6/19/16

The "Sauvage S**t Show" Goes On. What Fun!


Still A Stupid Game.


In the last few months, Sauvage's price has become a hot topic for some folks in the blogosphere. The fact that Dior's new scent is a "designer" fragrance isn't the least bit alarming to most. Dior has been around for decades, and its pricing decisions have rarely been a subject of conversation. Yet it seems that a few can't help but talk around the issue of Sauvage's price, which in some ways is being equated with its "worth."

Fragrantica's veteran master troll has been repeatedly using the review section for Sauvage as a "discussion thread," which of course it was never meant to be, to badger other members for having certain opinions of Sauvage. This is the same troll who has spent years contending that nothing I say makes any sense, that I'm mentally ill, and more recently (on basenotes) that he's "bested" me on all debate fronts, despite a considerable numerical difference in the sizes of our devoted readerships, which count 88 here, and only 51 there. (If this is "besting" me, keep it coming.)

This character read the following comment by Fragrantica member "Gazza97":

"It's almost impossible to dislike this fragrance. Yes it may be slightly 'generic', but come on, this just smells amazing. The performance is really good too. I got a solid 7 hours from this and it was still projecting pretty well from the 4 hour mark! This surpasses Bleu de Chanel IMO."

And responded to it with his usual, near-indecipherable histrionics:

"@Gazza97: What I don't understand is all the reviews saying it's a great performer and it smells good. There are thousands of other 'masculine' scents that have excellent longevity and projection, and smelling good is obviously subjective (Sauvage uses a lot of ambroxan, so if you find that aroma chemical irritating, it's highly likely you will dislike the scent, perhaps intensely!). I have several Playboy scents that cost me $5 or less per 100 ml and I enjoy them (and they are also excellent 'performers'), and I don't have to deal with a lot of ambroxan with those. So, if you really enjoy Sauvage, that's great for you and I'm glad to hear it, but to act like it's the only scent that is an excellent 'performer' or that smells 'nice' is ridiculous, IMO."

This is called, conservatively, "framing the debate with straw." I won't delve into how unhinged and bizarre it reads. At no point in his brief review did "Gazza97" suggest that Sauvage is "the only scent that is an excellent performer." Nor did he ever suggest that it's the only one that "smells nice." So why is "Gazza97"'s review - and it is a review - under attack?

"Gazza97" responded with clarity:

"@Bigsly: Once again people are taking my review out of context. I never stated that it is a unique, one of a kind fragrance. There may well be fragrances out there that have the same vibe and performance as Sauvage, albeit at less the price. I haven't smelt those ones that you mentioned because they are less well known than something that comes from the house of Dior, and I'm allowed to voice my opinion on the latter. So please read my review thoroughly before you accuse me. Thank you."

What I like about Fragrantica is that the merits of member comments are "voted on" by others in the forum, with general consensus indicated via "balloons" that accumulate next to content. "Gazza97"'s review, and his response to an unwarranted attack, hold full clutches of balloons, while his attacker's comment hold none at all. A lack of balloons should not be considered a searing indictment of one's opinion, but it gives a vague idea of where people in the forum stand on a subject. In this case, I'd hazard to say that other members felt the same way as "Gazza97" when it came to his ideas on Sauvage being "unique" and "nice."

His attacker has taken to conflating Sauvage's price with its worth, for some reason. Playboy scents, usually Berlin, are frequently mentioned in this context, with statements like "Why should I pay for Sauvage when I can get Berlin for five dollars?" floating around rather freely. My guess is he thinks Berlin smells like Sauvage, which I suppose is fair, although you should note that this is the same person who once suggested that Amouage's Memoir Man smells like Burberry Brit, so if you're interested in heeding his comparison skills, do so at your own risk! But I can't help wondering what his point is here? If you like Playboy's Berlin, fine. If you can't afford Sauvage at retail, no biggie. But these factors have absolutely nothing to do with other people liking Sauvage.

If I had to guess, I'd say that maybe the idea being "sold" here is this: pricy designer scents like Sauvage are being undermined by inexpensive drugstore scents like Playboy Berlin because of vast price differences, without commensurate differences in quality. That is, Sauvage and Berlin's quality are almost entirely on par, while their prices are wildly different. There is some merit to this argument, if it is indeed the argument being made. (Because of how poorly the main champion for this idea writes, I can't verify that this is definitely what he's saying, but it's what I've pieced together thus far.) It's fair enough, but there are also a few problems.

The main merit here is that Playboy scents are relatively high quality for their price-point, although I doubt anyone can acquire a Playboy scent for five dollars or less, contrary to what Berlin's number one spokesman constantly says. A 1.7 oz bottle of any Playboy scent retails in stores at about sixteen dollars. This isn't "expensive" by most measures, but it's hardly a "dollar store" price point. You can get things by Italian-imported Krizia for less on Amazon.

To be fair, you can get 1.7 oz bottles of Playboy scents on Amazon for about ten dollars without shipping included, maybe nine if you trust the more obscure sellers. I haven't seen any deals for the brand at under six dollars, and don't know why anyone would suggest Playboy scents can be had for five dollars or less. Usually merchants asking under ten dollars want at least six dollars for shipping, so these tend to be pointless purchases in my opinion. Show me a five dollar Playboy scent (shipping included) and I'm in! I suspect this deal does not and never did exist, and is a product of a certain someone's imagination, being conveniently used to support whatever the position of the day is. When I make certain surprising purchases, I post pictures of my receipts to prove the prices I paid exist. So far the troll hasn't posted any of his receipts, and I simply don't believe him when he talks about "five dollar or less Playboy scents."

But I digress - yes, if you like inexpensive fragrances, and respect the Playboy brand (i.e., you're not turned off by its being a soft-core porn name), Playboy's Berlin is probably a good purchase. I've never tried it, and can't vouch for it personally, but I don't doubt that it's a decent scent, especially for the money. I happen to have VIP in my collection, and it's a very nice little wetshaver fern with a slight gourmand aspect to it, and its quality is solidly "good." It was well worth the sixteen or so bucks I paid for it.

One could also argue that the aroma chemicals used in pricy designer scents like Sauvage are also being used to varying degrees in things like Berlin. This is a fair assessment, although it's hardly enlightening. It's like saying dihydromyrcenol is used in both Green Irish Tweed and Cool Water. Wow, you don't say?

That's where the merits stop, in my opinion. The logic gets shakier when I start to consider what is actually being argued here: that for some people, owning and wearing "five dollar" Playboy scents like Berlin make owning and wearing eighty-five dollar scents like Sauvage pointless. Why, exactly, would that be? Playboy scents smell much "cheaper" at a distance than more expensive designer scents by YSL, Chanel, and Dior in my collection, and my bottle of VIP is nowhere near as complex as my bottles of Antaeus and Bleu de Chanel, for example. The "quality" test for these things isn't hard to conduct. "Cheaper" often relates to lower concentration of scent by volume, so you'll smell a relatively close degree of complexity between Playboy and designer for the first ten minutes, and then the budget differences rapidly come to light.

Also, Sauvage is unique in that it gets compared to dozens of other fragrances all the time, yet really only smells like itself - not unlike Bleu de Chanel. Does this make Sauvage "great?" No, but it makes it unique. Few fragrances in recent memory have caused men and women to speculate so wildly about its comparatives. Few have managed to generate such heated discussion, for that matter.

Likewise, Sauvage's quality is at least close to where it should be, if not a bit above average. My experience with it yielded a surprisingly clear and durable bergamot note, absolutely no "marine" or "aquatic" elements (which at this point I consider trite), and a distinct (if unexciting) woody-amber base that at least was not "cheap." It registers as a Dior-funded suede leather scent to my nose. I certainly don't consider Sauvage anything great, and my personal feelings for it are pretty limited in that regard, as it's not something I seek to buy and wear. But I'm not confused by the enthusiasm it generates in others. I understand their view. It's a very good fragrance, rather "safe" in the same way that Bleu de Chanel is, and it smells clearly of a few things, so it's not like the scent is overly "abstract" or difficult to rate.

If you want to wear Sauvage, you buy it and wear it. You can't reliably look to the comparisons made by other people and use them as a substitute for Sauvage, because thus far no consensus has been reached as to which scent is closest to Sauvage. This isn't Paco Rabanne's One Million. This isn't Le Male. This isn't Allure Homme. This is a fragrance that has created some "camps" of people who feel certain things smell closer than others, and there are certainly some comparatives that are more accurate than others, but ultimately Dior has sired something that raises more lineage questions than it answers.

With this taken into account, what's the point of suggesting that anything else is a spoiler here? If anything, Sauvage should be generating discussions about how nothing is an apt substitute for it!

People also get hung up on specific aroma chemicals, as if they could ever identify these chemicals in isolated blind tests. When Terre d'Hermes was popular, Iso E was inexplicably the "bad chemical," despite its being one of the gentlest materials in the organ. Now with Sauvage, everyone is suddenly down on Ambroxan. They weren't down on Ambroxan when it was used in Green Irish Tweed, and at least with GIT it's been confirmed by people like Luca Turin that the material is present. Having worn Sauvage, the last thing I worried about was that it contained Ambroxan.

Fragrantica member "Josh839" responded to the troll with his own thoughts, which I think sum up the true nature of both arguments pretty well:

"@Bigsly: I respect your point of view about variety and price. My budget for fragrances is not unlimited either. I have read some of your reviews that I have truly appreciated. It shows clearly that you are an experienced amateur . . . Sauvage is commercial? Yes! But 'commercial' is not synonymous with 'cheap' or devoid of creative content . . . "

"Creative content" is a term that some folks openly deride, as if perfumers' intentions in the creation of perfumes are irrelevant. That's hard to fathom, because they're the only things that are relevant. I'll write more about that another time, but I'll finish here by saying that any hypothetical five dollar fragrance, if held against an existing eighty-five dollar fragrance for comparison, ought to achieve the same level of popular enthusiasm if it's to be considered a genuine comparative. Thus far, for reasons that are not a mystery to me, things like Playboy's Berlin are simply "scents other than Sauvage." And if you don't want to spend the money on Sauvage, and don't want to wear Sauvage, by all means, don't!

It's helpful to understand though that this means you don't want to smell like Sauvage. It means that you want to smell like whatever you've chosen to wear instead. Any argument that places one scent over the other in the context of price conjures an "apples and oranges" scenario that isn't worth exploring. So I ask you, can we finally bring this ridiculous show to a close? If you like Sauvage, and you can afford it, buy it, wear it, enjoy it. More power to you.

If you don't like Sauvage, and your reasons range from the practical (it's too expensive), to the pedantic (too much Ambroxan), fine, but do we really need to keep talking about it? Enough already. Dior created and issued Sauvage. Some people like it, and others don't. The world continues to turn. Call me crazy if you must, but I think this discussion has gone far enough.

Update 6/21/16: Apparently the troll was incensed by my article, and he wrote up a rambling blog post that addresses yet another Fragrantica review of Sauvage. He seems to ponder not whether it bears any accuracy for others, but whether it accounts for (drumroll please) price differences between Sauvage and other fragrances.

"The reviewer seems to think it is good for garnering compliments, but that it is repulsive if smelled close up on the skin, though this is true of a large number of scents, so the question is, why spend $90 or thereabouts on it when there are other options? For example, a three ounce bottle of Cuba Prestige (which is similar to A*Men but without much if any of the tar note) cost me less than $10 total., and it has excellent performance! Wouldn’t such a scent garner compliments too?"

You could say the same of Animale Animale for men, which is similar to A*Men without the tar, and 100 ml can be had for less than twenty dollars. By why in the name of Grace would I even bring up an A*Men comparative when discussing Sauvage? And how does the fact that an $85 designer fragrance costs more than cheaper "off-brand" fragrances mean anything in particular here?

He really "goes down the rabbit hole" in his next paragraph:

"There seems to be an interesting psycho-social element to the 'Sauvage debate,' and so that’s why I’ve spent more time on a scent that I have no interest in wearing than on many others (that probably deserve more attention). It seems to function like this; someone tries Sauvage after reading a bunch of bad reviews, then says to himself, 'it’s not that bad, and I did get a compliment, so there must be a group of irrational haters out there!' Then he goes on a site like Fragrantica and makes such points in the review section, totally ignoring some of the points made, such as what I’ve said about there being thousands of other scents to choose from at lower prices! . . . Obviously, there is no other scent exactly like Sauvage, but that can be said of nearly every scent on the market too!"

Try to figure on what is being said here, if you can: because people are ignoring this person, and claiming that Sauvage is garnering compliments (and craziest of things, smelling good), they are falsely identifying "haters" who think what he thinks, whatever that is. This is followed by the grossly inaccurate statement about there being countless fragrances with no exact comparatives.

Of course there are very few fragrances out there that smell exactly like something else. But that's not what was being argued by anyone - certainly not me! What has been clearly stated here is that Sauvage is exceptional because it has no comparatives at all. No one comparative can be gleaned with any accuracy from the majority of preexisting perfumes. At least with many other designer fragrances, you can point to something else that smells similar. Le Male has dozens of comparatives, Perry Ellis 360 White among them. Drakkar Noir has so many comparatives that it has become its own genre of fragrance. Allure Homme has things like Joop! Jump and at least a half dozen other similar fragrances to match it.

But Sauvage, thus far, has little to no accurate comparative. So to argue that "every scent on the market" lacks an "exact" twin is beside the point. We're talking about things that are "similar," not "exact."

Well, I'm talking about that, anyway. To round it all off, we get back to the "unhinged" nature of this person's thinking:

"Getting back to the review, I don’t understand why someone would think that $90 for 100 ml of such a scent is 'the going rate.' How could someone not know about ebay, discounters, and the fact that a large number of new scents are put on the market each year?"

This suggests that Dior Sauvage enthusiasts are possibly unaware of the existence of eBay, discount grey market sites, and the ever-rising tide of new perfumes that flood our shores each season, which is not a very realistic comment, in my opinion. But he continues to be hung up on price, price, price. He thinks it's absurd that anyone would accept Dior's asking price for Sauvage, at what he contends is $90 (I've seen it for $85 here in Connecticut, and can't comment on the rate elsewhere).

Eighty-five to ninety dollars for Sauvage is Dior's retail price for 100 ml, as far as I know. This is what Dior wants for it. Since you can get older Dior fragrances on Amazon for a bit less than retail (occasionally), one might be better off waiting a year or two to see if that happens. You could always hop onto eBay and see if someone is hawking their partially-used bottle on there for less than retail, but if so, they'd be taking a loss, which should raise red flags for any buyer. As for the grey market, you can hope to find things by Chanel and Dior on random sites for good prices, but you enter into the realm of counterfeit risk, particularly with these two brands. This is how they're able to maintain their retail department store rates without much competition.

It seems to me that any seasoned perfume enthusiast knows these things without having to go over them. They are the reason the current sticker price for Sauvage is the "going rate." If I want something else that smells nothing like Sauvage, and it only costs ten or fifteen dollars, so be it, but that does little to undermine Dior's asking price.

I really don't know what else to say. I'll leave you with one last entertaining "histrionic" from our friend, who apparently takes umbrage at being called a "troll":

"Some people seem to think they can call people 'trolls' because they state an opinion the person doesn’t like. This often appears to be a substitute for 'hater,' perhaps because the person realizes how silly the hater claim is when it involves someone stating an opinion about an olfactory concoction (and the supposed hater isn’t even saying anything hateful!). In fact, to know for sure if someone is trolling one would have to be a mind reader, and I’d guess that if Socrates were alive today many would call him a troll for saying the same kinds of things he said in ancient Greece!"

Ouch. You'd think he'd have the decency to leave poor Socrates out of this.

Further Update: At this point it's a dead horse being flogged to the bone, but there was this humorous anecdote added to the blog post in question:

"I am confident in my opinions, though I’m certainly not always correct, but what’s interesting to me is that some people seem to want to argue what one might call 'semi-facts' . . . I’m simply pointing some things out, which are either undeniably facts or probably should be regarded as such ('semi-facts')."

Semi-facts? Good grief.


18 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of Sauvage. It's alright, but nothing I'd be interested in buying. The amount of hate it gets, however, is ridiculous. You'd think it smells like the bathroom of an abandoned gas station. I don't think it smells more unremarkable than the majority of the fragrances you'd find on Sephora's counters, but the obsession with attacking Sauvage is ridiculous.
    If he has a problem with its heavy use of ambroxan, then he should save his posts for Escentric Molecule 02

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    1. When Ambroxan is mentioned in the context of certain Creed scents, nobody complains about it. Suddenly with Sauvage, Ambroxan is "evil" and people are "sensitive" to it. I smell a dry, rather leathery amber quality in Sauvage that I would guess is the Ambroxan, but honestly, with the hundreds of materials in the formula, why perseverate on one? What possible reason could there be to obsess over the fact that Sauvage uses a generous amount of Ambroxan? It's very strange.

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  2. I have not been thinking about this particularly deeply, but here are a few scattered impressions, though not necessarily of the smell of Sauvage... I've smelled it a few times, once on somebody else's skin, and am not particularly interested in pursuing it further. This may be a matter of what's filling out (or missing from) my collection at the moment, or the development of my nose (early days!), or, most likely, the development of my nose in relation to how I conceptualize what and how I smell what I smell. Recently you've addressed the importance of marketing and I think it's important to comment on here.

    This may sound kind of like a silly proposition, but suppose we reread the initial hate-wave of complaints for Bleu de Chanel or Dior's Sauvage and imagine the criticisms are not really aimed at how it smells, but the graphics, the selected celebrity models, the plotlines of the mini-movies(!), the magazine adds... you get the idea. Imagine the criticism is of the identity rather than the raw product. From this perspective, the anger could be registered as an unconscious response to an exhausted branding paradigm. Creativity and imagination do matter, indeed, and so do the buyer's sense of self worth in relation to what they choose to consume. Mainstream, hetero masculinity is, dare I say it, in crisis. The mass marketing of fragrance has traditionally pressed big, broad buttons like heritage, class and sex appeal, things one conveys through complex series of social codes, and that consumer cultures past and present invite us to fantasize about exercising control over… As markets get bigger, the marketing becomes coarser and the messages necessarily more bland and pre-digested.

    What if the scapegoating of synthetics represents an overall fear of synthesis itself, of having one’s individual characteristics and connections to perceived pasts generalized and marketed out of existence? Fashion and perfumery both presume a sense of shared creative identity between author and wearer… At least, one might argue they do at more expensive levels, following some metric of patronage and investment. At lower levels of investment, perhaps, one feels less participatory in a shared fantasy or tribal alignment, and more inclined to think of oneself as an liberated individual, recognizing something others have missed, through his or her ‘creative’ (read: informed) taste? This logic of the low-rent connoisseur might also reflect the attitude of the vintage enthusiast; both types seem to feel it important to stake their claims for freedom, albeit not without a certain insecurity. Maybe this goes some way to explain the boorish behaviour?

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    1. While I agree with the premise of scapegoating that you've offered, I think in most cases this is just a form of snobbery. As if these people in their invisible labs could really get us to like a synthetic material and accept a large dosage of it as good perfumery! The nerve!

      The issue at hand - abiding Sauvage as a mainstream success story for Dior (even as only a minor success) - seems to shudder and shake in the face of facts: modern perfumery has always been about SYNTHETICS, not natural materials. Whether it be the wallop of lab-made coumarin in Fougere Royale or the 10 carbon alcohol grassy floral reconstructions of Vent Vert, or even the massive slug of dihydromyrcenol in Cool Water, or the equally massive punch of Iso E Super in Terre d'Hermes, it's no different with the Ambroxan in Sauvage: synthetics are why we're in this game in the first place. To pretend to be offended by them is absurd.

      I'd also mention that many of the same people who cry and complain about the IFRA restrictions on various natural and synthetic allergens will find special time to complain about "sensitivities" to whatever is in something that's popular to bash. I wonder if, in a few years time, the EU will find fault with things like ISO E and Ambroxan, and require strict limitations on them. Would these same people be hypocritical and complain about that? Or would they surprise me and say things like, "wow, they're restricting Ambroxan. for once I agree with them." Somehow I doubt it!

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  3. It's not even just the Terre D'Hermes that's an Iso E Super bomb. I'd be amazed if Jean Claude Elena could compose something which didn't have enough Iso E Super to put the Iso E Super heiresses through college. Poivre Samarcande is supposedly 70% Iso E (if it's not a bull number), and that goes for like, what, 300 bucks for 100 ml?
    And Dior is now releasing single accord oils while charging as much as some of the really high end ones from the KSA, like Abdul Qurayshi. I'd complain about that a bit more than Sauvage doing what every other designer does

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    1. I'd be right there with you. Sauvage is just another designer frag as far as I'm concerned. The margins on recent niche are an outrage far more compelling to ponder. But for some folks it seems the main point of interest is to denigrate anything "popular" or "mainstream" despite the fact that current niche frags are no less formulaic and dull.

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  4. Fashion house Dior is fairly conservative, staid, and "bourgeois chic" in my opinion so I wouldn't expect anything too wild or avant garde from them.

    I daubed myself liberally at the Moscow airport with JHAG's Not A Perfume which is pure ambroxan/ambroxide. All I could detect was a mild creamy sandalwood sort of scent on my skin after about an hour (almost like polysantal). Interesting because ambroxide/ambroxan is one of the main compounds responsible for the scent of ambergris. Natural ambergris tincture smells very human to me rather like dirty hair & baby spew. (Sounds obnoxious but surprisingly isn't.) Others have proclaimed ambergris to smell like a woman's skin but I hope I don't smell like that.

    As far as synthetics in modern perfumery goes all of the iconic perfumes of the last and present century feature large amounts of synthetics-
    Shalimar- ethyl vanillin
    Jicky- coumarin
    Chamade- sulfox
    Chanel No 5- aldehydes
    Samsara- polysantal
    Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca- cis-3-hexanol
    L’Homme Idéal- benzaldehyde

    On Iso Super E from Fragrantica-
    "Although Iso E Super is extremely popular, the International Fragrance Association has examined its properties for potential allergenic and skin sensitizing negative effects and decided to ration its use. Taking up to 10% of the fragrance formula was recommended for use in a variety of products according to IFF in 2002, but recent developments effectuated in 2010-2011 have lowered that level to 21.4% in the final compound to be further diluted in alcoholic products."

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    1. It's worth noting also that Symrise considers Ambroxan to be a "cedar wood, floral, tobacco, leather-like, dry-musk" in quality, and when you reflect on how Ambroxide is derived from sclareol, it's not surprising that it has a range of qualities. However, it is commonly mistaken for being a "prime player" among odorants, when really it's not unlike Iso E Super, in that it lends compositions a fixative service and "texture" more than any one prominent note.

      By the way, if you say "polysantal" and "Samsara" in the same breath, most people burst into flames. Please be considerate.

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    2. @ Bibi: JHAG's Not a Perfume is not just Ambroxan (actually, I think they claim Cetelox), despite what the marketing says. One can easily perceive Hedione, some musks etc in there, too.

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    3. I can't speak to how Cetelox smells, and really I'm proceeding with caution in even discussing Ambroxan in its pure state, but if it's meant to even loosely emulate natural ambergris, it would have to encompass a few facets of the real stuff, including the tangy musky edge and the deeper musky elements that probe into smelling like amber and even different floral notes. It may mean there's something like Hedione detectable in the concentration of high quality Ambroxan when there's really no Hedione present. Just a guess, though.

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    4. If one is familiar with Cetalox, Ambroxan etc in isolation, then the presence of other materials in Not A Perfume is very apparent. There's certainly some Iso E Super thrown in for good measure, too.
      If you read German, here's a link to an interview with Geza Schoen where he calls Not A Perfume a rip-off: not of Molecule O2, but of the base of D&G Light Blue For Her! http://www.parfumo.de/blog/2013/10/26/geza-schoen-sinnlich-transparent-und-holzig-ohne-mystifizierung/

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    5. Interesting, thanks for the link!

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  5. "By the way, if you say "polysantal" and "Samsara" in the same breath, most people burst into flames. Please be considerate."

    Mr Ross,
    Consideration is highly overrated & outre. As evidenced by this year's US presidential campaign bluster, bombast, and reckless bravado are "on trend."
    Fire away,
    Bibi

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    1. LOL looks like an investment in fire extinguishers is in my future! Don't you know that Samsara was like 50% natural sandalwood oil FOREVER? Guerlain would never dream of using a high quality, cheaper synthetic! That would mean they'd ruin the beauty of wearing vintage perfumes for every asshole who wore vintage to smell "natural."

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  6. (just saw the update)
    I just got a bottle of Thallium as a compliment getting bar/club scent. It sort of reminds me of Invictus in a way (not necessarily in smell, but more in overall direction of fresh, fruity, and with quite a bit of ambroxan in the dry down- if I'm not mixing up ambroxan with something else anyway).
    It basically satisfies any reason I'd have to buy a bottle of Invictus or Sauvage, even though it doesn't smell like either (I'd just wear it for the same reasons), and only cost me 14 bucks.
    Yet I don't see any reason to obsess over the more expensive counterparts. I'm just happy I found something cheap, which performs well, which I'm surprisingly enjoying, in a genre I really don't care for.
    I can't help but wonder if people obsess over Sauvage because it shares a name with one of the all time masterpieces of men's perfumery, because it's Dior (though I don't think some of the Fahrenheit flankers were anything noteworthy, and I don't remember caring much for Dior Homme Sport when I tried it at Sephora), or both? For such a safe, pleasant,and unremarkable fragrance, this is almost as polarizing as Secretion Magnifique, if forums were anything to go by

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    1. I think initially the Sauvage name resonated falsely for those who bought into this fragrance. Clearly it has nothing to do with Eau Sauvage. Oddly enough, the prior release of Eau Sauvage EDP, which in my opinion is just as unrelated to the original, was met with high praise, even despite the strong and very blobby opoponax/myrrh thing it had going.

      I'm confused by your feelings about Sauvage as they relate to Thallium, though. Sure, Thallium has an ambroxan note, but why would that make owning Sauvage a no-go? To me, the decision to own a fragrance should be based on whether or not this fragrance is unique enough and good enough to warrant owning. If Thallium is excellent, then I'm not surprised, and I'd say you should stock up and enjoy it. But if you were to smell Sauvage another day and find you really like it (and can afford a small bottle at least), what's the justification for not getting Sauvage, too?

      Just curious.

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  7. I just meant for myself, not in general.
    The main reason I would get Sauvage or Invictus is for the ambroxan note (well, also for a compliment getter). When I had samples of both, I thought that distinct highlight was strange at first, but I found myself constantly sniffing my arm, and enjoying it whenever I smelled it on anyone else. I probably would have ordered one of them, but Thallium fit the bill (I didn't expect it would have that note, I just ordered it for a bar/club scent, and was surprised by it).
    I actually think Sauvage, and to a lesser extent, Invictus (only mentioned it because of the heavy ambroxan), are both well constructed scents, despite how much shit they get. They're just nothing I'm personally interested in, but if others want to buy them, I can see why. Also without seeing any reason to blast them on Fragrantica or Basenotes

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    1. I also tend to measure the desirability of a frag by what it offers that I enjoy, so I can relate. As you've pointed out, it's understandable to appreciate something but never pull the trigger on a full bottle, and there's no reason to bash the frag in question on community forums.

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