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  1. #1

    Default Small experiment

    I did a small experiment today. I prepared 20 paper strips scented with different fragrances. After about 3 hours, I asked three female 3rd-year college students (let's call them A, B, and C) to rate them with a score between 1 (bad) to 5 (good), guess the market segment (masculine/feminine/unisex), and give some notes (suitable age, notes, whatever). Sorry if some of the notes offend you.

    The results are quite surprising. The top 5 based on the average score are: Lanvin Vetyver, Guerlain Habit Rouge EdT Legere, YSL Kouros, Kenzo Power, and Guerlain Vetiver. They agreed that they, except Lanvin Vetyver, should be marketed as feminine scents. The favorite scent for A was Hiris, while B and C picked Habit Rouge EdT Legere.

    The bottom 5 based on the average score are: Guerlain Mitsouko EdT, Serge Lutens Chergui, Chanel Egoiste, Lalique pour Homme Equus, and Guerlain Shalimar Light.

    Full results:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...=0&output=html

    I also showed them the bottles. Suprisingly, they considered some bottles marketed as masculine scent to be feminine looking, e.g., Guerlain Vetyver, Kenzo Power, and Lalique pour Homme Equus.
    Last edited by zliang; 8th June 2010 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    I just looked at the spread sheet.... very interesting indeed. I'm tempted to design a mini experiment of my own. I like the "note" column.
    Last edited by MFJ; 8th June 2010 at 04:41 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Small experiment

    was it the new or old vetyver by lanvin?
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  4. #4
    Dependent Le Grand Duc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Interesting indeed..!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    I just looked at the spread sheet.... very interesting indeed. I'm tempted to design a mini experiment of my own. I like the "note" column.
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Grand Duc View Post
    Interesting indeed..!
    Yes, I plan to do it again with different scents/people. Please let me know if you have suggestions on how to improve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by yrk View Post
    was it the new or old vetyver by lanvin?
    It was the new one. It's quite surprising that they considered it as a masculine scent, whereas Kouros was feminin/unisex and described by one as floral.

  6. #6
    Zgb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Very interesting, but with one major flaw, they've tried these on paper...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Zgb View Post
    Very interesting, but with one major flaw, they've tried these on paper...
    True, but I really have no idea how to get them try 20 scents on the skin and wait until the drydown.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Small experiment

    It should be no suprise that Kenzo Power would be seen as a feminine fragrance. A masculine floral? Yeah, whatever.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Love it! Maybe that'll help some people that are married to gender marketing reconsider. :P

    I have to say - I laughed when I read the notes on Rien - Hospital... Aromatherapy... Corpse. HA
    I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Zliang, fantastic work ! And thanks for the speardsheet. I think this was a pretty cool idea you had. Thanks.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Aramis New West, Alain Delon Iquitos, Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Oxford & Cambridge, Azzaro pour Homme (vintage),...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of PdE Ambre Russe, Jil Sander Feeling Man, Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Giorgio VIP, ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  11. #11

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by zliang View Post
    Yes, I plan to do it again with different scents/people. Please let me know if you have suggestions on how to improve it.



    It was the new one. It's quite surprising that they considered it as a masculine scent, whereas Kouros was feminin/unisex and described by one as floral.
    Thank you for posting this, Zliang! A lot of time and effort. Perhaps use different age groups as well as both sexes. I presume the young women have only exposed to what is currently marketed--"the average college woman."

    Keep up the great research.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

  12. #12
    Zgb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by zliang View Post
    True, but I really have no idea how to get them try 20 scents on the skin and wait until the drydown.
    Indeed, that is a predicament. The only way is to make them try only two or three, then the next day two or three. It would be much more time consuming, though.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Darn interesting!

    Regarding fragrances targetted to men and described as femenine, I gave one of my female students a blotter with Play Intense on it, given to me at a parfume shop's entrrance right before arriving to college. I told her that she might want to try it for her boydriend... she did no tknow what it was, though. She smelt it and looked at me with a weird face, for she thought it was a scent for women. She told me she liked it for her, but she could not imagne her boyfriend wearing that. Analogous thing happened to me with Dior Homme; Cabochard was unknowingly described by my sister-in-law as masculine, JHL was the reason I was told the women's version of Opium mixed perfectly with my skin and Magie Noire was found by my wife as a masculine scent.

    As PetrruciJ said, perfumes have no genitalia.

    Interesting to see that ELDO's Rien es described as medicinal.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Small experiment

    I would find the results more compelling if you repeated it, with the same students, but with the order changed, so that you could see if the order in which they smelled the frags made any difference.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Junkie CX827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Thanks zliang!
    Look forward for the next experiment

  16. #16

    Default Re: Small experiment

    No offense intended, but the gentleman "A" thought Kouros is unisex?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by jrd4t View Post
    Love it! Maybe that'll help some people that are married to gender marketing reconsider. :P
    Doubtful. I am sure they will still think that their pee-pee will fall off.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by HammerFist View Post
    No offense intended, but the gentleman "A" thought Kouros is unisex?
    More interestingly, persons A, B, and C are ladies, and the latter two identified Kouros as feminine and "fresh". : D

    I really am tempted to conduct a test now using some of my "Macho, manly man" scents. I suspect I may get some surprising results.

    Thumbs up, Zliang. Very cool experiment.
    Last edited by MFJ; 9th June 2010 at 04:41 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Another time it is proven that women have horrible tastes in fragrances.
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by trapper View Post
    Another time it is proven that women have horrible tastes in fragrances.
    Joke right?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Small experiment

    I found this results even more amusing in terms of "niche vs mainstream" battle. Or "impact per buck" battle.

    Chergui is the best example, while Rien and Carthusia gave controversial results... Anyway - everyone wears perfumes for oneself, so no worries.

    Thanks, zliang, for your time well spent!
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    Doubtful. I am sure they will still think that their pee-pee will fall off.
    Hilarious! I'm with Petruccijc!
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Also one could mention favourite base notes for Indonesia - vetiver, cedar, amber and patchouli.
    And not-favourable too.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Zgb View Post
    Very interesting, but with one major flaw, they've tried these on paper...
    Indeed. Let's repeat the experiment using 20 strips of human skin next! Any volunteers??

    Btw, to compare 20 scents in one go is a challenging task even for the experienced nose. Perhaps you could group them by genre just to factor out genre-related biases. Interesting findings anyway, zliang. I knew Lanvin Vetyver has something going on...
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 9th June 2010 at 07:38 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Great idea, and, also I tend to agree with what Primrose, Mathewfoo and others have pointed out, both on this board and on several other occasions:

    the limitations of a frag being masculine, feminine or unisex is a very recent habit of the perfume industry, while the borders between a fragrance and its intended consumers are much more "fluid", since I can imagine almost any man wearing e.g. No. 19, while e.g. Guerlain Vetiver or Habit Rouge have an awesome unsiex potential and the list of frags of such kind may go on indefinitely

  26. #26

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    Joke right?
    Ofcourse, it's an exageration.
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Small experiment

    I agree with regards to Kenzo Power. Would be perfect on my dear mother
    There is no love in modern life
    There is no hope in modern life

  28. #28

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Also Body Kouros...I'm happy to smell like a businesswoman! Ouch
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Blatant plug for the 'Real Life' experiment that I've been running for several weeks -

    HERE

  30. #30

    Default Re: Small experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by trapper View Post
    Another time it is proven that women have horrible tastes in fragrances.
    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    Joke right?
    I certainly hope so... trapper's skating a fine line here amongst the BN women if he wasn't joking! (Come on trapper, use those emoticons to clue us in to the real meaning behind your comment, or some of us Basenotes Womenfolk are likely to come after ya with swords drawn! )
    Actias luna's fragrance reviews | Now blogging with AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty at Il Mondo di Odore
    Art: Actias luna's other hobby
    - along with some impromptu "performance writing" here on Basenotes!

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