The Passion, The Fall, The Nonsense of It All

Peek-a-booh! LVMH sees you!

In what is perhaps the most glaring evidence yet of the global impact and influence of fragrance blogs on the perfume industry, this month's topic appears to be the recent discontinuation of Monsieur Guerlain. His words:

"The attacks I received were about me posting about discontinuations, re-namings, future releases, and also the satirical visual comments I created, and they admitted that they found me too influential to deserve the use of their name."

So apparently a fragrance blog can be very influential on the fragrance industry, enough to make a major corporation take legal action against it. Then again, maybe my reporting the fact that LVMH is this concerned about Monsieur Guerlain is just me being a propagandist, and perfume blogs are of no interest to the industry. If you can figure out how that logic works, you should read more by the author linked in this paragraph. His blog is full of whoppers like that one.

Kafkaesque has updated the story on his own very influential blog, although lately his influence seems to impact basenotes the most. It would appear that an offending link on Monsieur's site was the cause of LVMH's ire. It was LVMH and not Guerlain that took action (surprise, surprise). Furthermore, it would appear that such action was taken against Guerlain's wishes, as the house was dismayed to hear of Monsieur's plight. However, this isn't really news to anyone who's been paying attention. Of course it was LVMH. Duh. Did anyone really think it was Guerlain?

Oh, shit. My bad. I should've known better. Sorry.

Welcome to basenotes, where people pretend to care, but over-act to the point of straining my credulity to its furthest limit. These people make Nicolas Cage's technique seem timid in comparison. To read the comments, you wouldn't believe that this was just an account suspension. No, they stripped Monsieur himself naked, tied him to a chair, sprayed him from head to toe with Mahora, and withheld a shower for a week.

One guy posted a photograph of a dozen Guerlain boutique boxes piled on his snow-covered porch, with a handwritten note to Guerlain on top saying he is ready to ditch this "garbage" because, booh-hoo, a blog got reprimanded. This is your typical basenotes member, evidently not smart enough to realize early in the game that LVMH is responsible, not Guerlain. Even if Guerlain were to blame, that's no reason to throw away those nice empty Guerlain boxes.

This has been going on for a while now, this David and Goliath narrative. Chanel recently cracked down on decanters, asking that their products be excluded from third-party sales. Shocking! And an older story is Bond No 9's strongarm tactics, which I honestly thought were borderline criminal, and so far is the only tale I sympathize with. But listen, if I gave half a shit about the legal insecurities of fragrance companies, and based my wardrobe on whether or not I approve of how they act out on them, I'd probably be down to a couple of Avon aftershaves.

No brand is without sin. No brand is 100% credit worthy. We have to roll with this shit, and stop acting like we're going to torch our collections every time someone's reputation gets dinged. Don't tell me you're never going to wear Mitsouko again. That's horseshit. You're probably wearing it right now. And when you run out, your ass'll be on Amazon with "Mitsouko" typed in the search box faster than I can say "hypocrite." So cool your jets. Think about it. Then get back to me.

Then again, having read that basenotes thread, I take it back. Don't get back to me. Keep it to yourself.

Edit, February 14:

I want to note a comment made in the Male Fragrance Forum of basenotes this morning, in which member "cameron" said the following:
"It was a third party decision by social medial platforms based on internal procedures. Respect for intellectual property is important. Good luck to Mr G on his future endeavors."
This is a very precise and accurate way to put it. It takes my argument a step further, in fact. Don't blame Guerlain. They didn't do anything, and they certainly weren't complicit in the "silencing" of Monsieur G. And don't blame LVMH either, if you for one second stop to think that maybe a parent company will be impartial to "fans," and very partial to customers, the people who put the big coin in their coffers. These are the majority of perfume buyers, not basenotes members. Blame the social media platform, i.e. whatever internet service provider was responsible for hosting Monsieur G's material. They're the ones who responded to requests from LVMH by pulling the plug on the blog. They made the decision. And guess what? It was their decision to make.

Arguments that ignore this fact and delve pointlessly into questions of "corporate bullying tactics" are total deviations from the reality of this matter, and I remind my readers that this was detailed with some conjecture on Kafkaesque.


  1. Jesus, finally someone thinking with his own head! Thanks for this post. The thread on Basenotes is getting more and more ridicolous - more than it was already except for, literally, a couple of posts. I don't know which aspect of the matter is worse - the ignorance about law and web policies, the surreal over-reaction, the basics of what posting content on the web means.

    1. They act like someone died. All he has to do is change the name of his blog and upload his content to an alternate domain. Should take all of five minutes if he has it coded right. I can't for the life of me understand what the big deal is.

  2. Point taken. I can also take home that none of you have ever over-reacted to anything I your lives. Stop being so judgemental. Your superior complex falls to impress. Mutual understanding and a little respect goes a long way. Be kind folks.

  3. Right. I guess none of you have ever over-reacted to anything I your lives. Always rational and cool as a cucumber. While I redirect that and admire those qualities, I think you should stop being so judgemental and condescending towards others. It really fails to impress. Mutual understanding and respect works better. They are angry at Guerlain and LVMH, not you. Be kind folks.

    1. Aime, normally I wouldn't do this, but I've published both of your comments to show readers that they are a perfect example of how to over-react, to the degree that you needed to make the exact same point twice, and in the span of five minutes. You would have impressed me, except you're a hypocrite. In one sentence you presume to think that I have a superiority complex. Then you tell Colin and I not to be judgmental. Did you think that would read well?

      The problem is that there are too many pea brains on the internet. I'm not saying you're one of them, although your batting average right now isn't too hot. What I AM saying is that the internet is huge. Every country on every continent, with potentially every living human being connected. Billions of people, most of them sentient beings who are at least smart enough to recognize a computer for what it is.

      Out of those billions, there are small enclaves of super intelligent people, and much larger pools of super stupids. Being stupid is bad, but perhaps it isn't the worst thing to be. But to observe the Monsieur G vs. LVMH situation and start venting about "evil corporations" when the story is plainly not about an evil corporation in any way shape or form smacks of stupidity. Sorry. That's what it is.

      I'm not big on people telling me not to be "judgmental." Every person I've met who used that word usually was intellectually feeble in some glaring way, or just plain dishonest on some intellectual and/or moral level. If you look like a slob, anyone will judge you. If you move like a slob, the people behind you will judge you. If you talk like a slob, anyone who can hear you will judge you. And if you think like a slob, anyone who actually reads facts before rendering opinions will judge you.

      The facts are clear in this case: Monsieur G has plenty of flexibility for future blogging - there is nothing stopping him from reviving his blog under a different name and with a different approach - and LVMH was well within its rights to do what it did. Was it bad taste? Maybe. But that was never the issue for me.

      The ongoing "debate" about this on basenotes smacks of intellectual dishonesty and in some cases pure stupidity. The fact that basenotes "drives" the outrage in the community is also disheartening, although I note that there is some outrage on facebook, also. People need to stop whining, and recognize the difficulty in claiming ownership of ANYTHING on the internet. People also need to stop acting like anything that happens on the internet is the equivalent of life or death. It isn't. It's digital. It's malleable. That's why the internet exists: to extend beyond our wildest dreams all the possibilities of communication.

      So please, don't come on here and tell me not to be judgmental. You should be more judgmental, and if you judge that you don't like me, have the good sense to avoid this blog at all costs and read elsewhere. If you do that much, you shouldn't even be bothered to respond to my comment here. You'll simply close the tab and start perusing another article elsewhere. Here's hoping you do that. But I wish you the best, and thanks for reading. One thing I won't do is harbor any ill will toward you.

  4. Basenotes and its resident mascot Hednic are truly the worst. A click of the most ignorant, posing imbeciles on the internet, with zero tolerance for free speech of any kind.

    1. They're still struggling with the concept of free speech, although they've made strides in the last four years or so. Recently I've seen threads that would have been eliminated in prior years being left open far longer than expected. It gets worse though when you stop to consider that the majority of the "senior" basenotes members, people like "the_good_life," "Primrose," "Petruccijc," and "Hednic," all hide in the "secret dependents board" and "Basenotes Plus Lounge," giving the deceptive appearance of being largely absent to the rest of the community. In reality they're all still very much active, and I can attest firsthand that a sizable amount of time is spent badmouthing other members in these forums. If I were still a member, I'd be taking screenshots and publishing them. These "secret" boards are pretty bad taste imo. This recent Guerlain debacle highlighted everything I still dislike about a forum that could, if managed properly, potentially be great.


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