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  1. #1

    Default Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Wow, talk about a fall from grace .. this:
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Con...t-cutting-move

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Interesting info. I wonder if this has anything to do with the supposed fall of grace of DG from the Chinese market.
    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract


    I wonder if the brand's founder and creative director's racism has anything to do with any of the decrease in sales.

    https://www.cosmeticsdesign-asia.com...n-2023-targets


    https://www.mironline.ca/lessons-from-diet-prada/

    The Dolce & Gabbana v. Diet Prada lawsuit
    On March 4, 2021, Diet Prada revealed that it was being sued for €600 million in damages for defamation by Dolce & Gabbana because of its coverage of the label’s controversial #DGLovesChina marketing campaign. The campaign, released ahead of Dolce & Gabbana’s 2018 Shanghai runway show, featured a Chinese woman attempting to eat a cannoli with chopsticks — imagery many felt was a racist caricature. The consequences of Dolce & Gabbana’s marketing fail were immediate: its show was cancelled, calls for a boycott swept through China, Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com removed Dolce & Gabbana products from their online stores, and general support for the label in the European and American markets plummeted. The Dolce & Gabbana incident marks the first time that this kind of misstep has had such global repercussions. For that matter, as a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences of losing a market like China are disastrous. According to a recent study, Chinese consumers are currently responsible for 35 per cent of luxury goods sales internationally. That number is expected to grow by 40 per cent by 2024, at which point the Chinese will drive 75 per cent of global growth in the luxury market.
    It is interesting they tried to make fun of an audience that are trained to be fiercely patriotic, especially if they want that Chinese money. I feel like most brands are targeting the East Asian market as they're the ones who are spending a lot on luxury products. A lot of people complain that Dior's Maision Christian Dior collection is watered down for the East Asian audience. I haven't smelled the range so I can't really comment, but I don't mind wearing less intense fragrances. I'm not really interested in beast mode fragrances in the first place. Another LVMH brand, Celine has a quite sheer experience to how they wear. I quite enjoy it as I see beauty in a diaphanous veil.

    Dolce & Gabbana had been known to court controversy even before the China incident. For decades, the label has relied on its elite status to get away with outlandish and offensive behaviour. Previous racist missteps include their colonial-esque Blackamoor earrings or calling a $2,395 pair of shoes “slave sandals.” In 2015, Elton John himself even stepped in, sparking a call for boycott after Domenico Dolce, co-founder and creative director at Dolce & Gabbana, made intolerant comments about in-vitro fertilization.
    I think the West romanticize the elitism and discrimination in fashion, so all their controversies didn't really impact them in the past. But they were poking at an angry beehive by targeting China. I bet the D&G marketing team are full of yes men who didn't want to go against Stefano.




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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Interesting info. I wonder if this has anything to do with the supposed fall of grace of DG from the Chinese market.
    cacio
    I'll bet that had a lot to do with it.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post
    It is interesting they tried to make fun of an audience that are trained to be fiercely patriotic, especially if they want that Chinese money.
    I wish this girl (are we sure she's free lance, or who does she work for?) in the video made a video to call out some practices of her governement, with the same strength. It's interesting to see how such actions often target foreign companies, and never chinese ones. Coincidence?

    As for D&G, yes, it's true and this attitude is unfortunately visible at all the levels of society in any fields. Basically: do what I say, not what I do. Oppose that, but don't look at me taking money from them. That's what all the countries of 'defend human rights' do. They defend human rights in front of their voters, but once they go abroad, the political leaders shut up because there's business to do. Still, I think that it's a good thing that these practices are called out, even if not as loudly as they should be.
    And afterall, unfortunately the voters understand that (how many people who took gladly advantage of socialist practices by cashing stimulus checks from the government or any other form of help, usually state to be against 'socialism'? Just funny)

    That said, here it's not about a good cause, just bad (stupid) marketing strategy from a private company and comments from the owners, so there's no real valid reason to do so.
    For perfumes, I haven't found yet a single D&G fragrance that I care for, so personally, even if they had to go out of business, I couldn't care less. (still, I'd be sorry for the employees).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Yea the crazy thing to me is after I saw all the outrage I watched the ad that got them into trouble and it seemed very uncontroversial. It was silly and light hearted playing on stereotypes of Chinese and Italian culture (spaghetti and chopsticks). It was maybe a bit tone deaf but hardly deserving of the outrage it garnered IMO.

    The real problem is they are some old school stubborn diva fashion designers so they doubled down once the controversy started and they made it much worse. They made some pretty awful statements on twitter, which later they claimed had been hacked LOL.

    Fashion wise, they have been pretty out of step for awhile so I'm not surprised at the lack of sales. They've grasped at relevancy with more cringey moves like casting all influencer/social media stars for their runway show, but I think they do best when they stick to the fine Italian craftsmanship they are known for. Their last collection was something like a return and critically acclaimed, but alas I think it's too late for them to really become a buzzy brand again both because of their PR blunders and fashion moving on.

    I'm not a particular fan of the brand so I dunno why I"m defending them haha. I just get annoyed by cancel culture, a lot of ppl seem to pile on the outrage who never even watched the controversial video in question.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    For perfumes, I haven't found yet a single D&G fragrance that I care for, so personally, even if they had to go out of business, I couldn't care less. (still, I'd be sorry for the employees).
    Yeah, I think I would care more if I enjoyed a D&G fragrance. I might go stock up in case of discontinuations...but luckily I'm not into their fragrances.

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post
    ...
    I wonder if the brand's founder and creative director's racism has anything to do with any of the decrease in sales.

    https://www.cosmeticsdesign-asia.com...n-2023-targets
    ...

    https://www.mironline.ca/lessons-from-diet-prada/



    It is interesting they tried to make fun of an audience that are trained to be fiercely patriotic, especially if they want that Chinese money. I feel like most brands are targeting the East Asian market as they're the ones who are spending a lot on luxury products. A lot of people complain that Dior's Maision Christian Dior collection is watered down for the East Asian audience. I haven't smelled the range so I can't really comment, but I don't mind wearing less intense fragrances. I'm not really interested in beast mode fragrances in the first place. Another LVMH brand, Celine has a quite sheer experience to how they wear. I quite enjoy it as I see beauty in a diaphanous veil.


    I think the West romanticize the elitism and discrimination in fashion, so all their controversies didn't really impact them in the past. But they were poking at an angry beehive by targeting China. I bet the D&G marketing team are full of yes men who didn't want to go against Stefano.

    ...
    UGH. Those videos! Major facepalm. Yes - deep disconnect to market visible right there.

    Still, IMO, Shiseido made a huge error thinking D&G was ever going to help them get market savvy and penetration in the West. There is a market waiting for Shiseido in the West, but it is very tricky, and D&G has never understood that potential. They partnered badly and both got burned.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    I think they may have overstretched themselves with D&G. It's a brand that has a few good classics, but everything else is getting long in the tooth and playing catch-up with the rest of the market (the exclusive Velvet collection for example).

    I think they also massively botched the launch and distribution of the D&G makeup range (which I bet most people aren't even aware exists, which is also exactly my point as to how it went). This is a huge squandered opportunity given that makeup is usually a money maker with high margins, and would fit the brand very well (D&G's female offering is very clasically feminine after all). You can find Shiseido, NARS, Bare Minerals and Laura Mercier (all Shiseido brands that do cosmetics) in practically every department store, so why not D&G?

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post

    What a huge fluff! :triplefacepalm:
    Unbelievable!

    The chinese are punished and hated for having strong leaders, with vision, capable of long-term planning, thus becoming soon the first world economic power.
    That strengthened and united them.

    I'm glad they reacted and didn't accept their cultural symbols being thrashed.
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    I don't see how making fun of the way someone eats as celebrating their culture, but that's just me.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    I tried the Shisedo version of Pour Homme for the first time last week. It puzzled me. I love the original Euroitalia version and liked the 2012 P&G version but the current Shisedo version seems an odd mix of the two.

    Initially I was impressed (I thought "yes, Euroitalia smell is back!") but the dry down was not good at all and performance was unimpressive.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    I think Coty will make a second pitch for the contract.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    D&G never had the brand recognition of CHANEL or Gucci. China’s Moonlight Clan (月光族) goes hard for the latter two and not D&G.
    All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    All advertising is basically evil, as evidenced by the particularly pernicious depictions of racial dynamics in western adverts over the last decade or so. The idea that some ways of fetishising cultural, ethnic, and national facets are permitted while others are verboten can be easily explained by what is a now well-organised countercultural subversion of the society that created television (etc.) for the sake of turning people in to emotional consumers. I'm stunned at how many of my contemporaries see advertising and marketing as an acceptable compromise of their childhood dreams, whether they be film-making, creative writing, and so on, rather than what it actually is. All advertising is evil in at least a few fundamental ways. This apparent 'faux pas' is a result of not quite keeping up with the rapidly changing cultural code. Their apology video is the ultimate humiliation and says far more about culture and power than the advert itself.

    I think D&G are underrated as a fragrance house. I'd say they produce good fragrances for the utilitarian enthusiast. I'm not sure how to sum them up but they're fragrances that are designed to be worn, rather than fawned over, fetishised etc. That's perhaps why they haven't been successful in the social media age, where hype plays a huge role in influencing what people buy - from 50 year old cheapies, to retro fougeres, to pantry dropping 'sexy' scents, and stinky orientals bought for their exoticism.

    Their fragrances are solid, reliable, smell good, and are usually in keeping with current styles. Their exclusive line is really good but very overpriced. If you can find some of their 'Velvet' fragrances for under £100 a bottle then they'd almost certainly make for a good signature scent - whether that's their nice, clean, woody cypress fragrances, or their clean, fresh, soapy bergamot and vetiver. Their orientals are also pretty good, something in between Armani Prive's and Tom Ford's approach, but more wearable than both.

    I think the fact some people sneer at them is testament to the effect of social media and the unspoken social agreement that occurs within online 'communities' to value certain ideas/behaviours, and to mock others. D&G seem to have fallen foul of the 'snob effect' in this way. They make good fragrances: not spectacular scents, but good scents. I wore 'The One Gentleman' for years and it's a very good nouveau-fougere, somewhere between Gucci Envy for Men and MFK's Masculin Pluriel for significantly less money than either.
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Brand promotion and perception makes a difference. There is also something to be said about one's willingness to forgive honest ignorance and silly mistakes. If someone is clearly ignorant of customs and apologizes for something that isn't intended to insult, then IMO, it's on the other party, who hasn't lost anything or really been victimized, to accept that apology and move on in friendship. I agree that people shouldn't overtly insult other people but I also think that when an honest apology is offered that it's equally telling about someone's character whether they join a mob of outrage or be an individual and accept the apology for the purposes of peace and friendship.
    Currently wearing: Spice and Wood by Creed

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    Brand promotion and perception makes a difference. There is also something to be said about one's willingness to forgive honest ignorance and silly mistakes. If someone is clearly ignorant of customs and apologizes for something that isn't intended to insult, then IMO, it's on the other party, who hasn't lost anything or really been victimized, to accept that apology and move on in friendship. I agree that people shouldn't overtly insult other people but I also think that when an honest apology is offered that it's equally telling about someone's character whether they join a mob of outrage or be an individual and accept the apology for the purposes of peace and friendship.
    First, the Shiseido news was strictly about financials, and even mentioned the goals being expanding markets in Europe and Americas. How this got turned around into China, with a stupid ad that in all likelihood was a local chinese idea, by social justice warriors, is beyond me. If I have to wager a bet, even the apology was for the social justice warriors in the west. Chinese do a whole lot worse to other chinese on a daily basis to throw a fit about a stupid ad with chopsticks and pizza.

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudassir View Post
    First, the Shiseido news was strictly about financials, and even mentioned the goals being expanding markets in Europe and Americas. How this got turned around into China, with a stupid ad that in all likelihood was a local chinese idea, by social justice warriors, is beyond me. If I have to wager a bet, even the apology was for the social justice warriors in the west. Chinese do a whole lot worse to other chinese on a daily basis to throw a fit about a stupid ad with chopsticks and pizza.
    Well, I don't live in China and never have. I don't have any notion about contracts or financials. I'm not a know-it-all. I was simply saying, "if" this cancelling was about the poor ad choice, "then" it's an unwise course of action. Not sure if this had anything to do with western culture's social justice movements. Whether it was or not is beside the point. My statement was on basic moral concepts of goodwill, kindness and forgiveness.
    Currently wearing: Spice and Wood by Creed

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    I don't see how making fun of the way someone eats as celebrating their culture, but that's just me.
    Riskiest joke in town. I was thinking maybe they were going super-smart comic on the whole "wrong implements" thing (see below), but no. If so, lost in translation and needed more physical comedy.

    Quote Originally Posted by slpfrsly View Post
    All advertising is basically evil, ....( TOTAL AGREEMENT ) ....This apparent 'faux pas' is a result of not quite keeping up with the rapidly changing cultural code. Their apology video is the ultimate humiliation and says far more about culture and power than the advert itself.

    ...
    I think the fact some people sneer at them is testament to the effect of social media and the unspoken social agreement that occurs within online 'communities' to value certain ideas/behaviours, and to mock others. D&G seem to have fallen foul of the 'snob effect' in this way. They make good fragrances: not spectacular scents, but good scents. I wore 'The One Gentleman' for years and it's a very good nouveau-fougere, somewhere between Gucci Envy for Men and MFK's Masculin Pluriel for significantly less money than either.
    All very well said, and what's in bold is particularly relevant, IMO. The weaponizable outrage mobs in every nation are unique, but they can import each other's headlines and adapt them for local use. Likewise, cross-national cultural codes are at work here.

    Without getting too deeply into this, there is an Asian "wrong implements" peeve in which certain Westerners wrongly assume OR try to impress by using chopsticks on whatever Western dish is locally de rigueur by the appropriate Western implements. "Appropriate implements" is sometimes baseline cultural sophistication for the locale, and in some places is much more requisite than, say, in American restaurants that include both knife/fork/spoon and chopsticks.

    The Western analog of the taboo would be going out for sushi in America, and your worldly Asian friend asks for a steak knife and fork, or picks up a tuna roll by hand, breaks it in half and puts half back, country family style. That is enough of a WTF for most Westerners to understand. My wife literally gets angry when people touch any Italian dish with chopsticks, UNLESS it's actually classified Asian with just Italian influence. Curry MUST be eaten with the correct spoon - never chopsticks. THE HORROR.

    All that is background for exactly what you called it - a faux pas - and one most don't even know about. To show Asians committing their own pet peeve about the need to respect Western culture - it's just dangerous territory.

    There would be a brilliant but evil advertising way around this - use a cute scumbag young D&G Western boy pull off the chopsticks outrage in some smart but lovably humorous way that everybody would find hilarious - at which point D&G would promise to learn the market. Still - risky - and not just because D&G's cute Western scumbag bois needs to laugh it up, too. Nevertheless, I trust that "advertising will find a way".

    Bottom line - as you say - advertising is evil - psychological manipulation. Perfume ads included. My weakness.

    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    Brand promotion and perception makes a difference. There is also something to be said about one's willingness to forgive honest ignorance and silly mistakes. If someone is clearly ignorant of customs and apologizes for something that isn't intended to insult, then IMO, it's on the other party, who hasn't lost anything or really been victimized, to accept that apology and move on in friendship. I agree that people shouldn't overtly insult other people but I also think that when an honest apology is offered that it's equally telling about someone's character whether they join a mob of outrage or be an individual and accept the apology for the purposes of peace and friendship.
    Forgiveness. Definitely needed here. I don't think the insult was intentional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudassir View Post
    First, the Shiseido news was strictly about financials, and even mentioned the goals being expanding markets in Europe and Americas. How this got turned around into China, with a stupid ad that in all likelihood was a local chinese idea, by social justice warriors, is beyond me. If I have to wager a bet, even the apology was for the social justice warriors in the west. Chinese do a whole lot worse to other chinese on a daily basis to throw a fit about a stupid ad with chopsticks and pizza.
    Outrage mobs are everywhere - and they're complicated enough to be easily misrepresented, as I suspect is happening here, to make it more about race, and less about cultural misunderstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    Well, I don't live in China and never have. I don't have any notion about contracts or financials. I'm not a know-it-all. I was simply saying, "if" this cancelling was about the poor ad choice, "then" it's an unwise course of action. Not sure if this had anything to do with western culture's social justice movements. Whether it was or not is beside the point. My statement was on basic moral concepts of goodwill, kindness and forgiveness.
    I agree with Mudassir that the market move was not about the faux pas or the kerfuffle. No matter what, your moral statement stands, and I agree!
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanuel76 View Post
    What a huge fluff! :triplefacepalm:
    Unbelievable!

    The chinese are punished and hated for having strong leaders, with vision, capable of long-term planning, thus becoming soon the first world economic power.
    That strengthened and united them.

    I'm glad they reacted and didn't accept their cultural symbols being thrashed.
    I agree with the non-acceptance of cultural symbols being trashed, but I think it might be cautious to understand where the 'rebellion' against D&G has been originated from. For sure the video are controversial, but since these were deleted in less than 24 hours, and in view of the proprotion this story has taken, I'm wondering if some competitors of D&G didn't help fuel the smear campaign. (and while that smear campaign occurs, it distracts from all the serious issues in China).

    Again, D&G received the response they deserved, and I'm not a complot kind of person, but nowadays taking a step back to reflect on the 'why it happened and why at precise moment in time' might be necessary - for many infos.

    Also, I don't think that glorifying Chinese leaders is a way to appreciate Chinese people. (but that would be true for most of countries)

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    I agree with the non-acceptance of cultural symbols being trashed, but I think it might be cautious to understand where the 'rebellion' against D&G has been originated from. For sure the video are controversial, but since these were deleted in less than 24 hours, and in view of the proprotion this story has taken, I'm wondering if some competitors of D&G didn't help fuel the smear campaign. (and while that smear campaign occurs, it distracts from all the serious issues in China).

    Again, D&G received the response they deserved, and I'm not a complot kind of person, but nowadays taking a step back to reflect on the 'why it happened and why at precise moment in time' might be necessary - for many infos.

    Also, I don't think that glorifying Chinese leaders is a way to appreciate Chinese people. (but that would be true for most of countries)
    All well said. Personally, I suspect that the amplification was a cross-product of political and financial opportunism. Sad, but in the shark tank, any blood draws a feeding frenzy. Short-selling is one of the few things more evil than advertising!
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Besides Dior's Maison Christian Dior line that is often speculated to be "watered down" to cater to East Asian tastes, what other brands are there do you suspect that target the East Asian market?

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    In all fairness, China had a huge economy for large parts of the 19th Century. It's not as if they just sprung up from nowhere as a result of the Cultural Revolution.

    It's clear that the West is a dying and declining market, as well as culture, civilisation etc. It makes little sense for brands to prioritise the US and Europe, as Emanuel rightly says, in every sense.

    My main gripe about western perfume isn't about the far East. It has much more to do with the middle and near east, and how just about every dark or winter-ish fragrance has become truly oriental. Irrespective of the variety on offer - and there is a variety, for sure - they're mostly unwearable. Wearing them feels like fancy dress and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Leather, spices, orientals etc. of yesteryear never suffered the same problem - or at least not to the same extent.
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post
    Besides Dior's Maison Christian Dior line that is often speculated to be "watered down" to cater to East Asian tastes, what other brands are there do you suspect that target the East Asian market?
    Jo Malone was first even before Dior, but they didn't water down their offerings to suit the Asian Market.
    That was the aesthetics of their original line & just happened to be what appealed to that region.
    After their major success other brands followed suit.
    So after them was:

    Dior
    Roja Parfums
    Creed
    Louis Vuitton
    Cartier
    Mfk

    I might be missing a brand or two.
    Last edited by RawMia; 3rd May 2021 at 10:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    I think this sort of event higlights a really interesting phenomenon about power, representation, and advocacy.

    It's fairly clear where the power lies when you see a grovelling video such as the one D&G released. It's clear who has power in the institutional elitist sense, who/what has managed to manipulate the public narratives to convince populations to react emotionally, and thus who is able to shape commercial actions through both divesting in businesses that are deemed 'problematic' while at the same time reinforcing and even extending the power over the business once the faux pas has occurred through humiliation. It's a very clever form of aggression and manipulation - Sun Tzu would love it.

    The real 'puzzler' is why the West quite clearly doesn't advocate for itself. Or, if it does, it is done in a fundamentally different way.

    There's no better example of this than the infamous Gillette advert. A huge brand, one that is hugely reliant on male custom, advertising their range of male grooming products with what most men interpreted as little more than anti-male hatred.



    The advert is in the truest sense excellent. It's highly accomplished, professional, effective, well composed, and entirely in keeping with what modern advertising uses to sell products: emotional branding and manipulation of the target demographic(s). It is shock and awe in multimedia form. The problem with the Gillette ad is due to the fact that the 'excellence' was too overt. At the very least it suggests a lack of focus grouping; or perhaps strong-headed project leaders in management who saw the opportunity to make a legacy for themselves, blinding them to the potentially negative outcome. The emotive manipulation is, frankly, too strong, too obvious; thus it becomes ineffective, and bad. Gillette suffered a huge backlash - because, despite the very obvious appeal to women in the advert, and the less obvious racial representations, unlike other adverts where this sort of template would work, the customer demographic is overwhelmingly white and male for both demographic and more understandable reasons (wet shaving can cause major problems with Afro hair). As a result P&G suffered huge financial losses, before quickly pivoting and changing their advertising approach to something less hostile to men i.e. its current and potential customers.

    But the Gillette advert is something of an anomaly - at least in the sense of the vocal disgust and commercial backlash from the population. This backlash still occurred in spite of the lack of advocacy and representation of institutional power (in fact, it is the opposite: that 'power', e.g. the new media machine, tried to defend and champion the advert, until they realised it was too toxic to save). In every other sense it is entirely in keeping with the current model of advertising which is explicitly anti-'white' and anti-male. At this point it's impossible to pretend otherwise.



    These adverts are far more effective iterations of the socially subversive, emotional manipulation that modern advertising relies upon to produce brand identity and loyal customers. The gender and racial depictions in these adverts - which are infinitely more galling, crass, subversive, and dehumanising than D&G's avert - are common. You will likely see several such adverts back to back in any commercial break, irrespective of the programming or the channel. They are accepted as normal by much of the western world for reasons that, as I say, are at least somewhat puzzling. This same template is applied in Britain as it is in America as it is in Australia and no doubt most of Europe, too. Particularly western Europe.

    The puzzling aspect of all of this - and the evident power shift - is one that is surely going to bleed its way in to perfumery soon enough. Fragrance advertising has always been a bit 'out there' - a bit woo-woo, often sexualised. Yet for the most part, the big fashion houses haven't gone anywhere near the above template of humiliation; they haven't fallen prey to the sexualised portrayal of dominance hierarchies in the way that far more mundane products have.

    I find that to be interesting. Why? Why have fragrances so far not become enuglfed by this trend when they are in many sense the pseudo-artistic type of advert and product that would be ripe for this kind of emotional branding. Other grooming products have hopped on board: Gillette is just one example. But for the most part, the highly idealised and sexual forms of male beauty in recent fragrance adverts could fit in to eras of the past. They don't feel significantly different to the advertising of the 1990's, for instance. French and Italian houses are still using Mediterranean men as their models, attached to ideals and lifestyles that appeal to both men and women in a mid-20th Century sense: they are businessmen,

    Here are just a few that spring to mind from recent years.

    index.jpeg

    body_5_3-z.jpg

    iI0BaqzQ_t.jpg

    f1fb19bf5988fcd66f1dabf2ff827931.jpg

    maxresdefault.jpg

    One of the few fragrances I can think of that bucks this trend - and one that perhaps hints towards the fact that perfume advertising is going to slowly give in to the trend - would be Armani's Stronger With You campaign. Which is hardly egregious, it's just portraying a young man and woman in some form of juvenile co-dependence, which seems to fit the fragrances fairly well given they are sold as a 'his and hers' sort of thing.

    The blatant discrepancy of representation and dignity in advertising, and the resultant power shift that occurs in the media, fashion, and beauty sectors, is one I find interesting.

    D&G have clearly fallen foul of what we've already touched upon as the quickly-changing code of global cultural conduct. This has severely hurt their business in China and, presumably, other markets as well given the influence that China has in Africa, for instance.

    The grovelling apology is a clear statement of defeat. It says "we were wrong" (which a lot of people would agree with) while at the same time saying something else: "we will change". Again, many people would agree with this, too. On the surface, the logical argument of an extension of tolerance and dignity along sex, sexual, racial, ethnic etc lines is one that ought to only be good. Yet it evidently doesn't apply to the western world, where its own population is quite deliberately divided and subverted along those same lines. What does the 'change' really mean? I think it probably means two things; or perhaps it's just the old Darwinian 'adapt or die'. The adaptation is one that would see them go overboard in their compensation, bending over backwards to try to win back customers that were alienated and repulsed by the advert and subsequent cultural commentary. This could include adverts such as this...

    K-Dolce-Gabbana-2019-Fragrance-Campaign.jpg

    ...disappear. This sort of advert, where Italian society and masculinity is fetishised, could be the first to go, replaced by 'the template' i.e. one of emotional humiliation. At least that's how you'd expect it to go in the west. In the east, or in other territories, the tolerance among the buying public (in large part due to advocacy and cultural commentary of the elite power) wouldn't accept that, so you'd expect incredibly friendly and complimentary advertising for D&G fragrances in China, while the same brand has had to subvert its own country in order to maintain a foothold in the new territory.

    With that in mind, keeping an eye on the way D&G fragrances are advertised ought to be educational. If they are one of the first big European houses to release advertising that seems self-destructive or overtly 'emotional' in a new, subversive way, that might be the toll they've had to pay to survive in China. If not, then they may well have taken the other option, which would see them turn in to the next Calvin Klein - irrelevant and in terminal decline.

    Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. It's like seeing the tip of the iceberg of the global, commercial, and cultural struggle.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Although advertising is interesting to think about, society has moved towards influencers because they feel more relatable and honest to the modern audience. People love hearing other people's "genuine" thoughts about a product before and after buying a product. I think there is this element of tribalism too. Being in the right crowd.

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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    An excellent post!
    Thank you!

    You make some very interesting and good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    This is what everybody THINKS they have to do at a kind of first-level enlightenment, where they begin to see the dilemma. However, it is not true, in my opinion. It is a false choice - the next level of a trap. The next level of enlightenment beyond this is to understand that Chinese immunity to this venom, which they can then freely deploy, descends from their obvious-in-retrospect but non-advertised strength in dealing with the problem themselves - deep understanding of the foreign market, though in their case by pretending not to understand, which amplifies the short-term advantage (eventually the other side catches on).

    True respect is necessary for both friends and adversaries. Respecting the extreme work China has done to understand the West is the beginning of resisting what we prefer to resist without thought or effort.

    China deeply understands and gains influence over anything or anybody long before the first smiling Chinese face shows up. This level of preparation must be respected. This also requires humility. That virtue must be relearned in the West, in my opinion at a common baseline of science and religion both Western and Eastern. CCP's grave error is what it has rejected at home and close to power - key parts of Chinese heritage. They are ours for the taking if CCP does not correct, which I would advise. That advice is offered precisely as proof that respect is independent of friendship or opposition, and is its own reward!

    Virtues matter. Relearning them makes them fresh - perhaps the upside of the West having lost so many and so much.[/COLOR]
    Modern European subversion in its current form really began in the late 18th and 19th centuries, at a time where China itself was subverted as well. In many ways this has been a long time coming and is simply another stage of what is an attempt to harmonise ostensibly oppositional ideas and populations/territories under the banner of globalism. Naturally, it's rather messy, and it was never messier than during the two world wars, which is why this is happening without a bullet being fired (and let's hope it stays that way unless it becomes truly necessary). Our technological advances mean another attempt to decide real and entrenched differences through war would be almost total global destruction. Hence why the struggle is brought 'within' - people, families, nations, relationships, businesses and so on.

    I do think China isn't quite as strong or as robust as it may appear. Its elite is focused and streamlined, far moreso than the west's which is fractured and outdated in comparison, while much of it has renounced the west in the name of globalism. But their 'streamlined' strength is also brittle in its forcfulness: it relies upon a tight grip on a lot of the elite, institutional power within its own territory and around the world - as you say, it denies tradition and culture, and this is something that it is addressing to avoid revolt as the standards of living (and thus the concerns of meaning) increase in China. There's a lot of tension to maintain control in a world that is far faster, more complex, and more technologically advanced than the one the west conquered. Liberalism and the Enlightenment may have been successfully subverted to destroy the west, to the point that Christian empathy and the idea of redemption from original sin have turned in self-destructive masochism in the hope of creating a materialist utopia, but I think the elitism that formed out of liberalism (expertise, meritocracy, survival of the fittest) and the sanctity of the individual are far stronger tenets than something that is more obviously bound to ideas of the communal and group identity. For the simple fact that, eventually, people start questioning the disparity across the group as a whole ("if we're all equal then why are we not equally rewarded?"), as well as the inability to strive for higher meaning and the transcendental (which is why Tibet is such a 'problem' for China). It's not enough to live vicariously through the successes of other elite people (which, in the west, is the perfect description of celebrity culture: fandom, "stanning" etc), nor is it enough to simply keep quiet while your group replaces a declining rival as if you can live like that forever. This is partly why the USA's imperialism lasted a fraction of the European empires, because they got rid of God in the name of materialism, and naturally it was far easier to subvert both its people and the elite that had no higher meaning than dominance and 'self'. Eventually, a communal culture that gleans many of its ideas and successes from a more powerful yet declining group won't have anything else to grow in to once the replacement is complete. Without individualism and the inherent drive for innovation that comes from it, when you reach the 'peak' with your own society, the only way is down, often through the dual forces of stagnation and growing authoritarianism, which simply speeds up the collapse. If a civilisation is formed through the ideals of imitation, observation, and innovation through control, then losing the very civilisation you are imitating becomes a major problem. I believe a group-based civilisation's decline will almost always be much swifter than the decline of an individualistic and liberal civilisation, because the obedient group identification that is currently a strength in China will quickly ravage the same group if/when it becomes discontented with the lack of personal/individual reward, or without an external foe to compete with/replace. In essence, it leaves itself open to a very similar form of subversion that occurred in the west, and once you can no longer fight it off, silence the subversion through censorship, or convince powerful individuals who want a shot to get right to the top of the hierarchy that there is more to be gained by sacrificing individualism for maintaining the growth of the system, then it becomes an inevitability that the whole thing collapses. Particularly if focused agitation from outside the group occurs.

    I think you're probably right about not 'having' to capitulate to China in the way that most brands immediately choose to. But it perhaps misses the difficulty of what that would actually entail as well as how deep the subversion goes in the current mechanics of the west.

    What would D&G have to do to avoid, basically, becoming sufficiently anti-Italian and pro-global within the next decade? They would have to be able to convince very influential and tactically, strategically adept people in China that it is not necessary to humiliate them in this way and that the mistake isn't worthy of that. The apology video suggests that isn't going to happen, for starters, but let's say that they now hope that's enough and the appeasement works (!). They have to convince the Chinese propaganda machine to rehabilitate the brand image in China, to encourage distribution, positive discussion on state-controlled social media, and all the rest of it. That's a pretty big ask. Given the economic weakness of European companies in the first place (which are now latently European; they are very much supranational), it requires companies to to fawn to China's interests and demands, or at least know how to bargain with them. The Chinese citizens want the best of the best, and so brands like Chanel naturally go in to such discussions with huge power even if they are economically reliant on making a deal (which is almost always a strategic weakness). But D&G wouldn't be starting this negotation from 'neutral'. If they want to recover lost ground, they have to traipse back over earth they scorched themselves, and who knows how difficult that would be? They're not Chanel, they're not as desirable in the first place, as evidenced by their lack of sales and prior brand appeal (although there is something to be said for 'negative publicity' and cancellation being a good way of getting public visibility in the name of 'all publicity is good publicity'. I wonder if Gillette hoped for this; and perhaps their long term strategy could pay off if they manage to appeal to the next generation of young people in 30 years by painting their parents as reactionary and outdated, for instance? If nothing else, D&G will have made a name for themselves in China, but I don't think this sort of thinking applies to the two examples in question; eventhough intentional negative press is a modern tactic, I think it's just genuine incompetence.)

    The real difficulty, though, in my opinion is not in China itself. It is the subverted and atomised west. How would you go about rehabilitating a brand like D&G in the age of social media? At least 2 generations of professionals have come through a hugely corrupted education system (I would say totally corrupted when it comes to the liberal arts) which, rather than creating educated students, has produced labile activist-student-customers who leave with rubberstamped qualifications, having been forged for a world where careers in middle management of the new global economy will require them to harmonise the incompatible. Which public relations company would D&G they turn to? Who do they find to make their adverts? Italy may be less subverted and more traditional than the Anglosphere but PR is a global enterprise and the English-speaking countries sets most of the tone that the rest of the west follows (even France, reluctantly). Finding someone to work with on the ad campaign and long term brand PR is a fairly rudimentary step in theory and yet it's a hard one to do in reality if you want to retain true integrity. Having apparently kept advertising in house to avoid outsourcing D&G's brand image to a media company that would be full of poorly-educated and formed activists who are nevertheless very good at certain technical skills, they managed to produce something that landed them in hot water. Their in-house team (I presume?) tried to imitate and even subvert the same template that is used in the west i.e. cultural and ethnic humiliation to produce an emotional response in the viewer. Evidently, this was a tactically naive decision. It didn't work. So, D&G can choose to have another go in-house, but that might not appease the Chinese, for starters. It might also make their competitors see a weakness - that weakness being a desire for autonomy. If D&G were owned by one of the huge multinationals like LVMH, you can guarantee this wouldn't have happened in the first place. The faux-pas would have been avoided. However, let's say it did happen on their watch; they would not hesitate to sacrifice the D&G brand's desires by outsourcing everything to appease the offended, trying to rehabilitate it in a manner that maximises profit and stability at all costs i.e. zero conflict, leading to the aforementioned harmony. And the fact that D&G is still self owned no doubt looks like a threat, because it is autonomous...to a degree. They were free to make the mistakes they made in the first place, which YSL, Gucci or whoever else are not. Perhaps the big beauty conglomerates look at D&G's precarious position and use their autonomy (which could be construed as disobedient) to convince the Chinese to freeze them out of China to some degree or another, aware that in doing so the brand will decline and it could be acquired once it passes the point of salvation without acquisition. I wondered if this might be what has been behind the decline of Calvin Klein but a quick google reveals they were bought by PVH in 2003, who are currently 'celebrating Asian heritage month' so I don't think it applies. But the principle of being under huge pressure to 'get it right' still stands; the idea of commercial legality doesn't apply in China, so deliberately undermining one brand in order to aid receptive, friendly multinationals that are keen on acquiring said brand isn't out of the question - if unlikely given the extent and size of the faux pas we're discussing.

    However, that's just the ad campaign. The 'real' ad campaign - or the 'legacy' one. Posters, TV ad, model etc. Many PR companies wouldn't want to touch a 'toxic' brand that was in threat of another cancellation (i.e. they don't want to sign up to 'the template') given the potential backlash. It's possible that, without enough external pressure, they are blacklisted and strong-armed in to the situation I described above. This is how it works, this is the slippery slope of getting on the wrong side of the hegemony. On top of this, the 'new' advertising and public branding really occurs on social media; it's the influencers on youtube, the commentary on twitter and facebook, and perhaps even on some fragrance-based websites as well. All of this can be analysed and studied in precise detail due to the sale of data, the public nature of social media, and the relative ease of access each user has to the public forum (although this freedom is being reduced each year to avoid dissent that would advocate for individual liberty and freedom, as these are major threats to the new media landscape despite being foundational principles of the west - hence, the same subversion in a different form). By kicking up the dust of division in the western world, by enabling people who are prone to self-righteousness through witch-hunt activism, getting D&G to 'trend' on a site like twitter would be the kind of pressure that can cost a brand it's reputation. The unfounded rumours about Tommy Hilfiger have lasted in people's minds til today - while the world is far more ephemeral and forgetful in the present day, it's still possible to create a toxic association with a brand if you expose enough people to a manufactured/encouraged 'narrative debate' on social media.

    So, really, I think the reality of the modern world makes individual disobedience against the hierarchy technically impossible. It's like a dam breaking, once cracks appear then the process of dismantling the hierarchy occurs rapidly, but enough people are incentivised to maintain the current system of subversion in the west and totalitarianism in the east to keep the status quo. In particular, the middle management and middle classes of both the west and the east understand the huge personal benefits for keeping quiet. The rewards for their silence and employment in profitable sectors are enough to convince them of the utility of not doing anything. Which, you know, that's the root of all ideology - what really matters? It's hard to say. D&G could try to stand up to China, avoid the necessary steps of humiliation, but at what cost? Particularly when those costs are compounded again and again, well beyond what ought to technically be the direct reach of the group they are opposing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Challenge question to vector in the right direction - what parts of colonialism is China doing right? Throw away all outraged answers to find the truth and solve multiple problems.[/COLOR]
    Having said quite a lot, I'll wrap this one up quickly. I do think the western world's decline is somewhat overstated. At least, some of the west will survive whatever happens in this attempt to harmonise opposites, even if the old ideals are and will produce immense suffering and destruction within its territories and for its people. Individualism and liberty are powerful ideas that push humans to higher purpose and meaning; they drive innovation, and the supranational networks that are in essence managing the new power dynamics - above and beyond the old ideas of government, nation state etc - are well aware of this. They know it is a powerful ideology and social practice and that allowing any 'one' group to win is unacceptable: individualism and liberty will be included within the future state of humanity, just not as a universal value at the present as that would extend the global differences and increase the chances of destructive global conflict. I would be surprised if many within China, including the elite themselves, aren't well aware of this as well. Their future doesn't lie in the CCP, by now it is is merely a means of swift and efficient technological advancement, to compete with and ensure survival with the rest of the world, and to break up the global dominance of the west, which it has now achieved.
    “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    @slpfrsly,

    "Having said quite a lot, ....", and finding I agree with so much of it, I'll just say thanks!

    Yes, D&G is in a bit of a tight spot. Doing anything non-standard to get out of it - almost certainly necessary if they actually want out - probably not in the cards. "Not my company" - they will do what's right for them - hopefully!
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    Smells like a lot of sinophobia in here. I’m no tanky and there’s loads to criticize about the Chinese government, there also seems to be a lot of conflation with Chinese people.
    Im also wary about claims that that the west has gone weak or is somehow effete or weakened by decadence compared to China because this is usually followed by some fascism fetish about “strength” and pointing the finger at “political correctness gone mad” and “identity politics” , etc. as the reason. I’m not saying you are doing this, but it’s important to be aware of who is pushing certain agendas and how we want to define strength. It’s also important to be aware that most foreign countries are fully aware of certain internal conflicts such as racism and the west’s desire to avoid it and this is fully weaponized and exploited, both as a way to cause internal conflict but also by foreign nations to paint themselves as victims. This is no secret, and it’s been on the play books for decades.
    The west can both work to combat racism internally and be vigilant of it being exploited.
    Well said. I've been watching the exchanges here and keeping my mouth shut on the debate at hand, which seems only tangentially related to the OP topic at this point. You've encapsulated my thoughts better than I could.

    I can only add that Shiseido is Japanese and not Chinese. They don't have much concern for Chinese cultural or social politics, beyond towing the line to sell there. China banned sale of D&G products, global sales fell dramatically. Simple math really. D&G can always go back to Euroitalia, P&G, or hire Interparfums, Coty Prestige, Puig, or someone like that to pick up the ball pretty easily.

    I just wish/hope all participants above chalk it up to a fundamental disagreement in worldview and agree to differ from each other without animosity, because the alternating venom and thesis-length dissertations just dig a deeper hole.

    When all else fails, I champion the ignore feature. Tuning out what or who you cannot abide is healthier than having enemies on a perfume board, which seems silly to me.
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    Default Re: Shiseido To Cancel Dolce and Gabbana Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    Smells like a lot of sinophobia in here. I’m no tanky and there’s loads to criticize about the Chinese government, there also seems to be a lot of conflation with Chinese people.
    Im also wary about claims that that the west has gone weak or is somehow effete or weakened by decadence compared to China because this is usually followed by some fascism fetish about “strength” and pointing the finger at “political correctness gone mad” and “identity politics” , etc. as the reason. I’m not saying you are doing this, but it’s important to be aware of who is pushing certain agendas and how we want to define strength. It’s also important to be aware that most foreign countries are fully aware of certain internal conflicts such as racism and the west’s desire to avoid it and this is fully weaponized and exploited, both as a way to cause internal conflict but also by foreign nations to paint themselves as victims. This is no secret, and it’s been on the play books for decades.
    The west can both work to combat racism internally and be vigilant of it being exploited.
    I can see how one might read it that way but there's no intention to come to any sort of outdated or braindead conclusions on my part. I assume it's the same for everyone else. The last 12 months has basically convinced me - and I'm sure many others - that what might have once seemed possible with regard to saving the remnants of the Enlightened, self-interested West, where self-advocacy is the norm, is now futile to even think about. It's over, it's done. Individual liberty is quite literally finished once you prevent almost all of the free world's populations from moving for a year (apart from those who work in a choice selection of industries), preventing both work and worship in the process (but not rioting). It's done. Either these are universal beliefs or they are not - we have had the unequivocal answer this year and the future is very much a global one, with the only universal values being relative ones i.e. prone to changing, hard to understand and uphold among populations. As I said, this decline is nothing new, and doesn't need any sort of silly conclusion or 'solution' to recognise the fact that the removal of the monarchy in France, and around Europe in the beginning of the 20th Century, set the wheels in motion for a monumental struggle for a new hierachy in Europe, and its one that was lost to the US in 1945 and in turn the US gradually handed their power over to China during the last few decades, a process which is far from finished. The remnants of the West will probably be precisely that - they'll be the heavily redacted or protected intellectual works of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, possibly fragmented to avoid the present atomisation and deracination of the western people becoming a consciousness that they have by far the most to lose from the prospective future. The internet is a danger resource, hence its rapid and increasing regulation, another loss of individual, personal liberty in the name of the new world. This loss of individual autonomy, and therefore the loss of self advocacy as has become patently obvious in the last year, is something to bemoan without fetishising 'strength', because it's the root of everything. Everyone has the right to act in their individual and collective self-interest and in this sense I wouldn't for one moment begrudge China or the Chinese govt from doing the same. Perhaps some people don't agree and feel the need for a 'boogeyman' to replace the USSR or whatever but I'm clear-headed on this and it comes from first principle.

    To finally bring this all back to perfume (!) all of this simply reinforces the point that there's almost nothing D&G can do. Once you slip up, I honestly think you have to take the medicine of the day. They're not going to be the seed that germinates some kind of huge awakenening in the west that the huge hypocrisy between the way the west capitulates to others in the name of progress, while destroying its own self interest, is cultural masochism haha. Commerce is never going to be the answer to that problem, it's quite literally one of the biggest drivers of the practically seamless subversion of the west. They have to just grin and bear it; much of this global change relies on individuals valuing personal wealth and prestige over values or duty, thus two men who are very used to a life of luxury as part of the cultural elite are not going to give that up and allow their brand to be taken over, or run in to the ground.

    I've always liked D&G's fragrances. They have an unfair reputation in my view. The One EDT is an absolute banger and marked a sea change in the way men thought about fragrances: out with the aquatics, in with the warm pseudo-orientals. The One Gentleman, as mentioned in a previous post, is a brilliantly understated nouveau fougere for young men not ready or willing to spend big on something like Masculin Pluriel. Light Blue Eau Intense is basically the ambroxan-fruity-aquatic honed in to its most streamlined and cohesive form; the Swimming In Lipari flanker is an excellent, saline take on the same theme and probably the best 'gym brah' scent I've tried.

    I also think their Velvet collection has some understated golden nuggets as well, taking the best of Tom Ford's and Armani's private lines. Desert Oud is a nice, wearable, leather-incense-'oud'. Amber Sun is a lovely gourmand amber, at least as good as MFKs' Grand Soir. Velvet Cypress is a fantastic, fresh, simple, pure idea of green woodyness. I could go on.

    While Dior and Chanel are evidently the market leaders driving the change at the vanguard of the perfume world, I find myself being more drawn to D&G as a house than either of those two. Their fragrances are more wearable, in my view. Give me Light Blue Intense over Sauvage or Bleu de Chanel. They feel more...simple, yet at the same time more interesting, too. I can't deny that Sauvage is popular, or that Dior were at the forefront of the orris revolution, or that Chanel have a range of lovely modernised citric-colognes in the Allure line that marry tradition with a sense of modern, active masculinity. But at the same time there's something endearing about D&G's more 'everyman' approach. I haven't tried K or any of its flankers but this might be the push I need to do exactly that. I'm interested to see how it holds up against the competition.

    Finally, I'd encourage the discussion to move back to fragrances and D&G. It's clear that D&G's faux-pas has had huge commercial consequences, no one can deny that. Given the way that all luxury brands have had to severely readjust over the last year - with the good fortune that their businesses are fairly 'frivolous' and highly profitable, so can afford to make many sacrifices before any real pain and suffering occurs - I wonder if/how D&G will survive this? As I said, it would be a massive shame to see them turn in to the next Calvin Klein.
    “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
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    Replies: 13
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  2. "Dolce and Gabbana The One" or "Dolce and Gabbana Pour Homme?"
    By TotakekeSlider in forum Just Starting Out
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  3. Anyone a fan of dolce and gabbana for men?
    By van1ty in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 20th February 2015, 07:44 PM
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  5. Similar to Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana
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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000