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  1. #31
    Missing Oakmoss

    Bonnette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowartisttxl View Post
    Is it as simple as "liking" or "disliking" a fragrance and that's that?
    That's pretty much it, for me. If I like a perfume that has poor longevity or projection, I just apply it more frequently; if I don't like something, no measures of "performance" mean anything, because I won't wear anything I don't like in the first place.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    I'm with Socrates here. I don't really get the "I just like what I like, I just follow my nose" camp. Do you ever think beyond that to consider why you like or don't like things? It's not like your nose is a disembodied mechanism making proclamations you must not question. I'm pretty sure it is attached to that great organ of critical thinking between your ears.

    quote-the-unexamined-life-is-not-worth-living-socrates-66-86-80.jpg
    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
    -John Cage

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    Do you ever think beyond that to consider why you like or don't like things?
    Sure. But the shipped has sailed on my assessment by that time.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Interesting, so you mean your instinctual like/dislike reaction is too strong to be swayed by any thinking after the fact?

    I'd also add that no amount of intellectualizing can make you like/dislike a fragrance that you don't already. But I think at the most basic level we at least notice patterns in our likes and dislikes that develop into taste that influences what we seek out. And that our likes and dislikes expand and develop through experience.

    Sorry I have an axe to grind on this subject lol. I'm a musician who went to grad school and it drives me nuts the air of anti-intellectual mystery that pervades the discourse on music and likewise fragrance.

    I love your posts though Bavard. Your dry matter of fact style always reminded me of Andy Warhol's detached ironic manner in interviews (please take this as a compliment haha).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Sure. But the shipped has sailed on my assessment by that time.
    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
    -John Cage

  5. #35

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    The Wafts from the Lofts guys had a fantastic conversation on this matter in a recent video. I knew there was a reason I connect with them so much, of course they are musicians!

    time stamped for ease
    https://youtu.be/Dm7b9TBei_w?t=2018

    OK I have too much free time today, I should go practice scales.
    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
    -John Cage

  6. #36

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    I'm with Socrates here. I don't really get the "I just like what I like, I just follow my nose" camp. Do you ever think beyond that to consider why you like or don't like things? It's not like your nose is a disembodied mechanism making proclamations you must not question. I'm pretty sure it is attached to that great organ of critical thinking between your ears.

    quote-the-unexamined-life-is-not-worth-living-socrates-66-86-80.jpg
    The constantly examined life is not worth living either. Balance is key. I have a tendency to overanalyze and it can get quite wearisome. I'm not into this hobby for rational or intellectual reasons (thank god).
    Spray less, love more.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Well, that's certainly the most practical application, in the sense that buying fragrances is ever practical.
    Ha! But of course! Indeed, it seems that the best things in life are distinguished by being practically useless!

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    That's dangerous to your credibility haha. <3
    LMAO!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post
    I also treat fragrances similarly to music, particularly emotion being conveyed using smell. The story the fragrance tells, or the character it tries to convey is important to me.



    I need fragrances that convey a character that resonates with what I would want to project myself.
    I'm with you! I want to be moved by fragrance. I want the whole song or story - maybe more!

    Perfume is a fine macguffin, carrying its own story in wonderful symbols, but perfumery writ large is a fine performance art, too, and I want to enjoy it all. The kuroko running around at IFF and Givaudan are as much a part of it as the directors, producers, and screenplay writers, but we in the audience are part of it, too.
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    Interesting, so you mean your instinctual like/dislike reaction is too strong to be swayed by any thinking after the fact?

    I'd also add that no amount of intellectualizing can make you like/dislike a fragrance that you don't already. But I think at the most basic level we at least notice patterns in our likes and dislikes that develop into taste that influences what we seek out. And that our likes and dislikes expand and develop through experience.

    Sorry I have an axe to grind on this subject lol. I'm a musician who went to grad school and it drives me nuts the air of anti-intellectual mystery that pervades the discourse on music and likewise fragrance.

    I love your posts though Bavard. Your dry matter of fact style always reminded me of Andy Warhol's detached ironic manner in interviews (please take this as a compliment haha).
    I hear you!

    Our minds change about things, and thus a new and different assessment may emerge, but the question is how much conscious thought, reason, and deliberation we inject into that loop. Free choice here makes the choice to engage rewarding, IMO. I like being free to short-circuit to "YUK!" - and to then correct that error at my leisure. So many wonderful reversals on fragrances, now in my collection!

    Quote Originally Posted by motorcade View Post
    The constantly examined life is not worth living either. Balance is key. I have a tendency to overanalyze and it can get quite wearisome. I'm not into this hobby for rational or intellectual reasons (thank god).
    I hear this, too! Choosing where, when, and how to overthink, underthink, or find balance, makes life very rewarding. Sometimes I just want to smell good. Sometimes, I want to be inspired!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  10. #40

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    I'd also add that no amount of intellectualizing can make you like/dislike a fragrance that you don't already.
    I used to believe that I have a pretty keen idea of whether I like something based on just wearing it once, but Celine's Saint-Germain-des-Prés proved me wrong. I went from hating it, to tolerating it, to loving it. I do think I started loving it when I finally "understood" it.

    Quote Originally Posted by motorcade View Post
    The constantly examined life is not worth living either. Balance is key. I have a tendency to overanalyze and it can get quite wearisome. I'm not into this hobby for rational or intellectual reasons (thank god).
    Okay, I agree with you as well. Balance seems to be the key to most things!

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    Interesting, so you mean your instinctual like/dislike reaction is too strong to be swayed by any thinking after the fact?
    That seems to be the case, at least often, maybe usually.

    The scenario described above where my favorite reviewers pan a fragrance I like happens from time to time. In those cases, given time, I've tended to come around on why they don't like them (Platinum Egoiste, 1932, others).

    I also brood over why people, including those same favorite reviewers, like some perfumes so much, but in that case, I have more trouble meeting them half way (Kouros, Dunhill Blend 30, others).

    What can change my opinion more, seemingly, is finding some beauty in the base that I learn to associate with the opening and/or smelling the perfume on someone else and being turned on.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    I'd also add that no amount of intellectualizing can make you like/dislike a fragrance that you don't already. But I think at the most basic level we at least notice patterns in our likes and dislikes that develop into taste that influences what we seek out. And that our likes and dislikes expand and develop through experience.
    Acquired taste is interesting. If something smells like too much to me, I think I can get used to it in a lower concentration, and then appreciate it more at the higher concentration, in theory. I think this happens at the margins, and can prepare me to like something I wouldn't have liked without the same exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    Sorry I have an axe to grind on this subject lol. I'm a musician who went to grad school and it drives me nuts the air of anti-intellectual mystery that pervades the discourse on music and likewise fragrance.
    Anti-intellectual mystification isn't great, I agree, so if everything I like features patchouli, I agree it would be more ideal to be aware of the pattern than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    I love your posts though Bavard. Your dry matter of fact style always reminded me of Andy Warhol's detached ironic manner in interviews (please take this as a compliment haha).
    I'm not that up on Warhol, so couldn't take offense, but coincidentally, I'm planning to go to the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh in a couple weeks.

  12. #42
    Dependent MELVCMS01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Few things for me,

    99.9% of my buys are all blind.

    So I've been doing this a while and have alot of experience through trial and error lol

    The benefit of that, is that I'm acutely aware of what I like and don't like.

    So looking at a note pyramid is all the confidence I generally need.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by MELVCMS01 View Post
    Few things for me,

    99.9% of my buys are all blind.

    So I've been doing this a while and have alot of experience through trial and error lol

    The benefit of that, is that I'm acutely aware of what I like and don't like.

    So looking at a note pyramid is all the confidence I generally need.
    I wish I was at that confidence level. I've made some terrible blind buy choices based on the note pyramid. But it has taught me with certain notes (especially iris) to proceed with caution as it may wander into the too-powdery zone.

    I'm also still very much in the beginner stage myself and still learning.
    Avatar picture by Fougasse (Cyril Kenneth Bird), 1944
    Currently wearing: psy_cou by Nomenclature

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    My judgment of fragrance starts with the visceral: how strongly do I like or dislike it. After that, it's all about figuring out why, which is as much a quest for self-knowledge as for knowledge of perfumery.
    Ditto.
    Current Top Ten:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Jasmin Antique (Rogue Perfumery)

    3) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie
    3) Giorgio V.I.P. Special Reserve (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie

    5) Dia pour Homme vintage edt (Amouage)

    6) Nombre Noir (Shiseido)
    7) Lucifer (Renaissance Fragrances)
    8) Polo vintage (Ralph Lauren)
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy)
    10)Vetifleur (Rogue Perfumery)


  15. #45
    Super Member Wild Gardener's Avatar
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Many of the above + originality.
    I'm fed up with the same idea recycled over and over ...
    Last edited by Wild Gardener; 27th June 2021 at 08:55 AM.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    SHORT VERSION - Scent is king, I have to like it. All else is secondary.


    LONGER VERSION - I used to think people would buy something to wear because they liked it but some don’t, as odd as it may seem. For me yes it has to be at least a ‘like’ to consider it. Most scents I’ll give a few tries to eliminate the possibility of a bad tester, sample mixups etc.

    Drydown takes precedence over opening except my hot weather grabs which have to be on point up top.

    I have preferred styles so it’s easier for me to find more of what I already like but I will also try unusual ingredient/note on the chance I find something that just clicks.

    I mainly prefer non-synthetic smelling fragrances with a natural air but I have some scents which I like despite their obviously synthetic structure. They have their uses and aren’t irrelevant.

    Narratives? Generally speaking I pay no attention to it. They can tell me it’s home grown, hand crafted or was worn by the Queen of Sheba and I just take that as what has become the necessary marketing jabber gauntlet that often has to be run, but when they start their marketing sermon about gender bending perfume, Covid or humane civet paste I switch channels. I might have liked some of these compositions purely on scent but I draw a line and won’t drink the Kool Aid of this ‘one of the club’ mentality. These virtue signalling scentsellers are an unecessary part of scents smelling great.

    Scent is king.
    Currently enjoying

    Bois du Portugal / Aventus / Pour Monsieur / Boss Number One (current)
    Sagamore (vintage) / Drakkar Noir / Bright Neroli / Cool Water (vintage)
    Patrick / Allure Homme / Jazz Club / YSL Pour Homme HC

    Currently wearing: Viking by Creed

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    This is a bit like the "Dead Poets' Society" argument. Can you critique things through formal criteria, or do you let them speak for themselves? I think the point of that part of the film was not to say that criteria aren't useful; rather than when you confuse them for the phenomenon itself, you get a perverse outcome.

    That aside, the first thing that comes to mind here is the "marketing mix": product, price, place, and promotion. These I find to be useful heuristics. In addition, there's something like a meta-category: given that the perfumers will generally have access to marketers, or do their own marketing, and are therefore aware of these categories or something like them, how is the product being designed and sold. I think it's these kinds of considerations that are relevant when we read that a particular scent has been "designed by committee", or similar sentiments.
    Currently wearing: Quorum by Antonio Puig

  18. #48
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheik Yerbouti View Post

    Narratives? Generally speaking I pay no attention to it. They can tell me it’s home grown, hand crafted or was worn by the Queen of Sheba and I just take that as what has become the necessary marketing jabber gauntlet that often has to be run, but when they start their marketing sermon about gender bending perfume, Covid or humane civet paste I switch channels. I might have liked some of these compositions purely on scent but I draw a line and won’t drink the Kool Aid of this ‘one of the club’ mentality. These virtue signalling scentsellers are an unecessary part of scents smelling great.

    Scent is king.
    I don't know about others, but when I mentioned narrative I intended to highlight the story and inspiration behind the fragrance rather than the marketing. Like Salome by Papillon: Liz Moores imagining Salome's erotic dance with a 1920s photo as a starting point. Vol de Nuit and Cuir de Russie being the famous examples I suppose. The storyline behind things (that are of course used in the marketing as well).

  19. #49

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    I don't know about others, but when I mentioned narrative I intended to highlight the story and inspiration behind the fragrance rather than the marketing. Like Salome by Papillon: Liz Moores imagining Salome's erotic dance with a 1920s photo as a starting point. Vol de Nuit and Cuir de Russie being the famous examples I suppose. The storyline behind things (that are of course used in the marketing as well).
    I was responding to the original post and thread question - I can’t find your post regarding this.

    If a brand uses a narrative (or tells a story) as a way to sell a fragrance, it is part of their marketing, whether via traditional advertising avenues or forum related promo materials. If they had kept a story to themselves then we wouldn’t hear about it and it wouldn’t be discussed as part of a fragrance narrative, as part of whether we would judge a fragrance on it.
    Currently enjoying

    Bois du Portugal / Aventus / Pour Monsieur / Boss Number One (current)
    Sagamore (vintage) / Drakkar Noir / Bright Neroli / Cool Water (vintage)
    Patrick / Allure Homme / Jazz Club / YSL Pour Homme HC

    Currently wearing: Viking by Creed

  20. #50

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    I don't know about others, but when I mentioned narrative I intended to highlight the story and inspiration behind the fragrance rather than the marketing. Like Salome by Papillon: Liz Moores imagining Salome's erotic dance with a 1920s photo as a starting point. Vol de Nuit and Cuir de Russie being the famous examples I suppose. The storyline behind things (that are of course used in the marketing as well).
    I love a great narrative, and in some ways I feel like it helps give context to a fragrance. The more context you have, the more you have to pull from to interpret it. Basing your appraisal of a fragrance just by its scent is feels a bit "uncultured".

  21. #51

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by imm0rtelle View Post
    I love a great narrative, and in some ways I feel like it helps give context to a fragrance. The more context you have, the more you have to pull from to interpret it. Basing your appraisal of a fragrance just by its scent is feels a bit "uncultured".
    There are many of us that don’t judge a shampoo based on a narrative but on if it does a job. Do I need to know the story behind every song I listen to? Or a beautiful painting? Isn’t the thing we experience sometimes enough? Inspiration comes from obvious and not so obvious places. Everyone enjoys stories but some things don't really need them and when stories are manufactured to sell a product they can feel disingenuous. Let’s put it this way - I’d prefer a fantastic fragrance with no story than a poor fragrance with a story. If you prefer the latter, maybe you just like stories.

    I’ll just say being cultured is a point of view. We all move at different speeds in different areas of life. I enter your realm and I might seem ‘uncultured’. You enter mine and you might seem uncultured, so maybe don’t be so hasty to pass judgment.
    Currently enjoying

    Bois du Portugal / Aventus / Pour Monsieur / Boss Number One (current)
    Sagamore (vintage) / Drakkar Noir / Bright Neroli / Cool Water (vintage)
    Patrick / Allure Homme / Jazz Club / YSL Pour Homme HC

    Currently wearing: Viking by Creed




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