Designer houses offering 'Parfum' strength for men - the new trend

saminlondon

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 25, 2011
Thanks! And exactly. I suspect the true differences in the categories are deep, mostly qualitative, and much more obvious to perfumers than to us. Quantitative guidelines thus being more of an annoyance than a constraint to them and their creative and evaluative handlers.
I think the word 'guidelines' is key here. As far as I'm aware there are no specific regulations governing the composition and labelling of concentrations.
 
D

Deleted member 26357295

Guest
As always, Basenotes feeds back. Here is an interesting thread regarding concentrations. The conclusion: there are no rules or regulations, and a product's concentration, whatever it's called, is up to the marketers:
https://basenotes.com/threads/is-fragrance-concentration-controlled.480363/

@PStoller mentions "The lack of a strict numerical standard for concentrations is one of the least significant issues facing the perfume industry and its consumers".
I don't disagree and I understand what you mean but on the other hand I don't think it's a trivial matter either. I mean, if for example one version of Sauvage has a fragrance concentration of 10% and another 20% (let's say same formula), the latter is supposed to be much more expensive, isn't it?

And although with a designer perfume the cost of the goods (juice, bottle, cap, label and box) might be only the 15% to 20% of the wholesale price, the absence of any control means an open bar for the already usually cunning marketing strategies of this industry.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
As far as I know, no.
I suspect that's the case as well. Maybe there is some stipulation but it's loose enough to not be particularly meaningful.

Thanks! And exactly. I suspect the true differences in the categories are deep, mostly qualitative, and much more obvious to perfumers than to us. Quantitative guidelines thus being more of an annoyance than a constraint to them and their creative and evaluative handlers.
Yes, this is probably something we miss from this side of the fence.

I also think the popularity of using Parfum is a response to niche. Many niche fragrances are EdPs, no? Or at least, with the rise of the boutique and oriental niche perfume, a lot of people are now aware of there being 'better' fragrances that also last longer (whether that's true or not is moot, the idea is one that can be spread and sold). In Arabia, Persia, and the Med, the longlasting or stronger fragrance is popular, where they aren't as much in northern Europe, north America, and east Asia. Maybe that's relevant and the decline of northern European customers, in the west and outside it as well, may play a factor. As does value for money. Maybe Parfum is just the 'norm' now. Whether the customer is truly receiving a better/stronger designer fragrance that they were, say, 20 years ago - and maybe they are, maybe they're not...on balance I'd suggest probably not given what we know about reformulations, anecdotal experience during that period etc - is irrelevant. If they now expect Parfum, in part because they associate EdTs with weak/reformulated designer fragrances that only last 3-4 hours as opposed to to all-dayer they're searching for, then Parfum becomes to preference. It's also worth remembering people on forums like this, us!, are the anomalies: most people only buy a few fragrances and wear them until they're empty. They value things like performance in practical terms - particularly if they're only aware of/purchase the tried and tested mainstream designers as we're talking about in this thread and are listed by the OP. I wonder if some of it is a bit like shrinkflation of other products - the new Super Mega Elixir Essence Bull's Blood Parfums are actually just the old EdTs of pre-2010, but you can't say that, you have to dress it up in a way that looks appealing.
 

andym72

Basenotes Dependent
Dec 19, 2008
Regarding the Silliage / Diffusion performance of any of these flankers, a point Renato brought up.

Really, the perfect diffusion for me would be to last from 8am to 11pm, and reducing to a skin scent in the last few hours. If I wanted “just put on” strength again for the evening, I would reapply in the early evening.

And that first application needs to defuse but not overwhelm. I used to know a guy at work, we both worked in the same open plan office with space for 60 people, and his signature scent was Le Male. I always knew when to look up and say “Hi Chris”, because I could smell Le Male even before I could hear him talking. Within minutes, every corner of the room smelt of Le Male. True Beast Mode.

Nobody wants to be “that guy”, even if they think they do, they really don’t.

In recent years, I’ve been pleased that current formulation of Joop Homme is no longer the beast it used to be, because it’s now usable without being overwhelming to everyone around you.
 

Andy the frenchy

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 16, 2018
Wow, is that true? I thought that the names EdC, EdT, EdP and Parfum were officially considered to be directly related to the concentration of fragrance. Did not everyone follow this classification? If now the EdT's are EdP's (but they are still EdT's) and the EdP's are parfums (but they really are still EdP's) it seems to me a rather dishonest form of marketing, doesn't it?
I am perplexed.😯
Yes, there's no legal definition.
And yes, it's a dishonest form of marketing.

When some house release actual parfum or extrait concentrations, it's mostly to mutliply the price tag by 5, and to capture value from wealthy customers who think that the more the better, and most of all the most epensive the better.

The current world has been polarized: from a 3-classes system (poor+middle class+rich), we have shifted to a "2+" model (poor to middle class+ rich).
Mainstream brands have thus adapted to that, with the splitting of their offering: a mainstream base level that is crappier than 20 years ago - for most houses) and 'high-end' collections (that are basically of the quality of their base collection of 20-30 years ago). There's two ways to create a better product: or you improve the quality at a similar pricing, or you create another similar product of lower quality (at similar pricing), to 'glorify' the first one (with a much increased price tag). Useless to say, they opted for the second strategy, as it creates more profits.

Now, it's shifting again to a 3-class system: poor to middle class + middle to rich + disgustingly rich. The latter category, although very small, they have a huge spending power, and many have made money in a short amount of time, aka 'new riches' (markets, cryptocurrencies...) that are 'discovering luxury' and can be fooled easily, and as such, house have created even more expensive products (that are a minimal improvement compared to the 'high end line - if any), that are terribly overpriced: see the Parfum line by Chanel, priced at $280 for just 15ml, or the 'Elixir Precieux' line by Dior at $300 for 3ml or simply Tom Ford with their 'Reserve Collection', which is not even an improvement in concentration/smell, just a pure rip-off).
That also explains the blooming of many 'ultra-niche' houses (Roja, FdB...) and indie houses that are often priced way over average. That said, in the latter case, indie houses often offer products that are more creative than average (Monsillage, Tauer, La Curie, Clandestine Laboratories, JSP, Motif Olfactif, Hendley, Olympic Orchids...) although some others oscillate between creativity and 'inspired' scents (Rogue, Meo Fusciuni, Kerosene, Odin, Carner, Xinu...), and some other are betting everything on primary ingredients quality, without obviously always delivering the final result expected at that price point (Bortnikoff, Areej LeDore...). High quality ingredients are required to create a beautiful blend, but far from sufficient. Some others suffer from that too.

In a nutshell: I'd stay clear of overpriced EDPs sold as parfum (when various concentration are offered, I often go for the base one), as these are often strategies to moneytize disproportionately compared to the perceived 'improvement' in quality.
 

lair77

Super Member
Jun 7, 2022
Cool Water Parfum is not a genuine example. That's just a completely different used with the Cool Water brand to get more sales. Granted, it would sell less and we'd never hear of it if it were named differently. But still, it's false advertising.

Why don't they actually make real EDP Cool Water....
 
Mar 26, 2022
@Andy the frenchy Thank you for mentioning me in the company of more established brands — and I agree with your points. One thing worth adding i think is that the higher the concentration of the juice, the less IFRA-restricted material one can use in the concentrate, assuming one complies with IRFA standards. For that reason I stick to one dilution strength (EDP) unless the formula wouldn’t be compliant at that dilution. For that reason, I’m planning to release several fragrances as EDTs in the future simply because I want to use higher proportions of restricted materials. Unless you want to be able to dab instead of spraying when applying fragrance, I don’t see any significant benefit to higher concentrations - except as you mention, it allows brands to inflate prices and release multiple formulations of the same fragrance without calling them flankers.
 

surge

Super Member
Nov 25, 2010
I like the idea of limited edition flankers and tweaking of the original formula, with strings of different releases and things like that
Some of them are good, some are not...
You don't have to buy every subsequent release just because you enjoyed the original :p
However what I don't like is using terms like "parfum" to mean something other than what it actually means.
I don't even like them using "oud" when there's nothing even remotely resembling actual oud in the ingredients.
It would be better IMO to use "intense" rather than "parfum" -- but then you have houses that do both, so IDK the solution there haha :p
 

hednic

Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
I welcome Parfum strength or Extrait De Parfum of known established brands and look forward to more in the future.
 
Aug 16, 2022
It would be better IMO to use "intense" rather than "parfum" -- but then you have houses that do both, so IDK the solution there haha :p
Other possibilities:

"2 Much"
"Top Dawg"
"Bro Strength"
"I have HAD it with these m-fin DILUENTS in this m-fin FRAGRANCE"

Not really French sounding though. Maybe "Le Juice".
 
Mar 26, 2022
"...the higher the concentration of the juice, the less IFRA-restricted material one can use in the concentrate, assuming one complies..." Are you saying there would just be more of the prohibited stuff so it would be easier to detect?
Not saying anything about prohibited materials, which are prohibited at any strength. Restricted materials are limited by their concentration in the finished product, so a more concentrated dilution means less restricted material allowed in the concentrate - ie, if I make a frag that’s IFRA-limited on a material at EDP strength, then it won’t be compliant at a stronger dilution and I would need to reduce that material as a percentage of the fragrance formula.
 

WarmJewel

Super Member
Oct 5, 2022
I rarely ever wear parfum/extrait* strength fragrances I find them too much. I much prefer the aftershave/cologne and eau de toilette strengths they're a lot more in keeping with my preference of 'close to the skin' fragrances. Thankfully almost all of the fragrances I like are generally only in those strengths.

* the only ones I have and do wear are Floris ones because often that's the only strength in that fragrance they do. Jermyn Street (eau de Parfum) is an example.
 

lfc1892

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 12, 2021
Easy money. Take a successful formula and crank it up a notch with the promise of better performance etc and you’re on to a winner with minimal r and d etc
 

4dri3n

New member
Sep 16, 2022
What are your thoughts about this trend? What did I miss?

Not missed as it came out after the opening post, but it seems we have another one in Armani Code Parfum. It has all the traits of this trend too, including the dubious and obfuscated actual concentration. I think it might be the first flanker of this pseudo-parfum type I've smelled and I really liked it, maybe I should try a few more from your list. :)
 

Andrewthecologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2006
Not missed as it came out after the opening post, but it seems we have another one in Armani Code Parfum. It has all the traits of this trend too, including the dubious and obfuscated actual concentration. I think it might be the first flanker of this pseudo-parfum type I've smelled and I really liked it, maybe I should try a few more from your list. :)
Thank you for pointing this out. I had given up on the Code line since the only flankers I like are Sport and Ice.
Looking forward to trying this!
 

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