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Scent/Fragrance of the Day thread - Page 1599

post #23971 of 26119
Quote:
Originally Posted by HORNS View Post

That's a tough one. Almost all masculines have a floral component, but of course they wouldn't be classified as floral. Classics like Caron Third Man has a large dose of jasmine, but it is so well integrated that it would never be in that genre. Then there are those very, very few that are indeed masculine florals but have ended up failing commercially, like Givenchy's Insense, which smells like the inside of a florist shop where someone just went through and cut the stems on every damn flower in it. Insense is a strange fragrance.

Don't confuse certain notes with "floral" either, like some have done with Geranium Pour Monsieur. Yes, geranium is a flower, but the odor utilized in geranium-heavy concoctions comes from the leaf. I believe the same goes with many but not all violet fragrances.

That being said, I must say that Portrait of a Lady is, ironically, a masculine floral with its juicy rose.

Speaking of florals, I'm wearing Yoru no Ume, which is a lush plum blossom with what seems to be carnation.

Thanks for the recommendations and I get your points about what is and isn't florals. I'm coming off of years of wearing the same fragrance (and having no idea why I like it) and I've been trying many new samples and trying to figure out the different notes and what I like and don't like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

I will give my honest advice, but I will also note that I'm in a very, very small minority on this point: I would completely disregard the masculine / feminine distinction when it comes to perfumes. There are lots of wonderful florals that are marketed as feminine that men can wear.

That said, here's a list of some floral scents that lean masculine in the traditional sense:

Declaration d'un Soir by Cartier--spicy, woody rose
Noir de Noir by Tom Ford--a somewhat earthy, patchouli and rose
Rose Flash by Tauerville--big, resinous rose
Iquitos by Alain Delon--more old-school masculine, civety rose
Lyric Man by Amouage--bright rose with a wonderfully rendered lime note
Rose Nacrée du Désert by Guerlain--earthy rose and oud accord
Acteur by Azzaro--80's style masculine spicy rose

And of course Portrait of a Lady, as HORNS suggested. I honestly believe that everyone who enjoys fragrances should try this at least once.

Thanks for the recommendations. What you said about the masculine / feminine distinction is something that I was thinking about recently. It seems like a lot of the masculine scents are just stereotypical masculine. I don't really need to be limited by that. I'm not sure I want or need to be a stereotypical male. Floral scents (actual flowers) make my head spin but how that translates into cologne - I have no idea. I guess the fun will be trying to figure that out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

Whilst I agree in principle I think this, as well as dress code, is highly context specific. 

For example, you'd never wear light brown shoes in a British investment bank. And German companies (talking from having worked with the German office of one of my previous employers) have this weird hierarchy of company cars, where it's very politically dangerous to drive a car too high for your status (and the mighty 911 is reserved for partners/C-levels). These things are not, by themselves, a deal breaker - indeed my Swiss boss used to wear green or brown supermarket suits, which he got away with because he was a star within the firm - but they can help build the wrong impression and this can have non negligible costs. People who have social capital can get away with spending it, like the Wall Street star traders rocking cow boy hats in the office, or Roja Dove, who famously wears (and indeed reconstructed and sold) classic feminines (is his favorite Mitsouko, Vol de Nuit or Shalimar?).

The same applies to perfume. The most extreme case is David Rose, a famous Silicon Valley angel (edit - duh, he's based in New York...), who actually has a negative impression of people wearing ANY fragrance at work: https://www.quora.com/What-perfume-can-I-wear-in-business-settings-to-come-across-as-confident-and-assertive-yet-not-too-girly-or-hoydenish/answer/David-S-Rose - so much for the West Coast being the headquarters of self-expression.

So, in such cases, either you wear something so subtle that it is not noticed (I'd classify classic colognes like AdP there), or it does not matter what you wear because whatever it is, it is wrong, in which case you might as well have fun with so called feminine fragrances, because it will be just as bad as an incense-rich, smoky Amouage which would be quintessentially masculine. In fact one of the historically significant feminines, Tabac Blonc, could count as a masculine by virtue of its titular ingredient and its leather... and I know many social circles where a quintessentially minimalist and banker-approved fragrance like Terre d'Hermes would be seen negatively.

Then you have location to take into account. Rose is a classically male scent in the Middle-East, but feminine to the point of being girly in many parts of Europe. Could you get away with something like Lyric Man? I'd have said yes, but my wife disagrees and immediately called it a feminine due to the dominating rose.

Personally, I play it safe-ish in business meetings with people I do not know well ("old man" scents - lavender, vetiver, etc.) and have fun on weekends and at home, or when I'm meeting people with whom I have a long business relationship already (and who know me better). I like Roja Dove's position, that perfume is first and foremost for your own enjoyment, so who cares what's on the label; I just think it's important to consider signalling as well.

Points taken and all good points. Middle Eastern scents are something that I'm very interested in and I LOVE rose. Luckily, I work in a VERY casual office so I don't need to have any constraints regarding my clothing or scent. And, unfortunately, I don't know nearly enough about scents to be able to distinguish between morning, noon, and evening or seasonal. Although, Reve en Cuir seemed like a wintry scent as I thought I smelled fir trees / evergreens in there somewhere.

SOTD - Lumiere Noire by Maison Francis Kurkdijan


http://www.basenotes.net/ID26131252.html
post #23972 of 26119
Histoires de Parfum Veni. I didn't come.
post #23973 of 26119
Today Journey Man aromatic spices, sandalwood incense? Great for a day sampling art and Sydney harbour.

TF Noir de Noir on Saturday. First time in a while I've been able to get it away from Mrs GF.
post #23974 of 26119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13 View Post

Thanks for the recommendations. What you said about the masculine / feminine distinction is something that I was thinking about recently. It seems like a lot of the masculine scents are just stereotypical masculine. I don't really need to be limited by that. I'm not sure I want or need to be a stereotypical male. Floral scents (actual flowers) make my head spin but how that translates into cologne - I have no idea. I guess the fun will be trying to figure that out.
Points taken and all good points. Middle Eastern scents are something that I'm very interested in and I LOVE rose. Luckily, I work in a VERY casual office so I don't need to have any constraints regarding my clothing or scent. And, unfortunately, I don't know nearly enough about scents to be able to distinguish between morning, noon, and evening or seasonal. Although, Reve en Cuir seemed like a wintry scent as I thought I smelled fir trees / evergreens in there somewhere.
 

Well, a number of folks from Luca Turin to Jean-Claude Ellena think most of what you see in stores is the same. I'll quote Ellena (in Le Parfum: Que Sais-je; translation mine):

 

"Marketing segments the market according to the types of customers, and then adapts the products to the market. If, with this approach, we can talk about innovation, it certainly is not creation. These products are guided by responses which are preadapted to a type of consumer who is chosen, targeted. This vision of the market has led brands to conceive products to please everybody. The choices are guided by tools dimensioned by the demand and tastes of consumers: classification of the perfumes, analysis of the international markets, using "fashion books" (already used in fashion), set up of quality groups and especially market tests. 

 

These latter have generated perfumes built along the technique I call "the cursor". The creation is guided by an analysis grid of the perfume. Grid with parameters containing words like: feminine, masculine, rare, rich, powerful, light, elegant, flowery, woody, modern, classic, tenacious, etc. The grid is defined by the marketing department and the company that runs the test. It is then, for the perfumer, potentially to be signed by the brand, up to him to realize a perfume that perfectly fills the diagram of the profile required by the marketing department of the brand. The perfumers, by favoring certain types of scents that correspond to certain parameters, by using this "cursor game", compose. This technique has taken the perfumer away from a sensible judgement and from there, away from a creative path. It has anchored new olfactory conventions, a new conformism."

 

This explains why you find that "a lot of masculine scents are stereotypically masculine". And why so many "niche" houses are offering "for man and woman". 

 

As for "not knowing enough", there is no shortcut, again Ellena:

 

"I notice also that my perception, my intelligence, my judgement of perfumes have evolved in parallel to the ideas, the values, the habits, the tastes of society, and that the mental representation of the perfumes that I have has never ceased to change and enrich itself. I reinvent this way continuously my representation of the past."

 

It's incredible to what extent what we like, think about things, and so on is set by society and context and personal experience. I spent a long chunk of my life in the UK, and absorbed the habits of the British in central London. Later in life, I had a long argument with someone elsewhere - keeping it non specific on purpose - about details which to him (non-British, learnt fashion from bloggers) would "look better that way" and to me were horrendous breaches of the way things are done by sane people. E.g. Bruce Boyer commenting that shoes are brown in Italy, because they like a trouser/shoe contrast, and black in the UK, because they like the shoe to blend in the trousers. 

 

Not so many decades ago, the only perfume that was acceptable for a gentleman was civet, just as the only colour of suit was black or charcoal; it was strong enough to cover the stench of bodies washed once weekly. Wearing a lighter suit, wearing colours, would be just as "feminine" as wearing any kind of other scent (quoting Roja Dove here). Many subsequent important moves in the history of perfume could be seen as unisex. Is Jicky feminine or masculine? Is Tabac Blond great and culturally important because it is androgynous, "shocking because it hints at women smoking"?

 

To take a famous example, Habit Rouge, today, according to some Basenotes users, "smells like old lady" - because it uses a complex set of ingredients and bases (Guerlinade, hello!) which relates it to "old lady" favorites such as Shalimar which were a victim of the 70s and 80s, where perfumery went from dictatorial choices of the heads of houses made upon the works of artisans, to a much more scientific and marketing driven process, from complex natural ingredients forever changing source and hand made Lalique/Baccarat bottles to robots picking synthetics in factories (losing the roundness from the complexity of natural juice) and packaging them in glass bottles made in China. Habit Rouge was the scent of choice for Jean Paul Guerlain (so much so Roja Dove recalls knowing he was coming to look over his shoulder purely by the smell), arguably almost the definition of the alpha male for that generation, and with a philosophy of purposeful elitism and distancing from the plebs, a certain "force" that is very un-old lady-like. So, objectively, it can't "be masculine" or "be feminine" - what people think depends on context and their personal experience which has developed their nose and opinion.

 

This is thus my philosophy: if you are dealing with people who do not share our interests, fit in (and stick with "commercial" masculines just as you wouldn't wear a bright purple shirt to a bank interview); if you are in a situation where you can get away with it, then wear whatever you enjoy. Why be limited to Amouage's Lyric Man, which "masculinizes" the rose, if you like Robert Piguet's Fracas' (ok, it's tuberose, but same idea of massive floral) or Ombre Rose's take better? If Apres l'Ondee gives you happiness, why not have a subtle spray before facing the greyness of your commute? Is Philosykos a summer fragrance, by association with the season of its fig, or a winter fragrance, comforting you by recalling warm memories? I've seen Carven's Vetiver both called an autumn casual fragrance ("associated with a worn cashmere jumper in a sofa" or something), and a sharp, formal business classic; I've also been told it's an old man scent. Ellena himself recalls how hard he was trying hard with the Jardins collection at Hermes to avoid the now standard "Orient as seen by the Occident" cliche. Hence fig leaf and green mango for Nile. This is sort of "modern" in that today's world is both considerably more likely to interact internationally, and considerably more mixed at home thanks to 20th century immigration waves, so a fresh, more relevant interpretation is more appropriate and contemporary. Nobody can make a Sean Connery Bond today. Each Bond captures the zeitgeist of its era.

 

And otherwise, it's just about racking the life experience - and following the important trends and contextual differences - to be able to adapt to an ever changing environment. Like fashion, I think it's quite a fun journey striking the balance between context and taste and always learning on the way. 

 

Sorry for the thread hijack... hard to resist, and where else would be appropriate...


Edited by crdb - 4/10/16 at 6:22am
post #23975 of 26119

Caron Yuzu Man today.

post #23976 of 26119
An overcast and cold Sunday called for 1740 Marquis de Sade.
post #23977 of 26119

Hesitating between Penhaligon Lothair and Carven Vetiver. It's a suit and tie occasion tonight. Vetiver is the obvious choice. Lothair is woody and smoky enough that it might just pass...

post #23978 of 26119
Une Rose Chyprée by Andy Tauer today.
post #23979 of 26119

Guerlain - Vetiver, the last few drops of the bottle.

 

 

Any other recommendations for a reliable, work-friendly vetiver?

post #23980 of 26119
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian mcfox View Post

Guerlain - Vetiver, the last few drops of the bottle.


Any other recommendations for a reliable, work-friendly vetiver?

Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire. Not cheap, but the best I've smelled. A lot of people swear by Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, but it's kind of boring to me.
post #23981 of 26119
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian mcfox View Post
 

Guerlain - Vetiver, the last few drops of the bottle.

 

 

Any other recommendations for a reliable, work-friendly vetiver?

I think Encre Noire EDT is work-friendly... and cheap enough that it doesn't hurt if you do not like it. 

 

Carven has very low projection for me, which could be an asset in an office environment. I prefer it slightly over EN's spicier, nuttier, more purist vetiver.

 

(I've built a tool to find the cheapest grey market prices online - PM me if you're interested, as I'd love to hear feedback from experienced buyers.)

post #23982 of 26119
Thanks @Ambulance Chaser and @crdb. And yes - keen to try the tool
post #23983 of 26119

Further on the floral masculine theme, why not SP's Jardins de Borneo series (praised by just about everybody as genius): http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2016/02/26/sultan-pasha-attars-jardin-de-borneo-series-al-hareem-blanc-claire-de-lune/ - I have my samples coming next week and they're not staying in the capsule.

 

The last two in particular appear to have a distinct vetiver-oud pair in the base both of which are suitable classic masculine scents.

 

I forgot to add a touch of Roudnitska to my previous reply:

 

"In terms of olfactory sensations, a distinction must be made between the perception of the layman, of the perfumer and even of the experienced amateur. The fact that, to ordinary mortals, some odours are considered pleasant and others unpleasant can be attributed to a lack of education and to an innate taste which impedes the layman from making an objective and technical judgement on the value and usage of odours. However, after a short but inevitable emotional reaction, the motivated and experienced perfumer no longer distinguishes between pleasant and unpleasant smells."

(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=BLLnCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=roudnitska+muller&source=bl&ots=VmU9-k2CWt&sig=KW_3Mo2x6wS54iKmwCl9wW5qzC0&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22terms%20of%20olfactory%20sensations%22&f=false)

 

"When examining a composition (a perfume), the layman will give a subjective judgement: 'I like it' or 'I don't like it'. The hedonic reaction will be foremost. The well-informed amateur and the experienced professional artist will also react subjectively. However, they will proceed to a professional evaluation. If their senses of smell and taste have been developed methodically (which does not mean manipulated), they will forget the pleasant (or unpleasant) odour and concentrate only on its aesthetic features, on the construction which develops under their noses in an objective olfactory form. This form must be considered as an entity. Is it incoherent or homogeneous, boring or original, does it emanate an impression of harmony, does it have relief and character, or is it flat? Is it dynamic (without being overwhelming, heady, or heavy)? Does it have volume, is it sufficiently clinging? At the very best, the perfume form will seem both pleasant and beautiful. The true connoisseur of perfumes, like the true art connoisseur, will mentally rebuild any masterpiece with which he is confronted. Aristippe's original hedonism has nothing to do with this, unless it is seen as the search for aesthetic pleasure. The reason why hedonism was given excessive importance in the judgement of perfumes for such a long time was the double conviction that perfume depended on a subjective reaction and that this reaction had to be agreeable." 

post #23984 of 26119

SOTD was Penhaligon Lothair. 

 

Amazingly, a totally different profile in this dry, slightly cold autumn air than humid Singapore. Where the latter was all energetic fig, this was almost pure pine, bordering on the floor cleaner. The heart notes gradually emerged, warming tones of vanilla. Strange, but lavender appeared 6 hours in (I suspect it was well hidden by the pine until then). Should have gone for the Carven.

post #23985 of 26119
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

Further on the floral masculine theme, why not SP's Jardins de Borneo series (praised by just about everybody as genius): http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2016/02/26/sultan-pasha-attars-jardin-de-borneo-series-al-hareem-blanc-claire-de-lune/ - I have my samples coming next week and they're not staying in the capsule.

The last two in particular appear to have a distinct vetiver-oud pair in the base both of which are suitable classic masculine scents.

I forgot to add a touch of Roudnitska to my previous reply:

"In terms of olfactory sensations, a distinction must be made between the perception of the layman, of the perfumer and even of the experienced amateur. The fact that, to ordinary mortals, some odours are considered pleasant and others unpleasant can be attributed to a lack of education and to an innate taste which impedes the layman from making an objective and technical judgement on the value and usage of odours. However, after a short but inevitable emotional reaction, the motivated and experienced perfumer no longer distinguishes between pleasant and unpleasant smells."
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=BLLnCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=roudnitska+muller&source=bl&ots=VmU9-k2CWt&sig=KW_3Mo2x6wS54iKmwCl9wW5qzC0&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22terms%20of%20olfactory%20sensations%22&f=false)

"When examining a composition (a perfume), the layman will give a subjective judgement: 'I like it' or 'I don't like it'. The hedonic reaction will be foremost. The well-informed amateur and the experienced professional artist will also react subjectively. However, they will proceed to a professional evaluation. If their senses of smell and taste have been developed methodically (which does not mean manipulated), they will forget the pleasant (or unpleasant) odour and concentrate only on its aesthetic features, on the construction which develops under their noses in an objective olfactory form. This form must be considered as an entity. Is it incoherent or homogeneous, boring or original, does it emanate an impression of harmony, does it have relief and character, or is it flat? Is it dynamic (without being overwhelming, heady, or heavy)? Does it have volume, is it sufficiently clinging? At the very best, the perfume form will seem both pleasant and beautiful. The true connoisseur of perfumes, like the true art connoisseur, will mentally rebuild any masterpiece with which he is confronted. Aristippe's original hedonism has nothing to do with this, unless it is seen as the search for aesthetic pleasure. The reason why hedonism was given excessive importance in the judgement of perfumes for such a long time was the double conviction that perfume depended on a subjective reaction and that this reaction had to be agreeable." 

Thanks for giving us your thoughts as well as going through the trouble of providing us these quotes.

Today I'm wearing Au Dela Narcisse des Montagnes, which is an old-school chypre with a very high quality slug of narcissus absolute added to it. It's very floral but also very rich and spicy as well - you put it on and it morphs to match who the wearer is (of course this is strictly anecdotal). But there is a richness and complexity to many "feminines" that only need to be placed in a different context of the male wearer and you instantly will have a "masculine" fragrance.
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