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  1. #61

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Loads of people are anosmic to various common synthetics so we do perceive any given product differently.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    Loads of people are anosmic to various common synthetics so we do perceive any given product differently.
    Anosmia is another term that we shouldn't use because anosmia is an impairment. It's the inability to smell mainly because of traumatic conditions in the nasal passage or damage to the temporal lobe of the brain. In other words, you can't be anosmic to certain things, people that suffer from anosmia usually can't smell absolutely anything. It's caused by meningitis, encephalitis, I mean this is a very serious condition that is thrown around like it's nothing in perfume discussions.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Lots of people cannot be anosmic to certain things because anosmia is a serious medical condition that is not common. So I don't know what part in can play in perceiving perfume.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Also, here are the associated conditions that go hand in hand with anosmia almost always:


    Dysosmia
    Kallmann syndrome
    Parkinson's disease
    Fibromyalgia
    Multiple sclerosis
    Asthma
    Diabetes
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Epilepsy
    Schizophrenia
    Vitamin B12 deficiency
    Stroke
    Hypothyroidism
    kidney disease
    liver disease
    Head injury
    brain tumour
    Alzheimer's disease
    Zinc deficiency
    Cadmium Poisoning
    Holoprosencephaly
    Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri
    Refsum disease
    CHARGE syndrome
    Ageusia


    I mean this is a VERY serious condition, we are talking serious here, and all I hear all the time is "maybe you're anosmic, maybe I'm anosmic", no you are not.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    Anosmia is another term that we shouldn't use because anosmia is an impairment. It's the inability to smell mainly because of traumatic conditions in the nasal passage or damage to the temporal lobe of the brain. In other words, you can't be anosmic to certain things, people that suffer from anosmia usually can't smell absolutely anything. It's caused by meningitis, encephalitis, I mean this is a very serious condition that is thrown around like it's nothing in perfume discussions.
    This is an intriguing position, and I can totally see how borrowed terminology can be problematic under such circumstances. Critical writing in the arts has a tendency to do this as well. I wonder if there are associative connections involved with "anosmia" as used with perfume? Certain musks simply aren't that perceptible to some as they sit low on the olfactory spectrum, but I'm curious as to how evocative capacity and the ability of the perceiver function within this.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    This is an intriguing position, and I can totally see how borrowed terminology can be problematic under such circumstances. Critical writing in the arts has a tendency to do this as well. I wonder if there are associative connections involved with "anosmia" as used with perfume? Certain musks simply aren't that perceptible to some as they sit low on the olfactory spectrum, but I'm curious as to how evocative capacity and the ability of the perceiver function within this.
    Well, someone interviewed Sophia Grossjman and mentioned that Sophia showed them musks that the interviewer couldn't smell. I can't say why she couldn't smell them and Sophia did but I wouldn't say it's because of anosmia, or that there is a wild difference from her sense of smell to Sophia's, there is also a training that is required but I would say these are minor differences. The main concern for me is, the finished perfume. Whether it is niche, commercial, whatever, we can't say that it varies from person to person. If it does then I would say it's a badly manufactured perfume with no stability.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    Well, someone interviewed Sophia Grossjman and mentioned that Sophia showed them musks that the interviewer couldn't smell. I can't say why she couldn't smell them and Sophia did but I wouldn't say it's because of anosmia, or that there is a wild difference from her sense of smell to Sophia's, there is also a training that is required but I would say these are minor differences. The main concern for me is, the finished perfume. Whether it is niche, commercial, whatever, we can't say that it varies from person to person. If it does then I would say it's a badly manufactured perfume with no stability.
    This is all totally valid, but I would say (from my own personal preference, largely), that there's room for perfumes that are rendered somewhat unstable in their evocation. For mass release, absolutely—stability is key (and can be quite challenging!). But there are certain materials that are so dense in their composition that, even when worn alone, they induce a spectrum of experience. Like you, I'm not sold that this is simply a matter of "skin chemistry" (there are simply too many variable involved) but it does strike me that certain items perform in unstable ways and can assist in fairly radical cases of perceived difference alongside other variables.
    Last edited by deadidol; 23rd May 2014 at 06:13 PM.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    Yes but those are very minor changes in the rate of evaporation because of temperature, or even climate, but if we talk about the scent profile if you will, the identity of the perfume, it remains the same and unchanged from person to person. It's simply designed to be that way, and it has to. Otherwise what is Shalimar? What is No 5? How can it be considered an art form if it's not stable enough to hold its identity no matter what? It would be like the Mona Lisa melting and shifting colors and shapes depending on who sees it, and that doesn't happen.

    There is also a matter of survival here. Scent cannot possibly be so different from person to person because then we would be in jeopardy all the time. What would happen to people if the scent of gas smelled like roses to some and then it would smell of lime to other people? I guess you would die, one would never be able to spot a gas leak, fires and so on. So if we smell smoke the same, because we are designed to be finetuned to the physical world and this is across the board unless you are impaired, then how come this is "suspended" when it comes to perfume and the same perfume smells like two different things to people, and not even on the skin but on strips! I don't believe it, it's simply not supported by science.

    Yes, there are some differences from people to people, for instance some people don't pass the asparagus test, you know, urine smelling different after eating asparagus and so on, but it's not incidental to perfume.

    The key word in here is stability. Perfume is stable, it NEEDS to be, otherwise it can't count as artform, it couldn't even count as a functional product of any way, in other words, it can't change from skin to skin.

    The industry really perpetuates this myth and I can't see why, it's time for it to be debunked really.
    I totally agree with your point of view, narcotica, and thank you for a sound dose of science in a field that sometimes seems a bit in need of it. And I like your definition of perfume as a matter of art and science- in addition to beauty and intelligence, as Luca Turin puts it.
    I would add that it's also a matter of language: when we say "this perfume smells completely different on two people" what do we mean? What is really implying the word "different"? How much different? To what extent? Smell lacks a specific language, so we're sort of short of accurate words to define the experience of smelling and smelling differences.
    In my opinion the perceived differences between two people wearing the same perfume have much more to do with the different people and the idea we have of them.. (This afternoon my partner told me she recognized Premier Figuier on a collegue. I asked her if she felt it different- PF is one of my most beloved and worn fragrances- and she said "of course"! But it was PF nevertheless and she recognized it without any doubt!)
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  9. #69

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by iodine View Post
    In my opinion the perceived differences between two people wearing the same perfume have much more to do with the different people and the idea we have of them.
    I find this to be the case as well. I'm still open to the idea that there's a physiological component involved in perceived difference, but there are certainly other more plausible factors as well. And yes, language does indeed fail us when it comes to describing scents.

    What do we think of hyperosmia—on an increase in our ability to smell? My own experience of spending the last year learning about 300+ individual materials in isolation has proven helpful to my ability to figure out what's going on in a perfume (still largely flawed).

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    I agree that the whole idea of perfume absorbing into skin is rather beside the point. I had no idea it was so prevalent. Well, other than with the 'Perfume Police'. They are very big on that. (Another conversation). That said, I once ate a whole clove of garlic as an experiment- what was I thinking? I stank to high Heaven the whole next day as it emanated from me- everywhere.

  11. #71

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by iodine View Post
    I totally agree with your point of view, narcotica, and thank you for a sound dose of science in a field that sometimes seems a bit in need of it. And I like your definition of perfume as a matter of art and science- in addition to beauty and intelligence, as Luca Turin puts it.
    I would add that it's also a matter of language: when we say "this perfume smells completely different on two people" what do we mean? What is really implying the word "different"? How much different? To what extent? Smell lacks a specific language, so we're sort of short of accurate words to define the experience of smelling and smelling differences.
    In my opinion the perceived differences between two people wearing the same perfume have much more to do with the different people and the idea we have of them.. (This afternoon my partner told me she recognized Premier Figuier on a collegue. I asked her if she felt it different- PF is one of my most beloved and worn fragrances- and she said "of course"! But it was PF nevertheless and she recognized it without any doubt!)
    Yes, for instance I used to be in love with tuberose a year ago, now I can barely stand it, I guess most people would say it's because of "skin chemistry" but to be honest, tuberose smells to me now exactly as it did a year ago, I just don't like it anymore.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I find this to be the case as well. I'm still open to the idea that there's a physiological component involved in perceived difference, but there are certainly other more plausible factors as well. And yes, language does indeed fail us when it comes to describing scents.

    What do we think of hyperosmia—on an increase in our ability to smell? My own experience of spending the last year learning about 300+ individual materials in isolation has proven helpful to my ability to figure out what's going on in a perfume (still largely flawed).
    Hyperosmia is a real phenomenon, probably a lot of perfumers have it, but like anosmia it is not common. We can totally educate our sense of smell, just like our eyes and everything, for instance constant stimulation strengthens it, not only in the nose but also in the brain.

    I wish we had a mythbusters episode regarding perfume, if anyone can get in contact with those people? Either way, I entirely reject the notion that there are changes between people when it comes to perfume, not only because of my basic scientific knowledge but also what an art piece means. Art cannot change, a finished work of art is just that, finished. It cannot change after the artist signs it off because if it did, then it would be a pointless endeavor.

  13. #73

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    Art cannot change, a finished work of art is just that, finished. It cannot change after the artist signs it off because if it did, then it would be a pointless endeavor.
    Ah, I do beg to differ on this point though as there really are too many variables at work to make that claim. Gustav Metzger, Robert Smithson, Félix González-Torres, are all invoking extremely dynamic processes. That's a whole different can of worms, though!

  14. #74

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Ah, I do beg to differ on this point though as there really are too many variables at work to make that claim. Gustav Metzger, Robert Smithson, Félix González-Torres, are all invoking extremely dynamic processes. That's a whole different can of worms, though!
    I don't know who those people are lol.

  15. #75
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    I entirely reject the notion that there are changes between people when it comes to perfume, not only because of my basic scientific knowledge but also what an art piece means. Art cannot change, a finished work of art is just that, finished. It cannot change after the artist signs it off because if it did, then it would be a pointless endeavor.
    Is your argument that Chanel No5 cannot smell different on two different skins, because then it would not be Chanel No.5? Is that it? There's something missing in this argument. Something important. You assume exactly what is in issue--Chanel No 5 must smell the same on two different wearers. Assumed the conclusion. Is that Science?

    Does Chanel No 5 smell different on paper than it does on my skin? To me it does. Its still Chanel No 5. Isn't it?

    Perfume has to be worn, has to hang, on something.

    Ocean Greyness looks a whole lot different in the Guggenheim than it would in your living room, right? And obviously, that is a very imperfect analogy, but when perfume is worn, it is worn on someone. And someone is not free of fragrance. And neither is someone else.

    Two people, take your pick, can smell different to a third 'smeller'. Agree?

    Ever been on a subway?
    Two people on a subway car can smell very different to a third rider on the car. Put Chanel No5 on both of them. Hopefully they both smell better to the third rider, but they may also still smell very different to the third. AND, its still Chanel No 5, they are both wearing right?

    If you wanted to prove your hypothesis scientifically, how would you go about it? It would involve putting Chanel No 5 on a lot of people, and having at least two sniffers smell them all and note differences (or not). Right? Can you cite to any science to support your view?
    Last edited by james1051; 23rd May 2014 at 10:12 PM.

  16. #76

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Of course the same fragrance will smell different on different people. The same fragrance will smell different on the same person under different circumstances . Your age, your health and even your diet (amongst other things) will affect how a fragrance will smell.

    And whilst an object such as a painting or a sculpture or even a piece of music will not change, ones interpretation of it can change. All Art involves a dialogue between at least two (the work and the observer); no work of art can exist in a vacuum, unseen, unlistened to, unsmelled.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    I'm really struggling to appreciate the level of science in this thread, such as : perfume doesn't get absorbed into the skin?
    If you belive that then whatever you say needs to be taken with a large dose of salt.

    Comparing perfume to a work of art like a fixed solid object like a painting and saying because perfume is like a work of art it can never change once it's been made is down right ridiculous. Granted the perfume will remain stable and the same for quite a period of time but only in the bottle, not once it's out the bottle and the molecules are now interacting and mixing with the compounds in the air and on your skin.

    A perfume is made out of volatile liquid substances that can most definitely smell different in varying conditions of temperature/rate of evaporation, skin type/chemistry. Skin is is like a little microcosm, it holds oils, bacteria, residual chemicals from creams/soaps/atmospheric contamination etc and most definitely will interact with the compounds in perfume, to what degree depends on the person, could it be noticeable most definitely. Perfume can smell different even on paper depending on the ambient temps/humidity conditions and type of paper.

    A perfume works by flooding the air with sufficient fragrance molecules so that they overcome the residual and ambient smells, the rate at which the various molecules that comprise a perfume are depleted/evaporated/absorbed make up it's scent signature/development/notes and sillage/longevity. All those factors can only be fixed in laboratory conditions with the perfume applied to an inert substance, out in the real world there can be significant variability, some of the perfume compounds may be absorbed on some skins more than others, some oily skins may trap some of the compounds and extend them or slightly modify them, if it's very hot, humid or cold the rate of evaporation of the various compounds will change. The perfume compounds may not "change" per say when they hit the skin, the compounds will still initially all be there as per how they were made but they will be remixed and joined with other compounds so there's no ways in hell the smell could somehow be rigidly fixed.

    One of the fundamental challenges in perfume design is the rate of depletion of the various compounds, if you are relying on 3 compounds to compose a perfume and one evaporates/depletes significantly faster than the other 2 then after 15 minutes you will only be smelling the 2 compounds, the perfume now smells different.
    Last edited by Airlight; 24th May 2014 at 08:38 AM.
    Must....smell......Good!!!!

  18. #78

    Default Re: Controversial opinions on fragrances and its industry: Let's share!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcotica View Post
    Also, here are the associated conditions that go hand in hand with anosmia almost always:


    Dysosmia
    Kallmann syndrome
    Parkinson's disease
    Fibromyalgia
    Multiple sclerosis
    Asthma
    Diabetes
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Epilepsy
    Schizophrenia
    Vitamin B12 deficiency
    Stroke
    Hypothyroidism
    kidney disease
    liver disease
    Head injury
    brain tumour
    Alzheimer's disease
    Zinc deficiency
    Cadmium Poisoning
    Holoprosencephaly
    Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri
    Refsum disease
    CHARGE syndrome
    Ageusia

    .
    This is plainly wrong. Sometimes, yes. Certainly not 'almost always'.

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