Entertaining Statistics: 2016 Year Round-up

As I was reading farewell posts for 2016 (or celebratory ones for 2017), I’ve noticed that many people were very unhappy with the year and were anxious to see it off. While I acknowledge all the madness and unpleasantness that the year had brought us, on the personal level I don’t have much to complain. All-in-all, it was a good year for me, and I’m grateful for that.

But let me show you my 2016 in numbers.

98% – 100%

Northern California finally got some relief from the drought we are having. It’s still not over, and a part of the state is still in miserable condition, but the area where I live got rainfall between 98 and 100 percent of historic average, which makes me happy (I’m not sure about Rusty, though: since the picture below had been taken, he’s developed an inexplicable phobia of umbrellas – so that he refuses to be in the same room with it. Now I have to dry umbrellas in the garage not to traumatize him any further).

Rusty and Umbrella

164 Perfumes Worn

I wear perfumes on most of the days that I work from the office and on weekends. When I work from home, I tend to use those days to test perfumes instead of wearing my favorites. Since at the new job I get less WFH days, 2016 numbers for perfume wearing went up compared to 2015 (the difference is given in parentheses): I wore 164 perfumes (+8) from 61 brands (+5) on 333 occasions (+29). And before you ask: no, I do not own 164 bottles of perfumes; some of these are travel bottles, minis or decants.

Jo Malone with a Vengeance

For many years I have been a Jo Malone’s fan. It started long before my trip down the rabbit hole but during the first several years of my descent I was so mesmerized by all the marvels of the niche perfumery world that I wore much less of my favorite perfumes from this brand even though I own more full bottles from Jo Malone than from any other brand.

Since I wasn’t doing my monthly statistics posts this last year, I haven’t noticed the tendency, so it got me by surprise when my year numbers showed that Jo Malone was the brand I wore the most often, and it was the highest number for one brand in the last three years: I wore Jo Malone’s perfumes on 29 occasions.

My Stats Year 2016 Brands

Lucky Number 13

This is how many times I wore Lancôme Climat – my all-time favorite perfume in 2016. You might think it’s not a high number for perfume that I love my whole life: just 13 days out of 365… no, actually 366. But look at it from another perspective: this is the highest number for any single perfume I wore during any of the past six years.

Testing… Testing… 275, 100, 361…

Despite being very busy and wearing perfumes more often, in 2016 I did a lot more testing (compared to 2015): I tested 275 perfumes (+ 97) from 100 brands (+15) on 361 occasions (+134). Not all the testing I’ve done was for new perfumes, I do a lot of comparison testing (e.g., a new to me perfume with the one I own or two new perfumes against each other) or just re-testing something I’ve tested before. But I did test 118 new for me perfumes (+26), 31 of which were released in 2016 (+3), and I listed 10 of the new releases that I liked in the last post of the year.

Care to guess, which line I tested the most? Told you – “with a vengeance.” I was surprised myself, and I blame it on their Garden Collection: probably I just couldn’t believe I couldn’t find a single perfume to like in those cute green bottles, so I kept trying them.

A Year of Zen [Gardens]

A year ago I changed jobs and I got myself a desk Zen Garden, about which I dreamed for years. Looking back, I can tell that it was a good decision. On both accounts – the job and the garden. It was a challenging busy year but I enjoy what I do, I like my job, and I still had time for changing my Zen Garden at least seven times (I can’t find a picture of the very first one I made but it was more traditional than the next six).

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As you can see, I used all my favorite things – cats, perfumes, chocolates and holiday decorations. Yesterday I took off Christmas ornaments, and I’m ready for the next chapter in my Zen-gardening. Any ideas for what I should do next?

Zen Garden 8

Images: my own

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24 thoughts on “Entertaining Statistics: 2016 Year Round-up

    • No, I never did a “group shot”: my perfume storing if functional (in the original boxes, away from light), so it’s not good “perfume porn” material. I prefer to feature only those bottles, about which I write.

      I’ve created a database, in which I record all the perfumes (bottles and samples). Every day I record what I wear, what I test, my reaction and some other information. When I decide to do a statistics post, I run queries in the database.

  1. Both your record keeping and the number of new-to-you perfumes you tested is impressive, Undina. Regarding your question: Given your blogging handle, I think you should do mermaids sometime for your Zen garden. They can be mermaids in a water garden … and maybe give some of them little paper umbrellas? My thinking is that, since you love (and need) rain in your area, you might want to find a way to put in water elements.

    • For the first 2-3 years of my perfume obsession I was testing probably twice as many new perfumes every year. Now I just want to “sit back and relax,” I mean, to wear what I already love. I do not mind testing new perfumes when they happen to find their way to me but on many nights I might do just one instead of 4+ as I used to do.
      Mermaids is a good idea, thank you. I just need to think how to implement it.

  2. Yaas! I’ve been looking forward to seeing this post on your blog.

    Your statistics talent still keeps me amazed, you tested so much – even if they were not new perfumes. Still your number is around 3 times higher than mine (but I tried mostly new stuff though)

    I also consider 13 a lucky number and all in all 2016 was a good year for me.

    Did you make any New Year resolutions that have something to do with perfume?

    You could try transforming your zen garden into winter wonderland (because it’s too early for valentines’ day theme)

    • Thank you, Lucas! I should say that you’re partially “responsible” for the testing numbers (thank you again for sharing samples for perfumes, to which I did not have access).

      No NY resolutions of any kind for me this year, maybe some vague “it would be nice if I…” ideas – so we’ll see. The only perfume-related improvement I plan to keep doing (I started it last year) is to make final decisions on some perfume samples before they turn or evaporate. I have a number of perfumes that I tried once or twice, wasn’t sure about them, planned to test more – and never did.

      • I’m happy I could help.
        That’s a great idea. I might need to revisit some samples and decide how much I like them. Lately I had to throw some samples away, I stored them for too long and they evaporated from vials

  3. I am as impressed as ever with your ongoing record keeping – I used to keep a perfume diary but it is now long abandoned. I am glad you clarified that you only tested 31 ‘new to you’ perfumes – I originally thought it might be all 275 of those tested, which would have underlined my own woeful lack of keeping up with new releases, haha. I think Jo Malone is a solid brand with lots to love in it – my tastes have changed down the years and Mimosa & Cardamom is probably my favourite from the line, though I started out with a bottle of Vintage Gardenia and Honeysuckle and something. ;)

    So sorry about Rusty’s umbrella phobia, though they are the sort of item to give a cat a fright if opened suddenly. How is he on cucumbers, may I ask?

    Yes, love the zen garden. I would put a few more precious stones in it, if you have some?

    • I do not want to make you feel worse, but it was 118 new to me perfumes, 31 were those from this year ;)

      Interestingly, both Jo Malone perfumes that you mentioned (Vintage Gardenia and Honeysuckle & Jasmine) have never found their way to my heart. I do not remember how exactly they smelled but I remember that those didn’t catch my attention.

      We didn’t try that barbaric experiment with a cucumber on Rusty (though I admit laughing at others’ videos). Does Truffle have an opinion about this or any other vegetables? ;)

  4. Oh, poor Rusty! Could it be the leopard spots and not the umbrella? I used to swirl the water of the jar where my roommate kept a fighting fish with the eraser end of a pencil. The fish would go bonkers and swim vigorously around and around. After a week, as soon as I approached the jar, the fish would start swimming vigorously around and around. Was it the pencil or the person?

    Your statistics continue to amaze me! Maybe you do instinctively wear more of the perfume brand for which you have the most botltles! I believe my top brands are Atelier Cologne, Jo Malone, Hermes, Chanel and Guerlain but since I place my Chanels in a more accessible place, I tended to use them the most.

    As to your Zen garden, if you have a tiny wind-up toy that would not get damaged by the sand, I would let it loose and let it draw the garden :-)

    • Actually, Rusty wasn’t afraid of that umbrella. It’s the new one, which I bought after my favorite leopard-print one broke (after about 8 years of use). So maybe Rusty is missing the old umbrella… :)

      At my previous job, a puffer fish would recognize the person who fed it, so now I’m not surprised by “your” fish :)

      I’ve added just one JM bottle (and two (?) decants) in the last 1.5, probably. But the highest that brand got in the previous years was #3, so unless we’re dealing with the straw effect, I don’t think that’s the explanation. Probably I just like Jo Malone perfumes :)

      I like your idea with Zen Garden. Probably, it would have been even more interesting to allow Rusty to draw something for me, but, leaving aside the logistic of getting them together, I’m afraid he might misinterpret my offer and use it for purposes other than art…

  5. I am astounded you can do this numbers thing and keep track of all this info. I have tried to make myself write a sentence or so every day in my diary, along with my perfume, but as of Jan. 1 I’ve done it once. You are very disciplined! I’d be interested to find out your favorite Jo Malones. I was at the store today and triedd the Rose and Oud for the first time of their intense colognes, and was pleasantly surprised.

    • In my opinion, it’s easier to fill in the form then to write something free-text, especially manually. Dates are pre-filled, perfume names are auto-completed as I type, reactions are choices in drop-down, etc. And if I feel like that, I can add a note if I want.
      My 10 favorite Jo Malone perfumes:
      1 French Lime Blossom
      2 Sweet Milk
      3 Mimosa & Cardamom
      4 English Pear & Freesia
      5 Blackberry & Bay
      6 Pomegranate Noir
      7 Wild Fig & Cassis
      8 Dark Amber & Ginger Lily
      9 Wood Sage & Sea Salt
      10 Saffron

      • I suppose spread sheets are easier, if you’re geared that way. I see one and panic. Your list of favorites is very similar to what mine would be. The English Pear doesn’t work on me, and I don’t know Saffron. The others, I like very much. I would add to that list Rose and Vanilla, or something like that…I think it’s discontinued now. By the way, I kept spraying those herbal LE they had this spring, too, and they didn’t last 15 minutes on me. I was disappointed….bought into the whole idea of them!

  6. Ha – i am slightly surprised that Rusty has not made his mark in the sand so far – he obviously has great control. Around your birthday month it might be nice to mark the occasion and add little trinkets from your past so far to contemplate all your achievements and milestones etc.

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