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Which company has done the most damage to the industry?

Which company has done the most damage to the industry? 9 years ago
I was thinking about what really makes a bad fragrance today after getting a lot of flak for a certain comment on another site about celebrity perfumes.

I'm trying to figure out which company has done the most damage to the art and the industry. Which do you think?

www.loreal.com/_en/_ww/brands-l-oreal.aspx

www.coty.com/brands

www.pg.com/en_US/brands/all_brands.shtml

learnmore.elizabetharden.com/elizabeth-arden-b rands/index.php

There are quite a few damaged and/or destroyed brands under those umbrellas!
9 years ago
First of all you can't generalize everything.
Not all celebrity fragrances are bad and not every designer/niche fragrance is pure gold. Plus, it's a subjective matter.

For example: I hate Selena Gomez' fragrance. It smells cheap and like shampoo. Plasticy fruits and all. This is a bad celebrity fragrance in my opinion. Yet, there are enough people who love it for whatever reason.

Another example: I greatly dislike Profumum Roma as their scents are too heavy, too strong and give me headache, I would never spend over 180 € for a perfume like that. Most Parfumo users love that brand for whatever reason.

The problem is that there are too much celebrities venturing into the market, even wannabe celebrities and teen icons that have done nothing important. Then again, who would be worthy, who would not?

You can get a good perfume for less money, you can get a bad perfume for a lot of money. As long as you know what you like yourself best, everything is ok.

I just don't like it when people generalize everything ( - especially if they haven't even tried anything they are ranting about >- not meaning you as I don't know what you tested and what not).
9 years ago
It's not the fact that they make bad fragrances - some of them are nice in a way. It's the amount of perfume and the rate at which they pump them out as well as the extremely aggressive marketing strategies that changed the face of the industry. Perfumes don't last in the market anymore. Hell, Britney Spears fragrances have been through three of these companies now. The whole industry is just out of control.

Then there is the issue of bad reformulations. These companies are notorious for taking a brand that was going under and releasing it in a bargain-bin formulation at a lower price. Or, in the case of L'Oreal, higher prices.

These companies just have no integrity as far as I'm concerned. Badart is one thing - dishonest art is another entirely.
9 years ago
Very interesting question.

Hard to decide which is worse - the cynical marketing of every celebrity-come-lately via fragrance or the trashing of quality brands.

It's sad to see Calvin Klein perfumes in the bargain bin and even sadder to see the Body Shop's slide into oblivion.
Last edited by Seatonica on 11.03.2013, 20:19; edited 1 time in total
9 years ago
I would put part of the blame on the aromachemical giants. In their capacity as members of the IFRA, they've been dispensing with wonderful natural components for years under the guise of eliminating allergens.
9 years ago
Cryptic:
I would put part of the blame on the aromachemical giants. In their capacity as members of the IFRA, they've been dispensing with wonderful natural components for years under the guise of eliminating allergens.

To the point, as always, dearest Cryptic.

Marketing stategies, however much one might disapprove of some, still allow for choice - at least if one believes in free will and informed consumer behaviour. When it comes to reformulations and, particularly, regulations such as referred to above, the story is entirely different.
9 years ago
Cryptic:
I would put part of the blame on the aromachemical giants. In their capacity as members of the IFRA, they've been dispensing with wonderful natural components for years under the guise of eliminating allergens.

Yes. Cryptic is right. In fact, I think those companies bear the most blame because they are able to feed the IFRA's desire for control and make money doing so. Still, they would not succeed without the perverse incentives that such regulatory organizations create.

LTA, it does sound like you are bitter over the choices, whether ignorant or no, made by people who are not perfume connoisseurs. Even after reading long discourses on this topic, it seems that a lot of people are mad at company XYZ for doing something they don't like.

I do have sympathy for those who feel like company X has betrayed them or has murdered their dreams; I think we all feel like that when we place our faith in something or someone imperfect and discover their imperfections.

However, as long as I can obtain things I like, I really don't care what company X or Y does. Only when my choices dry up or start to dry up do I get concerned. It's a huge difference between "company X no longer makes ZZZ" and "no-one can produce ZZZ". And as much as I love my own opinion on what makes good perfume, I'd never put myself in the position of telling companies what they must produce. Neither should anyone else. Just send your money to those who make things you like. Economically, live and let live.
Re: Which company has done the most damage to the industry? 9 years ago
LovingTheAlien:
I was thinking about what really makes a bad fragrance today after getting a lot of flak for a certain comment on another site about celebrity perfumes.

I wouldn't get worked up about it. There are many fans of Britney Spears fragrances on Fragrantica.

I think marketing seems so aggressive with the internet spreading the word faster compared to the 80s and 90s: spam emails, youtube video ads, and websites dedicated to fragrance fans raving about the latest perfumes almost all of the time.
9 years ago
Indeed, the more synthetics appear the more the cheap stuff get to see the light of day and the thing is very good brands like D&G, YSL, Gucci and countless others are now playing that part due to the giants controlling them.
I am particularly sad for YSL, I always thought that L'Homme was amazing UNTIL I got the chance to try Opium and it blew me away so much that I could finally comprehend why everyone seemed to be mad at the new YSL releases. I even said to the sales assistant that I could not believe I had to go back 18 years to find something as exciting in the designer line and she was like what are you talking about, haven't you tried the new Libre?? and that is another point, if you are not a fragrance enthusiast chances are you have no idea what happens behind the curtain and that gives the giants the power to continue doing what they want, if they cut down quality who cares... well, we do but sadly i'm pretty sure that fume heads are not the biggest income. This may never change, in fact it may get worse.
9 years ago
It is too late anyhow. I have given up on the whole matter.

What to do ? Pick from the remains ... and/or support current artists who manage to create excellent scents, such as Tauer Perfumes.
9 years ago
Well, the aromachemical companies surely are a big factor. However, the limitations placed upon the industry is not the limitation that these (specific) companies are working around. I don't disagree with the scents, as I've said - I disagree with the way they are produced and marketed. There have always been scents produced that were... less than honest art, but these fragrances are utterly dominating the market now. They are getting to the point where their only competition is themselves. There is a clear and obvious dichotomy in my opinion, and these companies are killing the art. Perfumers are getting paid less, the time they can collect royalties is drastically decreased in a market where nothing lasts longer than a year or two, they have smaller palettes to work with on these cheapies, fragrances are becoming eerily similar to each other, and standards are dropping fast. The whole industry is a big bore.

Honestly, though, none of this would matter to me if it wasn't directly causing the discontinuation and horrendous reformulations of fragrances that I like. What L'Oreal did to the YSL line is criminal. It's almost as though they deliberately sabotaged the brand. Opium wasn't even expensive to produce! Shocked
9 years ago
LovingTheAlien:
killing the art

The way I see it now is:
Designer: ACCESSORY
Niche: ART

Although there are bad and good fragrances in both markets and sadly (at least for me) people seem to enjoy more what they already know and what they can process as nice or not. I once wore Incense Rose by Tauer at Christmas and none of my family or friends knew what to say about the scent, they were confused and some of them didn't want to be near me at all, it is very sad because some tard wearing le male got all the compliments of the night and smiles, but it didn't affect me... I felt like a king as if I was such a connoisseur who could appreciate the fragrance like nobody could. Just sharing an experience. Of course I agree with you Allen, there is just nothing we can do.
9 years ago
In general terms, the dictomomy of pulp for the masses and "art" for the literate is no new thing. The "democratisation" of perfume and its accompanying slide from art-form to accessory, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Anything produced on an industrial scale is bound to suffer in terms of quality. But I still don't understand the logic in flooding the market with so many junk perfumes with such short lifespans. How do they make money?
9 years ago
Seatonica:
How do they make money?

Go to any big department store or better, Sephora and just spend hours watching the people that go there and that happily buy every latest release just because it is new, I never got it, guys that need to ask the SA for the ultimate panty dropper or girls buying the latest fresh or floral fragrance. The amount of sales in a day is crazy and when a special holiday arrives then it is incredible. As Chandler Burr stated in the BBC documentary Perfume "People have already been trained to move on to the next thing" he also said that fragrance is the best way of monetizing celebrity and brand and that is so true, how many guys buy a fragrance just to have a piece of a designer, it is very likely that the amount of money they make with fragrances outweighs the brand itself. It is very normal to own any Dolce & Gabbana fragrance, but a pice of clothing is another story.
9 years ago
Ah, the lemming effect Rolling Eyes
9 years ago
Seatonica:
In general terms, the dictomomy of pulp for the masses and "art" for the literate is no new thing. The "democratisation" of perfume and its accompanying slide from art-form to accessory, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Thank you for putting this more elegantly than I could.

Niche and vintage are already all I'm investing in. I can hardly justify giving my money to a company who doesn't care about me as a consumer.

There really are great perfumeries out there doing excellent things - Brosius (not a schtick - try his actual perfumes), Slumberhouse, JAR (almost unaffordable masterpieces), Tauer, Roja Dove (my savior!), Amouage, Histoires de Parfums and Lutens are among the best in the industry.

Still, it bothers the shit out of me that you can't go out and buy a decent bottle of Diorissimo or Gentleman or Y anymore. Decent vintage prices are creeping up to (and past) even the most immense niche prices. I have to battle it out with other crazies for months to get a sealed bottle of vintage whatever and even then there's no guarantee it's still good.
9 years ago
IMHO, any company brand that just tries to mass market and get everyone to purchase the same generic scent instead of inspiring, curiosity and demonstrating the real science and art that goes into making a quality scent is doing a disservice in the long run. So by definition AXE Body Spray Designers...should be locked up! Granted, this is a for profit game, but if the branding pitch is like it was for Drakkar Noir and Polo-first ground breaking because it was a first experience with cologne for many of the guys I went to high school with...but as a girl, it became rather....a nonplus (mute point) when all the boys in the entire school are sharing the same bottle of Drakkar Noir...but I'm not sure we can blame Guy Laroche for this social phenomenon either. Who knows?
9 years ago
L.T.A., this is a fun topic!

My vote goes to L'Oreal, because first they invent brilliant stuff and then go on to kill their own 'babies'.

As for the sheer amount of bad and boring stuff, P&G gets bonus point from me.
9 years ago
It is corporate greed that causes such an effect. Perfumes were never rattled out so fast and so furiously because the profit margin for the fat cats is huge. Whether the perfume happens to have been designed well or not depends purely on the designer, on the brief and whether the designer has enough skill, or been given enough time or resources to create something good. Some of the cheapest scents can still be good because they were designed and structured well. Possibly by accident of course. Coty have always rattled out cheap scents and some of the older ones are still wonderful.

Art will be found by those with any discrimination and it doesn't purely depend on the ingredients. Some of the best fine art can be made from rubbish. Also some of the worst creations can be made in the name of 'art'. Saying that, the gradual extermination of all the finest ingredients in perfumery seems to have timed itself remarkably smoothly with the demise of a decent perfume. What a strange coincidence!
Re: Which company has done the most damage to the industry? 9 years ago
LovingTheAlien:
www.coty.com/brands

François Coty gave us Chypre, though. If that's not a huge contribution, I honestly don't know what is or what more could you possibly want.

Anyhow, I pass by most big name brand scents these days. And surprisingly enough celebrity fragrances have consistently turned out better than I dared hope, which isn't much really, but it is something. I'm just hoping that the blandness afflicting designer perfumes now is just a fad that will subside just like the huge oriental fad subsided.

I don't know about "damage": the good stuff will still be there (unless it gets discontinued, but life without a specific perfume is possible, who knew) and I vote with my wallet, hoping somebody takes a hint some day. But I am worried about the gradual banning of crucial perfume ingredients. It's like asking dairy products to be banned because I am lactose intolerant and get a tummy ache if I ingest any.
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