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!