Last edited by silverbullet; 24th March 2013 at 07:34 PM.
@silverbullet - it's been pretty good this week, no problems - or is that tempting fate
I didn't see much discounting when I was in London years ago, except at the Harrod's sale, where I picked up Helmut Lang Curion and Kouros Sport Cologne going quite cheaply.
Agree with the OP's sentiments.
I don't buy into the site's down-time as a real issue - it hasn't kept the punters away. More broadly there have been delivery failures - the magazine, the Basenotes scent project, - by which some people felt cheated.
I don't agree with Renato's views about womens' scents (or the position taken by others). (And I'd love to know where you found those cheap A-Gs).
I think Dimitri left long before he was banned (if indeed he was). And he still irregularly posts on his own blog.
I was never comfortable with the notion of perfume as a 'hobby'.
I still have a large number of bottles, I still try new perfumes as they appear in the department stores, I keep an eye on what my 'preferred' houses are doing. And these forums can't satisfy that interest.
The Basenotes forum now generally has less-experienced noses, dismissive about scents first released more than 2 years ago (and I reject the proposition that the classic scents been reformulated beyond recognition), and no capacity to use the search function.
I still log in occassionally - hoping for an interesting article, mainly looking at the Australian sub-forum for any local news, but that's it. And it's a shame.
Yes I have been thinking of leaving. I am one of few original Basenotes members still around its not the same and I miss many of my old friends.
I got the cheap Annick Goutals at the closing down sale of a niche shop in Melbourne, which I posted about at the time.
I was a newbie to this site 6 years ago i think. I loved the insight of members like Hirch, GoodLife, Redneck, ZZ, Ruggles, tvlampboy, Petrucci, Pluran, and Beck. And yes, this site helped me learn everything I know about perfumery except my own personal taste. the greatness of the userbase has been a total blessing to me.
I haven't experienced any unwarranted moderator bullying, and I hope such never happens.
Bbut I cosign the sentiments of an age shift, and the younger members posting any question, no matter how inane or overcovered already, effectively drowning the forum in repetitive, unnecessary drivel that distracts from high-brow convo I became accustomed to, after I learned to tone down my own posting and search VERY THOROUGHLY before posting a new thread.
It's something like young puppies p!ssing everywhere, with little regard for the condition of their surroundings. Or leaving all one's garbage on the breakroom counter after lunch....just a general loud, ignorant rude, selfish, and slovenly display of behavior.
But it's not that big a deal. I just have to skim over a higher percentage of threads and posts before getting to the good stuff that is still here. hednic, SculptureofSoul, and a few others are still as much help as ever.
I have slowed down on posting, because I feel like I've finally collected every single "must have" fragrance, for my taste, from the western and arabian world that was released before 2012. i feel like all I need to do now is keep up with new releases, which occupies less time.
The explanation for many of the veteran posters posting less is probably a combination of things, probably many have families, and very busy personal lives that leave very little time for things like message baords.
All that said, I still immensely enjoy basenotes than any other forum for fragrance I've found.
BN sales: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/300...avidoff-Bombay.
Off-BN sales (super rare CREED): http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=95
Is a less experienced nose one that displays an inability to use eloquent, illustrious prose(big grammarz, oyinbo kpo) as they wax poetically in expressing their opinion about a fragrance. Or, is it having an opinion about a fragrance that differs from the opinion of the more "experienced" cognoscenti, who obviously dictate how one should relate to a fragrance.
Is a less experienced nose one that has the inability to dissect a fragrance and identify each individual note in the composition? If so, there's an easy fix, check the net, the note pyramid is likely listed somewhere. I would venture to say that I could find a good writer and briefly describe any fragrance note that they were not familiar with, and they could write an amazing review without ever having smelled the fragrance, and you wouldn't know whether they were "experienced" or not. I ask these questions because I would really like to know, I mean, is there like some über-covert credentialing chamber where I can find out if I'm official, I mean like a real life experienced fragrance aficionado.
Also this idea that one is uncouth, stuck in time, barbaric, vulgar even; brainwashed by some supernatural market force for thinking of fragrances as masculine or feminine, when they're just expressing how they exist with a fragrance, I don't agree, however I do maintain that those who think that way have a right to their opinion.
I find the forum to generally be inviting, I've had several members hip me to some fragrances that I didn't know about, send them to me on their dime and vice-versa, even met some real cool local cats.
You don't have to agree but it's more or less a part of history. What is 'masculine' and 'feminine' is constantly being redefined. Here's a simple enough example:Also this idea that one is uncouth, stuck in time, barbaric, vulgar even; brainwashed by some supernatural market force for thinking of fragrances as masculine or feminine, when they're just expressing how they exist with a fragrance, I don't agree, however I do maintain that those who think that way have a right to their opinion.
Another example would be make up. Men don't really wear it today, but they definitely did in the past (and plenty still do if they're on TV). You're only 'brainwashed' if you dismiss all fragrances marketed toward women as something men can not and should not wear (and vice versa).
For sale thread ----> http://www.basenotes.net/threads/332...nd-no-9-Chanel
I think the forum isn't what it used to be because the fragrance industry/marketplace isn't what it used to be. A lot of houses that used to put out great juice (Hermes, Chanel, YSL, etc.) now put out crap that's been so watered-down and turned to vapor, it's hardly anything I'd ever be interested in. Worst still, houses that used to have great frags have had to reformulate them down to the essence of water. Blame the IFRA, frag houses' business models or the public's disinterest in complex and different frags, I don't know. But it's a reality that I, for one, can't get excited about like I used to 4 or 5 years ago. These days, my prerogative is focusing on those "classic" frags that I love and learning, to my horror, which one has been reformulated.
So, in the end, there's not much to talk about. Maybe Pluran can take over this site and post all those lovely girly pix ad infinitum
"I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."
Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait
My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux
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/
The decline of quality male fragrances available reflects the decline of quality of posts here on basenotes. A few years ago, there were vast varieties of designer fragrances out there -- well-made ones, in terms of ingredients and composition, untouched with its greatness preserved; and you didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars to own them.
This is the way I see it...it all comes down to oversaturation of the market. If you go back decades colognes/perfumes/scents were semi-limited when it came to the market. You had fewer choices and people had a tendency to stick with classics. Even when I joined around 5 years ago there seemed to be more talk of niche vs. designer but the designers being talked about were still tried and true and the newer ones were allowed to be in the market and analyzed a little longer. Now it seems like there is a new flanker and scent out monthly. They come and go, head to TJ Maxx or disappear and then another one takes its place. Many designers have tried to appeal to a younger audience...Big Pony, etc..and thus you have many more enthusiasts that want to learn more but are into the "what will turn heads." To me that's the biggest difference. It's hard to analyze something over time when it isn't given the time to be out there and looked at. Now its flavor of the month and a little harder to keep up. JMO.
"As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
I'm one of the less experienced and less technical people, but I come to somewhere like here as part of my learning, to discuss things in a non-judgemental way with people who I know are a whole lot more experienced and knowledgeable than me.
What I am really experienced in is running forums on the internet, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the 'this isn't like it was in the good old days' threads have been running ever since the good old days, and they run on absolutely every site out there.
On really busy sites they bemoan the loss of the little site where everybody knows everybody else, on more niche sites they bemoan the specialism because they used to have a lot more broad appeal.
Things change, people develop and move on- the world does not stay the same and that's normal and fine to be that way.
As for the Basenotes scent project, I have no idea what happened there, but it seemed ludicrous that two of the three proposed fragrances were leather scents. IMHO, the scent family of each of the three fragrances should have been different from each other, thus offering a broader spectrum of choice. I kept my mouth shut, as I very much doubt many would have listened with all the buzz that was being generated (as well as possibly being branded a party pooper).
A lot of the "outcry" is tied to nostalgia in another way. Tastes change in society but a lot of early/prominent basenoters seem to be "retrosexual" in a way that "classics" are inherently better and that they are chasing the mystical fragrances of the past. The current ingredient restrictions are a real thing but a lot of the outcry seems to be that many of the older style fragrances are falling out of style. If say, you replaced Aventus threads with Mitsuoko, I suspect there would be a lot less animosity. On top of that, the internet has brought in a lot of "the enthusiest/collector" crowd who likes to debate on more technical issues where as I get the feeling that before that the fragrance community was more an artistic drawn to the artistry of scent more than its basic commercial application.
TLDR: Its less a decline in quality and more a change in style/preference in what fragrances are discussed and how they are discussed.
I think the site could easily amend some of the issues mentioned by creating more and better sub-forums, such as:
- Preference polls and fragrance advice
- Designer fragrances
- Niche fragrances
- Vintage and classics
- New releases
That would be helpful to ensure that people with similar interests gather in smaller groups instead of having to sift through large amount of threads.
On the other hand we briefly had famous perfume gurus Luca Turin and Michael Edwards as a members, yet some people just wanted to start abrasive arguments with them, rather than polite discussion. Also, we had one chap called Scentemental ( or slight variation of that name) who had numerous high quality posts which were effectively essays (often amazing depth-wise)that were worth reading from start to finish.
I would be considered a newbie, as I have only been on Basenotes for less than two years. But that is because I did not get into fragrance in a serious way until then. I wore Obsession into 2007 and a few scents from Crabtree & Evelyn after that. Then I discovered I had a lot to learn and experience.
But I am not a newbie on the Internet. I was involved in dial up computer bulletin boards from 1986, years before there was a World Wide Web (www) we think of today. I started on the Internet in the early 1990s. As others have said, people come and go and others have complained about forum social collapse and the loss of community since AOL opened up the Internet to the masses.
In reality, people and interests change over the years. What was must-see five years ago is now a memory. It is easy to be nostalgic, and forum communities in general have been challenged by blogs and Facebook. If you wonder where people went, you will probably find many of them in those two places, where they can be the masters of their own domain.
Just remember there are new folks like myself that have a lot to learn, and the experienced members here are among the best teachers.
Life, especially on the Internet, is subject to change without notice.
As a veteran with not a great deal of time to post/read these days my opinion is that it is still very cool here. Some excellent oldies are still around and there seems to mostly be a decent level of conversation. It seems the level of knowledge of people coming in is quite high - frags as a hobby are more popular by far.
On a personal level it can be quite frustrating when I DO know the answer to something after a decade or so of hard (expensive!) research and my post gets lost in a sea of people who don't know me and ignore my post. But that is not really anybody's fault ...
“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
Gee, guess this has been going on for a long time. So are youngsters actually becoming worse and worse, or is the whining of oldsters just louder and louder? Maybe there's some middle ground in there. In the meantime, I remain terrified of turning into a cranky old codger who shakes his finger and says, "Things were much better back in my day, sonny boy."
Personally, I believe that those who yearn for the past miss the "exclusivity" of Basenotes, meaning that they were one of the few who were truly interested in fragrances as a hobby and not as a casual person who just wore designers. Not many people were interested in fragrances as a hobby and the community was small and tight-knit.
Fast forward to the present and you have seen the fragrance hobby expand exponentially in various social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and of course forums. It literally doesn't take much effort nowadays to find a bevy of information on various fragrances from around the world, as well as reviews from people that can be complete novices to career professionals.
As hobbies grow, it is quite common to see older members fade away for numerous reasons. However, as hobbies grow, you'll also eventually encounter sub-factions emerging. Take what has happened here for example. Basenotes has fans of niche houses, ultra rares, vintages, male/female classifications, designers, and so on and so forth. I think its great for hobbies to continually grow and evolve. Just think how boring the hobby would be if no one dared to innovate or create.
You can see this behavior in almost every hobby. Music, books, video games, board games, hell even the watch forum I belong to (Watchuseek) has experienced this.
Summer 2013 Top 10 :
1. Creed Aventus
2. Dior Homme Sport (2012)
3. L'Eau Bleue D'Issey
4. Bleu de Chanel
5. Acqua dio Gio Essenza
6. Strange Invisible Perfumes - Peloponnesian
7. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
8. Diesel Green Masculine
9. Terre d'Hermes
10. Guerlain Homme
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. It is the most interesting thread I have read on this forum recently. I suppose that is either sad, or hopeful, depending on how I choose to look at it.
We tend to romanticize the past. It would surprise me if there wasn't a group of people that thought that the heydey of basenotes was several years ago. Unfortunately, it does seem that other forums have surpassed basenotes in terms of traffic and popularity. I can live with that, and still come here.
The only thing I find disconcerting is the creeping undercurrent of snarkiness and arrogance in many new (and even some long time) posters -- not enough to get a thread closed or a poster banned, but enough to make me want to not respond that that particular person's posts because I don't want to get a response that is vaguely insulting or annoying. I cannot count the number of times I've responded to a person's post and then later edited my answer or comment because I thought it came off as insulting. Some people don't seem to think that politeness is necessary. Well, unnecessary it may be . . . but it is appreciated.
Current Top Ten:
1. Creed Millesime Imperial
2. Serge Lutens Chergui
3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
4. Creed Virgin Island Water
5. Chanel Eau de Cologne
6. Thierry Mugler Pure Havane
7. Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme
8. Bulgari Blu
9. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
10. YSL Kouros
It is my understanding that there is no inherent gendering in scent above that which has been socially constructed through the age-old association of 'sugary sweet things' with femininity and musky, woody, sweaty accords with males. These are traditional, socially purported ideals.
Conversely, the inability to perceive certain colours is genetic and may reflect defects in or the absence of light sensitive cells on the retina. There is no subjectivity in colour perception; you either can or can't see colour to a greater or lesser degree. The only parallels one might realistically draw to the perception of scent are those based on the idea that certain colours are associated with certain emotions, such as red with anger and yellow with happiness. Mere perception of both colour and scent takes place at an unconscious level; the interpretation thereof is far more subjective and culturally dictated.
I apologise if I've rambled a bit too far off topic there.
Smelling good on a budget!
In my childhood, I grew up in Australia, and spent some time in Italy. All I know is that in both places, hand a kid a pocket knife, axe or other cutting implement, and he will attack branches, logs, sticks and climb trees. And when girls see daisies, expect lots of interminable daisy chains and lots of mucking around with flowers. Hand girls knives and hand boys daisies, and the results won't be as enthusiastic. Socially constructed or innate?
Anyhow, that is irrelevant. I was comparing two minorities, one that can't perceive masculine and feminine scents, and one that can't perceive the full colour range. Some six years ago, one of those minorites was continually proclaiming itself here as enlightened, more advanced in perfumery, and superior, while simultaneously inferring the majority of male scent users were unenlightened , brainwashed and inferior. To my knowledge, the partially colour blind minority have never come out anywhere and proclaimed themselves superior, although in some situations their vision is superior to that of the majority, such as in the detection of camouflage, and the perception of colours of small size against a dark background (at the turn of the second last century, countless books were written by astronomers describing Mars, but the only accurate account was that by Schiaparelli, who was partially colour blind).
As I said earlier, the place is better now as a lot of the enlightened ones have either left or learned tolerance. Now we can have light hearted and fun discussions about whether scents are genderless or not, and at the end of the day, the result doesn't really matter, as people wear whatever they want without belittling the tastes of the other.
- - - Updated - - -
Young people today grew up with the internet and with Wikipedia and think a 10 second article skim is a substitute for knowledge and experience. Furthermore due to modern trends in parenting and education they've been taught from an early age how individual and precious and creative and expressive they are, and so have zero self-awareness when it comes to evaluating and censoring their own thoughts and opinions online, even when sharing/debating them with obvious experts in a particular field.
Unfortunately high school/college kids have far more time on their hands than people with careers, families etc., so they will always be able to drown out any signal with their noise. It's an old problem, but one that's accelerating.
Private communities and/or heavy moderation are the only answers I've ever seen that work. I for one would welcome an "experts only" forum on Basenotes which would be open to a very small subset of well-known expert Basenoters, where the rest of us would be welcome to follow the conversation but not contribute; at least not until we've proven our stripes in the regular fora.
I'm left wondering whether he (or any other member with alot to offer) would have given as much effort if he'd of known how quickly it would get buried and how relatively difficult it would be for the new or average member to now find. Along these lines, I wish BN was more of an encyclopedic/wiki set-up, with quality opinions and support saved and built upon for future members' sake. Moderator-like members could make up that group that decides which content is sticky worthy... or, even some member vote type mechanism where it's weighted accordingly to a combination of variables like membership initiation date, paying membership, industry experience, post count, review count, sales/purchases activity, splits hosters, etc.
The current search function only goes so far.
Simplex Sigillum Veri
In 1918, an article in Ladies Home Journal advised: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”
I could launch into a campaign of research and citation in an attempt to defend the claim that scent is inherently ungendered, although I would like to suggest that the onus is on you to provide evidence that this is not the case, especially in light of the fact that scent gendering is perceived differently across different cultures. A short article I found to support that notion is found here: http://www.charentonmacerations.com/...ce-and-gender/
I will concede that there appears to be evidence that males and females perceive scent differently. They have their critics but Brand and Millot (2001) for example, found that women are more sensitive to certain fragrant compounds than men and that, overall, they have a more sensitive olfactory sense, but even then, there is no suggestion that specific scents are more suitable for, or more universally preferred by a specific gender.
But yes, this runs the risk of turning into academic debate for academic debate's sake - I agree with your sentiments with relation to the forum; I even agree that the vast majority of seasoned sniffers will have no issue identifying 'male' and 'female' fragrances, but there is still a lot of grey area in that respect (I used to think Dior Homme was the most masculine scent I owned!) so I would like to believe that I won't be judged negatively by my peers when I, a stocky, six-foot, tattooed, bearded, heterosexual male, step out in a liberal wearing of Feminite du Bois.
Which, I have just decided, is what I am going to do today.
Smelling good on a budget!
This thread now has has very little to do with Male Fragrance and is much more about site issues in general. The Community Center is more appropriate for such discussions. Those who think the mods have personal issues with members are quite wrong. Many knowledgeable and generally well-liked members have done and said many very nasty things to others that quite often seem to go unnoticed by the membership. The reasons for banning someone are creating uncomfortable situations for others such as vulgar images, racial, religious or gender offensive statements, etc. OR continued failure to follow the site rules OR multiple scam complaints. Although mod bashing is itself a site violation it is better to just close the thread at this point.
Founder- Cosa Nosetra