Am I the great and powerful BigslyOz (part 1) ?

If you go over to the blog, http://frompyrgos.blogspot.com, you’ll see a new post with the following statement in the first paragraph:

This just in: YSL, via L’Oréal, has officially discontinued Kouros… I’m already having difficulty finding reasonably-priced bottles on Amazon (the 3.3 ounce is suddenly $100). It is a sad, sad day.

This is fictional, and apparently the author thinks he has very good future-predicting skills. The reality that I have seen is that Kouros has been difficult to obtain at reasonable prices (well under $50 for 100 ml) for quite a while now on ebay. Would the world end if 100 ml did sell for $100? I’ve got an extra 100 ml bottle that I would like to sell or swap because I know that one bottle will last for a very long time. Sure, if you spray yourself 10+ times with Kouros each time you wear it you may want a backup bottle, but if you do that you are probably not a “base notes person.” If that’s the case, you may want to reconsider your values; are ten minutes of top notes worth that much to you? On most threads about Kouros, you’ll see that many say that one spray is enough or that you should spray in front of you once and then walk through the mist. If you really want Kouros and are one of these people, you likely already have enough to last the rest of your life !

The author makes other statements I find quite odd, such as: “Eventually one must purchase the new stuff…” and, “They aren’t giving new formulas the proper time of day, because they usually don’t own any, and choose to own only the old stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that it doesn’t justify telling people that the new stuff is crap,” and, ” If we begin spreading rumors about deteriorations in formulas, without being able to factually prove that these new formulas are diminutions of their predecessors, then these formulas will become endangered. People will not buy them, and manufacturers will execute the nightmare [meaning discontinuation] described above.”

First of all, no I am not going to purchase “the new stuff.” I’ve got more of “the old stuff” than I’ll ever need, and that seems to be true for many if not most of the people who share my opinion. If I find a new formulation to be pleasant and I already own a bottle there’s a good chance I’ll wear it sometimes, but I’m certainly not going to wear something I don’t like for a reason that may not be true and is irrelevant to me in any case. Moreover, dollar store scents aren’t bad, and usually just don’t last very long, so I could just buy a few of those rather than buying reformulations, because in some cases there doesn’t seem to be much difference. Blaming people because they buy what they like and stop buying when the product seems to have been changed does not make sense to me on any level, but if some people want what might essentially be a dollar store version of the scent they used to enjoy in the same bottle (and at higher prices), they are free to do as they think best, just as I am.

Secondly, I first owned the reformulations and began to notice differences from some of the vintage samples I obtained in swaps, usually from Basenotes members. One example is Red for Men by Giorgio of Beverly Hills. I thought my sample was from the reformulated version and bought a bottle, only to be very disappointed. In other cases I decided I wanted backup bottles (such as with Oscar Pour Lui) and looked for ones on ebay that had a different design, were not common, and looked old, hoping I would get a vintage version, and I’ve been quite successful finding vintage formulations this way. I kept noticing major differences, and then began to swap off as much of my many reformulated bottles as I could. I still have quite a few, unfortunately, but they are up for swap to those who don’t think the differences are meaningful !

Third, nobody is spreading rumors. We are providing our opinions about what we think we are smelling. That is all we can do. If someone wants to do some actual testing, I am more than willing to supply them with samples, but I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and try to teach myself how to use it in order to satisfy one blogger’s notions that don’t make sense to me. And lastly, the author is making assumptions about industry decisions being dictated by internet feedback of particular kinds. Do bloggers or posts on sites like Basenotes.net or Fragrantica.com have the kind of influence this author believes they do? Where is the evidence to suggest that is the case? This is the same person who claimed that my blog had hardly any readers not long ago in a snide comment I did not approve.

Can this author furnish any evidence for a blog that has a great deal of influence and urges readers to buy only vintage (of course that person or person would have to explain the differences!), and do the comments to these blog entries suggest this is occurring? I do see some scents being bid up to fairly high prices on ebay but I have not seen much correlation to the Basenotes.net favorites, in general. For example, Gucci Pour Homme (1976) has been selling for quite bit lately, despite hardly any discussion about this one anywhere that I’ve seen. There was a Basenotes thread on it but that was after I noticed ebay prices rise sharply and there weren’t any responses like “I’ll buy it at high prices if I must” that I can recall. In part 2 (which I am hoping to finish within the next few days), I’ll mention wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr., and talk more about my observations on the fragrance market.

UPDATE: The author of frompyrgos.blogspot.com wanted to leave a comment which included a link to an ebay auction, which was supposed to show that I was “wrong” about the price trends on Kouros. The auction was for several 50 ml bottles at $37 each. How was I wrong? That is $74 per 100 ml! Even so, it is possible that someone gets hold of a box of several Kouros bottles and wants to sell them quickly. I saw this recently with Habanita testers, and this is not related to an overall trend. Moreover, as may be the case here, a stock photo is used of the vintage bottle even though the buyers are getting the newest formulation. In the case of Kouros, general consensus seems to be to at least get a bottle with chrome trim on the “shoulders” and base if you want to experience vintage or something not too far from it.

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2 Comments

Filed under Criticizing the critics.

2 responses to “Am I the great and powerful BigslyOz (part 1) ?

  1. You are the Great and Powerful BigslyOz, and I cannot tell you how much delight I derive from reading the epic dispute between you and Bryan Ross!

    I salute you both! 😉

    • Scents are too much fun to “dispute” them, at .least for me. I can’t speak for others. I enjoy talking about my experiences as well, for example my “vintage hunting.” And what a boring world it would be if everyone always agreed about everything !

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