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domingo, 21 de fevereiro de 2016

YouTube Fragrance Vloggers: The Face of our Fragrance Community, Part I of II

by: Gabriela Cortés

In a time when social media seemed to lessen face-to-face interactions, fragrance vloggers challenged traditional perfume reviewing and actually showed us their real face, the face of our fragrance community.
A few years ago I was Googling for reviews of HM by Hanae Mori, when I stumbled upon a video review on YouTube from a guy named Brandon Thompson (akaCutlassSupremeSL) and I was shocked. It was a breath of fresh air to actually watch and hear people discussing fragrances. Since then I have been watching video reviews almost daily and searching for new video vloggers on YouTube became one of my obsessions.
Youtube is a video sharing website that started in 2005 and its network effects had a huge impact on our fragrance community. It offered a new and highly interactive platform of expression for perfume enthusiasts, who took advantage of their personal charisma and vibrant energy to reach for new perfume lovers. In a time when social media was in its infancy and seemed to lessen face-to-face interactions, fragrance video reviewers challenged traditional perfume reviewing and actually showed us their real face, the face of our fragrance community.
The vloggers' informal tone pulls us in and makes us feel part of a real community that transcends our computer's screen. The great diversity of video reviewers in terms of culture, nationality, ethnicity, and work settings, truly shows that our passion for perfume transcends races, cultures, languages, genders, appearances, age, and professions.  Perfume is not only for the perfect and beautiful people we see on perfume ads, perfume is for the quirky, for the geeky, for the rocker, for the hipster, for the imperfectly beautiful. We all have our funny, strange or quirky stuff, and that is why it is so refreshing to watch video reviewers who let their imperfections come through, who proudly show off their piercings, their tattoos, their homes, their witty sense of humor, and their sense of style. We may look different, but we are more alike than we think—and video reviewers show us there is more than we share besides our love for perfumes. Perhaps we all share our love for our wife and our daughter like Dan Mish (aka MyMickers), our admiration for tough military guys who like submarines like Brandon (aka Distinguishedgent1), our love for amazing makeup skills and piercings like Viola (aka KillerColours), or perhaps we simply love making others feel at home just like Kristo (aka Betawiblood) who proudly shows us every corner of their homes.

John Pegg
The benefits of engaging in social media have gone beyond social sharing to building a reputation and gaining media attention beyond our fragrance community in fashion magazines and newspapers—the kind of solid reputation John Pegg aka (Kerosenetrewthe) gained as a video reviewer on YouTube. He became one of the first vloggers on YouTube who was and still is highly regarded as a reviewer, and he lived his dream of becoming a perfumer when he created his own indie perfume house called Kerosene Fragrances. His creations have been featured in GQ magazine, theNew York Times Style magazineLos Angeles Times, and the Russian edition ofMarie Claire.

The GoodSmellas

Even famous GoodSmellas had some YouTube vlogging experience before they became a team, like Cody Sulaimana (aka dracdoc),  Edward Libassi (aka Frunk Inator), Luis Ginorio (aka CityMessiah), Ahmed Zindani (aka Ifreezet), and Carlos Powell (aka Brooklyn Fragrance Lover). You can read more about them in this wonderful article by Ida Meister, here. The confident GoodSmellas are also attracting a lot of attention from the press outside our fragrance related media, in fashion and style online magazines like racked.comElle magazine, and the London Sunday Times.
Thematic collaborations and video compilations involving several perfume reviewers are trending in YouTube perfume channels. Like Fragrance Bros.’ Shootout Serieswhere they do a battle of fragrances with similar notes; the Street Scent Series where Al from FRAGRANCEFANATIC1 actually goes out to the street and interacts with real people; the Black and White Series where Lupe (aka theLupeXperience) and Jay (Fragrance Wires vlog )take sides discussing the same fragrance; Dan's (akaMyMyckersMistery Challenge Series where Dan sends mystery samples to other video reviewers; the Hidden Gems series where Max Forti explains the niche potential some designer fragrances have and series where vloggers are actually paying attention to women’s preferences like Steven (aka Redolessence) in  My Wife Rates Fragrances in my Collection! and like Jeremy (aka  Jeremy Fragrance) in Cheap Vs Expensive Fragrances where he asks girls about fragrances for men.

Katie Puckrick
Sadly, something that stands out when you start following YouTube perfume channels is that most reviewers are male and that it is crowded with girls who show off their perfume collection, but who don't review fragrances per se.  Nonetheless, there are a few inspiring ladies who have stepped up for the challenge and who are highly respected among the YouTube fragrance community. One of the most popular perfume reviewers on YouTube is Katie Puckrick (aka Katie Puckrick Smells), a sweet, charismatic, and gorgeous lady who started uploading perfume reviews eight years ago. She is famous for her short and concise videos and her witty and enthusiastic reviewing style. Other wonderful ladies who have stood out in YouTube’s fragrance community are Brenda (aka Boo, aka fubar1963), Natasa (aka natky2),Victoria (aka EauMG), Viola (aka KillerColours), ChocolateBunniemzuriloveCleo CamNatalee PatelEast West HavenFragrancy blogNaz’s Fragrance Reviews,Just GilMinnieMollyReviews,  and indoleholic to name a few.
In Part II, I'll interview vlogger Chris Formosa who will share with us what inspired him to do video reviews and how he has managed to support the YouTube fragrance community.
Who are your favorite vloggers? Have YOU ever tried vlogging? Tell us your thoughts in a comment below!

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