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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    ZC’s post, as per his reviews, are on point and extremely educational.

    Only thing I’d point out as a total noob to the hobby is the difference the internet makes to the amount of people going hardcore fragrance nerd and certainly the difference that it made for me to start collecting. Perfume just isn’t something I would speak of to many people with much depth and seriousness outside a forum like this. I’ve got two friends who really know their stuff and have been good touch points to reference back to as I’ve learned more, and they’re both gents who pine for the days when Kouros and Antaeus were thick in the air. Without a resource of knowledge, opinions and good humour like this, I’d still be just another six figure sales dudebro trying to smell more betterer coz yeh chicks bro.

    I pretty much agree that the impact of communities like this will be incremental, that you’ll see dominant accords (i.e. cost effective aromachem trends) follow a spearhead of effective marketing. I vividly remember the CK and Acqua Di Gio ads from my youth... and clearly, these days, smacking Johnny Depp’s mug on their advertising has been good business for Dior.

    I’ve now been exposed to enough information to have tried some interesting fragrances that are far more compelling to own, but how many people are really going to care enough to do even a bit of reading to get to that point?

    But hey, even a few more outliers converting their nerdy tendencies to fragrances has to be a good thing.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Briefly,
    I'd say only a comeback/fervently defended and loved ( or ditto never went away) in the fragrance enthusiast community such as this one.
    I've only been on BN for around 1 year and I'd say the classics/old school are championed here. It's likely a bit of a bubble. Joe Street probably doesn't give it any thought.
    Also some possibility of a slight interest outside of frag comms, touching on another point below, that they might have vintage cool labels attached that Johnny Fashionable will like to partake in!
    Currently wearing: Worth pour Homme by Worth

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    a pretty good book is Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom.

    The book goes decade by decade from the 1900s through to contemporary times (more or less.)

    It is more about cultural meanings and scent, rather than scent itself.

    There is really no going back, something you discover reading this book. The 80s powerhouses will never be popular again. There is a small subculture of people who still enjoy them, but their cultural times are over. Aromatic fougeres themselves are kind of past their prime. I argue that there is no comeback and never will be.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    You say, "Thanks for reading."
    I say, "Thanks for writing this. Great stuff."

    I got a kick out of "just so long as it isn't what the "normies" are wearing."
    lol - that line killed me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    ...But the hunt for the next olfactive thrill is not bound by linearity of time, and we end up going backwards through it to something like Antaeus or Caron Pour un Homme just as often as forward into the newest Amouage, just so long as it isn't what the "normies" are wearing.
    (Thanks for reading <3)
    "I'm sure there are things that you like that someone else here dislikes."
    papillo
    Currently wearing: Sunshine Man by Amouage

  5. #35
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    I think the popularity of vintage in the BN community tricks us into thinking it's a bigger movement in the regular world as well.
    To a small demographic, it is making a comeback but will never be to the point where it's the dominating force or will share shelf space with the newest trendy releases.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    I would say 'no' overall, but there are pockets of niche-interest enthusiasts that have cropped up in recent years. Although it would be nice to see a revival of interest in classic fragrances of all eras. I would like to see a 'boom' of new fragrance hobbyists.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    The trajectory of the masculine mega-sellers (you can form a kind of chain that goes Drakkar Noir -> Cool Water -> Acqua di Gio -> Bleu de Chanel -> Sauvage) is, in retrospect, pretty straightforward and not all that surprising. Sure, you can easily identify some parallel fads that have met with great success, but the central thread is clear: over the past several decades the dominantly successful aromatic effect for men is that of a kind of cooling freshness.

    While that trend will evolve, I don't see it outright reversing course anytime soon. It's pretty entrenched.

  8. #38
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    The trajectory of the masculine mega-sellers (you can form a kind of chain that goes from Drakkar Noir -> Cool Water -> Acqua di Gio -> Bleu de Chanel -> Sauvage) is, in retrospect, pretty straightforward and not all that surprising. Sure, you can easily identify some parallel fads that have met with great success, but the central thread is clear: over the past several decades the dominantly successful aromatic effect for men is that of a kind of cooling freshness.

    While that trend will evolve, I don't see it outright reversing course anytime soon. It's pretty entrenched.
    Excellent point. I've not noticed the linearity of the trajectory until you brought it up. It's evolved over 30 plus years but you can see the path it took to get to now hasn't trailed away from that straightline. With a few exceptions, of course.
    Last edited by Danny Mitchell; 30th November 2019 at 04:03 AM.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Men today are afraid. They want the reassurance of smelling “clean”. The fragrances must be clean, aquatic, or sweet, but nothing like the complexity and development of these older powerhouses.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    Men today are afraid. They want the reassurance of smelling “clean”. The fragrances must be clean, aquatic, or sweet, but nothing like the complexity and development of these older powerhouses.
    Another interesting point.
    Maybe fear in a "thumbs down or up" culture? Fear to offense somebody by not smelling "clean"?
    I really dont know.
    Best wishes,
    BruceB
    Currently wearing: Bogart by Jacques Bogart

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    They are not and never will. Men today are too timid to wear them.
    One could say the same about Dior Sauvage, if this were 1979 and everyone was wearing Polo. Times change, and so do trends. I never thought fanny-packs would come back, and now, I wear them regularly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I don't want to make a long fat post full of quotes so I'll just name people who've replied with perspectives I want to expand upon (and agree with).

    Firstly, the Sheik is right, these fragrances never really went away, they just slowly tumble further and further downmarket over time if the houses that made them don't vigorously defend the brand image. A good example of this is how you still see Calvin Klein selling 80's classics in Macy's alongside new bottles of current DIor masculines and Montblanc. All reformulation talk aside, Calvin Klein has always had powerful branding, and that keeps the oldies relevant while other brands like Guy Laroche and Azzaro see their older masculines carted off to Walmart or worse, clearance stores like Ross. This last point is something Kaern also touched upon. It's less about what your perfume smells like and more about how long you can convince uneducated buyers that it's desirable, which keeps it from becoming "dated" versus being "timeless". A good example of this is Liz Claiborne Curve for Men Versus Armani Acqua di Giò pour Homme, both released in 1996 and sold in department stores upon launch. Claiborne didn't protect her brand, she just cashed in and checked out, selling off before her death (RIP), then EA abused the ever-livng-Hell out of the Curve moniker and now it's seen as an inexorably 90's smell. Acqua di Giò pour Homme was fiercely marketed and re-marketed by Armani to be a premium line, which is why it is still one of the best-selling men's fragrances in the world, for better or worse, yet is over 23 years to market.

    Secondly, NickZee and DIamondflame touch upon brands like Roja Dove and Tom Ford upmarketing forgotten retro styles, which seem alien to most trend-conscious upper-class young men raised on Axe spray, with no concept of what fougères even are. These cats start off with designer brands like Chanel, then seek out "status frags" when they land cushy six-figure STEM, law, and finance jobs in the city. This affluent BMW-driving, milion-dollar-house-financing, "H.E.N.R.Y." (high-earning not-yet-rich) types that will eventually be small millionaires want to stand apart from the bachelors-holding code monkeys a floor down who work for half the salary, drive Priuses, and wear Lush Karma along with manbuns and beard oils. If they haven't gone Creed, MFK, or PdM, these guys probably stumbled upon Tom Ford's Fougère d'Argent, which gives them the "classy mature" vibe old-school fougères impart without literally being old and thus avoiding the "dated" stigma, or they watched Gentscents talk about Roja Dove and were bought hook line and sinker. The concept of traditional perfumery that the latter pushes with his homages to past greatness is also an aesthetic which confers refinement to the wearer, a sense of enlightened taste that people like to think they have when they buy his stuff, and it works (both in smell and marketing).

    Third, Hugh V and Monsieur Montana made some good observations. The only portion of the population truly in love with these older styles through and through are the "dinosaurs" ranging from being in their 40's but pushing into their 60's in many cases, the guys who were literally there when Halston Z-14 first dropped, or experienced the clouds of Kouros in the elevator in the same way we now experience clouds of Sauvage. I'm friends with several, and can say these guys saw what they love deconstructed in the 90's, then adulterated or discontinued in the 2000's when IFRA began laying the smackdown on oakmoss. They've shriveled away from anything new because they've been disenfranchised by a hollow market that has something for everyone BUT them. This is why they just explore the past to unearth gems they missed in their youth, or go into the non-regulated artisanal houses like Rogue or Slumberhouse willing to compose in their preferred flavors. Younger guys you chance upon wearing Drakkar or Aramis probably just picked it up cheap at a discounter and like it because it reminds them of dad. They're not exactly full-tang devoted to the vintage aesthetic in the same way, but they end up feeling good about the inferred masculinity of wearing a classic or "real man's cologne" et al.

    Finally, my own perspective is people who inhabit Basenotes or devote time watching YouTube reviews, surfing blogs, smelling around shops or department stores, are different creatures from the mass populace of guys wearing perfume. The latter category smells something on someone and asks what it is, then buys a bottle, or catches a random ad somewhere. Sales associates talk them into whatever and they walk out of a store happy and oblivious about their choice. They have their "cologne", and that's it. We create a bubble, a circle of influence amongst ourselves. We read each other's posts and reviews, then we seek out accordingly. Outside those already dedicated to "vintage" or "niche", many of us literally get led by the nose when someone in the community with a degree of clout says "X is amazing", and when you add the exclusivity of "vintage/discontinued/rare" to that, the fear of missing out generates the hype needed to increase interest. Not everybody buys into the collectability aspect, and many folks just suffice with modern bottles of Paco, Halston, etc. But the hunt for the next olfactive thrill is not bound by linearity of time, and we end up going backwards through it to something like Antaeus or Caron Pour un Homme just as often as forward into the newest Amouage, just so long as it isn't what the "normies" are wearing.

    The short answer: No, vintage styles are not experiencing a comeback in the greater world of fragrance outside the few niche/luxury houses that wrap them in the emperor's new clothes. But awareness within hobbyist circles has grown, as evidenced by skyrocketing prices on eBay. This is because as we tire and bore of the same rehashed Bleu de Sauventus accords (another issue for another thread), we seek more quality and individuality to help express where we are in our journey through this hobby, and vintage styles are literally another "niche" of the market to explore, plain and simple

    (Thanks for reading <3)
    I don't disagree with them not going away. Although I wasn't around in the 70's and was 6 by 1990, I can't say for sure how many people wore what before my time sniffing around this planet. I'm sure the numbers have declined though. Undoubtedly, there are more and more people on this planet each day, with more and more young men getting into fragrances. Although yes, there are only a handful of us BN guys, or Fragcomm, or whatever. Fragrances are being made a lot more now, a lot more releases each year, and the reason could only be that demand for fragrances are so high. More people, more frags = more people wearing frags.

    Furthermore, if popular frag reviewers like Jeremy who has a million subs, and even more watching were to review and plug something like Drakkar Noir for example, you may not believe it would make an impact, but it absolutely will. The man has a million subs almost. There are 22 million people or so in Florida, which means 4-5% of Florida know who Jeremy is. Granted, this isn't Florida, he is viewed all across the world, so a million subs is small potatoes, but the demographic of his subs, are said to be mostly high school, and college men. The same guys that start trends. So all it takes is somebody, or a group of people (likely from either LA or NYC - cause this is where most trends tend to start, in the US at least), to start wearing these old school frags again and push an uproar.

    You can't deny that most guys who wear these old school frags are guys who grew up with them. I don't mean to sound stereotypical, but trends start from younger people, so older guys won't push this trend, but younger guys will. A lot of it just has to do with being in school. Hell when I was in college I got so many compliments on my frags, it was unreal, because I was always in populated areas around campus, or in big crowds.

    Really, I am getting way ahead of myself, but I can always hope. I would love to see what today's perfumers, the advancements they have with modern aromachemicals, and ingredients, and what a good perfumer can do with old school DNA, in the modern world. I know we've gotten a couple, Azzaro pH Intense was a good modern twist on the original, Tom Ford Anthracite was fantastic imo. A showing of what good quality ingredients with old school DNA, and modern molecules/chemicals can do without the use of oakmoss too. Unfortunately, it flopped because people don't want it right now.

    This is something I would love to see, because it would open the doors for other companies to jump on the bandwagon. they all did their blue crap, they all did their oud's, can you imagine. It's interesting reading other people's thoughts on the topic, and seeing different opinions.
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    I think the popularity of vintage in the BN community tricks us into thinking it's a bigger movement in the regular world as well.
    To a small demographic, it is making a comeback but will never be to the point where it's the dominating force or will share shelf space with the newest trendy releases.
    Absolutely, I agree.

    I saw Gentscents saying how much he loves Drakkar Noir. He plans on reviewing it soon. I read the comments and it got a bunch of people asking questions about it. It stirred up a little talk among the noobs. Other than that, and a few topics on BN, and 2 PM's I had with 2 different guys (one in his early 20's, the other I dunno his age but looks pretty young) in lieu of it being basically all at the same time, had me thinking.. are old school frags coming back?

    But you're right.. it's just that I spend a lot of time reading on here, and not thinking about the other 7+ billion people on the planet.
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler

  13. #43
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Regarding certain brands like Armani and CK having the branding compared to those who do not, if Claiborne had the budget to push Curve, would it still be on the shelf competing alongside Acqua Di Gio or Sauvage? Same for Drakkar?
    Is there any blame that can be placed on the fragrance just wearing out it's welcome or is it all marketing? 50/50?
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    One could say the same about Dior Sauvage, if this were 1979 and everyone was wearing Polo. Times change, and so do trends. I never thought fanny-packs would come back, and now, I wear them regularly.



    I don't disagree with them not going away. Although I wasn't around in the 70's and was 6 by 1990, I can't say for sure how many people wore what before my time sniffing around this planet. I'm sure the numbers have declined though. Undoubtedly, there are more and more people on this planet each day, with more and more young men getting into fragrances. Although yes, there are only a handful of us BN guys, or Fragcomm, or whatever. Fragrances are being made a lot more now, a lot more releases each year, and the reason could only be that demand for fragrances are so high. More people, more frags = more people wearing frags.

    Furthermore, if popular frag reviewers like Jeremy who has a million subs, and even more watching were to review and plug something like Drakkar Noir for example, you may not believe it would make an impact, but it absolutely will. The man has a million subs almost. There are 22 million people or so in Florida, which means 4-5% of Florida know who Jeremy is. Granted, this isn't Florida, he is viewed all across the world, so a million subs is small potatoes, but the demographic of his subs, are said to be mostly high school, and college men. The same guys that start trends. So all it takes is somebody, or a group of people (likely from either LA or NYC - cause this is where most trends tend to start, in the US at least), to start wearing these old school frags again and push an uproar.

    You can't deny that most guys who wear these old school frags are guys who grew up with them. I don't mean to sound stereotypical, but trends start from younger people, so older guys won't push this trend, but younger guys will. A lot of it just has to do with being in school. Hell when I was in college I got so many compliments on my frags, it was unreal, because I was always in populated areas around campus, or in big crowds.

    Really, I am getting way ahead of myself, but I can always hope. I would love to see what today's perfumers, the advancements they have with modern aromachemicals, and ingredients, and what a good perfumer can do with old school DNA, in the modern world. I know we've gotten a couple, Azzaro pH Intense was a good modern twist on the original, Tom Ford Anthracite was fantastic imo. A showing of what good quality ingredients with old school DNA, and modern molecules/chemicals can do without the use of oakmoss too. Unfortunately, it flopped because people don't want it right now.

    This is something I would love to see, because it would open the doors for other companies to jump on the bandwagon. they all did their blue crap, they all did their oud's, can you imagine. It's interesting reading other people's thoughts on the topic, and seeing different opinions.
    I think the primary difference between boomers wearing fragrance in high school (1960's/1970's) and Gen Xers or millennials (1980's/1990's) is that the former didn't see fragrances as anything more than a novelty at the time outside aftershaves which had a practical use. A splash of the ol' Hai Karate or Brut so Kathy McWhateverston from World History class would notice you on Friday's at the roller derby, versus the mentality of needing a daily fragrance to wear in school, one for nights out (replace roller derby with a mall or restaurant), and one for working out in the gym. Nowadays young people hype up fragrances so much more, and so many more fragrances get hyped up to them by everyone from Axe to Creed because now smelling good is seen as a part of daily grooming.

    I absolutely agree that an old fragrance could be made new again if the tastemakers and cultural gatekeepers that young men tune into (like JeremyFragrance) decided to all together push them, but the obsession with novelty from back in the 60's never went away and many of the biggest names are on PR lists to receive free bottles in exchange for glowing reviews. This in effect means that they never would push a classic fragrance because even though young dudes see a small wardrobe of perfumes as more or less essential (as opposed to dad's bottle of English Leather only worn on Sunday), they still have the same thirst for novelty that boomers had as young men, if not even more of a thirst for "new" because they're constantly being told newer is better by the influencers who are in bed with the big houses hooking them up with swag.

    The very concept of wearing a fragrance seen as a "classic" is abhorrent as it admits not keeping up with the latest things, the newest flankers and releases, being "on top of their game" with "that new s**t yo" yadda yadda, and the mindset continues because they're groomed by whatever talking heads they've put trust in to think that way. Notice how often JF uses the word "modern" and "fresh" repeatedly and in a positive connotation. A coincidence? Definitely not. Granted, I'm not saying stuff like Aventus isn't getting long in the tooth too, but it's so expensive and hyped as a status fragrance that it will endure like Creed's previous smash did (Green Irish Tweed) until another "GOAT" topples it (PdM is trying hardest at this IMO). Stuff like 1 Million is already seen as "my dad wore that" by the 18-21 crowd, which is scary because we here on Basenotes still see it as a relatively current style!

    I'd love to see a big retro push by influencers too, in the same way the automotive industry pushed the New Beetle, PT Cruiser, Mini, and all those other retro-chic automobiles years ago, because as you said, consumer interest would drive ingenuity in the industry to get that synthetic oakmoss substitute to the same level of quality as ambroxan vis a vis ambergris, but I'm afraid it won't happen anytime soon because the general mindset is still "newer newer newer" in the eternal quest for relevance. We'd almost have to find incentive for the influencers to stop hyping the latest flanker of a flanker they were probably sent for free by whatever designer or online store sponsors the reviewer (I've seen FragranceNet pop up a few times as review sample supplier). Let's petition Guy Laroche, Puig, or Azzaro to send bottles of classics for JF and Mr. Smelly to hype up!

    I don't know, sometimes I also think we're better off too, because do we really need elevators filled with Lapidus or One Man Show again? I love the stuff but even one person indiscriminately wearing them can take over a space worse than a dozen guys in Explorer. Food for thought.

    (thanks for the cool answer btw <3)
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  15. #45

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    I don’t know how much it’s a trend, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes a bit more prevalent among younger men. One point of reference for me is that a big hit like Sauvage actually references classic masculine barbershop or fougere sort of scents, both very classic (lavender, bergamot) but also 80s-style, with its dihydromyrcenol blast. Sauvage modernizes a big, bold, almost brutish effect that’s not far from something like Drakkar Noir.
    :mind blown:
    I'm a big fan of Drakkar Noir and not a fan at all of Sauvage but now I see it!
    Maybe that explains why I'm coming around to the dark blue ambroxan trend.

  16. #46
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    No, because the individual ingredients are gone!

    And if it does, there is still this allergy delusion proclaimed by bloody IFRA

    Negative example: Oakmoss!

    A very important ingredient in many real "Classic Perfumes" until the mid 80s.

    And the much-practiced bad habit of old classic flacons
    with new reformulated content, is simply cheating!

    Negative example: Antaeus by Chanel!

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    There is really no going back, something you discover reading this book. The 80s powerhouses will never be popular again. There is a small subculture of people who still enjoy them, but their cultural times are over. Aromatic fougeres themselves are kind of past their prime. I argue that there is no comeback and never will be.
    Precisely. Scent itself is tied in to memory and nostalgia, the posters online - particularly this site - tend to be heavily represented by older men. The reality is time moves on, always on, and I tried to write a thread about that a few weeks ago (link here for anyone interested). The whole purpose and point of scent and fragrance changes and morphs and you cannot take fragrances and freeze them, and expect anything external to chime with the idea and expectations you have in your head. What was once venerated in the 80s is now seen as outdated, and so be it. As odious as the 'ok boomer' "meme"/insult is, it reveals that - at the heart of people - is the desire to define and re-define themselves as current and in control, and often through differentiating from the past.

    I was watching something online about the French spiderman. You know, the guy who free climbs skyscrapers. His 'look' is straight from the late 70s. He's a performer 'stuck' in a certain time and image - and so be it, who cares what he looks like, per se. The man is interesing, amazing in many ways. But he contrived to 'appear' a certain way, at a certain time, and that idea/image hasn't really adapted since he was young. Many men are prone to this - much moreso than women. Less adaptable, more stuck in our ways. Less secure in the uncertainties of progression, particularly in something like image and appearance.

    Fragrance is no different. Aquatics - seemingly the ubiquitous and universal genre, designed for all men for all time - have become outdated 'dad' scents. It'll happen to Sauvage, if it hasn't already started (I think it was marketed at a broad demographic, hence 50 year old Johnny Depp rather than, say, Chris Hemsworth or a 25 year old model doing the ad).

    So it's that difficulty, isn't it. Many buy fragrances because it reminds them of time, place, and culture - from the past. Yet that past has gone, and the response and/or reverence people expect from it in the outside world. Where a green and spicy scent was once 'neutral' or even attractive, it is now negative - outdated, offensive etc. Such is life. The 'norm' moves on and everyone adapts to exist within it, or orbiting it. Beligerence of the norm - that people don't like old man scents - seems churlish and deluded.

    Which is why - I believe - the aim should be timelessness. Simple scents. Not stuffy fougeres and chypres that scream 'old man' or whatever. Artisanal, difficult, niche fragrances are great at 'wowing' the senses, but as wearable scents? Not for me. That seems like a ferris wheel of constant buying, sampling, discarding, and buying again.

    I'm not surprised something like Eau Sauvage sells so well. I'm not surprised that simple, timeless scents from decades ago are still going strong, where others have fallen by the wayside. Seeking something eternal outside the fashionable is at the core of why I buy and what I buy, and I'm not sure I've really honed it down to a fine art just yet, but I strongly believe in it and would encourage people to consider this approach as well. It just seems to make fundamental 'sense' to me.

    Personally, I believe the two best 'old school' fragrances are Aventus and Terre d'Hermes. They smell like they were made decades ago yet - Aventus in particular - they also are tweaked and have removed the oakmoss and pungent leather or lavender or clove that screams 'vintage'. TdH and Aventus are symbolic of culture as it is, now - highly retrospective, yet appreciating the past through a filter and a lens that screens out what we don't value.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  18. #48
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    That surprises me.

    In the UK, I would expect Eros, Sauvage, Invictus, Polo Black to be well in front of ES
    I'll try to find the article, it was surely a few years old. I would say France is probably something of an anomaly in the fragrance buying stakes - not seen as feminine or elitist for men to wear them as it is in the more Germanic parts of the world, nor does it go in for the Arabic style of fragrance wearing, which in my experience leans more heavily to the 'overspray the mass appealing designer' as much or moreso than it is wearing traditional ouds etc. In the UK, I'd be amazed if Sauavage isn't the top seller, but after that...I think there's a stoical, quiet majority who would refrain from your 'club bangers' and would go for something traditional.

    I think traditional British perfumery hasn't fared too well and maybe it's due something of a renaissance. We've had a lot of kitsch old Blightly nostalgia in recent years - the 'Keep Calm & Carry On' poster which is now branded everywhere seemed to be at the core of that - and I think, had there been a prominent British perfume house other than Penhaligons pushing 'British' fragrances, we might see an equivalent to Eau Sauvage in France. But instead, the gentlemanly-fragrant pound is probably split between lots of different houses.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    If Tom Ford gets his ways, probably. But without real oakmoss, most of the revived old school classics will only be fascimiles or shadows of their former selves. Who would be happy with THAT??
    Most women, for starters...
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    Men today are afraid. They want the reassurance of smelling “clean”. The fragrances must be clean, aquatic, or sweet, but nothing like the complexity and development of these older powerhouses.
    I don't believe it's fear. As I said in the linked post a few comments above, it's the influence of women as a customer more than anything else. Call that fear of incurring the wrath or, more likely, the indifference of women, but that's basically it. That, and the fact no one really smokes anymore, at least in public, which reveals a very different kind of aromatic world, with perfumery therefore adapting accordingly.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  21. #51

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    I think traditional British perfumery hasn't fared too well and maybe it's due something of a renaissance. We've had a lot of kitsch old Blightly nostalgia in recent years - the 'Keep Calm & Carry On' poster which is now branded everywhere seemed to be at the core of that - and I think, had there been a prominent British perfume house other than Penhaligons pushing 'British' fragrances, we might see an equivalent to Eau Sauvage in France. But instead, the gentlemanly-fragrant pound is probably split between lots of different houses.
    Floris has been doing well. It's a better house than it often gets credit for being (it's much better in its current state than Acqua di Parma is).

  22. #52

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    JF and similar clowns are small potatoes. All it takes to be the leading fragrance influencer is a lack of shame and the nerve to declare it so. What meaningful metric is there to establish that a significant number of people are actually activated for BUYING-SPENDING CASH vs. just watching with a commonplace skeptical eye, thinking, "Another YouTube shill saying anything for a cheap click and a free bottle." Many people are wise to YouTube these days.

    I always 100% lean much harder towards corporations/"legacy" media creating taste and desire vs. organic public desire and demand being satisfied by the market.

    To put that another way, if Dior's Sauvage changed nothing but the stink water in the bottle...that's to say, Johnny Depp is still the public face with the same genius-level marketing campaign (desert imagery, romanticized masculinity, etc.); the Sauvage name stays the same; the bottle looks the same; the same intense marketing push... BUT, the juice instead smells like the current formulation of something like Chanel Pour Monsieur it would have been just as successful: perhaps more so... that is how something makes a comeback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Let's petition Guy Laroche, Puig, or Azzaro to send bottles of classics for JF and Mr. Smelly to hype up!
    "I'm sure there are things that you like that someone else here dislikes."
    papillo
    Currently wearing: Sunshine Man by Amouage

  23. #53

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    I've enjoyed reading this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monsieur Montana View Post
    Absolutely not. There are only some dinos here who still like those beauties.
    And I'm one of those "dinos" that definitely digs the stuff from the 70's and 80's, and even earlier..

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    I love
    Fahrenheit
    Yatagan
    Kouros
    Polo Green

    Are these ever “coming back”????? Really, how could they? Anything like this is doomed. Never again.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I don't want to make a long fat post full of quotes so I'll just name people who've replied with perspectives I want to expand upon (and agree with).

    Firstly, the Sheik is right, these fragrances never really went away, they just slowly tumble further and further downmarket over time if the houses that made them don't vigorously defend the brand image. A good example of this is how you still see Calvin Klein selling 80's classics in Macy's alongside new bottles of current DIor masculines and Montblanc. All reformulation talk aside, Calvin Klein has always had powerful branding, and that keeps the oldies relevant while other brands like Guy Laroche and Azzaro see their older masculines carted off to Walmart or worse, clearance stores like Ross. This last point is something Kaern also touched upon. It's less about what your perfume smells like and more about how long you can convince uneducated buyers that it's desirable, which keeps it from becoming "dated" versus being "timeless". A good example of this is Liz Claiborne Curve for Men Versus Armani Acqua di Giò pour Homme, both released in 1996 and sold in department stores upon launch. Claiborne didn't protect her brand, she just cashed in and checked out, selling off before her death (RIP), then EA abused the ever-livng-Hell out of the Curve moniker and now it's seen as an inexorably 90's smell. Acqua di Giò pour Homme was fiercely marketed and re-marketed by Armani to be a premium line, which is why it is still one of the best-selling men's fragrances in the world, for better or worse, yet is over 23 years to market.

    Secondly, NickZee and DIamondflame touch upon brands like Roja Dove and Tom Ford upmarketing forgotten retro styles, which seem alien to most trend-conscious upper-class young men raised on Axe spray, with no concept of what fougères even are. These cats start off with designer brands like Chanel, then seek out "status frags" when they land cushy six-figure STEM, law, and finance jobs in the city. This affluent BMW-driving, milion-dollar-house-financing, "H.E.N.R.Y." (high-earning not-yet-rich) types that will eventually be small millionaires want to stand apart from the bachelors-holding code monkeys a floor down who work for half the salary, drive Priuses, and wear Lush Karma along with manbuns and beard oils. If they haven't gone Creed, MFK, or PdM, these guys probably stumbled upon Tom Ford's Fougère d'Argent, which gives them the "classy mature" vibe old-school fougères impart without literally being old and thus avoiding the "dated" stigma, or they watched Gentscents talk about Roja Dove and were bought hook line and sinker. The concept of traditional perfumery that the latter pushes with his homages to past greatness is also an aesthetic which confers refinement to the wearer, a sense of enlightened taste that people like to think they have when they buy his stuff, and it works (both in smell and marketing).

    Third, Hugh V and Monsieur Montana made some good observations. The only portion of the population truly in love with these older styles through and through are the "dinosaurs" ranging from being in their 40's but pushing into their 60's in many cases, the guys who were literally there when Halston Z-14 first dropped, or experienced the clouds of Kouros in the elevator in the same way we now experience clouds of Sauvage. I'm friends with several, and can say these guys saw what they love deconstructed in the 90's, then adulterated or discontinued in the 2000's when IFRA began laying the smackdown on oakmoss. They've shriveled away from anything new because they've been disenfranchised by a hollow market that has something for everyone BUT them. This is why they just explore the past to unearth gems they missed in their youth, or go into the non-regulated artisanal houses like Rogue or Slumberhouse willing to compose in their preferred flavors. Younger guys you chance upon wearing Drakkar or Aramis probably just picked it up cheap at a discounter and like it because it reminds them of dad. They're not exactly full-tang devoted to the vintage aesthetic in the same way, but they end up feeling good about the inferred masculinity of wearing a classic or "real man's cologne" et al.

    Finally, my own perspective is people who inhabit Basenotes or devote time watching YouTube reviews, surfing blogs, smelling around shops or department stores, are different creatures from the mass populace of guys wearing perfume. The latter category smells something on someone and asks what it is, then buys a bottle, or catches a random ad somewhere. Sales associates talk them into whatever and they walk out of a store happy and oblivious about their choice. They have their "cologne", and that's it. We create a bubble, a circle of influence amongst ourselves. We read each other's posts and reviews, then we seek out accordingly. Outside those already dedicated to "vintage" or "niche", many of us literally get led by the nose when someone in the community with a degree of clout says "X is amazing", and when you add the exclusivity of "vintage/discontinued/rare" to that, the fear of missing out generates the hype needed to increase interest. Not everybody buys into the collectability aspect, and many folks just suffice with modern bottles of Paco, Halston, etc. But the hunt for the next olfactive thrill is not bound by linearity of time, and we end up going backwards through it to something like Antaeus or Caron Pour un Homme just as often as forward into the newest Amouage, just so long as it isn't what the "normies" are wearing.

    The short answer: No, vintage styles are not experiencing a comeback in the greater world of fragrance outside the few niche/luxury houses that wrap them in the emperor's new clothes. But awareness within hobbyist circles has grown, as evidenced by skyrocketing prices on eBay. This is because as we tire and bore of the same rehashed Bleu de Sauventus accords (another issue for another thread), we seek more quality and individuality to help express where we are in our journey through this hobby, and vintage styles are literally another "niche" of the market to explore, plain and simple

    (Thanks for reading <3)
    I really enjoyed this ZC! Thanks for taking the time over your cereal! This thread and posts like this is what keeps me around here. Though I wish we had thumbs ups or likes on this board for individual posts so I could show my appreciation for many commenting without quoting..lazy

    Your last paragraph hit the nail on the head with me. I joined here at 38 with no notion of what niche was, what was popular etc. I just wanted something besides my Armanis. Now I’m about to turn 50 in a couple of months and have 3 kids and want to smell more mature and I’ve been seeking some older school fragrances. What’s old is new depending on your stage in life
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan
    Currently wearing: Vintage by John Varvatos

  26. #56

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    I love
    Fahrenheit
    Yatagan
    Kouros
    Polo Green

    Are these ever “coming back”????? Really, how could they? Anything like this is doomed. Never again.
    You do get contemporary riffs in the vein of those fragrances (i.e. Floris 1962, Tom Ford Italian Cypress, Tom Ford Oud Wood Intense, etc.), but they tend to be safely in the niche or artisanal segments, which means they're not really mainstream and therefore not genuinely popular.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    I love
    Fahrenheit
    Yatagan
    Kouros
    Polo Green

    Are these ever “coming back”????? Really, how could they? Anything like this is doomed. Never again.
    I think that is a little dramatic. Gucci Guilty Absolute came out recently and the idea behind that seems at least to me similar to the parfums you've named.

  28. #58

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWineMemories View Post
    I think that is a little dramatic. Gucci Guilty Absolute came out recently and the idea behind that seems at least to me similar to the parfums you've named.
    Yes, there was a moment in 2016/2017 where brands tried to launch old-school back into the mainstream. There was GGA, and also MAC My Heroine and Tom Ford Noir Anthracite.

    But it's worth mentioning that none of these were hits and two of them have been discontinued only a few years later.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post
    I always 100% lean much harder towards corporations/"legacy" media creating taste and desire vs. organic public desire and demand being satisfied by the market.
    I believe it has always been that way the only difference is the amount of advertisement we consume through the internet. It seems to me that public interest is always shaped by a) the underlying nearly all encompassing ideas that lay the foundation for though and ideas (this being Post Modernism currently) and b) large cultural figures who's style is replicated. I don't think that corporations can per say "control" what people like and don't like, but they can and do certainly give people the ability to reach a mass market. I tend to think of the numbers similar to cold calling; only 1% of people actually buy what you're selling. 1/100 success stories does not seem to be a bad investment especially since with social media people don't need huge ad campaigns to become viral.

    Any how I suppose I am rambling at this point, but part of what makes me believe you are correct are figures that fit what I describe such as Tom Ford. Now people don't by far and large dress like Ford does no, nor can most people afford his clothing. However, take a look at the glasses he wears. Now in the figure pay attention to the glasses that everyone from your cashier to A list celebrities to even high level government politicians wear now and have been wearing for years. Seems similar to Ford's right? I think what happens is similar in a way to how the process evolutionary biology allows the prime specimens of human males to mate with prime females; essentially in fashion you have people with unique or interesting ideas, the cream of the crop rises, and after that people will choose from the few choices that are designated as primo. There is still choice involved as without it fashion would not appeal to the individualism of Western society, but people are choosing less from the ocean and more from the pond, and the pond has the best fish (at least the best fish that can be sold to the masses).

  30. #60

    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post



    To put that another way, if Dior's Sauvage changed nothing but the stink water in the bottle...that's to say, Johnny Depp is still the public face with the same genius-level marketing campaign (desert imagery, romanticized masculinity, etc.); the Sauvage name stays the same; the bottle looks the same; the same intense marketing push... BUT, the juice instead smells like the current formulation of something like Chanel Pour Monsieur it would have been just as successful: perhaps more so... that is how something makes a comeback.
    I agree. So I think the answer is yes, old school fragrances can make a comeback if promoted the right way.And I am surprised houses like Chanel or Dior etc. don't realize that.An aside, I don't get the big appeal of the Johnny Depp ads,but that's me.




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