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 !!
" Only wimps swim with the current "
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.
We also still have room in our Penhaligon's Trade Routes Sample Pass--sign up now!
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.
Unfortunately moderators have lives to, and sometimes I wish more attention was paid to threads and posts that has been started. Just look for all the silly posts right on the front page of this forum. They should be deleted before they go much further than a few responses, because they have nothing at all to do with what we are discussing and more to do with people just wanting to be a horses behind with a horrible sense of humor.
Edited to add: TWO years! Maybe it just feels like three
Don't wanna seem stupid but what is "FB"? FaceBook??
And while I'm at it, what store is called MiN?
Is it too much not to assume that people are familiar with countless acronyms? Thanks.
FB is facebook
MiN refers to the Min New york store http://minnewyork.com/
especially missed are off-scenter and scentemental. does anybody know if they currently post anywhere?
offsite sales: http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=301
current top 4 houses, random order: Vero Profumo, Slumberhouse, MFK, Roja Dove
favourite categories: oriental semi-gourmands, ouds, vetivers
The same thing has happened on all forums that I frequent. As someone who has had internet access for fifteen years it's my opinion that this has occurred because of ease of access. The early internet was a bunch of nerds and more well educated and affluent folks. Today we have to deal with the millions of the less evolved. I well aware of how elitist this post sounds, there's is no point on taking me to task for it.
I'm wearing Aventus to read and post in this thread. It smells great.
I'm relatively new here, but for the time I've been here I've been extremely active, as I am on the site most of the day at one point or another. Unfortunately I do think there are some issues as noggs and PalmBeach pointed out (in particular). I miss D&S badly.
As for the knowledge base, I think it may be less than what you were used to, but now there are more members offering their own opinions on fragrances, so you get some views from new people to the hobby and old alike. In my opinion that is worth a lot, since some things in fragrances are naturally going to be lost on "newer" noses, and that's something to take into consideration if you are new to the game.
Overall though, I love the community and would be lost without it. Between here and Facebook, I've met a lot of great people and learned a LOT about fragrances.
I think the forum has taken a wrong direction as of late. Many great members have left and for good reason, the forum is not what it once was, filled with great reviews and discussions regarding various sorts of fragrances, by people who truly love the art of fragrances; now all you see are threads talking about Aventus batches and vintage vs reform bottles of DHI.
Many great members were also kicked out by moderators who don't do their job and organize threads which don't belong in certain categories but instead direct their attention to meaningless "violations" and harass kicking people off the site for some stupid reason.
I still visit base notes often, but when there are great blogs with notable and reliable reviewers to be found on the internet, it lessens your desire to check out whats new with base notes. I'm happy with youtube reviewers, FB groups and great blogs from truly passionate fragrance aficionados. Slowly but surely this site is decaying, unless some drastic changes are made, but I highly doubt that.
Seeing as the site didn't work properly for a long time it's surprising that there are still people here. One of the best reviewers pulled his reviews, some pleasant/funny characters seem to have stopped posting, replaced by ever-changing new names posting semi-troll threads or the same thread over and over again, add to that all the Creed shills :-p .... It's either that or one is getting old.
I have a problem with statements such as "large population of very powerful basenoters" and "lost some great members, and they have not been replaced with similar quality." What factors determine the "quality" of a member, and who is to judge? If one wants to start a site where only people with certain characteristics need apply, then one is free to do that, but it saddens me to think that Basenotes should be regarded like that.
Also, I thought that Basenotes was a site about fragrances, not just about fragrances that "have the benefit of having survived the test of time." Modern fragrances are fragrances. Anyone with an interest in fragrances should feel welcome to discuss any of them.
It will continue to change because it has got so much harder to exchange fragrances internationally. Many of the former games and passes have had to stop or go underground. These all led to wonderful discussions of old and new perfumery. I really feel the perfume industry shouldn't let this one be got away with. There could be a mini size allowed and that would really help. How can the industry survive if new perfume samples cannot be smelled? You cannot encourage global trading and then bring a huge hammer down upon it. We will see soon enough.
Then of course there is the increased accessibility of niche frags and the burgeoning choices of the new, the new flankers and the new flankers-flankers available. The proper old dames and gentlemen frags are sadly on the wane from zealous legislations and not available to that many to smell any longer even if they were interested, added to by the above problems.
The downtime nearly made a mass exodus, just it was just nigh on impossible to play here. I ventured out with withdrawal symptoms because it is miles faster elsewhere for some reason and posted a few, but I really find other layouts hard to use.
As for banning... I have lost some good friends here that way and as far as I could determine, they were doing little except express a view and those they were having a contra-temp with, who seemed to say worse, are still freely posting with no ill effects. It does make one wonder occasionally. I shall have to go and look for them myself.
I totally agree about the ask questions and don't bother looking it up squad. It just tempts abject sarcasm.
But... it cannot be all bad surely... the more perfumistas the merrier. It proves the interest is there even in byte sized pieces... so onwards and upwards... let's try and be those interesting people and have those interesting conversations.
True, I wish people would use the search engine on the site more because it is fantastic. Most questions have already been answered and my doing such you learn about so many other fragrances in the process. I really would like for people to respect the other forum more, it does not mean you are less than to ask a question over there in fact, its more practical. And peradventure you may meet new friends with the same taste buds.
But there's still good stuff happening around here. The problem is, it rarely gets recognition. David has an awesome thread in progress that he's been consistently updating. How many people in this thread griping about the change in basenotes have taken the time to read it and respond to it?
It seems posts that stir up arguments (and NOT constructive arguments), or posts that superficially "discuss" the hottest trend receive the majority of attention. Aventus is the perfect storm because its insanely trendy and immediately causes arguments (old, redundant, rehashed squabbling). There's the basic argument of I HATE IT/I LOVE IT/IT SUCKS/ITS GREAT!, often followed by the IF YOU HATE IT, DON'T POST ABOUT IT/I'LL POST ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT argument, which usually ushers in the NO MORE AVENTUS POSTS/WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME THAT?/LET'S CONDENSE ALL AVENTUS POSTS conflict which then sparks the USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION/OH I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A SEARCH FUNCTION/DON'T BE SO SNIDE WHEN YOU TELL PEOPLE TO USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION quarrel and somewhere in between there is always the BATCHCODE INCONSISTENCY ISSUE which spirals into an all out WAR over the QUESTION OF QUALITY of CREED FRAGRANCES. It's ridiculous.
But it brings me back to my original point. It seems ARGUING for the sake of ARGUING, whether your style is logical, ad hominem, or persistent brute force often takes precedence over this forum's intended purpose: The discussion of Male Fragrances.
And Aventus posts and DHI posts proliferate because we respond to them. Because we can't help ourselves. It's too easy to give in. It requires too little thought and too much habit.
Last edited by vinramani09; 22nd March 2013 at 02:03 AM.
I do not have an issue with Grant, but a huge issue with basenotes moderators. I suffered so badly from unjustified moderator bullying several years ago, that I wrote private messages to many of the other moderators, asking for help and did not even receive the decency of a reply. I consequently left basenotes for several years.
I have returned ~ and hope that the depth of my threads/posts proves that I am genuinely passionate about fragrances.
Last edited by david; 22nd March 2013 at 12:26 AM.
" Only wimps swim with the current "
IMO change is welcome.
Basenotes is a very good site, forum included (maybe not as good as it used to be, I don't know) because of these:
1.- Regular reviewers excel, but there are very few (Darvant, Drseid, Alfarom and so on...)
2.- The forum is really open and democratic: You can discuss about the Axes the same as about the Rojas.
3.- There are threads (my favourites) meant only for "sharing the joy" of the fragance hobby: SOTD the main.
4.- As basenotes grows, Mr. Grant is gaining weight in the fragance's world as it is pretty clear to me.
5.- People is well behaved IMO and you can find very polite and cultivated people, but always in the wide range of an open space.
It goes to show that change can be a positive thing.
As a teacher I did encounter this phenomenon - the "feel good" crowd, who sees progress whenever challenging views and people who know more than one does are made to "magically" disappear. Consequently group thinking is never challenged and everybody's "happy" in a make-believe world.
[.............] "They're going to feel bad. 'Oh mommy, I got C's and low B's. But the girl in my class is getting B's and A's. How coming I'm not being awarded?' "
This Forum is much better now.
Five years ago there was a strong group of supposedly experienced Basenoters, who took it upon themselves to continually push for men to wear women's scent because the women's scents were superior, and virtually all but a few masculine scents were rubbish - while at the same time arguing the exact opposite proposition that scents had no gender (so how come most of the "mens" scents were rubbish?).
Time and again, I'd get ultra annoyed - sure wear anything you like, but stop casting yourself as superior because you wear women's scents, and stop continually bashing the masculine scents and inferring that those who liked masculine scents had less refined noses. This did lead to quite a few heated exchanges at the time.
Yes, there is less emphasis on classic scents here now, but it's also less elitist/snobbish than it was back then for a while. Also, as I've noticed with my nephews, they really don't like a lot of those classic scents very much at all.
I am grateful to those "old timers"' when I started reading BN in late 2007. Because of them, I had some interest in acquiring some "old stock" and within a couple years I was able to figure out what they were talking about, especially in terms of ingredient quality. At first, I realized there was a lot I didn't know and that it would not be something I could learn in a week. Yes, it does seem like a lot of the old guard dropped out (whether or not they are still tuned in, at least to some degree), but you can still find most of their contributions by simple searches. And let me point out that I have nothing against new, even super-cheap scents, if I find them wearable (the benefits of a huge rotation, I guess), but it may be that the forum has changed a bit, in terms of what most "talkative" BNers are interested in discussing, generally-speaking of course.
Visit my huge swap page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211135
Or visit my Sales page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211407
Samples, etc. for Sale at my Crystal Flacon page: http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=282
My fragrance blog: http://bigslyfragrance.wordpress.com/