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  1. #1

    Default Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    So I was watching Chaos Fragrance's latest video and, despite him claiming that YouTube comments "don't get under [his] skin," he went on a good three minute rant about how he's not a shill and none of the companies that send him free stuff (particularly Parfums Vintage) tell him to review anything positively or even at all. He's a young guy and you could tell that it really effected him for people to basically talk trash about him online just because he gets free stuff.

    Now I'll confess, I left a pretty nasty comment on his preview video about the new PV rip-off, I mean, Aventus clone: PVI Gold. He kept talking about how it's super syrupy and sweet but then said it was the best Aventus clone out there. This struck me, and still strikes me, as someone not saying their true feelings in order to continue to get free product. I could be way off-base and just a cynical old grump, but a lot of the YouTubers out there, even the ones I like such as Brooklyn Fragrance Lover and Redollesence, seem this way. The only time they say anything bad about a frag, it's one they bought themselves.

    So the question is: are we too hard on these guys? I don't think anyone starts a YouTube channel, much less keeps it going for years, just to get free product. Most of them start out because they genuinely share our love for fragrances. They get free stuff for a simple reason: they are popular, and it's free advertising for the company. I used to run a disc golf YouTube channel and when we hit 1k subscribers, companies started sending us stuff for review. We were always honest, and yeah, when we were critical of a disc, the company would stop sending us stuff. But we weren't ever intending to make money on it, so we didn't really care. We also burned out real quick and quit making content after about 8 months.

    So, what do you think BaseNoters?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I don't leave mean comments on the videos of YouTubers I don't like. I just don't watch their videos.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    In a word: no.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Trash talking is part of the game. If ya can't stand the heat..

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I don't leave mean comments on the videos of YouTubers I don't like. I just don't watch their videos.
    In the case of Chaos Fragrances, I didn't say anything "mean" (though I certainly could have,) but just pointed out that he was a total PV shill.
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  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie Alonewithcologne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyJB View Post
    In the case of Chaos Fragrances, I didn't say anything "mean" (though I certainly could have,) but just pointed out that he was a total PV shill.
    ???

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    There's a place for honesty, and if you want views and free stuff, play the game. We like to expect honest reviews but there's really no point to complaining about it on YouTube, it's a heavily politicized affair. Some reviewers don't want to pay for samples and at a point bottles, so you gotta parcel out the reviews. Aventus isn't supposed to be sweet or syrupy, so that's the part to look at and make your decision, that's his honest part of the review. If you can get a free bottle from saying something so free and easy as calling it the best clone of aventus so be it. Just don't do it all the time, it'll ruin credibility. Balance the lies a bit, people can figure it out, and hope they recognize you have to play the game a bit and don't hold it against you. You can go at it honestly from the beginning, but even honesty doesn't translate into more viewership

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Who is "we"? I know those fragrance people on YouTube exist, but I don't pay attention to them.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Its all entertainment for the most part
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultravisitor View Post
    Who is "we"? I know those fragrance people on YouTube exist, but I don't pay attention to them.
    Thi sis the ultimate Basenotes snob comment
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valier View Post
    There's a place for honesty, and if you want views and free stuff, play the game. We like to expect honest reviews but there's really no point to complaining about it on YouTube, it's a heavily politicized affair. Some reviewers don't want to pay for samples and at a point bottles, so you gotta parcel out the reviews. Aventus isn't supposed to be sweet or syrupy, so that's the part to look at and make your decision, that's his honest part of the review. If you can get a free bottle from saying something so free and easy as calling it the best clone of aventus so be it. Just don't do it all the time, it'll ruin credibility. Balance the lies a bit, people can figure it out, and hope they recognize you have to play the game a bit and don't hold it against you. You can go at it honestly from the beginning, but even honesty doesn't translate into more viewership
    Best comment yet.
    I can't blame people for the hustle and doing what it takes to get both views and free stuff. And hell, the YouTuber in question might generally love Parfums Vintage's stuff. I wear X-Batch, Emerald Isle and Rush of Unicorns and have tried plenty of their stuff in the past. I'm not trying to pile on to PV too much, they get it plenty on these boards, but they certainly seem to be the worst offender by sending full bottles to any YouTuber with a moderate following.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    No.
    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.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I rarely comment on ANY video I watch, regardless of topic
    oh look, I have a signature

  14. #14
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyJB View Post
    Thi sis the ultimate Basenotes snob comment
    Are we being too hard on basenotes members? haha

    Often times the comment section is where you have the best time, IMO. But that part of it tends to not be fragrance related. Too many of the YouTube reviewers are mundane and they 'pad the running time' of their videos with fluff. But I get that part of it. Marketing.
    I also see how it begs to be ridiculed. People can be mean and/or condescending (i.e., 'who is 'we') and people can also make good comments. Some make funny comments, sometimes in good fun, sometimes not. It all comes with the territory once you put yourself out there on the Information Super Highway, especially in video form.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Not at all. I have to first watch their videos in order to leave comments, nasty or otherwise. But I dont. watch. their. videos.
    “...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” - Robin Sharma
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    It's hard enough to convey in long texts what a fragrance smells like (especially if you aren't well-versed as the reader or writer) and much harder in a video format due to it being a much less information-dense medium per unit of time. So I don't pay much attention to the subject.

    I do watch occasional videos by eugene and kristoffer maves, if I'm bored and thinking about fragrance sampling.

    By the way once you start getting a few thousands views per video on youtube and you upload several times a week, you can eventually survive on that youtube-ad money in some cases. I've watched a few of chaoz fragrance reviews they were okay.

    If someone seems half-honest and aren't making millions of dollars a year on youtube I wouldn't leave nasty comments, most likely.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I presume if a Youtube personality doesn't like the comments, they can turn them off, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heawns View Post
    It's hard enough to convey in long texts what a fragrance smells like (especially if you aren't well-versed as the reader or writer) and much harder in a video format due to it being a much less information-dense medium per unit of time. So I don't pay much attention to the subject.
    This. I don't watch Youtube reviews because it's not a format for me. I'm about efficiency, not spending time watching someone wax lyrical. In the time I've finished watching one opinion on Youtube, I can read several written reviews on here, Fragrantica or blogs.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Now and again the odd Youtube video is worth watching and you might discover or consider trying something mentioned.

    The main problem is the amount of Youtubers who just aren't discerning, most of them try to rate things out of ten and the lowest number you ever see given is a seven. So, what's the point? You're basically watching people who "like everything and love some things". That said, I think that many people aren't discerning.

    It would be refreshing to see more Youtubers who commonly say something is crap. So so many fragrances are crap really.

    So, I agree with the OP on this really. I don't much care for reasoning out "why" they don't (free stuff maybe for a lot of them) but it just makes all the content pretty untrustworthy. In the real world, all of us must put our nose to many bottles and say "oh god no", and yet most of these Youtubers still manage to 7 out of 10 everything at minimum.

    On a slightly different slant, by far the worst one is Brooklyn Fragrance Lover, he's unmatchably dim. You can almost see the cogs in his brain struggling to form sentences. Put him on camera with anyone else and his level of brain activity shines through like a blown light bulb. He's unwatchable really, so many of his videos are edited sentence by sentence, each one ending in a dumb grin before he records the next sentence. I just don't understand who could watch him really, but apparently they do.

    Myself I do catch the odd Youtube video if I'm bored, but I rarely trust anything they are saying because in the end I have to smell something myself to work out whether it's good and so many fragrances that are reviewed well turn out to be instant an "no way" when smelt.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I've never left a comment positive or negative. I tend to "vote with my feet"
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    Too many of the YouTube reviewers are mundane and they 'pad the running time' of their videos with fluff. But I get that part of it. Marketing..
    Also helps with the marketing for the ads running on top of the video. 10 minute or longer gets more ads than 9 minute videos, and so on, w/e the exact rules of youtube ads are.

  21. #21
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heawns View Post
    Also helps with the marketing for the ads running on top of the video. 10 minute or longer gets more ads than 9 minute videos, and so on, w/e the exact rules of youtube ads are.
    I'm more of a video/audio snob than I could ever be with fragrances and the majority of reviewers just do to many jump cuts and bad edits. They don't really need any pre-production, per se, they just seem to be talking off the cuff. Life they hadn't prepared for a video review. Super repetitive, stumbling, and way too much 'uh', 'ah', 'um'. Not all, but most. Like nails on a chalkboard to me.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mfinz8 View Post
    It would be refreshing to see more Youtubers who commonly say something is crap. So so many fragrances are crap really.
    Well...maybe. That would lead to too many hurt feelings, though. Imagine the kinds of comments that a poor review would get.

    I mean, you can't even comment around here about how you don't pay attention to YouTubers without being called a snob.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultravisitor View Post
    Well...maybe. That would lead to too many hurt feelings, though. Imagine the kinds of comments that a poor review would get.

    I mean, you can't even comment around here about how you don't pay attention to YouTubers without being called a snob.
    Well, if the objective is to avoid saying it like it is on the assumption that some people might not like it then it makes sense, but that's not being true to anything really.

    I actually feel that if some of them were just brutally honest AND weren't so easily pleased themselves then opinions would be more interesting and the content more engaging.

    I'd much rather watch people being honest.

    Of course, most of them are after building subs in the hope they can monetize it, so many quite happily sacrifice credibility, and just as many don't need to as they are so easily pleased and a bit thick.

    It could also be said that it's only entertainment, and I suppose the threshold for what people consider entertainment is really bloody low. There's a compromise inherent there as there's never going to be much mainstream content about a hobby/sector like this. This is why you can get airheads like Brooklyn Fragrance Lover being one of the higher profile ones.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I rarely comment on YouTube videos, and when I do, it's praise.

    As far as being hard on YouTubers, there's a difference between not liking their content and actively disparaging them. I think a good deal of YouTube reviewers tend to suffer from groupthink, so I take what they say with a grain of salt. If they can get an audience and they become successful with it, good for them.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mfinz8 View Post
    I'd much rather watch people being honest.
    I get that, but I think that some people take criticisms of things that they like as personal criticisms, which leads to hurt feelings and negative comments.

    I just don't get the appeal of YouTube reviews for ANYTHING. I will never choose to watch a YouTube review over reading a review in print.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Most of them are just blathering on trying to frame objectively what is purely subjective, immeasurable and untestable. There are no fixed or recognized standards for anything they say or do. That's the nature of fragrance reviews, obviously. To overcome it takes talent, knowledge and skill, something nearly all of these people lack, so it's just a disorganized, tedious mess most of the time. It's The Me Show starring Me, and the object of discussion just happens to be fragrances; it could be canned vegetables or rock tumbling for all that ultimately matters. They're essentially video versions of many of the posts you find right here.

    That's less of a criticism of anything than it is a fact of life in low entry-barrier venues and forums. Sharing a common interest is no guarantee that you won't be surrounding yourself with the exact same cross-section of human flotsam you would encounter anywhere else. They're mostly just arguably well-intentioned people displaying for all to see the venal self-absorption they cannot contain and that others choose to manage from within and not view as something to be proud of.

    The videos are horrible productions, most of them being smashups of the camera into their ugly mugs instead of anything relevant or informative. For the effort I am willing to put into it, I would say that 5-10 percent of the videos are even watchable, and fewer still provide any information that would put you in a better position than blind buying. Their primary appeal is to people who want to hear someone else talk about some fragrance that they like - so long as the reviewer agrees with them.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    I watch youtube all the time, but I've mostly gotten away from the fragrance side. I only really check to see what people have to say about a fragrance that I've tested and plan to buy.

    I appreciate production value, but it seems to be a bad thing in youtube fragcomm as in the higher the quality of video/editing the greater likelihood of being a brand shill. Some people have their formulas, but they come off as overly done. I care more about the qualitative aspect of reviews than quantitative metrics. Fragrance is an emotionally driven product after all.

    If nothing else, at least be fun, at least have fun. And for some fun can be a bubbly personality or a snark roast for others.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    If more Youtubers produced videos that weren't 10 times longer than they need to be, and often full of the pointless yammering drama mentioned above, they wouldn't be such easy targets. All public discourse spaces on the internet have that kind of thing; it's just easier to bypass when written. So, for the most part, I'm on team "no".

    I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge a well-made, informative, concise video review when I see it, but they're so, so rare. There was a guy, "Scents of Me" who produced a few outstanding videos awhile back, but he went dark.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  29. #29

    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    If more Youtubers produced videos that weren't 10 times longer than they need to be
    This is the biggest problem for me. I can read a review a lot more quickly than I can watch a review. I don't want to waste time, especially when it comes to someone's vanity project.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Are We Too Hard on Fragrance YouTubers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    If more Youtubers produced videos that weren't 10 times longer than they need to be, and often full of the pointless yammering drama mentioned above...
    ...and groomed themselves before going on camera!

    Call me a fuddy-duddy, but perfume is always, on some level, an expression of style, and I can't bring myself to seriously take advice from some guy in a rumpled, bagged-out T-shirt and a baseball cap.




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