You may have read some people claim that newbies are often given ridiculous advice on sites like Basenotes.net. I am one of those people, and I like to joke about advising high school students to wear Norne on their Prom nights. I don’t really think this is a debatable point, but of course this kind of thing can always be exaggerated. However, the opposite side of this proverbial coin is rarely mentioned, that is, newbies asking for advice, getting apparently good advice, but then making an unreasonable choice.
A good example of this, IMO, can be found on the Basenotes’ thread entitled, “Undecided. Can someone talk me in or out of getting LIDGE?” The person who started it had little to say in his first post:
Like the post says i want to blind buy it because all the hype n i like the notes. How does it perform? Whats your take in this?
After a few diverse opinions were stated, though without much detail, this person posted this:
Purchased! Thanks peeps winter is starting and i needed a good winter scent. And bought chypre palatin alongside. Woohooo.
Now if this is a rich person, all he had to do was to read the many reviews just on BN and Fragrantica alone! He would have gotten a lot more detailed descriptions, and then he could have created his post, including more information about himself, such as what his opinion has been of various scents that are least somewhat similar to LIDGE (L’Instant Pour Homme Extreme, for those who don’t know). And what about his budget? If he’s not a newbie, he could have told us even more, obviously. We don’t even know if he wants a “signature scent,” a “party scent,” a “romantic scent,” a “casual” scent, etc., or why he chose to consider LIDGE in the first place!
When I mentioned how much less expensive Kokorico is and how it may be more to his tastes, he didn’t seem to even notice. My guess is that this is an example of a “fan boy” in the making. I don’t know how many times I’ve responded to one of these kinds of posts with what I thought was an excellent recommendation, and yet the person reacted as if my post didn’t exist. Of course, it’s not my loss, but possibly theirs, though I do wonder what is going on in the minds of such people. My guess is that this is more about wanting “support” than actual advice. Many are likely first learning of the more expensive concoctions and think there must be something special about these that they must experience for themselves.
However, they don’t seem to want to stray too far from the “mainstream,” generally-speaking, nor do they want to do a great deal of research. Thus, you will rarely see a thread like the one mentioned above in which the scent in question is one like Programme Homme or Monogram. Most probably want a “crowd pleasing” scent, as well, and don’t realize that it’s usually the case that the closer you get to one side (pleasing the “masses”), so to speak, the further you move away from the other (“specialness”). If they had thought this through better, I think there would be more threads of this type with titles such as, “Convince me that LIDGE is far superior to similar scents that cost much less.”
To this, I would respond that there may be something to be said about “Guerlain quality,” or at least there used to be, but that many can’t tell and that in some cases it may not matter to even those who think they can. There’s also an issue of variety, and this is where factors such as one’s budget can come into play. That is, would I rather have a bottle of LIDGE or a bottle of Kokorico and a few others, such as The Secret, which is also selling for very good prices at the moment and I like? I tried LIDGE a few years ago, and didn’t think the drydown was dynamic enough, so I may prefer these other two to LIDGE! Most newbies don’t seem to understand that with these concoctions, if you keep at it, you will likely “find a groove” that works for you, regardless of the online hype. At that point, you may realize that online reviews/comments are not likely to be all that helpful, because even if someone who has written a fair amount of reviews is in that same groove as you are with one kind of scent, that may not be the case with others! And of course, you need to spend some time doing research, which as I said, does not seem to be the strong point of most newbies.
And not long after I finished writing the above, I saw yet another BN thread of this sort, this one beginning with this post:
I found a small locally owned perfume botique in my town that has the vintage YSL Rive Gauche in the tin and vintage YSL Live Jazz for sale. Each are only $50.
Are these fragrances bottle worthy in your opinion and are they unique?
I’ll only be in a rush to pick them up if there aren’t other fragrances out there that are very similar to these.
Finally, are there other fragrances in the same genre as these but much better?
In this case, we seem to be witnessing a bit of “collectible fever,” if that’s the best way to phrase it, though the person has provided so little information (such as preferences, goals, budget, or even the size of the bottles for sale!) that perhaps this is best dismissed as a “he gets what he deserves” kind of situation (it terms of doing what people on a forum site advise him to do).