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  1. #1

    Default First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Today I got a bottle of the latest batch of A Men Pure Malt. Sprayed 2-3 times and thought it seemed weaker than before, and I noticed it was fading after just 2 hours or so. So I sprayed again and it's performing as it should, glorious nuclear beast. I've encountered this phenomenon a lot and always chalked it up to placebo, but I'm starting to think its real. Any explanation for why this occurs? Maybe there's oils or something in the atomizer than need to get washed away? Just wildly speculating.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Old juice in tube always possible, also air can help the fragrance open up weird but happens even though the amount of air is small in the beginning. Fragrances macerate with time and use, I’ve also experienced the opposite with a fragrance being bombastic first few sprays then once a dent is put in the bottle performance drops (Chanel Platinum Egoiste) I’ve had 5+ bottles of this do this odd for sure and made me move on because of the spotty performance and odd phenomenon with this one.
    Currently wearing: Sauvage by Christian Dior

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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Interesting. Haven't experienced this.
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Interesting. Haven't experienced this.
    Me neither.

  5. #5

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    With a couple of vintages, the first sprays from the tube have smelled slightly different, or peculiarly condensed. "Weak" is not the word that comes to my mind though.
    Spray less, love more.

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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    I routinely notice this and wonder why.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  7. #7

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    It's very probably perception. I noticed that also.

    Basically the brain smells a scent one time, memorizes it, and it becomes more available/attentive to detect it later.
    Currently wearing: Santalum by Profumum

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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    As previously mentioned, the juice in the tube might be what you are experiencing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    This is totally true! But, I have also experienced what the OP mentions with scents I know well. Especially with Frederic Malle which others have noted and usually chalk up to maceration ie. it needs to age and get a bit of air in the bottle etc. I'm not so sure about this though, it seems to me such a professional production as Frederic Malle wouldn't be sending out bottles that aren't properly macerated already.

    My theory is that you might get a higher alcohol content in the first few sprays since it has lower molecular weight it might be the first thing out of the gate when a bottle is fresh. I'm not a scientist though so this is pure speculation. On the other hand, I imagine the alcohol and perfume oils should be fully blended so this wouldn't happen, but who knows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    It's very probably perception. I noticed that also.

    Basically the brain smells a scent one time, memorizes it, and it becomes more available/attentive to detect it later.

  10. #10

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    For me, morning sprays following a shower seem underwhelming compared to later afternoon sprays. I think that soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. contain scents detectable and undetectable that interfere with my appreciation of other fragrances. Later in the afternoon, I'm warmer, there's more skin oils, the morning soapiness has dissipated, and applied scents seem stronger.

  11. #11

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Might have an untrained nose and/or a too favorable, unrealistically romanticized bias towards most fragrances not just owned but also like after the first/few testing (s).
    But so far never had this problem of scents having weaker performance on the first sprays from a new bottle, therefore can only partly and/or more difficultly relate with such situation.
    Currently wearing: Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

  12. #12

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by unknoahble View Post
    ... A Men Pure Malt. Sprayed 2-3 times and ... noticed it was fading after just 2 hours or so ... I've encountered this phenomenon a lot and always chalked it up to placebo, but I'm starting to think its real. Any explanation for why this occurs? Maybe there's oils or something in the atomizer than need to get washed away?
    I've had a recent similar experience with AdP Colonia Pura and Quercia (carded samples). Recently, I attended two different functions, one a small family gathering of 10 and the other a larger setting of 50 people. BTW, I'm a fragrance novice seeking to diversify my two-bottle collection (Polo Modern Reserve, Fahrenheit) into a versatile fragrance wardrobe of 5-10 niche/designer colognes.

    I wore AdP Quercia at the family dinner, 4-5 sprays total (wrists, neck, upper chest). Not only did (apparently) no family member notice or comment about it, I could barely detect it myself. It seemed like a skin scent even early on. So I sprayed AdP Pura the following day about 5-7 times for the larger event. Again, exact same poor-performance result. Is that because they were the first sprays from each new sample or did I simply not spray enough given that it's AdP? Some forum contributors have mentioned AdP isn't as potent as other niche brands. Or maybe my spray shots are too brief?

    And two miscellaneous questions: Why do many cologne reviewers describe a fragrance as "aromatic?" All colognes are aromatic; if they weren't, nobody would buy them. The very definition of "aromatic" is "fragrant." It's like saying, "it is what it is" (a zero-information, extremely vague phrase). The second question: Why do some fragrance reviewers describe a cologne as both "creamy" and "powdery?" First, I don't understand how any cologne can seem "creamy." "Powdery?" ... ok, that one I get ... like talcum powdery, maybe. But creamy? I especially can't imagine a cologne that exhibits both of those traits.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    I have definitely experienced this a bunch of times. My nose can smell it, but will become anosmic to it until it sorta learns to smell it more and more. As I familiarize I can usually smell it for longer. I feel like it has happened to me on vintages and others that have been previously used, so I can't put the reason as oxidization or maceration. Its gotta be in your brain and nose.
    I smell.
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    I have definitely experienced this a bunch of times. My nose can smell it, but will become anosmic to it until it sorta learns to smell it more and more. As I familiarize I can usually smell it for longer. I feel like it has happened to me on vintages and others that have been previously used, so I can't put the reason as oxidization or maceration. Its gotta be in your brain and nose.
    Also experienced this a few times and for sure it was my brain.....
    My Top '12':

    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Guerlain: Héritage (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco/Aoud Vanille
    - Armani: AdG Profumo
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Thierry Mugler: A*men
    - Initio: Side Effect
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - YSL: Kouros (vtg)
    - Vermeil: Pour Homme

  15. #15

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    I have definitely experienced this a bunch of times. My nose can smell it, but will become anosmic to it until it sorta learns to smell it more and more. As I familiarize I can usually smell it for longer. I feel like it has happened to me on vintages and others that have been previously used, so I can't put the reason as oxidization or maceration. Its gotta be in your brain and nose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slayerized View Post
    Also experienced this a few times and for sure it was my brain.....
    I'm glad it's not just me who experiences this. Just about every new scent I try seems weak for the first few wears (except for the real headbangers!) and then it's as if my nose learns to recognise and my brain tunes into it so to speak. Strange phenomenon...!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derbyman View Post
    I'm glad it's not just me who experiences this. Just about every new scent I try seems weak for the first few wears (except for the real headbangers!) and then it's as if my nose learns to recognise and my brain tunes into it so to speak. Strange phenomenon...!
    Yeah, for sure! I own Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra which is extremely strong (and long lasting) and could not smell it at all the first 15 times I tried it on my arm.....even took a few days in between and tried again and again......only after weeks it started to being recognized by my brain and becoming stronger each time I tried it again till it was the powerhouse it actually is.......Funny thing was that my girlfriend every time asked me if I was trying ''that one fragrance'' again as to her it was the powerhouse already from the very start!
    Really strange experience that was......
    My Top '12':

    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Guerlain: Héritage (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco/Aoud Vanille
    - Armani: AdG Profumo
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Thierry Mugler: A*men
    - Initio: Side Effect
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - YSL: Kouros (vtg)
    - Vermeil: Pour Homme

  17. #17

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayerized View Post
    Yeah, for sure! I own Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra which is extremely strong (and long lasting) and could not smell it at all the first 15 times I tried it on my arm.....even took a few days in between and tried again and again......only after weeks it started to being recognized by my brain and becoming stronger each time I tried it again till it was the powerhouse it actually is.......Funny thing was that my girlfriend every time asked me if I was trying ''that one fragrance'' again as to her it was the powerhouse already from the very start!
    Really strange experience that was......
    Haha! So you couldn't really smell it and she was overcome by the fumes! IMHO This phenomenon explains about 99% of the threads where the OP is questioning the strength of a recently acquired fragrance. You've just got to give it time for the nose and brain to tune in!

    (Goes off to investigate Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra....!)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derbyman View Post
    Haha! So you couldn't really smell it and she was overcome by the fumes! IMHO This phenomenon explains about 99% of the threads where the OP is questioning the strength of a recently acquired fragrance. You've just got to give it time for the nose and brain to tune in!

    (Goes off to investigate Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra....!)
    Yes but don't forget just plain weak fragrances also just exist, no matter how often you try to get your brain getting used to them, lol
    My Top '12':

    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Guerlain: Héritage (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco/Aoud Vanille
    - Armani: AdG Profumo
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Thierry Mugler: A*men
    - Initio: Side Effect
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - YSL: Kouros (vtg)
    - Vermeil: Pour Homme

  19. #19

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayerized View Post
    Yes but don't forget just plain weak fragrances also just exist, no matter how often you try to get your brain getting used to them, lol
    Too true, I understand the limitations in making a fragrance 'perform' but I'm still always disappointed if something I buy turns out to be weak and/or lacking in longevity. BTW, which Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra were you referring to previously? Attar, Oud or Shumoukh? I'm asking cautiously as your recommendations usually end up costing me money!

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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derbyman View Post
    Too true, I understand the limitations in making a fragrance 'perform' but I'm still always disappointed if something I buy turns out to be weak and/or lacking in longevity. BTW, which Swiss Arabian Al Ghutra were you referring to previously? Attar, Oud or Shumoukh? I'm asking cautiously as your recommendations usually end up costing me money!
    Ah, forgot to add 'Attar'........apologies!
    My Top '12':

    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Guerlain: Héritage (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco/Aoud Vanille
    - Armani: AdG Profumo
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Thierry Mugler: A*men
    - Initio: Side Effect
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - YSL: Kouros (vtg)
    - Vermeil: Pour Homme

  21. #21

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayerized View Post
    Ah, forgot to add 'Attar'........apologies!
    Thanks Slayer! No apology necessary. I had pretty much guessed it was this one but just wanted to check before doing any 'research'...!

    (Apologies unknoahble for my slight derailment of your thread)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    I get this phenomenon as well, which as I've gotten more experience, I don't panic any more when I first think my fragrance is weak. I know it'll probably get better and most of the time they do!

    I agree with brain familiarity as well as actual maceration. I have fragrances that I know well having a multitude of samples for before purchasing a full bottle. I'll still get the weak beginning every once in a while, so brain familiarity don't completely apply there (though it can be the variation of ingredients, etc. also).
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post
    I've had a recent similar experience with AdP Colonia Pura and Quercia (carded samples). Recently, I attended two different functions, one a small family gathering of 10 and the other a larger setting of 50 people. BTW, I'm a fragrance novice seeking to diversify my two-bottle collection (Polo Modern Reserve, Fahrenheit) into a versatile fragrance wardrobe of 5-10 niche/designer colognes.

    I wore AdP Quercia at the family dinner, 4-5 sprays total (wrists, neck, upper chest). Not only did (apparently) no family member notice or comment about it, I could barely detect it myself. It seemed like a skin scent even early on. So I sprayed AdP Pura the following day about 5-7 times for the larger event. Again, exact same poor-performance result. Is that because they were the first sprays from each new sample or did I simply not spray enough given that it's AdP? Some forum contributors have mentioned AdP isn't as potent as other niche brands. Or maybe my spray shots are too brief?

    And two miscellaneous questions: Why do many cologne reviewers describe a fragrance as "aromatic?" All colognes are aromatic; if they weren't, nobody would buy them. The very definition of "aromatic" is "fragrant." It's like saying, "it is what it is" (a zero-information, extremely vague phrase). The second question: Why do some fragrance reviewers describe a cologne as both "creamy" and "powdery?" First, I don't understand how any cologne can seem "creamy." "Powdery?" ... ok, that one I get ... like talcum powdery, maybe. But creamy? I especially can't imagine a cologne that exhibits both of those traits.
    Aromatic typically refers to herbal notes. I think it comes from aromatic fougere, where herbs were typically added
    to the fougere accord.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    I've experienced this many times, which is why I periodically revisit fragrances with disappointing initial performance.

  25. #25

    Default Re: First few sprays weak performance? What causes this?

    I think you just need to try more fragrances. You'll see they can have a palpable sense of texture: fizzy, rough, smooth, creamy, soft, sharp, powdery, etc

    I'm wearing Chanel Bel Respiro right now and the smell is creamy af. Also creamy and powdery can definitely coexist as two distinct elements within a fragrance, just how something could be fresh but also warm. Many better perfumes play on contrasts of sensations. Think about how food could be sweet and salty and spicy, one doesn't negate the other.

    Think of the usage of aromatic in a similar way. In cooking "aromatics" are spices and herbs that provide a particular punch of flavor. Of course all food has flavor, but aromatic is a specific category just like in fragrance. When I think aromatic in fragrance I think herbal or anything that has a particular nose tingling effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie1Kenobi View Post

    And two miscellaneous questions: Why do many cologne reviewers describe a fragrance as "aromatic?" All colognes are aromatic; if they weren't, nobody would buy them. The very definition of "aromatic" is "fragrant." It's like saying, "it is what it is" (a zero-information, extremely vague phrase). The second question: Why do some fragrance reviewers describe a cologne as both "creamy" and "powdery?" First, I don't understand how any cologne can seem "creamy." "Powdery?" ... ok, that one I get ... like talcum powdery, maybe. But creamy? I especially can't imagine a cologne that exhibits both of those traits.
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