Scents of the Week 14th - 20th February 2010

24th February, 2010

This third week of the Scent of the Year project had a lot riding on it, the biggest thing being a continued trend from the past two weeks. Two points of data isn't very much, and not only is three a whopping 50% more than two, but it'll also tell us if the trends of the past two weeks are flukes or something we can expect to see consistently.

We're still a ways away from determining the "why" behind a lot of things, but that can't discourage us from collecting the data and making some educated guesses. For example, why has the total number of wears per week gone up nearly 20% from weeks 1 to 3, yet the men/women ratio of posts stayed within 1.1% across those same weeks? Why does the increasing amount of fragrances worn seem to have no effect on the amount of houses worn by one gender, and not the other? At this time there are plenty of mysteries to go with our data, but with enough time I'm confident a reason can be found for nearly all of them.

Before I get into the numbers for the week, I heard through the grapevine that Somerville Metro Man will be writing a series of pre-tournament commentaries prior to Basenotes March Madness, or it may already be up by the time you read this. I'm excited either way, his commentary last year was fantastic and it's great to have his involvement this year, too.

Let's first take a look at the rundown.

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



[TD]Last Week[/TD]

[TD]This Week[/TD]

[TD]Pct. Change[/TD]



[TD]Total Wears[/TD]






[TD]Mens Wears[/TD]






[TD]Womens Wears[/TD]






[TD]Men's Percentage[/TD]


[TD]68.8% [/TD]




[TD]Women's Percentage[/TD]






[TD]Total Fragrances Worn[/TD]






[TD]1-Wear Fragrances[/TD]






[TD]Uniqueness Index[/TD]






[TD]Total Houses Represented[/TD]






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



[TD] 2.0%[/TD]



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






[TD]Gender-Biased Houses[/TD]






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






[TD]Users Participating[/TD]



[TD] 2.8%[/TD]



[TD]Average Wears Per User[/TD]


[TD] 4.72[/TD]




[TD]Most Active User Count[/TD]



[TD] -5.6%[/TD]



So what's the first thing that jumps out at you? For me it has to be that top line, we've increased participation for the second week in a row, and in a big way yet again. And despite that 6 percent, 71-wear jump overall, we did it with nearly the same ratio of men's wearings to women's, around a 69:31 split. I also find it intriguing when percentage changes match on two different items, and in this case the number of different fragrances worn and the number of fragrances worn only one time increased at the exact same rate, 3.5% over last week. All in all a more active week, more sampling, and notably, more wears concentrated at the top.

The past two weeks you've only needed to get 10 or 11 wears to be a serious contender for Scent of the Week. I'm surprised and a bit pleased to report that's not the case this week, and in fact 10 wears would only be good enough for a tie for…5th place. It was not 11, or 12, but rather a whopping 17 wears by Guerlain Vetiver this week to put it alone on top as most worn overall. It proves to still be a men's favorite, but the 2nd place was slightly more of a team effort by the men and women, and that was Dior Homme with 16 wears, two of which by the ladies. Serge Lutens Chergui had 14 wears, continuing a strong run, edging out Guerlain's Mitsouko which had 13 wears. That 10-wear tie for 5th I mentioned before was held by three fragrances; YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme, Guerlain Shalimar, and Guerlain Habit Rouge. Below the 10-wear tie is, oddly enough, an 8-wear tie, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, Bvlgari Black, and Andy Tauer's L'Air Du Desert Marocain tied for 8th through 11th.

Here's an interesting one. Despite having 71 additional wears this week all total, the number of Guerlain wears actually went down by four, giving it 119 wears. Below that is…not Chanel this week, but an unusually strong week for Serge Lutens, with 51 wears. Chanel's 50 wears were good enough for 3rd place, above Yves Saint Laurent's 46 and Creed's 38. Christian Dior rose slightly over last week with 35 wears, and Hermes returns to the top 10 with 30 wears, good enough for 7th. Amouage slipped a bit this week but still managed 26 wears, ahead of both Thierry Mugler and L'Artisan Parfumeur with 20 wears. There wasn't quite the dramatic falloff this week that we'd seen in the two prior weeks.

Moving over to men's wears, we see some familiar faces and some new ones, too. We've already established Guerlain Vetiver is on top this week with 17 wears, and Dior Homme's 14 by men is enough to put it in 2nd, but we then find that the 10 wears YSL's Rive Gauche Pour Homme racked up were all by men, and enough for 3rd. Guerlain Mitsouko may be the "Lazy Susan" of men's fragrance, back in the mix with nine wears, which tied with Habit Rouge. Tauer's L'Air Du Desert Marocain was also worn only by men this week with eight wears, and then there is a six way tie for the final four positions, two of which are newcomers to any top 10 list this year. Thierry Mugler Cologne and Lalique Encre Noire both recorded 7 wears, and while Encre Noire had been getting consistent love so far these past weeks, Mugler Cologne swept in out of nowhere, as it had only recorded three wears in the two weeks prior to this! The others involved in that tie were YSL M7, Terre d'Hermes, YSL Opium Pour Homme, and Bvlgari Black.

In men's houses, it seems like it's going to be, fairly consistently, a fight for 2nd place, because Guerlain isn't moving off that top spot anytime soon, accounting for 86 wears, over 10% of the total men's wears (to put it another way, one out of any ten SotDs this week was a Guerlain). We know that YSL and Creed are both primarily men's houses as far as our members seem to think, and while the 41 men's wears by YSL was enough for 2nd, I was floored to see that this week every single Creed wear, all 38, were by men. That in itself is a topic with about a million questions to dig into. Below Creed is Serge Lutens with 28 wears, Christian Dior with 26, Chanel with 24, Hermes with 19, Thierry Mugler with 18 (of 20), Tom Ford with 15, and then a tie for 10th between Amouage and Bond No. 9, each with 14 wears.

Moving over to the ladies' side, we see a different environment. I'm curious how many of the men reading this have had occasion to hop the proverbial fence and see what goes on in Female Fragrance Discussion. While the Men's SotD thread is almost always a simple list, the Women's is a continuous story, with events and non-events, heartbreak and exuberance, tragedy and triumph. I can reliably count on certain men to post in both threads, as well as I can count on certain ladies to post on both. It's quite interesting, though a bit funny because I always have to read two days behind to get reliable info. This week no info seemed more reliable than the fact that the ladies were wearing Serge Lutens Chergui, it's eight wears were enough for 1st. Chanel No. 5, despite the iconic nature, doesn't typically get a lot of love in comparison to other fragrances, but it managed six wears this week, which put it in 2nd. Another lesson in the power of repeat wearings, we find Britney Spears Fantasy, PG's Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere 18, Guerlain Shalimar, and Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight all with five wears, Fantasy having been worn by only one member (who, I have it on good authority, wishes desperately to be with the rest of her wardrobe). Some new faces in the 7-way tie with 4 wears are Amouage Lyric, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, Balmain Ivoire, and Teo Cabanel Alahine.

In women's houses, Guerlain continues to hold a slight lead over Chanel for the third consecutive week. Guerlain had 33 wears and Chanel, 26. Serge Lutens was nearby in 3rd with 23 wears and here we see a significant falloff to 4th, Ava Luxe and Amouage both with 12 wears. L'Artisan Parfumeur, Frederic Malle, Parfumerie Generale, and Hermes all recorded 11 wears for positions six through nine, and Christian Dior rounds out the field with 9 wears. Etat Libre d'Orange, self-confessed oddball and recorder of nine wears last week managed only three this week.

Was anyone able to knock mikeperez23 off his throne as most active sniffer this week? Yes, in fact. Lessa's 17 wears over 7 days led all members, and fellow Havana lover kbe led the men with 15. I should point out that Mike did have 13, lest you worry he's not feeling well.

Every week brings more participation, and every SotD adds up to a bigger picture we're only starting to grasp the edges of. Post them when you wear them, and I'll see you in a week as we start to wrap up February and you folks find out what I've got up my sleeve for Scent Of The Month February.

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About the author: Daniel Tharp

Fragrance enthusiast and writer hailing from rural Kentucky.

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    • bonsai | 18th March 2010 07:51

      Thank you for your hard work with the scents of the week! I enjoyed reading your summaries a lot. I am anxiously waiting for the results from the recent weeks. I am also curious if the effect of the warming weather is noticeable in the statistics.

    • easykiller | 1st August 2010 17:47

      Thanks for a truly interesting read. I can't ait for the next one.