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  1. #1
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    I had some time to kill, so went to Macy's. At the risk of sounding like a fragrance snob...much of it smelled exactly the same! I sniffed D&G The One, D&G Pour Homme, Armani Code, Gucci Guilty, Gucci Guilty Black, Givenchy Play, Chanel Allure, Chanel Bleu, and I couldn't tell the difference on a card. I can point out Fahrenheit, A*Men, and other 'unique' scents, but honestly most of what I smelled were generic citrus safe frags. I don't want to sound snobbish, but they all started with a citrus (bergamot/grapefruit/citron) then they have vetiver, cedarwood,pepper. I truly can't tell the difference in a blind smell test of the strips. Am I alone in thinking this? or am I a true fragrance snob?
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  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    I guess it depends on how sharp your nose is. I have lots of problems discerning differences in many fragrances.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Don't think that you're either alone, or a fragrance snob!

  4. #4
    CologneFan85
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    VERY much a difference in all of those...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Not trying to argue with you, but I would wager a sizeable amount that I could easily tell every single one of the following 15 department store fragrances apart (okay, maybe 1 or 2 aren't readily available in a mall), with 100% accuracy, blindfolded (they are all included in my meager collection, together with some other more niche frags), and I have a very rookie sniffer (the toughest might be PE and MBL, but even that would be pretty simple). My point is that this list is a pretty random smattering of department store fragrances I would think and to me, each one is incredibly different from the others:

    1 Million
    AdG Essenza
    A*Men
    A*Men Pure Malt
    Cool Water
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Dior Homme Intense
    Eau des Baux
    Kouros
    La Nuit
    Legend (Mont Blanc)
    Le Male
    London
    Platinum Egoiste
    Rive Gauche

    EDIT: re-reading your list, there is very little doubt in my mind that I would discern a significant difference certainly between most of them, and likely between all of them.

  6. #6
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnbkr123 View Post
    Not trying to argue with you, but I would wager a sizeable amount that I could easily tell every single one of the following 15 department store fragrances apart (okay, maybe 1 or 2 aren't readily available in a mall), with 100% accuracy, blindfolded (they are all included in my meager collection, together with some other more niche frags), and I have a very rookie sniffer (the toughest might be PE and MBL, but it would still be pretty simple). My point is that this list is a pretty random smattering of department store fragrances I would think and to me, each one is incredibly different from the others:

    1 Million
    AdG Essenza
    A*Men
    A*Men Pure Malt
    Cool Water
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Dior Homme Intense
    Eau des Baux
    Kouros
    La Nuit
    Legend (Mont Blanc)
    Le Male
    London
    Platinum Egoiste
    Rive Gauche
    RIGHT~ I can tell all of the above apart, and if you handed me a card, I could name each of those...My point is many of the 'cookie-cutter' frags I smell (like the ones I named) are too close for me to differentiate. I have noticed many start with a citrus (Lemon/grapefruit/citron/bergamot, then have a pepper/pink peppercorn/blackpepper, then have vetiver or cedarwood or patchouli in the base. I mean the note pyramids are virtually identical, and to my (I confess) non-expert nose, all smell like a bright citrus/powder/soap blend that smells wonderfully generic and safe.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    I agree with you, most of the stuff smells like the same combo of artificial citruses, woody ambers, and the random gourmandise. And Macys has a limited choice. Sephora in the US doesn't fare much better.

    cacio

  8. #8
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I agree with you, most of the stuff smells like the same combo of artificial citruses, woody ambers, and the random gourmandise. And Macys has a limited choice. Sephora in the US doesn't fare much better.

    cacio
    I'm holding the cards from 5hrs ago, sniffing
    D&G The One: Citrusy Powder
    D&G Pour Homme: Citrusy Powder
    Armani Code: Citrusy Powder
    Gucci Guilty: Citrusy Powder
    Gucci Guilty Black: Citrusy Powder
    Givenchy Play: Citrusy Powder
    Chanel Allure : Citrusy Powder
    Chanel Bleu : Citrusy Powder

    *Armani Code Ultimate :Citrus Powder AND NORLIMBINOL (I can differentiate this one!!!)
    They all progress from citrusy pepper/ to citrus powder. I just can't get much difference...
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    I buy a selection of inexpensive EdT fragrances for my OH to wear to work (he gets through gallons of it and isn't well enough paid to actually have scent with lots of character) and we were commenting the same actually. There are occasional scents which have something unusual about them and there are fragrances which dry down a little faster or a little slower than others, but an awful lot of the commonly available men's fragrances could be passed off as each other because they're so similar.

    I suppose that to a certain extent the same applies to women's 'generic white floral' scents. This includes about 90% of the 'celebrity' fragrances at the moment. I generally choose my scents to be a little out of the ordinary, but even so there are half a dozen in my collection that could be used interchangeably, and I've got at least 3 really very similar gardenia scents too.
    'I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it's made illegal.'

  10. #10
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Quote Originally Posted by sfmedusa View Post
    I buy a selection of inexpensive EdT fragrances for my OH to wear to work (he gets through gallons of it and isn't well enough paid to actually have scent with lots of character) and we were commenting the same actually. There are occasional scents which have something unusual about them and there are fragrances which dry down a little faster or a little slower than others, but an awful lot of the commonly available men's fragrances could be passed off as each other because they're so similar.

    I suppose that to a certain extent the same applies to women's 'generic white floral' scents. This includes about 90% of the 'celebrity' fragrances at the moment. I generally choose my scents to be a little out of the ordinary, but even so there are half a dozen in my collection that could be used interchangeably, and I've got at least 3 really very similar gardenia scents too.
    I have frags that are inexpensive and unique. Polo original, 1 Million, Fahrenheit, even Bath and Body works fragrances, A*Men..the list goes on. Frags you can Identify at first sniff. Just b/c something is inexpensive doesn't mean it has to smell like every other citrus frag.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    You're simply smelling a fragrance trend. Revisit the section in a few years and check if the trend has run its course.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Quote Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post
    Just b/c something is inexpensive doesn't mean it has to smell like every other citrus frag.
    The fact they really all do smell like versions of one another is actually built into their marketing strategy -- that's why you won't see much in the way of innovation in the scents themselves, but a ton of focus placed onto the advertising campaigns. These things aren't designed by artisans, they're created by businessmen, focus groups, and spreadsheets. (There's an interesting BBC documentary that actually shows much of this at work). I always take a spin through theses places when I'm near one, just to see what's new and whatnot, but I'm always left scratching my head. It's the same when I see people list Aqua de Geo (sp?), Isse Miyake, or that laundry list of those Allure fragrances -- I make a mental note to revisit them, but when I do, I just can't see the appeal. To be frank, these kinds of fragrances are what kept me away from fragrances for years -- because I thought that was all that was available.

    I'm all for whatever makes people happy, but it would be nice to see some creativity and perhaps an attempt to even out the balance between the quality of the marketing and the quality of the product and maybe give people who aren't as fanatical as we are a few more choices.

  13. #13
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    The fact they really all do smell like versions of one another is actually built into their marketing strategy -- that's why you won't see much in the way of innovation in the scents themselves, but a ton of focus placed onto the advertising campaigns. These things aren't designed by artisans, they're created by businessmen, focus groups, and spreadsheets. (There's an interesting BBC documentary that actually shows much of this at work). I always take a spin through theses places when I'm near one, just to see what's new and whatnot, but I'm always left scratching my head. It's the same when I see people list Aqua de Geo (sp?), Isse Miyake, or that laundry list of those Allure fragrances -- I make a mental note to revisit them, but when I do, I just can't see the appeal. To be frank, these kinds of fragrances are what kept me away from fragrances for years -- because I thought that was all that was available.

    I'm all for whatever makes people happy, but it would be nice to see some creativity and perhaps an attempt to even out the balance between the quality of the marketing and the quality of the product and maybe give people who aren't as fanatical as we are a few more choices.
    That makes me feel better...I am NOT an expert nose, I can't always list notes from a sniff...but I do pride myself on having learned alot in the past several years of this hobby. I am NOT saying I won't buy "dept. store frags" I own many. BUT this "Trend" isn't going anywhere...When I was a teen in the 80's Eternity was blazing the way for citrus cookie cutter frags. I own Eternity, and Love it. but for me to buy more than one of those I named in my Original Post would be redundant. There CAN be some creativity within the family...I own Versace Pour Homme and could pick it out of a lineup... The area I live isn't very "progressive" fragrance-wise, and when I walk into a church, board meeting, courthouse where frags are being worn, the air is heavy with these generic citrus frags that can't be differentiated from one another. Rarely can I sniff and say "oh, someone is wearing A*Men! Rather I say "wow, everyone is wearing some Citrus, pepper, sandalwood clone!
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    Although similar, I think a lot of the designer fragrances smell quite different in general. Some are better than others, some are quite similar to one another, some are totally different. It's the same thing as niche. Perhaps, you are only able to pick a few redundant notes amongst fragrances because you're smelling them on paper strips. Everything smells the same for me when I sniff on paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post
    Rarely can I sniff and say "oh, someone is wearing A*Men! Rather I say "wow, everyone is wearing some Citrus, pepper, sandalwood clone!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    A lot of stuff out now is generic so that may happen for a while. But, there is a difference in the one's you mentioned. Once you spray on your skin you should smell the difference.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Trouble differentiating Dept. store fragrances...

    dept stores usually sell what's hot now, so the lists u have mentioned is trendy but will be different from month to month. i have a decent nose and can detect some but not all notes. the more sampling the more you can tell.

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