Scents of the Week 7th February 2010 to 13th February 2010

16th February, 2010

So here we are again. Back so soon? These posts will make weeks feel like days, and they say time flies when you're having fun, so I'm expecting serious Einstein-meets-Hawking time dilation, here. This is Week 2 of our 52-week experiment, and interesting trends are already being found, but the first order of business is…to correct the statistics from Week 1.

Screwups already, huh? Well, it's always something of a possibility, and in my less-than-gifted hands it's closer to a certainty. Basically there are two corrections to be made to last week's stats, and then we can move ahead with this week's. First, after discussion with Grant, I made a decision that will affect the ladies side of the stats more than the men's, and that is to condense all the different concentration levels of a fragrance into one entry, for example Chanel No. 5 EDT, EDP, and EDC. I realize that there can be stark differences, but inconsistent listing of the concentration creates a lot of problems, and the easiest fix is to omit that concentration altogether. Having gone back and retroactively applied that to last week's numbers, I found that the top fragrance overall wasn't L'Instant de Guerlain, or Guerlain Vetiver, but instead…Mitsouko! It jumped from 10 wears (2nd) to 12 wears, edging out the 11-wear leader, L'Instant. Chanel No. 5, our example, also joined the six-wear tie for 8th.

The other correction is less about ease of use than it is about boneheaded stupidity, which I am also guilty of from time to time. Remember this quote from last week's article?

[QUOTE] "The women's field is much more diverse than statistically expected, men recorded wears in 202 separate houses and women in 120, with 248 total (There were 46 houses worn exclusively by one gender or the other)."[/QUOTE]

Note that bolded bit, and think about it. The number was obviously arrived at by subtracting the number of men's houses by the total. That number is just as obviously irrelevant, a revelation that hit me in the shower on Thursday so hard I dropped the shampoo bottle on my toes. The correct way to do it is not simple subtraction. How would you try and figure that number out if you were doing it by hand? More than likely, you'd take the list of men's houses, the list of women's houses, and mark out the duplicates. This is what I ended up doing (albeit not by hand), and the results were nothing less than unexpected, and the first real nugget of information I think we've hit on in this experiment.

In other areas, Basenotes March Madness is starting the second half of pre-game festivities, and with more of a whimper than a bang. Personally, I think you, dear reader, would have a lot of fun.

To the numbers, then. One improvement over last week was I did come up with some interesting new metrics, that will give a pretty complete picture with one table. Let's check that out now.

[TABLE="class: grid, width: 100%"]



[TD="align: left"]Last Week[/TD]

[TD="align: left"] This Week[/TD]

[TD="align: left"] Pct. Change[/TD]



[TD]Total Wears[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]1029[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 1142[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]11.0%[/TD]



[TD]Mens Wears[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]697[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 783[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]12.3%[/TD]



[TD]Womens Wears[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]333[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 359[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 7.8%[/TD]



[TD]Men's Percentage[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]67.7%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 68.6%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 1.2%[/TD]



[TD]Women's Percentage[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]32.3%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]31.4%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]-2.6%[/TD]



[TD]Total Fragrances Worn[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]653[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 693[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 6.1%[/TD]



[TD]1-Wear Fragrances[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]462[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 483[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]4.5%[/TD]



[TD]Uniqueness Index[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]44.90%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 42.29%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] -5.8%[/TD]



[TD]Total Houses Represented[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]245[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 243[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]-0.8%[/TD]



[TD]Men's Houses Represented[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]201[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 200[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] -0.5%[/TD]



[TD]Women's Houses Represented[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]119[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 118[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] -0.8%[/TD]



[TD]Gender-Biased Houses[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]170[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 168[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] -1.2%[/TD]



[TD]Gender-Exclusive Pct.[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]69.39%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 69.14%[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]-0.4%[/TD]



[TD]Users Participating[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]236[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 250[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]5.9%[/TD]



[TD]Average Wears Per User [/TD]

[TD="align: center"]4.36 [/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 4.57 [/TD]

[TD="align: center"]4.8%[/TD]



[TD]Most Active User Count[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]14[/TD]

[TD="align: center"] 18[/TD]

[TD="align: center"]28.6%[/TD]



If those percentage changes look a bit wonky, it's because they're in relation to the previous week and not the simple difference. Division instead of subtraction, in other words, which results in a more accurate picture in this case.

The first thing that jumps out at me with those numbers, is that we packed another 113 wears into a week, which resulted in 40 more fragrances, and did so representing two less houses. So we've been more diverse in the houses we have, and remember that this is now without having different concentrations also skewing those numbers.

One line that might have you scratching your head is the Gender-Biased houses. These are the houses that recorded wears by only one gender. So my alleged 46 wasn't even close to the 170 that there really were last week! So nearly 70% of the perfume houses, over the course of the past two weeks, have been represented by one sex and not the other. What does this mean? It's open to interpretation, of course, but I think it hints at the fact that the sentiment that masculine and feminine fragrances are the product of marketing, and we're somehow above that, is not quite so widely held in our heart-of-hearts. Furthermore, I hypothesize that as the amount of data collected goes up, that percentage will go down, as we'll have more of an opportunity as a community to try men's and women's offerings from more houses. A very compelling statistic, though, and one I'll be watching with interest.

The other thing I find interesting is that once the Statistically Speaking column went up last week, we saw a spike in participation, and it's been holding steady with bigger numbers ever since. So here's a thank you to all of you new and returning posters, your data helps give us a more complete picture of who we are.

Getting into wears now, the combination of increased women's participation and the merger of concentrations has resulted in a triad of Guerlain feminines taking the top three spots. L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar tied for the most wears this week with 11 each, and it's looking like if you can get 10 wears or more in a week you're a serious contender for Scent of The Week. Mitsouko, last week's hidden champion, is in 3rd this week with 10 wears, followed by a three-way tie for 4th; Guerlain Habit Rouge, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, and Christian Dior Homme all had 9 wears. Musc Ravageur appeared to be on the minds of many of our ladies, especially as we got closer to Valentine's Day. (Isn't that interesting?) Five fragrances tied for the final four spots of seven through ten, and they were Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, Guerlain Vetiver, Yves Saint Laurent Opium Pour Homme, Burberry London For Men, and Alexander McQueen's Kingdom, the latter being in response to his unexpected death.

So, as a whole, it appears that as more people post SotDs, the barrier to making the top 10 gets a bit higher, it took eight wears this week, up from seven last week. Eight was good enough for 4th last week.

Moving over to the house standings, Guerlain continues to be the darling of Basenotes, recording a monster 123 wears. Chanel maintained it's spot in 2nd with 46 wears, and Serge Lutens edged out Creed for the 3rd spot with 36. Creed had the same number of wears as last week (35), but with 113 additional wears all total it seems that none of them were Creeds. Tied with Creed in 4th is Yves Saint Laurent with 35 wears. A new house appears in 6th, Amouage recorded an impressive 32 wears, edging out Christian Dior and Tom Ford, tied in 7th with 30 wears. Frederic Malle took 9th with 22 wears and Pierre Montale rounds out the field with 21. Several of the high-wear houses from last week are nowhere to be seen this week, as Caron, Hermes, and L'Artisan Parfumeur all missed the cut, coming in 12th, 13th, and 14th respectively.

In men's fragrance, we still have a Guerlain on top, but perhaps not the one you'd expect. Habit Rouge snagged nine wears last week, enough to put it alone in 1st place. Four fragrances were tied in 2nd with eight wears, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, YSL Opium Pour Homme, Guerlain Vetiver, and Burberry London For Men. Dior Homme and YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme tied for 6th with 7 wears, and Guerlain Heritage, Parfums de Nicolai's New York, and Creed Bois du Portugal take the final spots with 6 wears. Our conspicuous gender-bender last week, Mitsouko, is nowhere to be found this week, it and Shalimar had 4 wears by men, and L'Heure Bleue, 5 wears.

Moving over to men's houses, Guerlain's 123 wears this week was more of a joint effort than a gentlemen's club, with 75 wears coming from men. Here's an interesting stat for you! Creed and Yves Saint Laurent, both of whom had 35 wears total, had 34 wears by men! I'm less surprised by the former than I am the latter, but in this case the data doesn't lie. Below that tie is another tie, Chanel and Tom Ford tie for 4th with 26 wears, followed by Christian Dior with 22, Montale, Amouage, and Serge Lutens with 18 (SL also had 18 wears on the women's side), and Caron taking 10th with 16 wears.

Women's fragrance appears more of a mixed bag this week, but some things didn't change, either. We saw more of a consensus pick at the top this week, Frederic Malle's Musc Ravageur had 8 wears, and Guerlain Shalimar was alone at 2nd with 7. Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue, partners in crime as always, tie with Alexander McQueen's Kingdom with 6 wears, followed by a three-way tie of Robert Piguet's Bandit, Thierry Mugler Angel, and Terranova Gardenia, again showing the power of repeated wears in an experiment so rooted in diversity as it was only worn by one member. Four fragrances had four wears, which would've been good for 2nd last week but only barely good enough for 9th this week, and they are Chanel No. 22, Donna Karan Black Cashmere, Guerlain Jicky, and Frederic Malle L'Eau d'Hiver.

We have another highly diverse field in Women's houses, though the distance between 1st and 2nd widened considerably. Guerlain recorded 48 wears by our ladies this week, an increase of more than 50% over last week (30). Chanel fell slightly with 20 wears, Serge Lutens with 18, Frederic Malle with 17 and Amouage with 14. Down to single digits, we find Etat Libre d'Orange in 6th with 9 wears, Christian Dior with 8, and a three-way tie for the last three spots, Ava Luxe, Yves Rocher, and Robert Piguet all recorded 7 wears.

Our noses appeared to be more active as a whole, and the king and queen of sniffing this week are Lessa and mikeperez23, with 18 wears each over 7 days.

That about wraps it up for this week, some initial confusion but there's also been some good data discovered already. Science is repeatable, and the numbers for the most part stayed within a reasonable amount of variation, so we're off to a promising start. Be sure and check in next week, until then, post those SoTDs every day!

This week's article dedicated to Alexander McQueen, 1969-2010.

1142 wears recorded.

[TABLE="width: 100%"]




  • Habit Rouge 9

  • Tobacco Vanille 8

  • Opium PH 8

  • Guerlain Vetiver 8

  • London 8

  • Dior Homme 7

  • Rive Gauche PH 7

  • Heritage 6

  • New York 6

  • Bois du Portugal 6




  • Musc Ravageur 8

  • Shalimar 7

  • Mitsouko 6

  • Kingdom 6

  • L'Heure Bleue 6

  • Angel 5

  • Terranova Gardenia 5

  • Bandit 5

    4 Fragrances tied with 4.[/TD]



    Men's + Womens:


  • L'Heure Bleue 11

  • Shalimar 11

  • Mitsouko 10

  • Habit Rouge 9

  • Musc Ravageur 9

  • Dior Homme 9

  • Tobacco Vanille 8

  • Guerlain Vetiver 8

  • Opium PH 8

  • London 8

  • Kingdom 8

    [TABLE="width: 100%"]


    [TD]Men's Houses:


  • Guerlain 75

  • Creed 34

  • Yves Saint Laurent 34

  • Chanel 26

  • Tom Ford 26

  • Christian Dior 22

  • Serge Lutens 18

  • Montale 18

  • Amouage 18

  • Caron 16


    [TD]Women's Houses:


  • Guerlain 48

  • Chanel 20

  • Serge Lutens 18

  • Frederic Malle 17

  • Amouage 14

  • Etat Libre D'Orange 9

  • Christian Dior 8

  • Ava Luxe 7

  • Robert Piguet 7

  • Yves Rocher 7




    [TABLE="width: 100%"]


    [TD]Most Prolific Male Posters:


  • mikeperez23 18

  • jrd4t 15

  • kbe 13

  • Inselaffe 11

  • Jon Rodgers 11

  • matthewfoo 10

  • Antaeusintheair 10

  • markb 10

    7 users tied with 9.[/TD]

    [TD]Most Prolific Female Posters:


  • Lessa 18

  • Baldufita 14

  • Asha 12

  • Coconut 11

  • tigrushka 10

  • chayaruchama 9

  • Quarry 9

  • mysticknot 9

    8 users tied with 8.[/TD]



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  • About the author: Daniel Tharp

    Fragrance enthusiast and writer hailing from rural Kentucky.

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      • mikeperez23 | 16th February 2010 23:05

        King and Queen Sniffer? Cool! Lessa, I think we need crowns, eh? :cheesy:

      • Sunnyfunny | 17th February 2010 01:22

        Antaeusintheair and I were sort of loving on Bandit last week. ;) Also, Yea 22! :coolold:

      • Coconut | 17th February 2010 12:01

        Daniel, this is brilliant and this is truly entertaining. :thumbsup:

        Stats is one of my worst nightmare at work. Did you use the pivot table? It would be nice to see some charts and graphs too. :laugh:

      • kbe | 17th February 2010 13:10

        This series is the 'Wall Street Journal' of Basenotes! Love it!

      • ThomasFox | 17th February 2010 13:27

        What a cool project! I'm excited to see how it plays out over the year.

      • Lessa | 17th February 2010 19:19

        Don't need a crown to prove what an addict I am! :laugh:

      • bluesoul | 17th February 2010 19:44

        Yes, I did use Pivot Tables, and for the first time. I was really impressed, my background is in designing database frontends and reporting tools, so the jump to a Pivot Table was quite intuitive. I'm learning a bit more about Excel every week, it seems.

        Charts and graphs are forthcoming, now that I've got a bit more data to play with.

        Thank you for the feedback, guys and girls, it's really appreciated. :thumbsup:

      • wooznib | 20th February 2010 03:36

        I love this! Thank you for making this happen sir!