream of which I have to mention as "interesting" Sheldrake's Quazar and Ted Lapidus TL. However, both sold under realy high prices - I considered that a bad joke, really.

    Before this last trip, I got the last available bottle of LIDGE.I did not think about it twice.

    15 years ago the local Duty Free shop carried some of Guerlain´s best classics (Jicky and Mouchoir among them). I remember having seen Hermes Eau d'Hermes. Unf. I was not into this hobby at that time, so I let them passed. I do remember Mouchoir's getting my attention - the bottle, it seemed odd among the rest, thus I looked for the price: USD 125 for a 3.3 OZ bottle. This was back around in 1998.

    Basteri, with whom I am in contact, told me that Tom Ford's line is available in Johanesburg's airport duty free shop. So I guess managers in charge of supplies are responsible for a better variety of choices,

    Le Choix dificile.jpg

    Enjoy the pic!

  15. #15

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    At Dubai Airport a few weeks back they had Pure Malt and Pure Havane for around US$66 a bottle, and lots of Creeds. But I actually I don't mind checking out the more mundane stuff actually, since they and many flankers are often mentioned here and aren't always released back home. They were pushing Prada Luna Rossa Intense(Extreme?) which was quite nice.

    Basically, I haven't moved on. Just like I've eaten high end French meals which are nice, but I'll never foresake a decent hamburger.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  16. #16
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    ...Just like I've eaten high end French meals which are nice, but I'll never foresake a decent hamburger. Cheers, Renato
    Yap, I like Old Spice and Tabac and the 1970's-style colognes still made by Tsu (Caza Mayor, Tribuno, Tiziano and Banzan), a local door-to-door / sell by catalogue company selling goods under a low price point. And I forgot to mention the local vintage ones, like Tabaco Devon and Lavanda Devon and Cuero de Rusia Rosetto (sold for dirt cheap)

    I gave Luna Rosa a try and liked it, but it did not blow me away. There was no extreme version at that that time, so I must have been left w/ the wrong impression. But still, not liking any of the ones tried at the DF shop? Sold at prices 20 % less than the price of some reknowned niche scents? (a rip-off, actually)

    I agree in your French cuisine and burger analogy: but let's face it, what is being launched in the mainstream designer market is far from what it used to be... OMG, I am Frag Fogey!!!

    If I'd be cosistent with the above mentioned fact, I'd imagine the following dialogue taking place:

    25 y/o guy: "Since you are a perfumista, can you suggest something for me?"
    Me, 49 y/o guy: "Oh yes, Signoricci 2 (description), Revillon pour Homme (descripition) or much better, Eau Le Gallion for the Gentlemen (description)"

    No, I've never done that, not even in Base Notes ("Oh, yes!!! Get Amouage Opus III" or "Yes! You MUST Get L'Origan, the vintage one, specially the batch LXI from June 1933. Check the bottom of the bottle and look for an emerald-like stopper" w/o telling the OP that a bottle is worth above USD 100or ether impossible to get because it has been discontinued decades ago).

    When asked personally, my answer is "wear what you like and makes you feel comfy" and then I explain how to choose a fragrance - "get three blotters, choose three scents, try the colognes on the blotters, choose one and try it on your skin, give it some time and decide. Don't get pressed by the SA: they will try to sell the latest release". And if asked about my preferences, I tell them that I like woods. And if asked for a certain brand, I just don't mention any. In that context, I do play by the rules because I know that alternatives are expensive and difficult to get (at least, down here) for any.

    As to this hobby, we are playing a different game. I do enjoy burgers, but I dislike the fact that big multis are dupping consumers. And yes, I'll keep sniffing if I check out something that gets my attention. Which, so far, have been reformulated classics.

  17. #17

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Yap, I like Old Spice and Tabac and the 1970's-style colognes still made by Tsu (Caza Mayor, Tribuno, Tiziano and Banzan), a local door-to-door / sell by catalogue company selling goods under a low price point. And I forgot to mention the local vintage ones, like Tabaco Devon and Lavanda Devon and Cuero de Rusia Rosetto (sold for dirt cheap)

    I gave Luna Rosa a try and liked it, but it did not blow me away. There was no extreme version at that that time, so I must have been left w/ the wrong impression. But still, not liking any of the ones tried at the DF shop? Sold at prices 20 % less than the price of some reknowned niche scents? (a rip-off, actually)

    I agree in your French cuisine and burger analogy: but let's face it, what is being launched in the mainstream designer market is far from what it used to be... OMG, I am Frag Fogey!!!

    If I'd be cosistent with the above mentioned fact, I'd imagine the following dialogue taking place:

    25 y/o guy: "Since you are a perfumista, can you suggest something for me?"
    Me, 49 y/o guy: "Oh yes, Signoricci 2 (description), Revillon pour Homme (descripition) or much better, Eau Le Gallion for the Gentlemen (description)"

    No, I've never done that, not even in Base Notes ("Oh, yes!!! Get Amouage Opus III" or "Yes! You MUST Get L'Origan, the vintage one, specially the batch LXI from June 1933. Check the bottom of the bottle and look for an emerald-like stopper" w/o telling the OP that a bottle is worth above USD 100or ether impossible to get because it has been discontinued decades ago).

    When asked personally, my answer is "wear what you like and makes you feel comfy" and then I explain how to choose a fragrance - "get three blotters, choose three scents, try the colognes on the blotters, choose one and try it on your skin, give it some time and decide. Don't get pressed by the SA: they will try to sell the latest release". And if asked about my preferences, I tell them that I like woods. And if asked for a certain brand, I just don't mention any. In that context, I do play by the rules because I know that alternatives are expensive and difficult to get (at least, down here) for any.

    As to this hobby, we are playing a different game. I do enjoy burgers, but I dislike the fact that big multis are dupping consumers. And yes, I'll keep sniffing if I check out something that gets my attention. Which, so far, have been reformulated classics.
    Actually, taking the burger analogy further - I don't mind the occasional McDonalds or Burger King burgers, but most of their varieties are variations on the sweet soft bread and sweet sauce basic recipe. My preference though is for the made to order ones at different shops I go to (with real bread rolls and savoury hamburgers, and no sauce/ketchup). Which sort of makes me more into niche hamburgers rather than the standard, run-of-the mill mass market fare.

    How do you think that analogy applies to your scent tastes?

    For advice to younger guys, I give similar advice about testing but tell them to put it on their wrists and arms and wait 3 hours before making a decision. I've noticed with my nephews that they are really averse to some of the old classics like Aramis, and also not that fond of chocolate stuff like A*men. But otherwise are quite fond of sweet scents, and woody scents. The eldest nephew was so staggered by the number of compliments he got from the Paris Hilton For Men I gave him, that I had to go and buy two more bottles for him. So functionally, some of the standard fare certainly has some uses.
    Regards,
    Renato

  18. #18

    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I cannot understand why you don't share these thoughts with us via a video clip.


    I better wait for the dvd out.
    my current top five (always in transition)

    Dior Eau Noire
    HdP 1725 Casanova
    eau de gloire parfum d'empire
    Dia man Amouage
    comme des garçons man 2

  19. #19
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: New releases? Why do I give them a "pass"

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Actually, taking the burger analogy further - I don't mind the occasional McDonalds or Burger King burgers, but most of their varieties are variations on the sweet soft bread and sweet sauce basic recipe. My preference though is for the made to order ones at different shops I go to (with real bread rolls and savoury hamburgers, and no sauce/ketchup). Which sort of makes me more into niche hamburgers rather than the standard, run-of-the mill mass market fare.

    How do you think that analogy applies to your scent tastes?
    Hypothetically, it does, but the fact is that my tastes are more crass. I love BigMacs - with some regret, I must admit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    For advice to younger guys, I give similar advice about testing but tell them to put it on their wrists and arms and wait 3 hours before making a decision. I've noticed with my nephews that they are really averse to some of the old classics like Aramis, and also not that fond of chocolate stuff like A*men. But otherwise are quite fond of sweet scents, and woody scents. The eldest nephew was so staggered by the number of compliments he got from the Paris Hilton For Men I gave him, that I had to go and buy two more bottles for him. So functionally, some of the standard fare certainly has some uses...
    Once, in college, while lecturing, I could not stop smelling 1 Million. During the recess I asked who was wearing it and one of my students, in a very proud way, showed me the bottle. He asked me what cologne I used, and since it was the one I was wearing that day, I told him Azzaro for men, and he said "Oh, my Father's cologne. That smells old people" - No, he did NOT get an F.

    Today I am aware that the notion of fashion goes beyond the design of bottles or the ads and the celebs and so forth. It also takes into account the fact that some raw materials are abundant, and thus, widely used, to be later replaced by others. And in this game of changes, suddenly some kind of blend becomes popular, and later, a reference in the industry, thus all following suit. However, add to these facts that managers of big multis want to play safe. So, well, the logical consequences are the ones described.

    Whatever, lets enjoy what we like.

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