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  1. #1

    Default Quality of fragrances

    Hi, everyone!


    I hope you´re all alright.


    I´ve been thinking a lot lately, really really much, about fragrance´s quality. In order to be clear, my point it´s not the quality of the aroma, that is, if one love a certain aroma/scent or not. My point is the quality of the juice, ingredients, blending, etc.

    Please notice that I love some of the cheapies synthetic fragrances I have in my collection and dislike some of the Bortnikoff´s samples I own. Still, it has been something I feel I´m beginning to be affected and I´m talking specifically within the niche realm.

    I´ll give you a recent example that happen weeks ago:

    - I got dozens of samples, mostly Amouage, Kilian, Zoolgist, Nishane, Amouroud, etc, some weeks ago. Kilian Intoxicated is one fragrance that I really like and had opportunity to make a deal of a new bottle, sealed, for €129. I also tested Amouroud Oud Tabac. It was quite agreeable also. However, there was something my nose was telling me that was kind of "missing" on these two, mostly Oud Tabac, altought I though it had to do with quality of the juice. Next, I tried Amouage Sunshine Man and Overture Man. I exactly knew of was: the quality of the juice, ingredients, blending, whatever you want to name it. Every time I smell Intoxicated or Oud Tabac after those Amouage, even Nishane Ani or Zoologist Bee, they seem "pale" in terms of that quality. I mean, to my nose, they had a more synthetic scent compared to the other ones.

    Recently I got more that 100 samples: Boadicea the Victourious, Royal Crown, Fragrance du Bois, SHK777, Xerjoff, Bortnikoff, Roja, Kemi, Puredistance, Anfas, etc.

    That gap turned even bigger. I end up no buying a great deal (Intoxicated) just because that lack of quality I felt it had, even really liking the scent. Of course, if the deal were €75 I would go for it.

    I feel that, somehow, I´m reaching a point that, knowing more than 600 fragrances, I need to be "amazed" by somethin new and maybe I´m demanding too much for a new fragrance.

    Many would say: "You´re just a niche snob". Well, not the case, because I have designers in my collection, cheapies that I love and wear, and, the case I´m referring to it´s in the niche territory.


    This all leads me to these question I´d like to share with you and know your opinions:

    - What makes you determine what makes a fragrance to have that quality or is well made?

    - Does fragrance quality of materials/ingredients blend affect your buyings?



    Thanks.

    Best wishes!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyacl View Post
    This all leads me to these question I´d like to share with you and know your opinions:

    - What makes you determine what makes a fragrance to have that quality or is well made?

    - Does fragrance quality of materials/ingredients blend affect your buyings?
    To me, it is intuitive and something that I instinctively enjoy or not. I do find that fragrances that are designed to be projection beasts are jammed with harsh aroma chemicals that prioritize boosting projection and longevity over finesse. I especially love how the Celine Haute Parfumerie line is like a smooth aura around you and designed without needing to scream and shout. I really love the blend in that line, so I guess it does affect my purchases.
    b360cf1aa6bf6a9ed5fb0cf826ed6e88.jpg

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyacl View Post
    - Does fragrance quality of materials/ingredients blend affect your buyings?
    To a certain extent, but it isn't the end all determining factor.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    For me, it usually comes down to the quality of the base notes.

    I find that most modern/current fragrances, be it cheaper designer stuff or more expensive niche, are all built on the same cheap synthetic white laundry musk or scratchy synthetic amber-woods (or both).

    When I detect them, I’m out.

  5. #5
    Dependent slpfrsly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    I asked a similar question not too long ago: https://www.basenotes.net/threads/48...ord?highlight=

    I came to the conclusion it's 3 things:

    - Craft and materials
    - Performance and utility
    - Scent
    “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
    Currently wearing: Beau de Jour by Tom Ford

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    I am on the same page as you and have been for a while.
    To me it boils down to 2 factors:

    1) Notes have to smell 'clear' meaning it has to be distinct, strong, i should see its borders in details. No wishy washy 'i kinda smell and think its....'
    Good example is smelling vanilla pod stand alone, its clear smell. And smelling duro, or baraonda by nasomatto, its wishy washy aromachemical that you come up with what you smell, because not 1 note is distinct.

    2) in perfume i should be able to smell most notes separately, and at the same time they need to create composition. Again, good example is overture, notes are distinct on their own, and they create composition together. On opposite side its once again nasomatto.

    I assume you like dense scents, that envelop you in a cloud, rather than fleeting veil. I personally like that.

    As far as finding companies and perfumes, you need to sniff them individually. Each house will have hits and misses. Good example is Xerjoff, some stuff is the bomb, XXY, Irisss, oud collection, Uden, and some will be 'basic' like alexandria2, accento, new formulations of zefiro and naxos.

    Houses i would recommend for you is Xerjoff, Roja, areej le dore, bois 1920, auphorie, slumberhouse, tauer, mfk, guerlain and frederic malle, masque milano.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    To your first question, I think cheaper fragrances generally have harsher, "screechier" dry-downs. I'm not sure if that's related to cheaper chemicals, or additives to extend performance. Maybe it's the blending that's off. Better fragrances dry-down pleasantly and don't leave you with regrets.

    I don't know how to judge the quality of materials per se. Could a niche house create a better version of A&F Fierce with better materials? I'm not sure.

    For me, niche is a double-edged sword. More expensive and unique, but many that I have sampled are too "something" for daily wear. Like a shirt with a funky print, I appreciate it, but I wouldn't wear it everyday. Of the few niche fragrances I own, I would say half don't get worn but 1-2 times per year. I have a great appreciation for the craft of scents that are somewhat different and unique, but with wide appeal. It's where the genius is IMO.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyacl View Post
    This all leads me to these question I´d like to share with you and know your opinions:

    - What makes you determine what makes a fragrance to have that quality or is well made?

    - Does fragrance quality of materials/ingredients blend affect your buyings?
    To me it really just comes down to scent and performance.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian5701 View Post
    For me, niche is a double-edged sword. More expensive and unique, but many that I have sampled are too "something" for daily wear. Like a shirt with a funky print, I appreciate it, but I wouldn't wear it everyday. Of the few niche fragrances I own, I would say half don't get worn but 1-2 times per year. I have a great appreciation for the craft of scents that are somewhat different and unique, but with wide appeal. It's where the genius is IMO.
    I agree 100%. Some would argue against this and call them pedestrian, and they are probably not wrong, but wearability is very important for me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Question 1: generally, a very subjective impression as to how the ingreidients and their overall blending along with the final impression are personally and subjectively perceived, even if the fragrance has no long standing and almost universal reputation of high quality.
    Or, conversely, almost unanimously recognized and appreciated for this yet some personal mechanism of liking, enjoyment and/or interest never get fully activated in spite of this.

    Question 2: definitely yes- even if just subjectively perceived like in the reply/answer to question 1- if the impression of quality is there and the fragrance is not blind bought and has the time and opportunities to rather impress, it becomes much likelier to finally join a definitive purchase list

  11. #11

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyacl View Post
    - What makes you determine what makes a fragrance to have that quality or is well made?
    Basically, what matters to me is if I enjoy wearing the scent. Perceived "quality" may contribute to the enjoyment of course; I naturally don't like to wear something that smells unpleasant to my nose. ​

    -Does fragrance quality of materials/ingredients blend affect your buyings?
    Not really, other than it either smells good to my nose or it doesn't. I don't care if it's "synthetic smelling" - what I care about is if it's smelling good, to me.
    Spray less, love more.

  12. #12
    Dependent deltasun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    I think you can overthink quality by analyzing the individual parts. You need to approach each fragrance as a whole and judge by your reaction and enjoyment. Once you have the scent you like/love, you can factor in performance also. You check those boxes and quality may not even be a factor, but just a reinforcement of what you already know.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    "What makes you determine what makes a fragrance to have that quality or is well made?"

    This is simply answered by the breadth of one's experience. I've used the pizza analogy for years here: if all you've ever eaten was Domino's, and you enjoyed it, you're more likely to believe it's the best. Once you start trying other pizzerias, your perception may changed due to comparing and contrasting because now you have something to judge one another against. The more experiences one has (sampling), the more they are able to build a hierarchy based on personal and, to a lesser extent, objective criteria (I say to a lesser extent because with fragrances, there's really no universal truths as each scent is probably going to get different mileage on each person's skin for a variety of reasons.)

    Though never a fan of Budweiser beer, I once had the opportunity while on Spring Break in Germany to try Czech Bud (the original Budweiser.) I remember thinking, bllleeeeh! This doesn't taste like Budweiser at all! Now, having sampled thousands of beers, I can unequivocally say I was totally ignorant of Budweiser and its history and regard Czech Bud as being FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR superior.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    For me it's all about the quality of the mid and basenotes. That's how I judge the quality of the fragrance and whether it is full bottle-worthy.
    Current Spring Favorites:
    Roja Parfums Elysium Parfum-Cologne
    Roja Parfums Danger Parfum Pour Homme
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    Creed Aventus
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    Byredo Bal d'Afrique
    MFK Aqua Universalis Forte
    MFK Aqua Vita Forte
    Dior Sauvage
    Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche

  15. #15

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    For me it is about the overall smell first and foremost, how well blended the ingredients are, the quality of ingredients and the brand name and packaging. Packaging plays a big part.
    Currently wearing: Royal Mayfair by Creed

  16. #16

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by rollzst View Post
    For me it is about the overall smell first and foremost, how well blended the ingredients are, the quality of ingredients and the brand name and packaging. Packaging plays a big part.
    I've never been too impressed with bottles or packaging, so I am curious on your take on the Celine Haute Parfumerie collection's packaging.
    Celine-2.jpg
    CELINE_PARFUM_INSTAGRAM_11.jpg
    fotojet-64-1566374097.jpg

  17. #17

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Quality of ingredients is very important in fine fragrance and is noticeable to a fragrance aficionado. The difference in quality can mean an off odor in a single ingredient which can wreck a fine fragrance. The off odor can be for example from mishandling of the ingredient, poor distillation, or poor isolation. Trust your nose.

    I had an amino compound that when opening the bottle had a slight fishy smell. Turns out under the cap the material was air oxidizing. So I cleaned the cap and bought smaller quantity.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Some of us seem to perceive certain aroma chemicals more obviously than others, and in my case, the sensitivity to these chemicals has changed over time, so that can be a factor. The interesting thing, at least for me, is that most niche and "top" designers of recent years have come across as too synthetic to me. Some "super cheapo," clone-ish scents like Starter's Victory (similar to Spicebomb), however. come across as more natural smelling than the scent they tried to clone or be very similar to (probably because they used less of certain aroma chemicals). In older, "drug store" scents, it's not uncommon for them to smell bad for a few minutes, or to smell "sticky" if you smell them up close. A friend's daughter (in her early 20s) told me the other day that her generation is not willing to wait a few minutes for a fragrance to come together, which I found amusing. And then there are people who must smell the scent up close, which can lead to different perceptions as well. Some "super cheapos" just smell great in every way, like Avon's Mesmerize for Men (at least the first formulation), and I tend to wear those a lot more than the niche I own. So to me, "quality" varies so much that it's something that should usually be explained in some detail.

  19. #19
    Dependent deltasun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Who let Celineman back in BN? lol

    I'm getting quite the overdose of those pics in the last two days.
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    5. Tiziana Terenzi Ursa

  20. #20

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Thanks for your replies.

    Interesting opinions. I´ll do a quick exercice. Even knowing this is highly subjective, I´ll make a list of 10 fragrances I have (bottles or samples) and make a ranking regarding aroma/scent and the correspondent ranking about quality of ingredients/blending, etc. Regarding quality some of the fragrances may have the same value due to the fact of thinking they have the similar level. The raking will be from the best (10) to the worst (1).


    -------------------------------------------------------------- Aroma/Scent ---|--- Quality Ing./Blending/etc
    - -----------------------------Roja Parfums Enigma - ............10 -------------------------- 8.5
    - --------------------------------------Xerjoff Malesia - ............. 9 --------------------------- 8
    - -------------------------Parfums de Marly Layton - ............ 8.5------------------------- 4.5
    - --------------------------Amouage Overture Man - ............. 8 --------------------------- 8
    - -----------------------------------------Creed Erolfa - ............. 8 --------------------------- 7
    - ------------------------------By Kilian Intoxicated - ............. 7.5 ------------------------- 4.5
    - -----------------------Royal Crown Tabac Royal - ............. 4 --------------------------- 9
    - -----------------------------Amouroud Oud Tabac - ............. 3 --------------------------- 3
    - ------------------------- The Spirit of Dubai Oud - .............. 2 --------------------------- 9
    - -----------------------Bortnikoff L´Heure Exquise - ............. 1 ---------------------------10


    So, it´s curious to see that the fragrances having best marks (10 and 9) in terms of quality are far from being the ones I like the most. And vice-versa (take Layton´s case, for example). Of course, I won´t buy any fragrance I don´t like just because it is full of quality of ingredients, etc. But, on the other hand, I think I couldn´t buy a fragrance that I really like if my nose makes me feel it hasn´t quality, be it niche or not.


    Take care.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Well, sometimes it also may have to do more about the way fragrances are crafted/done, in spite of not having top quality materials. In my opinion Frapin L´Humaniste is an excelent scent, very well done, and I assume the materials are not as good as Bortnikoff´s. Still, some Bortnikoff´s make me sick.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    Great thread, Johnnyacl. To paraphrase Potter Stewart, I know it when I smell it. Once you spend enough time in this hobby, you learn to detect quality pretty easily. I do own and like plenty of "cheapie" fragrances, but I definitely tend to gravitate towards quality. For me, that means a richness and a smoothness of the blending. Cheap fragrances just seem to be rough around the edges or screechy. I can pick out certain aromachemicals, and that distracts from the overall composition.

    I have been working my way through Henry Jacques fragrances, so I will use that house as an example. Every fragrance I have tried is top tier in terms of quality of ingredients and blending. I may not love every one, but there is no mistaking the quality. It is worth it to me at this point to save up and buy top quality fragrances rather than getting a bunch of lower quality fragrances that I won't enjoy. That probably makes me sound like a snob, but that is where I am.

  23. #23
    Dependent RedRaider430's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quality of fragrances

    The only thing that guides my buying is if I like the smell of the fragrance. I have expensive and inexpensive scents in my wardrobe.

    Obviously, I would prefer that they are "quality," but if I love the smell, I buy it.
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