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  1. #1
    The Scented Devil
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    Question Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    We tend to think of mass appeal versatile men's fragrances as a relatively modern concept, and that's because it seems the entire designer market is bent on delivering them (and nothing but them) anymore, but the concept of an all-season all-occaision signature scent has been around since a separate men's fragrance market first gained mass acceptance.

    Plus, hobbyists now tend to wrap yesterday's "mens colognes" in romanticism about how much more ostensibly masculine they were, or how standoffish they were in their uncompromising displays of virility and machismo, but not everything back was made to be that or even marketed that way. The men who were around in the 60s, 70s, or 80s that post here can attest.

    Everyone is always "King Kouros" this or "Oakmoss Bomb" that, and this includes myself being just as guilty of histrionics too, so what I'm trying to do is get to the heart of what were really the Bleu de Chanels and Montblanc Explorers of their day, plus what vintages now are actually seen in a similar light as today's Acqua di Giòs and such, even if y'all don't directly make that mental link.

    So my question is a two-fold one, and either-or but possibly both:

    A) If you were around wearing fragrance then (specify decade) what classic/vintage masculines were the casual dumb-reach or mass-appeal scents of your time? I'd especially like to know if their reputations have changed from being easy-wearing to something else nowadays

    B) What classic/vintage masculines do you see NOW as being versatile, compliment-getting or easy on others, dumb-reach or comfortable? It doesn't matter when you discovered them, if you were there at their launch or only discovered them through vintage collecting.


    PS: I never go first when I start a topic, so I'll post mine after a few others do.
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  2. #2
    All Is Beautiful
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A - Chanel Pour Monsieur 1970s. Easy wearing then, as now.

    B - Chanel Egoiste edt
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Nostalgia is big business - especially now

    The 80's was the best decade for men imo and the following were dumb reaches then, but I don't think have dated well:

    Paco Rabanne
    Antaeus
    Eternity
    Obsession
    Tsar
    Santos

    Classic masculines from the 80's that can still turn heads now imo, include:

    Sergio Tacchini by Tacchini (good luck in sourcing a bottle)
    Versace L'Homme
    Kouros
    Lauder for Men

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    In the late 60s when I was living in France it was Balafre by Lancome.
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  5. #5
    The Scented Devil
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A) For me, the decade is the 90's. Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1994) seems so loud and extroverted now, but it was considered easy-wearing stuff back then, but powerhouses and such still mingled with the freshies then too. Same with Versace Blue Jeans (1994), it too was everywhere, and didn't feel like a statement fragrance at all. Nowadays side-by-side against stuff like Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue (2017), it sticks out like a sore thumb. Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne (1996) was another dumb reach, and probably set the standard for stuff we have now. It still fits in with modern bloo jooses despite its 90's fougère construction.

    B) Since my forays into vintage, Bogart by Jacques Bogart (1975) feels much more laid-back than its notes would suggest. Despite the leather and moss, it remains relatively clean and sits calmly on skin, like a drier and greener cousin to Paco Rabanne pour Homme (1973). Another one is Roger & Gallet L'Homme (1982). This one also has a vibe that makes it laid back and versatile/all season, probably from the soapy/musky mix of orris and ylang-ylang with lavender. It could have been an 80's "Bleu de Chanel" kind of fragrance too for someone who wanted to smell structured without drawing attention to himself for his scent. Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior (1966) and Azzaro pour Homme (1978) being near the top of my most-worn speak for themselves in the easy-wearing department. Not so much with Eau Sauvage, but Azzaro pour Homme still gets the random compliment and people in the wild seem to mistake it for Tom Ford a lot, lol
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  6. #6
    Dependent nosey74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post

    Classic masculines from the 80's that can still turn heads now imo, include:

    Sergio Tacchini by Tacchini (good luck in sourcing a bottle)
    This can be readily found in the USA for under $30 for a 3.4 oz bottle ... are you talking about the vintage version? Do you know if there is a big difference between the vintage and current version of this fragrance? Thanks.

    Currently wearing: Antaeus by Chanel

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A/ Eau de Rochas pour Homme (Rochas) and Green Water (Jacques Fath). Those were very easy to find back in those days, meaning early 90s for Rochas and mid 80s for Green Water.

    B/ Jules (Dior). Be it vintage or 2016 release, I get compliments every time. The 2016 release is very easy to find in France.

  8. #8
    Dependent Cevenol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    I'd say Eau Sauvage, it was popular in the 80's in France and seems to still be.
    One of my co workers in his 20's wears Tuscany and it smells amazing on him, I was surprised it didn't smell "vintage" to me just really good. He told me he has a few, I asked, Sauvage, Eros etc.. Tuscany is his work scent he said, got it for cheap. I surely hope it remains so lol. I do like Eros though

  9. #9

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Chanel Pour Monsieur - including Eau de Cologne Pour Monsieur, A Gentleman's Cologne, Chanel For Men
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    a) 90s as well here, likely among many others- possibly the mintier version of Gucci Envy, the sweeter/more tonka heavy Drakkar flanker Drakkar Dynamik by Guy Laroche, Armani Mania, Sculpture by Nikos, Joop Nightflight- to name only a few among the ones that were perhaps more unproblematic and/or liefer more complimented back then but probably borderline heavier and less versatile by the standards of today

    b) irrespective if the current or the the vintage version (s) of each: Guerlain Heritage, Caron pour un Homme, Lalique Homme PH, Allure Homme plus a few of its flankers and also Egoiste from the same house, most of the Aramis Gentleman's collection (also the vintage counterparts of the "main core" of scents included in this latter one) among many others

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    1988 brut... probably not cool to wear anymore
    1991 drakkar noir... dated
    1994 kouros... wife hates it when i wear it now
    1996 armani pour homme... still wear it with compliments
    1998 aqua di gio... havent bought another bottle since
    2000 bvlgari pour homme... still rock it but dont get any compliments

    Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk
    1. Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi
    2. Eau D'Hederin by Annick Goutal
    3. Neroli Portofino by Tom ford
    4. Gris Clair by Serge Lutens
    5. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau by Diptyque
    6. Colonia by Acqua di Parma
    7. Scandal by Roja
    8. Sublime Vanille by Creed
    9. Moon Safari by Memo
    10. Pour Homme by Paco Robanne

  12. #12

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by nosey74 View Post
    This can be readily found in the USA for under $30 for a 3.4 oz bottle ... are you talking about the vintage version? Do you know if there is a big difference between the vintage and current version of this fragrance? Thanks.

    Yes, the late 80's version. I believe it was reintroduced in 1996 and this is the version above. I haven't seen it in the stores I visit so am unable to make a comparison with the original. I very much doubt if it is as good but you never know. It was never expensive though.

  13. #13
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    90's for me too.

    In ascending order (early 90's to late 90s) for me, it was:
    Drakkar Noir
    Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger
    Curve Liz Claiborne
    Joop! Homme
    Armani Pour Homme

    Classics that are easy reaches and don't smell dated:
    Eau Sauvage
    Chanel Pour Monsieur
    Egoiste
    Mitsouko
    Currently wearing: Walimah by Areej le Doré

  14. #14
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    B)
    Fahrenheit
    Kouros
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme
    Egoiste
    Bogart
    Tsar
    Guerlain Vetiver
    Habit Rouge
    Caron Third Man

    I honestly find most of the classics that are still around to satisfy these criteria for a few reasons -

    a) absence of sticky sweet notes
    b) being balanced in terms of notes and abstract, so as to not come across as "jasmine" or "vanilla" or "tuberose"

    I don't think these are any harder on others than Sauvage or Baccarat Rouge 540. In terms of compliments, it's more situational than frag bros would like to believe.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Brut was my dumb reach in the 1970s. Givenchy Gentleman was my fancy scent, but a dumb reach for dates.

    Polo was my next dumb reach in the 80s. That was followed by Obsession For Men.

    In the 90s, Hugo Boss Hugo, then Givenchy Pi.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A) Started wearing in the 90s, and the mass-appeal scents were a mix of aquatic new releases and the 80s classics :
    Cool Water - CK One - Eternity - AdG (for almost graduated high school teenagers like me back then)
    Azzaro - Armani - Polo - Lapidus - Paco Rabanne - Bogart/One man show - Tsar - Jazz (for 20 something young adults and older)

    I lot of people from my age started associating the classics cited above as Older people stuff and embraced the aquatics as their only choice. After some time, joined the 2000s sweet wave. Although I used almost all the aquatics I could reach, I always truly loved the ones my father, grandfather and uncles used to wear, specially the ones my father worn at the time. I don't remember young people complaining about 80s scents as hard-wearing at that time. Young folks just wanted to dissociate their image from the older ones, specially their parents.

    B)
    What classic/vintage masculines do I see NOW as being versatile, compliment-getting or easy on others, dumb-reach or comfortable? Hard to tell...
    I got so deep in vintage collection that what I call easy is old guy smell for millenials, to say the least... Anyhting with oakmoss, or a bit more woody and dark is toxic to the new generation. But I guess the reformulated Armani pour homme? Safari?
    Currently wearing: Ébène by Pierre Balmain

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCavs View Post
    A) Started wearing in the 90s, and the mass-appeal scents were a mix of aquatic new releases and the 80s classics :
    Cool Water - CK One - Eternity - AdG (for almost graduated high school teenagers like me back then)
    Azzaro - Armani - Polo - Lapidus - Paco Rabanne - Bogart/One man show - Tsar - Jazz (for 20 something young adults and older)

    I lot of people from my age started associating the classics cited above as Older people stuff and embraced the aquatics as their only choice. After some time, joined the 2000s sweet wave. Although I used almost all the aquatics I could reach, I always truly loved the ones my father, grandfather and uncles used to wear, specially the ones my father worn at the time. I don't remember young people complaining about 80s scents as hard-wearing at that time. Young folks just wanted to dissociate their image from the older ones, specially their parents.

    B)
    What classic/vintage masculines do I see NOW as being versatile, compliment-getting or easy on others, dumb-reach or comfortable? Hard to tell...
    I got so deep in vintage collection that what I call easy is old guy smell for millenials, to say the least... Anyhting with oakmoss, or a bit more woody and dark is toxic to the new generation. But I guess the reformulated Armani pour homme? Safari?
    What you say about the 90's was, IMO, pushed at the retail level. When I went to the store for a fragrance in the mid 90s, I was steered away from what I was looking for (not in stock, whatever it was) as "old man", and was talked into Hugo. Later, Givenchy Pi was my track back to what I liked.
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  18. #18
    The Scented Devil
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    B)
    Fahrenheit
    Kouros
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme
    Egoiste
    Bogart
    Tsar
    Guerlain Vetiver
    Habit Rouge
    Caron Third Man

    I honestly find most of the classics that are still around to satisfy these criteria for a few reasons -

    a) absence of sticky sweet notes
    b) being balanced in terms of notes and abstract, so as to not come across as "jasmine" or "vanilla" or "tuberose"

    I don't think these are any harder on others than Sauvage or Baccarat Rouge 540. In terms of compliments, it's more situational than frag bros would like to believe.
    I agree, context is really king for compliments. If you're in uniform like me, or generally among strangers in a non-social context (like shopping), nobody is going to compliment you no matter what you smell like.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCavs View Post
    A) Started wearing in the 90s, and the mass-appeal scents were a mix of aquatic new releases and the 80s classics :
    Cool Water - CK One - Eternity - AdG (for almost graduated high school teenagers like me back then)
    Azzaro - Armani - Polo - Lapidus - Paco Rabanne - Bogart/One man show - Tsar - Jazz (for 20 something young adults and older)

    I lot of people from my age started associating the classics cited above as Older people stuff and embraced the aquatics as their only choice. After some time, joined the 2000s sweet wave. Although I used almost all the aquatics I could reach, I always truly loved the ones my father, grandfather and uncles used to wear, specially the ones my father worn at the time. I don't remember young people complaining about 80s scents as hard-wearing at that time. Young folks just wanted to dissociate their image from the older ones, specially their parents.

    B)
    What classic/vintage masculines do I see NOW as being versatile, compliment-getting or easy on others, dumb-reach or comfortable? Hard to tell...
    I got so deep in vintage collection that what I call easy is old guy smell for millenials, to say the least... Anyhting with oakmoss, or a bit more woody and dark is toxic to the new generation. But I guess the reformulated Armani pour homme? Safari?
    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    What you say about the 90's was, IMO, pushed at the retail level. When I went to the store for a fragrance in the mid 90s, I was steered away from what I was looking for (not in stock, whatever it was) as "old man", and was talked into Hugo. Later, Givenchy Pi was my track back to what I liked.
    Novelty and generational divides have always been pushed to some degree in fashion and fragrance, but it was the 80's and 90's that really doubled down on "not being like your parents" as a social motivator to buy anything. You see it in commercials from those eras a lot, and now that we've been programmed to just automatically accept "modernity" over anything else, people just ask for what's new without having to be told it's what they want. Sad.
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  19. #19
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    I agree, context is really king for compliments. If you're in uniform like me, or generally among strangers in a non-social context (like shopping), nobody is going to compliment you no matter what you smell like.
    I don't think that's necessarily true. I compliment strangers all the time, both men and women, when I'm in public places like shopping. Surely I can't be completely alone in doing that.

    (Sometimes I do it even if I don't really love what they're wearing, just because I like to encourage perfume-wearing behavior.)
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.

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  20. #20
    The Scented Devil
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I don't think that's necessarily true. I compliment strangers all the time, both men and women, when I'm in public places like shopping. Surely I can't be completely alone in doing that.

    (Sometimes I do it even if I don't really love what they're wearing, just because I like to encourage perfume-wearing behavior.)
    Maybe you're just uncommonly friendly and empathetic/outgoing? You're definitely not alone but I think society needs more people with your mindset.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    (Sometimes I do it even if I don't really love what they're wearing, just because I like to encourage perfume-wearing behavior.)
    Was that you the time I slipped with the Grey Flannel sprayer and did 12 sprays?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    1. Me: English Leather, Them: Polo Green

    2. Halston Z-14. Works any time any weather. Avon Black Suede too.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    vintage polo green
    eternity
    vintage red for men
    versace dreamer
    vintage acqua di gio
    kenzo pour hommie
    vintage coolwater

  24. #24

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    What you say about the 90's was, IMO, pushed at the retail level. When I went to the store for a fragrance in the mid 90s, I was steered away from what I was looking for (not in stock, whatever it was) as "old man", and was talked into Hugo. Later, Givenchy Pi was my track back to what I liked.
    Certainly Givenchy Pi. I enjoy the drydown from the small pi symbol bottles, quite appealing to many.
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  25. #25
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A)

    90s era

    Cool Water was the business, hyped up by Snoop Doggy Dogg. It represented the "new" and modern. I still have good memories of it, but I think it would be considered overly chemical and harsh today. I don't think I've ever smelled it in the wild in the last 15 years. Today, it gives me headaches.

    Curve was my go-to and never ceased to garner compliments back then. I think it's still considered a very pleasant, crowd pleasing scent, but once it became too mainstream and a staple of discounters, I think it lost some of its prestige. Plus, I feel like it's too conspicuous of a scent, so it's inappropriate for casual wear today.

    Aqua di Gio this was the king in the early 2000s. A more pleasant and fresher fragrance, I can't think of one. But because just about every guy has worn it, so while I think it still holds up today, it's going to remind too many people of their exes.



    B)

    I think most of the classics I own or have encountered are too far removed from what's currently fashionable to tick all those boxes. But they tick one or some of them.

    Ralph Lauren Safari (1992) is surprisingly smooth despite having one foot in the previous decade of machismo. I feel more comfortable wearing it than Polo, Drakkar Noir and Azzaro PH. I think it's because that muskiness is dialed back some. I think it holds up well today because it's an improvement on what came before, and yet it's not nearly as well known as what came after it.

    Grey Flannel (1975) this to me is the epitome of a versatile, easy-on-others, dumb-reach, and comfortable fragrance. It's very easy on the nose and has a pleasant scent to it. How it got such a bad reputation in the fragrance community, I don't know. In high heat the powdery note gets to me a bit, but for the most part it's probably the absolute smoothest classic men's fragrance I've ever worn. I would THINK that this one would be more well-received at a time when people's noses are more sensitive then ever. I'm wearing it right now and it's like a soft cloud.

    Halston 1-12 (1976) is like GF in the dandy-like vibe, but isn't quite as powdery. Once it dries down it's either a timeless masculine fragrance or a classic smelling unisex scent. The drydown is really soft on the nose so I think many people will appreciate that about it. If they 1-12 had shower gels and shaving creams, I'd be using it daily. It's weird because you'd expect a scent from the late 70s to be really tough and challenging one, but this one is downright elegant these days.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I don't think that's necessarily true. I compliment strangers all the time, both men and women, when I'm in public places like shopping. Surely I can't be completely alone in doing that.

    (Sometimes I do it even if I don't really love what they're wearing, just because I like to encourage perfume-wearing behavior.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    Maybe you're just uncommonly friendly and empathetic/outgoing? You're definitely not alone but I think society needs more people with your mindset.
    Must agree with VR. What C.b is doing is rare in my world, but it's exactly what my world needs more of. Perhaps I should pester the one person I have a right to pester, to mend his ways.
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines

  27. #27

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I don't think that's necessarily true. I compliment strangers all the time, both men and women, when I'm in public places like shopping. Surely I can't be completely alone in doing that.

    (Sometimes I do it even if I don't really love what they're wearing, just because I like to encourage perfume-wearing behavior.)
    You're right be doing so; I should do the same !

  28. #28

    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    A) Early 90's: Jazz - as far as I remember, I used the EdT as a deodorant because I had no idea what an EdT was. It certainly didn't come across to me as an old man smell.
    Late 90's: Hugo - apparently horribly cheap smelling back then (according to ex-girlfriend's best friend's comments).

    B) Anything that doesn't smell like the proverbial granny's bathroom is "OK to wear" I guess.But I don't think in compliment terms because I've never received unsolicited compliments from anyone besides my mom (and maybe once from wife), never expect to receive compliments and certainly have never witnessed anyone giving compliments to a stranger in public (in my culture I could see that happen if the compliment-giver is drunk and feeling social, lol).
    Spray less, love more.

  29. #29
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Varanis Ridari View Post
    Maybe you're just uncommonly friendly and empathetic/outgoing?
    I don't think I am. In fact, I hate for strangers to engage me in any conversation beyond "Do you know which aisle the pickles are on?"

    I mostly do it because, as I said, I like to encourage perfume wearing, and also because I know from experience what a huge difference it can make in a person's day to say something complimentary to them. I'm the person who will always say "I love your haircut" or "Those are such cute shoes" to a total stranger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Must agree with VR. What C.b is doing is rare in my world, but it's exactly what my world needs more of. Perhaps I should pester the one person I have a right to pester, to mend his ways.
    I think it's different for a man, or at least has some different rules. You don't want to come off creepy. If I were a man, I would always start with something safe like "Pardon me, but I would love to get my wife/girlfriend that perfume you're wearing, it smells wonderful. May I ask the name of it?" Of course if you actually wanted to flirt with the person you're approaching, you could always make that request be for your mother/sister.

    Dude-on-dude seems like it would be trickier, even though I haven't experienced it.
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.

    --Rainer Maria Rilke

  30. #30
    The Scented Devil
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    Default Re: Vintage Mass Appeal: Yesteryear's Dumb Reaches for Men? What are They?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I don't think I am. In fact, I hate for strangers to engage me in any conversation beyond "Do you know which aisle the pickles are on?"

    I mostly do it because, as I said, I like to encourage perfume wearing, and also because I know from experience what a huge difference it can make in a person's day to say something complimentary to them. I'm the person who will always say "I love your haircut" or "Those are such cute shoes" to a total stranger.



    I think it's different for a man, or at least has some different rules. You don't want to come off creepy. If I were a man, I would always start with something safe like "Pardon me, but I would love to get my wife/girlfriend that perfume you're wearing, it smells wonderful. May I ask the name of it?" Of course if you actually wanted to flirt with the person you're approaching, you could always make that request be for your mother/sister.

    Dude-on-dude seems like it would be trickier, even though I haven't experienced it.
    Dude-on-dude compliments never happen to me outside friends unless I'm in Capitol Hill. *wink*
    Reviews Wordpress Archive here --> The Scented Devil Instagram here --> Varanis Ridari @the_scented_devil
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