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  1. #1

    Default Judgment of Fragrance

    When assessing a fragrance, does the composition, ingredients, progression or narrative seem to have a stronger impact on your judging it?
    Or is there something else that comes off strongest for you? Is it as simple as "liking" or "disliking" a fragrance and that's that?
    YT: Jess AndWesH

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but ultimately the scent (to include the scent "journey" - dry down, etc.) and performance are the primary measures by which I assess a fragrance. Often, I am not sure about the ingredients or composition, and even when I am, I consider myself to be largely uneducated in that regard. I let my nose be my guide.

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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?
    For me, that's basically it, although the other thing I try to do is find a way to remember the fragrance, such as by identifying a similar fragrance or a note or two that stick out.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceRF View Post
    I consider myself to be largely uneducated in that regard.
    I have no formal education in perfume, and I'm totally winging it when I talk about it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Speaking from a personal alone, do like or dislike a fragrance in a very simple, direct and usually immediate way.
    But actually many factors do contribute to this like/dislike: few to none influenced by popular opinions, narratives, fads and almost to 100% influenced by the ongoing as well as longer term reactions towards the impact of the actual scent and its composition/impression.

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowartisttxl View Post
    Or is there something else that comes off strongest for you?
    Its country of origin.
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    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Its country of origin.
    Do you only buy fragrances manufactured in certain countries?

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    When assessing a fragrance, does the composition, ingredients, progression or narrative seem to have a stronger impact on your judging it?

    I care about composition, ingredient quality, blending, progression, and presentation.

    Or is there something else that comes off strongest for you? Is it as simple as "liking" or "disliking" a fragrance and that's that?

    There is definitely liking and disliking. That is a thing.
    I smell.
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

  8. #8

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Currently, I am drawn more to strong compositions than anything else. I took a pretty deep dive into artisanal houses like Ensar Oud and Areej le Dore towards the beginning of last year. I was more concerned at that time with ingredients than composition. I eventually found myself disappointed in the fragrances I was trying more often than not, and it dawned on my that although I value quality ingredients and fragrances with a high percentage of naturals, composition is key to my enjoyment.

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    I really enjoy the progression and development of a fragrance. Not sure why, but I get such pleasure from the slow changes that occur throughout the day and how they, at the same time, melt into one fragrance and are coherent together. When this progression is tied to a narrative, even better.

    That's even the case with wearing oud oils. One of the reasons I have learnt to appreciate fermentation notes in the opening is the joy of having the other notes (eg. fruit, honey, or woods) slowly creeping through. From the "barnyard" to the fruit basket!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    While I appreciate fragrances that are well-blended, layered, have infinitesimal care and attention paid to the different stages of development, etc, at the end of the day I just prefer fragrances that are viscerally pleasing, even if they are the equivalent of junk food. While I can appreciate the former sort of fragrance on an intellectual level, the latter is what I want to smell all day.

    For example, Or Black is one that I've had for a few years, don't wear that often, and don't like all that much on a viscerally pleasing level. But it is so interesting, weird, unique, shape-shifting, etc, that I still pull it out and wear it every so often. Creed Bois du Portugal is another in that vein.

    But on the other hand, the stuff I tend to enjoy and wear most is more in the realm of Montale/Mancera, Encre Noire, Tom Ford, etc. I'm wearing Montale Aoud Leather right now, and if I had to choose between this and some other more "classic" leather scent with birch tar, animalic notes, woody notes, etc all blending together to create a leather impression or accord - I'd choose the Montale nine times out of ten.
    “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

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcelello View Post
    Currently, I am drawn more to strong compositions than anything else. I took a pretty deep dive into artisanal houses like Ensar Oud and Areej le Dore towards the beginning of last year. I was more concerned at that time with ingredients than composition. I eventually found myself disappointed in the fragrances I was trying more often than not, and it dawned on my that although I value quality ingredients and fragrances with a high percentage of naturals, composition is key to my enjoyment.
    I tend to agree with you that composition is just as important as ingredients, unless we are talking about single-ingredient or simple compound fragrances like oud oils, or traditional attars.

    I wonder if you have any interest in revisiting, say, Areej Le Dore? Their most recent collection featured some strong compositions. Have you given up on the distillers who became perfumers altogether? How do you feel about houses like TRNP or Di Ser where the composition is arguably much stronger? Just curious.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    It's like music: it doesn't matter if it's simple and easy or complex and cerebral as long as it's good.
    Spray less, love more.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    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.

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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.
    Well said!
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post

    I have no formal education in perfume, and I'm totally winging it when I talk about it.
    I'm with Bavard here. Self educated, I realize my weak points when it comes to perfume, but in the end, I wear and buy what I like. The 'house' it comes from means little to me, although I noticed I do like the style of certain perfumers and might seek those out.

    I found when starting out and making a decision to smell the perfume both on a paper strip and on my skin. There are some that don't play nice with my body chemistry, but smell great if I spray on my hair or clothing for example. There are some that are an immediate negative effect on me, some that start negative but blossom beautifully over the course of the day, and others I love right away, but can't stand after an hour or two.

    I also agree with hednic on country of origin. I will not buy from China/PRC and a few other countries.

    There are also some other factors - are the reviews overwhelming negative, especially from my favorite reviewers here on Basenotes? How did my favorite perfume bloggers (NowSmellThis and Bois de Jasmin, etc...) judge and rate it? How easily can I obtain samples?
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    For me, being a self-educated hack that I am, combine my sense of value with my taste and haphazardly-acquired knowledge of fragrance to create the hideous multi-headed chimera that is my opinion on a fragrance.

    My context/breakdown/closing review format is the only thing keeping my opinion from devolving into unintelligible screaming.
    Reviews Wordpress Archive here --> The Scented Devil
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    Currently wearing: Legend by Montblanc

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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    For me, being a self-educated hack that I am, combine my sense of value with my taste and haphazardly-acquired knowledge of fragrance to create the hideous multi-headed chimera that is my opinion on a fragrance.

    My context/breakdown/closing review format is the only thing keeping my opinion from devolving into unintelligible screaming.
    Fear not - I have unintelligible swooning covered!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  18. #18

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by HabibiGotIt View Post
    I tend to agree with you that composition is just as important as ingredients, unless we are talking about single-ingredient or simple compound fragrances like oud oils, or traditional attars.

    I wonder if you have any interest in revisiting, say, Areej Le Dore? Their most recent collection featured some strong compositions. Have you given up on the distillers who became perfumers altogether? How do you feel about houses like TRNP or Di Ser where the composition is arguably much stronger? Just curious.
    I have thought about picking up a sample set the last couple of ALD releases. I have sampled a fair amount and really like both TRNP and Di Ser too. I really need to try Embers by TRNP. It came back shortly after I stopped exploring the house. It sounds like something I’d love.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Like or dislike person.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    This I totally agree with, first and foremost I feel like I am paying for the artistry and ability of the perfumer. If the ingredients used were rare and costly then added bonus I guess, but as long as it smells great and well executed that's all that really matters to me.

    I have a feeling most of Jean-Claude Ellena's formulas are not particularly expensive. But his sense of proportion, balance, and contrast is often so genius I don't really care if the juice cost 50cents. Likewise as you experienced with those indie houses, I've smelled a lot of thick clunky poorly composed fragrances that no doubt contain a greater abundance of expensive extracts than more mass produced houses, but they totally fail as perfume in my eyes.

    In addition, of course I must also love and enjoy the fragrance. I don't buy anything purely on artistic merit. There are fragrances I respect but in a genre or style I don't like (usually old fashion or gourmand) I wouldn't buy them although I admit they are well composed. Alternately, I'm probably easier to please if the fragrance is using ingredients or a style I am already keen on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcelello View Post
    Currently, I am drawn more to strong compositions than anything else. I took a pretty deep dive into artisanal houses like Ensar Oud and Areej le Dore towards the beginning of last year. I was more concerned at that time with ingredients than composition. I eventually found myself disappointed in the fragrances I was trying more often than not, and it dawned on my that although I value quality ingredients and fragrances with a high percentage of naturals, composition is key to my enjoyment.
    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by motorcade View Post
    It's like music: it doesn't matter if it's simple and easy or complex and cerebral as long as it's good.
    My philosophy is to have a good time all the time.

    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
    So you can buy more like the good ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty2Shoes View Post
    There are also some other factors - are the reviews overwhelming negative, especially from my favorite reviewers here on Basenotes?
    That would make an impression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcelello View Post
    it dawned on my that although I value quality ingredients and fragrances with a high percentage of naturals, composition is key to my enjoyment.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    Likewise as you experienced with those indie houses, I've smelled a lot of thick clunky poorly composed fragrances that no doubt contain a greater abundance of expensive extracts than more mass produced houses, but they totally fail as perfume in my eyes.

    In addition, of course I must also love and enjoy the fragrance.
    Full support for the hedonism!

    Quote Originally Posted by HabibiGotIt View Post
    Have you given up on the distillers who became perfumers altogether?
    Super interesting to hear the genre described this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    I really enjoy the progression and development of a fragrance.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jkonick View Post
    and if I had to choose between this and some other more "classic" leather scent with birch tar, animalic notes, woody notes, etc all blending together to create a leather impression or accord - I'd choose the Montale nine times out of ten.
    No wonder I don't recall seeing you in the vintage forum!

  22. #22
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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…
    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    So you can buy more like the good ones?
    Well, that's certainly the most practical application, in the sense that buying fragrances is ever practical.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Fear not - I have unintelligible swooning covered!
    That's dangerous to your credibility haha. <3
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    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceRF View Post
    Do you only buy fragrances manufactured in certain countries?
    Yes.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Despite the numbers of years of collecting fragrances, I still consider myself a novice when it comes to fragrance knowledge.

    I let my nose dictate my decision of whether I like the fragrance or not.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    My philosophy is to have a good time all the time.
    Mine too - although my anxiety prone brain is skipping the philosophy classes a little too often.
    Spray less, love more.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    My nose knows what it likes and I follow it.
    A woman without perfume is like a flower without a scent.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowartisttxl View Post
    When assessing a fragrance, does the composition, ingredients, progression or narrative seem to have a stronger impact on your judging it?
    Or is there something else that comes off strongest for you? Is it as simple as "liking" or "disliking" a fragrance and that's that?
    I think I try to ignore everything, and first judge the fragrance based on intuition and instinct. Whether I like it or not. Then I will start considering the narrative and what fragrance or character the fragrance is like.

    I hated Celine's Saint-Germain-des-Prés on first wear, and warmed up to it when I really started trying to understand the character of the fragrance. Now I'm in love with it.


  29. #29

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by motorcade View Post
    It's like music: it doesn't matter if it's simple and easy or complex and cerebral as long as it's good.
    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.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Judgment of Fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Yes.
    Can we ask what countries and why?
    YT: Jess AndWesH




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