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  1. #1

    Default "Generic" Colognes


    I have been lurking this site, reading things for months now and I have come to a question I would like resolved... It appears that almost all of the colognes I actually like are being labelled as "generic" by so many people on this site... I guess that is my taste.

    Some examples of my favorite colognes that I have seen labeled as "generic" many times on here:

    Chanel- Bleu de Chanel
    Dior Sauvage
    Coach New York
    Jimmy Choo man
    Gucci Guilty

    These are just a few examples...

    My question is, is what exactly do you guys mean as generic? I have seen the word used in many contexts before and am having a difficult time understanding exactly what this means.

    These are my top ideas as to what it may mean, in no particular order:

    1) Similar composition to many other colognes
    2) Safe or unoffensive
    3) Not that appealing
    4) Too many off brand copycats (making the designer model obsolete?)

    Does generic mean one of these? Or all? Or am I missing something?

  2. #2

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    I guess I have one more to add to the list of possible meanings of "generic"

    5) Popular

  3. #3

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    No.1 on your list of descriptions is nearest to the answer imo.

    It doesn't mean that there are a bunch of fragrances that smell exactly the same, but they will all share many facets and are basically dull and unadventurous and don't take risks - they are lumpen.

    Fresh, clean woodies will often fall into this category because the various Houses think that this is what the majority of males are looking for so will produce the optimum profits for them.

    There is no harm in liking some of them though -- I mean they are not usually unpleasant, just a bit boring.

  4. #4
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    sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Something that does not smell different. Something that everyone else seems to be wearing.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    If I use the term, that would be in the sense of similar to countless existing ones, but lacking any particular sparkle.

  6. #6

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    If I use the term, that would be in the sense of similar to countless existing ones, but lacking any particular sparkle.

    Essentially, a generic item does not have a particularly distinct personality. It disappears into the crowd.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    No.1 on your list of descriptions is nearest to the answer imo.
    Feel the same.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    While generic does or at least can mean all of this, have yet to find a masculine scent, including along the lines of Bleu de Chanel, Sauvage, Gucci Guilty that may (or again may not) have just enough uniqueness to make it "less" generic, at least based on the personal impression of it.

    Might be in a minority here on BN, but happening to feel and sense, even if not know 100% that Bleu de Chanel has just enough incense like, woody and/or balsamic darkness just to become interesting, especially in its EDP version, while Gucci Guilty and its flankers may not be such a bad trendy gourmand either.

    A few more recent examples did perceive to be less generic and more pleasant and even more complex than expected were a few feminines as well as masculines by Gabriela Sabatini-given their low price, did not expect much in spite of some good past experiences with this fragrance house, but once sensing their notes, the sensation improved on each and became far less one dimensional, also much fresher in the case of some, much sensual, warm, alluring than expected in the case of others.

  9. #9

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    I think people conflate "generic" with "ubiquitous," which would be the more accurate term.
    Last edited by mistersurgery; 16th April 2019 at 06:18 PM.
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  10. #10
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    notspendingamillion's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    If I use the term, that would be in the sense of similar to countless existing ones, but lacking any particular sparkle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post

    Essentially, a generic item does not have a particularly distinct personality. It disappears into the crowd.
    These. I do not particularly think Bleu and Sauvage are generic. They both have a feel and personality. Generics usually feel uninspired. If I were in a store, and walking around spraying cards, something generic would make me think "smells good." Then I'd set the card down, move to the next one, and not think about it again. But still, you like what you like, and don't let anybody designer-shame your preferences.
    Last edited by notspendingamillion; 16th April 2019 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Clarify the pronouns. Dumb english.
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  11. #11
    Dependent speckmann0706's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Something mass pleasing not unique or daring, sometimes you just need a good mass pleasing fragrance that does it all generic or not if it works it works.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Mostly only us basenoters would use the term generic to describe a scent. There is nothing wrong with wearing "generic" colognes in the real world because people think they smell good, but only when you really enjoy fragrances and wearing different ones frequently do you even think about the term. But to me generic is something that smells like everything else out there. And Sauvage is not generic. How many scents smell like it and perform like it? Not THAT many. There's variations of course, but nothing to make it generic.

  13. #13

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    My interpretation of "generic" in regard to fragrances is very much by the textbook: lacking originality, indistinguishable, common. Usually made of cheaper ingredients.
    Popular does not equate generic, just the same way as the original, no matter how many time copied or cloned, can't be generic by definition.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Typical run in the mill
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  15. #15
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    To me, a generic fragrance is one that is recognizable within its category (chypre, floral, etc.) but not unusual, distinctive or remarkable in any way.

  16. #16

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    A fragrance for mass audience, not something that perfumistas will appreciate.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    Generic, low quality/mass appeal, and not artistically made, thus making it pedestrian

    Non generic/pedestrian
    ex. Fahrenheit by Dior is mass produce but far from pedestrian/generic but a timeless artistic gem: also Gucci PHGA is another modern gem, its far from generic, as these stand out amongst so called pedestrian like that copy each other to a degree: nevertheless, they have their place too, as some do smell good and have their place in any novice or veterans rotation..
    "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 "

  18. #18

    Default Re: "Generic" Colognes

    It's nothing wrong in liking these type of fragrances. When I entered the fragrance world I preferred "light and fresh" scents and was looking mostly for that. Man, I've opened up some doors since that!

    After trying a much wider perspective type of scents, many hundreds, I felt like some of the "generic" freshies just did not do something new for me. But that does not mean it is something wrong with them.
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