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  1. #1

    Default If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Where would you draw inspiration from?

    Since the beginning of my journey around 6 years ago, I've always wondered how brands knew WHAT to create.

    I mean, it's such a blank slate to start drawing on. Sure, you could lean on the success of a fragrance that came before yours and was a hit. And maybe that guy did the same from another one that was a hit. But that's still only a PART of the brand's portfolio.

    Think of those 'First-of-a-kinds'. What's the REAL inspiration for their creation? (I'm skeptical of those company created stories/PR pegs that perfumers are asked to narrate, even being close to the truth). How does someone decide to borrow no inspiration and create something absolutely unique?

    - Did their Flavors & Fragrances company (IFF, Givaudan etc.) push them to try a new aroma they recently created?

    - Do Companies do a deep read on cultures and current trends?

    - Is there a third way which would help the brand create a New/Unique/Not derivative fragrance?


    So if YOU were in-charge of say 'Innovation' / 'Developing new fragrances' for any brand of your choice, how would you choose which scent-direction to take?

  2. #2

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    I think it would be difficult to create a perfume totally unique now -- the perfumers 'palette' is getting smaller if anything. Roja Dove, for example is a complete magpie.

    Also, do you want it to be commercially successful or just a unique fragrance?

    I'd say that Aventus was one of the last truly innovative fragrances and that was almost 10 years ago. I suspect Creed just got lucky and hit the jackpot.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Ahhhhhhh.....quite the tantalizing and titillating daydream indeed. One need not stretch the imagination to great lengths to envision such a scenario, I think as Basenoters we do this all the time! At least I do.

    I would begin by critically analyzing the greats: Fahrenheit, Cool Water, Eau Sauvage, Acqua di Gio, and such. Is there a commonality linking these giants? OF COURSE THERE IS!!!! It's a little word that starts with the letter "O" and I'm not talking about Omniscience. That word, if you haven't guessed it yet, is "ORIGINALITY" with a capital O! And R and I and G and I and N and A and L and I and T and Y.

    Fahrenheit! That's a WTF!? fragrance if I've ever beheld one. What on earth was the perfumer thinking? Nothing. He was feeling. Feeling around for something new and original. Nobody had ever smelled such a quirky creature before.

    Acqua di Gio! Alberto Morillas' masterpiece. Nothing had ever captured the distinct aura of a tropical aquatic paradise with such realism and distinction. The "water" he created through combing chemicals and notes and his masterful genius is ALMOST TANGIBLE! When a young man wearing Acqua di Gio passes by I literally feel wet. No other fragrance had achieved such magical realism!

    Eau Sauvage. Well...I don't know why this was such a big hit, but boy was it popular. Perhaps its the shimmering citrus notes boldly riding a masculine oakmoss. But again, I say, ORIGINAL!

    ORIGINALITY IS KEY!

    One cannot be derivative or mundane in his approach to a monumental pillar! One cannot look to the popular, the trendy, or the current...for that will be gone VAMOOSE! by the time the fragrance is born. One must analyze the frame of mind of the creators. One must analyze the X FACTOR! One must analyze analyze analyze!

    By analysis, and only analysis, is the masterpiece birthed unto this world. Yes, and originality as I stated previously. Analysis and originality.

    My fragrance would be original. I would follow no trends, I would combine the most conflicting of notes while withholding judgment until something beautiful is born. Rose over lamb's wool perhaps. Fig blended in a base of curry and rugged leather. Cocoa bean blanketed beneath a deluge of castoreum! And a great deal of musk, for musk is the chemicals that bridges the human and the synthetic. So I would use a lot of musk! Musk musk musk! Perhaps a dash of soil tincture combined with oxygenated peppercorn?

    You see, this is my vision. It is not like yours nor should it be. For originality is the KEY to a MASTERPIECE. And analysis.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    - Did their Flavors & Fragrances company (IFF, Givaudan etc.) push them to try a new aroma they recently created?
    I'd bet this is a big part of it.

    They present a new aromachemical, and the perfumers then all scramble to wrap it differently than the other perfumers - and then voila - a new "trend" is born.
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    10. Creed - Pure White Cologne

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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Maybe I'm naïve but I think part of it is pure experimentation luck. Let's say you are trying to create a scent and you want it to be crowd pleasing. In that process you are going to work with countless combos of top, mid and basenotes. Even if you had a vision, and lets say you decided to experiment with incense and patchouli in a freshie...you might like it but table it for later and get an AdG Profumo type scent for later. I'm not saying a pro like Morillas would have that happen but these people in general are working with all kinds of things for years so I'm sure in their artistic mind they have filed away combos that fell into their lap. Maybe I'm wrong

    With all that babbling, I don't have the slightest sense of what would be new and unique these days. I would like to see more experimentation with powerhouse 70s and 80s scents that could be as deep as before but be relevant today. I know Tom Ford and others try at times.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    You have to narrow down what genre you want to work in. From that, draw on experience as to what you've tested. What you liked or disliked. Inspirations can mathematical, by nature, by past works, by just about anything that motivated a person to create.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    I’ll just let my inspiration drive the final outcome. Much like music, it is the arrangement of familiar notes and accords that will create uniqueness and originality. Just don’t expect everyone to like it.

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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Seems as if many houses are run by business people trying to jump on the next hype-train and then make maximum profits that are not really relevant to the actual contents. Far too many triumphs of marketing and pomp over content: truly we are living in a vapid age in many ways.

    A few years ago when I started getting into BN and fragrances more seriously in terms of appreciation, really expensive fragrances cost around $150 for 50ml, now it seems as if that is at the lower end of what start up houses charge for fragrances that are just not worth it.

    A new house focused on quality fragrances that are realistically priced would actually be a breath of fresh air in these times of avarice, a house focused on making great products instead of making great profits.

    'Niche' has come to mean 'expensive' when it used to mean 'special' or 'unique', now the prices make fragrance niche whereas before the smells used to make them so.

    In terms of smells? Well there's a whole world out there and far too many 'niche' and mainstream fragrances aim to crowd please instead of being original and taking a risk, I guess that comes with maximising profits.

    There are so many amazing herbs and aromatics that haven't been foregrounded or combined with classics. Experimentation, exploration and risk taking while still being realistically priced - now that would definitely be a Thing

    When I think of Africa, arguably the most diverse continent on earth and I think of the lack of exploration of what is has to offer, the same can be said for most of the world with respect to fragrance creation. Fragrance companies tend to focus on a very narrow range that is largely eurocentric while including the middle east to a small extent.

    Come on! There is the rest of the world to explore especially when you consider that fragrances can also be based on feelings, emotions, evocation of times and spaces.

    This is Africa too, mountain ranges taller than the Alps:

  9. #9

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    I think it would be difficult to create a perfume totally unique now -- the perfumers 'palette' is getting smaller if anything. Roja Dove, for example is a complete magpie.

    Also, do you want it to be commercially successful or just a unique fragrance?

    I'd say that Aventus was one of the last truly innovative fragrances and that was almost 10 years ago. I suspect Creed just got lucky and hit the jackpot.
    Hey Kaern. Interesting views on Roja, I for one have not yet brought anything from them ( I intend to keep it that way), but from whatever I've smelt, nothing blew my socks off. From what I've tried, they seemed like a continuation of the heavy 'Benzoin/frankincense' trend that Tom Ford has already done. I could be wrong, but from my limited knowledge on them, I can definitely see where you're coming from.

    Say I wanted a commercially successful fragrance that was ALSO unique. How do you think brands go about that?

    Agree with you on Aventus. While I've heard a lot of people say it builds on the archetype that RL Purple Label & B9 Bleecker Street started, but haven't tried those two to agree/disagree. I do think though that Aventus is a fine orange fruit + blossom-mixed-with-bubbly-sea-salty-champagne kinda vibe.

  10. #10

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by YouWishYouHadOne View Post
    Ahhhhhhh.....quite the tantalizing and titillating daydream indeed. One need not stretch the imagination to great lengths to envision such a scenario, I think as Basenoters we do this all the time! At least I do.

    I would begin by critically analyzing the greats: Fahrenheit, Cool Water, Eau Sauvage, Acqua di Gio, and such. Is there a commonality linking these giants? OF COURSE THERE IS!!!! It's a little word that starts with the letter "O" and I'm not talking about Omniscience. That word, if you haven't guessed it yet, is "ORIGINALITY" with a capital O! And R and I and G and I and N and A and L and I and T and Y.

    Fahrenheit! That's a WTF!? fragrance if I've ever beheld one. What on earth was the perfumer thinking? Nothing. He was feeling. Feeling around for something new and original. Nobody had ever smelled such a quirky creature before.

    Acqua di Gio! Alberto Morillas' masterpiece. Nothing had ever captured the distinct aura of a tropical aquatic paradise with such realism and distinction. The "water" he created through combing chemicals and notes and his masterful genius is ALMOST TANGIBLE! When a young man wearing Acqua di Gio passes by I literally feel wet. No other fragrance had achieved such magical realism!

    Eau Sauvage. Well...I don't know why this was such a big hit, but boy was it popular. Perhaps its the shimmering citrus notes boldly riding a masculine oakmoss. But again, I say, ORIGINAL!

    ORIGINALITY IS KEY!

    One cannot be derivative or mundane in his approach to a monumental pillar! One cannot look to the popular, the trendy, or the current...for that will be gone VAMOOSE! by the time the fragrance is born. One must analyze the frame of mind of the creators. One must analyze the X FACTOR! One must analyze analyze analyze!

    By analysis, and only analysis, is the masterpiece birthed unto this world. Yes, and originality as I stated previously. Analysis and originality.

    My fragrance would be original. I would follow no trends, I would combine the most conflicting of notes while withholding judgment until something beautiful is born. Rose over lamb's wool perhaps. Fig blended in a base of curry and rugged leather. Cocoa bean blanketed beneath a deluge of castoreum! And a great deal of musk, for musk is the chemicals that bridges the human and the synthetic. So I would use a lot of musk! Musk musk musk! Perhaps a dash of soil tincture combined with oxygenated peppercorn?

    You see, this is my vision. It is not like yours nor should it be. For originality is the KEY to a MASTERPIECE. And analysis.
    Such interesting perspective my friend. Thanks so much for writing in, especially with so much soul!

    So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that a pursuer of originality can't afford to study trends/preferences, because that would defeat the purpose as these factors are at best, fleeting. Who is to guarantee that by the time the fragrance is on the market, the trend would stay or not?
    Hmm. Very very interesting. Gives me a lot to think about.

    A side question. Do you think to create the next Fahrenheit/ADG/Eau Sauvage, one must actively pursue their want of creating a success, or must they go forward with what moves them and be not concerned with the outcome? If you say the former, it'd be difficult to do the same by a brand, who has to corroborate every decision they make with ROI & the likes. Sad indeed.

    Hope you get to create your fragrance ideas some day. I feel one must see the day when their ideas come to life. All the luck my friend

  11. #11

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    Say I wanted a commercially successful fragrance that was ALSO unique. How do you think brands go about that?
    They get a trusted perfumer to mock up a bunch of different concepts, then they pick the one they like, focus group it and refine it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    I'd bet this is a big part of it.

    They present a new aromachemical, and the perfumers then all scramble to wrap it differently than the other perfumers - and then voila - a new "trend" is born.
    Thanks for writing in!

    That does quite seem like the approach, no? I'd put my money on this too if I had too.

    The interesting inference then maybe would be that innovation is really being driven by Flavor & Frag companies, brands are merely the vehicles.
    It might take maybe at the least 2-3 years (maybe more or less, someone please correct me) for a new molecule to be synthesized and patented, so that a brand can use it. I don't see CREED walking over to Givaudan, commissioning research and waiting 2-3 years to discover a new molecule as per the brand's brief. Would you know any examples that go against this line of thinking? THAT would be daring!

    Maybe the painter in this case has no option but to paint with colours already on their pallete?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    I’ll just let my inspiration drive the final outcome. Much like music, it is the arrangement of familiar notes and accords that will create uniqueness and originality. Just don’t expect everyone to like it.
    I agree
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  14. #14

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    Maybe I'm naïve but I think part of it is pure experimentation luck. Let's say you are trying to create a scent and you want it to be crowd pleasing. In that process you are going to work with countless combos of top, mid and basenotes. Even if you had a vision, and lets say you decided to experiment with incense and patchouli in a freshie...you might like it but table it for later and get an AdG Profumo type scent for later. I'm not saying a pro like Morillas would have that happen but these people in general are working with all kinds of things for years so I'm sure in their artistic mind they have filed away combos that fell into their lap. Maybe I'm wrong

    With all that babbling, I don't have the slightest sense of what would be new and unique these days. I would like to see more experimentation with powerhouse 70s and 80s scents that could be as deep as before but be relevant today. I know Tom Ford and others try at times.
    Very good point. A lot of perfume creation (like any other innovative practice) involves more mishits rather than hits, if you may. I can totally see a well organised and smart perfumer keeping a catalog of all his permutation combinations handy for the right time when he might need them.

    As a side question, do you think we as people find it very hard to grasp something new and abstract? Maybe what we grow up with, largely forms our ideas of familiar and unfamiliar, and as a people we usually fall towards something familiar if given a choice, merely out of the anxiety our brain goes through when subjected to something unknown (which most people don't enjoy). To draw a parallel, most people would admit to watching re-runs of familiar shows/movies on TV/Netflix, just because it is so easy to fall back to that hit of familiarity (I certainly do).

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  15. #15

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentologist View Post
    You have to narrow down what genre you want to work in. From that, draw on experience as to what you've tested. What you liked or disliked. Inspirations can mathematical, by nature, by past works, by just about anything that motivated a person to create.
    Hmm. I see where you're coming from. I do agree that for the most part, a certain framework and procedure can take you to a certain threshold, if not all the way maybe.

    Hypothetically, what if a brand wanted to create a new genre, ergo no historical evidence available. How would they go about it then? (Assuming it's in the 'designer' space and they want it to be a commercial success)

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    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    How likely are you to create a game changer if you go in with that mindset? Doesn't seem likely. I would think it's more often an accident. You throw enough stuff at the wall.....they stuff you had major hopes for goes by the wayside and the ones you don't expect end up sticking around a while. Or whichever one the distributor throws the most money at.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  17. #17

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    The zoo. It would flop. Unless I get some cool Hollywood guys for the adverts. And then it would still flop. Still, once discontinued the price would go up and it could become a collectors item for lovers of the feral. My perfume's place in BN threads such as most animalic, stinky, etc, threads would be secured.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    Very good point. A lot of perfume creation (like any other innovative practice) involves more mishits rather than hits, if you may. I can totally see a well organised and smart perfumer keeping a catalog of all his permutation combinations handy for the right time when he might need them.

    As a side question, do you think we as people find it very hard to grasp something new and abstract? Maybe what we grow up with, largely forms our ideas of familiar and unfamiliar, and as a people we usually fall towards something familiar if given a choice, merely out of the anxiety our brain goes through when subjected to something unknown (which most people don't enjoy). To draw a parallel, most people would admit to watching re-runs of familiar shows/movies on TV/Netflix, just because it is so easy to fall back to that hit of familiarity (I certainly do).

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Without a doubt. I think everyone likes familiarity in scents because they've gotten reactions from others or have scent memories that are good associations, etc. The issue I think with overcoming familiarity is really like anything with artists, thinking outside the box. These guys have that ability.....you never think music can change much but every decade is different...same with perfumery. Problem is, while I obviously appreciate perfumery, I don't have the mind of one of these creators. So honestly, in 2010 if you asked your above question...I never could conceive of anyone saying "I'd like a smoky pineapple scent" and have Aventus show up. Wouldn't even be on my radar. But someone who literally has experimented for decades probably has run across the idea.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    Without a doubt. I think everyone likes familiarity in scents because they've gotten reactions from others or have scent memories that are good associations, etc. The issue I think with overcoming familiarity is really like anything with artists, thinking outside the box. These guys have that ability.....you never think music can change much but every decade is different...same with perfumery. Problem is, while I obviously appreciate perfumery, I don't have the mind of one of these creators. So honestly, in 2010 if you asked your above question...I never could conceive of anyone saying "I'd like a smoky pineapple scent" and have Aventus show up. Wouldn't even be on my radar. But someone who literally has experimented for decades probably has run across the idea.
    Thanks @toughcool. Your comment made me ponder a lot. It's funny how in 2010 the Aventus was abstract and today we refer to it as generic. Arguably the most influential fragrance of the decade?
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  20. #20

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    The zoo. It would flop. Unless I get some cool Hollywood guys for the adverts. And then it would still flop. Still, once discontinued the price would go up and it could become a collectors item for lovers of the feral. My perfume's place in BN threads such as most animalic, stinky, etc, threads would be secured.
    Agreed!
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    Life is too short for just one signature scent-

    1. Azzaro pour Homme (Vintage)
    2. Dior Fahrenheit (Vintage)
    3. Acqua Di Gio (Cosmair)
    4. Tom Ford Amber Absolute

  21. #21
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    I wouldn't mind making a fragrance that takes you back to the yesteryears perhaps the Golden Age of Hollywood
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  22. #22

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Would probably prefer to team up with either a natural/organic or niche/artisan company (or even a mix of both) for more freedom and access to at least slightly better ingredients.

    Then, would most likely use all means available-including AI, additional/venture capital financing sources etc. but far more to make the best of the most natural materials possible, rather than synthetics alone. All this and more in order to compile and release fragrances with notes, styles, ingredients even if not completely unique, hardly/rarely used before.

    Including but not limited to a camphor, an aloe vera, an olive like/olive oil, a bison grass, a less common fruit/floral notes fragrance.
    Maybe nothing groundbreaking in terms of uniqueness, as much as the rarer use of both the ingredients, but also their mix, their scarcity/uniqueness/commonness, their proportions, their performance/development, their precedence, naturalness/provenance/immediate sense of credibility.

  23. #23

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    I wouldn't mind making a fragrance that takes you back to the yesteryears perhaps the Golden Age of Hollywood
    Count me in on that one!

    What ingredients would you use if given a free hand?
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    Life is too short for just one signature scent-

    1. Azzaro pour Homme (Vintage)
    2. Dior Fahrenheit (Vintage)
    3. Acqua Di Gio (Cosmair)
    4. Tom Ford Amber Absolute

  24. #24

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    @Ken- you've added some great depth to this discussion to revive it!

    Camphor, aloe, olive? You have me intrigued
    Also having chemists work with artisnal perfumers sounds like a brilliant collab. The depths they could learn from each other would add so much to their palette.

    Out of intrigue, would you prescribe to the idea of being fixated to blind studies and only giving a formula the green light if it passes the test?
    Olfactory Museum- trying to immortalize the world of vintage fragrances, one review at a time.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/547692531950738/

    The Sheeples Podcast- An attempt to create a virtual 'safe-space' where you can share and build new perspective.
    https://www.thesheeples.in/the-sheeples-podcast



    Life is too short for just one signature scent-

    1. Azzaro pour Homme (Vintage)
    2. Dior Fahrenheit (Vintage)
    3. Acqua Di Gio (Cosmair)
    4. Tom Ford Amber Absolute

  25. #25

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    @Ken- you've added some great depth to this discussion to revive it!

    Camphor, aloe, olive? You have me intrigued
    Also having chemists work with artisnal perfumers sounds like a brilliant collab. The depths they could learn from each other would add so much to their palette.

    Out of intrigue, would you prescribe to the idea of being fixated to blind studies and only giving a formula the green light if it passes the test?
    Thank you for the reply. Will probably let all or most fragrances considered undergo some blind testing, at least with the amount, for the duration, by appraisers etc. average for the regular fragrance industry-perhaps one of the few common point, other than fragrances as an end product, with more mainstream perfumery.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    So if YOU were in-charge of say 'Innovation' / 'Developing new fragrances' for any brand of your choice, how would you choose which scent-direction to take?
    I would draw from tropical plants and fruits not commonly found in mainstream perfumery currently and make that my focus.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I would draw from tropical plants and fruits not commonly found in mainstream perfumery currently and make that my focus.
    likewise a lot of the scents i've thought up in my mind revolve around tropical fruit notes but fleshed out in a way that hasn't been done in perfume yet.
    Currently wearing: Paris-Biarritz by Chanel

  28. #28
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I would draw from tropical plants and fruits not commonly found in mainstream perfumery currently and make that my focus.
    Have you tried Brazilian fruits, such as caja, acai, mangaba, graviola, caju, jabuticaba, guarana? Was that the idea? I love it!

    I see that you have a beach house here!
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously"
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

  29. #29
    Dependent Andrei Bolkonsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I would draw from tropical plants and fruits not commonly found in mainstream perfumery currently and make that my focus.
    Would you be the Ellena of Brazil instead of Egypt, and create Un Jardin sur le amazonie?
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously"
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

  30. #30
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    Default Re: If YOU were in-charge of a NEW & UNIQUE fragrance

    I'd do something similar to a Berry Champagne.

    It would have the Fizzy/Sparkle of a Champagne for its "bite"

    Sweetness & Juiciness of a Berry (I'd test each berry note to find which worked)

    Dry down would be airy fresh like AdG, VpH, Invictus Aqua 16, etc.

    That would be the starting point. Somehow Berries seem like an original note in male colognes




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