Not a day goes by that I don't get an offer of some sampling opportunity in the mail and in all fairness most don't create any bleep on the pond, audible, visible or otherwise. I suppose you're guessing that anyway. Considering that so much effort goes into producing a perfume in this industry, with months ahead of brain storming into how to present it, how to market it, and of course how to compose it -and I should know because I worked in launching a couple of things myself- it's perhaps no surprise that people come up with things more surprising than they truly are. I sympathise. You don't come across genius every day. But from genius to lackluster down to b-o-r-i-n-g, now there's a huge leap. And I'm surprised that perfume releases with no business being in the running in the first place are getting released at all, just because the fragrance market in niche and prestige is cannonballing along something fierce. To use a physics analogy, it's a sort of "Dirac sea", an infinite sea of particles with negative energy.
Read the NPD Group's findings, an acclaimed market monitoring tool:
"For prestige fragrances, the segment experienced the strongest dollar and unit performance in 15 years, coming in at $2.8 billion, which marked growth of 11%, while units grew 7%. Juices grew 14% for both women and men, driving overall fragrance performance of 11% growth for women and 12% for men. Fragrance juices priced at a premium of $100 and above helped to propel growth for the category with unit gains of 45% versus a year ago, and fragrance launches were up 21% percent overall, driven by women’s launches, which grew by 33%. Celebrity brands, specifically women’s, were the winners in 2011 with gains of 57%".In short, don't expect fragrance prices to lower any time soon; as long as people buy these things at those exorbitant prices, upstarts and more established players will continue to think that we're just buying an aspirational thing; even if it has to do with the aspiration of connoisseurship and snob appeal.
A brand that has released other fragrances in elaborate, niche, graphic designed packaging with claims of novel effects and dubfounding results, and which will remain unnamed for reasons of courtesy (the Poirot types amongst you will deduce with accuracy I'm sure), has released the most generic clean rose fragrance possible, only it doesn't even contain one trace of rose essence in it I'm sure. Not only the real thing in terms of absolute, attar, pomade or essential oil is missing entirely, a fairly trained nose can't detect more than just a screechingly synthetic freesia accord that stands for "floral" and that dreaded aqueous/green tea/empty air perfumer's base that passes as "clean" or "fresh" whenever you hear about fragrant releases for spring and summer wear. This "electrically-charged" rose is cropping up with an alarming frequency: I recall Givenchy issuing one for their Very Irresistible franchise, so who knows what else might include it in the not too distant future.
The fact that this brand has been sitting on a table display at some exhibition alongside Serge Lutens and By Kilian is probably an infuriating testament to the reality that you can claim anything and then get treated as such, even by professionals in the field! (Are those professionals so jaded they don't give a sniff anymore, just nod their heads and grant royal rights? Are they so anxious to please everyone they feature just about anything? Are they just paid to act how they act? Who knows.).
My senses aren't shocked by this random new release. My intellect is. Houston, we've got a problem.
painting Woman with Claws by Paul Outerbridge via tumblr