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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