Sunday, December 29, 2013

sherapop's Best of 2013: Betting on the Long Shots!!!!!

While perusing the spate of perfume blog posts entitled "The Best of 2013," I was struck by the convergence of the results. Some combination of a small cluster of perfumes seemed to be showing up over and over again. And yet, I had never had the good fortune of sniffing any one of them! And yet, I review a perfume nearly every single day. I began to worry that there might be a conspiracy in play. So many perfume bloggers converging on so few perfumes? How, pray tell, could this be? 

In my quest to get to the bottom of this mystery, I visited the Parfumo database, where I learned that, lo, there were 2,397 perfumes launched (to date) in 2013! Something very fishy does indeed seem to be going on here... Is it perhaps true, as I have long suspected, that perfume bloggers really do form a cloister of sorts, a small group of self-selected people all of whom test the very same perfumes--and agree upon their worth?! 

We live in the twenty-first century, the epoch of the internet, the age of the democratization of everything, and yet this pernicious holdout to oligarchic days remains unchanged. To counter this nefarious vestige of benighted times, I hereby offer sherapop's Best of 2013, featuring an array of perfumes unlikely to be celebrated by any other perfume blogger on planet earth--or beyond.

Bucking the trend, I'm betting on what you may regard as the long shots, but I'm sure that, on reflection, you'll wholeheartedly agree that these fragrances are much, much more likely to have an impact on the future of the industry and the perfume world beyond the blogosphere than are the "Best of 2013" bloggers' chosen few!

The envelope please ... and the winners are, in no particular order:

Escada Cherry in the Air

Katy Perry Killer Queen

Diesel Loverdose Tattoo

Kenzo Flower in the Air

Lanvin ME

Guess Girl Guess

One Direction Our Moment

Nicki Minaj Minajesti

Justin Bieber The Key

Pink Sugar Aquolina
Simply Pink

Repetto Repetto

Playboy Play It Pin Up

Moschino Forever

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Forever 

Heidi Klum Surprise

Christina Aguilera Unforgettable

Mark my words: these creations, my fragrant friends, not the haute niche decants of your best blogging buddies (BBBs), will set the tone for the future of perfumery. Stay tuned... Or not! 

Happy New Year!
Best Wishes for 2014!


  1. I'm confused, dear heart. Have you actually tried any of these? I haven't, but I'm certainly not above trying celeb/mass-market scents. (Right now, I'm wearing Jimmy Choo Exotic, which seems to be the 999th iteration of fruitchouli.)

    1. This was supposed to be a satire pbf. Hmmm... I guess this means that it did not succeed.

      No, I have not worn any of the above, nor have I tried about 2,000 other fragrances launched this year. My point (which apparently was lost...): neither have the bloggers who post "Best of 2013" features with such pomp and ceremony.

      Happy New Year!!!!!

    2. I had a feeling this was kind of a joke when I saw the second fragrance on your list, lol! Pretty funny. Let me say this: I think any "best of" list is automatically boring. The other day I was reading Rolling Stone's pathetic "Best Albums of the Nineties" list. You know something? They pretty much left out virtually all the best albums of the nineties. No mention of bands like Weezer, or decade-defining female artists like Sarah MacLachlan and Tori Amos - none of their albums were mentioned. Heart's Brigade from 1990 was also noticeably absent, along with numerous others. Reading the list was an exercise in frustration, punctuated occasionally with a few "well at least they have a little sense" moments.

      The perfume blogosphere offers similar sentiments with their "best-of" whatever-year-it-is lists. But it does sort of track directly into my argument that the perfume blogosphere is influential. I don't think the "best ofs" are chosen collectively by any sort of accident. There isn't a mass coincidence here. No, these fragrances are the ones people who appreciate and write about perfume genuinely feel are contenders. I think they shore up the commercial futures of these fragrances, virtually guaranteeing at least increasing sales within the next eighteen months.

      There are people who disagree with me on this (cough cough), but it's not a difficult thing to fathom. When I'm curious about a fragrance, I Google it. Often I'm curious about things that are either (a) too new to sample, or (b) too old to sample. So I turn to internet opinions. It's the only resource I have at my disposal. I wind up finding numerous reviews of the fragrance in question on multiple blogs. Just today I nearly bought Balenciaga Paris EDP because I saw a bottle at Marshalls and it got me wondering, but I wouldn't buy it unless I knew something about it. So I Googled it and found no less than eight blog reviews of that scent. I went directly to the store and nearly bought it, until I realized that for the money I'd spend, I wasn't getting enough juice - they only had a 1.7 oz bottle (I will not spend blindly on an EDP for any less than 2.5 ounces, sorry). But I'll be on the lookout for a good deal on a larger bottle of Paris in the future, thanks to what I've read on blogs about it.

      Everyone who is interested in perfume does this nowadays. You want to know more about a fragrance, so you Google or Bing or Yahoo it. You find in the results personal, anecdotal articles on fragrance blogs. Those are of the highest interest because they're in-depth. You read them. You cull the general gist across a board of at least three or four blogs. And then before jumping blindly in, you decide whether what is written makes a scent worth it or not.

      These "best of" lists try to focus on the future of fragrance by "encouraging" companies to continue following a specific train of thought. So when a blogger says that something from 2013 was above all else in quality and charisma, it's a little love letter to the brand, telling them "more of that." I find it generally boring because when you read one list, you read them all, as you pointed out. But I think their function is not so trivial. These writers are attempting to shape the industry a bit, and I would not be surprised if they were at least a little successful at it.

    3. HI Bry! Thanks so much for weighing in on this topic. I'm glad that you found the post mildly humorous. I confess to having chuckled incessantly while putting it together. Call me easily amused...

      Yes, you are right that educated and intelligent people Google before buying. But the hoards of people who are purchasing the above fragrances probably just buy for the packaging and the associations. "Justin Bieber!" [pubescent teenager faints at the sight of a marketing ad for The Key]

      The bloggers form a tightknit community of people familiar with a small cluster of incredibly obscure niche perfumers whose wares can only be found at places such as Lucky Scent. About a select few of those "exclusive" offerings, the bloggers emote their opinions à la Turin & Sanchez as though their not having smelled something is equivalent to its never having existed. So it's pretty obnoxious, from one point of view. (No, the world is not exhausted by you! ;-)) Think of all of the houses omitted from The Holey[sic] Book. Not just obscure mom & pop niche houses, but big design houses such as Trussardi and La Perla. The list goes literally on and on.

      Looked at from the perspective purely of criticism, it's just bad criticism. It's assuming that the universe of perfume is exhausted by the small percentage of perfumes which you have chosen to review. I noticed that some bloggers at least qualify their lists with "My Best of 2013", which is an acknowledgement of the highly omissive quality of the sample set being evaluated. Others, again, following the example of T&S use language "The Guide", "The Best", etc., which suggests that the world of perfume is delimited by whatever they decide to honor with a review.

      Are the bloggers successful at shaping the industry? I don't know, Bryan. This is big business, and the small number of people who are going to be influenced by the elevation of a handful of perfumes to these bloggers' "Best of 2013" lists must pale in comparison with the hoards of teeny-boppers who will plop down their allowance for anything bearing Justin Bieber's name. The differences in magnitude (of sheer numbers of consumers) are so vast that I cannot imagine that the small and obscure niche houses will win out in the end.

      You mention Balenciaga Paris. Well, that is not an obscure perfume but one with a huge marketing campaign buoying it. So *you*, Bryan Ross, might buy it because some bloggers liked it, but the vast majority of people who buy it will do so because of the onnipresent ads and the attractive bottle out on display at department store counters all over the world. The name of Balenciaga, the fashion designer, may also carry some weight. The perfume itself (the juice inside) is one of the last things that seems to matter to the average consumer (not you, of course) these days, not to mention the CEO of LVMH. I cited him in a post a while back, here's the link:

      The fragrance requirement seems to be only that the juice be wearable and pleasant. What sells it, more often than not, is everything else.

    4. I keep a notebook with one-paragraph reviews of every book I read. Once a year, as requested by an old friend, I post a list of the "books I enjoyed most" in that year. I rarely read books the year they come out. So, would it be OK, then, if the perfume reviewers made lists entitled "perfumes, of the ones I tried for the first time this year, that I enjoyed most?" It's kind of unwieldy, no? I've generally understood "Best of xxxx" to be shorthand for that.

    5. I suppose that the obvious way to present such lists would be "My Favorite Recent Discoveries" or for this year "My Favorite Discoveries of 2013"--since that's what they are!

      Look, people can obviously do whatever they like. I'm just pointing out that it's something of a joke to pretend that these lists have any objectivity whatsoever. They are not "The" anything but "The Preferences" of the person who wrote them!

    6. Hi Sher, Balenciaga did have a big release fanfare as I recall, but as with most fragrances, it's sort of a blip on the screen of international media, not nearly long enough to reel people in long-term. I think many perfumes are discontinued because companies don't bother promoting them. Balenciaga has discontinued several of its best fragrances for that very reason. Balenciaga PH should, by all rights, still be in production and selling at least moderately well, but without any visible press for it in the nineties, it languished and was axed. Paris may very well face the same fate. The fact that it is showing up at Marshalls and TJ Maxx (saw it there, too) is not a good sign. I give it another year before discontinuation unless they flank it with something either just as good, or better.

      One phenomenon that people still haven't been able to explain to me is why certain obscure fragrances were "resurrected" and put back on the market. My two favorite examples of this are Red for Men by Giorgio and Azzaro Acteur. Red for Men didn't surprise me as much as Acteur. Bringing these two fragrances back from extinction is to me a glaring clue to how and in what arena fragrance blogging & forum reviews influence companies.

      Prior to Fragrantica and widespread fragrance blogging (back in the days when Bois de Jasmin and NST were the only major blogs), Azzaro would never have dreamed of re-releasing Acteur, because blogs like BdJ and NST don't bother to address oldschool masculines. Then in the last few years that all changed somehow. But how did it change??? Why were they brought back???

      I agree that most buyers are just looking for gifts, or just looking for whatever is familiar to them, and also only interested in whoever is "fronting" a celebuscent. Bieber fans between the ages of 10 and 17 will likely buy Bieber's new fragrances because they have his name attached to them. But the market for celebuscents is its own sector of the fragrance market. It has its own demographic. What about the market for older feminine and masculine perfumes from twenty and thirty years ago? What influences those sales?

      The industry is enormous. But not so enormous once it gets broken down into target audiences, target buyer demographics. That's where things get interesting imo.

      BTW - I don't think your satire was in vain. some of us may have missed it, but I think throwing Katy Perry in the list speaks volumes ;)

    7. All thought-provoking points, Bryan. Thank you!

      I especially like your argument about why some of these fragrances have been brought back to life. I enjoyed your piece on that topic over at From Pyrgos and continue to mull over it. The phenomenon does seem inexplicable, on its face, and your explanation fits the data...

      You are also right that there are many different market demographics. My facetious selection obviously focuses on the "younger", "pinker", fragrance user, but I was assuming that they dominate the market. This is pure speculation on my part. Perhaps Jeffrey Dame could provide us with some data...

      Another thing that I'm not sure about is whether "middle-aged" women (to take one example) are not pretty much stuck in Estée Lauder land--there could of course be much worse places to be stuck. Fortunately, EL seems to be maintaining fairly high production standards even in the face of the vast changes across the industry. I have not, however, tested Modern Muse (launched in 2013!), which may make me wish to retract that sweeping claim...

      I concur wholeheartedly with your observation that the most interesting part of these stories lie in the details... So true--and profound!

  2. I have to admit that your satire was lost on me as well. Sorry.

    Since I'm not doing perfume reviews, I refrain from releasing any kind of the "best of" lists (though I do plan to do my regular ststistics post for the complete year but mostly about my own perfume habits not touching the industry much).

    I understand why everubody writes about the same perfumes. I think you do too, but in case your surprise was genuine, I can offer my explanation ;)

    1. Hello Undina! Sorry that you did not like my attempt at a satire.

      The perfume blogosphere and the world of "perfume criticism" is highly incestuous and pretty much a closed universe. Consider how Chandler Burr got a job as a perfume critic at the New York Times: He wrote a book about Luca Turin, a guy who likes perfume a lot and who rehydrated someone else's long forgotten theory of olfaction. Burr owns (in an interview at Fragrantica) that he had no interest in perfume before meeting Luca Turin. So Burr was interested in perfume for only a few years before being named the NYT's first and only Perfume Critic. Then he used that title to persuade the folks at the Museum of Arts and Design to give him the lofty position of first curator (in the universe! in all of time!) of the Department of Olfactory Art. With that "credential," Burr now writes a blurb for any book about perfume published by anyone, in which he gushes about how great it is. The arrant charlatanry of the whole thing is frankly laughable, yet many bloggers seem to emulate Burr, Turin & Sanchez.

      The truth is that all of us are perfume enthusiasts. We all like perfume. Some people wish to earn their livelihood by doing what the rest of us do for fun. There is no serious perfume criticism, it seems to me, at least not at this point in history. The way the industry is transforming in the twenty-first century, I have to say that I doubt that there will ever be.

      Happy New Year, Undina! And to Rusty, too!

    2. I didn't say I didn't like your satire - I meant that I didn't get that it was a satire ;)

      About Turin, Burr, etc. - don't look at me: I've never read anything written by them (if not to count a couple of pages and reviews from The Guide or OpenSky pitches for the unnamed perfumes.

    3. Oh, Undina: I know that you are far too sage to be sucked into the pseudo-expert vortex!!!!! ;-)

  3. Foremost, thank you. You made the point I've championed for some time: The fragrance blogosphere writes mostly for the benefit of an audience that is...well...other fragrance bloggers. It can be a largely inward-facing commentary versus an experience shared and expanded outward from that circle.

    The truth lies right where you placed it, tongue-in-cheek as it is: As extreme lovers of fragrances, our tendency is to gravitate to the very eccentric, rare, and often esoteric and arcane scents that only extreme enthusiasts would ever encounter in some very isolated shop. The reality is that most people won't upgrade from their '93 Ford Taurus to the Mercedes S Class in a single step, and many of us forget that's where the majority of the audience remains. If they can't find it in Macys, Dillards, Sephora or Nordstrom, it probably never existed to them and never will.

    It seems in my mind that most bloggers and Fragrance Communities are very insular in nature, and cracking that shell for those who want to become interested is like passing a rite of initiation into the High School Chess Club ("all the cool kids are out on Friday night while we're playing Dungeons & Dragons, why is that?"). Truth be known, I haven't sampled anywhere near the 2,300+ new scents launched in 2013. Nor has anyone else. Nor do I feel compelled to do so since a plurality of them will be little more than a mere footnote in time.

    Thanks for the irreverent send-up. Not sure I'd call it sarcasm as much as a great poke at the state of bloggers doing "Best Of" round-ups of things that the general public usually won't see, know or experience. Your choices truly reflect utter crap, which was the intent (c'mon people, a Nicki Minaj fragrance being considered "good"? Seriously? None of you saw the humor?). I'd say you hit the mark, though ever so subtly. :)


    1. Thank you, dear Scentrist! I was beginning to suspect that I might be veering toward solipsism!

      I do believe that some of the blogs have non-negligible readerships, but my distinct impression is that they offer frequent perfume bribes for "attendance"--are not contests rife at the perfume blogs with consistent traffic flow? Then, of course, the greater traffic is interpreted (wishfully) as evidence of the quality of the content. Hmmm.. that sounds like the seed crystal for another satire...

      Thanks again for the vote of confidence and moral support, Scentrist. May you discover a handful of treasures out of the 3,000+ perfumes likely to be launched in 2014!

  4. Dearest Shera
    Rest assured your satire did not go unnoticed here. Yours is a point well made..
    In the absence of a profession of perfume criticism (those lists of records of the year are often the product of endless self indulgent team meetings) any such reviews will be of a very partial sub section of perfume releases. Furthermore as the work of enthusiasts and collectors they will be composed of the sorts of esoteric scents that attract the passionate.
    So far so comprehensible.
    Yes, there might be a degree of hyperbole in the use of the definite article to describe these selections, but in the scheme of things that is no major crime. Some might excuse it by saying it is a form of shorthand.
    Where I do take a little issue is with the apparent position that only the niche, the relatively obscure is worthy of attention. One of the most fascinating elements of perfumery is that, historically, it has been a popular art form. It's greatest works have often been available to millions.
    It seems reasonable therefore to believe that at least some if what the designer houses produce might br if quality. Just maybe.
    Of course I review what is chosen for my by others both old and new so stand accused of abrogating responsibility for choice of subject.
    Thought inspiring as always.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Perfumed Dandy,

      It's very nice to see you here again! Thank you very much for the measured response to my feisty and irreverent satire. You make some excellent points in both directions, illustrating yet again what a jolly good fellow you are!

      Yes, you are right that one might reject the premise of my little mini-diatribe by asking whether "The Best of..." wasn't a shorthand for "My Favorite..." after all. And it is true that what it means is usually precisely that.

      The difference between the case of perfume and some of the others could be that there are no "perfume experts", so when people deploy this sort of language, they are suggesting that they are that. Turin & Sanchez and Burr have used precisely this tack to excellent effect. How and why? Because people outside of our little insular community are largely ignorant about perfume, so whoever steps up to the karaoke mike first proclaiming him- or herself to be "The World's Foremost Authority" is accepted to be just that. I saw an article in a major newspaper wherein the journalist described (for her ignorant readers) The Holey[sic] Book as "The OED of perfumery." What? Could anything in the universe be farther from the truth? Yet these sorts of statements then get picked up and replicated by agents and publishers looking to promulgate this as the truth--so there is this bizarre circular affirmation of the claim. "The Guide" comes to be "critically acclaimed" because a bunch of schmoes in the editorial office at Vogue described it as "great". No matter that they have no idea what art or film or any other form of criticism looks like.

      Your final point is excellent: yes, of course, designer houses were the primary source of excellent perfume pre-Y2K. There is no a priori reason for denying the very possibility of great designer perfumes being launched today. The problem is that there is plenty of inductive evidence for the anti-designer house prejudice of perfumistas. Suffice it to consider this single word: flankers! ;-)

      Happy New Year, Perfume Dandy! I look forward to another year of your supremely well-scented letters!

    2. Dearest Shera
      I must salute you for the prescience of this piece, for since reading there seems to have been nothing but lists of 'Bests' for the year just been everywhere in the perfumed blogosphere.
      How strange! It never occurred to me for a minute to do anything of the like. Not that I'm not given to lists, I'm forever composing 'a dozen roses' or 'six hyacinths' a 'octet of incense' and the like, but to claim that they are the best!?! Hmmmh.
      Your points on the lack of a true critical approach to perfumery are well made and I will consider them more. Perhaps my awareness of this is why I have so studiously (and unconsciously?) avoided such a tack in my own reviews.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Hahaha! I know you aren't a huge fan of the fruity/gourmand genre; and even though I am, I didn't like any on this list. Well I didn't try the Lanvin, but chances are I won't like it either.

    1. Hello, Chloe!

      What I love most about Lanvin ME! is that it is such a flagrant celebration of selfie culture-look closely at the ad! ;-)

      Let's see: when was the last time that Lanvin launched a truly worthy perfume? Hmm.... I'm struggling here...

      Best wishes for 2014! Who knows? Maybe .1% of the new launches will be worth buying!

  6. On a recent post on my blog, I questioned why some scents are reviewed but not others. It seems to me that if any blog generates revenues (unlike mine) it should disclose such obviously important information. As to the "power" of the blogs, those who make that claim never seem to name the blogs and then explain exactly what that "power" entails. Are perhaps several dozen bottles sold wouldn't have otherwise been? Sure, I can see that, but the idea of any blog being a "major force" in this massive seems like a laughable notion. However, I am waiting patiently for a specific claim and some strong evidence to support it! Moreover, if NST is the biggest, I don't see how their "middle of the road" reviews, which seem to be most common, could exert much of an influence, even to sell several dozen bottles. What do you think, sherapop?

    1. Hello, bigsly, and thank you very much for weighing on the vexed question of the relevance--or not--of perfume blogs to the perfume industry! ;-)

      My skepticism about the "motive force", if you will, of the blogs, derives solely from my speculation about the magnitudes involved. I agree with you, bigsly, that some of the blogs may generate a dozen or more bottle sales. But let's face it: the order of magnitude has got to be close to a rounding error vis-à-vis the numbers of bottles purveyed by mega-corporate conglomerates such as Coty Prestige and P&G. I read in some article somewhere that NST (it might have been another blog, but I believe that was the one..) claimed to have 10K visitors PER DAY back in 2008. Really? Is that even possible? Does Fragrantica even get that many visitors per day? Sounds like hype to me. Of course my numbers are very low in part because I use a header which serves as a bouncer of sorts to usher away all readers who feel threatened by big words. As you and my handful of regular readers know, this is more of a philosophy blog than a perfume blog in the orthodox sense. I do not promote products here. Like you (and Bryan at From Pyrgos and Aromi at Il Mondo di Odore, and many others), I have no advertisements at the salon de parfum. I also have no contests. Remove advertisements and contests, and what is left? Just content. I'm only interested in readers who are interested in the sorts of topics discussed here. For the rest? They can go emote somewhere else. Perfectly fine with me.

      Well, that was something of a rambling digression, but to answer your question: I'm inclined to agree with you that the numbers are too tiny to matter to the big-wigs at LVMH, P&G, and Coty. It's really on the magnitude of "shrink", or the number of bottles shoplifted each year from department stores.

      Bryan Ross has raised another intriguing issue, however, which is: why in the world have some of the classics been reissued, if not because of the critical acclaim found only at the blogs and fragrance community websites? He has a valid point, it seems to me. Perhaps the blogs are influential in that they present executives with sparks of ideas (of which they seem to be otherwise largely devoid). So they might reason that there is market potential, given that a handful of enthusiasts are willing to promote the discontinued perfumes for ZERO compensation!!!!

      Happy New Year, bigsly! I have been busy with a big (non-perfume) project, but eventually I'll visit your place and respond to some of your many thought-provoking recent articles!

  7. I tend to be skeptical, as I was when I first heard about "bad reformulations." If I can't experience myself or see "real" evidence, then I feel it's important to point that out to others. To me there are two crucial issues; one being what is necessary to make such a strong claim. If one does not have sufficient evidence to make a claim, then skeptics have to wonder if there is an underlying motive, personality disorder, or something else unrelated to the actual issue. Mr. Ross may be correct but what he considers evidence seems to me to be simply a tiny ripple in a vast ocean, the fragrance industry being the vast ocean, obviously. We know that the actual liquid being sold costs very little in most cases, so sure, the company holding the rights to Patou Pour Homme would have to be stupid not to re-release it, but again is this a tiny ripple or something more?

    I have seen no evidence that it is anything more. By stark contrast, Mr. Ross is incredibly skeptical of the ebay market for vintage or discontinued scents, despite all the research I've done showing that scents which hardly ever (or never) get attention online (or anwhere else, at least not recently, such as TV commercials or magazine ads) seem to have a "real" market. You can read my last few blog posts for examples, and of course using ebay's sold item search you can monitor these scents over time. Lastly, I have argued that NST mostly announces releases and that their reviews tend to be "middle of the road" and "non-controversial," but even if the reviews were always sharp there, where is the evidence that these could add up to more than a tiny ripple?

    1. A quick reply to only your last point, as my bath water awaits...

      One might suggest (some have indeed suggested!!!!) that "any press is good press"--so though the NST reviews are not necessarily gushing, what really matters is the face time--or rather "bottle time"--given to the perfume.

      Take a celebrity such as Jennifer Aniston. What has she really done? Not a lot, and most of what she has done is pretty middling. Yet she is wildly famous just because people talk about her in the tabloids and on the internet. It doesn't even really matter what they say--some is positive, a lot is boring--what matters is the level of exposure. Sarah Palin was another example--before she dropped off the map (though she's probably planning a comeback...). Much of what was written about her was negative--but it served to buoy her fame all the same.

      More to follow...

  8. The fact that companies seem more interested in slapping a celebrity name and face on a box whenever possible suggests that is one lucrative way to sell a lot of bottles of liquid that don't cost much (at least for the liquid). Have you seen strong evidence that these companies are trying to influence what NST does? And why can't people who claim that blogs have a lot of influence ever name the blogs in question? The evidence Mr. Ross provided was a statement made by an Estee Lauder spokesperson in 2008, so by now we should have clear evidence for the claim. Where is that evidence? I cited many examples for my thought that there are markets, tiny as they may be, for some vintage/discontinued scents (but not others), and without something "real" like that, I have to question the motives of the person making the claims, especially when there is no reasonable response. In Mr. Ross' case, he seems to be unwilling to acknowledge that or my blog even exist, and that suggests there is a "sour grapes" kind of thing going on here!

    1. The mode of reasoning which I see in Bryan's argument is called "inference to the best explanation"--at least that's what professional philosophers call it. It's not strictly speaking an approach involving induction or empirical testing.

      Basically, as I understand what he's saying, there is a puzzle: why are these discontinued fragrances being relaunched? The best explanation is that someone in the marketing departments of these companies *is* surfing around the www and finding that, lo, there may be some potential to capitalize on (literally!). So I don't think that Bryan needs necessarily to produce an iron-clad set of empirical data. If I have understood him correctly, he is *inferring* that this is the best explanation of the phenomenon in question. To demonstrate that this inferred hypothesis is true would require a huge amount of pavement pounding appropriate only to someone writing a doctoral dissertation on the topic, it seems to me.

      We're all just having fun here, right? ;-)

    2. And that certainly could be the case, though it may be that they are more concerned about Basenotes rather than a blog, especially when it comes to a scent like Patou Pour Homme, and that is where I think a whole lot of bias on his part may be present, since he seems to really hate Basenotes. This alone is reason enough, IMO, for him to make his claim clear. Moreover, I think it's even more important to produce actual evidence when the claim is that something on the internet related to sites like Basenotes/Fragrantica/MUA or a blog(s) is a major force in the fragrance industry. I'm not even claiming to know what a major force is, as that still needs to be defined here, IMO, but I think we can all agree that a Turin or Chandler book, or something said on the web has led to the sale of more than a few bottles of one scent or another. If the claim goes beyond this, however, we need evidence, because inferring doesn't make sense if you don't even have an idea about how many bottles were sold, right?


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