“Pennypincher” or is some other factor involved ?


On Fragrantica.com there was this passage from a review of Club de Nuit Intense for Men:

It’s one of the best Aventus clones out there, and it’s an affordable and completely viable option to those don’t want to dish out the dough for the Aventus King.

Similar?, yes. Good scent? Certainly, but Aventus is still Aventus, and can’t be topped by this imitation. Chill out on the comparison saying this is equally as good as Aventus in the performance and the scent.

There’s the niche lovers who have the tendency to believe their fragrances are cut above the rest because of the $ they’ve spent, and are in denial when it comes to imitations.
And then there are the opposite, the penny pinchers who keep lookout for fragrances like these and compare them to the already classics like GIT, Aventus, Tom Ford frags, etc, and believe these to be the second coming of Jesus in their limited fragrance world

Can you see the glaring assumption here that being made? Where is the evidence that most of the people who buy “clones” believe these are identical to the “real thing?” Sure, some do, but most of what I have read involves percentages, such as 80% top notes and 40% drydown. Other say things like, “it’s got the smoky quality down but the pineapple isn’t as good” (the reviewer said somethng to that effect elswhere in the review). Now in the case of Aventus, the popularity of the “clones” may be due to the notion that something quite similar to a scent that is very appealing to a certain demographic in the romantic context may be just as good – that has been my impression of a large number of these claims. I tried Aventus a few years ago but didn’t think much of it, though I already owned a bottle of the original Zara Man Gold, which to me is rather similar, so I didn’t see the need to consider spending “big bucks” on a bottle of Aventus.

When I heard about Lomani’s AB Spirit Silver, I decided to buy a bottle when it looked like prices might “go crazy,” as has recently occurred with Perry Ellis’ Oud Black Vanilla Absolute. I’m glad I did, as I like it on its own terms – if it had a designer name on it and a $70 price tag, I’d wait for it get to the discounters/ebay and possibly buy it at that point. And that brings me to my main point here, which is that while I (and a bunch of others) might be viewed as “pennypinchers” by a segment of the online fragrance community, that doesn’t mean our perceptions are warped. In fact, I am finding, in recent months, that I enjoy a slightly “synthetic” quality, at least in some compositions. By contrast, some of Creed’s scents seem to be “too much of a good thing,” with Virgin Island Water being an excellent example. Interestingly, it’s drydown is similar to Dali’s Laguna for Women, which I already have (an ounce bottle), but rarely wear because again, it’s like too much of a good thing, sort of like a cake that tastes great but just has too much sugar in it.

Obviously, I can’t convince people who want to believe things about “pennypinchers,” but for me the reality is that I have been worn quite a few really cheap scents recently (ones that never retailed for much or hit the discounters quickly, not “one time only” bargains I try to find on ebay, etc.). New additions to these include Jesus Del Pozo in Black, Rogue by Rihanna, Black Oud by Remy Latour, Cubano Gold, Phoenix by Keith Urban, Berlin by Playboy, Amber by Iceberg, and Rocawear Evolution. Of course, this could change, but the point here is that it’s not like I have no niche scents or sought-after vintage. In fact, I’ve got more than a few niche samples I’ve had for a couple years or more but haven’t sampled once! The reason is that I wear mostly what I know I will enjoy. If I am wrong, as occurs once in a while, I then layer another scent that I think will help, and it often does!

Now some people may be able to afford to buy a few hundred bottles at a couple of hundred dollars each, but that would be financially unwise for me (not sure if I could charge up that much anyway!). Yet I keep coming back to my experiences, which point to the “cheapos” as being more enjoyable than seems to make sense. I’m guessing that someone like Luca Turin would call most if not all of the ones I have that fit this category things like crude, generic, or even ghastly, but one thing that can’t be denied is that they are just smells. And none of them smell like feces, vomit, urine, etc., though there are people who do things like claim that some of their bottles are spoiled (in some cases not being very old and almost certainly being nearly all synthetic) and smell like an unpleasant bodily secretion (as I discussed in a recent blog post titled Someone finally took me up on my “spoiled bottle” offer!).

As the old Starkist tuna TV commercial stated, people want tuna that tastes good not tuna that has good taste. If I owned a bottle of Aventus, I might wear it once in a while, but I certainly can’t imagine wearing it often, as it’s just not what I have been enjoying recently (which are mostly oriental gourmands and outright gourmands in the drydown, sometimes with something like a bit of leather to provide contrast).  And I can’t speak for anyone else but I tend to enjoy eating the same kinds of things every day, whereas I can’t remember the last time I wore the same scent twice in a week’s time!  I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few people did the opposite, which is the kind of thing that should make readers of reviews consider while pondering what the scent smells like.  Because you can’t know much about the reviewers, I think it’s best to try and put the reviews in perspective, such as if a newbie wrote it, or someone with particular tastes, or a “fanboy,” as well speculating about what it might be similar to, such as the many scents similar to Cool Water for Men (the date of release and the “official” notes can sometimes be quite helpful, in conjunction with the reviews).

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