He’s got one of the most recognizable logos and intros in the fragrance reviewing community; he’s posted consistently since 2011, raking nearly 4 millions YouTube hits and 19,000 subscribers; he talks at length about luxury colognes from niche and designer houses, and you’ll never find him out of the loop on a reformulation or new release. He is, of course, Cody Sulaimana from DracDoc Reviews.
Cody is one of the central vloggers in the YouTube fragrance community, and when you watch him talk you get the feeling he really knows what he’s talking about. He’s reviewed so many colognes and perfumes that his archives are just as useful as his latest video, and I always find out something interesting from tuning in. I recently watched his Girl by Pharrel Williams review, and learned from him that the celebrity scent was actually developed in partnership with Comme des Garçons. (Which begs the question, how did it get only 5/10 on his review?! Watch to find out)
Below are Cody’s thoughts about becoming a public figure, helping viewers find their nose, and the best times to wear Creed and Tom Ford fragrances.
How did you get started in vlogging, and what made it attractive to you?
I got started by a pure need. At that point in my actual career, I was having to do more presentations in front of people and I was terrified of speaking. So I joined a Toastmasters chapter in order to improve my speaking ability. One suggestion that was given to me was to practice my speaking into a video camera and go over and look at what I recorded. They also told me to choose something that I might be interested in… and that thing happened to be cologne/fragrance. I had seen a couple of reviewers already who did reviews and figured this would be a good way to improve on my speaking skills and learn more about fragrances in the process… the habit/hobby stuck ever since. Two birds with one stone!
Tell us a little about your blogging style and platform. What makes it unique, and what are you proud of?
I solely do video reviews. It’s just something I fell upon and felt more relevant to my daily life. Video reviews add a layer of complexity in that I feel it’s a challenge to put yourself out there and explain my thoughts about a particular fragrance or subject. I’m probably most proud of the fact that I’ve been consistent with releasing videos for roughly the past 4 years.
Wow, four years! What has been the best thing that’s come out of your vlogging experience, and why?
Helping people. There are so many guys (and gals) out there who completely ignore their nose. They are great dressers, brilliant people, funny and engaging but they have never really thought about fragrance being an integral part of who they are. So I love that first realization when they come to fragrances and realize there is an entire world out there just waiting to be explored.
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? What is it, and why?
To be quite honest there really isn’t much I would change. I feel that the negatives you go through are a great teacher and really shape who you become both on screen and off. Goody two shoe answer aside, I would probably invest off the bat in better equipment. I made a calculated decision early on not to invest too much in the actual videos, and I do regret that some of my past videos don’t have the best quality. (Hell, most of my videos right NOW don’t have good quality)
What is your vlogging process? Does it start with a product, an idea, or something else?
Most of the time the process starts with a product, but sometimes an idea is the cause. It’s far easier for me to explain and review a fragrance I know, so I have a pretty involved review process that takes place even before I pick up the camera. I do approximately 7 different wearing’s with each fragrance that I review. Each fragrance is worn in different scenarios, with varying degrees of application and I am constantly asking people for their opinions and taking notes of what I am smelling and how strong it is. By the time I get in front of the camera I am pretty much going from memory. (I have a cue-card to help clue me in but that’s about it)
What advice would you give to aspiring fragrance vloggers?
When you start reviewing you become a public figure, so don’t take what other people say personally. I had to get used to this point but it’s one I quickly adjusted to. People can be awesome, and at the same time inconsiderate and rude. Just roll with it and don’t let anyone discourage you. I’ve seen many a vlogger stop doing videos because they simply couldn’t take the comments of people in stride or got too upset over messages/comments.
Any product(s) you’re currently obsessed with? What makes them stand out?
It’s probably a tie between the house of Creed and Tom Ford. I’ve often said, and this is no surprise that I think Creed makes the best fresh “warm weather” fragrances while Tom Ford makes the best dark “cold weather” fragrances. They both have an air of quality about them to the degree that whenever I wear either, compliments always come and it’s pleasant to my nose as well. I don’t buy Creed’s history for a second, but that doesn’t take away from the quality product they put out. Tom Ford? Expensive, but the man knows what he’s doing fragrance wise.
A product you hated in recent memory? What made it so horrible, and does it have any redeeming qualities?
None, really. Possibly a Diesel fragrance that I may have reviewed but unless it’s a really bad house/product then I probably won’t remember it.
Favourite fragrance vloggers to watch or bloggers to read?
I stick with YouTube. I gravitate towards videos and sound mainly because I can do other things while I listen. I often put it on in the background while I am running around the house doing other things, or while I am working. I try to view as many videos as I can, but there are a lot of great reviews. That said the two channels I’m probably digging the most are Fragrance Bros and Redolessence at the moment.
Do you ever look at your fragrance collection and think ‘that’s enough’? Do you think that you ever will?
I had to unfortunately. I had the fortune of meeting a wonderful woman and we are getting married. Couple that with living in the heart of Manhattan makes for expensive times and limited space. So when I hit 400 I took stock and sold a great deal of fragrances that I rarely if ever used. Now I limit my purchases to fragrances that make me say, “WOW, I HAVE GOT TO HAVE THAT!”
What does the future hold for DracDoc Reviews?
Expect more reviews, top 10’s, and in general videos on the channel. I’ve been consistent so I always keep my viewers up to date. The one thing I will say that will be improving will be the video and production quality. It’s a bit tough in the area we live, but it will happen and it’s going to be fabulous. 🙂
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