Code of Conduct
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 52
  1. #1
    Super Member Sloth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Up a tree in Blighty
    Posts
    127

    Default Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Hi everyone, I am still new to all this really but I have noticed something...or have I?

    Compliments seem to be a significant part of the fragrance community, be it for personal gratification, pleasing others or just knowing you have chosen a good scent compliments seem to be desired even if not directly solicited or invited.

    I'm based in the UK and I have relatively little experience in the fragrance community although I have always worn fragrances from when I was a teenager a few short years ago....well perhaps a fair few years....OK many years ago.....oh alright several decades ago....(sigh) OK around 4 to be more specific.....happy now?

    Anyway, I read on here and elsewhere that a lot of you guys get unsolicited 'compliments' on a fairly regular basis but despite having several very nice frags I hardly if ever receive any, even from my wife in fact especially from my wife who seems to be totally indifferent to whatever fragrance I'm wearing unless she dislikes it in which case she will tell me in no uncertain terms.
    She's only ever commented positively when I wear Cool Water 'Wave' and 'Joop Homme'. She once commented that something smelt 'rather lovely' when I first sampled 'Dior Sauvage' but never since I bought a full bottle and started wearing it properly.

    Anyway, at work I have never had a compliment and I've worn some very nice frags to the office and to client meetings etc.
    I'm beginning to wonder if it's a cultural thing and that here in Blighty we are just too conservative and restrained to actually pay an unsolicited compliment on a fragrance. Perhaps it's just 'not the done thing old bean...I mean we're British...stiff upper lip and all that'...

    You guys across the pond however, seem to get them all the time from the girls and guys in your work places so perhaps you're all a lot less uptight than us over here in the UK?

    Has anyone else in the UK or anywhere else ever thought along similar lines or am I alone in this and perhaps all fragrances just smell like crap on me?

    I welcome your thoughts

  2. #2
    Super Member ClockworkAlice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Hic sunt dracones
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    I think it's a cultural thing. I haven't really counted, but I think most of people talking about compliments are either American or Southern European - cultures that are more open and more willing to compliment.
    I'm from Lithuania, which is Eastern European, and culture here is different from British culture, but similar in a sense that we also aren't quick to compliment and more willing to comment or friendly tease when something is bad rather when it's good.
    I personally know at least two guys who always smell amazing no matter what and it's always a pleasure to give a friendly hug when meeting them, but I don't think I have ever complimented them about it.
    I haven't gotten a compliment or complaint about my fragrance ever. I just hope nobody talks behind my back about my fragrance choices though.

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Diamondflame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    14,405

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    I believe there IS indeed a cultural element at play here. The British ‘stiff upper lip’ phenomenon is certainly a probable cause.

    It’s also my observation that Asians are typically quicker with criticisms but are far less effusive with compliments. ‘Praise’ somehow has this perceived propensity to swell a person’s head at the expense of the preferred virtue of ‘humility’. Perhaps that’s why like OP, I hardly get compliments from the missus.
    “...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” - Robin Sharma

  4. #4

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Yeah, I'm sure it's the stiff upper lip with the British. I think if someone's dishing out complements on personal appearance or other traits, the first thought usually is: 'are they trying to butter me up?'

    I've had colleagues complementing, but they were usually in the same department as I (so we had a closer working relationship) and predominantly female.

  5. #5
    Dependent Monsieur Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,926

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Cultural approach it is.

    I have worked one year in Cambridge, UK and i have never received (or offered) a compliment except from my landlady whose deceased father used to wear the same perfume i did back in 2010.
    On the other hand i usually do not get complimented in Germany either (with the exception of some coworkers in the past).
    I have complimented a few ladies and a couple of gentlemen in Germany. The ladies didn't know which perfume they were wearing but all of the gentlemen did. That was an interesting observation.

    When in Greece things change. People do compliment or ask what you are wearing.

    I am lucky at home, i receive and offer compliments on a daily basis.

  6. #6
    Wearing Perfume Right Now
    Bavard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    6,335

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Americans are uptight too, and usually too reserved to mention someone else's perfume. Of course, there are exceptions.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Plus
    Scarce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,295

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    She once commented that something smelt 'rather lovely' when I first sampled 'Dior Sauvage' but never since I bought a full bottle and started wearing it properly.
    Completely understandable. My nose curls reflexively whenever I encounter it now, though the first time I smelt it I found it "interesting".
    Most worn:

    Black Comme des Garçons, Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens, Patchouli Santa Maria Novella


  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    It's a cultural thing.
    When I am in USA I am shocked that random strangers on a streets can give me compliments. Takes quite a while to get used to it.
    My home country, Sweden, is well known for having most reserved people in the world, small talk with strangers is a taboo here. When I told my friend that I complimented a girl on her smile at the counter in clothing store he was shocked. So you can get compliments here only after a couple of beers, from international people (like Americans) or from your date.

  9. #9
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,023

    Cool Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    You all look beautiful today. Greetings from Indiana! Thought I don't know how well we're known around here for compliments. haha

  10. #10

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Typical conversation with an American that you've only just met: You smell awesome! How much do you earn? My father wore perfume before he died of ball cancer. When we went to the hospital to switch him off I smelled his perfume for the last time. Have a nice day!

    I'm dating one, trust me, it's the truth

  11. #11
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,023

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    Typical conversation with an American that you've only just met: You smell awesome! How much do you earn? My father wore perfume before he died of ball cancer. When we went to the hospital to switch him off I smelled his perfume for the last time. Have a nice day!

    I'm dating one, trust me, it's the truth
    I almost spit out my coffee while reading this, lol!
    I don't know how many times I've had co-workers come up to me asking me how much I make. WTF?
    So annoying.

  12. #12
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,023

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Oh and when I take my lunch break, I use to eat in the break room. But now I eat at my desk because people come into the break room and see me eating, they would come over to me and ask a million questions. What is that? Where did you get it? How much do you have? LOL, it's alarming how intrusive their questions can be. I'm just trying to have a nice quiet lunch!

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Definitely a cultural thing. I have only lived in Britain for a short while but from what I gather it certainly seems like the wrong pond to fish for compliments. With the usual caveats regarding generalizations, Brits are generally quite private in my experience, though not particularly reserved (Danes tend to be the opposite). I imagine that commenting on someone’s fragrance would be considered a breach of privacy in many social situations. Moreover, Brits tend to be extremely polite and I imagine that many would abstain from complimenting someone’s fragrance out of fear that it would be taken as a complaint (“I must have applied too much”). Finally, Brits tend to be quite subtle in their communication. For instance, when strangers talk to you about the weather, it’s not because they really care about the weather; they are gouging your interest in conversation. I imagine that people would also worry that complimenting someone’s fragrance would be taken as a romantic interest. Maybe I am way off, or maybe people are completely different in other parts of Britain, but that is my experience.

    Denmark is somewhat similar but for different reasons. As mentioned, we tend to be extremely reserved (although not very private), but we also tend to be quite anti-materialist. Therefore we don’t generally interact with strangers, and we certainly don’t compliment people on their luxuries. On the contrary. (It is not as bad as it may sound. Danes will treat you like air if you are a stranger, but most will almost treat you like family as soon as you get acquainted.)

    Mind you, much also depends on where you are at in your life. If you are dating, you are bound to interact much more with other people, in physically intimate settings, and therefore also much more likely to receive compliments. Personality also matters, how approachable you are and so on. But culture definitely plays a part as well.

  14. #14
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Paris
    Posts
    2,542

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    I'm sure cultural differences have a part to play. But don't be misled by all the talk of compliments on the male forum: I'd say that I large proportion comes from young men who are relatively lacking in confidence and desperate to receive the validation of peers and superiors.

    I'd argue that 'normal' level-headed perfume enthusiasts don't wear fragrance to impress other people - even though if and when a compliment arrives it's always welcome.

  15. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemelimelle View Post
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha........... I’m a quiet eater. I chew with my mouth closed.
    You mean as one is supposed to in polite society?

    Frankly, it's a little shocking to me, even though I've lived in the tri-state area all my life, how utterly casual social interactions have gotten and how much we've forgotten the little things. I had a very nice woman become more than a little surprised when I stood up as she left the table the other day. Why oh why are the little niceties being forgotten?

    I, for one, am unreserved about giving a compliment, but it must be a genuine one. I don't give one for the sake of giving one.

  16. #16
    Dependent RedRaider430's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,204

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    May be a little bit cultural. Who really knows?

    But there are plenty of people here (from the USA) that have reported that they rarely get compliments, so it's not just you (or your fragrances).

    The thing that surprises me most is that there are so many people (including many here on Basenotes) that say they would never go up to a stranger and compliment their fragrance or ask what it is. They just feel too uncomfortable doing it. I have no trouble doing that at all, but apparently, many do.
    Basenotes sales: Tiffany for Men Concen, de Bachmakov, Atelier Vetiver Fatal, Tiffany for Men mini, 17 Cuba Paris frags, L'Essence de Cerruti, Reyane Insurrection, numerous popular SAMPLES! http://www.basenotes.net/threads/419...ples-amp-More!

    Crystal Flacon sales: Prelude to Love, Noir de Noir, SAMPLES! http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=626

  17. #17
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemelimelle View Post
    I agree with you, swangner. Given my surroundings, it would take a whole lot more to shock me. I am numbed. I accept what is. This is the direction we are heading, like it or not, and so it is beyond my comprehension as a person to deal with the whole. We acclimate. We accustom ourselves the best we can.

    Yes, I too, do not give out compliments as freely as that.
    I definitely hear you and sympathize. While I may accept very casual behavior on the incoming side, I myself refuse to propagate it. Therefore, I tend to come across as more reserved and formal in my style, I suppose in most aspects (dress, behavior, vocabulary and usage, etc.). I may not be able to solve the problem, but for sure I'll do everything I can not to make it worse.

    Having said all of that, I also don't believe for a moment that old-school manners go hand-in-hand with old-school attitudes. I'm a staunch believer and supporter of equal respect and treatment for everyone, until someone proves to me that they don't deserve such respect.

  18. #18
    Basenotes Junkie
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    Typical conversation with an American that you've only just met: You smell awesome! How much do you earn? My father wore perfume before he died of ball cancer. When we went to the hospital to switch him off I smelled his perfume for the last time. Have a nice day!

    I'm dating one, trust me, it's the truth
    True story! The only time I was asked how much I make was on a date with American girl, loud mouth, amazing American accent

  19. #19
    Basenotes Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Yawk
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Ladies seem to keep their fragrance choices a secret on purpose

  20. #20
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemelimelle View Post
    Sure thing, swangner, but if it’s politics you want to talk about, there are plenty of platforms for you to find what you are looking for as long as we still have the First Amendment, as there is nothing for you to dig out here and within me. Your political leanings are of zero interest to me. You’ve slyly addressed the wrong person and place, dear fella.
    I wasn't really going for that, though I do realize that I went off on a bit of a tangent from the thread. I was just following my own thoughts, and my apologies to you and other participants in the thread for going off topic. It was not (and isn't) my intention to start a political discussion.

  21. #21
    Basenotes Plus
    notspendingamillion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Middleof, Nowhere
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Midwest usa not so much. The usa is a big place, which each state analogous to countries in europe. Paris is 1000 miles from Prague. California is 2000 miles from me. We have little in common.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.

  22. #22
    Missing Oakmoss

    Bonnette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,485

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    From what I've read on Basenotes over the years, there does seem to be a cultural component...and also an historical one. Over the past 20 years, I can count the compliments I've received on one hand; whereas in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, people in my neck of the woods were much more responsive to fragrances and apt to comment on them.

  23. #23
    Super Member oudaddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    Hi everyone, I am still new to all this really but I have noticed something...or have I?

    Compliments seem to be a significant part of the fragrance community, be it for personal gratification, pleasing others or just knowing you have chosen a good scent compliments seem to be desired even if not directly solicited or invited.

    I'm based in the UK and I have relatively little experience in the fragrance community although I have always worn fragrances from when I was a teenager a few short years ago....well perhaps a fair few years....OK many years ago.....oh alright several decades ago....(sigh) OK around 4 to be more specific.....happy now?

    Anyway, I read on here and elsewhere that a lot of you guys get unsolicited 'compliments' on a fairly regular basis but despite having several very nice frags I hardly if ever receive any, even from my wife in fact especially from my wife who seems to be totally indifferent to whatever fragrance I'm wearing unless she dislikes it in which case she will tell me in no uncertain terms.
    She's only ever commented positively when I wear Cool Water 'Wave' and 'Joop Homme'. She once commented that something smelt 'rather lovely' when I first sampled 'Dior Sauvage' but never since I bought a full bottle and started wearing it properly.

    Anyway, at work I have never had a compliment and I've worn some very nice frags to the office and to client meetings etc.
    I'm beginning to wonder if it's a cultural thing and that here in Blighty we are just too conservative and restrained to actually pay an unsolicited compliment on a fragrance. Perhaps it's just 'not the done thing old bean...I mean we're British...stiff upper lip and all that'...

    You guys across the pond however, seem to get them all the time from the girls and guys in your work places so perhaps you're all a lot less uptight than us over here in the UK?

    Has anyone else in the UK or anywhere else ever thought along similar lines or am I alone in this and perhaps all fragrances just smell like crap on me?

    I welcome your thoughts
    I'm in the UK and I get compliments all the time from people of different races and backgrounds. I think some guidelines came out recently after the #MeToo movement that it could be classed as untowards harassment. I guess it also depends on what environment you are in. We are, of course, more reserved here in the UK. I think it also depends on what you wear, if you wear something that is generic, you'll garner fewer compliments than if you wear something complex and unique.
    Currently wearing: Beach Hut Man by Amouage

  24. #24

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Though having limited experience with compliments (especially offline rather than just on BN and/or within similar sites/communities), so far-perhaps counter intuitively, contradictory even controversially to a certain point- happened to know a fair share of factors both independent from national/regional etc. culture, society, economy but also more strictly definable cultural factors per se influencing this.

    In spite of these, as already mentioned, quite limited real life experiences not just with compliments but also what exactly influences them, how they may vary and so further, have happened to notice a few recurring motives.

    More precisely, while certain cultures, societies, regions are more accepting, open, generous towards fragrance compliments, a few bestselling and overly popular fragrances nevertheless become likelier to be complimented even within the ones less enthusiastic about it, since a few (more or less) "sure bets". E.g. Bleu de Chanel, Boss Bottled, ADG, to name only the most popular male choices, are likelier to transcend certain limitations, peculiarities, cultural perceptions about fragrance.

  25. #25
    Basenotes Plus

    Cook.bot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tracks, Wrong Side of
    Posts
    5,083

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by swangner View Post
    I wasn't really going for that, though I do realize that I went off on a bit of a tangent from the thread. I was just following my own thoughts, and my apologies to you and other participants in the thread for going off topic. It was not (and isn't) my intention to start a political discussion.
    I don't detect one single thing in your referenced post (#22) that was even remotely political, and I don't think you need to apologize for anything.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I don't detect one single thing in your referenced post (#22) that was even remotely political, and I don't think you need to apologize for anything.
    Agree. Skin can get really thin in these parts.

  27. #27
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by therese19 View Post
    Agree. Skin can get really thin in these parts.
    Please, everyone, let it drop. Some of my words were taken in a way that was not my intention, and it is absolutely no bother to me to attempt to correct that and offer an apology. There really isn't any need to discuss it further.

  28. #28
    Basenotes Junkie jkonick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    I find compliments to be fairly common on the west coast of the US anyway (San Francisco/Seattle areas). Although Seattle is known for the "Seattle freeze," supposedly a cultural condition imported from its reserved Scandinavian and Japanese residents combined with the morose weather, I have gotten a few compliments there. Much more in SF though - just that sunny, outgoing California disposition. I'd imagine it's even more common somewhere like LA, but who knows.

    Que scay-je?

  29. #29
    The Devil in the Details
    Zealot Crusader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Seattle/Bellevue
    Posts
    6,325
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    As I've stated before, my job puts me behind a badge, so people tend not to speak unless spoken to or if they feel the need to report something. This mesns no compliments most days. The ones I get on the off-chance when out for the weekend are always for the least-expected perfumes and from the unlikeliest of places.
    oh look, I have a signature

  30. #30
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil
    Posts
    281,909

    Default Re: Compliments...is it a cultural thing?

    I imagine it is culturally influenced, but I personally almost never get compliments from others which doesn't bother me in the least.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.




Similar Threads

  1. Perfume compliments from strangers - not really a UK thing?
    By P77 in forum General Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 18th February 2014, 09:56 PM
  2. Cultural observations on England, Part 1
    By manicboy in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 20th December 2006, 11:52 AM
  3. Fragrance and Cultural Variability
    By Eluard in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 8th October 2006, 08:57 PM
  4. Basenotes Cultural Diversity
    By Setamp in forum Ancient Stuff
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 15th December 2004, 11:15 PM
  5. New Cultural term
    By The Bark in forum Ancient Stuff
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th August 2003, 08:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000