Entertaining Statistics: July 2013


– Why is it so cold?
– Because it’s summer…

A typical exchange between me and my vSO

While many places in the world were suffering from a heat wave here, in San Francisco Bay Area, we had just a perfect July: a couple of hot days – right in time for the 4th of July – and then a very pleasant warm breathy weather for the rest of the month.

For this month’s statistics I decided to look into my readers’ answers to the question from the recent post “My” brand and “not my” brand. I didn’t want to warn anybody beforehand about my intentions but I naïvely thought that after I explain with examples how I define terms “my” brand and “not my” brand I would be able to get two examples from each commenter. Right… Well, it’ll teach me to be more forthcoming about my plans the next time I decide to do anything like that. For now I’ll go with all the votes I’ve got.

33 participants in this poll named 46 unique brands (total 152 votes). The first interesting discovery was that people were more generous naming favorites than bringing up nemeses: 91 positive vs. 61 negative nominations. 21 brands were mentioned just once and 5 got two nominations. For my chart below I used top 20 brands by the total number of votes regardless of the sign (+/-).

My Stats July 2013

How to read the chart: each bar represents 100% of votes for each brand (so all bars are of the same size regardless of whether the brand got 15 or 3 total votes); each bar is placed vertically against horizontal (X) axis in the way that corresponds to the ratio of positive/negative votes for that brand with the number (N%) representing the percentage of the positive nominations; pink asterisk marks the total number of votes for each brand using the vertical (Y) axis as a scale.

For example, Serge Lutens was mentioned the most – 15 times (see the asterisk) but only 10 votes (67%) were positive and 5 votes (33%) were negative – that’s why Lutens’ bar is placed lower than the bar for the next most popular Guerlein that got 11 total votes (see the asterisk) but 9 (82%) of them were positive. The most “controversial” (50/50 split) were Chanel and Hermes (5/5 and 2/2 yay/nay votes correspondently). Several brands got 100% positive responses (that’s why they are placed above the X axis) albeit with just 3 or 4 votes. The only brand that got all negative responses (all 3 of them) was Bond No 9. There would have been 4 negative votes had I considered them a brand worth my attention. But since I’m boycotting them as an opposite of “not getting” but appreciating other “not my” brands I didn’t cast my nay vote for them.

After putting together the chart and an explanation to it I realized that it was probably a little (?) too much to be entertaining so I promise to do something lighter the next month.


Image: my own


33 thoughts on “Entertaining Statistics: July 2013

  1. Love this chart. It looks really impressive
    with so much data included. I’m very happy to see that Atelier Coligne got 75% of positive votes, still I think it should get even more love. Too bad Prada didn’t get enough votes to be included in the chart. I would be curious to find out what people think about the first ‘my’ brand


    • It wasn’t a really accurate poll since not only I suggested some brands by including them in the post but also each next respondent contributed to the suggestions list for those who came to comment later. But still interesting to see the spread.


      • I think that’s true, but only partially. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, I don’t think that previous comments had this great impact on what other people wrote later about “their” brands


        • If the task would have been to name ALL brands one favors (or the opposite), of course replies from others wouldn’t have an effect on the responders. But when you’re trying to come up with examples, especialy of the nemeses – that’s where reminders from others might change what you’d come up with without them: of course we remember our favorite brands but do we actually keep in mind all the brands we do not fancy?


  2. I forgot about Bond No 9 which is totally not me! Interesting to have my By Kilian view corroborated. Tauer was going to be my other ‘non-me’ choice had you not asked us to stick to one of each. All in all I found this jolly entertaining – and informative! :-)


  3. Great way to depict your readers’ responses, even the ones who decided not to follow directions/instructions :-)

    The one I am most surprised by is Tauer Perfumes with only 14% positive but I am very happy to see Sonoma Scent Studio and Atelier Cologne at 75% positive!


    • I have a suspicion that even though most of Andy’s perfumes are supposed to be unisex and, in my opinion, smell like unisex perfumes, they still work better on men’s skin.


  4. Your explanation of the chart was both clear and detailed enough that it was quite engaging, Undina.

    (Also, half of the entertainment is tuning into your blog to see what angle of perfume examination you’ve come up with. If I were a company needing an analyst, I’d be going after you, big time.)


  5. I also found this super informative, even though a small “sample” size. I think part of my difficulty in naming “not me” brands is that I tend not even to try them properly. And then I don’t feel justified in naming them as “not me.” So I was intrigued to see By Killian’s position on the chart, for example. ;)

    I also think the 50/50 results for Chanel and Hermes are very accurate from what I hear online, while overall I think more people connect with Guerlain than don’t (also reflected in your chart). I wonder why that is? Or maybe I am seeing confirmation of what I already believe in your chart?


    • “Me” and “not me” aren’t exact opposites (for the purpose of this poll at least): whereas into “me” go brands many perfumes from which we favor, “not me” category isn’t for brands we abhor or disregard for testing because they aren’t any good; but rather it’s a category for brands that are 1) well-known as “good” (whatever it means) and 2) familiar to us to the extent where we tried and appreciated enough of their perfumes to know that we do not want to wear them – even though they aren’t bad.


    • (laughing) I thought it was telling the most about me. No, really – how many other sane (well, I hope) people would spend a couple of days building it first and then trying to explain how to understand everything on it? ;)


  6. I’m awed. Utterly awed. Numbers make my mind go blank, but you are a true Master. I envy you deeply, and am SO damn impressed by how beautifully you do this. The results are fascinating.

    I completely agree with Suzanne Mr. Hound that you should be a perfume analyst somewhere. Some perfume house or company would be lucky to get you!

    As for the actual answers, is it terrible that I laughed a little at Bond No. 9’s unique position on that chart? (I also thought of Mr. Hound’s Ke$sha comment again, and laughed some more.) :P ;)


    • Thank you, Kafka, you’re very kind. I hope I’ll be able to find new angles to perfume stats to keep you interested with numbers :)

      I totally enjoyed that Steve’s comment. And felt some satisfaction reflecting Bond’s place on the chart.


  7. Dearest U
    Truly you are ofaction’s number cruncher extraordinaire!
    I wonder if over time perfume houses could come to have those approval ratings one associates with presidential candidates, where the vital statistic seems to be the gap between those in favour and those against.
    And Chanel? Why isn;t that an eye brow raising result!?!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


    • I think that polarizing opinions about a brand testify to its being good. So Chanel doesn’t have to worry much (especially if they stop 1) reformulating old good perfumes and 2) producing new mediocre scents ;)


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