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  1. #1

    Default SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    I said it at the beginning and Iím about to prove it to you, this community doesnít come close to mirroring the public at large. Iím going to show you that it doesnít even come that close to mirroring Basenotes at large. We are a small very dedicated community of people who love perfume. We are not the general public. Iím going to prove this to you step-by-step. One step back from the hardcore who post on the forums would be the slightly less hardcore who keep a wardrobe on Basenotes. Letís take a look at the top 20 scents in all wardrobes on Basenotes.

    1.) Guerlain Vetiver (#1 SotY)
    2.) YSL M7 (#13)
    3.) Hermes Terre DíHermes (#2)
    4.) Creed Green Irish Tweed (#9)
    5.) Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme (#76)
    6.) Thierry Mugler A*Men (#96)
    7.) Gucci Envy for Men (#70)
    8.) Bvlgari Black (#15)
    9.) Gucci pour Homme (#35)
    10.) LíEau DíIssey pour Homme (#128)
    11.) YSL Rive Gauche pour Homme (#3)
    12.) Creed Millesime Imperiale (#44)
    13.) Armani Acqua di Gio (#485)
    14.) Thierry Mugler Cologne (#21)
    15.) Dior Homme (#4)
    16.) Creed Silver Mountain Water (#31)
    17.) Davidoff Cool Water (#132)
    18.) JPG Le Male (#155)
    19.) Guerlain Habit Rouge (#6)
    20.) Chanel Egoiste (#10)

    Not bad agreement at the top as two of the top three are in agreement. But then you get to #5 and the paths start to diverge as eleven of the remaining 16 are outside of the top 20 and in four of those cases outside of the top 100. So just one step removed and already weíre not marching to the same drummer.
    What about reviewers? They probably fall in the same category as those who have a wardrobe. A community member Mystery H did a really nice correlation using the weighted averages that IMDB uses to rate the top 20 reviewed scents on Basenotes.

    1.) Chanel Antaeus ( #30)
    2.) YSL Rive Gauche pour Homme (#3)
    3.) LíArtisan Tea for Two (#41)
    4.) Azzaro pour Homme (#59)
    5.) Creed Bois du Portugal (#5)
    6.) Guerlain Vetiver (#1)
    7.) Ralph Lauren Polo (#159)
    8.) Thierry Mugler Cologne (#21)
    9.) Chanel Allure Homme (#103)
    10.) Gucci Envy for Men (#70)
    11.) Calvin Klein Obsession for Men (#301)
    12.) Guerlain Habit Rouge (#6)
    13.) Christian Dior Eau Sauvage (#71)
    14.) Gucci pour Homme (#35)
    15.) Boucheron Jaipur Homme (#172)
    16.) Creed Silver Mountain Water (#31)
    17.) Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur (#14)
    18.) Creed Himalaya (#55)
    19.) Versace The Dreamer (#161)
    20.) Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme (#76)

    Even less agreement here as only four of the SotY top 20 make this list. Half the list fall outside the top 50.
    Letís step back one level further. People who visit Basenotes but come here for the content but don't participate in the forums or write reviews. They would be represented by the people who vote in the Annual Basenotes Awards. Letís look at the finalists from the 8th Annual Basenotes awards. (Iíll update this with the results from the 9th Annual Awards when they are released).

    Top 10 menís vote getters
    1.) Hermes Terre DíHermes (#2)
    2.) Creed Green Irish Tweed (#9)
    3.) Guerlain Vetiver (#1)
    Thierry Mugler A*Men (#96)
    Armani Acqua di Gio (#485)
    Christian Dior Eau Sauvage (#71)
    Guerlain Habit Rouge (#6)
    LíEau DíIssey pour Homme (#128)
    YSL M7 (#13)
    Chanel Egoiste (#10)

    Not bad really only four out of ten outliers and pretty close to the top three SotY scents were in the top slots. Letís see how the womenís side matches up.

    Top 10 womenís vote getters
    1.) Guerlain Shalimar (Womenís #2)
    2.) Chanel No. 5 (#26)
    3.) Prada Infusion DíIris (#9)
    Thierry Mugler Angel (#19)
    Tom Ford Black Orchid (#16)
    Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (#23)
    Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (#89)
    Juicy Couture (#123)
    Guerlain Mitsouko (#4)
    Narciso Rodriguez for Her (#21)

    The women are in a little better agreement with really only two outliers. So weíre still in about 50% agreement or so with a person who visits Basenotes on some sort of regular basis.
    Now its time for the acid test, how do we match the general public?
    Letís go to the stats from a consumer group, NPD, that tracks overall fragrance sales. They released the top 5 selling scents in the world and they are:

    1.) Armani Acqua di Gio 27 wears (#485)
    2.) Estee Lauder Beautiful 5 wears (#1627)
    3.) Chanel Coco Mademoiselle 89 wears (#108)
    4.) Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue 38 wears (#323)
    5.) Chanel No. 5 83 wears (#120)

    Take a look at that none of the five most bought scents in the entire world managed to break the top 100. The #2 scent in the entire world was worn a grand total of five times over the last 365 days. If you added all five scents together you would still only have the #13 scent. One last bullet point for you to take home, also from NPD, here are the five biggest new scents introduced in 2008:

    Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy 10 wears (#1103)
    Estee Lauder Sensuous 110 wears (#75)
    Ed Hardy for Men 9 wears (#1171)
    Ed Hardy for Women 4 wears (#1814)
    Harajuku Lovers 0 wears

    Pretty impressive in a community which is as diverse and willing to experiment as this community is we canít even really come to agreement on what is new and exciting. Only one of the top five new scents was in the top 100.

    So whatís the take-home lesson from all of this? We are not representative of the general public. We are not even representative of Basenotes membership. We are a community unto ourselves which thrives on diversity and experimentation and which is exhilarating to be a part of and to participate in.
    Thatís it for comparing us to anyone besides ourselves.
    Back tomorrow with thoughts on how Burr, Turin & Sanchez were able to influence things.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  2. #2

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    Thank you, SMM. Those are extremely interesting stats. It was a little surprising that the posters are more or less unrepresentable subgroup of "the general Basenoters". Perhaps because there are some board internal trends that one poster sets and the other posters follow (like the Annayakť Myako hype around the end of the year)?

    Thank you and also Mystery H again, for putting some much time and effort into the stats.

  3. #3

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    Thanks for the stats SMM.

    I begin thinking 'm normal if I hand out on basenotes too long LOL.
    It was a reality check to visit all the niche shop sin Paris last month--where I was often the only customer. And I went often. For a month. Most people I spoke to who lived in Paris had never heard of l'Artisan parfumeur, Maitre parfumeuer et gantier, Frederic Malle, Etat libre d'orange......

    The very fact that we wear loads of different scents sets us apart, I'm sure.
    "You...put on cologne to write?"(From Midnight in Paris)

    Stop by for a chat: http://perfumedletters.wordpress.com/
    My book reviews: http://www.nstperfume.com/author/Cheryl/

  4. #4

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    One step back from the hardcore who post on the forums would be the slightly less hardcore who keep a wardrobe on Basenotes. Letís take a look at the top 20 scents in all wardrobes on Basenotes.
    SMM, how did you do this? Do you have access to the BN wardrobe database -- so that you can pull this data??

    I also have a theory as to why the wardrobe is not representative of what people discuss and wear. First, many people come to BN already owning scents, and most of them are probably mainstream. Secondly, many people wear what they have in samples/d*cants, not necessarily in bottles, and that probably contributes to the more "niche"/"exclusive" feel of the daily wear posts.

  5. #5

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    This was a great read, thanks SMM!

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    Back tomorrow with thoughts on how Burr, Turin & Sanchez were able to influence things.
    Wow, really? You've apparently put a lot of thought into this. I look forward to reading the next installment.

  6. #6

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    Quote Originally Posted by kess View Post
    SMM, how did you do this? Do you have access to the BN wardrobe database -- so that you can pull this data??

    I also have a theory as to why the wardrobe is not representative of what people discuss and wear. First, many people come to BN already owning scents, and most of them are probably mainstream. Secondly, many people wear what they have in samples/d*cants, not necessarily in bottles, and that probably contributes to the more "niche"/"exclusive" feel of the daily wear posts.
    When it comes to the wardrobe top 20, I might know someone who could help me with this, maybe perhaps.
    I couldn't do it on my own.

    As for your hypothesis that the wardrobe is not representative of what someone wears I'm pretty sure I don't agree with that.
    I think the wardrobe, especially of someone who chooses not to post on the forums, is probably a much closer approximation of what they wear on a daily basis.
    The wardrobe of a regular SotD poster is probably less accurate because there are probably scents on there that the wearer hasn't touched in months.
    The decant/sample issue is moot to me because many of the wardrobes list those somewhere, usually on the Test List.
    That is the joy of statistics you can make 'em say what you want.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  7. #7

    Default Re: SotY: Our Top 20 vs. Others

    Fascinating!

    Some of these were as I expected (difference between best sellers in the world and posters), but I wouldn't have predicted such a gap between non-posting BN'ers, reviewers, etc. It makes sense, though.

    As we know, there isn't always a correlation between sales and quality. But this got me thinking about the connection between quantity of wears and qualitative aspects. I know it's apocryphal evidence, but for me, there isn't always a correlation between how much I love a fragrance and how often I wear it. For instance, I love Delrae Amoureuse--it's one of my top 3. But it's so rich and decadent that I wouldn't want to wear it every day. (It's also very strong, which would affect sales, since it would take decades to go through a bottle.) On the other hand, there are fragrances that, while I like them, I enjoy less and find not as superior quality, but are more "wearable"--call them quotidian scents.
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    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen

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