The “fanboy” and a point about “quality.”


On a Basenotes.net thread, one person responded (the person who started the thread said he was “done with Creed”) with:

I know I’m probably getting more and more labeled as “that Creed fanboy” around here but I don’t care and will say it : out of the hundreds of colognes I’ve tried and the dozens I own, I could sell everything and just keep Aventus and GIT and rock those two and be perfectly happy. That’s how good I think they are…

First, it does seem to be the case that some people can wear one or two scents all the time, which is fine with me. However, many of these same people don’t seem to understand that some of us can’t wear any scent more than once every week or two My explanation for the former kind of people, generally-speaking of course, is that they are “top notes people,” who experience little if anything more than the first half hour or so. If you read many reviews, you have probably noticed that some people will say that a scent has great longevity (though not necessarily projection) while others claim it has terrible longevity – that, I believe, is perhaps the most obvious evidence for this phenomenon.

In fact, I know some people who prefer aftershaves because they say that after ten minutes or so they do not want to deal with any strong smells. If the “fanyboy” could perceive much of the drydown, he’d probably realize that there aren’t many unique bases, so it’s a waste of money to spend hundreds of dollars to get something that isn’t all that unique. Among those who do perceive a significant part of the drydown, they may be correct that it is “superior,” and then the question becomes whether it is worth the cost (assuming they are not simply convincing themselves of something that isn’t true). Others have argued that a smell can’t be high or low quality, though it can be irritating to one person but not to another. Thus, it’s reasonable to argue that some scents are less likely to become irritating over time, and that the ones that are more likely to become irritating are those which contain larger amounts of aroma chemicals. With scents that contain low amounts of aroma chemicals, I’ve found that it’s more likely I’ll just not wear it in the first place, if I’m not in the mood for that kind of scent on that particular day.

One can’t generalize too much, however, because not everyone becomes sensitive to any aroma chemicals, and some people are bothered by certain ones but not others. And this can change over time, in terms of specific sensitives or overall sensitivity. Luca Turin has spoken of a certain quality that is only found in scents that contain expensive ingredients., and when I first sampled Lorenzo Villoresi’s Teint de Neige that was my thought. However, I couldn’t imagine wearing that one more than once a month, or thereabouts. Why? Because it’s not a composition I find especially compelling, at least not more than a once or month kind of compelling. Do I wish every scent I owned possessed such “high quality ingredients?” Sure, but that’s just not the world we live in! In the real world, I can buy a bunch of “cheapos” with compositions I find compelling, and wait until my sensitivities are such that I will enjoy wearing those.

So yes, “quality” is something that some of us can perceive, and at least for a period of time, we may be compelled to only wear “high quality” scents due to sensitivities, but on the other hand we can’t tell others not to wear scents, even dollar store ones, because these are “low quality.” We could tell them that in a particular social context they may be perceived by others present in a negative light (which may or may not be accurate, or that person may not find himself in such situations, rendering the advice worthless at best), but that seems to be about as far as one can go (and I wouldn’t tell someone that unless he or she asked about it specifically). And as for “fanboys,” it makes sense that someone who has a “busy life” wants to simply buy from a company that produces “quality” scents. I may think they are missing out on all kinds of interesting and pleasant olfactory experiences, but if it’s someone’s “loss,” it’s theirs and not mine!

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