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  1. #1

    Default Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Am I the only one here who really loves linear fragrances?

    For example, whenever I find a fragrance that smells just the way I wan't it to in the opening and that later changes into crap, I won't buy it, ever.
    This happens to me all of the time. I don't know how many times I've been let down by fragrances that smells beautiful in the opening and awful later on. Again, it happens all of the time. Sad, but true. That's why I most of the time prefer linear fragrances.

    To have a fragrance smelling the same from morning to night can get boring quickly, that's simply not a problem for me.

    On the other hand, un linear fragrances aren't a bad thing, don't get me wrong. If a fragrance changes into something that I still like, I'll buy it. (I don't really know the opposite word for linear, so I'm gonna say "un linear")

    Anyone else that prefers linear fragrances over the un linear ones?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    You're not alone. It's a subject I brought up when I first joined Basenotes several years ago.

    The “fragrance journey”, which was a historical solution to extending the life of unstable materials, strikes me as irrationally admired, and generally ends with some generic, dull, predictable base note. Give me a linear scent, whose persona retains all its glory and character (and effectiveness as a sartorial partner) until its dying breath, any day.
    Last edited by frug; 22nd December 2012 at 10:12 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I enjoy linear fragrances, but I also find it easier to dislike them since it's an all or nothing deal.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  4. #4

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I find for me the fragrances that I learn to love are the best in the mid to late stages. Antaeus is a good example of this, the top notes are average and for the first couple hours it's nice but not great. Then it becomes a ten out of ten for another six to eight hours. The modern fragrances seem to have reversed that order and the top notes that are fantastic leave quickly and it becomes less a less than average scent.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by frug View Post
    You're not alone. It's a subject I brought up when I first joined Basenotes several years ago.

    The “fragrance journey”, which was a historical solution to extending the life of unstable materials, strikes me as irrationally admired, and generally ends with some generic, dull, predictable base note. Give me a linear scent, whose persona retains all its glory and character (and effectiveness as a sartorial partner) until its dying breath, any day.
    That's some really nice words, sir!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    linear is often good

    its the non linear scents that are the most deceptive ones

  7. #7

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I'm glad someone brought this up. The common theme around basenotes is that challenging fragrances are somehow better than linear ones, but quite a few complex challenging fragrances I have tried are interesting, but not something that I enjoy at every stage. Quite a few I even end up not enjoying at any stage.

    I agree that linears are an "all or nothing" deal and that is fine with me. With linears you know what you are getting and it makes it quite easy to judge if a bottle is FBW or not. With some complex ones, you may like certain notes in the various phases, but dislike others or the interactions that occur between certain notes. Its rare, in my opinion, to find complex fragrances where you enjoy every stage of the journey. Often I see reviews stating "weird top notes" but "beautiful dry downs", I never quite understood why people would spend money on fragrances which they did not like completely.

    Personally, I'd rather spend my money on a fragrance I enjoy 100% of the time rather than a challenging complex one that I may only like 50% or 75% of the time.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I like both linear and non-linear equally.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    today i'm wearing john varvatos artisan i love linear fragrances

  10. #10

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    It depends on the fragrance. Some fragrances smell like crap at the initial spray and turn into something special through the mid-notes and base. But, if I spray a frag that is excellent at the initial spray and stays that way, I can't complain either.

    A lot of times who wants to spray a frag that you don't initially like, to wait hours later for you to appreciate it? Could be kind of a waste sometimes. It's like buying a TV and the TV doesn't work the first week you purchase it, then all of a sudden...ESPN...lol.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I absolutely understand why linear fragrances are popular but I generally find them boring. I like fragrances that keep me entertained with changes throughout the day.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by laph View Post
    I like fragrances that keep me entertained with changes throughout the day.
    Me to, it just isn't common that the fragrance changes into something I like :/

  13. #13

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    The way a fragrance develops is one of the least important factors for me.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Stuck on good is good!

    Some kinds of linearity are also very attractive without being simplistic - the ones where multiple interesting and pleasant elements weave in and out of focus easily, but are always present - where there are balances that maintain themselves for a long time. I sometimes find these sorts of fragrances more interesting and worthy of praise, than those where changes over time seem more like skillful and artful surrender to the temporal incompatibilities of certain materials.
    * * * *

  15. #15

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I couldn't tell you why although my guess is that it might have to do with material restrictions, but most modern scents with discernable phases are problematic for me. It's a rare one which doesn't dry down to something very generic; some nondescript woody note and a dab of musk for example, or the ubiqitous sweet-vanilla drydown with some sandalwood.

    The basenotes in vintage fragrances seem to be far less generic and ho-hum. That said I can and do like both types of fragrance whether modern or vintage. I don't understand why linear is used so often as a pejorative. Especially when so many non-linear fragrances follow such a dull and utterly predictable pattern.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Stuck on good is good!

    Some kinds of linearity are also very attractive without being simplistic - the ones where multiple interesting and pleasant elements weave in and out of focus easily, but are always present - where there are balances that maintain themselves for a long time. I sometimes find these sorts of fragrances more interesting and worthy of praise, than those where changes over time seem more like skillful and artful surrender to the temporal incompatibilities of certain materials.
    A very good point RP. I hadn't even thought of these sorts of fragrances as linear.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    It depends on the fragrance. Some fragrances smell like crap at the initial spray and turn into something special through the mid-notes and base. But, if I spray a frag that is excellent at the initial spray and stays that way, I can't complain either.

    A lot of times who wants to spray a frag that you don't initially like, to wait hours later for you to appreciate it? Could be kind of a waste sometimes. It's like buying a TV and the TV doesn't work the first week you purchase it, then all of a sudden...ESPN...lol.
    No I found Tobacco Vanille fantastic right away, and it is one of my favourite linear scents!! Hehe...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    This is a good topic.

    In my head I have segmented perfumes into 4 categories that are exclusive of each other.

    Dynamic (changing throughout the life of the perfume spray)
    Static (contrary to the above)
    Linear
    Complex

    I enjoy them all.

    Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens is one of the most abruptly dynamic perfumes I've smelled. It literally morphs from lavender to incense in minutes. Whereas other perfumes transition times are in hours this perfume is in minutes. The first hour or so is lavender then suddenly it becomes incense. I'd classify this is as dynamic and complex because it changes and is somewhat complex in composition.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Stuck on good is good!

    Some kinds of linearity are also very attractive without being simplistic - the ones where multiple interesting and pleasant elements weave in and out of focus easily, but are always present - where there are balances that maintain themselves for a long time. I sometimes find these sorts of fragrances more interesting and worthy of praise, than those where changes over time seem more like skillful and artful surrender to the temporal incompatibilities of certain materials.
    Couldn't have put it better!
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I agree. I like that one. It's one of those linear frags that has a nice sent and good longevity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    No I found Tobacco Vanille fantastic right away, and it is one of my favourite linear scents!! Hehe...
    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    No I found Tobacco Vanille fantastic right away, and it is one of my favourite linear scents!! Hehe...
    It depends on the fragrance. Some fragrances smell like crap at the initial spray and turn into something special through the mid-notes and base. But, if I spray a frag that is excellent at the initial spray and stays that way, I can't complain either.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I have no preference for one over the other. It's hard to generalize, as there are linear perfumes I like and dislike, and non-linear perfumes I like and dislike. One of my favorite things is the way a crisp chypre evolves over time into a warm amber. I also agree with Redneck that a linear fragrance with interesting facets is a wonderful thing.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I like linear fragrances, if I like something, I want it to keep smelling the same way. I don't want to LOVE something and then have it turn mediocre or worse halfway through wearing it.

    I'm not sure why I would want to wear something that I would describe as "challenging". If it's somehow difficult to wear or tolerate, I'm not likely to wear it.

    My favorite fragrances are linear. That isn't to say that I would dislike a fragrance that isn't (in fact I'm sure there are many that I would love) just that, if I can have one that smells amazing all the way through, smells the same and I know what I'm getting, or one that shifts and changes to something else....8 times out of 10 I'm going to go for the one that smells the same after 10 hours as it does after 10 minutes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Stuck on good is good!

    Some kinds of linearity are also very attractive without being simplistic - the ones where multiple interesting and pleasant elements weave in and out of focus easily, but are always present - where there are balances that maintain themselves for a long time. I sometimes find these sorts of fragrances more interesting and worthy of praise, than those where changes over time seem more like skillful and artful surrender to the temporal incompatibilities of certain materials.
    I TOTALLY agree with this. THOSE would be my ideal fragrances, every changing but still the same if that makes sense. Kinda holographic.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I like all kinds of scents, whether their development is linear or notes, as long as the notes are at least tolerated, at best, enjoyed by me.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    Kinda holographic.
    Oooooh! You said a magic word!

    Thanks for that!!!
    * * * *

  25. #25

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I do like well done linear scents. I think people often get too wrapped up in thinking fragrances all have to have some sort of great progression from the top notes through the heart and then to the base. There are times where simple is a very desirable trait.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I think Kaelee has started a new descriptor - "holographic" fragrances

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by laph View Post
    I think Kaelee has started a new descriptor - "holographic" fragrances
    Hehe. Now I want to find all the "holographic" fragrances out there.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    Many of my favorite scents are linear. While I would not say I specifically prefer linear scents, it certainly does not bother me and would not dissuade me from wearing or purchasing them. I guess in my case if it smells good, it's fair game.
    Current Top Favorites:
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    4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

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  29. #29

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I get a bit nervous if something just keeps on keeping on - I feel like I'm paying for a composition and all I'm getting is a dose of some aromachemical engineered to last forever . . . might as well just order the raw material sort of thing. The few I do have in this category are there for when I'm flying, stuff like Vetiver Tonka and Chergui, or the occasional concert or big social event that is guaranteed to run very late . . . Reflection Man, Taste of Heaven, Back to Black.

    I really prefer seeing a story unfold, it seems more natural somehow.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Linear fragrances - the discussion.

    I'm with Mr.Reasonable.
    Excepting perhaps of pure Mysore Sandalwood oil (I have a small supply left from way back when), linear fragrances feel rather 'blocky' or monolithic and I tend to tire of them.

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