I used to visit this forum 5 years ago, and I can tell you guys that there seems to be a crucial difference between now and then. In the past, there was a large population of very powerful basenoters, who were capable of analyzing complex pyramids of notes and had a strong focus on "older" or classical fragrances (including the more modern classics). They recommended those ragrances that resisted the test of time or that were almost a consensus among experts in terms of quality.
In the present, the forum seems to be populated or attended by relatively less experienced basenoters, who tend to focus on more modern fragrances, which do not have the benefit of having survived the test of time. The forum got younger. It is a younger crowd.
Another thing that I noticed: There were creed fanatics then, as there are now, but I don´t remember finding such a cult following for a fragrance as we now find for Aventus. Aventus is a god-like fragrance here.
These are my first impressions from a limited sample of messages that I've read here during the last few days. I may be totally wrong in what I have just said. But this is my first impression. I am being honest.
...and I still think someone is hyping scents to obtain as much as attention possible... old marketing technique, huh?
Well said and noticed
Yes, the hypes are a bit bizarre and Creed takes the cake in that regard - this in mind, I'm not surprised that Aventus became the one drawing the most attention. It's a fragrance that appeals to a remarkably broad audience and seems to work well all year 'round. And then there's the mysterious batch differences that keep coming up frequently.Another thing that I noticed: There were creed fanatics then, as there are now, but I don´t remember finding such a cult following for a fragrance as we now find for Aventus. Aventus is a god-like fragrance here.
This has to do quite a bit with the "juvenilization" and "over-democratisation" of the Internet.
If I may make an analogy.... in the old days of the IMDB, you had fewer, older on the average, decently-to-amazingly knowledgeable reviewers and voters. An eight stars review/vote from them was extremely high praise. You had Fellini, Chaplin, Dreyer, Wyler, Wilder, Kurosawa... masterpieces voted as such. They were giving "9"s rarely, and ten stars perhaps to two or three movies which, among many hundreds, changed their lives. (The inertial, fading energy of those times explains why the present IMDB top list is not yet a complete shame, why some masterpieces survive in there.) These reviewers, as a genuine collective elite, were making the IMDB "top 100" more trustworthy than Roger Ebert's, erudite as the latter may be. I wonder in fact whether one could find these old(er) lists somewhere, archived.
This was 15 years or so ago, perhaps even ten. Today you have masses of teenagers (and possibly paid agents of the movie producers) voting unbelievably compact mass-10's whenever the new Tarantino strident nonsense or the latest adolescent Batman "masterpiece" hits the market. The under-culture of abysmal "awesomeness," without a discernment-steeped background and/or effort, has substituted wisdom, patience, and modesty.
Now... what's the connection here? The old phrase as well known says "comparisons are odious." Nevertheless, Shakespeare, in Much Ado About Nothing, purposefully and humorously misquotes that as "comparisons are odorous" (no kidding).
Perhaps he was unto something there, the old bard. This could be adopted as Basenotes' Shakespearean motto.
PS [edited in] I definitely do not self-servingly number myself alongside the amazingly knowledgeable when it comes to scents - perhaps and at best among the half-, or quarter-decent... or at least one knowing barely enough to realize how much one doesn't know.
Last edited by EndlesslySurprised; 21st March 2013 at 07:59 PM. Reason: PS added
Welcome back! You've made some good points. The evolution would be more apparent to you but it's even obvious to old timers who have stuck around.
Yes, BN has changed and it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that it can't be good for everyone at the same time. We did use to have a lot more technical and in-depth writing. Now it's more of a revolving door for those who have a quick question or are looking for a miracle pill for a prom or a date. Often you never even know if they've read the responses since there's never a second post from the OP. Nothing wrong with that in itself. Just depends on what you're looking for on a forum and whether one is kept entertained or educated. It's all good.
And thankfully, there are always other choices out there too.
Indeed yes, but then again, Basenotes and its members only express a few isolated facets through younger and more contemporary fragrances, as well as the relatively steady Creed hype. Nevertheless, paraphrasing a more or less famous film quote, Basenotes and its multi-faceted insight regarding the world of fragrances, "is a state of mind".
The world has changed in the last five years, it does that a lot.
In the early 1960's, computers were built to order, a costly process involving numerous visits to IBM in Germany - and when the new wonder arrived, a dust-free room was needed to house it.
Now, we can have real-time conversations worldwide.
We have lost some great members, and they have not been replaced with similar quality. It's that simple. Lots of posts on this forum that need to be over on the starting out forum.
There's a tendency to use B/N as a scenty sort of Google, rather than read through & learn imo.
Aventus doesn't do a thing for me much like the rest of Creed... i've been on here for about 2.5 years... but into fragrances for 15+ years.
It does seem a shame that basenotes seems to be a phase for many members. They hang around for a few years and then disappear. I really miss some of the older members.
But more recent members have brought with them a new awareness of reformulations, coding etc., of which I am really grateful !!
RARE PERFUME DECANTS - FACEBOOK (closed group) - Hundreds of ultra rare extraits available, including Djedi and Nombre Noir.
That's all well and good, but let's talk about Aventus.
Current Top Five:
1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
5. Creed Original Vetiver
Please note that just 3-4 yrs ago "reformulations" were not at this level. At least for me, just 5 years ago "good perfumes" were ordinary things; now "good perfumes" are rare as gems.
But this is difficult to understand for non-trained, occasional noses. For them almost all perfumes are good.
If I was on BN 5 yrs ago, I have already given up.
Now -IMO- it's time to rediscover ancient treasures.
I'll stick with Caleche, thanks ( the old stuff)
We've encountered a different phase of perfumery over the last few decades, where the classic houses, the grand dames of perfumery have really entered the mainstream and have realised that there are enormous profits to be made by creating more accessible fragrances. Certainly until recent years their 'classic' fragrances were still available at reasonable prices, whereas now many people are being priced out of the market for them, due I'm sure in no small part to the endless trumpeting of their place in the canon by BN members.
This has bred a huge group of niche and artisan fragrances, the likes of which simply weren't around in years past. The perfumers are using the classics as sources of inspiration (often using signature accords just as the 'Guerlainade' of the past) and creating very bold and daring fragrances that I feel are at least as brave as any vintage fragrance erstwhile released.
I think if you dig into the threads on such fragrances, you'll find some enthusiasts that are as dedicated and as passionate as you ever did; they're just not necessarily talking about Derby or vintage Mouchoir de Monsieur.
I also think the fact that many people argue primarily about 'wearability' or 'versatility' of such fragrances shows that there's still something of a consensus on quality.
I'm more than happy to discuss the latest fragrances with people*, knowing full-well that Basenotes requires these new members and new fragrances to stay relevant.
*Within reason, of course.....CK Encounter sucks
On the other hand, people on other forums still say this place is as needlessly hyper-aware and obsessive as ever. Look at the Dior Homme Intense reformulation thread, or any of the WHICH CREED BATCH OMGZ threads if you want an example of that.
I am still a relative newbie, but I did used to make more of an effort to post here. The frequent downtime sent me to FB where I met many other BN refugees. I continue to enjoy interacting there because people use their real names and indulge less in the bad habits that anonymous posters indulge in. FB groups also tend to be moderated more like house parties, which makes them more familial and "connected"-feeling. The latter is a big upside for me: I will often extend an open invitation to FB BNers to meet in my home, which is something that I would not be comfortable doing here. Ultimately, I think the higher degree of accountability on FB faciliates this sort of trust better. There are downsides, too: I like the public-facing aspect of Basenotes content because anyone searching on the Internet can stumble into the conversation, and that's awesome (it's how I got here). FB groups also tend to be self-selecting, and while that's good for weeding out people who don't have any manners, I don't feel that I always get the full gamut of opinion that I do in a larger community like this.
Secondarily, The Marketplace also used to be a big draw for me because I enjoyed hosting splits. But that became onerous and hostile, and unfortunately it's just not something that brings me back to the site any more. I will still occasionally cruise the For Sale threads though.
Basenotes itself is largely responsible for the attrition of veteran members and the loss of internet presence to competing sites.
Overzealous moderators (apparently with Grant's support) have over the years banned a number of the most valuable posters, usually for petty or personal reasons (which never should've been allowed).
Couple that with Grant's ongoing inability to keep the site up and functioning normally (not to mention lack of improvements to the site) and you had some members just give up in frustration and go elsewhere.
in addition to these self inflicted wounds, some veteran members have their own blogs or write for other, more welcoming or progressive websites, which may take precedence over contributing to Basenotes.
Basenotes has, unfortunately, a lack of serious commitment and vision from its owner. It's a shame, really, as it once was the premiere site for fragrances on the internet and could've been so much more than it is now. I believe that Grant should've sought help or sold the website years ago, but he has consistently shown that he wants to have complete control over the site even though it is far too large for him to manage and he has other, more important concerns that do not allow him the time that Basenotes needs.
All this probably sounds harsher than intended, but it is my perception of the site since I joined in 2007. The fact that we all want more from Basenotes shows how important that we think it is and how monumental Grant's initial work was. It's just too bad that the site could've been in such better shape with a less draconian and more flexible philosophy.
And expect it to change dramatically 5 years from now as well.
Thank you, you 've made feel so young!
Be the change that you want to see.
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Good luck with that
Maybe a Forum category re-vamp?
It would be nice if there were a designated place where these things could be discussed openly and constructively without fear of banishment. I agree too that it's on our mind because BN is still important to us.