Is Quality a real quality?

Clive Christian: the company behind "the most expensive perfume in the world" is actually a manufacturer of kitchen cabinets of questionable esthetics

Clive Christian: the company behind “the most expensive perfume in the world” is actually a manufacturer of kitchen cabinets of questionable aesthetics

I recently made my most expensive perfume purchase, a scent I have always wanted to wear and in its most expensive version: Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve. At 4 euro per ml it has without a doubt broken a glass ceiling that I have never dared reach before. And with breaking this invisible, self-imposed barrier I started having all these thoughts about how we value perfume in the most literal of all senses. Serendipitously I read two posts published almost simultaneously and addressing the same questioning from quite different perspectives. The Scentrist words some thoughts that we have all had at some point: how can I justify myself spending all that money for a perfume when up until a few months ago I was happy smelling my favourite cheap(-er) cologne. It approaches the subject rationalising it and defending one’s right to quality simply because one can afford it and because they deserve it. From Pyrgos on the other side asks the simple question: is price correlative with quality? Because if it is, there we have the justification of spending a lot on perfume! I will let you discover for yourself how this argument ends in that post but bear with me and my meandering thoughts.

Blame it on my scientific background, but I love definitions. Trying to define a concept somehow gives me a very clear perspective of it. So what is quality in general and especially in relationship to perfume? As per the dictionary it has mostly two meanings. The philosophical one, where quality is an attribute, a trait, and the business term, the non-inferiority or superiority of something. Already we see two very different directions the word can take. The philosophical term needs an attribute to define quality. On its own the word means nothing but has to be explained as in “this perfume has interesting qualities, interesting characteristics”. The business oriented definition however is more self-sufficient: “this perfume is of exquisite quality” and that says it all or at least this is the way we have come to accept the charisma of superior quality or the damnation of inferior quality. However the business use of the term needs further defining because (and I quote) ” it is also defined as fitness for purpose. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people”. So how we define and understand quality in perfumes? Is there a common ground for all perfumistas?

The obvious starting point would be of course the quality of ingredients. This presented me with two problems. Firstly I cannot detect quality of ingredients with my nose and I wonder if anyone who is not an officially trained perfumer can. What I can detect is a softness in the way I perceive some perfumes which I instinctively classify as being “better” than others, mostly readily available scents. But I cannot claim this to be enough of a measure of quality because it is so radically subjective. I have to admit that natural ingredients being an amalgamation of molecules, often poorly defined, are a lot more interesting than artificial ingredients who appear monochromatic and unidimensional. But my second qualm when it comes to identifying quality of perfume with quality of ingredients is the exact disproportion of natural perfumes that make it to my top list or to the historical Hall of Fame of Perfume. All natural perfumes usually seem to be less textured and more familiar than the ones who contain chemical ingredients and I believe the reason for this is because our taste has been trained to seek oddity and texture, surprise. Artificial ingredients provide a texture we are all now accustomed to and it is hard to give up simply because it adds another dimension to fragrance. Most reviewers who base a favourable review on the premises that said perfume contains “natural ingredients” never review 100% natural perfumes because they find them boring. So if all-natural perfumes are not up to par with mixed formula compositions how the use of natural ingredients can be the basis of superior quality in perfume? When it comes to chemical ingredients things get a lot more complicated though. I have never heard of anyone accusing Chanel No5 for its use of aldehydes but the same people who rave about it are quick to dismiss a scent that has a mere suspicion of Iso E Super. It seems that some chemicals are of higher quality than others. Iso E Super appears to be the scapegoat for all synthetic ingredients, probably because the name is easier to remember. Form the hundreds or thousands of synthetics this one’s name is dropped 99% of the time a reviewer needs to show he knows his ingredients.

Quality is often defined in terms of quantitative properties. A good car is a car that doesn’t break down and performs the same way over time. In perfume the obvious analogy would be longevity and sillage. If these are the touchstone of quality in perfume then why Jean Claude Elena’s frail compositions are unanimously accepted to be of higher quality than other cheaper, stronger, more resilient perfumes? Most Elena’s creations are not only fleeting and discreet but they also make an excellent use of artificial ingredients to create a three-dimensional microsomos that envelops the wearer. The bubble bursts fairly quickly but while it lasts it is very effective. Yet we are all convinced that Hermes perfumes are top quality products (notice the linearity the word “quality” manages to impose in the evaluation of perfume?). I think it is safe to dismiss technical properties like sillage and longevity as the identifiers of quality in perfume.

We do not have many other places to look for the definition of quality in perfume. It has to be down to creativity. So we enter the art zone. Regardless of whether one specific perfume manages to achieve artistic qualities, the creativity involved in the making of a perfume is certainly a form of artistic and artisanal expression. Can we talk about creativity and artistic expression in terms of high or poor quality? Can we define quality in art? The question seems immediately irrational. Art and creativity transcend linear classifications and I found this interesting conversation among artists on this subject that is too intriguing to try to summarize here. Most artists will say that the question of quality in art can only be discussed in terms of technical expertise but then technical expertise makes only for a small part of creativity. The innate subjectivity of defining quality makes using the concept in a n already subjective context utterly vicious. One comment though is quite enlightening: “Of course there’s no harm in speculating about the nature of quality, but it always comes down to the sensual experience of “tasting” the art” (Philip Koch). How appropriate to use the verb “to taste” for food, art and perfume! Because to taste is to eat, to digest, to make something foreign a part of one’s self. And food, art, perfume enter our bodies and our souls and become part of us in a unique way. Most of all there is this sensorial filter that defines the elusive quality of food, perfume, art. The senses have to be wooed and then the object becomes part of the subject and provides energy and emotion.

So is quality a sensorial attribute? I have to admit that I believe it is. What makes cashmere a yarn of higher quality than ordinary sheep wool? It is softer, lighter, warmer. It is more expensive as well but it is wrong to deduce that cashmere is of higher quality because it is more expensive when the truth is that it is more expensive because it is more pleasurable to the senses. The softness, lightness, warmth create vibrations to the wearer which ultimately stimulate the sense that stands above all, the sixth sense, the sense of the imperceptible. How would you know that a piece of furniture is of high quality? It has to be smoother, more compact, have moving parts that slide comfortably and without friction, it must smell of wood and polish, all attributes measured and calibrated by the senses. It must have a good design, something that is intuitively perceived as a union of function and form. In the end the verdict is: I like it!

Going back to the definitions of quality one would have to choose between the vague use of the word equivalent to attribute or the more structured commercial use that defines excellence. Even the latter needs further definition as it usually defines a production process which is stable and reliable. The mass production of a perfume can be of high quality if all batches produced are exactly the same and produce the same effect. Reformulations aside, the use of natural ingredients is in itself a guarantee of fluctuating quality. No two batches of an essential oil produced in the same land and by the same workers will be the same as no two bottles of the same wine produced in different years will ever be the same. But the creation of a perfume as a prototype can never be judged and measured on a linear scale. Each perfumer possesses different qualities, different attributes that are carried over to his creations in different extents. The effect of the perfume itself varies from wearer to wearer making quantification an irrational attempt and what is quality control without quantification? I have to quote Christopher Brosius who said during an interview that perfume is closely related with time. Not only because it takes time to create and it also takes time to breathe and be experienced. But also because it has the ability to transport us through time. It seems quite out of place to try to judge something so transcendental using business and manufacturing terms.

I bought the very expensive Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve because I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t a rational decision, quite the opposite. The attempt to rationalize it by saying that I usually spend a lot less so I deserve to spend a little more or the excuse that this is a perfume of high quality and will go a long way so the extra cost is justified will not stand for me. The even more absurd excuse that I bought it because I deserve it sounds even degrading to my ears: I simply deserve a lot more than 4 euro per ml and even the most expensive object in the world is worth much less than me or any other person walking the face of the earth. I simply cannot put the two on a scale and come up with balance. In the end quality in perfume is nothing but the degree to which a certain perfume pleases us. And I am not talking only about the degree to which it pleases our smell but mostly the way it affects the sixth sense, the memories it brings back, the unsettling feeling of recalling memories never experienced, photographing sceneries never visited, creating a universe that never existed before but comes from within. This is quality in perfume and it has nothing to do with measurable attributes and value for money.

How do you define quality in perfume?

How comfortable are you with the idea of quality not being a part of the perfume equation?

Do you enjoy expensive perfumes more than cheap thrills?

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About Christos

Scientifically minded but obsessed with the subjective aspect of things. Photos copyright of MemoryOfScent, with special thanks to Pantelis Makkas http://pantelismakkas.blogspot.com/. You are welcome to link to my blog but you are definitely not allowed to copy text or use the photos without my permission. All text and main photos are originals and property of MemoryOfScent All perfumes are from my collection unless stated otherwise.

24 comments

  1. R

    Nice entry, been on my mind lately and you might want to check this thread I started a few hours ago that has some really informative/interesting answers: ” http://www.basenotes.net/threads/324496-why-are-niche-fragrances-more-expensive“.

    I think that there is such thing as intrinsic quality. The cashmere example, it is not more expensive merely out of how good it feels but because is rather rare. You can’t just make cashmere out of thin air. Also there’s cashmere and there’s cashmere and the huge difference in price you see there has a real motive of availablity YET the fact that is worth it or not to pay the difference is actually the Question that is pretinent..especially to perfumes.

    I realized I’m at a loss when I tried to explain to a former girlfriend why I want to buy something more expensive [ I was referring to Aventus not Clive Christian, good God it scares me that I MIGHT :) ] and she wasn’t swayed by my arguments. In the end I had to admit to myself;” I know it smells like Zara Gold to the average nose, which includes my nose. I could justify payin 20$ and thinking that I have something like Aventus…but it doesn’t FEEL the same. I wear CREED and this gives me the kind of confidence I need and self-assurance I desire. She labeled me as vain, insecure and snob. The end.

    The struggle continues but the thrill is there.

    Thank you for your article.

    • I don’t think that rarity can be the defining factor in quality. I am sure there are many yarns and perfumes out there that remain rare because no one cares to experience them. Rarity obviously adds to the price but not to quality itself. It is interesting though the way you need to refer to a quantitative attribute (rarity) to relate to quality. My point exactly. Perfume is not quantifiable in any respect but in price. Quality is marketing term that has been imposed on perfume to justify price and usually it means: it is worth paying more for this.

      It is very courageous of you to admit that Aventus gives you confidence. I have worn perfume to recreate a similar effect and others as well. I wear Sarrasins to feel calm. I wear Iris Silver Mist to feel armoured. And I wear Angel Schlesser Homme to feel warm. But what bothers me is that it so easy to admit that one is prepared to pay more to feel confident (a very common attribute associated with high quality products) but not to feel serene or cuddled. It seems that confidence is the ultimate gift of quality. Could it be that this type of confidence stems from knowing that one can afford to pay more?

      • R

        You do ask an important question. For me, is not the price is the elitism behind the choice. I know people who can afford anything but use you know, channel allure. A great scent? yes, but is not Aventus for example. The idea here is that maybe I, personally, am overcompensating…I try to buy that perfume when other could just buy it. So what is satisfying is my extensive research and choice that make me unique. No one knows that I wear, but I DO. If that makes any sense…
        Another interesting question; If all of a sudden CREED renounce at all and any advertising and just used their website and cheapish online marketing hype, and as a consequence…cut the prices in half. Would their perfumes be as sought after as they are? Someone should try that and see what happens in the long run.

        • You have a point there about elitism. I also have the same feeling associated with certain perfumes but usually for me it comes with wearing something that is now discontinued. I don’t hunt for discontinued fragrances but I have bought many years ago perfumes that are now discontinued and I treasure those bottles for the rarity. I guess what happens is that we ourselves project these mythical values to whatever works for us and we use perfumes as mood enhancers or, dare I say, psychotropic medication :)

          I am afraid cutting down on advertising and rolling the benefit over to the prices is not an acceptable strategy in marketing so your interesting question will never be answered. There are companies though with amazing scents and practically no advertising (Parfums Divine comes to mind) and they remain a rare subject of discussion.

          I have to thank you for engaging in this discussion so candidly and open-mindedly. A real pleasure

      • I think the reference of rarity was to the rarity of ingredients, not the rarity of a perfume. If you were to use a real ambergris, agarwood or even tuberose in a perfume it would be much less accessible for both – perfumers who create scents and customers who buy perfumes – and as a result more expensive and more desirable. Does it say anything about the quality?.. Well, if we agree that real/natural abmegris provides a better quality of a perfume’s characteristics then using those ingredients does make a perfume of a better quality.

        • I think rarity of perfume is also a valid point as well as rarity of ingredients. But since using a rare ingredient does not immediately elevate a perfume to higher level I would have to think that even the rarest of ingredients has to be used in an exceptional way to justify the extra cost. What makes things even more difficult to evaluate in that respect is that there isn’t a single company out there that lists ingredients, real ingredients that is, on their bottles. So we are lead by marketing and personal evaluation in our evaluation of the quality of ingredients in perfume.

  2. That’s a debate that really has to be talked about so I’m glad you brought it up and put it all in such nice words.
    If you asked me quality in perfumery is often just a word, an empty meaningless thing that demans to be paid for. We’re so often being fooled by the “quality” label for the product while in most cases it is used only to draw attention and to make us pay more for something that could’ve been sold cheaper if the word “quality” wasn’t used there.
    And how often the price get’s horrendous not because of the super juice but because of the packaging. Who needs a bottle made of special glass type, that costs a lot and is probably used to hide the uglier juice. You know about judging books by the cover, it’s not a rule that good packagings hold bad scents. But that happens often.

    And if you ask my from cosmetics chemistry approach – studies show that the best quality for cosmetics such face creams comes from the middle price range. The conducted research I read showed that expensive, luxurious and “quality” creams from top brands are much less effective than those that can be purchased in drugstore

    • I agree with you. Even the correlation of price with quality comes down to marketing: the price of a bottle of perfume is largely the price of the perfumer’s fee and the ad campaign.

      Your input form your chemistry knowledge is valuable. To remember the words of Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, anything more than a simple moisturiser is a simple waste of money

  3. I think the answer here is “it depends”. I’m fairly certain most of us who’ve ever made our way around a kitchen know the difference between a cheap artificial vanilla and a high quality vanilla bean extract. I could pay the going rate for a bottle of Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille, but every time I’ve tried it, all I can get is the vanilla note that could easily have come from the baking aisle in my local market. Ergo, high price but questionable quality.

    The other side — to again use a cooking analogy — is the “Philly Cheesesteak”. For the uninitiated, the genuine article is fried thinly sliced beef of questionable origins, a fresh white-flour hero roll, slathered with plenty of artificial cheese-product that oozes from the edges when you grip it. Possibly served with onions that were fried to caramelized deliciousness. Sounds nasty. Tastes incredibly satisfying! Cheap thrill? Sure, but you’d better know how to do it well and outside of Philadelphia, I’ve yet to find a suitable replica.

    Point? You’re paying for the end product, and your nose and palate can tell what is good or satisfying compared to what is dreck. If you’ve used the highest quality ingredients in something and the end result is completely toxic, what exactly did you buy? Quality because of the ingredients, or dreck because the perfumer couldn’t produce the right outcome with the frame he was given.

    • I think we agree. The end result or the pleasure it gives us is what we judge and decide if it is worth the price, be it high or low. Perfume has as many definitions and translations as has wearers

      • By the way, I skipped right past your reference to my post — thanks, Christos. :) In the context of this, I wanted to clarify my original point — the reason I justified spending money for a fragrance was that, in general terms, most current scents are fleeting, of weakened strength, rather generic and unobtrusive, and mostly mundane. As consumers, we buy something because, frankly, we like it. And I’m equal-opportunity in the respect that as much as I’ll enjoy well-prepared foie gras, I’d just as easily opt for a really good burger and a beer. Each has its place.

        There are a couple of “cheap thrills” sitting in my collection that are still bloody good compared to some things costing 10x as much. (Now you’re feeding my mind for a future piece).

        Cheers!

  4. Interesting topic.

    I’m not prepared to discuss it in depth but I want to point to what I think is a fallacy in one of your arguments.
    You wrote:
    “Most reviewers who base a favourable review on the premises that said perfume contains “natural ingredients” never review 100% natural perfumes because they find them boring. So if all-natural perfumes are not up to par with mixed formula compositions how the use of natural ingredients can be the basis of superior quality in perfume? ”

    Unless you’re prepared to argue that a high quality (we won’t discuss what it means, right? there should be some accepted standards among specialists) rose oil isn’t better/of a higher quality than an artificial recreation of a rose scent the argument I cited above doesn’t make sense: when people mention natural ingredients as a positive characteristic they mean those components that exist in both forms – natural and man-made. So I’d argue that the same exact composition made with (properly prepared, not decaying easily, high quality) natural components will be better than their counterparts that use an artificial recreation of the same ingredients.

    • I think I might have not made myself clear in that argument. Of course good quality natural ingredients produce a better result and I take it for granted “I have to admit that natural ingredients being an amalgamation of molecules, often poorly defined, are a lot more interesting than artificial ingredients”. But what I am saying is that using these high quality ingredients is not enough. Because if it were than most reputable perfumes coming from houses producing all-natural perfumes would be ranking higher than any mixed composition fragrance, Perfumers working with natural ingredients put the same effort and invest their personal reputation in their products as perfumers working with artificial ingredients. I do not think that natural perfumes last less on skin because inferior quality oils were used than let’s say Chanel or Guerlain uses. They last less because they don’t have that filthy little magic chemistry can add. It is a fact that longevity of an ingredient is directly related to its molecular weight. The heavier it is the longer it lasts. Citrus oils and flower oils span a very specific range of molecular weights so they have a specific range of life on skin. An artificial molecule smelling of citrus but weighing a lot more will produce the effect of citrus but for a lot longer. Longevity is a combination of concentration and (most of all) molecular weight.

  5. You have ignited a mostly interesting discussion here. Sometimes I think how much more fascinating and lively such a discussion would be if all of us were sitting around a table (food included of course) arguing, agreeing or simply listening to what everyone believes than just hitting a bunch of lifeless keyboard keys and trying to pass to “some” other people our philosophy. Anyway.
    Being a fragrance buyer for more than 30 years, there is absolutely no way this “quality” thing has never even crossed your mind. I m sure there are not enough interesting cheapies out there to cover such a life span. And from the very first “daring=expensive” purchase one makes, “tadaaaa”, a whole new world of feelings and thoughts and mostly olfactory adventure opens up. And then you spend and spend and spend more, to finally discover that your spending is solely on the pursuit of your own taste and NOT of quality. Don’t fool yourself and most of all don’t let this shady industry fool you (unless this is your excuse to your wife or husband for keeping on spending) . You definitely buy a cashmere cardigan to offer you the unique softness, warmth and lightness of such a garment (That’s called quality) but I’ ve never heard anyone buying Mandy Aftel’s creations only because she uses the A quality of orris concrete or the best rose absolute of the market. My point is clear : For as long as the outcome=smell is not depending entirely on the purity of the ingredients and mostly for as long as we consumers buy with the only criteria we should have for a fragrance and that is only the smell of it then the word Quality should be permanently removed from the perfumery vocabulary and be replaced with the only appropriate one : Beauty.

    • I think what stops us from having these discussions in real life is the fear that someone listening in would call an ambulance and we would have to continue the discussion in a mental institution :) What has triggered such an interesting discussion here will probably sound totally irrelevant to the general population but that’s the kind of world we live in. We go out and spend a fortune on perfume and then we have to justify our decision to ourselves and others :) Beauty is the word my friend and the pursuit of happiness.

  6. Fantastic post Christos, which deserves debate. It’s a topic that has been swirling around my head recently as I have been contemplating the definition of quality in perfume. I often see people commenting on the key perfumes blogs, laughing off the cost of newly released perfumes that come in at a premium price. Firstly this tells me that many perfume fans do not believe the price of a high end perfume is worth it. And how can they be blamed when brands sell their product at premium prices but they do not control the grey market or some corner discount store selling the product at a highly discounted rate. This leads to one of your points- do perfume fans really differentiate quality? It is a hard one because the price of raw materials can be determined by quality but also the process. For example, rosone is an expensive molecule because of the process involved in creating it. Geraniol is much less expensive to create. But if you ask me, geraniol is a much more interesting odour. So the price and aesthetic quality of an odour are not always linked. Another point I thought of is; if I look at the work of a famous painter, I am more interested in the beauty of his or her work, not the quality of the paint. I get the same feeling of awe if I look at the sketches Michelangelo made with a basic charcoal crayon as I do if I view his painting or sculptures. Similarly, I have the same experience if I smell the work of an artist like Jean-Claude Ellena e.g. Lacoste Pour Femme vs Frederic Malle L’eau d’Hiver- one is around $50 and the other is four times the price. I don’t then evaluate and say Lacoste is JCE at a quarter of his creative capability and Frederic Malle is him at his best. For me, price opens up possibilities. Possibilities for the perfumer to work with materials they would normally not have access to if they were working on a mass market project where budget is a big concern. But I have learnt that an increased price does not always mean increased beauty….. In saying that, enjoy your bottle of Aromatics Elixir Special Reserve. I also have a bottle and I am extremely happy I have it. Like you I bought it simply because I liked it. There is an interesting saying that defines luxury as ‘the moment where emotion overtakes reason.’ I like this view and thinks it applies to perfume rather well : )

    • I just read a post over at Josh Lobb’s of Slumberhouse blog where he explains that by using the ingredients that he does he realised he was almost losing money. I can attest to the fact that even someone who dosesn’t know a lot about ingredients like I will immediately understand that what he uses is not only extremely rich but that he also uses ingredients rarely encountered. Having said that though I can understand how his creations could be repulsive to many. Everything is relative in perfume appreciation and that’s the beauty of it.

  7. Loved this post, Christos. Thanks!

    The question of quality: that’s a good one. I feel that I have to whip out that hackneyed quip:

    “I know it when I [sniff] it.”

    I do not believe that I am imagining my sense that my Creed perfumes are a lot better than my designer perfumes. They really do seem to be of higher quality. But how to definite it? Well, they are better made. But how do I know that they are better made? Well, it’s not the price, because there are plenty of more expensive perfumes which seem to be of rather poor quality to me: “Hype niche” as opposed to “Quality niche”.

    All that I seem to be able to do is argue in a circle!

    • And this is my point exactly. This circle exists for each one of us but it is so vicious that we cannot use it in conversations with each other and still make sense. And of course when used in advertising text it is highly supsicious

  8. You have given me a nice meal of food for thought, Christos, all of your points are thorough and well said. These phrases stood out for me as an essence of what you may be getting at:
    “… it is wrong to deduce that cashmere is of higher quality because it is more expensive when the truth is that it is more expensive because it is more pleasurable to the senses. The softness, lightness, warmth create vibrations to the wearer which ultimately stimulate the sense that stands above all, the sixth sense, the sense of the imperceptible.”
    I think in a way it’s about falling in love with something. When you come across that perfect unique combination of elements that strike the gong, or ring the bell, or resonate with your inner perception of beauty – well, it’s surrender time.
    Function, longevity, sillage, natural versus artificial ingredients, rarity, and all that – I think it is that the sum is greater than the equal of its parts.

    As far as nuts and bolts of the qualities you mention, yes there is a certain smoothness of composition, a softness of interplay of notes that generally appeal to me and register as “high quality” to my nose. Two houses come to mind that utilize natural ingredients and seem to keep a more accessible price point: Sonoma Scent Studios and Ava Luxe Perfumes, both of which I perceive producing fine quality fragrances.

    • Surrender time it is… And we all surrender to things that are worth it, hence have high quality (or qualities). Trying to reverse the course of the equation based on reports of high quality will not work…

      I haven’t made my way to any of these two houses yet. Having access to many US perfume houses from Europe is not always an easy thing. SSS is on my radar though. Reasonable prices is a part of the quality equation. Spending too much for something that is simply good is rather anticlimactic

  9. Hallo, Christos,
    I have never tuned into the discussions on your blog, but now I feel like I am inspired to! Furthermore, you were the first blogger to comment on my tiny humble toddler blog and I am grateful! I don’t want to repeat any of the above opinions and hurl into a discussion about niche, artisanal, natural or drugstore perfumes. I will tell you what the situation is in my country, Bulgaria.
    When I say ‘niche’ here, only a bunch of my closest friends know what this means. I always explain it as ‘haute couture’ in fragrance. At least they now what HC is about. I have a circle of friends who look like a secret society – perfume-lovers and perfumistas who define the quality like all the people commenting before me – a subjective matter, sometimes connected with the ingredients, sometimes with the ‘nose’, and sometimes with the access. But most of the Bulgarians who buy perfumes, excluding replicas of Chanel and Dior, consider the quality to be bound to the Malls and the most famous brands, especially the ones that offer clothing and accessories like D&G, Bvlgari, Armani. Well, yes, Chanel and Dior, as well, but I am far from questioning their quality. I wish that the people here are not slaves to the limiting ads and PR spread from the media.
    Some years ago, I would define a qulity fragrance like a fragrance made from certain brands, too. But now I look for anything intriguing in any fragrance – from Malizia and Oriflame to Mona di Orio and DSH.
    I guess the estimation of quality comes with time – the more you experience, the better you define it. BUT only for yourself.

    • Hi Lyubov
      I remember your bilingual blog :)
      Development and education are a big part of perfume appreciation. But they are possible only when perfume manages to open that secret place in a perfume lovers heart.

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