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  1. #1
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    Default What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I think people often preach purchasing only what you truly love but I think there’s a more fluid scale of like-ability people might use to decide to make a purchase. I think as long as you choose your threshold philosophically and logically rather than emotionally there’s no problem purchasing something that you don’t “absolutely fall in love with”. There are similar threads but they are almost looking for advice on how to stop purchasing. Nobody has asked the philosophical question.

    Here’s a rough scale, what level do you need to reach before purchasing.
    1. It smells like something
    2. I dislike the smell generally
    3. I strongly dislike only one or two aspects of the fragrance
    4. An average fragrance. Does not capture me at first sniff.
    5. An average fragrance, but is there more to it that I haven’t discovered yet?
    6. A unique fragrance- interesting but off putting or challenging. Not even a like at first sniff but clearly interesting. (I can see how this might be higher for some people who love the challenge)
    7. Finally a high quality pleasant smell! But do I need this? What is it’s purpose here? Will get lost in the shuffle eventually.
    8. Fantastic smell! Not your style/price/redundant
    9. Best fragrance I’ve smelled this year! Will get lost in the shuffle of my collection. (Perhaps a purchase for reference or collection?)
    10. Transcendence. Never return to earth again. Welcome to Nirvana. (But wait it’s not on sale, jk).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I think a lot of these can be justified. Even fragrances we dislike might be be bought for reference or collection.

    Personally I will not buy 6. I can not justify owning a perfume that makes me feel awkward when I wear it out. Though I might have a sample for occasional sniffing.

    Philosophically i will not purchase a 7, but emotionally I have before made these purchases.

    For me 8 is where I chose to buy. I have to be really enjoying the fragrance. Not fitting my style or being redundant is ok with me because I often give them away and I kind of like always bringing in new competition for my current colllextion and the losers are gifted away.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I don't know that this is quite the scale I would use. I do a lot of blind-buying and then reselling/swapping.

    I would say the fragrances I keep I keep because of an affirmative answer to the following:

    Does this fragrance have a unique expression of an accord that I will want to revisit again and again and would miss when I no longer have it in my collection?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I don't invest that much energy in exquisite self-questioning detail. I blind buy all the time, if I'm sufficiently intrigued by the notes, admire the house, have read positive reviews from people whose tastes seem similar to mine, and the price is not exorbitant. I don't have unbalanced expectations, so it's always a pleasant surprise when I love something, but not devastating if I don't.

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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    For me, it's simple, if it fits my criteria for my collection, there is no threshold.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Interesting post. I wrote something similar to this a few months ago: https://www.fragrantica.com/board/vi...32217#p5832217

    As mentioned by others, I find your scale to be interesting but slightly confusing.

    Instead, I'd take the 1-10 approach differently.

    1-3: absolutely atrocious to unwearable and 'bad'.

    4-5: not good, flawed in some major way.

    6: par, the epitome of 'good enough'. Nothing outstanding, nothing overly negative. On the other hand, it could have some exceptional qualities that are balanced out by some very weak points. Hence, par.

    7-8: very good fragrances, solid, reliable, interesting, accomplished. Good scents.

    9: exceptional, something that stands out from the pack in one or several significant ways.

    10: basically flawless.



    That said, this numerical list factors in a range of what you've separated in your scale: things like wearability, price, 'uniqueness' and so on. All of those things come in to consideration for a purchase.

    I think this is the difference between a buyer and a wearer. Buyers will buy indiscriminately and then fill in the logic after the fact; effectively, justifying the purchasing with notions of collecting, or that the new scent is 'worth it', or whatever. Whereas wearers are far more likely to be highly selective and accept that all of us naturally gravitate to a small number of fragrances, irrespective of how many we own, and that these are the only ones worth wearing (because life's too short to smell bad)!

    I think any sort of threshold or scale that is being used to explain collecting, or a large number of fragrances, is likely to be falling in to 'post-purchase logic'. I.e. the actual scale is dictated by the wants, whims, and wishes of consumerist behaviour, rather than the other way around: purchasing influenced by principles, goals, real needs and so on. I think it's just a matter of time for the former logic to become the latter logic, to realise that there is no finality let alone any sense of rational approach to a large number of fragrances unless you are super wealthy to the point money isn't a problem and have accomplished near enough everything you want to in life; for everyone else, this social media-driven consumerism is an inability to decide along with an acceptance of modern commercial stategies that encourage this sort of consumer attitude, not a rational assessment of options, wants and needs. Some people are content with this as this sort of consumerism is perhaps their only vice but it does not come out of principles. For most people, after a while, this becomes clear and if you're constantly in search of something new, something 'better', then this realisation of what really drives you to 'collect' becomes one you can't escape from. You can't go 'back' to telling yourself that, yes, a 'collection' is a perfectly well-reasoned thing you intended to create when you first started a. buying perfumes and b. consuming fragrance content online. At which point, the desire for a truly rational approach occurs (which I sense is the point you're now getting to in starting this topic!), and at this point it's just another matter of time until you realise that it truly is about only owning what you 'love', with a full understanding of what that love really is in relation to fragrance - and, perhaps more importantly, what fragrance is not and never will be.
    “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

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl57 View Post
    I think people often preach purchasing only what you truly love but I think there’s a more fluid scale of like-ability people might use to decide to make a purchase. I think as long as you choose your threshold philosophically and logically rather than emotionally there’s no problem purchasing something that you don’t “absolutely fall in love with”. There are similar threads but they are almost looking for advice on how to stop purchasing. Nobody has asked the philosophical question.

    Here’s a rough scale, what level do you need to reach before purchasing.
    1. It smells like something
    2. I dislike the smell generally
    3. I strongly dislike only one or two aspects of the fragrance
    4. An average fragrance. Does not capture me at first sniff.
    5. An average fragrance, but is there more to it that I haven’t discovered yet?
    6. A unique fragrance- interesting but off putting or challenging. Not even a like at first sniff but clearly interesting. (I can see how this might be higher for some people who love the challenge)
    7. Finally a high quality pleasant smell! But do I need this? What is it’s purpose here? Will get lost in the shuffle eventually.
    8. Fantastic smell! Not your style/price/redundant
    9. Best fragrance I’ve smelled this year! Will get lost in the shuffle of my collection. (Perhaps a purchase for reference or collection?)
    10. Transcendence. Never return to earth again. Welcome to Nirvana. (But wait it’s not on sale, jk).
    I have a similar reasoning to Brooks. Even though now, it admit that I mostly limit my new purchases exclusively to publicly wearable stuff (I have enough challenging/blod stuff that I wear too rarely), and it has to have something really different compared to what I already own. Also, I now want my new purchase to delight me from top to base, so I probably for me, the 'single accord' wouldn't be enough anymore.

    So as for Brooks, I do a lot of blind buying and then resell (or at least, soon will I), but in order to keep it in my wardrobe, I initially needed a 5 or 6, while now it has to be at least an 8, more probably a 9. That said, it is not impossible that new blind buys that result redundant take the place of a previous frag that I didn't consider getting rid of before that new purchase...

  8. #8

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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I often would buy 7, as well as 6. 8 however perhaps less so.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I don't quite see it your way. I can see where you are coming from, and like your logical approach, but I do see some issues..

    Where you say "first sniff" - well there are heaps of scents that I haven't liked at first sniff because of the top notes, which I later found to be quite excellent in the actual wearing. And even when I've sprayed some on my hand and waited three hours before evaluating, I later found the scent much better in the wearing.

    Where does price come into your scale?
    I've bought stacks of scents at ridiculously discounted prices - often as blind buys - and have been quite pleased with the purchases.
    If something you perceive as "average" is at full price, and a scent you perceive as a better "average" scent than the latter is ridiculously discounted - would you pass on both or take the one that is 80% off?

    When you say an "average scent", well I agree, to everyone's nose some scents will smell mediocre or lame.

    But are they really? What are they like to other people's noses - especially females. I always keep in mind that particularly for big branded scents that have flopped and are hugely discounted - that a very capable perfumer probably put a lot of work into it, and didn't think that he or she was making rubbish.What were they really trying to achieve?

    Where you say - "But do I need this? What is it’s purpose here? Will get lost in the shuffle eventually" - My answers are often "No, I don't need it. It has no purpose, and most probably it will get lost in the shuffle - but who cares? It's my money and I'll buy it if I feel like it".

    And most importantly, where you say "I dislike the smell generally".
    When I started this hobby, I just bought scents that I really liked. Result was a whole bunch scents in two categories of the H&R Chart/Leffingwell chart (i.e. Fresh Fougeres and Ambery Fougeres) as I hadn't bought scents I wasn't taken with, or disliked.

    I realised that in having done so, I wasn't really appreciating the totality of the scents out there and what others were experiencing. So I forced myself to buy Chypres and Orientals and wear them. I even wore Grey Flannel, which I still don't think much of, and What About Adam? which to date I still detest. But luckily, far more scents that I hadn't been particularly fond of, did begin to grow on me, and I did become very fond of them.

    To summarize, I think the filters you are effectively applying in your list may lead to your missing on good scents for you, or limiting yourself to a narrow range and ultimately missing out on other scents you would appreciate in the course of time.
    On the other hand - you are probably saving heaps of money.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    For me, on your scale, I usually won’t make a purchase unless at least an 8. And I seem to have a purchase threshold of under $600 too. If it’s not n the $500’s or below, I typically disregard it. And obviously those 3, 4, 5 hundred dollar fragrances are few and far between!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Once my collection grew much larger than I could ever use, I found my purchase threshold has become much higher. Before, I blind-bought quite often, and would often buy ones that I "liked". Now I really need to find it amazing for me to pull the trigger. I realized that every one I add to my collection diminishes the others that are already in my collection, and I already have way too many that I enjoy and don't even get to wear every year.
    Current Winter Favorites:

    1. House of Matriarch - Blackbird
    2. Brückner - Aoud 1
    3. Creed - Royal Oud
    4. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Generation Man
    5. Armani Privé - Oud Royal
    6. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    7. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Mortal Skin
    8. Creed - Royal English Leather
    9. Creed - Bois du Portugal
    10. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Once my collection grew much larger than I could ever use, I found my purchase threshold has become much higher. Before, I blind-bought quite often, and would often buy ones that I "liked". Now I really need to find it amazing for me to pull the trigger. I realized that every one I add to my collection diminishes the others that are already in my collection, and I already have way too many that I enjoy and don't even get to wear every year.
    I feel this way too

  13. #13

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Once my collection grew much larger than I could ever use, I found my purchase threshold has become much higher. Before, I blind-bought quite often, and would often buy ones that I "liked". Now I really need to find it amazing for me to pull the trigger. I realized that every one I add to my collection diminishes the others that are already in my collection, and I already have way too many that I enjoy and don't even get to wear every year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah1919 View Post
    I feel this way too
    Yup, same here.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I don't know that this is quite the scale I would use. I do a lot of blind-buying and then reselling/swapping.

    I would say the fragrances I keep I keep because of an affirmative answer to the following:

    Does this fragrance have a unique expression of an accord that I will want to revisit again and again and would miss when I no longer have it in my collection?
    +1 if it smells good and is unique and performs well I’m gonna buy it if it ends up not my style I resell it no need to go too in-depth about whether to buy it imo if others mention excellent of the things I look for in a fragrance.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl57 View Post
    There are similar threads but they are almost looking for advice on how to stop purchasing. Nobody has asked the philosophical question.
    Btw if you're interested in this I will humbly suggest a blog post of mine that may be of interest to you: https://www.basenotes.net/entries/12...the-way-Part-1

    There is a fair amount of 'how to avoid overspending', as well as the other pitfalls and traps that 'newbies' would do well to avoid, but there's also a focus on what to value as well. You (and others) might find something useful there if you find yourself drawn to that sort of question.
    “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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Yeah it has to reach 9 or 10.

    But my scale would still require like 5ml worth of testing the fragrance and me still feeling that way, and would have to fit me well

  17. #17

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Any rational decision is also an emotional decision, as neuroscientists have shown. I do a lot of research before buying anything. The vast majority of my purchases have been blind buys and mostly quite successful. I don't think there's any particular threshold for me, it depends on the fragrance and available info etc.
    Spray less, love more.

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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I always go for broke.... until I'm broke.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Usually have to perceive the fragrance as ranked between 6-10, ideally 8 or over, to finally pass the threshold towards a definitive purchasing decision
    Currently wearing: Open by Roger & Gallet

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    1-4. Awful.
    5. Bearable.
    6. Bad, but it has some good parts.
    7. Good, mkey.
    8. Very good.
    -------------
    9. Excellent. But there are some perfumes even better than these.
    10. Awesome.

    I will buy 9 and 10.
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  21. #21

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    For me, it's more like a Venn diagram where a variety of factors need to intersect rather than a tiered list.

    For example, something could be not unique, which would put it low on the list. But if it's best in that genre, or a genre I particularly like and wear a lot, then it might be worth getting.

    It might be more useful to make like a cloud of factors that encourage or discourage purchase but I'm not about to make that diagram LOL.

    In general though, I don't have a collector mindset so I don't buy anything that I don't love wearing just to have it.
    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
    -John Cage

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanuel76 View Post
    1-4. Awful.
    5. Bearable.
    6. Bad, but it has some good parts.
    7. Good, mkey.
    8. Very good.
    -------------
    9. Excellent. But there are some perfumes even better than these.
    10. Awesome.

    I will buy 9 and 10.
    Yours is interesting! Just out of curiosity, 8’s are Very Good.....but what would be the details or reasons for you to pass on a very good fragrance? And maybe what is one example of one that you thought was very good, but didn’t buy? Thanks

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah1919 View Post
    Yours is interesting! Just out of curiosity, 8’s are Very Good.....but what would be the details or reasons for you to pass on a very good fragrance? And maybe what is one example of one that you thought was very good, but didn’t buy? Thanks
    1. A redundant fragrance which I don't like as much as a similar perfume I already own.
    Farmacia SS Annunziata - Patchouly Indonesiano vs Etro - Patchouly (vintage EDC)
    Sultan Pasha - Basmati Rose vs Aramis - Calligraphy Rose

    2. A fragrance that contains a note/accord that I do not necessarily like. But that doesn't mean I can't be objective.
    Chanel - Coromandel - soapy/detergent/linen musk.

    3. A note/accord slightly too pronounced for my taste, which obscures (a little) the part that interested me.
    Sultan Pasha - Tabac Grande - the balsamic "boozy" accord obscures the tobacco too much. Even if it's very good (the balsamic "boozy" accord), I would have preferred to smell the tobacco instead.

    4. Too faint/ghostly for my nose, temporary anosmia. I lose the interest obsessively smelling my wrist trying to catch it.
    Ortigia - Ambra Nera

    5. The vintage version is (much) better. I really loved it, but now, since I discovered the vintage version, I downgraded it.
    Aramis - Havana
    Etro - Patchouly
    Chanel - Antaeus

    6. I don't konw... Something is missing.
    Revillon - French Line (8,5/10) - more animalics would have helped, or a more interesting texture, or a more intriguing plot.
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanuel76 View Post
    1. A redundant fragrance which I don't like as much as a similar perfume I already own.
    Farmacia SS Annunziata - Patchouly Indonesiano vs Etro - Patchouly (vintage EDC)
    Sultan Pasha - Basmati Rose vs Aramis - Calligraphy Rose

    2. A fragrance that contains a note/accord that I do not necessarily like. But that doesn't mean I can't be objective.
    Chanel - Coromandel - soapy/detergent/linen musk.

    3. A note/accord slightly too pronounced for my taste, which obscures (a little) the part that interested me.
    Sultan Pasha - Tabac Grande - the balsamic "boozy" accord obscures the tobacco too much. Even if it's very good (balsamic "boozy" accord), I would have preferred to smell the tobacco instead.

    4. Too faint/ghostly for my nose, temporary anosmia. I lose the interest obsessively smelling my wrist trying to catch it.
    Ortigia - Ambra Nera

    5. The vintage version is (much) better. I really loved it, but now, since I discovered the vintage version, I downgraded it.
    Aramis - Havana
    Etro - Patchouly
    Chanel - Antaeus

    6. I don't konw... Something is missing.
    Revillon - French Line (8,5/10) - more animalics would have helped, or a more interesting texture, or a more intriguing plot.
    I definitely see your point of view, and interestingly enough, I agree with you on Tabac Grande and most Sultan Pasha stuff for that matter! I’d have no problem classifying most as very good, but there’s something about them, I just can’t handle.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I’d say this has shifted as my collection has grown. When I first started, I would happily pull the trigger on a 2-3 - if it smells nice, isn’t too expensive, why not kinda mentality. When I hit 20 or so bottles, then it was more a matter of deciding “is this the best of its class,” even if it was still something cheap/basic.

    Now that I have about 80 bottles, I’m really only interested in things that either 1) exceed the quality (but not the price) of current similar fragrances in my collection, 2) offer a unique take on the notes/accords I tend to gravitate toward, or 3) - and this one is becoming increasingly rare - it offers an accord or note that I’ve never smelled in a fragrance before. I used to be fine with random designer ouds, like Versace Oud Noir for example, but these days, if it’s not verified real Oud or masterfully blended, it’s a hard pass.

    I will also say that I’m pretty tough to disappoint, and most of my purchases have found some purpose or other. Even if it ends up as a room spray, I’ll find a use for everything I buy.
    Last edited by jkonick; 11th May 2021 at 11:00 PM.
    “I have often observed that [scents] cause an alteration in me and work upon my spirits according to their several virtues; which makes me approve of what is said, that the use of incense and perfumes in churches, so ancient and so universally received in all nations and religions, was intended to cheer us, and to rouse and purify the senses, the better to fit us for contemplation” - Montaigne
    Currently wearing: Greyland by Montale

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Love at first sniff, usually. If it's niche or hard to come by, then only if the performance is good enough.

    Last frags that had that affect on me were Nicholaï Parfumeur Createur New York Intense and Guerlain Homme l'Eau Boiseé. Immediately bought 100ml bottles after sampling from decants.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    When I was adding fragrances to my collection: If it's something that I enjoy a lot and something that I would reach for then I would that bottle into consideration for a purchase.

    Now's its almost exclusively backups of stuff that I already own.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    For me, it's pretty simple:

    Obviously, I need to love the smell of the scent... and also:
    It needs to suit my style.
    It needs to wear well.
    It needs to be something I'd have occasions to wear.

    Sartorial is excellent but it doesn't suit me.
    Cologne Bigarade smells fantastic, but it doesn't wear well for me (it's too quiet and short lived on me).
    Virgin Island Water is wonderful, but smelling like I'm on a tropical vacation feels out of place in my downtown big city life.

    Anything that smells harsh or has a blatantly chemical smell gets an automatic veto from me even if it's free.
    Current Favorites (in no particular order)
    Castile
    Boy Chanel
    Endymion
    Royal Oud
    APOM
    Curve
    1725 Casanova
    Tabac Rouge
    Reflection Man
    Green Irish Tweed
    Tom Ford Extreme
    Interlude Man
    Chanel Eau De Cologne
    Aqua Universalis
    Terre d'Hermes Parfum
    Pomelo Paradis
    Amouage Silver Man
    Hanae Mori H.M. EDT
    "Live in the moment. Never count on longevity." --Yeasayer

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    I just have to love the way it smells.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: What is your threshold for making a purchase

    Smell and price!




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