The more I sample old and new, I find myself at a loss as to why so many modern releases actually sell as many as they do. Even more bizzare is when I read ( too often I might add) that a really proven masculine has that "old man" smell.
Granted, I understand why the younger generation correlates certain names and smells with their fathers, grandfathers, etc...but I keep thinking if the physical perception of the name, year and house were removed and they had no idea whether they were smelling classics, modern or niche, would they still be able to differentiate?
I sample with focused attention. Not all classic era frags are good. Some have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but most, I have found, are classic for a reason. They stand much taller than most of the current creations, yet remain maligned from young fragrance enthusiasts due to negative associations.
I am seriously considering conducting a voluntary and completely blind vial sample test. I am intrigued to see if sampling completely blind will have some surprising results....or not. There seems to be quite a bit of power in association and if that were to be removed in a sample experiment, I wonder if opinions would remain the same or if there would be some converts. I thought to myself, " what if someone were to send me 10 nameless samples with nothing but a number on them and asked me to give an opinion"? It would be fun if some were actually good. It would be even more gratifying if the sample lot was split into high end niche, high end classic designer and respected current releases. The results may be interesting.
Recently, I took an atomizer of Beverly Hills V.I.P. to work. It so happens that the bartender working the front of the house that evening is a guy about 25 who periodically wears scent. He is your typical young male with no enthusiasm for fragrances other than occasionally wearing whatever is sold at the malls. When he does wear something, there's no analyzing. There's simply " good or not good".
He knows I'm into the hobby and have let him smell certain frags over the past year. I told him I wanted him to try this "new" juice someone had sent me and then I gave him one spritz of V.I.P. on his arm. He didn't ask what it was or who created it. A few minutes later he commented that it seemed strong at first, but it smells pretty damn good now. That was it. Either good or not good. Simple experiment.
I think I am going to go through with this little sample trial. I just have to work out a few kinks.