The longer you are involved with perfumes as a hobby, the more perfumes you get to test and own, the harder it gets to be excited by a random positive review for a perfume – either a new release or the one you just haven’t tried before.
When it’s a review from a person I know (or “know”) I might get a lemming, especially when I know from the past experience that our tastes have enough intersections. But even if our tastes differ, I would have a hard time ignoring let’s say a 5-bone rating from Steve (The Scented Hound) or Birgit’s (Olfactoria’s Travels) “acute perfume fidelity syndrome“.
If the same person – regardless of the tastes mapping between us – tells a story of a sudden love and a bottle joining their collection, those perfumes attract even stronger attention: if a fellow-perfumista splurges on a full bottle of some perfume, it must be good – right?
But the highest recommendation and the strongest interest, at least for me, comes from those “Top X” lists. Think about it: somebody who has tried as many perfumes as you have, considers some perfumes best of the best – how can I not to be curious about those perfumes?
With these thoughts I ran some numbers based on one of Olfactoria’s Travels’ Monday Question posts – Your Top Five Part V: Perfumes.
Birgit asked: “What are your Top Five Favorite Perfumes?” Forty people replied to the question naming 141 perfumes from 59 brands. No real surprises from the top 10 brands: most of them usually make it to these types of lists:
The most popular perfume was also an easily predictable choice – Guerlain Shalimar. 6 people named it among their top 5 perfumes. What did surprise me was that Chanel No 5 wasn’t mentioned even once. Ormonde Jayne Woman got the second place with 4 votes. The next ten perfumes were named three times each: Amouage Lyric, Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower and Portrait of a Lady, Guerlain Vol de Nuit, L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore, Mona di Orio Vanille, Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur, Parfum MDCI Chypre Palatin and Vero Profumo Mito.
One more number that was unexpected for me: I’ve never tried 30 (thirty!) of the perfumes that others named as their top 5 favorites:
|Badgley Mischka||Badgley Mischka|
|Bal a Versailles||Bal a Versailles|
|EldO||Fils de Dieu|
|Guerlain||Quand vient la pluie|
|Guerlain||Vetiver pour elle|
|Heeley||Iris de Nuit|
|Jean-Louis Scherrer||Scherrer 2|
|Maria Candida Gentile||Cinabre|
|Parfum MDCI||Rivage des Syrtes|
|Patricia de Nicolai||Musc Intense|
|Profumi del Forte||Roma Imperiale|
|Ramon Monegal||Very Private|
|Roja Dove||Amber Aoud|
|Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777||Khôl de Bahreïn|
|The Party||The Party in Manhattan|
|Vero Profumo||Mito Voile d’Extrait|
|Vero Profumo||Onda Voiles d’Extrait|
I know that tastes are very different, so I expect others to like many perfumes for which I do not care. But the fact that I haven’t even tried so many perfumes others love amazes me. How many of these are you familiar with? If you were to recommend me to try just one out of these 30, which perfume would it be?
Image: my own