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  1. #1

    Default SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Week 34 of SotW marks the approximate two-thirds point of the experiment like every week this one held its share of surprises and interesting scent factoids. We start with the raw numbers. 1,213 posts this week which is only the second time we’ve been over 1,200 posts. The last time was back in Week 28. 687 different scents were mentioned. 439 of those scents were worn only once for an individuality index of 36.2%. That individuality index is the second lowest since Week 14’s 35.9%. There were 57 scents which were worn for the first time this week which accounts for 8.3% of the overall scents worn. These are interesting numbers to me as it seems lately the higher the total number the lower the individuality index. This was a week when there seemed to be a lot of scent twinnery and more happening on a daily basis. There were many days this week where a scent was worn three or more times on a single day. I don’t have a good explanation for it and we’ll see how it develops over the rest of the year.
    The numbers for the big 5 were also quite illuminating this week. The leader in both wears, 106, and scents, 29, was Guerlain. The House had the number one scent in Vetiver and two tied at #6 in Habit Rouge and Jicky. The strength of Guerlain as a house is that there are at least six scents that can at any time post a double digit wear week. There were eight Guerlains that had five wears or more this week and that is a pretty normal week for this house. I’m also impressed at how Guerlain is the most successful at being so widely worn paired with wide appreciation form the community. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “Guerlain is over-rated” thread in any fragrance forum I’ve looked at. Another testament to the uniqueness of this house. If there was a House that could challenge Guerlain it would have to be Serge Lutens as this week it was the second place house in wears at 58 and scents worn, 22. The big differences in the houses are that where Guerlain has some big heavy hitters which post big wear weeks Serge Lutens rarely puts a scent in the top 10 but like this week there were four scents tied with 5 wears; A La Nuit, Chergui, Datura Noir, and Encens et Lavande. I can tell you that this is the house that I can rarely predict which scents will be the top for a given week as there is so much fluctuation from week to week and in this house there are a dozen scents that have a good deal of support from the community. This is also another house which is quite admired by the scented blogosphere. The main reason that Serge Lutens will probably never challenge the supremacy of Guerlain is the availability and price. That being said the amount of support it does see is quite impressive. In third place of the big 5 is Chanel with 50 wears over 19 scents. The most worn Chanel was Egoiste with 6 wears. Chanel is almost the perfect middle between Guerlain and Serge Lutens. It is another highly admired House and it has a mix of widely available scents and exclusive highly priced scents. In fourth place this week is Creed with 42 wears over 17 scents led by Bois du Portugal with 13 wears. This is easily the most debated House on Basenotes as to its quality and price worthiness. What the stats show is that while there may be quite a bit of debate on the forums about Creed when it comes time to decide what to wear there is a significant percentage of this community that will reach for a Creed. This is also a House that can have any of seven or eight scents post a double digit week. That last statement is true of the four Houses I’ve talked about. While there may be clear House leaders there are multiple scents worn by the community that have the potential to have big wears week-to-week. Which leads to the last House to be mentioned, Hermes, which posted the worst House number for a member of the big 5 in 34 weeks with 13 wears over 9 scents. The leader was Terre D’Hermes with 3 wears. I should be listening to Coldplay “Viva La Vida” while I write this next passage. It is becoming very clear that Hermes membership in the big 5 was solely made on the strength of Terre D’Hermes and now that it has collapsed in wears so has the house as unlike the other four houses there is no scent to pick up the slack. The other Houses have transitioned from warm weather to cold weather and the scents within Houses have shifted. For Hermes no scent has stepped it up in the cooler weather to support the House numbers and so like an autumn tree, Terre D’Hermes has fallen and all that is left is a pretty bare looking House. I may have to adjust and start tracking the big 4 from now on.
    Other Houses had good weeks as on the smaller side three houses had their best weeks ever; Ormonde Jayne, Profumum, and Rochas. All of these were achieved with uniform wear across a number of scents and not one clear wear leader and a lot of single wears. Two old stand-bys form the 80’s had very high weeks for them Aramis and Ralph Lauren. Aramis was not dominated by any one scent. Ralph Lauren’s renaissance is being fueled by the amount of wear the new Polo Modern Reserve is getting. There has been a lot of chatter about this one on the men’s forum and that is translating into increased wears. Two Houses which had been down had impressive up weeks as L’Artisan and Bond #9 both post slightly above average weeks after having severely below average weeks last week. Le Labo had an above average week which is not so surprising but the scent which usually leads a big week for Le Labo is Rose 31 but this week it was Patchouli 24. The down Houses this week were Acqua di Parma, Ava Luxe, Bvlgari, and Armani.
    In the new scent race none of them made the top 10 but Polo Modern Reserve and Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang both had seven wears exclusively by the guys and the girls, respectively. A couple of wears back with five wears were Cartier Roadster and Guerlain Homme.
    The top 10 this week is populated with regular members of the list and I have little to add to the list in an analysis way. The only comment I want to make is that the top three scents all posted their highest weeks ever in achieving those heights.
    Here now the top 10 for October 18th -24th, 2008
    1.) Guerlain Vetiver 27 wears (2.2%)
    2.) Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain 17 wears (1.4%)
    3.) Dior Homme 14 wears (1.2%)
    4.) Creed Bois du Portugal 13 wears (1.1%)
    5.) Yves St’ Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme 11 wears (0.9%)
    6.) Guerlain Habit Rouge 10 wears (0.8%)
    6.) Guerlain Jicky 10 wears (0.8%)
    8.) Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur 8 wears (0.7%)
    8.) Montale Black Aoud 8 wears (0.7%)
    8.) Prada Infusion D’Iris 8 wears (0.7%)
    8.) Yves St’ Laurent Opium pour Homme 8 wears (0.7%)

    In the just missed category were the two new scents mentioned above Ralph Lauren Polo Modern Reserve and Estee Lauder Amber Ylang Ylang. Joining them are Ava Luxe Love’s True Bluish Light and Burberry Brit for Men. That’s it for Week 34.
    As always, you keep wearing ‘em and I’ll keep counting ‘em
    Have a well-fragranced week.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    And another very impressive analysis of the data! I was particularly gratified to see your readings of the data in respect to Guerlain and Serge Lutens - and their place in the hearts of Basenoters. I have little experience (I'm ashamed to admit) with either house, not having had a "breakthrough" scent for either one which normally helps me obsess about a house. But my prejudice over time has been exactly what you describe. An unfounded belief, I never trusted it. So it's amazingly gratifying to see that the data led you to the same conclusion. I'll take a scientifically backed hunch over a naked one any day.

    The Hermès crisis you have observed (dependence on a single heavy hitter - TdH) is worrisome to this fan of the house, but it matches perfectly with my following of their game. Taking the baseball analogy further, the lineup for Team Hermès includes a young slugger who clears the bases unpredictably, a bunch of old veterans who everybody thinks are past their prime, and three androgynous rookies with lopsided talent. The women on the team are just as interesting - an aging multitalented pitcher who still has it going, her super-talented daughter who never gets in the game, a respected veteran who's past her prime, her strange, ball-dropping, rookie daughter with pink ribbons and tattoos, and a couple of younger import chicks with more talent than everybody realizes. It makes for a lot of drama, but teams like this only win big in movies. Hermès really needs another great, all-around player on either or both of the men's and women's sides of the lineup, to take up the slack for the aging talent. People may be nervous, but there is great management in place. The team may drop out of the playoffs for a season, but when they get that 2nd great young player, I know they'll come roaring back!
    * * * *

  3. #3

    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Certainly hope to see that next great young player very soon, RP.
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    To follow up on the Hermes discussion - I'm also a fan of the house and probably own more from Hermes than any other one house. The problem with why there aren't more wears across the line seem pretty clear. They don't have nearly the range of fragrances, especially not in the 'masculine' category. Bel Ami, Equipage and Rocabar and the three male alternatives, and while they're all great scents, IMO, they're nowhere near as modern as TdH. The other unisex mainstay - EdOV and Concentree EdOV - works much better as a summer fragrance, and the longevity doesn't really lend it to much SOTD wearing. Eau d'Hermes is also unisex, but it is no longer widely available and it's pretty controversial as a fragrance with its distinct cumin note.

    The Hermesscence fragrances might get more play if they were easier to obtain. Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcade, and Brin de Reglisse would all fit is well with the other fragrances people enjoy, but since they're 'Hermes Boutique only' - and very expensive - they aren't as well noticed.

    The most frequent Hermes feminine worn my men is probably Eau/Elixir des Merveilles. As with Eau d'Hermes' cumin note, Merv's 'salty orange' accord is not universally liked. For guys who like Ellena fragrances, may I suggest checking out Kelly Caleche? It's not particularly feminine, and once you get to the heart it's downright unisex, and it is a very typical Hermes/Ellena creation.

    To sum up, the Hermes line just doesn't have the options of a niche house like Guerlain, or the modern offerings of designers like Chanel or Dior, to keep up great numbers in the absence of TdH. In a real-world context, you can bet the Hermes people are doing cartwheels with TdH's success and the revenue it must bring in for Hermes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    I think you see more Serge Lutens being worn now, because the weather's cooler and SL scents seem (generally) to work better in cooler weather.

    As always, thanks SMM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    To follow up on the Hermes discussion - I'm also a fan of the house and probably own more from Hermes than any other one house. The problem with why there aren't more wears across the line seem pretty clear. They don't have nearly the range of fragrances, especially not in the 'masculine' category. Bel Ami, Equipage and Rocabar and the three male alternatives, and while they're all great scents, IMO, they're nowhere near as modern as TdH. The other unisex mainstay - EdOV and Concentree EdOV - works much better as a summer fragrance, and the longevity doesn't really lend it to much SOTD wearing. Eau d'Hermes is also unisex, but it is no longer widely available and it's pretty controversial as a fragrance with its distinct cumin note.

    The Hermesscence fragrances might get more play if they were easier to obtain. Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcade, and Brin de Reglisse would all fit is well with the other fragrances people enjoy, but since they're 'Hermes Boutique only' - and very expensive - they aren't as well noticed.

    The most frequent Hermes feminine worn my men is probably Eau/Elixir des Merveilles. As with Eau d'Hermes' cumin note, Merv's 'salty orange' accord is not universally liked. For guys who like Ellena fragrances, may I suggest checking out Kelly Caleche? It's not particularly feminine, and once you get to the heart it's downright unisex, and it is a very typical Hermes/Ellena creation.

    To sum up, the Hermes line just doesn't have the options of a niche house like Guerlain, or the modern offerings of designers like Chanel or Dior, to keep up great numbers in the absence of TdH. In a real-world context, you can bet the Hermes people are doing cartwheels with TdH's success and the revenue it must bring in for Hermes.
    Thanks for the nice summary, bbBD. You're right - Kelly Calèche ain't bad stuff, and my wife doesn't like it, so I inherited her samples. I personally like Eau des Merveilles, although the longevity isn't as great as I'd like it to be. You're right - the boutique exclusives would get more play if they were in Sephora. My wife is hitting the Hermès boutique in NYC shortly - and I will have a shopping list and cash in her hands!
    * * * *

  7. #7

    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Excellent analysis again, SMM. I wonder if any of the houses are viewing your weekly stats?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  8. #8

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    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Redneck (my 'quote' button isn't working, there's something wrong w/my browser). Before your wife goes to Hermes, make sure she knows they will give you up to two 4ml samples of each Hermessence. Obviously buying something helps the samples flow more easily. Also, they have 15ml travel sizes of the Hermessence line. You can either buy a 4 pack of the first four (Vetiver, Ambre, Poivre, Rose) or a 4 pack of any one fragrance. As of a this past summer, the last time I went to a boutique, you couldn't mix/match sets of four, thought the SA thought they might allow it someday.

  9. #9

    Default Re: SotW October 18th-24th, 2008

    Great comments guys on Hermes. I like RP's baseball team analogy alot it seems appropriate to the discussion.
    Snafoo I can't imagine anyone affiliated with any of the houses paying any attention to the stats although the thought of someone in the Hermes Home Office going "Terre D'Hermes has collapsed on the Basenotes SotW. Quick we need a bailout!!" amuses my warped sense of humor this Monday morning.
    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

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