Why would any perfumer want a meaningful discussion in blogs and forums is completely beyond my understanding. But from my, blogger, position I think those discussions is a Sisyphean task. Why?
First of all, in my experience it’s such an unappreciated activity – telling an artist anything but how much you looove his every brush stroke. So unless you’re a professional who can provide an insight on why something shouldn’t be done (e.g. “not a stable mixture” or “will spoil faster than expected on average”) or won’t sell (e.g. “there are a really close alternatives from a more-known brand/for one-quarter of a price”) you are better off sticking to “loooove” or “nice but doesn’t work for me.”
Second, it might be important that those who serve as judges on different awards committees and panels know the difference between “niche”, “indie”, etc. perfumery. But why should a regular blogger care “[h]ow are things done and why does it matter whether a scent comes from a larger factory or from an artshop that resembles a kitchen more than a factory.” (Andy Tauer)? Most of us aren’t perfume critics. Most of us do not position themselves as experts in the field. We are perfume lovers. We are consumers. We write for other people like us. If we appreciate a perfume we might want to look more into the underlying story and share it with the readers (or not); we might be fascinated by how The Artist was able to create something so beautiful in a kitchen sink. But what if we do not like the result? If an “indie” perfume isn’t better than a mainstream (or niche mainstream) creation, it doesn’t really matter that a perfumer had to work 80-hours weeks, dreamt about the scent all his life and triple-mortgaged his house to launch it. It’s not a kindergarten and we should not be giving A for the effort. The best we, bloggers, can do is not to write anything – meaningful or otherwise.
And finally, when some of us dare to criticize some Artists’ work, what do we get in response?
[P]eople are trying to critique perfumes without knowing what it is to critique a perfume. They don’t have the knowledge. People don’t know what it means to compromise if you’re creating something for a brand.” and “[…] they try to drop ingredient names, chemical names, just to prove to their readers that they have the know-how. But so far, I’ve never been impressed by any critics. I read them to see if one day I come across something really different.” (Francis Kurkdjian’s interview with Persolaise).
You have bad habits: you always expect people working in sales to creep in front of bloggers, because we are supposed to be afraid of your noxious comments? I’m the owner of Lubin, and I despise the people who criticize other people’s work and publish without even checking the most basic information. (a comment for Birgit’s review of Black Jade by Lubin)
So, in my opinion, the real dialog or criticism should be left to experts – it doesn’t matter real or self-proclaimed, let them defend their own status. We, regular people, will blog about something we loved or hated; will shout out our SOTD, SOTE, SOTA, etc. in 140 characters on twitter or “Like” a nice picture of a perfume bottle on Facebook. In the end we, laymen, will sell more niche and indie perfumes then those few chosen ones who are allowed to have an informed opinion and are capable of maintaining a comprehensive discourse in the subject. Why? Because most buyers are laymen with accounts on Twitter to tweet what perfume their cat has just spilled; on Facebook to post the newest “my cat sleeping on my lap” picture; on YouTube to watch the latest Maru video and Pinterest to pin up a bunch of cute kitten pictures.
Images: my own