It seems that sometimes a notion has to sort of burn itself out over time, as more and more people realize that what they believed was incorrect or misunderstood. One issue is the use of aroma chemicals to market scents. One fragrance blogger seems to think that if any amount of an aroma chemical is used, then it is “common” and not noteworthy. The point I have made over and over again throughout the years is that sometimes a scent is “overloaded” with this or that common aroma chemical. This doesn’t seem to be “controversial” within the industry; for instance Cool Water for Men included a large amount of dihydromyrcenol. If such a scent becomes popular, after a while the chemical overload goes from smelling “new” and “exciting” to “common” and “generic,” as has occurred with this scent (whether all the “clones” greatly aided in this process or not is an interesting question). My perception is that some companies are using iso e super overload or cashmeran overload to market a scent as “niche.” If others disagree, that’s fine, but you can’t say someone is wrong about a perception that involves “industry secrets,” unless you are an “industry insider.” We simply don’t know if the people who make decisions about what scents to release and how to market them are doing this intentionally or not, but I have little doubt this is the reality in recent years!
Another issue is the one I’ve been speaking about recently, that is, the mental contortions some people go through so that they feel “justified” in spending a huge amount of money on one of these olfactory concoctions. In the Basenotes.net thread concerning Creed’s Viking I’ve been referencing in the last few posts, there are these two new statements:
…It projects and lasts quite well thruout the day for me. Everyone has a different experience with Viking so far. Is it overpriced ? Absolutely , but most creeds work on my skin and if I enjoy it , I’ll wear it. Not to mentioned the positive reactions I’ve received already wearing this.
I think this fact makes Viking a very well made, artistic niche and what’s even better is that it’s still highly nose-pleasing to all of these differing opinions. Fantastic development. I bet Creed tested this exhaustively to achieve broad appeal while still trying to remain a niche scent. Remember this was 7 years in development. It’s pretty remarkable.
Now what I find even more amusing is that when I commented on this thread that it seemed as though to some people Viking smelled like the latest formulation of Halston’s Z-14, one person said:
Those people are wrong. It smells nothing like Z-14 in even the remotest way. I own 2 bottles of Z-14.
I think it’s highly questionable to claim that Viking is “artistic niche” and at the same time “highly nose-pleasing to all,” but you certainly can’t claim that “everyone has a different experience with Viking,” and then claim that a person who perceives it as being similar to Z-14 is “wrong.” I know these are not the same people, but they are making the same kinds of arguments about Viking on this thread. Just in these early days alone, many have said there’s a strong cinnamon quality to Viking, and there is clearly a lavender note in both (apparently not strong in either), which is listed for Viking. Why can’t some people believe that those notes may be “spiking out” for some people, even if that is not the case for themselves? Such claims suggest that a person is trying “right fight” perceptions of these concoctions, rather than simply stating their own opinions about it. The same is true for scents that are “overloaded” with this or that aroma chemical. I have a friend who thinks that scents seem to have huge amounts of dihydromyrcenol smell the “freshest,” for example, and he has no perception of any chemical element; to him it smells totally natural. To me, these are a strident, simplistic compositions that apparently were made for those who share his perception. If you read the reviews for the recent Stash release, that same kind of perception appears to be operating, but about different aroma chemicals (s). I certainly wish I didn’t smell “chemical overload” in Stash, but we clearly do not all perceive these concoctions in the same ways.
NOTE: Right before publishing the above, I saw this post in the major Viking thread at Basenotes:
In sampling Viking, I found that I was one of several reporting that the more you wear it and become familiar with the way the notes evolve, the more you’ll tend to really like it. The cinnamon and clove combo, to me, is really appealing. The way they use the slow dry down of the clove is really nice and rather creative. Now…if only I could smell it noticeably after a few hours, all would be grand and I’d buy a bottle of it. But this just doesn’t appear to be the case.
What such people don’t seem to realize is that if one were to somehow put perhaps half (or even more) of the recent “masculine” releases by designer names into a Creed bottle they would say the same thing. That is, if you keep studying a “decent” scent (and most are at least that, by the standards of the last decade or so), you are going to find those “subtle facets,” “nuanced complexity,” etc. How many of these people study the scent of any other company the way they do a Creed?
UPDATE: Several hours after I published the above, this was posted to that BN Creed thread:
…I have to say that it’s complex and it kept changing from the opening to drydown. It really is bold, edgy, confident and masculine . Even though I was reminded of the 90s at first , it doesn’t mean that it’s a designer like scent or anything. It’s high quality.
No, even though it seems to be like a 90s “masculine,” there’s no way that’s more or less what it is, right? Then that would mean hundreds of dollars were wasted! Of course, no 90s designer scent changed at all from top notes to base, and there weren’t any “bold, edgy, confident, and masculine” scents back then, or were there plenty of them? Ah, the mental contortions we engage in to justify our behavior or perceptions!
Another person said that the small samples don’t contain enough liquid but that if he sprays himself several times to the chest the scent is much better. Again, does he do this with every scent he samples? Most likely he’s seeking the “hidden Creed magic” and doing everything he can think of to find it, regardless of whether there is anything especially unique about Viking.