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Scent/Fragrance of the Day thread - Page 1613

post #24181 of 25684
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

The Basenotes thread is indeed epic in its breadth. Depth? I don't feel qualified enough to judge.

If I had to add a little:

1. Maybe avoid buying 3ml sprays straight off the bat. Instead, get the minimum size of more stuff (and if you can smell at the mall first; although watch out for exciting top notes to get you to buy, followed by a boring drydown), try them a couple of days each (never more than 2 at the same time), and explore what you like that way. Scent is ultimately very personal, a lot less "objective" as a field than, say, classic menswear. Where you grew up, with whom, what you did with your life all impact how you perceive things. And also what your partner will say once you've sprayed the thing! And I think you can't know until you've tried a lot of stuff properly.

2. I love to get insights from the great/famous names first, and use that as a starting point to spider my knowledge acquisition, particularly in very subjective fields. Who are big names who wrote about perfume? Roudnitska is well represented in that thread and probably the most prolific. JC Ellena is another one. Luca Turin is probably the biggest name on the review side, in part for qualitative reasons (for example comparing in detail vintage vs reformulations, and giving background info on perfumers), in part because he was one of the first to publish critical writing in an industry where ridiculous PR was the norm. Forcing yourself to read through his Perfumes book is one way to pick up many of the ideas and famous names/perfumes - my initial purchases were basically LT's 5*s. Roja Dove's book is basic, but I think a nice introduction. Both Roudnitska and LT argue that an artist or amateur should expand his culture in all fields in order to get a better appreciation of one (and LT even paired perfumes with classical music in one instance, touching briefly on the link between pieces and their perfumery counterpart). Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum kind of thing.

3. the house and the perfume are incredibly dissociated, with some exceptions (Guerlain was a family-run business for a century with a very specific house style). Look at all the names that have done stuff for Amouage, or the places that Kurkdjian has turned up on commission before opening his house. So often, a brand means little in perfume beyond price point, and some houses (including at least one of those you mention) have gained a reputation of often "overcharging for cheap boring stuff". Now, a perfumer is, him/herself, a "brand" as well, and whilst they do have to eat and therefore occasionally succumb to the right bribe in exchange for knocking out a cheap formula built via market research, it can be quite interesting to follow the intellectual path taken by a perfumer over time (e.g. Ellena's gradual move to minimalism). 

4. vintage is really worth it. Pre-1960s, perfumery like couture were for a very different market. Houses were run by dictatorial artists who accumulated taste and knowledge and curated their employees' work (or, in Guerlain's case, were often the perfumer). The works from that era are monsters of complexity and intelligence, and use natural materials which have since been banned and give them depth and a certain roundness you don't find with modern works as often. Some vintage are impossible to find e.g. Nombre Noir, Lutens' first. Others are cheap-ish because they were popular back in the days - Habit Rouge, Cabochard... def worth a try.

5. in the case of deciding not to bother with the hobby, it's important to note that perfumery is fashion driven and the very nose of everybody around you is going to change with the fashion, because exposition drives learning and taste as well. This much more so than with clothing, again. So you have to be careful to pick a set of mainstream scents that the people you interact with currently like, and unlike a Savile Row suit cut in a timeless classic style (whatever you think that is) it will not age well. Stereotypically, 80s were about projection, 90s about boring, aquatic notes, etc. (considering most perfumes today are designed via market research, and the market adapts to like what is given to them, makes you wonder about the feedback loops...). 

"GLHF" as they say.

that's great feedback, thanks for putting it together.
post #24182 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by HORNS View Post

You make some very good points, and I admire your "scholarship" into the great minds of past and present perfumery. Context is extremely important, but one context you find important and which I do not is the work environment. You've brought up before how someone should let the industry in which they work influence what one wears as a fragrance, and while certain industries carry an expectation on what clothing to wear it's my belief that for it to include what kind of fragrance to wear then you're imposing an unnecessary limitation on an expression of yourself that shouldn't be influenced by others. So much of the fragrance experience is for the wearer, and if you worry about what others think then you first need to look at how much you apply.


Also, I do happen to recommend 3 mL sprayers, unless you can get a smaller amount and it still be applied with an atomizer. I think small dabber samples are a pain to use and are hard to dose. This application has always been appropriate for parfum concentrates but eau de toilette and eau de colognes I just don't get the same smell experience, and if you're doing this sampling with the objective to ultimately buy a full bottle then you want the most germane sampling method.


This evening I am wearing Portrait of a Lady .
It's not quite what I meant. Let me attempt a more nuanced explanation. 

The Japanese have captured the essence of it in the concept of honne/tatemae (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honne_and_tatemae). Tatemae is the public facade, the spelt out rules, the spoken etiquette ("don't put your elbows on the table!")... the myth (political manifestos). Honne is the "truth", what is actually going on, including the unspoken rules (realpolitik as opposed to "principles"). Various environments, cultures and times have different levels of honne.

Yes, we know it's a bad idea to have shirt pockets on a trading floor in London (increasingly less so), and in many McKinsey offices around the world, you will be verbally instructed to wear only white or light blue shirts during training. But, is a Silicon Valley company necessarily looser? I can think of at least one big tech group where people are pressured into wearing T-shirts/shorts/jeans instead of shirts/chinos, preferably with humoristic hipster logos, and those who do not comply are socially ostracized. The tatemae is that there is no dress code, we're all techies here, it's ok. The honne is that there is a dress code (and more generally the oddly evasive and undefined concept of "culture fit" - see: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/a19287) and the cost of not adhering to it is actually almost higher than in banking or consulting - hell, I knew an engagement manager who wore green and brown suits bought in the local supermarket to client board meetings and he was still the top ranked EM in the region. Talking of tech companies, I know many startups where again, officially there is no dress code, but somehow all the executives are wearing jeans + white/blue shirts and a Rolex or IWC Portuguese...

My point is, there's a social cost to wearing the "wrong kind" of scent in many work environments, and you have to think about what it is (might be negligible at your workplace), whether you're willing to pay, and especially whether you can afford it thanks to your social capital being high enough (which is how the EM got away with his suits; you could almost argue it's a form of signalling, telling the world you CAN afford it). Extreme example from a controversial CEO who likes to spell out the honne: http://www.alexstjohn.com/WP/2016/04/21/i-apologize/

As for quantity, I think it depends on budget. If you're happy spending hundreds of dollars in trials, yes, indeed the spray is a much superior application method. But looking at what I personally like to order - niche, like MFK or AbdesSalaam, or vintage - the prices really send up the total order value. Take the earlier recommended Enigma by Roja Dove. On TPC, a 1/4ml is $6.95; the 1.5ml glass spray (the smallest) is a full $41.99 - 6x as high and perhaps 1/5th of a typical 20-30 vial order for me. What if you hate the thing? I personally prefer to go vial first, try it a few times, and if I like it or at least think it worth trying further, reorder on a larger spray size - the mini-vial being a "sample of sample", not something you'd use daily per se. Of course, if you're order Caron PUH, where the 3ml spray is only $6.95, this is less of an issue.

Also personally again, I like to dig into the history of perfume and so buy many things that I don't think I'll ever wear - like Nahema or l'Heure Bleue vintages... or, eventually, Mitsouko, the Holy Grail - in order to at least understand how we got where we are today. Or perhaps, grab a few oud scents - say, from perfumers who treat it as a Middle East reference, versus those like MFK who prefer to play around with its facets as if it was a normal Western perfumery ingredient - to gain a better understanding of how the material is worked. Again, vials will win out there.

(One last minor issue with sprays: my last TPC order had a spilt spray, because TPC packed all the sprays really tightly with no protective material in between. The box smelled very nice as a result but the spray was empty. The vials were similarly packed, but are much more resistant by virtue of their wall thickness to size ratio, and their much tighter lid. Cost of doing business, I guess.)

You keep comparing fragrances to clothing and all I can say is that you're over thinking all this, to say the least. I appreciate the thought that went into it, for sure, but you may as well be discussing what kind of underwear one should wear on the London stock exchange floor if you're going to be using that context in any conversation about fragrances.
post #24183 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

The Basenotes thread is indeed epic in its breadth. Depth? I don't feel qualified enough to judge.

I put it together several years ago and it's in desperate need of an overhaul (speaking of which if you guys have anything to add let me know and I'll edit it). I intended it as a surface level but fairly broad bunch of links so partly the breadth not depth was the intention, but secondly it was also based more on the links I had available and was organizing, rather than what I ideally would have liked to have covered.

Depth takes years of exposure or personal work to find sources and get into them. For people just starting out I think the first step is to get a cursory overview of the whole scent world out there and then start to get deeper one section at a time etc.

I think you're perfectly qualified enough to judge and your judgement would be the same as mine. It's for those just starting out and as a good primer. When I had moved beyond step 1 but wasn't at step 3, I looked back from step 2 and said gee I wish I knew at step 1 what I know now and didn't see any consolidated resources like that around, so I made it. Emailed some top posters, good searched, etc, and spent a few days compiling and organizing etc.
post #24184 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by HORNS 
You keep comparing fragrances to clothing and all I can say is that you're over thinking all this, to say the least. I appreciate the thought that went into it, for sure, but you may as well be discussing what kind of underwear one should wear on the London stock exchange floor if you're going to be using that context in any conversation about fragrances.

 

Simpler and more personal: in my previous life as someone who did not wear fragrance - including a few years on the buy side, since we're talking banks - I avoided people who did.

 

If someone was to wear something with a lot of real civet, I'd probably think they had a hygiene problem (there's a reason they call it "fecal" notes). If someone was wearing something with the right mix of spices and certain blossoms, I'd think they had a BO problem. In both cases, it would not mean I wouldn't interact with them, but it would mean I'd attempt not to have meetings with them, to sit away from them, and generally minimise exposure to the offending odour.

 

Now a friendly, pleasant, "boring" fougere - that's fine, it smells clean. Unless it's overpowering, because then I might have thought this is someone who felt the need to overspray with deodorant (many of which have fougere notes) and therefore has aforementioned hygiene problems. If the offending person was a sales guy, I would have gotten a new sales guy, no matter the amount of great lunches he'd ply me with - as far as I'm concerned, all banks are the same and offer the same products anyway. So, direct link between scent and business failure.

 

Personally I always felt sympathy towards people who dressed well and made an effort, so that wouldn't come into play, but I know many who would look down on obvious dandyism (wearing an interesting scent would be part of that, particularly for a man) and would consider those thus attired to be signalling lower status (i.e. wouldn't be taken seriously) or not to be into their work. This is truer the higher up the food chain you go, the key being to wear nice things as if you just shopped for them quickly and efficiently, and to adopt the dress code of whatever group runs your company as if you were born in it. 

 

The difference between underwear and smell is that smell is vital to survival and as such is much quicker to generate certain feelings related to stress in the uninitiated. Avoiding the generation of those feelings is quite important. 

 

This is just my opinion as someone who has spent a few years in the workforce and now runs his own company. That stuff matters. YMMV.

post #24185 of 25684
Puredistance - M for me today
post #24186 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post


I put it together several years ago and it's in desperate need of an overhaul (speaking of which if you guys have anything to add let me know and I'll edit it). I intended it as a surface level but fairly broad bunch of links so partly the breadth not depth was the intention, but secondly it was also based more on the links I had available and was organizing, rather than what I ideally would have liked to have covered.

Depth takes years of exposure or personal work to find sources and get into them. For people just starting out I think the first step is to get a cursory overview of the whole scent world out there and then start to get deeper one section at a time etc.

I think you're perfectly qualified enough to judge and your judgement would be the same as mine. It's for those just starting out and as a good primer. When I had moved beyond step 1 but wasn't at step 3, I looked back from step 2 and said gee I wish I knew at step 1 what I know now and didn't see any consolidated resources like that around, so I made it. Emailed some top posters, good searched, etc, and spent a few days compiling and organizing etc.

After reading how Roudnitska suggests learning about fragrance (his system of very rapid blind testing and repeat until you can name the fragrances), I think I'll never have the means and time to do it properly! Definitely agree that cursory overview of everything is important - especially stuff people think they won't like.

 

I tried to sign up to Basenotes a few times and got server errors every time. So I've given up and don't have an account there. There's plenty of exceptional contributors already anyway.

post #24187 of 25684
Today I'm wearing Tawaf by La Via del Profumo, one of the most intense jasmines I've ever tried. It sits alongside Diptyque's Olene and Tom Ford's Jasmine Rouge as equals among the best jasmine fragrances.
post #24188 of 25684
Pre-shower: Lonestar Memories
SOTD: Sotto la Luna Tuberose
post #24189 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

Pre-shower: Lonestar Memories
SOTD: Sotto la Luna Tuberose

Last 3 days, I've worn Phi and LDDM. Bit of a Tauer zeigeist happening?
post #24190 of 25684

MFK Aqua Universalis Forte today. It's much sharper and astringent than I expected based on the notes. And whilst I used to think of it as feminine, I don't anymore. It does have a slight sun screen feel to the smell. Despite its supposed super-high concentration - and indeed, the citrus lasted for hours - it was gone after a 2 hour walk in the tropical heat. I smell a slight hint of white rose, but it is very faint indeed.

 

MFK Aqua Vitae Forte's orange blossom survived 2 showers since yesterday... and the walk. It, and a hint of cardamom, are still there long after AUF has disappeared. Quite the longevity.

post #24191 of 25684
Today I am wearing Silver Mountain Water.
post #24192 of 25684
I got HORNS' previous post in my noggin and so I wore Sarrasins by Serge Lutens. It's my favorite jasmine.
post #24193 of 25684
Can anyone recommend a long-lasting light floral (contradiction in terms?) scent? Something along the lines of Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur or Creed Pure White Cologne, but much better performing. No neroli/orange blossom, as I already own Neroli Portofino.
post #24194 of 25684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser View Post

Can anyone recommend a long-lasting light floral (contradiction in terms?) scent? Something along the lines of Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur or Creed Pure White Cologne, but much better performing. No neroli/orange blossom, as I already own Neroli Portofino.

Amouage Ciel Man? Although it contains some orange blossom it is by no means the dominant note. 

 

Actually, that's a good idea for SOTD. I was feeling like some lavender anyway.

post #24195 of 25684
Ambulance Chaser:

Creed Pure White Cologne? Never heard of it.

You might want to try Bruno Fazzolari's Au Dela Narcisse des Montagnes - this one has a beautiful and tenacious narcissus component lopped on top of a classic chypre base. The base is a modern take on a classic chypre like Mitsouko, but please don't let that scare you away from trying it.
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