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  1. #1
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    Default Are We Being Too Easy..

    On frag's in general..
    Most of us have been sampling/buying scents for years/decades..
    If you randomly select 5 scents that you have smelled- how many would you think are good-bad-ok?
    I know this will vary from person to person
    I was writing a review and glanced at Basenotes Review Stats..
    I know only a small portion of the Community writes reviews but here are the numbers..

    Total Reviews - 105522
    Users - 10349
    Negative - 15693
    Positive - 66643
    Neutral - 22889

    What I get from this is that if you select 5 fragrances..
    3 would be good
    1 ok
    1 bad

    Do you feel this is accurate or the fragrance industry is just that good?
    60% of fragrances are Good?
    Is that too high-too low or about right?
    I have wrote over 400 reviews and will post my numbers soon..

  2. #2

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I think I'm much more eager to review a scent I find very good and reluctant to review the ones I find bad -- unless insultingly bad. Then I may feel duty-bound to post a warning. Yet someone else may love those I hate, so for the most part I do think I err on the side of focusing on the good and ignoring (or mumbling over) the bad.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Hypothetically speaking, if I randomly selected 5 fragrances to smell with no previous knowledge or info about them, I think that breakdown of 3-1-1 would be accurate.

    (3907)
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I suspect that the criteria by which members review products varies so much that no accurate conclusions may be drawn.

    Quite a few people 'fall in love' with a fragrance, for whatever reason, then write a glowing review which is not based on anything but 'gut feeling', whilst a few who have more technical knowledge might review the same item more dispassionately with a massively different result.

    All reviews add to our knowledge of the product (and often, of the reviewer) but combined would be of little statistical use!

    If two people visited a store selling mainstream fragrances, the number chosen as 'good' would depend on the chooser's taste - one may find a few, the other might find none.
    The same people visiting a specialist outlet may again have hugely different experiences.
    Last edited by lpp; 7th February 2014 at 10:32 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    Quite a few people 'fall in love' with a fragrance, for whatever reason, then write a glowing review which is not based on anything but 'gut feeling'
    This is how the entire world buys perfumes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Sampling has been difficult. I have sampled over 300 fragrances the last few months, and I can safely say I only enjoy 1 in 10. Those I love are few and far between. But then I’m pretty new to the game, and I find that some fragrances need some getting used to before I like them. Especially if there are notes I am unfamiliar with. Many times I see people describe smells they experienced as children, but I don’t think I was exposed to a lot of smells when I was a child. My parents can’t stand any fragrances. I still haven’t written any reviews because I feel too inexperienced with notes and how to recognise them.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    All those reviews aren't relevant to you.
    You have to isolate reviewers who are basically the same page you are.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I think that stats on Basenotes can give false impressions as others have said. Some reviewers only write posts about fragrances they like

    Also, choosing randomly can be misleading, i.e. you may dislike all 5 or love all 5 -- as is the nature of randomness

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Many probably wouldn't bother to review really bad, uninteresting scents, if they even try them. Also some may be kind enough to write a thumbs up review for scents they wouldn't own themselves or only wear once in a while to use them up as they were good value for the price. Some of these perhaps could be seen as neutral ratings but make it into the positive sphere.

    I'd think that on sites for enthusiasts there will always be more positivity towards their subject than negativity.
    Last edited by Rüssel; 7th February 2014 at 01:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    [QUOTE=ScentFan;3064793]This is how the entire world buys perfumes.[/QUOTE

    Not necessarily - there are many who will write a positive review of a fragrance which they have no intention of buying due to appreciation of it's technical assets.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Ipp, I should have put a smiley behind that response, because there's no question BN members value the expertise of those who have your knowledge. It's a big part of why we're here. OTOH, I get the impression that most members don't have your depth of knowledge yet and that many don't seek it. Are our thoughts unwelcome? Just a while ago I thought Grant encouraged us to post reviews, whether or not we're experts. I hadn't been posting them for that very reason. Now I'm not sure how to proceed.

    I think my sampling experience is closer to yours, Twilight99. I've opted for a learn-out-loud mode on BN, exploring a house or genre while simultaneously searching for fragrances I want to buy, and having some fun in the process -- but when I examine the results, I've so far found only two houses in which I like a majority of their scents -- Sonoma Scent Studios and Slumberhouse. That may change since I haven't fully explored some of the biggies yet, but one day I went to a perfume counter, sniffed all of the L'Artisans and loved only four. In my Jasmine Sniff Fest* thread, I sampled about 50 perfumes and liked only 10 well enough to buy. So I'm loving 1 in 5, but my picks aren't blind. I always ask for BN recommendations before constructing a sniff list. I suspect if I were sampling fragrances blind, I'd be very close to your 1 in 10.

    *And my 1 in 5 was surely also influenced by the fact that Jasmine is my favorite scent.
    Last edited by ScentFan; 7th February 2014 at 01:55 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Honestly, I'm just extremely lazy at doing them and have done maybe 10-20 between fragantica and BN ....so yep plain old Lazy....
    "Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentFan View Post
    Ipp, I should have put a smiley behind that response, because there's no question BN members value the expertise of those who have your knowledge. It's a big part of why we're here. OTOH, I get the impression that most members don't have your depth of knowledge yet and that many don't seek it. Are our thoughts unwelcome? Just a while ago I thought Grant encouraged us to post reviews, whether or not we're experts. I hadn't been posting them for that very reason. Now I'm not sure how to proceed.
    .
    I don't understand this response?

    My personal knowledge is pretty minimal and I made the point in my earlier post that 'all reviews add to our knowledge of a product' - there is no criticism of any reviews/reviewers either intended or implied.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    How many bad perfumes are there out there? The type you want to run from, gives you nightmares?

    For me not many. There are a good hand full that I absolutely cannot be around. But the rest ,I don't own and just don't care for or don't like enough to buy.

    I'll never understand why people take it as a personal injury when they smell the new Gucci and immediately make a thread declaring "it's he most vile putrid sack of shit ever created!"

    Yes I am aware Gucci hasn't made
    Anything worth buying In a long time. But the last time I smelled Gucci Guilty in a store, I didn't get a nose bleed, nor did everyone stop what they were doing to throw rocks at me.

    So personally I wouldn't go out of my way to leave a negative review. I'd say neutral.

    I have survived two full sprays of A*Men on my skin, I think I can make it through anything!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    I don't understand this response?

    My personal knowledge is pretty minimal and I made the point in my earlier post that 'all reviews add to our knowledge of a product' - there is no criticism of any reviews/reviewers either intended or implied.
    Oh. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    As some have already alluded to, there are way too many releases nowadays to even sample, let alone review every offering good or bad. As such, my reviews (and I suspect those of many other reviewers) generally have a more neutral to positive bias because most are for fragrances I sought out due in part to the thought they would most likely appeal to my tastes on some level. That said, "thinking" something will be appealing does not always equate to reality; and those disappointments get no quarter. Others I expect are unappealing but have drawn enough favorable attention from the community and/or reviewers I trust get sought out occasionally as well. With respect to those my guess is one would find I give a much higher percentage of negative reviews.

    I guess the bottom line is I suspect many folks give a higher percentage of positive reviews because they have selected samples of offerings that most likely will appeal to them, filtering out expected disappointments.
    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)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

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    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  17. #17

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Reading reviews needs one to be careful.

    You can be reading reviews from a person who you, at the time, found a shared taste.
    The problem is the reviewer may turn out not to like certain notes your like, like rose or tuberose or frankincense. The fact that you like those notes & said reviewer doesn't like will pose problems. That reviewer will give negative reviews to perfumes with subtle rose or frankincense notes subconsciously. Because they don't like rose & a particular perfume may have rose blended subtly into the composition.

    That's why I prefer reviews where the reviewer reviews the perfume technically. By technically I mean it'd be something like this:
    Perfume opens with a zesty lime & bergamot accord but different from perfume Z in that the lime is sharper, followed a peppery floral accord of rose & jasmine similar perfume X, then later the galbanum similar to perfume Y creeps out.

    This is what I want from a review.

    I also don't want promoters praising the latest indie perfumer...
    Last edited by hedonist222; 7th February 2014 at 06:02 PM.

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  18. #18

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I agree with most of what has already been said. Well-written reviews are gold, no matter the "expertise" of the reviewer. I believe people tend to be likely to write about things that have moved them and the scents that lie between the extremes much less likely to be reviewed. Speaking for myself: I don't review at all because I suck at writing and want to avoid stinking up the directory with my poor attempts and I want to keep this hobby an indulgent pleasure. Doing things I'm ill-suited to do isn't pleasurable - it's joy-sucking work. There are some stellar writers here. Some are professional writers. The bar is higher, making my pathetic attempts even poorer in contrast.

    But even if I was capable and willing to write intelligible reviews, there are other factors at play. I don't even bother to seek out scents to sample if the impression I've formed from reading the notes, others' reviews, discussion on blogs and forums, friends' impressions, etc. aren't to my liking. Even samples that show up unexpectedly at my door are at least only sniffed from the vial before giving it skin. So I'm not even trying most scents at all. Of the relatively few I do try, fewer than 5% will be something I'd want to add to my collection or even ever wear again. Most are either awful, so-so or too much like other scents. I'll most likely wash it off before testing enough to write a review, even an unflattering review.

    I wonder whether there would be more useful and balanced information added by members to the reviews in the directory if it was formatted differently. Without advocating for the use of or wanting to open a discussion regarding anything illegal or possibly harmful, I think the search engine used to explore strains at Leafly.com has some characteristics worth emulating here. Members there may add detailed information to the data base without writing an actual review just by clicking a few boxes. This results in the ability to search for products that meet individual criteria beyond positive, negative and neutral as well as promoting more input from the less prolific or skilled and an increased likelihood that data for the so-so scents will be included.
    Last edited by socalwoman; 7th February 2014 at 04:22 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    I suspect that the criteria by which members review products varies so much that no accurate conclusions may be drawn.

    Quite a few people 'fall in love' with a fragrance, for whatever reason, then write a glowing review which is not based on anything but 'gut feeling', whilst a few who have more technical knowledge might review the same item more dispassionately with a massively different result.
    Exactly.

    There are a handful of people still writing reviews for basenotes who I enjoy reading and gain some insight from - generally because they have experienced hundreds of perfumes and can place what they are reviewing in some form of context - they are able to articulate something about the structure and ingredients and also offer some perspective on where it stands in the overall scheme theme of things. Without this ability I think we shift from what I would call 'a review' to more of a subjective or 'naive' (in the academic sense) impression . . . which can still be enjoyable enough to read but not that helpful, really.

    As far as using BN reviews as some sort of indication of a quality percentage guide to what's being released . . . I don't see that at all.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Reading reviews needs one to be careful.
    That's why I prefer reviews where the reviewer reviews the perfume technically. By technically I mean it'd be something like this:
    Perfume opens with a zesty lime & bergamot accord but different perfume Z t the lime is sharper, followed a peppery floral accord of rose & jasmine similar perfume X, then later the galbanum similar to perfume Y creeps out.

    This is what I want from a review.

    I also don't want promoters praising the latest indie perfumer...
    I hope to be able to post reviews like that some day. I'm getting better, but I don't trust my nose enough yet. Totally curious. Gotta ask. By promoters do you mean paid promoters? Is there such a thing? I've fallen head over heels for almost all of SSS and Slumberhouse and I talk about them all the time, but that's honest enthusiasm. I'd hate to be misunderstood. Just in case, I have no connection whatsoever with either house and in fact have plunked down a noticeable wad to purchase these perfumes (have the receipts to prove it). I'll never be a shill for anyone [Yasmin would surely feed me to the alligators -- though shilling has got to be a heck of a lot less expensive, I must say!]

    Let me ask about something that just arose, though. An indie perfumer contacted me and offered free samples. I love free samples! Buying them is costing a fortune. However, I cautioned that if I accepted them I couldn't promise a review and if I did choose to review them, I had to be free to give my honest reaction, good or bad. In general, is it cricket to accept offered samples and should I say so if I post a review?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by socalwoman View Post
    I agree with most of what has already been said. Well-written reviews are gold, no matter the "expertise" of the reviewer. I believe people tend to be likely to write about things that have moved them and the scents that lie between the extremes much less likely to be reviewed. Speaking for myself: I don't review at all because I suck at writing and want to avoid stinking up the directory with my poor attempts and I want to keep this hobby an indulgent pleasure. Doing things I'm ill-suited to do isn't pleasurable - it's joy-sucking work. There are some stellar writers here. Some are professional writers. The bar is higher, making my pathetic attempts even poorer in contrast...
    LOL! Funny post. I'm a writer and I work with writers and my experience is that someone who cares this much about their words is probably going to be a pretty darned good writer. In this case, your well-written post speaks for itself.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentFan View Post
    I hope to be able to post reviews like that some day. I'm getting better, but I don't trust my nose enough yet. Totally curious. Gotta ask. By promoters do you mean paid promoters? Is there such a thing? I've fallen head over heels for almost all of SSS and Slumberhouse and I talk about them all the time, but that's honest enthusiasm. I'd hate to be misunderstood. Just in case, I have no connection whatsoever with either house and in fact have plunked down a noticeable wad to purchase these perfumes (have the receipts to prove it). I'll never be a shill for anyone [Yasmin would surely feed me to the alligators -- though shilling has got to be a heck of a lot less expensive, I must say!]

    Let me ask about something that just arose, though. An indie perfumer contacted me and offered free samples. I love free samples! Buying them is costing a fortune. However, I cautioned that if I accepted them I couldn't promise a review and if I did choose to review them, I had to be free to give my honest reaction, good or bad. In general, is it cricket to accept offered samples and should I say so if I post a review?
    I don't think there's anything wrong with accepting samples so long as the review is subjective. And yes , ياسمين wouldn't tolerate shilling.
    Last edited by hedonist222; 7th February 2014 at 06:21 PM.

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  23. #23

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    What I get from this is that if you select 5 fragrances..
    3 would be good
    1 ok
    1 bad

    Do you feel this is accurate or the fragrance industry is just that good?

    60% of fragrances are Good?
    Is that too high-too low or about right?
    You cannot really get accurate objective readings from subjective and largely emotional data, so I'd say 60% is highly inaccurate. My own experience based on my own personal taste is more like 10% of "industry" perfume appeals to my sensibilities (which doesn't necessarily mean they're good or bad), and something more like 40% of guerrilla / indie checks the boxes that I want checked.

    As far as reviews go, learning how to read them is key. "OMG! OMG! This is the bestest most awesomest thing ever!!!" is neither a review nor of any use to anyone except maybe the reviewer's friends who can rejoice in the fact that their friend has found something they love. Close friends in this community tend to disagree with me on this, but context and objective analysis of what a scent is doing / offering is really all I can use except in the few rare cases where one persons' tastes are close to my own. I value people's subjective responses—especially if they're well-written and thoughtful, but even with people whose tastes I share, there'll be differences remaining.

    Given the nature of the topic though, as others have stated, I rarely even bother reviewing mass produced commercial fragrances because I find many of them to be crass and offensive to aesthetic sensibilities. I'll hit a couple now and again—especially if one gets a lot of attention so I can see what all the fuss is about, and I also take regular spins through the department stores / Sephora "wall-of-scent" to see if any improvements have been made (still waiting for that to happen). But I try to avoid quick dismissals as much as I try to avoid overly emotional OMG! OMG! reviews, and the best way to do that is simply not even bother with the obvious crap.

    One recent example for me was Puredistance Black. I'd gathered enough information prior to trying it that I was fairly certain it would be a let-down, but I committed myself to minimizing preconceptions to be as objectively analytical as I could. I still think it's DOA as far as fragrances go, but having lived with it for three days while taking copious notes, I'm pretty sure I was able to fully understand everything it had to offer—and only then could I accurately express the dissatisfaction I had with it (which, interestingly, turned out to be a very different kind of dissatisfaction than what others had).

    So, to summarize, the statistics of reviews on here mean little. In fact, I'd go further and say that they distort any potential objective truth as to the nature of perfume releases. But their role here is not scientific or objective—it's the collected ponderings of a highly disparate and diverse group of people who bring a vast spectrum of knowledge and experience to the table. As many of you have surely found, writing about fragrance is a) difficult and b) personally revealing. If someone enjoys what I write about the things I smell, that's awesome; but I'd say that writing my reviews is as helpful to me (if not more so) as it might be for someone who happens to enjoy reading them.
    Last edited by deadidol; 7th February 2014 at 06:51 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I think if you eliminate the bias of positive participation in reviews, most of us would fall closer to a 1(good)-3(ok)-1(bad). It's always about the bell curve!

    Last edited by Arij; 7th February 2014 at 06:42 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Considering this question:

    If you randomly select 5 scents that you have smelled- how many would you think are good-bad-ok?
    As a couple of others have alluded to, I don't smell scents at random; I use criteria like reviews (which are themselves weighted based on my knowledge of the reviewer/their tastes), listed notes, perfumer, house, etc. to help narrow the field of possible samples and improve the chances that I'll like them.

    The more I learn about my own preferences, the more can be eliminated out of hand; if I don't like calone or jasmine, I won't bother trying fragrances that are said to prominently feature those ingredients.

    So the pool of scents I've smelled becomes ever more calibrated to what I know I like. In this context, I think that the 3:1:1 ratio is not unreasonable. By extension, it wouldn't surprise me if this would also apply to others, and could hold true for the basenotes directory.

    I think if the criteria were to "smell five random scents", I think the results would be quite different.

    So asking "is the industry really that good?" seems to put the focus elsewhere than our own subjectivity and preferences. But my answer would be, yes, if you know that you like a leather fragrance, there' s a good chance that 60% of leather fragrances that have made it to market would meet at least moderate approval for having hit some part of the target. I've seen plenty of reviews along the lines of "3.5 stars out of 5 gets it a thumbs-up, barely". So it has something to do with the way the rating system here is set up, as has also been mentioned by previous posters.

    Regarding the value of types of reviews, it makes sense that the more experienced members who can identify a wide variety of notes and ingredients gain the most from an analytical review. I like to read analytical information, even though my level of experience is only moderate, and I still am not sure what "balsamic" means. I most enjoy reviews that in addition to factual information, combine humor, writing skill and references to other subjects - music and books are two favorites - to help expand the subjective experience of a fragrance. Even though these may be too subjective to help know what something will smell like, they make the reviews far more pleasurable, for me.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentFan View Post
    I think I'm much more eager to review a scent I find very good and reluctant to review the ones I find bad -- unless insultingly bad. Then I may feel duty-bound to post a warning. Yet someone else may love those I hate, so for the most part I do think I err on the side of focusing on the good and ignoring (or mumbling over) the bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Hypothetically speaking, if I randomly selected 5 fragrances to smell with no previous knowledge or info about them, I think that breakdown of 3-1-1 would be accurate.

    (3907)
    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    As a couple of others have alluded to, I don't smell scents at random; I use criteria like reviews (which are themselves weighted based on my knowledge of the reviewer/their tastes), listed notes, perfumer, house, etc. to help narrow the field of possible samples and improve the chances that I'll like them.

    I agree with these comments. I think this is why the distribution is the way it is. Also, BN is quite limited with 3 options. You can put a fragrance as a "positive", yet not find it FBW. (I like it. I really do. I just don't LOVE it. -- or -- It's not my style, but I think it's well made, blah, blah).

    I think a 1 - 10 scale would be much more useful.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by socalwoman View Post
    I agree with most of what has already been said. Well-written reviews are gold, no matter the "expertise" of the reviewer. I believe people tend to be likely to write about things that have moved them and the scents that lie between the extremes much less likely to be reviewed. Speaking for myself: I don't review at all because I suck at writing and want to avoid stinking up the directory with my poor attempts and I want to keep this hobby an indulgent pleasure. Doing things I'm ill-suited to do isn't pleasurable - it's joy-sucking work. There are some stellar writers here. Some are professional writers. The bar is higher, making my pathetic attempts even poorer in contrast.

    But even if I was capable and willing to write intelligible reviews, there are other factors at play. I don't even bother to seek out scents to sample if the impression I've formed from reading the notes, others' reviews, discussion on blogs and forums, friends' impressions, etc. aren't to my liking. Even samples that show up unexpectedly at my door are at least only sniffed from the vial before giving it skin. So I'm not even trying most scents at all. Of the relatively few I do try, fewer than 5% will be something I'd want to add to my collection or even ever wear again. Most are either awful, so-so or too much like other scents. I'll most likely wash it off before testing enough to write a review, even an unflattering review.

    I wonder whether there would be more useful and balanced information added by members to the reviews in the directory if it was formatted differently. Without advocating for the use of or wanting to open a discussion regarding anything illegal or possibly harmful, I think the search engine used to explore strains at Leafly.com has some characteristics worth emulating here. Members there may add detailed information to the data base without writing an actual review just by clicking a few boxes. This results in the ability to search for products that meet individual criteria beyond positive, negative and neutral as well as promoting more input from the less prolific or skilled and an increased likelihood that data for the so-so scents will be included.
    So true. I like the idea of a more up to date data system.
    More reviews are always helpful, although they do tend to be positive, for the above stated reasons. However, I have certainly seen many of my favorites get bad reviews.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    For me, only 10% of the stuff out there is worthy of a good review and 5% is Full Bottle Worthy.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    For me, only 10% of the stuff out there is worthy of a good review and 5% is Full Bottle Worthy.
    I'd put it at 3% and .3%.
    Last edited by pluran; 8th February 2014 at 12:00 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I've only found myself motivated enough to provide a write-up if:
    (1) I already own it;
    (2) have been wearing it enough to really see how it behaves in as many conditions as possible (e.g. seasons, mood, formality, activity, humidity, etc.);
    (3) feel "WOW, now this is why I am into this hobby!"; and
    (4) believe there just may be some guy out there (similar age, similar old-school, edgy, masculine, animalic preference) that understands my perspective and uses the information one way or another.

    Unless I change this line of thought, I'll never be writing up a negative or even a neutral. I've written less than ten reviews and perhaps most people are, in a similar way, mostly motivated to write up mostly good reviews.

    Now back in Dec. I was, for whatever reason, interested in this BN global review issue. Consistent with your numbers, I saw that the universe of reviews broke down like this: 63% were positive - 22% were neutral - 15% were negative. I believe these figures are skewed towards the 'positives' for reasons stated above.

    I wondered how the top 5 (in number of reviews only) stacked up against the universe, respectively? Afterall, who are these people that have written 1,000 or even 2,000 reviews? Do they only review what they believe they'll like or do they simply test/review anything and everything they can get their hands on? Well, it broke down like this:
    Reviewer #1 -- 48% / 30% / 25%
    Reviewer #2 -- 43% / 39% / 18%
    Reviewer #3 -- 52% / 38% / 11%
    Reviewer #4 -- 63% / 29% / 8%
    Reviewer #5 -- 53% / 27% / 20%
    Combined -- 52% / 33% / 16%

    Now what does this all mean, if anything? Not for sure, but my guess is that those that write a lot of reviews are more likely to write up a review on each and everything they smell... and they smell as much as they can. Hell, maybe they're in the profession in some way, shape, or form. They'll review whatever gets thrown at them. Perhaps those that don't write a lot of reviews are less likely to bother with writing up something they are not positive about and are not really interested all that much in smelling everything they can, rather the interest is in smelling what they're bound to like.

    Dunno.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  31. #31

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    For me, only 10% of the stuff out there is worthy of a good review and 5% is Full Bottle Worthy.
    You have 7 reviews. All 7 are positive.



    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    I'd put it at 3% and .3%.
    I see you have 17 reviews. 16 are positive.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I deleted all three hundred or so of my reviews several years ago. Grant apparently wanted to leave a few random reviews up there. I edited a few and added one that was made in 1985. My reviews are totally random. I write very few of them. Most of them are within the community.

    As far as my reviews, percentages of good fragrances being made now or whenever, etc: hell, I don't even know what the you're talking about. Doesn't really matter. I see perfume as anything but mechanical, statistical. etc. That stuff, this thread and those like it are as far from what I actually care about as a hawk from the moon.
    Last edited by pluran; 8th February 2014 at 02:06 AM.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    Do you feel this is accurate or the fragrance industry is just that good?
    60% of fragrances are Good?
    Is that too high-too low or about right?
    I have wrote over 400 reviews and will post my numbers soon..
    I think the vast majority of fragrances are good. Most are great, and more are excellent than we admit. A fragrance may not appeal to me, but just because I don't like a scent or just because you don't like a scent, that does not mean the scent is bad. It just means I don't like it, or you don't like it. Someone else probably loves it.

    The real question here is, what inspires someone to write a review? I usually only bother if a scent thrills me, or if it repulses me. I rarely spend time writing reviews for anything - be it a scent, a piece of tech, a restaurant, or whatever else - just for the heck of it.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  34. #34

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I actually only write perfumes that I like (not on basenotes). So it tends to be positive. I do not see myself spending time analyzing or giving impressions of fragrances that I am not interested, I see it as a waste of time.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    I think the vast majority of fragrances are good. Most are great, and more are excellent than we admit. A fragrance may not appeal to me, but just because I don't like a scent or just because you don't like a scent, that does not mean the scent is bad. It just means I don't like it, or you don't like it. Someone else probably loves it.

    The real question here is, what inspires someone to write a review? I usually only bother if a scent thrills me, or if it repulses me. I rarely spend time writing reviews for anything - be it a scent, a piece of tech, a restaurant, or whatever else - just for the heck of it.
    I tend to agree with this. Fragrances are created, and reach the level of being sold, because they are concoctions that smell good to a significant number of people. But not all.

    If I'm in a rush, I may say I like a fragrance, but give me time to elaborate, and I'll give my history with the fragrance. My opinion of a fragrance isn't something upon which I need to reflect or update. It's a series of events and impressions as it weaves in and out of my life. I hated Tokyo by Kenzo because it was weak, unimpressive, and ridiculous. I loved it because it was odd, bizarrely strong in the drydown, and unlike anything else. I respected it enough to buy one last bottle when it went away, so I would never forget it. Do I like it? Do I hate it? I have no clue. My feelings for a fragrance vary by the hour. Should I average by the day, or try to compute the area under the curve? Next to the truth of what it makes me feel, anything I can say about a fragrance is a lie.

    I think that may actually be what I love about fragrance. It resists our efforts to turn it into less than it really is.

    I love fragrances that make me remember them. The ones that leave an impression of some kind. That's what makes me want to write a review!
    * * * *

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Let me give you a researcher's perspective. The problem here seems to be with a lack of potential variability in the scale. When one has a scale with only three options to select, there is very little room do differentiate the actual nuances of responses. In other words, qualitative descriptors that we would normally use to assess quality, such as "one of the best" "excellent" "good" or "slightly better than average" are lumped together within one category. So, one way around the problem would be to create a scale with more variance, such as a five option scale; the descriptors could be debated, but it could be 5-outstanding, 4, very good, 3, good, 2, average, 1, poor, 0, extremely poor. Again, those can be played with, but what we see here in terms of the distribution of scores is common with three point scales.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    An interesting idea, RichNTacoma- although it would still be subject to members rating random products as 'outstanding', etc., possibly fairly often.

    As others have mentioned - there are some reviewers whose preferences may often coincide with one's own and their reviews will always be sought, along with those who provide the most objective assessments.

    Personally, when researching products, there are questions that may occur to me and reading a selection of the reviews here, whilst skipping or scanning others, usually provides sufficient info. to decide whether to sample and form my own opinion.
    The words are more important to me than any rating system could be - whether they are giving an overall impression or a more technical appraisal.

    For example - if a number of people mention a particular issue that might detract from a product, it may make sampling less urgent!

    I don't think that fragrance can be 'graded' any more than music as the reasons for favouring one piece over another for most of us are so incredibly personal and there is such a huge spectrum to consider.
    Last edited by lpp; 8th February 2014 at 10:24 AM.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by RichNTacoma View Post
    Let me give you a researcher's perspective. The problem here seems to be with a lack of potential variability in the scale. When one has a scale with only three options to select, there is very little room do differentiate the actual nuances of responses. In other words, qualitative descriptors that we would normally use to assess quality, such as "one of the best" "excellent" "good" or "slightly better than average" are lumped together within one category. So, one way around the problem would be to create a scale with more variance, such as a five option scale; the descriptors could be debated, but it could be 5-outstanding, 4, very good, 3, good, 2, average, 1, poor, 0, extremely poor. Again, those can be played with, but what we see here in terms of the distribution of scores is common with three point scales.
    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    An interesting idea, RichNTacoma- although it would still be subject to members rating random products as 'outstanding', etc., possibly fairly often.

    As others have mentioned - there are some reviewers whose preferences may often coincide with one's own and their reviews will always be sought, along with those who provide the most objective assessments.

    Personally, when researching products, there are questions that may occur to me and reading a selection of the reviews here, whilst skipping or scanning others, usually provides sufficient info. to decide whether to sample and form my own opinion.
    The words are more important to me than any rating system could be - whether they are giving an overall impression or a more technical appraisal.

    For example - if a number of people mention a particular issue that might detract from a product, it may make sampling less urgent!

    I don't think that fragrance can be 'graded' any more than music as the reasons for favouring one piece over another for most of us are so incredibly personal and there is such a huge spectrum to consider.
    Definitely - the words are the most useful to me, too. They are what I actually use to help me decide.

    But I also have to say, I do like a 5-point scale. I would wager that most of us here think that way, too ("It's a 5-star scent.") We could probably map our 3-value system to 5-star with some minor tinkering.
    * * * *

  39. #39

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post

    I think a 1 - 10 scale would be much more useful.
    Agreed - or even 1 - 100. having done a few reviews a 'thumbs up' could apply to a range of frags from 55 -100.
    When considering the vast array of fragrances more stratification would be useful otherwise we simply lump together masterpieces with pleasant efforts.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I actually prefer the pass/fail system. Should I add this to my collection or not?

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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Out of curiousity I checked out my numbers

    435- Total Reviews
    236 Positive - 54%
    102 Neutral -24%
    97 Negative - 22 %

    Very much in line with Basenotes Total Reviews..

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I'm not sure what the difference is between a review that gives a 5-7 out of 10 and a neutral. Still a big question as to whether it is FB worthy.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I like a 1-5 scale, it would be nice. I agree kumquat, it will be too confusing for 1-10 what happens to all scores that will scatter on the middle, 5,6,7, it can get confusing without a statistical graph and graphical representation where most of the scores skew in an assumed bell curve.

    Now, regarding full bottle worthy. I feel casual people who will read a review from basenotes, are not thinking of getting decants when buying fragrances, so I think when you put a review as positive that is a recommendation to get the full bottle.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    The only scale I've ever found that works for me is Buy, Try, Pass. Numerical scales are all the same. 1 to 5. 1 to 10. 1 to 100. How do I know what a 4, or an 85, really mean to you versus what it means to me? On the other hand "I liked it enough to buy it" has an easy meaning to understand. In a perfect world, reviews here would have an icon to show that the reviewer bought the scent.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  45. #45

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I think you need to keep your purchase decisions separate from a review/rating of a fragrance. If you have a 7-figure income, something that is nice May be a "buy". If you have to rummage through garbage bins to find cans to return for a source of income, you may be a little less trigger happy for a $250 bottle of something. Review the scent, not your finances.

    Also, 1-5 is silly when you then have people saying 4.5 / 5. If 1-5 isn't granular enough, use a scale that fits the needs. 1-2-3 sure doesn't,

    Clinique Happy and Creed Spice and Wood would both get a thumbs-up from me. But they are by no means equal. Any system that does not allow greater distinction between "good" and "masterpiece" is significantly flawed.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    I think that stats on Basenotes can give false impressions as others have said. Some reviewers only write posts about fragrances they like
    This is me. I'd never write a review about a fragrance I didn't like. I only review fragrances I own and I don't buy stuff I don't like. I think people go overboard with their critique of a fragrance it's more about the house or the price than the actual fragrance. So IMO members aren't too easy, if anything they're too harsh. 85% of the stuff out there is pleasant smelling. Would I wear 85% of the fragrances out? Of course not, but that doesn't mean they're "vile" and "disgusting" like some reviewers state.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    I actually prefer the pass/fail system. Should I add this to my collection or not?
    Just because one rates a fragrance as excellent doesn't mean that they want to add a full bottle the their collection. What I personally choose to wear can differ from what I think is a quality fragrance. For example, Chanel No. 5 (IMO) is an excellent fragrance but I do not want to wear it. A small decant (or sample) is enough for me--a full bottle is not necessary . Personal taste can be separated (to an extent) from the assessment of the composition.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by gmstrack View Post
    Just because one rates a fragrance as excellent doesn't mean that they want to add a full bottle the their collection. What I personally choose to wear can differ from what I think is a quality fragrance. For example, Chanel No. 5 (IMO) is an excellent fragrance but I do not want to wear it. A small decant (or sample) is enough for me--a full bottle is not necessary . Personal taste can be separated (to an extent) from the assessment of the composition.
    Of course you don't HAVE to get a full bottle. It's just that a yeah/nay system with a neutral for those who are undecided works well for me, personally. I don't feel there would be anything to be gained by splicing the decision quotient into tinier pieces. That's all I'm saying.

    As far as the reviews being too soft, I could pull up loads that are negative regarding some of my personal favorites. I haven't noticed any bias at all. Some like some things, and some really don't.
    Last edited by kumquat; 9th February 2014 at 07:35 PM.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    It may have been mentioned before on this thread, but still repeating it since it largely sums up my opinion: perhaps it has to d with the fact that this community is made up largely or almost entirely by fragrance enthusiasts, thus it is highly likely that

    a) they are more favorable to fragrances in general
    b) they first tend to review the favorites or, at any rate, the fragrances that they are passionate or at least interested about, thus higher likeliness of more generous ratings.

  50. #50

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    Of course you don't HAVE to get a full bottle. It's just that a yeah/nay system with a neutral for those who are undecided works well for me, personally. I don't feel there would be anything to be gained by splicing the decision quotient into tinier pieces. That's all I'm saying.
    Fair enough--I prefer the sliding scale, but you do make a good point when you question whether or not it is actually superior to the YES/NO/MAYBE system. I wonder if there is any published material on the subject.

  51. #51

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Like others have mentioned, I rate fragrances from 1 to 10. Being FBW is another story. There are a lot of fragrances I may give a 7 or 8, but doesn't mean I would purchase a full bottle of that fragrance. It's all a matter of taste and opinion.

  52. #52
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    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Like others have mentioned, I rate fragrances from 1 to 10. Being FBW is another story. There are a lot of fragrances I may give a 7 or 8, but doesn't mean I would purchase a full bottle of that fragrance. It's all a matter of taste and opinion.
    So that's a definite maybe. I would still like to hear you discus your opinion about the notes you perceive and their progression. And I also see the need for more accurate and inclusive NOTE information on ALL scents in the directory. That's where I see a need for improvement. I think it would be fine if you want to add your personal grade of a 7-8 out of 10 in your review. I just don't see why we'd want to change the system that's currently in place. I for one, like to glance and see the three colors showing me right away which reviews are which.

  53. #53

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    I do this on some of my reviews. All depends on the fragrance. Some fragrances are more interesting than others to discuss notes and their progression. Others are not IMO. I totally agree with you about system that is used now with the colors showing the amount of thumbs up, neutral and thumbs down ratings.
    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    So that's a definite maybe. I would still like to hear you discus your opinion about the notes you perceive and their progression. And I also see the need for more accurate and inclusive NOTE information on ALL scents in the directory. That's where I see a need for improvement. I think it would be fine if you want to add your personal grade of a 7-8 out of 10 in your review. I just don't see why we'd want to change the system that's currently in place. I for one, like to glance and see the three colors showing me right away which reviews are which.
    Last edited by sjg3839; 10th February 2014 at 04:20 PM.

  54. #54

    Default Re: Are We Being Too Easy..

    In my humble opinion all reviews, whether long stories about notes and progression or point / scale ratings, are more a reflection of the reviewer and his/her tastes. I find it most helpful to read as many reviews on a scent I'm considering to test/buy. With most, common themes arise.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

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