Death by bling! ARGH.
I like to think that The Candy Perfume Boy is a blog that celebrates the more positive side of perfume and I also like to think that I’m quite a happy-go-lucky guy by nature. But I would be lying if I said that there weren’t aspects of perfume and the perfume industry that I find irksome. In fact there are quite a few things that seem to irk this usually sweet perfume boy.
Maybe I’m not the only one too, maybe there are things that get on your nerves that you would like to share. I firmly believe that it’s good to share and perhaps the ensuing discussion may act as some form of ‘group therapy’ that would be mutually beneficial for all.
The following 5 bug bears/pet hates/irksome details/nark inducers are of course not intended as a major criticism of the perfume industry, they are instead a light hearted attempt at poking fun at a few annoying little habits.
Last weekend, after much nagging from my long-suffering partner, I decided to have a tidy of my perfume collection and samples box. Now, anyone who knows me well will be fully aware that tidying is not really something I do very often, in fact, it is something that I avoid at all costs.
Anyway, during my tidy up, I totalled up the number of perfume bottles in my collection and I was genuinely shocked when I came to the nice round number of 120. “How can I have so much perfume, I never feel like I have enough choice” I thought, “Do I really need so much?” and “Do I feel like I don’t know what to wear because I have too much choice?”
This led me to think in depth about my collection of fragrances, what would I choose if I were to reduce its size considerably?
In the ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ series I will be taking a look at those wonderful fragrances that for one reason or another are no longer with us. They are the sadly departed and greatly missed fragrances of yesterday, the ones that despite being innovative, interesting and lovely smelling, didn’t quite make it.
If like me, you’re fed up with the constant wave of flankers (please see my review of the two new CK One flankers) then I hope you will take this post as some kind of remedy, a tonic if you will. I could spend hours and hours moaning about how I hate flankers and name and shame some of the worst, that would be very easy, and not entirely true. What I would like to do instead is just make a few personal recommendations of what I think are some of the best.
What is a Flanker?
Most of you reading this blog will be familiar with flankers but for those who aren’t; a flanker is essentially a fragrance released using the same (or similar) name as another fragrance by the same house, think of it as a sort of sequel, so for example; Live Jazz is a flanker to the original Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent. The actual juice can be very similar, slightly similar or completely unrelated to the original fragrance.
Flankers are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to spend a huge amount of money on new concepts, bottle moulds and advertising. They are also a great way of marketing a ‘new’ product to consumers who are already fans of the original fragrance.
Not all flankers are bad, some brands use the opportunity to create a new interpretation of an established fragrance and these tend to be the flankers that work best, they bring something new and interesting to the table.
We all have them, those things that we know we shouldn’t love but we secretly do. I have lots of guilty pleasures, whether they be food, fragrance, music, movies or TV shows, there are lots of things that I know are a bit naff but I love them regardless.
There are so many fragrances on the market and us perfumistas are constantly on the search for the great fragrances, the ones that smell so good we just cannot live without them. It’s a long ongoing journey and along the way we find the bad, the dull, the weird, the downright hideous and of course the guilty pleasures.
So what exactly is a guilty pleasure perfume? Well to me they are those fragrances that you know are bad because they are a dreadful celebuscent or the quality of the composition (or both) or because they are painfully mainstream, but you still like them anyway.
When putting this post together there was one fragrance that instantly came to mind….
Us perfumistas/fumeheads/fragonerds/whatever it is we call ourselves are keen followers of the mantra ‘It’s all about the juice’, meaning that we don’t care about the marketing, the bottle or any of the other stuff that comes with a fragrance. We just care about the smell!
It seems that we may differ from the mainstream consumer.
In the mainstream perfume industry the bottle is seen as the key marketing tool for a fragrance. Those of you who watched the recent BBC4 documentary ‘Perfume’ would have seen that in the case of the latest Tommy Hilfiger fragrances (Loud for Him and Her) the bottle and the marketing were the prime focus of the development team and the juice very much seemed like an afterthought.
So how important is the bottle to a perfumista?
I asked my Twitter followers whether they were swayed by the bottle design when purchasing a fragrance. The general consensus seemed to be that no, the bottle doesn’t matter, however an attractive bottle does help. Some even mentioned that if the fragrance was good and the bottle was bad they would decant the juice into something more aesthetically pleasing. We kept coming back to the same conclusion – it’s all about the juice…
I feel that I may buck the perfumista trend slightly, if I love a perfume I will buy it, regardless of whether it has a nice bottle or not. That said, I do like a nice bottle and have on occasions found myself wanting a fragrance because it’s housed in a nice bottle (Hello Lola by Marc Jacob!) I can’t help that I’m drawn to shiny, pretty objects can I?!
There are some brands out there with some really fabulous bottles and in this post I would like to highlight just a few of my favourites.