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Do noses work the same?

In the shaving world YMMV may never be more evident than in perceiving scent.
The world seems divided on the scent of Arko.
I'm not here to acclaim or decry the scent
but to marvel at the differences between people sniffing the same stuff.
I pulled these quotes from different reviews.

The scent strength:
"The scent is very mild"
"Arko falls into the strong scent category"
"wish it had a stronger scent."
"I air it out a couple of months"

The scent fragrance:
"The scent is almost like Ivory soap."
"soap smells like Moroccan Rose Water."
"The smell is lemony"

The scent quality:
"The smell is pleasant"
"love the smell, very clean & plain soapy"
"similar to williams mug soap, but more potent and longer lasting"
"smell is very 'cheap' and unnatural"

These comments couldn't possibly be describing the same scent.
It's like the old joke of the blind men describing an elephant
after touch different parts of the animal.
No wonder nobody can agree on a bay rum!

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Just like any other sense .. Everyone's is different ( hearing, taste, smell ) I've found it through the years on fragrances that its best to try yourself and then decide based on your own sense of smell. I have made blind buys on fragrances in the past based solely on reviews .. Some I liked and agreed with reviews and some I totally disliked and disagreed with the reviews.
... For instance a lot of folks like the smell of Arko and for me I don't like it at all
Agree that people do not perceive scents the same way. Evident when I compare my reaction to actually smelling something that someone else has and has commented on. My wife and I do not smell things the same way either, and even differ on a day-to-day basis with the same edt. That is why I really want to actually get a sample of something before I buy it, or, minimally, have someone compare what they are smelling to a product that I have already smelled or have available to smell.
People's sense of smell vary a lot, and everyone's skin chemistry changes the way scented products smell. Also, some are drawn to scents that others can't stand. That's why scent is such a personal thing.


Fussy Evil Genius
Smell and taste can vary quite wildly among folks. Some folks can detect things others more strongly than others can, and some can detect things that others cannot pick up at all, and that can make a huge difference. Much of that is genetic, so someone may not be able to train themselves otherwise (other is a matter of training, though).

I've seen it time and time again in cooking, brewing, beer judging, and anything else that relies heavily on smell and taste. It's quite wild, sometimes.
Arko changes scent as it ages. I don't like it when it smells like a strong industrial cleaner when fresh. However, after a while it changes to a slightly lemonish ivory soap scent to me.
From what I can tell, folks' sense of smell varies massively, even before taking into account associations from the past folks have with particular scents. If our sense of scent was a varied as our sense of smell, my guess is we would not be able to drive cars among each other.

Also, I have read recently that the English language is poor at describing scents, which probably means that English speakers culturally are not good with picking out scents.

I will provide a classic example. Many folks perceive a strong baby pooh accord in C&S Cuba edt, that others, such as me, perceive as one of the best cigar accords around. On the other hand, when I still had some Montecristo Cuban cigars around, I compared the Cuba scent side-by-side with the cigars. I would say that the cigars had a strong baby pooh accord to their scent, if one thought of it that way. (The cigars smelled great, by the way.) So I am not sure what to think or what that might prove. I still suspect that the actual brain sensation, if you will, of what is smelled in complex scents varies hugely across various people, in a way that, say, the perception of the color blue, much less the shape of objects, does not!
To me the aroma of Arko soap stick is simply that of Tallow soap and several other soaps and creams have that same aroma which is masked by the addition of other scents. For example sniff Arko soap and Proraso blue protective shaving cream side by side and they are much the same except that the Proraso has base notes of Amber and Musk and a top note of Fern. But the Tallow soap aroma is still there. I expect that a lot of people won't agree with me and that goes to show that the sense of smell and the other senses varies from person to person :)
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