...Loved by the Snobs. Hated by the people.

ChuckW

Basenotes Institution
Aug 21, 2001
I can't believe people are mentioning Fahrenheit, one of the time-tested staples in men's fragrance. When I saw this thread I immediately thought of weird niche shit, or vintage civet bombs like Eau d'Hermés. Isn't Fahrenheit still a huge seller worldwide?
It is a classic tried and true best seller. But in my opinion it's a bit different and can be polarizing. It sure ain't Bleu de Chanel. I own Fahrenheit by the way.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
Frederic Malle The Night, at $750 for 50 ml, has always had that cachet, for me, of an ultra-lux connoisseurs oud fragrance, for enthusiasts, as I'd describe it, who like that extra bit of barnyard and are willing to pay for it, whereas an average Joe or Jane might think, "Who would want to smell like a petting zoo?"
 

Sandy

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 15, 2005
We "snobs" ourselves are divided at most perfumes. I don't see definite red line between us. Chuck mentioned LADDM. After some reckoning, that was my very first idea - if any then that one. Then I remembered how differently I myself accept it on different days, depending on my mood, on the temperature, on God knows what.
 

mrcologneguy

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 2, 2009
Creed Royal English Leather:

1. My wife bought it for me.

2. About a year later I was wearing it at home, just one or two sprays, and she threw a fit about it. “Don’t ever wear that around me again,” etc.

3. Last week she said, “I was getting dressed, and tried on one of your colognes. Royal English Leather. I really like it.”

Moral of the story: damn the torpedoes. Wear whatever you like. You can’t please everyone. Naysayers might just be having a bad day.
 

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
Let's flip it. What are the Basenotes darlings that don't hold up well in the real world?
Basenotes isn't united by taste much either, and our population is mostly subdivided by forum or thread.

Best I can answer is:

Short version: We focus on the rare, the weird, the discontinued or forgotten, the exclusive, the expensive, the trophies and unicorns, whatever separates or elevates us from the din of the common. This is really par for any collection hobby, like comics or vinyl records. Collectors are more likely to spin test pressings of Steely Dan than a vinyl issue of Taylor Swift's newest disc. This cuts modern and popular/ubiquitous/socially relevant scents like Sauvage out of the running until they no longer are, then they become considered.

Long version:


-Approximately 50% of us are vintage and discontinued fragrance fans, with a particular focus on masculines from between 1965 and 1990, as this was the era most active BNers were in their teens, twenties, and thirties, plus some of us have 20 year tenures on this site alone, when many of them were still commonly available for purchase. This era is widely recognized as halcyon years of creativity and ingredients access - not just by collectors - but by perfumers as well (e.g. Pierre Bourdon). Batch code and deep vintage provenance checkers tend to fall into this group too even if what they're into isn't necessarily "vintage" yet in age (i.e. Dior Homme fans).

-Approximately 30% of us are Indie and artisanal fragrance fans with a focus on all/mostly natural ingredients and self infusion/tincture/DIY raw materials creation a la Areej le Dore and Bortnikoff; or conversely, there is a strong fan focus on retro styles and unique individualistic styles not beholden to eras of fashion a la Rogue and Tauer. Lastly, there are lovers of quirky upstart brands with tiny one-man distribution like Gray Matter and Clandestine Laboratories. The garden variety niche brand fans (L'Artisan and Montale etc) see some representation here too but it's very selective and usually those selections are older or discontinued (e.g. D'Zing), showing overlap with vintage lovers.

-Approximately 10% of us (and shrinking at least since I started being active) are focused on big status luxury brands that impart some sort of misplaced sense of superiority in the capitalist social darwinism chain, vis à vis people who "flex" their Roja Dove, Xerjoff, Fragrance du Bois, Creed, or Frédéric Malle collections. This group tends to extol "you get what you pay for". Sometimes the oft-lampooned "FragBro" stereotype falls into this category too because status is one of their goals in pursuing fragrance. Once upon a time this was Lutens bell jars or rare Le Art et Maitiere/Parisiens/Parisiennes Guerlains, but that stuff is now falling into vintage jurisdiction.

-Approximately 10% of us still keep a pulse on modern designers and mainstream "masstige" niche brands, and that's where interest in threads like this usually come from (but not always). This segment of the population here is actually growing again after being on the decline for some time (maybe the "snobs" stopped gatekeeping and chasing them away); and even though a lot of what may seem to be banal questions get asked (e.g. is X good for the office), there is an opportunity to commune with "the other side" and share tastes/perspectives. This creates growth for everyone.

Disclaimer: There is also a lot of overlap too, and entire sub-populations of DIY perfumers, oud and attar collectors, wet shaver and drugstore/mailorder scent users, candle and incense/room scent lovers, plus the Aventus fans (still cordoned off) that weren't represented in the above breakdown.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
Almost certainly too many to mention. Maybe I'll make a list but these 'types' spring to mind:

- Faecal ouds
- Animalics
- Dank fougeres (vintage or otherwise)
- 'Screechy' or 'scratchy' woody-incense scents (Hwyl, Tanoke)
- Niche Aventus alternatives (more loved by snobs than hated by people, I'd say, but these are REALLY loved by snobs)
- A significant portion of oriental fragrances
- A significant portion of floral fragrances
- A significant portion of 'dark' fragrances (leather, woods, spices)

The vast majority of people still prefer light, fresh fragrances, whether that's an old eau de cologne or a more modern transparent aquatic. I'd say more are disliked by 'the people' than are liked. Sweetness and freshness are more appreciated and easier to sell - in large part because they are a lot more forgiving to overapplication than any of the above types of fragrance, particularly in vintage (i.e. more potent) examples.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Basenotes isn't united by taste much either, and our population is mostly subdivided by forum or thread.

Best I can answer is:

Short version: We focus on the rare, the weird, the discontinued or forgotten, the exclusive, the expensive, the trophies and unicorns, whatever separates or elevates us from the din of the common. This is really par for any collection hobby, like comics or vinyl records. Collectors are more likely to spin test pressings of Steely Dan than a vinyl issue of Taylor Swift's newest disc. This cuts modern and popular/ubiquitous/socially relevant scents like Sauvage out of the running until they no longer are, then they become considered.

Long version:


-Approximately 50% of us are vintage and discontinued fragrance fans, with a particular focus on masculines from between 1965 and 1990, as this was the era most active BNers were in their teens, twenties, and thirties, plus some of us have 20 year tenures on this site alone, when many of them were still commonly available for purchase. This era is widely recognized as halcyon years of creativity and ingredients access - not just by collectors - but by perfumers as well (e.g. Pierre Bourdon). Batch code and deep vintage provenance checkers tend to fall into this group too even if what they're into isn't necessarily "vintage" yet in age (i.e. Dior Homme fans).

-Approximately 30% of us are Indie and artisanal fragrance fans with a focus on all/mostly natural ingredients and self infusion/tincture/DIY raw materials creation a la Areej le Dore and Bortnikoff; or conversely, there is a strong fan focus on retro styles and unique individualistic styles not beholden to eras of fashion a la Rogue and Tauer. Lastly, there are lovers of quirky upstart brands with tiny one-man distribution like Gray Matter and Clandestine Laboratories. The garden variety niche brand fans (L'Artisan and Montale etc) see some representation here too but it's very selective and usually those selections are older or discontinued (e.g. D'Zing), showing overlap with vintage lovers.

-Approximately 10% of us (and shrinking at least since I started being active) are focused on big status luxury brands that impart some sort of misplaced sense of superiority in the capitalist social darwinism chain, vis à vis people who "flex" their Roja Dove, Xerjoff, Fragrance du Bois, Creed, or Frédéric Malle collections. This group tends to extol "you get what you pay for". Sometimes the oft-lampooned "FragBro" stereotype falls into this category too because status is one of their goals in pursuing fragrance. Once upon a time this was Lutens bell jars or rare Le Art et Maitiere/Parisiens/Parisiennes Guerlains, but that stuff is now falling into vintage jurisdiction.

-Approximately 10% of us still keep a pulse on modern designers and mainstream "masstige" niche brands, and that's where interest in threads like this usually come from (but not always). This segment of the population here is actually growing again after being on the decline for some time (maybe the "snobs" stopped gatekeeping and chasing them away); and even though a lot of what may seem to be banal questions get asked (e.g. is X good for the office), there is an opportunity to commune with "the other side" and share tastes/perspectives. This creates growth for everyone.

Disclaimer: There is also a lot of overlap too, and entire sub-populations of DIY perfumers, oud and attar collectors, wet shaver and drugstore/mailorder scent users, candle and incense/room scent lovers, plus the Aventus fans (still cordoned off) that weren't represented in the above breakdown.

Very interesting analysis, VR. What is the source of the statistics?
 

ChuckW

Basenotes Institution
Aug 21, 2001
Creed Royal English Leather:

1. My wife bought it for me.

2. About a year later I was wearing it at home, just one or two sprays, and she threw a fit about it. “Don’t ever wear that around me again,” etc.

3. Last week she said, “I was getting dressed, and tried on one of your colognes. Royal English Leather. I really like it.”

Moral of the story: damn the torpedoes. Wear whatever you like. You can’t please everyone. Naysayers might just be having a bad day.
My wife loved REL. Thought it smelled like candy!
 

ChuckW

Basenotes Institution
Aug 21, 2001
Basenotes isn't united by taste much either, and our population is mostly subdivided by forum or thread.

Best I can answer is:

Short version: We focus on the rare, the weird, the discontinued or forgotten, the exclusive, the expensive, the trophies and unicorns, whatever separates or elevates us from the din of the common. This is really par for any collection hobby, like comics or vinyl records. Collectors are more likely to spin test pressings of Steely Dan than a vinyl issue of Taylor Swift's newest disc. This cuts modern and popular/ubiquitous/socially relevant scents like Sauvage out of the running until they no longer are, then they become considered.

Long version:


-Approximately 50% of us are vintage and discontinued fragrance fans, with a particular focus on masculines from between 1965 and 1990, as this was the era most active BNers were in their teens, twenties, and thirties, plus some of us have 20 year tenures on this site alone, when many of them were still commonly available for purchase. This era is widely recognized as halcyon years of creativity and ingredients access - not just by collectors - but by perfumers as well (e.g. Pierre Bourdon). Batch code and deep vintage provenance checkers tend to fall into this group too even if what they're into isn't necessarily "vintage" yet in age (i.e. Dior Homme fans).

-Approximately 30% of us are Indie and artisanal fragrance fans with a focus on all/mostly natural ingredients and self infusion/tincture/DIY raw materials creation a la Areej le Dore and Bortnikoff; or conversely, there is a strong fan focus on retro styles and unique individualistic styles not beholden to eras of fashion a la Rogue and Tauer. Lastly, there are lovers of quirky upstart brands with tiny one-man distribution like Gray Matter and Clandestine Laboratories. The garden variety niche brand fans (L'Artisan and Montale etc) see some representation here too but it's very selective and usually those selections are older or discontinued (e.g. D'Zing), showing overlap with vintage lovers.

-Approximately 10% of us (and shrinking at least since I started being active) are focused on big status luxury brands that impart some sort of misplaced sense of superiority in the capitalist social darwinism chain, vis à vis people who "flex" their Roja Dove, Xerjoff, Fragrance du Bois, Creed, or Frédéric Malle collections. This group tends to extol "you get what you pay for". Sometimes the oft-lampooned "FragBro" stereotype falls into this category too because status is one of their goals in pursuing fragrance. Once upon a time this was Lutens bell jars or rare Le Art et Maitiere/Parisiens/Parisiennes Guerlains, but that stuff is now falling into vintage jurisdiction.

-Approximately 10% of us still keep a pulse on modern designers and mainstream "masstige" niche brands, and that's where interest in threads like this usually come from (but not always). This segment of the population here is actually growing again after being on the decline for some time (maybe the "snobs" stopped gatekeeping and chasing them away); and even though a lot of what may seem to be banal questions get asked (e.g. is X good for the office), there is an opportunity to commune with "the other side" and share tastes/perspectives. This creates growth for everyone.

Disclaimer: There is also a lot of overlap too, and entire sub-populations of DIY perfumers, oud and attar collectors, wet shaver and drugstore/mailorder scent users, candle and incense/room scent lovers, plus the Aventus fans (still cordoned off) that weren't represented in the above breakdown.
Well you sucked all the fun out of it. 😎
 

StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
Short version: We focus on the rare, the weird, the discontinued or forgotten, the exclusive, the expensive, the trophies and unicorns, whatever separates or elevates us from the din of the common. This is really par for any collection hobby, like comics or vinyl records. Collectors are more likely to spin test pressings of Steely Dan than a vinyl issue of Taylor Swift's newest disc. This cuts modern and popular/ubiquitous/socially relevant scents like Sauvage out of the running until they no longer are, then they become considered.
I think there is a lot of truth is in this.

I'll probably be buying Sauvage in 8 years when it's rumored to be on the way out.

I think "the people" are largely focused on what's current and mainstream. What's "in."

That being said, I think "the people" appreciate many of the scents we wear, whether or not they would ever consider purchasing.
 

Alex F.

Basenotes Junkie
Nov 29, 2019
What we "snobs" often forget about our favourite fragrances are our own first impressions of them. My favourite fragrances are usually the ones I have come to know over an extended period of time. Consequently, my perception of them is influenced by a lot of feelings and memories that nobody else shares. I always have to remind myself that the people around me are probably smelling the scent I wear for the first time, so my current impression doesn't count for much. That's why I make a point of noting my first impressions for new acquisitions.
In my experience, people are usually very reserved about commenting on other people's scents. The only two outright negative reactions I got when wearing beloved classics were (1) for Chanel Pour Monsieur ("you smell like an old hooker" from an experienced male ex-coworker) and (2) Guerlain Vetiver ("stop wearing that, seriously!" from my sister). I really like both fragrances, so I was quite taken aback both times.
 

GoldWineMemories

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 22, 2019
What we "snobs" often forget about our favourite fragrances are our own first impressions of them. My favourite fragrances are usually the ones I have come to know over an extended period of time. Consequently, my perception of them is influenced by a lot of feelings and memories that nobody else shares. I always have to remind myself that the people around me are probably smelling the scent I wear for the first time, so my current impression doesn't count for much. That's why I make a point of noting my first impressions for new acquisitions.
In my experience, people are usually very reserved about commenting on other people's scents. The only two outright negative reactions I got when wearing beloved classics were (1) for Chanel Pour Monsieur ("you smell like an old hooker" from an experienced male ex-coworker) and (2) Guerlain Vetiver ("stop wearing that, seriously!" from my sister). I really like both fragrances, so I was quite taken aback both times.

Lol yeah Guerlain's Vetiver is really the only thing that's gotten a reaction of really trying to be polite, but the subtext was I don't like that smell at all. I enjoyed my 200ml bottle, then hated it, then enjoyed it again. That's probably the last I'll wear of it. I am curious though if Habit Rogue is more of the same.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
The vast majority of people still prefer light, fresh fragrances, whether that's an old eau de cologne or a more modern transparent aquatic.
I can confirm that my fragrance-disinterested spouse, who only wears peony-scented florals (and only ever owns one bottle of a chosen fragrance at a time; she's a true ascetic), has only complimented me on a fragrance once in recent years, when I was randomly sampling Azzaro Chrome on a lark.

"Really?" I asked.

"Well, you at least smell clean."
 

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