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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To My Readers

Those who have been reading about Perfume Blogging Payola on Makeupalley, Aromascope and Perfume Posse, know what I am talking about. For those happily unaware of the Payolagate, I will sum it up. There are not particularly subtly veiled accusations flying around that some bloggers (unnamed) have been taking money from some companies (also unnamed) to write positive reviews. It all seems to have started with one blogger saying on a forum that he or she was offered money for a review. When the blogger then saw positive reviews of a product in question on other blogs, he or she assumed that the reviewers have accepted the offer. It seems that certain parties who love nothing more than to stir trouble and to incessantly throw as much dirt as they possibly can on their fellow bloggers, took the comment and ran with it.

To my readers who might or might not at this point be wondering whether they can trust Perfume-Smellin' Things to write from the heart and not "from the pocket", I would like to say the following:

Neither I, nor Tom, nor Mr Colombina, nor anyone who has ever written for Perfume-Smellin' Things have ever been offered money to write a positive review or not to write a negative one. We almost feel offended at being left out of the payola bonanza that seems to be taking place...somewhere.

The advertisements on Perfume-Smellin' Things, including the one for Boutique des Aromes, are and have always been clearly labeled as such.

Most if not all of those advertisements have always been for Stores rather than Perfume Companies. When, at the end of my reviews, I supply names of the stores which carry the scents I reviewed, I always attempt to find the ones that have the beast deal on a scent in question and/or are the ones which, as a buyer, I can trust myself.

A valid point was raised yesterday by a commenter on Aromascope, about a conflict of interests. If a blogger is in some way personally familiar with someone in perfume industry, the blogger might not be completely objective anymore regarding the perfumes created, produced, or what have you, by that someone. I believe I can only (very proudly) call those involved in Made by Blog project and, in a less direct way, in S-Perfumes, to be the people I sort of know in perfume industry. My involvement in Made by Blog has been announced at the very beginning of the project and since then mentioned numerous times. As far as I am aware, I am not in any way affiliated with any other perfume company.

The houndstooth background is there not because Dior paid me to advertise them in such a cleverly subtle way, but because I like it. The header is now displaying a Guerlain bottle for no reason other than I fancied the way that bottle looks. The same applies to the Chanel and Tom Ford bottles that graced the header before. The same will be true of whatever bottle I put there next.

I don't praise certain companies more than others because the praised companies paid me in any way to do so. I don't write consistently negative reviews about others because they refused to pay me or were late on their payments or their competitors paid me to diss them. I am not on the take from Dior, Chanel, Lutens, L'Artisan, Parfumerie Generale, Tom Ford, Malle, Parfum d'Empire or any other brands whose scents I consistently like. I am also, as I said, not in any way related to those companies...although I do like to imagine that I am Dior's long-lost great-granddaughter.

The samples of most of the scents I review are bought by me, swapped for, received from fellow perfume addicts, gotten for free in stores. Sometimes, when an exciting new scent is launched, I would write to a perfume company to ask to send me a sample. Sometimes a perfume company (or a distributor, or a PR firm, or a perfume store) would ask if I'd like to be sent a sample. Some, usually very big, companies rather touchingly call full size bottles "samples". So far not once a single sample or a bottle has come with a condition that a review MUST be written and must be written POSITIVELY. When a scent touches me enough, in a good or a bad way, I write about it. Often I am not moved enough either way to say anything.

My perfume blog is a PRIVATE AFFAIR, as are the perfume blogs I read and love. I feel the need to stress that over and over again. The concern over our objectivity is legitimate, no doubt about it, but I see it taken rather to an extreme. We do not require a payment from people to read our blogs, and really we do not owe anyone a detailed explanation of why and how we write about the scents. We don't force anyone to act upon our reviews, to make a purchase or decide against it based on what we say. We don't coerce anyone to even read us. Those who do not like the way we write or what we write about, are welcome to start their own - and better - blogs. They are not, however, welcome to then proceed to malign our work and try to raise their profile at our expense.

A comment was made yesterday on Aromascope, which rather shocked me. It stated that, when the commenter sees the scents he or she considers "not noteworthy" being praised over and over again on a blog, she tends to assume the blogger must be paid in some way to write about the "not noteworthy" scents. I read similar sentiments on other sites. It was as much as implied that those of us who write positive reviews about the scents the authors of those sites do not like, are either being paid to write such good things or unable to think independently and objectively evaluate the scents because of the promotional razzmatazz surrounding them. I cannot but admire the self-confidence of these self-appointed arbiters of good taste, objectivity and noteworthiness. I can't even dream of being an Independent Thinker of such caliber. I will just muddle somehow through my very subjective and very personal likes and dislikes and hope that the reviews I write will keep pleasing the readers I am so lucky and so honored to have. I hope that the readers will continue viewing my reviews as nothing more sinister than an expression of me and my tastes.

Thank you very much for reading!

72 Comments:

Blogger elle said...

Standing ovation! Beautifully expressed. And LMAO over the first picture! Love that! :-)

12:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
I was very tempted to put an image of a surly looking woman with a rifle there, but decided against that (still have to find the right post for that one). My second choice was a Mongolian warrior with a big sabre. I decided not to use that one either :-)

12:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Colombina, I was briefly reading several pefume blogs in the past and in the end I got stuck ... HERE. I like your reviews, your poetic and entertaining way . I wasn't really thinking about if you get paid for the reviews, I guess I just hoped it's not the case, but - and know I hope all the perfum companies read that : YOU COULD SELL ME ALMOST ANY PERFUME !
(I hate forums full of arguments and rudeness) This place here is full of tenderness and high spirit - let's keep it so & THANK YOU !
yours LJG (BTW, do you know who was lady Jane Grey ?)

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp (Judith) said...

So glad you wrote this! To think that all along I had (falsely) suspected that Mr. C. received truckloads of, what was it--Virtue perfume!

Seriously, no one who regularly reads your blog (or the other ones that we know and respect), thinks that you do anything but speak your mind! Although I can see that L. is considering alternatives to cozying up to that oligarch!:)

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lady Jane Grey,

Full of tenderness and high spirit is just how want PST to be ideally. Thank you so much for viewing it that way :-)

LJG was the Nine Day Queen, no? Or isthere another connotation? Tell me.

12:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

J,
Oh Mr. Colombina can totally be bought, I think. Not for any amount of any perfume though :-) He'd prefer cash, cars and such...all gifted to him by beautiful sirens in skimpy clothes...the sirens should preferably look like Carmen Electra and Liz Hurley :-DDDDD

12:42 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Judith,
I'm actually seeing a real opening in the market for a happily scruple free blogger. Hello, Dior! Hello, Serge! That would be me. :-) And, Guerlain - just one bottle of Djedi and I will find it in my heart to praise Cherry Blossom. Off to write letters and see who will pay the most to have their name in my blog title.

12:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
How deliciously unscrupulous of you. What would be your rate for writing a glowing review about Precious Love or Midnight Charm? I would not agree to less than 3 classic Dior amphorae or a 4 vintage Guerlains.

12:46 PM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

I just posted my thoughts on this subject in brief over on the Posse but I feel I would like to repeat them here. It has never crossed my mind to consider the reviews written so beautifully here (and on Posse and NST and Aromascope)were anything other than expressions of personal taste. And personal taste untainted by commercial considerations. However in the light of the current debate I am grateful for your clarification, Marina. I'm only sorry you found it necessary to write it. I suspect blogs of all kinds are now so much a part of people's lives that however much we think of them as our private business, they are not. Anyone can read what we write and so transparency becomes an issue. Have a good evening all!

12:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Nicola,
Thank you so much.
My day starts with reading a number of perfume blogs, my favorites, if I don't get to read them, I become as grumpy as I am when I don't get to have my daily cup of coffee :-) I suppose I consider them sort of cyber-houses where I am always comfortable. So I understand completely what you said about them being a part of our lives.

12:50 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp (Judith) said...

L,
Well, hmm, there seems to be a catch here. . . I can't help noticing that you are offering yourself to companies that make perfumes YOU LIKE ANYWAY! So, I think that your scruple-free blog is a bit dishonest (having hidden scruples, as it were). Now, if you were to write a similar letter to the Pink Sugar people, I might believe you!:)

Again--changing to serious mode--this is all beyond stupid. Anyone who buys a perfume simply because someone else likes it (even someone whose taste she respects) is, well, beyond stupid. I mean, I really like you and M, and I often agree with you--but gee, you both adore the blue cheese stinker! So I might TRY something you mention favorably (but chances are I would try it anyway) but I wouldn't BUY just on your say-so (although it's always interesting to hear what you think). Even weirder to me are the people who ask others they don't even know on MUA which of several (usually moreor less equal in quality) scents they should buy! I mean, how do we know? Sample, decant (ssssh!)--it's the only way!

12:53 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

M,
I must sit down and make out a price sheet. Need to take a nicely efficient, business like approach. Yes, a glowing review of Midnight Charm would go for about three amphorae, but I'm afraid that even a moderately good review of Miss Dior Cherie would require that they also fork over some classic outfits and a lifetime supply of Diorling.

12:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

J,
Poor blue cheese scents...only two people in the world seem to like them...do you think the companies sent those scents to those to people? No, ma'am. *sigh*

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
Oh the possibilities!! :-)

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

M, you are referring to my comment, but that's not exactly what I said.

What I said was:

"To be honest, a bunch of positive reviews from a variety of people about a single fragrance does not make me think that anything inappropriate has occurred. However, if I read a blog where the blogger repeatedly lavishes praise on fragrances that, in my opinion, are not noteworthy, I do begin to wonder, and I do tend to not put much trust in their opinion anymore."

That's all. I clearly did not say, as you indicated, that "when (I) see the scents (I) consider 'not noteworthy' being praised over and over again on a blog, (I) tend to assume the blogger must be paid in some way to write about the 'not noteworthy' scents."

Was the blogger paid? I don't know. Was there a conflict of interest or a quid pro quo at work? I don't know that either. It's just something that has crossed my mind and others' over the past few months. That's all.

My apologies if I offended you, but I needed my thoughts from yesterday to be cited in an accurate manner. I am not referring to your beautiful blog or the other wonderful blogs that I read and enjoy most every day.

Since the issue has reared its ugly head, perhaps, as I mentioned earlier on Patty's blog, there should be some more formal standard of conduct that is observed by bloggers. It's just something for us to mull over as readers depend more and more on the blogs for news and information.

1:02 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Judith,
SHHH!!! How am I ever to get huge pay offs if they read your comment! Sigh. But, don't forget that Dior makes Miss Dior Cherie and Serge did make Chypre Rouge - the only one I don't like, but, hey...it's *something*!
Oh, and totally agree w/ you about the rest of what you said. Hello! Sampling! Independent thought!

1:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Violetnoir,
I am very sorry if you think I mis-quoted and mis-understood what you said.
I do not think that there should be or can be any official code of conduct. I for one will consider that none other than censorship, pure and simple. To put it bluntly no one tells me how and what I write on my very personal blog. The informal code exists anyway: don't steal others' ideas, don't put others down, write sincerely. Most of us follow that code.

1:08 PM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Oh I know you do, darling! Without question, I know you follow a strict code of ethics.

I am 100% behind freedom of speech and the 1st amendment. I am not talking about an abridgement of our basic constitutional rights, just a standard of behavior that does not condone conflicts of interest.

Thank you for your kind reply.

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R (it is R, right?),
Thank you! We could make a little badge and put it on our blogs:

don't steal others' ideas
don't put others down
write sincerely.

Oh, my photoshopping fingers are itching to create it now :-)

1:22 PM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

LOL! It's all good, babe!

Hugs and have a wonderful rest of the week, M.

Oh, and by the way, I loved your Mother's Day Wish List. I hope they all come true.

1:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R,
You too! I already treated myself to the cheapest of the wishes there :-) Not holding my breath for anything else. :-)

1:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Jennifer said...

From "JenniferR," because blogger isn't letting me edit my "identity"
De-lurking, because I've been reading about this issue over the past few days and need to join the rant.
I do not see how any careful reader could ever conclude that Marina, or Tom, or Patty, or March, or Lee, or Ina, or Kelley, or Robin, or Victoria, or any of the other lovely bloggers who brighten my every day gets paid, whether in cash or in product, to write what they do.
Yes, commercialized "blogs" are all over the web these days. I work in a group that edits some of these viral marketing gimmicks. (Thankfully, I don't -- yet?!? -- have to edit same.) It doesn't take any kind of specialized insider knowledge to read carefully enough to tell the difference between passionate amateurs (I mean the term in its best, original sense, of "lovers") who write because they want to share knowledge and passion -- and commercialized marketing slick on the other.
If a reader can't tell the difference on her own, shame on her. But rumor-mongering doesn't help at all. Nor do "standards" -- especially when those standards seem driven primarily by differences in taste. Violetnoir, I respectfully disagree with you. If someone regularly reviews fragrances that I don't care for in a positive way, I don't bother going back to the blog. If those fragrances fall into the "non-noteworthy" (non-niche? too readily available? too fruity-floral?), I assume the blog writer has different tastes from mine -- tastes more like those of my 17-year-old daughter (alas! I tried to raise her right!). I don't assume that s/he is being paid to write, or getting some kind of freebie I don't know about or feel suspicious of.
Sorry for the long post, but I have (evidently!) very strong feelings about the independence of the web and the importance of readers taking responsibility to help maintain that independence. Cooption is sure out there, but we don't need to get overly suspicious and regulatory about it.

1:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Bravo Colombina ! yes, it's her (this is my stable quiz question to the British, and hardly any of them knows ...)

1:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Jennifer,
Thank you very much for your comment. And for using the word amateur. It is a great word, which, to me, implies both independence from any official affiliation and passion for the subject.
Maybe I should create an amateur badge too :-)

1:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lady Jane,
In the interests of full disclosure, tee hee, I must admit that I GOOGLED "Lady Jane Grey" after your very first lovely comment some months ago. *hangs head in shame*

1:39 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Just to put in my two cents:

I never got a dime.

I usually buy samples (from Patty, and before that from LisaLaw and others on eBay), get them sent from other kind bloggers, get them from signing up on basenotes, or cadge them from stores. In case anyone wonders why I have mentioned LuckyScent a lot, they tend to have new scents fast and they are on the way home. The only time that they sent me samples for free it was mentioned in the review. As a matter of fact, I mostly tell you where I got a sample, and when I tell you that I bought something, I paid retail.

I usually try to write something positive, or write about something I like, because I think it's just good Karma, and something really has to be gross for me to diss it that harshly (looking at you Blue Sugar!), even though dissing sometimes be kind of fun, if deserved. Some people are pleased at my reviews, and a few have expressed that they are not. I think it would be fairly obvious to anyone, since I am not in any way a professional writer if I was trying to pull one over on you by stating that J Ho's new Fruity Pebbles is swoon-worthy or CKrotflmao could almost be a Lutens, it's so good I think you all would notice, and call me on it- that is if Marina didn't do so first. After all, all you have to do is sniff.

Of course if Tom Ford really show up in those leather pants, all bets are off ;-)

2:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,

I think NoseaNose company :-), will disagree that you usually write something positive, murderer of perfumery, you. (Remember that comment? :-)They might not have said murderer but something like that.)

Tom Ford in leather pants? I dunno, I prefer him in a nice suit, with a gardenia on his lapel.

2:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Their check bounced.

(tee hee) ;-)

2:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

The bank couldn't bear the scent of it and refused to accept it.

OMG, make me stop :-)

2:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Colombina, no hanging head please - LOL, a biiig hug from me !

I'm a member of a skin care forum and I think there we've always noticed when somebody tried to advertize for a company (i.e. made paid reviews) - I guess I'd notice with perfumes as well. It's even noticable sometimes when somebody makes up a fake internet-personality... The www, it's a strange thing, isn't it.

2:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous eaumy said...

Brava, sweetheart. Brava.

2:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Christen said...

Columbina, I am with Jennifer R: keep doing what you are doing, girl! Your blog is lovely, smart and authentic.

May all of your Mother's Day wishes come true...

3:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous eaumy said...

P.S. I think it's meaningful that perfume bloggers encourage comments. For me, democratic participation and the free and open expression that comments encourage undermine the allegation that bloggers are shilling. I think it's telling that the blogger that lodged the payola bombshell does *not* permit comments on her blog. So much for free and open expression.

3:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lady Jane,
It truly is a strange and great and scary thing, the www.

3:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Christen,
Thank you so much, you are very kind!

3:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Nancy,
You are, as always, very kind.

I do agree about the blogs not allowing comments. Very easy to stir trouble and to get away with it that way.

3:38 PM EDT  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

I think eaumy said it best:

"P.S. I think it's meaningful that perfume bloggers encourage comments. For me, democratic participation and the free and open expression that comments encourage undermine the allegation that bloggers are shilling."

Moreover, the free expression of CONCERN about potential shilling, as violetnoir (and I) have issued over the past few days, is equally effective at undermining the allegation that bloggers are shilling -- by DISCOURAGING it. So, if we value perfume blogs that are as independent as possible, we should thank bloggers who allow community posts *and* posters who express concerns about blogger practices that concern them. It's all part of the mix. A blog, you see, might be privately authored, managed, and operated, but because it reaches its audience via a mass communication medium, it is a public affair; otherwise it would simply be called a diary. :-)

4:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

K,
Lovely to see you here!
Public certainly has every right to express opinions and concerns, and I am very glad that they do.

4:44 PM EDT  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

And applause to you for posting without edit and inviting a truly open exchange of opinion about this topic. *clapclapclap*

(BTW, I hope my post was clear. When I wrote "DISCOURAGE it" I meant that posting concerns about shilling should discourage SHILLING, not discourage POSTING about shilling. Sometimes my writing is almost as confusing as what's in my head...) ;-)

4:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

K,
It was clear to me!!

4:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous em said...

don't steal others' ideas
don't put others down
write sincerely.
Perfect standards! I hope this doesn't appear twice and if it does, my apologies. It didn't seem to take the first time.
I read the blogs listed on your perfume blogroll and am convinced all of those bloggers follow the same standards as you. It's too bad jealousy spawned such rumors about my favorite perfume bloggers. Jealousy is never becoming. I will continue to faithfully read my blogs and never even *think* MY bloggers are being paid to write what they write. What a shame you even had to write this post, but glad you did. I'm always for the good guys!

4:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

M,
I am so happy to know I am Your blogger :-) I hope to remain...(the rest lost in sniffs and sobs)

5:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Anita said...

Long time lurker here -
I am really coming out of my shell today, having also commented on Perfume Posse for the first time. This topic strikes a chord. I appreciate the time that all the bloggers I frequent put in. I have learned so much from all of you. I will say that I have purchased several things unsniffed after reading a blogger's review, and here's why: I live miles away from (even) a lousy mall, let alone a Saks or Sephora. My opportunities to sniff are very limited, particularly those non niche yet non mainstream scents available from so many etailers (and the ones I can most easily afford). Blogger reviews provide me with scent notes and a person's real life experience of how a scent reacted with their skin. I can then decide if I want to seek it out for myself or not. It's kind of like gambling. I've had some real winners and only one loser so far, but I'm a grownup and smart enough to know how much I have to gamble with. I would certainly never make a major purchase solely on the basis of someone's review. I guess I don't really care how a blogger obtained a sample to review, either, because I wouldn't have heard of the fragrance any other way. My favorite thing about this lovely blog and others is the smart and descriptive writing and the insightful comments. Thanks to all of you for the education. :)

5:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Tina (timam) said...

when I learned about the extra ways you Bloggers earn your (prestigious and excessive) living, I wanted to ask you for a raise and/or an extra bottle from time to time... because as you well know, M, I'm a very loyal reader of yours. *coughs* and as such, I believe I'm entitled to get at least 0,01% of all the dirty wealth you enjoy.

:-D

5:09 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Dear Marina,
I've already written all I had to say about the subject on Ina's thread. And I completely second Jennifer's reply. I can just add that journalists, including beauty editors, very often know the people whose work they write about: that's called speaking to a source, and it's part of the job. If I'm an art critic, I'll know some artists, merchants, curators. Some, whose work I like, I'll feel closer to, more receptive to. Some I'll even help in their career by writing up what I sincerely think about them... It's not corruption, it's the art of being a critic.

Back to perfume: beauty editors get truckloads of products. They're not being bought, they're being informed (with the hope, of course, that they'll write up the product). That's a very different process to the commercial blogs Jennifer mentions, that pretend to be "amateur" while pushing a specific brand.
Up to know, I've found the perfume web community to be, on the whole, very civilized and courteous. I think the recent fake vintage perfume flare-up has created some negative energies...
Oh, well, it seems like I had some more to say after all!

5:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Anita,
Welcome! And thank you so much for your kind comment.
I can't count how many unsniffed purchases I've made too. or purchases I would have hesitated to make were it not for reviews written by The Enablers, you know who they are :-) Aromascope and BdeJ and NST and the Posse. Dangerous enablers, all of them :-)

5:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tina,
Fair enough. Await the arrival of a shipment of dirty money and dirty bottles.
:-D

5:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

D,
I will from now on refer everyone to this comment of yours, thank you very much for it!

And yes, that ebay vintage thing brought up lots of ugliness from the bottom of our seemingly peaceful perfume lake, so to say. And I am not even talking about the seller in question here.

5:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

I will have you know (in the spirit of honesty that is flowing like water around here) I must admit that I am secretly sleeping with Olivier Creed and behind his back his lovely 23 year old son Erwin (mmm, so innocent!). I am also not proud of the fact that I have slept with Ms. Chanel. She was a wonderful gift giver (I still have and drive the silver Bentley). Did I ever mention that I slept with Christian Dior? Terrible in bed! Oh, and how about Zino Davidoff and his nasty cigars!!! I would love to forget that smoky affair. You know Frederic Malle dumped me for a woman at a small cafe in Paris during a thunder storm. I still remember him fondly... I am worried that I forgot to mention that Olivia Giacobetti is my mom. Yep, she drove me crazy as a child testing sents all over me until I developed an allergy to all things musky.

All of these things are completely true!

5:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Kelley,
What a fascinating life you have lead. I absolutely believe in everything you said, except that you either had a fling with Dior or Giacobetti is your mum. She is like 40-41 now, so that would make you what? 20-22? Dior, however, died in 1957. Even if you knew him in the last months of his life (oh, how I envy you!), hopefully you were at least 16 then, so ...
:-D
Thank you so much for making me laugh!

5:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Well, maybe it wasn't Christian Dior but I think his last name was Dior or something kind of like Dior...

5:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Oh, and good God, I am older than my mom!!!

6:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Kelley,
HAHAHAHAHA
Let me give you a hug.
Thank you for the laugh on this very serious day of seriousness.

6:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

love you. :) Hey, it's cocktail time, latah!!!

6:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Patty,
'Tis mutual. Cheers!

6:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i understand you feeling the need to address the issue, but honestly, the amount of enthusiasm, creativity and fun you guys inject into your reviews is proof enough that you are all writing from your heart. those who throw such dirt will wind up buried in their own muck. fret no more about people like that. - minette

6:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, Minette, you are very kind!!

6:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous SniffQ said...

I'm a writer. No one could pay a writer enough to spend the time writing the exquisite reviews you do for mere cash. Now a bottle of Frederic Malle. . .
No, no, just kidding.

8:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

SniffQ,
Which one? Which Malle? :-)

8:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

I was concerned about a half a year ago, when on another fragrance talk website, I pointed out that in the directory listing that there was a frequent (and supposedly highly praised by others) reviewer who had made a positive review of a fragrance, that was the exact wording as the advertisement for said fragrance on a commercial website. Being that said reviewer in question had so many previous reviews on the website, s/he complained to the board's operators, who followed up by editing out my "expose".

So it goes on . . . .

10:17 PM EDT  
Blogger greeneyes said...

M, beautifully put! As a hobbyist, I look up to you and Ina and Robin as "experts," in the sense that you know so much about the history of perfume, and you all write so eloquently about it--not in the sense of paid critics who tell us what to think! If I wanted that, I could read a magazine. Hrm. It seems to me that anyone who reads perfume blogs regularly should know the difference.

10:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Zeram,
I see such "reviews" in makeupally review directory sometimes. I don't see the point of taking a commercial description and pasting it in a review field. Like, really, what's the point?

10:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

P,
Thank you so much. You have a wonderful blog yourself and your kind words are truly appreciated!

10:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

My concern was that the reviewer could have been receiving some kind of "kickback" from the retailer and/or the producer of the fragrance.
I believe that if it was the case, it therefore was a tremendous conflict of interest!

2:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Well put, M, and I must say this whole brou ha ha seems to have gotten out of hand. I like and trust you and your writing, and that's all that matters to me.

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Zeram,
Oh I see, that's different - and more serious- then.

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Minsun,
Thank you, that means a lot to me!

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger IrisLA said...

(Late to the discussion.) I'm sorry you felt that you had to respond to the MUA thread that impugned the integrity of perfume bloggers. I repeat what I said on that forum: Readers must use their own judgements about which blogs are worth reading for content and objectivity. The Web is full of shlock, and one must discern the good stuff. PSM is one of my faves, and I thank you for it!

12:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you so much, Iris!

12:23 PM EDT  
Blogger TMH256 said...

Oh, Colombina!! I somehow missed this fury of animosity and accusation. I started a new job May 1st and I have been buried with new work - great work I must add - but it has definitely taken time away from my writing. To think that we are paid for what we write is preposterous. The most I have ever gotten from company is a sample which every single consumer could easily get as well. Therefore, I would like to think my reviews are totally and completely subjective, much to the chagrin of the major houses if I don't like it. Thank you for posting this and for taking the high road. For The Love of Perfume will follow in your footsteps!

12:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, Tamara! And huge congratulations with the new job!!

12:48 PM EDT  
Blogger TMH256 said...

Thank you M.! :-) Have a great weekend.

1:48 PM EDT  

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