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  1. #61

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWineMemories View Post
    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).
    I like how you put that GoldWine.

    Not to put too fine a point on this but where I said this:

    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.
    It would be better if I phrased it like this:
    I always 100% lean much harder towards corporations/"legacy" media creating taste and desire vs. organic public desire determining the market.
    I'd also add that for desire to have the ability to find its source, it helps for the consumer to have the source as a readily available option. To put it in your terms, that's to say, the consumer needs to have awareness of the ocean's vast variety in order to desire some aspect of the variety.

    And, to take it a step further, desire for the specific thing increases considerably if every five minutes you dump a bucket of that particular ocean water over the consumer's head.
    Last edited by Alex Krycek; 1st December 2019 at 12:55 AM. Reason: deleted unnecessary "the"
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  2. #62
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Cannot agree with the idea that Sauvage is popular solely because of the marketing. It will have been focus-grouped to within an inch of its life to be the universal, mass pleasing weirdo that it is. You miss the fundamental nuances and effort and design that created Sauvage if you think Chanel Pour Monsieur would be just as popular. Sauvage smells like the future, now; it's the physical form of an algorithim. No point fighting it, as thrilledchilled says - you can't bring back the past, nor can you even 'keep' it or stand still. It is what it is - fragrance has moved on.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    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
    I was guilty of using the directory for years without signing up. I fixed that in 2012 but still lay dormant until just 2 years ago lol. Better late than never. This can also apply to my vintage collection.
    oh look, I have a signature
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  4. #64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    Cannot agree with the idea that Sauvage is popular solely because of the marketing. It will have been focus-grouped to within an inch of its life to be the universal, mass pleasing weirdo that it is. You miss the fundamental nuances and effort and design that created Sauvage if you think Chanel Pour Monsieur would be just as popular. Sauvage smells like the future, now; it's the physical form of an algorithim. No point fighting it, as thrilledchilled says - you can't bring back the past, nor can you even 'keep' it or stand still. It is what it is - fragrance has moved on.
    I do agree. If Chanel PM will be in Sauvage bottle, that will be a big flop.
    We have an example with Dior Joy that smells in 90's way and, despite the heavy marketing, it flops and no way as popular among women as Sauvage among men.
    Watch my recent video review of
    Guerlain L'Homme Ideal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-PW_V1G0aw

  5. #65

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

    I definitely think Sauvage became popular because of its marketing that for whatever reason also struck a chord with a lot of people.And they marketed it so heavily,even I saw an ad or 2 of it and I usually never pay attention or see modern fragrance ads. I'm not trying to put the fragrance down either.I have nothing for or against it.

  6. #66
    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?

    It's funny all things are cyclical other than fragrance. People say things get left in the past, except for fashion, movies, TV shows, video games, music. It all either maintains, or it comes back for nostalgic reasons. But cologne does not get to, lol.
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  7. #67
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly'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 Mayberry2 View Post
    I definitely think Sauvage became popular because of its very heavy marketing that for whatever reason also struck a chord with a lot of people.Even I saw an ad or 2 of it and I usually never pay attention or see modern fragrance ads.And I'm not trying to put down Sauvage either.I have nothing for or against it.
    It's fair to say that the vast, vast majority of its popularity is due to its marketing...but not the entirety of it. Look, people will buy Sauvage/1 Million/Invictus/whatever because of the brand recognition from the TV and billboard adverts. But they won't keep wearing it if it underwhelms. The idea you could put any of slop in a bottle and have it become ubiquitous is insane. Sauvage is popular because men - of all ages - enjoy it, it smells clean, masculine, but not weedy; and most women absolutely love ituntil they realise how popular it is.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  8. #68
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly'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 Danny Mitchell View Post
    It's funny all things are cyclical other than fragrance. People say things get left in the past, except for fashion, movies, TV shows, video games, music. It all either maintains, or it comes back for nostalgic reasons. But cologne does not get to, lol.
    But things do get left in the past. There are some component parts that are cyclical in all those things mentioned, but focusing on...let's say...music...things get left behind all the time. The music hall and ball room got left behind for pop music and swing which in turn got left behind for festivals and concerts which got left behind for various versions of virtual music, from MTV to Spotify. That's just the medium for music. If you want to focus on the music itself, then music totally aligns with fragrance in the kind of homogeneous approach to taking elements of 'everything' and creating something new, synthetic, inoffensive yet pleasing at the same time. For about a decade we've had a fusion of dance hall, bubblegum pop, hip hop, and various forms of trance/drum and bass. That could cover practically everything from Katy Perry to whoever else (cant think of an example for antithesis). But times change, they move on. Yep, a Pink Floyd concert still has something special about it in 2019 (if they reformed, let's say) - but it's associated with 'old' people. It's of a different era. The music is from another time, another era, talking and playing about things in a particular cultural language. "Money" might have been lifechanging to millions of teenagers in the 70s but it's less likely to be now - because the world moves on, and, culturally speaking, we get narrower and narrower, and hone in on creating various forms of media/products that people want, need, and neither want nor need but placate and pacify them. The commercial form of junk food, in a way. The music analogy doesn't work perfectly as I think music can transcend time and culture better than fragrances do, but I do think you can very much 'fit' fragrances in to the cultural and social worlds they were created in; and you can understand vintage fragrances through the lenses of today, and why they both are perhaps seeing a resurgence, but, more likely, as a whole, they are simply 'out of date'.

    The way I look at this is you either stand still and form a sense of self, or move with the times - or stagnate. It's about finding a balance between the two (ideally avoid the third) in each facet of life. Story time: Years ago, I had purchased a knitted woolen tie for a funeral - it was on trend, I was a student, and it felt fitting, if non-traditional. I had a relative in his late 80s who had always retained a vibrance and love of life, and never felt like an 'old' man - and there he is, at the funeral, in a woolen knitted tie. There's no need to 'settle' when you get to a certain age, particularly when it comes to commerial things - fragrance is personal, yes, but there are better things to seek stability and a sense of permanence from than perfume, in my honest opinion. There are too many posters - not necessarily in this thread - who talk about their vintage scents like outdated marketing copy. The world they existed in has gone, and it's like a partial and almost fetishistic approach to 'being' an idea of a man: you know how modern 'masculine' adverts boil men down to things like watches, cuff links, and maybe a tie? Because, you know, the social, familial, and vocational power has completely changed in the last 30-40 years - and you cannot champion/market men as superior without pissing off women, and that's a bad commercial move these days. That's what it feels like reading peoples' defence of 90% of vintage fragrances in my honest opinion. As if all it takes to make a 'man' - all it takes to recreate the fullness of the past - is an 80s powerhouse. I fully believe fragrances are great when they tweak the past and make them better - like Aventus, TdH - but you have to keep moving forward. The only justification I can see for vintage is the personal memories associated with them from years of wear. The idea of hipsters wearing vintage fragrances is like the ultimate 'f you' to reality - deliberately contrarian for the sake of difference and supposed superiority.

    I don't think culture is cyclical, really. Maybe more like a spiral - it's always progressing while still aligning with the past. I think fragrance is the same way, and because it's so sensory, so immediate, and so...visceral...there's more onus to update and move forward with fragrance (or find timelessness as best as possible) than other facets of culture.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  9. #69

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

    accidental post

  10. #70

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

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    The only justification I can see for vintage is the personal memories associated with them from years of wear.
    The only justification?

    Isn't there something to be said for fragrances as artworks that are worth enjoying and getting to know on their own terms? If art is worth discarding as soon as it becomes culturally distant we'd never find joy in the works of authors like Dante or Dickens or Austen or Cervantes.

    I don't think I'd ever even smelled stuff I now love like Aramis Tuscany or Jacomo de Jacomo until I got into this hobby (which was within this decade). Is my affection for them just nostalgia for a time I didn't really experience, a willful resistance of my time? Or is there something to admire in the care with which they were assembled, even if they are suggestive of an era now passed?

    Some people wear fragrances because of how it makes them imagine themselves. Like attire, it can play a role in self-creation. (I don't exempt myself from this; I only own stuff I'd routinely wear, and I only routinely wear stuff that fits in some way with my desired self-image, including the vintage stuff I own.)

    But others enjoy scents for what they are in and of themselves, and that's equally valid. Perhaps more so.

  11. #71

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

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    It's fair to say that the vast, vast majority of its popularity is due to its marketing...but not the entirety of it. Look, people will buy Sauvage/1 Million/Invictus/whatever because of the brand recognition from the TV and billboard adverts. But they won't keep wearing it if it underwhelms. The idea you could put any of slop in a bottle and have it become ubiquitous is insane. Sauvage is popular because men - of all ages - enjoy it, it smells clean, masculine, but not weedy; and most women absolutely love ituntil they realise how popular it is.
    Yeah. Marketing/brand power can only go so far. Sauvage's mega-success indicates that it did deliver something people actually enjoy.

  12. #72
    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 slpfrsly View Post
    But things do get left in the past. There are some component parts that are cyclical in all those things mentioned, but focusing on...let's say...music...things get left behind all the time. The music hall and ball room got left behind for pop music and swing which in turn got left behind for festivals and concerts which got left behind for various versions of virtual music, from MTV to Spotify. That's just the medium for music. If you want to focus on the music itself, then music totally aligns with fragrance in the kind of homogeneous approach to taking elements of 'everything' and creating something new, synthetic, inoffensive yet pleasing at the same time. For about a decade we've had a fusion of dance hall, bubblegum pop, hip hop, and various forms of trance/drum and bass. That could cover practically everything from Katy Perry to whoever else (cant think of an example for antithesis). But times change, they move on. Yep, a Pink Floyd concert still has something special about it in 2019 (if they reformed, let's say) - but it's associated with 'old' people. It's of a different era. The music is from another time, another era, talking and playing about things in a particular cultural language. "Money" might have been lifechanging to millions of teenagers in the 70s but it's less likely to be now - because the world moves on, and, culturally speaking, we get narrower and narrower, and hone in on creating various forms of media/products that people want, need, and neither want nor need but placate and pacify them. The commercial form of junk food, in a way. The music analogy doesn't work perfectly as I think music can transcend time and culture better than fragrances do, but I do think you can very much 'fit' fragrances in to the cultural and social worlds they were created in; and you can understand vintage fragrances through the lenses of today, and why they both are perhaps seeing a resurgence, but, more likely, as a whole, they are simply 'out of date'.

    The way I look at this is you either stand still and form a sense of self, or move with the times - or stagnate. It's about finding a balance between the two (ideally avoid the third) in each facet of life. Story time: Years ago, I had purchased a knitted woolen tie for a funeral - it was on trend, I was a student, and it felt fitting, if non-traditional. I had a relative in his late 80s who had always retained a vibrance and love of life, and never felt like an 'old' man - and there he is, at the funeral, in a woolen knitted tie. There's no need to 'settle' when you get to a certain age, particularly when it comes to commerial things - fragrance is personal, yes, but there are better things to seek stability and a sense of permanence from than perfume, in my honest opinion. There are too many posters - not necessarily in this thread - who talk about their vintage scents like outdated marketing copy. The world they existed in has gone, and it's like a partial and almost fetishistic approach to 'being' an idea of a man: you know how modern 'masculine' adverts boil men down to things like watches, cuff links, and maybe a tie? Because, you know, the social, familial, and vocational power has completely changed in the last 30-40 years - and you cannot champion/market men as superior without pissing off women, and that's a bad commercial move these days. That's what it feels like reading peoples' defence of 90% of vintage fragrances in my honest opinion. As if all it takes to make a 'man' - all it takes to recreate the fullness of the past - is an 80s powerhouse. I fully believe fragrances are great when they tweak the past and make them better - like Aventus, TdH - but you have to keep moving forward. The only justification I can see for vintage is the personal memories associated with them from years of wear. The idea of hipsters wearing vintage fragrances is like the ultimate 'f you' to reality - deliberately contrarian for the sake of difference and supposed superiority.

    I don't think culture is cyclical, really. Maybe more like a spiral - it's always progressing while still aligning with the past. I think fragrance is the same way, and because it's so sensory, so immediate, and so...visceral...there's more onus to update and move forward with fragrance (or find timelessness as best as possible) than other facets of culture.
    You'd be suprising how many teenagers know about classic rock and grunge. Music evolves but there is a lot from the past that is still grabbing people's attention of all ages. I never said classic rock was still in the top 40.
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  13. #73

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

    Since music was brought up.It used to be people chose what music was good and became popular. Within the past couple of decades especially it seems it is the other way around. These days it seems the public is told what is supposed to be good by maybe the media,internet and so on. I think it is a little similair with fragrances and many other things these days.And I am not ashamed to mention,in my opinion I think modern and current music,TV and movies are the worst ever made.I never watch or listen to any of the modern stuff.

  14. #74

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

    I think young people are listening to more diverse music than you might expect. Streaming libraries like Spotify allow people to explore artists that would never show up on TV or radio and it seems like everytime I talk to folks about which artists they like I'll get some mentions of the usual suspects along with a number of obscure artists I've never heard of before.

    The Internet is eroding the cultural mainstream and creating overlapping virtual subcultures that don't always get highly visible expression.

    Fashion and fragrance are both very public forms of self-expression, so you don't see the same level idiosyncrasy. People are generally nervous about being perceived as unusual.

  15. #75
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly'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 only justification?

    Isn't there something to be said for fragrances as artworks that are worth enjoying and getting to know on their own terms? If art is worth discarding as soon as it becomes culturally distant we'd never find joy in the works of authors like Dante or Dickens or Austen or Cervantes.

    I don't think I'd ever even smelled stuff I now love like Aramis Tuscany or Jacomo de Jacomo until I got into this hobby (which was within this decade). Is my affection for them just nostalgia for a time I didn't really experience, a willful resistance of my time? Or is there something to admire in the care with which they were assembled, even if they are suggestive of an era now passed?

    Some people wear fragrances because of how it makes them imagine themselves. Like attire, it can play a role in self-creation. (I don't exempt myself from this; I only own stuff I'd routinely wear, and I only routinely wear stuff that fits in some way with my desired self-image, including the vintage stuff I own.)

    But others enjoy scents for what they are in and of themselves, and that's equally valid. Perhaps more so.
    Yeah that's definitely a clumsy use of words on my part - it definitely shouldn't be 'only'. That should be 'primary' or 'main', instead.

    I'm certain I've had this discussion before - maybe not on basenotes - but fragrance as 'art', to me, is secondary to its perfunctory and material elements. It's like clothing. It's not like film, fine art, literature, music etc. It's artistry within fashion and appearance. There are times when perfume definitely does spill over in to art for art's sake, but by and large, if you're putting it on your own skin andn wearing it, it's not 'art' first and foremost. It's...something else. It's olfactive clothing, basically. I suppose I am - well, actually I definitely am - being a bit utilitarian and sweeping in my comments, but I do think there's a bit too much delusional self fashioning. Basically, there was a lot of it going on on fragrantica and that can definitely sway the narrative when you have a few determined users adamant that their fragrances 'are' a certain thing, 'make' them in to certain men etc. That's the extreme of course, but it seems there's a spectrum of self-fashioning through scent and I suppose I don't really have much time for the nostalgia of a time where 'men were men' or bollocks like that - because it's craving for something both illusory and elusie (it's an imagined ad-copy version of mankind and manhood; and it's also 'gone') but the associated roleplaying or 'self' that people believe they are gaining from scent (and perhaps appearance) is both valuable and valid. Masculinity and manhood is in a fairly terrible state at the moment for all sorts of reasons, and without saying aaaanymore on that for the sake of getting political, I just think the idea of being yourself is really, really great, and more people should strive for that.

    Hipsters - the idea that you can pick and graft parts of culture from the past on to yourself, and basically create a whole new superior 'form' and self - are something I've really grown to hate. General hipsterdom is definitely dying - and I had loads of friends who would adhere to that sort of lifestyle/ideology, but I think as I've really come in to my own understanding of the world, as a man, the best/easiest way to describe this is probably through a really simplistic and silly cultural reference. And it's Superman (everyone loves superhero stuff these days, so why not). If hipsters are anything but their real selves - obscuring themselves through what they consume, how they perform/act/dress etc. - then the idea of Superman is that he 'is' superman. He doesn't 'become' something by putting on the suit; he takes off his suit and tie and 'is' the hero underneath. Now, not everyone has to strive to be Superman, at all, that's not what I'm saying, but it's more...I dunno...I don't see the masculinity in performance. I don't see the illusion of a pastiche of the masculine past in fragrance. I see the role-playing and swapping as...not feminine per se...but just a bit...it feels like it's the kind of behaviour that people who sell fragrances could only dream of, because it means suddenly people feel compelled to buy and buy and buy. I really think an awareness of the present, near future, and 'self' as is are some of the most beautiful and reliable traits to have - particularly for men - and when talking about fragrance that seems to be lost. Again, between the dual worlds of 'pantry dropper' seekers and then a large proportion of men who have perhaps got a bit too deep in to the role-playing through fragrance. Now maybe there are loads of people in between that and I'm just missing it, I don't know...but I certainly see too much dismissiveness to the present and recent releases for me to query whether I'm completely off the mark here. There's definitely too much veneration of the old school and criticism of newer (or even post-1990) releases, and not all of it is on artistic grounds, for sure.

    I'm writing way too much ahaha...I dunno. It just seems so obviously tied to the utter attack that has happened on men. A pining and nostalgia for a world before a. the internet and b. when the internet decided en masse that #MenAreTrash. But if the only antidote to that is fragrant role playing, then it's almost like the more civilised form of boys who retreat in to shoot-em-up video games. It placates, but it doesn't solve.

    I'm not sure if I've really done anything other than repeat my own starting point there but I don't mean to ride roughshod over other peoples' opinions or attitudes here. There's not just one way to live, of course. But I feel it's largely on topic and I dunno, maybe raises some discursive points that don't veer off topic too much, if nothing else.

    I also don't have much respect for hipsters over the age of, say, 25 either, if it wasn't obvious haha...
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  16. #76
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly'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 Danny Mitchell View Post
    You'd be suprising how many teenagers know about classic rock and grunge. Music evolves but there is a lot from the past that is still grabbing people's attention of all ages. I never said classic rock was still in the top 40.
    I was born very start of the 90s. Grew up loving 'alt rock' and ofc grunge, and to a lesser extent classic rock. Had a band, learnt guitar, believed in rock music, all that...it was a rite of passage. I can tell you for a fact that the percentage of young people who are in to rock is a fraction of what it was even 15 years ago. If you go to a rock concert it is vastly different to even 15 years ago (started going to gigs around then and by the end of the 2010s, when smart phones became a thing, was when I think it had really 'changed'). Festivals no longer have mosh pits for bands people haven't heard the music for - people don't go to gigs to get f'd up in some way, let loose, go wild, have fun. The culture and values of young people has completely and utterly changed from millennials to Gen Z. Completely. Festivals are full of 'watchers' just kind of staring - the less said about clubs the better, where filming the whole thing is now mandatory in even the old school rave clubs. To bastardise Trainspotting, it's shite being in to music now, in any form - everyone's too self aware, too afraid to be made fun of online to really let loose, and too 'stuck' in the dopamine loop of likes and an online self, and how to leverage that with attention/validation/admiration etc. There may still be loads of young kids in to rock music but the actual mechanisms of it and what each kind of subgenre and subculture of rock used to be about have completely and utterly changed. Completely.

    And that's the point I'm making. Music isn't a perfect analogy to fragrance, but if an old school scent was once 'cool', eventually it isn't. People can either accept this and move on, stay stuck still and adamant nothing has changed and it's still the peak of cool (people still, presumably, trying to embody the idea but never 'got' the futility of that), and then the middle ground, which is to accept change, value the past and maybe keep elements of it (retro versions of old school scents; or just keep a vintage for personal/memories) while still moving on and keeping up to date.

    Here's a great video:



    Not everyone has to be Abe Simpson. And while fragrance isn't the biggest deal in the world - in fact, it's anything but, it's cheap, easy, immediate, easily available, and takes almost no spiritual or emotional growth or endurance to 'achieve' - it's still a facet of the world always moving forwards.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  17. #77
    Basenotes Junkie slpfrsly'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 Mayberry2 View Post
    Since music was brought up.It used to be people chose what music was good and became popular. Within the past couple of decades especially it seems it is the other way around. These days it seems the public is told what is supposed to be good by maybe the media,internet and so on. I think it is a little similair with fragrances and many other things these days.And I am not ashamed to mention,in my opinion I think modern and current music,TV and movies are the worst ever made.I never watch or listen to any of the modern stuff.
    I think this is another great point and well worthy of another branch to discuss as well.

    Without wanting to dominate, I'd say I agree - the 'mainstream' (and which I'd now include social and 'new' media within that, as they clearly are the mainstream) absolutely have honed the art of dictatorial culture and branding. There's little separation of organisations now - mutually assured survival, particularly from the legacy media who did everything they could to survive the threat of the internet. Not all of them managed it, of course. It makes for highly prescriptive mainstream art, all done in the name of...well I'm not sure, actually...

    But but but...beneath that, music/film has almost never been better. It just takes an effort, an understanding, and often *access* to find the good and the brilliant. And that's not always easy - time is the first cost, but then there's also money, location, and community. All things that used to be true, of course, but it jars with the ubiquity of having another superhero franchise shoved down our throats. And it can lead to despair and believing that everything modern is awful - even if this isn't true, it's an easy conclusion to come to.

    Fragrance is the same. Sauvage is a practically ridiculous chemical freak of a scent. It smells...I don't even know. It smells like an office building at night, all glass and concrete and 5G. But that doesn't mean that a. it has no merit (there's still something interesting in the analysis of superhero films, after all) and b. there aren't really great scents both similar to Bleu de Chanel/Sauvage, and that there aren't truly artistic and/or creative and/or wonderful modern fragrances being made...it's just they're not always easy to find. Dipping under the hegemonic sledgehammer that is Johnny Depp/Marvel Comics and finding a middle ground between mass pleasing and avante garde is where I feel most comfortable, for sure, but there's also room and space for the truly avant garde in all sorts of cultural productions. For all the bland selfies on Instagram, cinematography has probably never been more interesting...it just takes effort.
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

  18. #78

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

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    There's definitely too much veneration of the old school and criticism of newer (or even post-1990) releases, and not all of it is on artistic grounds, for sure.
    I don't disagree with this, but I think that Basenotes has a pretty diverse group of folks, and also think that most folks on Basenotes tend to have pretty varied and idiosyncratic tastes. (Certainly, as soon as you start looking at people's wardrobes you'll find a lot of contemporary stuff sitting alongside vintage stuff.) That makes me reluctant to generalize about tastes too much.

    I think nostalgia for the past is just that, nostalgia. We forget the detritus of the past and view its remaining artifacts through rose-colored glasses. It infects criticism of every art form.

    For the record, I don't, and have never, understood what is meant by "hipster," since it seems that everyone defines the term differently. (Personally, I picture someone with a flannel shirt, man bun, and who religiously reads Pitchfork.)

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

    Again, probably a voice of reason, Brooks. I am maybe being too simplistic here.

    As for hipsters - yes, by and large, that's fair. To translate it to a state of mind, it's simply the idea of superiority through consumption. But not conspicuous consumption nor any other 'expected' hierarchy of material goods; it's a patchwork quilt of culture, experience, AND materialism (they're largely responsible for the re-birth of vinyl records, for instance). It's an attempt to be universal, unique, apolitical and even acultural - but the reality is it tended to produce a mass of look-a-likes ahaha. Because tied to it was the idea of antithesis and not liking things, as well. In essence, or the point I'm making, it's basically focusing on the idea of creating the self primarily - or even solely - through things you start becoming interested in in your late teens. Jazz, coffee, fixie bikes, man buns...whatever. It ignores the realities of what people actually *are*, in totality. The past is fundamental to that and maybe this is really what this whole discussion is about - can fragrance be anything BUT nostalgic? Who knows...I don't know...I'm tired ahaha...
    "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradeiserl View Post
    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!
    I'm guessing you haven't tried out some more modern stuff. Notably in the niche market. Lubin Itasca is a good example of modernized old school, as is Floris 1962, and Tom Ford Anthracite, Memoir Man, among a few other designers. Probably a lot more out there tbh, just undiscovered by the vast majority. Oakmoss is not a necessity, there are other alternatives. They can also mix oakmoss with for example tree moss extract. Oakmoss is not completely banned, but in high concentrations. Oakmoss can be mimicked well, just like they do for sandalwood, and oud, and many other notes. Believe it or not, all of those oud's during the big oud era, were not really oud, just a good mixture to mimic the note.. well some good, others not so good. I've never smelled real oud in raw form, but I know people who have, and they have said it smells nothing like oud used in fragrance bases today. Besides, like rose, oud is a very expensive ingredient that is usually only made up of other ingredients mixed with chemicals to create the accord. So most of these modern oud's are not really oud, and if so, they may have a trace of oud in them, but it's unlikely, especially in the designer stuff, or anything under $150 a bottle. Same goes for sandalwood. Good sandalwood costs about $5 a drop, let's say you use 10 drops for the base of your blend, that's $50.. any company that uses $50 in real sandalwood extract in the base of your fragrance, is gonna be charging over $300 for the bottle. Hate to break it to you, but most of the "notes" in your fragrances are not actual ingredients. The majority of most fragrances now are made up of chemicals, just read the ingredient list on any fragrance you buy. With the exception of tonka bean, vetiver, patchouli, and a handful of others.

    So with that said.. the exclusion of oakmoss is not a big deal, unless you wanna think it is, I can't stop you. Placebo effect.. I could put 2 frags in front of you, one with oakmoss, one without, and if the one without is done well, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, even to the trained nose. Problem is, no perfumer or companies will sign off on making such, unless the demand for it is high enough, which it isn't - not yet anyways. I know, it will never be what they were, but who knows, Ambroxan could be banned tomorrow. Then they will have to find a new trend.

    Though I would suggest to you, and others in denial about the oakmoss ban, to look into fragrances made after 2005 with oakmoss listed in the notes, read through reviews and see who says what about how prominent the oakmoss accord is, and then check those frags out.
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler

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

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    The music analogy doesn't work perfectly as I think music can transcend time and culture better than fragrances do…
    I think the opposite is true. Fragrances can be of their time and place, but while they're worn socially, smelling fragrances has never been a common focused activity the way listening to music often is. I mean, I can't think of the fragrance equivalent of attending a concert, or even putting on a record for the sake of attentive listening. Fragrances might be associated with any activity they accompanied, but they weren't the activity, which makes it easier to recontextualize them. This is especially true if you don't have personal memories associated with a vintage fragrance, and if your social circle consists primarily of others who likewise have no such associations—e.g., young people who have nothing with which to associate ye olde fougères and chypres. Older styles of music are inescapably retro. Older styles of perfumery don't have to be.

    The way I look at this is you either stand still and form a sense of self, or move with the times - or stagnate. It's about finding a balance between the two (ideally avoid the third) in each facet of life … There's no need to 'settle' when you get to a certain age, particularly when it comes to commercial things - fragrance is personal, yes, but there are better things to seek stability and a sense of permanence from than perfume, in my honest opinion.
    The choice of from what to seek "stability and a sense of permanence" categorically is as personal as the choice of individual fragrances, records, etc. What's better for you may not be better for someone else. Besides, choosing a signature fragrance (or wardrobe of fragrances) isn't necessarily about stability, much less "a sense of permanence." It's not as if I eat my favorite foods to cement my identity, nor am I inclined to change them to "move with the times."

    …you cannot champion/market men as superior without pissing off women, and that's a bad commercial move these days. That's what it feels like reading peoples' defence of 90% of vintage fragrances in my honest opinion. As if all it takes to make a 'man' - all it takes to recreate the fullness of the past - is an 80s powerhouse. I fully believe fragrances are great when they tweak the past and make them better - like Aventus, TdH - but you have to keep moving forward. The only justification I can see for vintage is the personal memories associated with them from years of wear. The idea of hipsters wearing vintage fragrances is like the ultimate 'f you' to reality - deliberately contrarian for the sake of difference and supposed superiority.
    Reducing the choice of others to this is as narrow as reducing your own choice for those reasons, minus any of the justifications. I'm drawn to vintage frags, including so-called "powerhouses," by how they smell. I didn't wear them earlier in my life, nor did I notice them on anyone else (at least, not in an identifiable way), so I have no memories associated with years of wear. I don't subscribe to antiquated notions of male superiority, much less offer them as a defense for choices that, frankly, don't require one. Reality is not limited to "out with the old, in with the new." If you feel older fragrances are superior to newer ones, that's as legitimate as feeling the opposite, because we're talking about aesthetics, not physics. Other than availability and cost (and perhaps allergies), the only reason anyone should choose newer fragrances is if they think they smell better. Your argument implies a social or cultural obligation that doesn't exist, to a reality that isn't real.

    I don't think culture is cyclical, really. Maybe more like a spiral - it's always progressing while still aligning with the past. I think fragrance is the same way, and because it's so sensory, so immediate, and so...visceral...there's more onus to update and move forward with fragrance (or find timelessness as best as possible) than other facets of culture.
    I agree completely about the spiraling nature of culture. However, I disagree completely about the onus to move forward and update with fragrance. The only such onus is the one imposed by the regulation, availability, and cost of ingredients. If you can get around that by buying vintage—and you can—then the onus is lifted. I'm not saying you should buy vintage, mind you; only that it's as legitimate a choice as any other, and has no specific relationship with reactionary notions of politics, culture, or sex and gender.

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

    I think classic perfume is doing well.

    People at estate sales can buy classic perfumes with confidence that they can sell them at a profit on eBay. The non-IFRA artisan market has taken off. It's still early, but the success is undeniable, from my sampling.

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

    I disagree that Sausage was such a huge hit because of marketing. I think that helps, but it is a super likable fragrance. Solo, the Star Wars movie was marketed like crazy, but when the reviews are bad, and word of mouth is bad, poor product flops. I think if it was not so potent and long lasting it wouldn't have been such a smash either. Think, putting Gucci Guilty in it, I think it would have only been a success, not a mega monolith. Spraying on a fragrance, and then checking on it by putting your nose right up to your skin and analyzing what it is that you are smelling is not normal behavior that the average person would do. In the air it smells better than close quarters. And just because they got Johnny Depp, who cares? Plenty of fragrances have front men. Dior Homme wasn't popular because the vampire fronted it.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    I disagree that Sausage was such a huge hit because of marketing. I think that helps, but it is a super likable fragrance. Solo, the Star Wars movie was marketed like crazy, but when the reviews are bad, and word of mouth is bad, poor product flops. I think if it was not so potent and long lasting it wouldn't have been such a smash either. Think, putting Gucci Guilty in it, I think it would have only been a success, not a mega monolith. Spraying on a fragrance, and then checking on it by putting your nose right up to your skin and analyzing what it is that you are smelling is not normal behavior that the average person would do. In the air it smells better than close quarters. And just because they got Johnny Depp, who cares? Plenty of fragrances have front men. Dior Homme wasn't popular because the vampire fronted it.
    Marketing alone can't make a scent into a blockbuster. People have to actually enjoy it for it to become a true hit with the kind of longevity Sauvage has had.

    Though the flipside is that a megahit fragrance won't happen without that kind of huuuuge marketing campaign, which is more about raising awareness than actually selling the scent itself. And if the campaign had been actively unappealing it would have turned people off. I don't think people bought it because of Depp--it's not a celebrity fragrance--but I do think the rock n' roll vibe probably connects with more of the masculine population in the USA than the buttoned-up aesthetic of many other cologne ads.

    So many good scents go underappreciated or ignored just because the marketing and brand recognition isn't really there. It's interesting to think about what might've made its way into the bestseller category with a little stronger marketing push and prime placement at retailers.

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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
    Marketing can't make a advent into a blockbuster. People have to actually enjoy it for it to become a true hit with the kind of longevity Sauvage has had.

    Though the flipside is that a megahit fragrance won't happen without that kind of huuuuge marketing campaign, which is more about raising awareness than actually selling the scent itself. And if the campaign had been actively unappealing it would have turned people off. I don't think people bought it because of Depp--it's not a celebrity fragrance--but I do think the rock n' roll vibe probably connects with more of the masculine population in the USA than the buttoned-up aesthetic of many other cologne ads.

    So many good scents go underappreciated or ignored just because the marketing and brand recognition isn't really there. It's interesting to think about what might've made its way into the bestseller category with a little stronger marketing push and prime placement at retailers.
    I agree that bad marketing can kill, or at least hold back a decent fragrance. Ck One Shock was completely mishandled, and really seems like something that a real brand should be selling for way more than 18 bucks for 200 ml. I think their marketing held it back. That bottle is atrocious, the name is terrible, and neither match the juice. Youd expect something zingy or sour or something. I dont think marketing is worthless at all, just cant be solely responsible for a smash success.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    I agree that bad marketing can kill, or at least hold back a decent fragrance. Ck One Shock was completely mishandled, and really seems like something that a real brand should be selling for way more than 18 bucks for 200 ml. I think their marketing held it back. That bottle is atrocious, the name is terrible, and neither match the juice. Youd expect something zingy or sour or something. I dont think marketing is worthless at all, just cant be solely responsible for a smash success.
    CK needs to radically overhaul their marketing. All their stuff from the past decade looks cheap and dated. Shock should've been released in something like the new Molton Brown bottles with a name to match.

    But back to your point: Sauvage connected with the market in a big way. Part of that is Dior cachet and marketing muscle, but the scent itself is widely enjoyed.

    I don't know what the next blockbuster to come after Sauvage might be, but I suspect it'll be cool/clean. Maybe it'll be built around an aromachemical that is still finding its footing in the current market.

    I do think a "retro revival" of sorts could be attempted if brands wanted to go in that direction, but I think what you'd actually get is stuff like Dunhill Icon, which mixes classic and modern trends (and the kind of "dirtiness" in Icon isn't far removed from the "dirtiness" you get in Sauvage: it's abstract and synthy, so you get a kind of "clean" dirtiness rather than the proper dirtiness of yore).

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

    If so it's a very slow comeback.

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

    Most fragrances don't market as much as Sauvage has been. I see TV ads for it quite often. It's not the 'be all, end all' reason why it's doing so well. But if stood up to similar products, it's going to win out. Even against something that's a better product.
    In the world of fashion, I'm not sure how throwback fashion and retro looks come back into popularity....as I mentioned earlier, we don't see that in the fragrance world. Yeah, maybe if it was marketed and pushed harder. Or would it be ignored and looked at as a marketing blunder because no one is crazy about old school 80's fragrances anymore?
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
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    Default Re: Do you think classic men's designer "old-school" frags are making a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    I think the opposite is true. Fragrances can be of their time and place, but while they're worn socially, smelling fragrances has never been a common focused activity the way listening to music often is. I mean, I can't think of the fragrance equivalent of attending a concert, or even putting on a record for the sake of attentive listening. Fragrances might be associated with any activity they accompanied, but they weren't the activity, which makes it easier to recontextualize them. This is especially true if you don't have personal memories associated with a vintage fragrance, and if your social circle consists primarily of others who likewise have no such associations—e.g., young people who have nothing with which to associate ye olde fougères and chypres. Older styles of music are inescapably retro. Older styles of perfumery don't have to be.
    I disagree.
    While music can definitely sound dated, there's always contemporary pop musicians who sample older songs or do music in the same style as previous decades.
    In the late 2000s Lady Gaga's first two albums were heavily influenced by 80s pop. And there was a resurgence in 80s culture that's just now starting to taper off.
    Right now, Bruno Mars is doing pop songs that sound straight up like 90s new jack swing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    In the world of fashion, I'm not sure how throwback fashion and retro looks come back into popularity....as I mentioned earlier, we don't see that in the fragrance world. Yeah, maybe if it was marketed and pushed harder.
    It's because we can see contemporary celebrities wearing retro fashion, and because we want to be like them, we start wearing the same retro fashion, and suddenly it's declared that this previously outdated fashion is back "in."
    We can't smell what fragrance Chris Hemsworth or Leonardo DiCaprio is wearing when they're photographed by paparazzi or on video walking down the red carpet.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    I disagree.
    While music can definitely sound dated, there's always contemporary pop musicians who sample older songs or do music in the same style as previous decades.
    In the late 2000s Lady Gaga's first two albums were heavily influenced by 80s pop. And there was a resurgence in 80s culture that's just now starting to taper off.
    Right now, Bruno Mars is doing pop songs that sound straight up like 90s new jack swing.


    It's because we can see contemporary celebrities wearing retro fashion, and because we want to be like them, we start wearing the same retro fashion, and suddenly it's declared that this previously outdated fashion is back "in."
    We can't smell what fragrance Chris Hemsworth or Leonardo DiCaprio is wearing when they're photographed by paparazzi or on video walking down the red carpet.
    True, but you have the appeal of retro everything now. Fashion, TV, music (at one time, 70's 80's inspired tunes were huge in the 2000's), film.....it's everywhere, except for fashion. But I do agree that it's the smell factor. Those things do not smell, outside of the cheeziness.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
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