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  1. #1

    Question Does Age Define Taste?

    This question was brought up in another unrelated thread, and I was wondering what my fellow bners thought about this question? I'll start it off by saying that in my opinion age and taste are two separate things. Just because you are an old man doesn't mean you can't enjoy new fresh scents. What about young men who enjoy old classics that were worn by there fathers. I get that fragrances can give an old guy vibe but not that only old people or young people would enjoy certain scents.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Sometimes. Depends on the person and their taste.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Don't believe so.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Sometimes. Depends on the person and their taste.
    are you saying that older people have different tastes, or that peoples tastes change as they grow older? I'd be more inclined to believe the latter

  5. #5
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Age does not define good taste but some people need time to learn what is tasteful.
    My Favorites

    1. Amouage Epic man
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    7. Norma Kamali Incense



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  6. #6

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    not for me

    if it's well composed, i'll enjoy it
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I believe the older we get, the more we reach for woody and heavy fragrances. Don't know why, though

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    One thing people severely miscalculate (regarding almost everything) is the idea that the preferences of older people today can be extrapolated to predict the preferences of people years from now. I think it's just culture. And the stuff we love now, 50 years in the future, may be old man's cologne.

    I wish we had more years to observe, but before the 1900's perfume wasn't used much by common people.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Age does not define good taste but some people need time to learn what is tasteful.
    this is very well spoken.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I believe the older we get, the more we reach for woody and heavy fragrances. Don't know why, though
    I agree with this. Younger people don't normally care for heavy leathers, orientals, etc. Older people don't usually go for the sweet and aquatics, etc.
    Tastes in music changes, tastes in clothing changes, tastes in food as well... Why would fragrance be different?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    The latter. For example think of a lot of things you didn't like when you were younger. As you experience and are introduced to more things in life, you start to appreciate them more.Fragrances is just one aspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpicyPepper View Post
    are you saying that older people have different tastes, or that peoples tastes change as they grow older? I'd be more inclined to believe the latter

  12. #12

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I really like some scents that are described as "old-man", and I'm 30. I think that people can definitely change their preferences as they age, but I don't think that one necessarily equals the other.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    When I started wearing fragrances in my teens my objective was to attract other girls and generally smell nice when on a date. I still do wear fragrances that my girlfriend enjoys while I'm around her, but I find myself wearing fragrances that I enjoy. The aspect of doing things that you enjoy for yourself isn't always there in your teenage years and it wasn't for me. Plus, it helps to have the means to purchase and experience other fragrances that I would not have been able to working a minimum wage job at 16. I'm in my late 20's now and have ever expanding tastes. However, I still can't enjoy me an "old man" scent yet...Habit Rouge had me running for the hills

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Taste defines taste. Age defines age.

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    Basenotes Junkie staticx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Absolutely not but with age (experience) your nose gets refined and taste changes automatically...
    ------------------------------------------------
    Currently on my Rotation:
    1. Cartier D'un Soir
    2. Loewe Essencia
    3. Bergamotto Marino
    4. Herb Alpert Listen
    5. Artisan
    6. Bang
    7. GIT
    8. Pal Zileri No 18
    9. TdH
    0. Kenzo Homme

  16. #16

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I won't say age defines taste, but it certainly does shape and guide it.

    It's not solely some change in 'maturity', but also environmental factors like our friends, our disposable income and our occupations that affect what we like or buy.

    I think what Duver wrote in your other thread 'Must Try !' is right on the money:

    Basenotes would not exist if we all had all fragrances available at the store round the corner. We would just smell them for ourselves and wouldn't need to ask anything about it on the internet, so all background* counts when you read a review!

    * gender
    * age
    * how many fragrances I've smelled before
    * weather of where I live
    * culture
    ... not that all of these are easily spotted, but they matter when I interprete (not discount) someone's reviews


    Context is essential when reading things so subjective as fragrance reviews.
    I live in a location with a pretty average selection of fragrances, so blind buying is not uncommon to me. I know the notes and accords I like, and those I don't, but I do enjoy stepping outside the comfort zone every so often.
    If I didn't find a few like-minded members whose opinions I value more highly than (but not to the exclusion of) others, I'd have a sh*tload more than 160 bottles, many of which wouldn't be often worn.
    As it stands I use the guidance and opinions of those whose tastes largely match mine, and I can make relatively informed decisions.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    When I started wearing fragrances in my teens my objective was to attract other girls and generally smell nice when on a date. I still do wear fragrances that my girlfriend enjoys while I'm around her, but I find myself wearing fragrances that I enjoy. The aspect of doing things that you enjoy for yourself isn't always there in your teenage years and it wasn't for me. Plus, it helps to have the means to purchase and experience other fragrances that I would not have been able to working a minimum wage job at 16. I'm in my late 20's now and have ever expanding tastes. However, I still can't enjoy me an "old man" scent yet...Habit Rouge had me running for the hills
    Same story here man! I still don't find myself wearing "old man" stuff. The most daring scent I wear is Fahrenheit, but that's a great exception I can make
    I ordered a vial of Burberry London today, let's see if I can deal with it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by timdoeswell View Post
    I won't say age defines taste, but it certainly does shape and guide it.

    It's not solely some change in 'maturity', but also environmental factors like our friends, our disposable income and our occupations that affect what we like or buy.

    I think what Duver wrote in your other thread 'Must Try !' is right on the money:

    Basenotes would not exist if we all had all fragrances available at the store round the corner. We would just smell them for ourselves and wouldn't need to ask anything about it on the internet, so all background* counts when you read a review!

    * gender
    * age
    * how many fragrances I've smelled before
    * weather of where I live
    * culture
    ... not that all of these are easily spotted, but they matter when I interprete (not discount) someone's reviews


    Context is essential when reading things so subjective as fragrance reviews.
    I live in a location with a pretty average selection of fragrances, so blind buying is not uncommon to me. I know the notes and accords I like, and those I don't, but I do enjoy stepping outside the comfort zone every so often.
    If I didn't find a few like-minded members whose opinions I value more highly than (but not to the exclusion of) others, I'd have a sh*tload more than 160 bottles, many of which wouldn't be often worn.
    As it stands I use the guidance and opinions of those whose tastes largely match mine, and I can make relatively informed decisions.
    the question was if age defines taste, so I ask you do you think all the fellow bners whose tastes are similar to yours are of the same age group. I'll agree with you that looking for people with similar tastes is very helpful when making blind buy decisions, but I don't think just because a person is around my age he is going to have the same tastes. Taste is subjective and I think many different groups of people can enjoy many of the same scents.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Aging does somewhat.

    As you age your tastes develop and what you may have deemed as boring/daring/not to your tastes may do a 180 degree..

    for swap/sale:





  20. #20

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Aging does somewhat.

    As you age your tastes develop and what you may have deemed as boring/daring/not to your tastes may do a 180 degree..
    Definitely true! As me, that my taste has changed. I clearly remember sometime when I first sniffed Body Kouros in my late teens said: who's the idiot to wear this garbage?! Now after 7-8 years I found that it's me!!!!!!
    My current top 10 (with no particular order):
    Givenchy Xeryus Rouge
    Dior Homme Intense
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Costume National Scent Intense
    Terre d'Hermes EDT
    CK Eternity for Men
    Creed Aventus
    YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme (Old Tin Can)
    Thierry Mugler Pure Malt
    Costume National Homme

  21. #21

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    All I can say is that when I was younger my tastes tended more towards the sweet, in fragrance as well as food. There was a time where I drank Coke as my main beverage, but now I drink mainly water and love it. I ate candy daily, and now the phrase "too sweet" has made its way in to my vocabulary. There was a time when Guerlain's Vetiver was the definition of "old man" fragrance, and now I can't wait until it gets a little warmer so I can rock it with abandon.

    I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I guess my tastes have "matured" over the years.

    I still don't care for Habit Rouge, Givenchy Gentleman, Caron Pour un Homme, Sung Homme and Aramis, but I'm open to the fact that some day I might.
    Last edited by Nanook; 23rd April 2013 at 06:34 AM.
    Please check out the bottles and samples in my swap list.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Its like a stereotype.
    If you do what you want, when you want,
    No barrier could defy you.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Aging does somewhat.
    Yes, experience changes taste.

    For example, at age 55 you will have smelled, worn, and lived with many more fragrances than you would have at age 25. Your knowledge of fragrances and your own preferences will be much greater later in life (assuming that your interest in fragrance continues), which would change your taste over time.

    I believe that in general taste improves with age. Your frame of reference changes because of increased experience and knowledge. Choosing fragrances you like out of a small pool based on limited knowledge and testing cannot compare with the same process based on a lifetime of wearing and thinking about a much greater number of fragrances.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Judging from the diverse range of fragrances that I like, I could'nt say that taste was age specific, in my case at least. Nor do I take particular note of BNs of a specific age group.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Age does not define good taste but some people need time to learn what is tasteful.
    Very well said, indeed!
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz)
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Age does not define good taste but some people need time to learn what is tasteful.
    And as Oscar Wilde noted, "Youth is wasted on the young."

  27. #27

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    In my case, no. My tastes were always a bit anachronistic: I have worn powerhouse fragrances since I was 14 and started to wear gourmands only in my mid to late twenties.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Probably not more than other things, e.g. fashion (of one's age), environment, class, etc.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I ve read the older people get the more they like chypre perfumes:-) , can not remember where i read this....


    So i am still young lol

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    For me, I think part of the issue is that certain scents can come to be associated with certain ages based on each person's individual experiences. For example, my grandpa wore Eau Sauvage, and now whenever I wear it I feel like I'm 65 It doesn't mean that Eau Sauvage is inherently a scent for older folks, just that my personal history affects the way I'm able to view it, at least for now. Perhaps as time goes on I'll slowly begin to disassociate the Eau Sauvage with my grandpa, or I'll just eventually be old enough to feel justified in wearing it, but I think this is what a lot of people are saying when they say, "Aw, that scent smells like old man/old lady!"

    I think it's especially funny/interesting to think about how my kids/grandkids will view the fragrances that were popular in my youth (and that invariably some of us will probably still choose to wear, even as old folks). "Mugler Cologne, gramps?! You smell like old soap and metal!"
    Last edited by bleedredandblue; 23rd April 2013 at 11:55 PM.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Everyone's different of course, but i'll bet the vast majority of people who buy Kouros are 35+

  32. #32

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I'm hoping to graduate to Creeds when I hit 70...

  33. #33

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Over all, no. However, marketing and susceptibility to marketing play a role in tastes.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I'm of the 'Correlation does not imply Causation' camp.

    After reading the OP, I'd think the title would be better "Does Age Determine One's Preference for a Fragrance?"

    That said, I'd bet the mean age of those liking Kouros/Aramis/Polo etc. is quite a bit higher than the mean age of those that throw around the disparaging comments re the like. Likewise, I'd bet the mean age of the crowd currently fawning over Aventus is quite a bit lower than the mean age of those that don't like it or think it is average at best. I think it has alot to do with what is/was cutting edge, fashionable and/or otherwise appealing during the salad days of one's life.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  35. #35

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    No. Money define's taste.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    No but there's definitely a correlation between age and experience, and experience and taste.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    IMO age has a bearing on possibly the sweeter aspects of taste. I veer towards the dry and well blended as I test more.

    Does anyone find their taste in frags getting any sweeter as they go on sampling?

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    What a grand discussion.

    After age 8, your olfactory ability is in decline. Later in life is a sharper decline.
    So there is the physical aspect.

    Experience. Just like Sommeliers, the fraghead learns to discern notes and their origins with experience. There is also the fact that as you get older you care less and less what people younger than you think- eventualy you are going to outlive the target market...

    Cultural. Socio-economic correlations are going to play a part, with variance.

    Fragrance evolution. Just like food, wine, and just about every other hobby, the whole thing is evolving. There is better technology, newly discovered/created aromachemicals, and the Fragance Culture evolving.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    If you think of fragrance as an extension of fashion, then if an older person likes to wear clothes that were popular a decade ago, they will probably like to wear fragrance from the same era.

    Younger people, who follow the fashion of their time, will probably wear more contemporary colognes.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    No.

  41. #41
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    IMO age has a bearing on possibly the sweeter aspects of taste. I veer towards the dry and well blended as I test more.

    Does anyone find their taste in frags getting any sweeter as they go on sampling?
    I don't think so, but I do like a bit of sweetness. If I were to characterize my tastes, I'd say that I like orientals, green florals, chypres, and generally anything spicy. Yesterday I smelled a Victoria's Secret perfume that was floral and fruity, in fact, it was distinctly peachy, but in a very artificial way. Not to my liking.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Depends on many factors, as well as product categories and the way they are bought and use.

    Chances are 50 yo men won't use the same clothes 20 yo kids use. In terms of music, things are not the way they used to be: 50 y guys will listen to some of the music listened by their sons. And some 50 yo guys will want to feel young again and they will behave in shopping terms, the way younger men do.

    In terms of scents, memory does play an important role. So, some my age will buy a scent due to the memories they trigger. This might not be a rule applying to all, but... I bet it might be a reason behind some preferences.

    On the other hand, I did change my tastes in olfatory terms.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I think it can, but only if the person in question remains open to experiencing new things. When I was younger, I had no taste really. At that point, I was just trying desperately fit in. Now, I am more selective. But I'm also open to new and unexpected things. I'm 41, but I know others my age who are stuck in the 80's still. Same hairdo, same decor, same fragrance. They are afraid, often, of looking to young and immature. However, I know some 70 year olds who are very 'with it'. They can enjoy new music, new styles of clothing, new foods, etc. It's all about whether or not you're willing to take risks. I think taking risks, intelligently, can lead to an improvement in taste.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    In my opinion it has less to do with age than experience.
    I sampled a fragrance this evening that was very obviously full to the brim with some synthetics that were not to my taste.
    Would someone of any age who only knew similar have rejected it as quickly?

  45. #45

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    With age comes perspective. Taste, for some, is only found in one's mouth.
    Last edited by The Colognnoisseur; 4th November 2013 at 05:02 AM.
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  46. #46

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    There are some old and young people with appalling taste here. For instance, some of them actually wear A*men and think it smells 'attractive' and 'appealing'.

    And that's just one example.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by staticx View Post
    Absolutely not but with age (experience) your nose gets refined and taste changes automatically...
    Absolutely!

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    In my opinion it has less to do with age than experience.
    Agree with this way of thinking. Ideally the latter would increase as the former increases but it doesn't always happen that way.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
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  49. #49

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    I am still attempting to fully comprehend the intent or what the question is asking

    Being considered as having taste or doing what is tasteful is a social construct mediated by marketing, consumerism, adherence to the status quo, income, exposure, culture, etc. From that perspective I would say that as we age most tend to become more conformed and abandon some of the more rebellious, non-conformist ways of our youth. In that respect, the average older fragrance shopper would likely purchase something they think would be more socially accepted by their peer group, income bracket and possibly dictated by marketing. With all that is readily available, I don't think that it would correlate to any specific fragrance genre like leathers vs. aquatics vs. chypres, etc. Also, there are many in all age groups that conform to social norms regarding fragrance choice, how many times have you seen threads that asks what is the perfect safe for work scent, the date night scent, the wedding scent, the panty-dropper, even crazy ones like the funeral scent for the deceased. Granted that you do indeed enjoy the fragrance, it depends on if your a trend setter or trend follower, a cookie cutter cat or a real live wire. Style over fashion, IMHO.

    If the question is asking whether or not we develop a preference or desire for a particular fragrance genre, still, I don't think so. I think most like me and my fellow enthusiast will always like certain scents, always not like certain scents, grow to like some and grow to not like some, with no real rhyme or reason, most of us here are just chasing dragons and unicorns, trying to pull excalibur out of the stone. Whereas, most fragrance users and many of us in our pre-BNs life, would just be content using the same 2-3 scents for life, I see many who say that they wore xyz fragrance for umpteen years, and would have likely continued doing so, before finding BNs or becoming more deeply interested in fragrances.
    Last edited by PEARL; 3rd November 2013 at 04:29 PM.

  50. #50

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Experience is important and easier to have when one is not very young.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    And as Oscar Wilde noted, "Youth is wasted on the young."
    LOL!

    And experience is wasted on the old!
    * * * *

  52. #52

    Default Re: Does Age Define Taste?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    LOL!

    And experience is wasted on the old!
    LOL, Red!

    Age does not define taste. Taste defines taste. Many young people like and wear "old man" and "old woman" scents because they are sick of the plethora of men's aquatics and the numerous women's candy fruity gourmands offered all the time.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

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