Guest Post: A Delightful Non-Sequitur

Guest Post by The Fragrant Man


In response to Mr Vagabond’s post The Voice of a Blogger

A Story of a Delightful Non-Sequitur

I was approached by Brand X (a clue there to the cognoscenti) to see if I would write about their new releases. It is important to note here that the approach was from a PR company handsomely paid by Branch X to maximize their exposure to perfume buyers. They were extremely keen to give me ‘information’ and sent extremely high quality and beautifully shot photos of extremely expensive perfume.

Brand Rep to The Fragrant Man
We are currently looking after a few perfume labels which I thought might be of interest to you (sic) blog…

The Fragrant Man to Brand Rep

With new releases I prefer to publish a review when they are purchasable on-line by the readership. Otherwise they forget or become frustrated.

Brand to The Fragrant Man – In reference to asking for a sample.

Unfortunately, we do not have samples available at all at the moment…
Do you solely do reviews or also news and interviews? Perhaps we could work something out.

The Fragrant Man to Brand Rep

I have worked hard to gain a readership. Interestingly it is the Facebook version of The Fragrant Man that has almost 50,000 interested readers.

I am not comfortable promoting a brand I have not smelt. You could do decants if you do not have formal samples.

Brand Rep to The Fragrant Man

I do understand that you prefer to smell and try the product in order to write about it. It makes perfect sense as your readers put their trust in you,…

At the moment I cannot accommodate you but I will make sure to drop you a line should it change.

Then I said no to promo writing and received a delightful non-sequitur.

Brand Rep to The Fragrant Man
Totally understand you don’t want to review without smelling first.


Further Reading
Persolaise – Who do you work for? Thoughts on blogs and Perfume Criticism
Nafia Guljar – Jo Malone and the ugly side of beauty blogging
The Smelly Vagabond – The Voice of a Blogger
The Non-Blonde – Full Disclosure


[NB: Jordan had originally typed most of this in a comment on my previous post but it turned out to be too long, and so he contacted me about featuring this as a guest post, which I am most delighted to, especially since it’s a fantastic anecdote about what goes on between a brand and a blogger. Thanks Jordan for this piece!]

The Voice of a Blogger

I’m gonna say exactly what I think!

For some time now, I have been wondering if I should write to fragrance companies to get on their press list. This might be an easy decision for some – after all, you would be invited to press releases specifically for bloggers, receive samples of releases that have yet to be launched as well as numerous other freebies. Yet I – and perhaps some of my fellow bloggers – value having my own independent voice and being able to write my own honest opinions on a fragrance, without having to worry about offending some brand and being black marked for it. Just recently, Persolaise penned a thought-provoking piece titled ‘Who Do You Work For? – Thoughts on Blogs and Perfume Criticism’, where he made extremely valid, relevant and incisive remarks on the state of independent writing with regard to perfume criticism.

I have no doubt we’re still years away from a time when impartial fragrance reviews are a regular feature of mainstream media; I think most of us are resigned to that sad fact. But I’m aware that many of us net-based scentusiasts had hoped the internet would be the site where honest, independent voices could flourish and gain legitimacy. I’m now beginning to wonder if these hopes were unfounded. Yes, there’s still plenty of excellent fragrance writing on the blogosphere, the audience for which appears to be growing. But the “climate of fear” alluded to by James seems to have affected the output of several online writers, to the extent that quite a few are unwilling to write about a scent in negative or extreme terms… presumably because they’re worried about being struck off a brand’s press list and not receiving freebies any more.

– Persolaise

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The Great Social Media Experiment

I’ve gone and done the whole social media connectivity thing. I figured it would get information across more easily, direct new readers to my blog, and also be an avenue for me to post little things that I might not otherwise post on a blog. If you fancy, you can find me on Facebook here, and if you hover over the ‘Like’ button, you can click on ‘Get Notifications’ so you’ll be updated whenever I post something up. Also, I’ve just started a Twitter account: @SmellyVagabond so if you follow me you can also get updates when I post. I’m still trying to figure out how to get stuff like widgets and sharing buttons on the blog, so do bear with me in the meantime, I’m a tech dinosaur compared to someone my age. I also don’t really know how the hashtags work, but I guarantee you’ll find the following clip absolutely hilarious:

Out of curiosity, are there any other ways I can be more connected to the rest of the perfume community? What would you recommend? And what do you think of bloggers making use of Facebook and Twitter to stay connected?

Thanks for all your support so far!

The Smelly Vagabond Returns… Summer Comes and Goes.

source: clouducation

Greetings! The Smelly Vagabond returneth, after a long summer break! First up, I’d like to apologise for my rather abrupt disappearing act, which might have left some of you who check the blog from time to time wondering where I’d gone, or if I’d given up blogging for good. Secondly, for those who have actually been checking in once in a while, THANK YOU!

Perhaps I should explain: I’ve been spending summer in sunny Singapore instead of London (where apparently there was a heatwave!). Aside from catching up with family and friends whom I haven’t seen in a year, I’ve also been busy working at an 8 – 6 job (welcome to Singapore, where we’ve got the longest working hours). I know many bloggers give themselves a schedule / free time off, but between work and meeting up with people in the evenings and nights, there was scarcely any time left for me to blog! And mind you, I’ve missed blogging! I just thought it would be better to accumulate reviews and write slowly rather than post one review per month. But yes, the great news is that my work attachment is OVER and I’ve got a number of weeks before returning to London and student life, where I invariably have more free time. I’ve scheduled a number of posts that will pop up every few days [Why not just upload all of them? Cause you’d just read all of them at one go, it’s the same with a TV series :D], so please do check in on the blog!

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