Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4,476
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Many of us have rating systems in which we rate fragrances. I'll explain mine, and you all are free to explain how you grade fragrances (for reviews and in general).

    Caveat
    There's no surefire way to objectify fragrances, but my rating system is just how I prioritize what I recommend to people. Just because I give something a low rating, doesn't mean you shouldn't sample or buy it if you really want to. What I give a high mark, you could give a low mark to, and vice-versa. I try to be as broad-minded as I can, but my ratings aren't authoritative. Just opinions with a lot of thought put into them.

    My current system:

    The Ratings

    A rating from 1-5 with .5 increments in between. (Western culture generally, when it comes to art and entertainment as well as academics, has an entitlement bias with the 10 scale that anything below a 7 is bad).

    1 - Terrible
    Only the worst of the worst get this, and truth be told, most fragrances actually aren't that bad. Since I believe almost any fragrance has some people who are going to enjoy it, I don't really give 1's often unless the fragrance really screws up badly.

    2 - Mediocre
    This fragrance isn't bad. It's just neutral or uninspiring. Maybe there's 100 fragrances like it or it's way overpriced for what you get. A person without discriminating tastes can easily wear this, but fragrance collectors have higher standards to avoid this.

    3 - Good
    The positives outweigh the negatives, but there are better fragrances out there. This fragrance will appeal to certain people who can tolerate its flaws.

    4 - Very Good
    This fragrance does just about everything you could ever want from a fragrance of it's type. There aren't any significant flaws for the fragrance, it does everything it should, but it doesn't go that extra mile either.

    5 - Great
    This fragrance is not only free of meaningful flaws, but it's a monumental fragrance that's groundbreaking and will shape the industry. It doesn't just do everything you could ever want, but it does much more than that. It's a staple recommendation for every serious collector to buy or try.

    * Most fragrances out there will usually get 2.5, 3 or 3.5

    * 4's aren't relatively common and 5's are relatively rare

    * I'm strict when it comes to ratings, but that just means the one's that do get high ratings are special.

    * Keep in mind that two fragrances with the same rating aren't equal. I may give Fragrance-A a 3 and Fragrance-B a 3, but for totally different reasons. Fragrance-A might get a 3 because it's a pleasant fragrance but just doesn't do anything extremely well. Fragrance-B might get a 3 because it does a lot of things extremely well, but also has significant flaws.

    * My reccomendations are triangulated. It assumes the average person who has interest for the type of fragrance that is being reviewed, isn't biased toward that type of fragrance and isn't biased against it either.

    Niche vs Designer

    For the rating system, I define a niche fragrance as a fragrance bottle that costs more than $100 for 100ml.

    I grade niche fragrances differently than I grade designer fragrances. I rank designers how they compare to other designers and I rank niche on how they compare to other niche.

    For designers, I assume there there will be fragrance collectors who are thinking of buying them, but also average consumers who aren't really into fragrances but want a great deal for their money.

    For niche, the higher price means my standards are higher. I understand that nicheheads are willing to spend more money, but their budget still matters. Also, since the main target audience for niche is collectors who have already tried most designers, originality matters much more.

    So, I may give a designer fragrance a 3.5 and a niche fragrance 3.5, but that doesn't mean they are equivalent. For example, a niche fragrance I give a 2/5 because it's overpriced and unoriginal could very well be a 4/5 if it were a designer fragrance.

    The Criteria

    Here are the factors I rank the fragrance on:

    Overall Scent
    Yeah this is very subjective. I generally try to grade it by ingredient quality. A fragrance that is well balanced and diverse, but still leans in a certain direction is great. A fragrance that is complex and distinct, but not too complex to where it's muddled. Also, what kind of mood does it convey? But in the end, there's no denying it, it's pure opinion (even as hard as I try to be universal and objective).

    This includes the drydown. A scent may be magical at opening, but if the scent becomes average in an hour, the scent rating will suffer. If a scent starts out average or mediocre and develops into something very nice, it will get some deduction, but still overall appreciation for the improvement in the drydown.

    Originality
    Does this fragrance smell like the dozens of bland fragrances out there or does it do something to make it unique and stand out from the crowd. Does it break ground and push new standards or is it safe to the point of boredom? Is there something that this fragrance has that no other one does? Is this just a smell-good fragrance or is this a work of art?

    Versatility
    Generally, versatile is a word that is used in the context of being safe (not too offensive). This often conflicts with originality, but fragrances that are unique and safe are gems. Versatility means you can wear it to work, to a high class event, clubbing and for casual places (practically anywhere). It means it won't offend too many people. It means that any age can wear it at any season.

    Projection
    A scent needs to be able to project for more than just the first hour. You want other people to smell you.
    Everyone's skin is different though. I try it on different parts of my skin and it projects differently depending on where I spray, but I'm looking at the overall picture.

    Longevity
    Here is my general rating criteria:
    Under 2 hours - 1/5
    Under 4 hours - 2/5
    Under 6 hours - 3/5
    Under 8 hours - 4/5
    8+ hours - 5/5

    Value
    Some people are absurdly rich and don't have to budget their money, but for most of us, that's not the case. Fragrances aren't a cheap hobby and we all want to get the best value we can for our dollar. This is where the above factors come together. Niche fragrances will be graded more harshly than cheaper designer fragrances for this reason. Some fragrances are great, but are just not worth the price. If a fragrance is good for the price, but not good in an absolute sense, the value rating won't boost up its overall rating too high.

    Overall Rating
    It's not an average, because the importance of each of the above factors are dynamic.

    The Verdict
    Every review ends with a one-sentence verdict. I don't recommend blind buys, ever, so here are examples of what verdicts often are.
    * I don't recommend you to sample this fragrance.
    * Sample this if ____, but otherwise I don't recommend sampling this fragrance.
    * I recommend that you sample this fragrance.
    * I strongly recommend that you sample this.

    In Closing

    Noirdrakkar, you're overthinking this. Yeah, maybe, but it's fun

    Question: How do you rate fragrances?

  2. #2
    Overcome By Fumes
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    3,285

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Well, that's interesting.

    I just use the 5 star scale that is provided in the wardrobe section here, otherwise I would not have anything but, "gee this smells purty good today" to go by.

    5 would be something I love, great, classic, transcendent, moving. 4: very good, well liked and a pleasure to wear. 3 is good, pleasant enough, but usually not blowing my mind with somewhat of a more mundane feel to me. 2: meh, i don't like it. 1: what is this sh and how do i get it off me.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4,476
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    docluv: do you factor in projection, longevity, and versatility

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    I use a 5 point system. I factor in: 1)Scent 2)Projection 3)Longevity 4)Compliments 5)Price of fragance. By that I mean if a frag is more expensive, Im more critical with my rating (you want to get what you're paying for). I know it's a little bias, but I will be less critical with my rating on a cheapie frag. When it comes to versatility, I don't factor that in because I wear all my frags at any given time or place.

    I just make sure I use the right amount for the right situation.
    Last edited by sjg3839; 10th January 2013 at 06:38 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    3 - Tickles all the right spots
    2 - I like it
    1.5 - Do I like this?
    1 - Do not like/hello Ebay!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Well I had a lot of 5 rated scents till I found fragrances that were better then them. The fives went down to fours and a new 5 star race was born!

  7. #7
    Overcome By Fumes
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    3,285

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    docluv: do you factor in projection, longevity, and versatility
    Since there is a separate grade in the wardrobe, I use that for "longevity" although if something is great and lasts, that's a plus, and if I hate something and it lasts, that's a minus.

    Versatility is NOT important to me. Many of the ones I think are fantastic are somewhat unique and therefore would not be considered by many to be versatile. I wear anything at any time I feel like it, because I'm usually wearing it for me only, at dosages that do not have much interaction with others unless they are in very close proximity. For the same reason, projection doesn't really matter either. I'm not trying to project my sensory pleasures onto other people.

    So ultimately my rating (R) is a multiple of how the fragrance makes me feel most of the time (F) and how well conceived/made/constructed/ingrediented it is (U).

    R = FU.
    Last edited by docluv45; 10th January 2013 at 09:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4,476
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS View Post
    Well I had a lot of 5 rated scents till I found fragrances that were better then them. The fives went down to fours and a new 5 star race was born!
    Nietzschean philosophy in a nutshell LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    3 - Tickles all the right spots
    2 - I like it
    1.5 - Do I like this?
    1 - Do not like/hello Ebay!
    Passes the parsimony test.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    I use a 5 point system. I factor in: 1)Scent 2)Projection 3)Longevity 4)Compliments 5)Price of fragance. By that I mean if a frag is more expensive, Im more critical with my rating (you want to get what you're paying for). I know it's a little bias, but I will be less critical with my rating on a cheapie frag. When it comes to versatility, I don't factor that in because I wear all my frags at any given time or place.

    I just make sure I use the right amount for the right situation.
    So, mostly, we're on the same page.

  9. #9
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios
    Posts
    79,696

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    My grading system is easy - worthy of being in my collection or not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Perfumery is art. The more strict or detailed the ratings system, the more the ratings system will do a poor job.

    My 5 star system is simple. I buy scents to wear. The more I enjoy wearing a scent, the higher the rating. I don't like wearing scents that don't last, so, longevity plays a common sense role. Projection is another matter. More projection isn't always better. If it's a scent for clubbing, yeah. If it's a scent for an intimate setting? No. For a wedding reception? Sure. For sexytime? The last thing I'd want is a scent that explodes into a giant cloud. There are scents I want more projection from, and there are scents I want less projection from. Not all scents suit all purposes and not all purposes suit monster projection. Common sense applies.

    I honestly don't factor cost into how I rate a scent. Sure, cost determines whether or not I'd buy a scent, but it doesn't determine if I enjoy how it smells or how it wears. Let's use Bvlgari Black as an example (I have BB on the brain today because I'm wearing it). I think it's excellent, and wow, I bought it for only $25. Sweet! But BB would smell just as good if it cost $250 instead of $25. I wouldn't have bought it though, but it would still smell just as good, and it would still last just as long.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  11. #11

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    I think I rank fragrances I've tried similarly to docluv45. I probably do it more subjectively for how I perceive the fragrance on my own skin than objectively as a fragrance, although I am getting better at appreciating fragrances that are good in their own right but don't work for me personally. So I guess my ratings go something like:
    1- scrubber/awful on my skin
    2 - moderately dislike/somehow a bit offputting
    3 - good/decent but didn't make lasting impression on me
    4- appreciate/enjoy very much
    5 - love/found fragrance to be very moving

    I do think about price and longevity somewhat. Projection depends, because I tend to prefer scents that wear closer to the skin, as I am more often in environments where fragrances with a huge projection would not be appropriate. As far as compliments, I wear fragrances more for myself than for others, but I probably will remember if someone mentioned that they liked something I was wearing.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4,476
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post

    I honestly don't factor cost into how I rate a scent. Sure, cost determines whether or not I'd buy a scent, but it doesn't determine if I enjoy how it smells or how it wears. Let's use Bvlgari Black as an example (I have BB on the brain today because I'm wearing it). I think it's excellent, and wow, I bought it for only $25. Sweet! But BB would smell just as good if it cost $250 instead of $25. I wouldn't have bought it though, but it would still smell just as good, and it would still last just as long.
    Very good point.


    My rating system based on making recommendations.

    A scent may be a perfect 5, but it has a lot of flaws, it probably won't get a perfect score. There will be some people who can tolerate the flaws and work around them, easily. But I'm looking at the average consumer.

    It's not just price though. But people looking to shop in the niche range have different needs than people shopping in the designer range.

  13. #13
    Super Member CompassRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Greater Toronto area
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    I have found myself suddenly in possession of a long document with detailed notes and ratings, but they are entirely subjective and would be pretty valueless to anyone viewing fragrance purely as art -- or, really, anyone who doesn't have my particular persnickety skin and various sensitivities. My ratings go from 1-5. I started with a sheet off perfumeniche.com.

    In my system, a 1 means I can't wear the thing at all -- I'm allergic to it. My eyes are swelling or my throat is closing. Emergency scrubber, pass the inhaler. Make sure this sample is put into the isolation box.

    2 means I wouldn't wear it, and don't ever want to smell it again. Hated the #### out of it. Scrubber, but at least I'm not bent over gasping.

    3 means one of two things. Either "fine on someone else, but definitely not my thing" -- interesting and in some way pleasant, but way out of my personal taste; or had real promise, but some ingredient in it was vulnerable to my skin chemistry and after a great start, the scent died a horrible death between hours 1-4.

    4 means "nice but not quite." I like it fine, but it's just not pushing all the buttons. I might wear the sample around once or twice, but I don't adore it.

    5 is a wow, all the way down, all day. Not just pleasant to me, and unusual, and suiting me personally, but there's just that certain something.... something that keeps me interested in it, something that makes it comfortable yet challenging on me, like re-reading a favourite book, and finding new things in it I hadn't noticed, while being overjoyed to be back there.

    What I'm really looking for is the scent beyond the scale; the one that is me. Even a 5 isn't perfect. But I'm not a collector at heart, not of fragrances at least.

    Price doesn't really factor into it. (I say now, not ever having found the scent beyond the scale that costs $600 a bottle.)

    My notes also include any things my partner might have said on (reluctantly) sniffing my test arm. (He doesn't actually like fragrance very much.) Things like "smells like a My Little Brony, soft and plastic" or "you smell like a burnt squash."

  14. #14

    Default Re: Rating/Grading Fragrances

    I view fragrance from a utility perspective, not art, and I could not care less about niche v. designer pigeonhole classifications. My rating system is for my own benefit: I don't presume that others share my same subjectivity regarding something so, well, subjective. Plus, things are always changing.

    * Not a pursuit / Get rid of it. Something is off-putting with this one.

    ** Not a pursuit / Get rid of it. There are too many others that are more appealing to waste time on this. It may be just OK, generic, or uninteresting.

    *** Good, appealing scent. Pursue, if it is unique and if you can get a good deal. If it's vibe is too similar to something I already have, then I'll pass. When/if it comes time to downsize, these will likely go.

    **** Very nice. Level of enjoyment is high; affects mood, makes me feel... Pursuit. Indifferent to paying retail or higher. I want this in my life, at least for now. Look to test any concentration or vintage variations.

    ***** Over time, has exceeded expectations to the point where I see myself using it for the rest of my life. Back-ups acquired. Willing to pay a premium. Prone to blind buy concentration or vintage variations.


    When I visit reviews and blogs, I glance provided ratings (if any) but primarily rely on what is written. Major notes, longevity, strength, similar scents, the general vibe, and value impressions are important to me. If it is not direct/consice or appears to lack in critical reasoning I normally won't bother reading or will cut short.

Similar Threads

  1. Attributes When Rating?
    By Columbo in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13th July 2010, 05:05 PM
  2. Rating Changes
    By justaguy in forum Community Centre Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 5th June 2010, 11:48 PM
  3. Rating System
    By ++++ in forum Community Centre Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11th January 2009, 03:08 AM
  4. Rating threads
    By narcus in forum Community Centre Archive
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 5th April 2007, 08:10 AM
  5. rating and suggestions please
    By IRISHND13 in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th March 2007, 04:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •