An interesting question occurred to me not long ago, and I decided to see what Basenotes.net members thought about it. Those of us who have been to the major fragrance sites more than a few times know how popular Sauvage and Aventus are (there’s an entire sub-forum for Avtentus at BN!), but among those who don’t care for, or outright dislike both of these, are they disliked in the same way? My original post to this thread I created at BN was:
This thread is for those who might like one or both, to the point that you’d wear it once or twice a year at most. For those people, which one do you prefer? To me the aroma chemicals in Sauvage are just too much, even using an amount that might have been 1/100th of a ml !
I was accused of “trolling” by a few people, despite this being a question many in the industry probably want to know the answer to! The reasoning seems to go like this, “Aventus and Sauvage are really popular, so if you criticize them in any way you know you are going to set off some people.” That may be true, but it can also be said of many other people who were branded “trouble-makers” at the time, for instance civil rights protesters in the 1960s. Now you might say that this comparison is questionable, but it could be argued that it’s more ridiculous (taking the commonly held notions of the period into account) with fragrances, because it’s just a matter of personal preferences, whereas “Jim Crow” society was viewed as almost a religion by many “whites” in the South! Indeed, one of the most horrifying things to such people, from the history I’ve read, was the prospect of “miscegenation;” unfortunately, that seems to be a “major issue” for quite a few people today in the South.
So then, the obvious question becomes, what do such people want? I addressed that in one response posts to that thread:
I don’t know why the question is “trolling.” Everyone knows that scents as widely distributed as these two aren’t liked by all humans! Because they are very popular, there is no social pressure to dislike them (unlike Kouros, for example, at least in today’s world); I’m curious as to whether those who don’t like either (or are just “meh” about them) dislike them or are “meh” for the same reasons. If that’s “trolling” then perhaps it’s time to have a forum where only heavy praise is allowable! Yes, a few people who are “fans” of one or both might “lose it,” but that’s their psychological issue and we shouldn’t all be punished for it, just as movies have ratings to keep the young children from seeing inappropriate things.
The thread was closed by a moderator, though I’m not sure why. The statement by the moderator on the thread (in the “thread closed” post) was:
It seems some of us cannot be civil or take a question seriously here. We are aware of certain trouble makers and they will be severely dealt with right now. Without having ANY posts or threads reported to the mods, it’s hard for us not to act sooner. That said, people taking the ‘rules into their own hands’ here is also not something we take lightly. So we will be taking a tough approach to a wide-range of posts here that caused trouble.
The best way to report spam, abuse, trolling, etc is using the reporting function at the bottom of each and every post on the site. This will alert all mods immediately to the offending thread/post/user.
I’d like to compare this to someone I know who was recently railing against “the Berkeley students,” who protested against a right wing pundit speaking there (the pundit, TMK, does not have sociological or political science or otherwise relevant credentials beyond being a right wing pundit for more than a few years). The university has their own security force and can also call the police if they think some students do unacceptable things when they protest, so I don’t see what the issue is from that perspective. I think nearly everyone would agree we all should have the right to protest in a peaceful manner, but if things get violent, the authorities should have a plan in place, especially if they allow a known far-right pundit to speak at a “bastion of liberalism.” How could they fail to predict that this might happen, with Berkeley’s history? For those who don’t know about it, there’s a documentary called “Berkeley in the Sixties.”
So, my point here is that if these kinds of threads are to be quickly closed, then is BN a place where only praise towards at least the “big” scents of the today is acceptable? If so, shouldn’t they make that clear to members? In this case, I was not even criticizing the scents! I simply wanted to know if people who thought these two were no better than “okay” assessed them in the same way! I was surprised that nobody said something like, “they are both generic and meant for the masses – I don’t want to smell like everyone else.” Instead, there were a few posts that lent support to my notion that many hobbyists who at least don’t care much for these two scents find Sauvage just too “chemical” and perceive Aventus as “okay” or “meh,” but definitely not special. Note that some of the posts were deleted, perhaps because they contained obscenities, which makes sense, but this can have the proverbial “chilling effect” on one’s sense that a certain site is a place to ask reasonable questions on particular subjects. BN once had a politics forum, but apparently they couldn’t handle the “heat” that predictably resulted, and so it was closed fairly quickly. I don’t know if there is a “solution” here, since a person who owns a site can make up their own rules, but this does strike me as rather odd behavior – punishing the victims, so to speak, makes little sense to me.
NOTE: I mentioned on that thread that I have edited some comments to this blog, simply deleting obscenities in at least a couple of cases, and wondered why such a policy was not in place (apparently) for the BN forums.