Entertaining Statistics: February 2015

In February we had a winter heat wave: the temperature reached +26C/80C. And we had just a single rain storm, which was better than nothing but not by far. We are not happy.

I don’t know why this year it dawned on me that February is the shortest month in the year. I read some explanation on how it came to be this way but it still didn’t really explain the need of having 28-29-day month while there are seven months with 31 day. And then I started thinking of different perfume-related things to follow the “shortest” theme.

Shortest Perfume Name

I could think of three perfumes with just single-letter names – Y by Yves Saint Laurent, Pi by Givenchy (the name is a Greek letter) and M by Puredistance. There’s a bunch of two- and three-letter names – №5 by Chanel, Nu and M7 by YSL (it seems they like short names), Si by Giorgio Armani and Qi by Ormonde Jayne but without searching online databases I can’t come up with more short names. Do you remember any other one- or two-letter perfume names?

While looking for the shortest names I checked the general distribution of different name lengths for the perfumes in my database. Out of almost 1,200 perfumes the most popular length is 12 characters (108 perfumes – see the highest red point on the chart below) followed by 9– and 13-letter names (91 and 89).

The longest name – 49 characters (the rightmost red point on the chart) – is brought to you by Guerlain: Shalimar Ode a la Vanille Sur la Route du Mexique. Can you think of a longer name?

My Stats February 2015

Shortest Perfume Impression

Despite what you might have thought, this isn’t about “To the point perfume reviews in 140 characters or less.” by @fragrantreviews – even though it would have been a good illustration for this topic. It’s about my impressions.

In my perfume diary I track perfumes I wear or test every day with some additional information – date, an occasion and my reaction (both from pre-set lists of choices) and a free-text note. I do it for myself, to be able to see later my personal history of each perfume usage and my thoughts about it. I do not try to be too laconic about it so that field allows up to 255 characters. Sometimes it’s not enough and I start shortening what I wrote. But mostly I do not use them all up. So I decided to find the shortest one(s). First I thought that the shortest perfume impression would be a negative one – something like “No!” But no. What I discovered was that negative impressions, as well as positive reactions, evoke an emotional response that translates into more wordy description. The shortest impression recorded in the diary was

Meh

In four years I’ve been writing that diary I used that exact impression 12 times. I was so underwhelmed by a perfume that I didn’t even want to spend time explaining to my future self what exactly I smelled/felt about it.

Shortest Perfume Bottle

I decided to end the post on a more positive note – hence one last and the least serious category.

I looked at my collection only. Not considering mini-bottles, though even with those I’m not sure I would have found a better candidate for the proper ratio of height/width, the shortest perfume bottle I own is Bvlgari Black.

Bvlgari Black

Can you think of any other perfume bottles that are wider-than-tall? Any other “shortest” perfume-related ideas?

 

Images: my own

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35 thoughts on “Entertaining Statistics: February 2015

  1. Hi Undina, as always highly entertaining. I think Birgit had a Monday question about long names at some point, and I remember answering this: Givenchy Ange ou Demon-Le-Secret-Poesie d’un-Parfum d’hiver. I can’t think of other things short related to perfume, except formulas, but those we will never know anyway I suppose, apart from the Molecule one.

    • “Shortest formula” is a good idea! The same brand has a couple more “molecules” – 02 and 03. And there’s JHAG’s Not a Perfume. I’m sure there are many more – they just do not advertise the fact ;)
      Your long name is longer than mine but Lucas below found an even longer one.

  2. What a clever theme for February. The first thing that came to my mind was shortest lasting perfume which out of my collection would be Apre l’Ondee. I may be a tad anosmic to it since I can barely smell it to begin with – I have to douse myself with it. Oh well, it’s pretty while it lasts.

    • I thought about it but then decided it would be too negative. I can’t think off the top of my head which of the perfumes I own/wear would get the “honor”… Probably Hermes Hiris.

  3. Brilliant idea and brillian post to summarize February :)

    There is also Shalimar Ode a la Vanille Sur la Route de Madagascar which beats the Mexique flanker by a few letters.
    And another one that poped up in my head was What We Do In Paris Is Secret from A Lab on Fire, not as long as vanillic Guerlain but also one of longer names.

    When it comes to super short names it’s more difficult. There are a few fragrances named Uomo (4 letters) or Donna (5 letters); or there is Visa (also 4) from Piguet.

    Oh, wait! There are those 0, A, B fragrances from Blood Concept!

  4. I would say that laying flat a 50 mL bottle of Hermes Eau de Merveilles and any of its flankers may be shorter than the Bvlagari Black. I’ll do the measurements when I get home :-)

    Another short idea is how long or, in this case, short a perfume lasts. The winner for me with equivalent spraying methods from a FB is CdG Red Carnation: 4 sprays < 30 minutes.

      • I’m not sure it’s a valid measurement: the intended upright position of des Merveilles’ bottles is vertical: the bottle cannot be open in the horizontal position. If we start laying bottles on the side, I think many Guerlain’s or VC&A’s bottles will have an even better ratio.

    • As I told Lila in the comment above, I felt it would be too many negative aspects (in addition to “Meh” :) ) but definitely it’s a good option. It would be interesting to ask people about the shortest lived perfume that they still like and wear.

  5. Undina, I can’t think of any replies to your questions but I found your post very entertaining. Particularly the section on your shortest perfume impression, which made me laugh. (Meh. Yep, I know that feeling and one word pretty much covers it.) :-)

  6. Undina, what an entertaining post (and a fitting title, at that). I would love to know what 12 perfumes you tried that elicited the simple ‘meh’! Also, for bottles, they’re not particularly short, but the D&G ‘the one’ + flankers are certainly wider than they are tall. Have a lovely March!

    • Thank you, Sun. I really hope March will be better than February.
      I thought about “naming names” but then decided not too: for some reason it feels like an even more insulting impression than a negative one – so I wouldn’t want to share those names here.

  7. I loved this post – the graph of character distribution was a particular highlight. A squat bottle that popped into my head was Michel Comte’s Shared Water. It is like a child’s top and won’t stand up unaided! I can’t bring it to mind exactly but think Guerlain Insolence might be similar?

  8. I always love your statistics, no matter how bizarre :) When thinking of bottles that are more wide than tall, do you count bottles that are designed to lay on their sides, thus becoming more wide than tall? Of these, I have owned two. One is Kenzo Kenzo, not the normal-sized bottle with a flower cut top, but the smaller size (you can see it in one of the pics on Fragrantica) when the “top” is made to fit sideways on the bottle. The other one is Carolina Herrera 121, shaped like an oval capsule. This is a very meh 90-ies-generic-smelling scent that I bought just because I’d decided that I needed a perfume as a souvenir from a holiday years before I started to get seriously interested in perfume.

  9. Fun post. Two more rather long names: Heeley’s oranges and lemons say the bells of st. clements and Sarah Mc Cartney’s The sexiest scent on the planet in my humble opinion. Lovely scents they are too.

    • Thank you, Sabine. You and Lucas found the longest perfume names so far – 52 characters! I haven’t tried any of the perfumes you’ve mentioned but with those names I doubt I’ll forget them and will give them a try if I come across them.

  10. How did I miss this post?? I love your statistics, always so entertaining. Talking about the shortest, I thought I might share the shortest lasting scent I’ve tried so far since the names & sizes have already been answered. :) Musk by Jovan. Somehow it lasts only for 5 miutes-ish on me. It might be me, it might be the bottle I used… On the other hand, the longest lasting fragrance turned out to be Arabian Nights by Jesus Del Pozo. This one lasted about 18 hours on me. :)

    • Thank you, Magpie. Glad you didn’t miss it after all.
      You’ve beaten my shortest lasting scent! A couple of limited edition “blossoms” from Jo Malone stayed with me for 15-20 minutes. But 5? Wow. On the other hand… :) I’m not sure I want 18 hours from any perfume (though some of Amouages or Tauers do stick around for that long).

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