For the first time in 165 years January in San Francisco was completely dry. A curious fact on its own, it gets a little scary when put into the context of three years of drought. If that wasn’t enough, January was extremely warm: an average temperature for the month was 12C (54F) with nine days at 20C (67F) or above mark. It felt good, especially while reading about cold fronts and snow storms in many areas of the country and in Europe. But at the same time it worries everybody here: we need water. Desperately.
January was also a dry month perfume-wise for me: I haven’t bought a single ml of any perfume. I can’t say it was a record since over the course of the last 5 years there were one-two months per year when I wasn’t buying even samples – but it’s somewhat unusual. And it wasn’t even due to austerity measures or anything like NY resolution!
Since I was amused by that fact and looked up my acquisition habits, I decided to build this month’s statistics post on the observations I made.
I looked at perfumes I bought in the last four years – as long as I have this blog. Samples, blind buys and perfumes that I liked from pre-perfumista times were excluded from calculations since they wouldn’t fit the parameters I considered for the statistics. I’m not going to divulge the absolute numbers for bottles/decants purchased (it’s between me and myself) so all results will be in % of the total number.
Most of my purchases (68%) were full bottles. 17% of my acquisitions fell under my definition of large decants (from 10 ml). Travel bottles got the third spot with 11%. And finally small decants (5 ml) made the smallest impact – just 5% of the total number of perfumes, for adding which into my collection I paid.
But these numbers are trivial; it’s not what this post is about. For a while I planned to analyze the growth of my collection from another point and write about it: do I immediately fall in love with perfumes I buy later or do they grow on me over time? My knee jerk reaction when I answered this question before was: I like those perfumes that later join my collection from the first time I try them. But now I can actually quantify that assumption.
I looked at my data of the first testing for each of those perfumes that I later bought and discovered that on the first try I absolutely loved 54%, liked 37% and wasn’t sure about 9%. There wasn’t a single event of the change of heart where I’d dislike the perfume initially but would grow fond of it later. 91% is an impressive number, right? So I am either that good in recognizing gems or extremely stubborn.
Finally, I got curious how long it takes for me from the time I encounter a perfume for the first time till I open my wallet. On average it takes me a little less than a year (343 days) to decide on a purchase – really close to what I described in my earlier post Spontaneous me: Diptyque Volutes. It looks like the easiest decision for me is getting a full bottle of a perfume I loved from the first sniff (just 211 days). The longest “waiting period” happens for travel bottles for perfumes I loved (1,194 days) and full bottles from the “not sure” category (942 days).
If you were to think about your current collection, do you have more bottles that were an immediate love or those that win you over time? Just your estimate, I don’t expect any normal people to have that type of records.
Image: my own