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  1. #1

    Default Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    After a month of web searching and collecting samples (~40 designer/20 niche) based on great advice I've received from basenoters, I've got a rough handle on the frag world. I haven't bought any new colognes yet because I think at this early stage, if I buy a bunch of colognes, I could easily come across another group of frags next month that totally blow away the ones I just bought.

    I also now have the following questions:

    1. Heard about possible toxicity of aroma chemicals. There are supposedly ~3,000 synthetic molecules and 400 natural ingredients at a perfumer's disposal. Houses don't typically describe ingredients and it seems there's no comprehensive industry oversight including safety testing. The govt arm responsible simply accepts whatever frag houses report to it. Thus my question: Given the lack of industry oversight, is wearing frags safe or toxic (especially if one regularly wears frags)?

    2. Years ago, I occasionally wore frags for only special occasions. On a daily basis, I relied on whatever fragrance was contained in my shower and bathroom vanity soaps, shaving cream, and after-shave. But there are also fragrances in laundry detergent and all sorts of other products. So maybe the question should be: Are aroma chemicals (regardless of which products contain them) safe or toxic?

    3. I plan to expand my two-bottle (winter) designer "collection" to a small, really good 5-7 bottles collection that covers all seasons and occasions. But there are tons of houses that each offer tons of frags (originals, flankers, flankers of flankers, special releases, upscale "prive" lines, etc.). Given that vast sea of options, I think I'll just stick to designer & niche frags offered by major dept stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman. If I go that route, am I missing out on some awesome must-have niche frags not carried by those dept stores?

    4. Regarding the abovementioned plans for my "collection," what further advice would you give me (other than "sample, sample, sample," which I'm already doing)?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    Given that vast sea of options, I think I'll just stick to designer & niche frags offered by major dept stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman.
    That variety should be just fine for you.
    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.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Maybe shorten up your posts a bit and focus on one thing at a time. Also, treat yourself and buy a bottle. You gotta start somewhere.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    If applied to clothing you can avoid your worries with being exposed to these chemicals if it’s important to you. Creed, Chanel, Guerlain, Dior are good houses to start with and offer a great selection of fragrances for various occasions.
    Current Top 10

    Azzaro Azzaro Pour Homme
    Guerlain Heritage EDT
    Chanel Egoiste
    Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT
    Chanel Allure Homme
    Guerlain L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme EDP
    Christian Dior Dior Homme
    Ralph Lauren Polo
    Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche EDP
    Guerlain Homme L’Eau Boisee

  6. #6

    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Just get something you like,don't think too much about it and don't over spend.They are just fragrances.As far as safety,as long as a fragrance agrees with you,I would not worry about it.Maybe just try to avoid some of the modern fragrances with all the newer harsh chemicals in them.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayberry2 View Post
    Just get something you like,don't think too much about it and don't over spend.They are just fragrances.As far as safety,as long as a fragrance agrees with you,I would not worry about it.Maybe just try to avoid some of the modern fragrances with all the newer harsh chemicals in them.
    Thanks for the advice.

    I read that most (all?) houses uses synthetics, so I wonder whether basenoters know anything about frags' toxicity.

    Google searches are pretty useless, other than a few articles briefly mentioning aroma chemical toxicity but including sketchy or no substantiation. Was hoping to learn more about possible toxicity given the industry seems to be basically unregulated.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    ^ In a way these days fragrances are kind of regulated,however it is all backwards.They are doing so many things wrong.A lot of other people here would know a lot more about the type of things you're asking.I hope you get some more answers that address your concerns about safety.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    (1 + 2 ) Actually, the perfume industry is heavily regulated. EU laws are pretty strict and the industry follows them (they don't formulate things differently in different countries), and the aromachemical lobby has even more stringent regulations, which cause perfume lovers endless pain (as you can see in threads here about vintage perfumes, which could use more ingredients).
    That said, one could become sensitive to any material, reason why dermatologist don't recommend the use of perfume or perfumed body products. In the end, it's personal choice. But as said, the industry is actually heavily regulated.

    (3) Yes, there are wonderful houses not distributed at dept stores. But there's plenty of good stuff at high end department stores, so you can start there and then expand as you go

    (4) Concur with Dan. It seems you smelled enough for the first purchase-you gotta start somewhere. Even if you will discover better stuff, it's just one bottle.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    think I'll just stick to designer & niche frags offered by major dept stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman.
    IMO buy the fragrances from reputable online retailers, your $$$$ will go a lot further.
    Currently wearing: Dunhill Icon by Dunhill

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    I haven't bought any new colognes yet because I think at this early stage, if I buy a bunch of colognes, I could easily come across another group of frags next month that totally blow away the ones I just bought.
    That's sound reasoning, but it's hard to be into fragrances without having any. So, the first thing you want to do is acquire some free and/or inexpensive samples and miniatures to familiarize yourself with fragrances that interest you in the abstract. You can also use (but not abuse, please) in-store testers. As you say, you're already doing this, which is great. Beyond that, take notes for yourself of what you like most and why, and then use that as a platform to ask BNers for recommendations. Make note of BNers whose tastes track with what you know of your own: their recommendations will probably be more useful to you.

    I plan to expand my two-bottle (winter) designer "collection" to a small, really good 5-7 bottles collection that covers all seasons and occasions. But there are tons of houses that each offer tons of frags (originals, flankers, flankers of flankers, special releases, upscale "prive" lines, etc.). Given that vast sea of options, I think I'll just stick to designer & niche frags offered by major dept stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman. If I go that route, am I missing out on some awesome must-have niche frags not carried by those dept stores?
    Of course you would be missing out on some awesome frags. All of us are (except maybe Hednic). Who has the time, money, or energy to smell everything? But, nothing is truly "must-have." Sticking with locally-available brands is practical, especially for someone starting out and collecting within more or less normal means. You won't run out of great-smelling frags that way. Then again, these days, it's as easy to buy online as in a store, if not easier. It's just not as easy to test a fragrance. So, if you want to check out niche perfumers who don't have a department store presence, and who might suit your tastes better, see which ones that interest you sell samples or "discovery kits." (Tip: LuckyScent offers such kits for numerous niche perfumers.)

    There are supposedly ~3,000 synthetic molecules and 400 natural ingredients at a perfumer's disposal. Houses don't typically describe ingredients and it seems there's no comprehensive industry oversight including safety testing. The govt arm responsible simply accepts whatever frag houses report to it. Thus my question: Given the lack of industry oversight, is wearing frags safe or toxic (especially if one regularly wears frags)?
    Yes. That is, there is legitimate risk of toxicity, but probably little reason for alarm. It's a maxim of biochemistry that the dose makes the poison. The real question isn't whether a given substance is "toxic" by definition, but rather whether it's toxic in the manner and concentration with which you are exposed to it. I mean, if you drank a bottle of Chanel No. 5, it would certainly make you ill, and perhaps kill you; but that doesn't mean it's unsafe to spritz a bit behind your ears. It's true that we don't really know the effects of a large number of aromachemicals and other perfumery ingredients "in the wild," but I'm unaware of any evidence linking fragrance use to a high incidence of serious disease or death. That could just be my ignorance, of course. But, there are probably a great many more serious environmental hazards you should worry about first.

    there are also fragrances in laundry detergent and all sorts of other products. So maybe the question should be: Are aroma chemicals (regardless of which products contain them) safe or toxic?
    Again, it's a matter of your exposure. A given chemical is what it is, whether it's in your laundry detergent or your cologne. Toxicity would depend on how much is on what part of your skin with what degree of regularity, along with how much you inhale or ingest. Aromachemicals are not special in this regard: the same is true of all chemicals. And everything is made of chemicals, including you, so let's not treat "chemical" as some evil "c-word." The only thing that sets aromachemicals apart—indeed, defines them as "aromachemicals"—is the olfactory properties they have that influence the way we use them.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Just wait, if you keep frequenting basenotes, eventually, you'll end up with 50+ bottles.
    Currently wearing: Green Irish Tweed by Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    3. I plan to expand my two-bottle (winter) designer "collection" to a small, really good 5-7 bottles collection that covers all seasons and occasions. But there are tons of houses that each offer tons of frags (originals, flankers, flankers of flankers, special releases, upscale "prive" lines, etc.). Given that vast sea of options, I think I'll just stick to designer & niche frags offered by major dept stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman. If I go that route, am I missing out on some awesome must-have niche frags not carried by those dept stores?
    Sounds like a good idea to me.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    I would sample/buy some Tauers, especially L'air du Desert Marocain...in addition to what you would find at Nordstroms, Neiman, Bloomingdales. Happy hunting; should be fun!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    Regarding the abovementioned plans for my "collection," what further advice would you give me (other than "sample, sample, sample," which I'm already doing)?
    My advice: "read, read, read" and don't throw every brainwave in a thread!
    Currently wearing: Anice by Etro

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    I’m a relatively cautious buyer as well. I think you have what it takes to build a seven bottle collection, and can avoid ending up with 50 and a storage issue.

    No matter what you do, you will miss out on some awesome fragrances, but I don’t sense much FOMO in you, young padawan.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    After a month of web searching and collecting samples (~40 designer/20 niche) based on great advice I've received from basenoters, I've got a rough handle on the frag world. I haven't bought any new colognes yet because I think at this early stage, if I buy a bunch of colognes, I could easily come across another group of frags next month that totally blow away the ones I just bought.

    I also now have the following questions:

    1. Heard about possible toxicity of aroma chemicals. There are supposedly ~3,000 synthetic molecules and 400 natural ingredients at a perfumer's disposal. Houses don't typically describe ingredients and it seems there's no comprehensive industry oversight including safety testing. The govt arm responsible simply accepts whatever frag houses report to it. Thus my question: Given the lack of industry oversight, is wearing frags safe or toxic (especially if one regularly wears frags)?
    I think you're being paranoid. Nobody has ever been hospitalized for wearing a fragrance.

    As far as advice goes, other than sampling. I would say to read reviews on BN, avoid Fragrantica since it's 90% trolls. Also, don't trust Youtube reviewers either, unless it's someone reviewing something unique. Without me mentioning names, you can pretty much tell who the paid reviewers are, since they all review the same frag the day it comes out, and it's always a positive review.
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by techt View Post
    Just wait, if you keep frequenting basenotes, eventually, you'll end up with 50+ bottles.
    Ain't that the truth.

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    Default Re: Frag Newbie ... What Should I Do Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    I think you're being paranoid. Nobody has ever been hospitalized for wearing a fragrance.

    As far as advice goes, other than sampling. I would say to read reviews on BN, avoid Fragrantica since it's 90% trolls. Also, don't trust Youtube reviewers either, unless it's someone reviewing something unique. Without me mentioning names, you can pretty much tell who the paid reviewers are, since they all review the same frag the day it comes out, and it's always a positive review.
    Yeah. It seems like once the subscriber count of a youtube reviewer exceeds 10,000 they start getting 'free bottles' to 'review'. And they can suddenly start getting promoter/influencer money for advertising. I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily, but IMO, to be a truly trustworthy reviewer with honor, you 'must' give a bad review to something corporate/big at some point (because obviously there are mediocre/bad-leaning scents at every fragrance counter). If the current youtube reviewers aren't putting out any bad reviews then we all know the most likely reason. Hypothetically, they may have seen examples of other fragrance reviewers who gave bad reviews and stopped getting treated with free bottles and advert money and lost a significant amount of money over it. I'm not saying that's happened but it's a hypothetical example of what 'might' push a fragrance reviewer to only give positive reviews. I'm not sure if that's ever happened, but it's the most obvious 'reasonable fear' a youtube influencer would have, especially if they quit their main job and are trying to make a career out of fragrance reviews (or are getting generous additional income from the youtube status).




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