Entertaining Statistics: 2017 Year Round-up

Strictly from the personal prospective, 2017 wasn’t a bad year: it had its share of unpleasantness and hardships but nothing to be really unhappy – so I won’t complain or even mention that. Instead, I would rather remember that year by good things that happened – short and long trips, wonderful time spent with my friends, successful projects at work and wonderful perfumes I got to test and wear in 2017.

As I usually do it in the beginning of the new year, I’m looking back to my perfume records and sharing with you my insights.

 

How I do it

Years ago I created a personal database (using MS Access) to hold information on all the perfumes I own or test. Whenever I get a new sample, I add it to the database – below I give an example of the entry form I use. I do not always get all the information but I add what I can find. Perfume name, launch year and notes are free-text entry; designer (brand), perfumers, notes and some other data points are coming from the pre-defined lists, so there can be no discrepancies.

 

Sample DB Record

 

Whenever I wear or test perfumes, I record it in the Perfume Diary. In the form below, “Purpose” is one of the choices for when/why I wore or tested that perfume, e.g., “office wear” or “weekend day” or “Work from home.” Type of use is either “wore” or “tested”; “Response” is a formalized evaluation of how I reacted to that perfume on that day – e.g., “Enjoyed it a lot” or “Mixed feelings” or “I hated it,” etc. And finally “My notes” contain a short free-form comment, whatever I want to write about that time I wore or tested perfume.

 

DB Diary Entry

 

For those readers who haven’t been around when I was doing this series regularly, I want to explain what I mean when I say “tested” or “wore”: for testing I apply perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time. I do most of my testing in the evenings or while working from home. When I wear perfume, I apply it to at least three-four points, and usually I plan to spend at least 4-8 hours with the same scent so I’m prepared to re-apply if the original application wears off. After wearing a less tenacious perfume in the morning I might wear another one later. I wear perfumes mostly from bottles and decants; I wear perfumes from samples only when I consider buying a bottle or decant.

So, now when I explained how I collect data, let’s take a look at my 2017 in numbers.

 

178 Perfumes Worn

This year I wore more different perfumes than the year before – 178 (vs. 164 in 2016) from more brands – 72 (vs. 61) but did it less often – on 314 occasions (vs. 333).

Second year in a row Jo Malone was a brand I wore the most. I think it’s because these are my most “office friendly” perfumes. Neela Vermeire Creations made its way back into the Top 10 chart (last time it was here in 2014); while Le Labo fell completely off. The rest of the group just moved around but stayed on the chart, which isn’t surprising since I do not either update or expand my collection significantly any longer and keep wearing my favorites.

 

My Stats Year 2017 Brands

 

I tend to rotate perfumes I wear daily so I usually do not wear the same perfume even twice the same months – that’s how I go through that many different perfumes in a year. But I still managed to wear 67 perfumes more than once during 2017. Five perfumes I wore the most – Chanel No 19 (EdT, EdP and extrait), Lancôme Climat, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, Krigler Lieber Gustav 14 and Armani La Femme Bleue.

 

Testing: Recording 300 and “carrying over” 1,000

This year was remarkable in regards to testing: in addition to the cursory testing of about 1,000 perfumes during my LondonBarcelonaStockholm trip (those didn’t go into my database – unless I scored a sample to bring back with me), I recorded testing at home 300 perfumes (vs. 275 last year) from 103 (vs. 100) brands. 134 of them were completely new to me (the rest I had tested before). I really liked/loved 24 of them, liked 20, thought that 56 were just not interesting and disliked 34.

Out if the 134 new for me perfumes that I tested, only 45 were released in 2017. Two of the 45 I liked enough to buy – Ineke Idyllwild and Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss.

 

Rusty and Ineke Idyllwild

 

Has any of the 2017 releases joined your collection?

 

Images: my own

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37 thoughts on “Entertaining Statistics: 2017 Year Round-up

  1. Happy 2018 Undina! I hope that you managed to recover from cold you had.
    That’s very impressive you created your own computer ‘program’ to keep track of all the perfume you’ve tested and everything that is connected to it (perfumer, notes etc)
    Overally you could say that you tested more than in 2016.

    I’m most happy about getting La Parfumerie Moderne Belles Rives from 2017 releases.

    • Thank you, Lucas. Same to you. Unfortunately, I’m still not completely back from the land of the sick but I’m getting better (I’m wearing perfumes again! :) ).

      I need to try Belles Rives: since you liked it enough to go for a bottle, it’s a good recommendation (even though I still do not like the idea about it being a “hotel” scent).

  2. Oh my goodness – you are so organized! I am completely in awe of your system. And I had a bet with myself that one of your most worn perfumes would be Climat … I won! I think we have quite similar taste as No 19 and Ta’if feature in my most worn category too. Have you smelled the Russian “copy” of Climat? I thought it pretty good.

    Here’s hoping that 2018 will be a good year for us all.

    • A while ago I noticed that I wear my most favorite perfumes not too often – because they are “too special” to wear them in the day-to-day life… Since then I started making a conscious effort to find the occasions to wear perfumes that I love – that’s how I came to wearing Climat more often.
      If under “Russian “copy” you mean the limited edition that Lancome recently released for Russian, I got that perfume (see this post). I think it’s nice but I like the previous release – La Collection – more.

      January is a month of hopes… Let’s make 2018 better for ourselves!

      • You’re right to use your favourites more often …. saving them for special occasions results in them being ignored too long and then when you come to use them they have spoiled (speaking from personal experience!).

        No, I mean a “real” copy! One of those smellalikes. It’s called Clima and has been made by a company called Vikon de Paris, which apparently specialises in reproductions. It’s not bad.

  3. As a programmer I admire your database! I track my collection with a spreadsheet but it doesn’t allow for counting wears – I might need to steal your database design. I too bought Bees Bliss (hours after I received my sample); I also purchased Dame Sky Father, Tauer L’Eau and the smallest bottle of Twilly during the Sephora sale (the bottle design being not a small part in that decision). I made a few other buys but not of new releases. My guess at most worn is Alahine, SSS Champagne des bois, Sky Father, Ambre 114.

    • I keep planning to improve the database and maybe even transform it into the online application but so far I’ve just been collecting data and trying not to miss too many entries.

      I have a sample of Twilly, so I should try it again – just out of curiosity, though more Hermes perfumes do not work for me than do. But I love their bottles :)

    • About Le Labo: I’m not sure why I wore it less often: I have the same two favorites – Rose 31 and Iris 39. But for some reason I didn’t feel like wearing them too much last year (unlike the year before). Partially, it might be due to the fact that I have less than half left in the decants so subconsciously I might be saving them.

  4. Oh, you , perfectionist, you!!! Happy New Year, Undina! I hope it brings health, love and many entertaining statistics to you and your loved ones!
    That Femme Bleue…I loved it, because of you! You inspire me to put my fragrances in order and keep record of the samples. I have to use them up, because they will turn bad, or leak, or the worst…be forgotten by my chaotic half of the brain! Didn’t acquire anything released in 2017, but if I could, I would have definitely bought the prettiest limited edition Aromatics Elixir Premier! My last days of the year acquisitions were Hermes L’Ambre de Merveilles and SJP Stash with the latter on the market from the last months of 2016th, but making a splash in 2017th!

    • Thank you, Lyubov! All the best wishes to you too.

      This year will be a year of taking care of my samples as well: I do not want to keep an extensive library of samples, especially for those perfumes that I didn’t like since I almost never change my mind – so I’d hate for them just to sit in my drawer waiting… for nothing.

  5. Happy New Year, Undina! As ever, lots of fascinating titbits in your stats, the analytical rigour and detail of which are beyond impressive. Of especial interest to me was the ratio of like/love out of the 134 new scents you tested – that’s about a third. And the ‘love’ ones about a sixth or so. I can well believe it. You have to sniff a lot of frogs, as they say. I am indebted to you for introducing me in 2017 to Hothouse Flower, Flowerbomb, that spicy leather Russian one from Berdoues, and others besides.

    • Vanessa, you’re scaring me: did I actually send you Flowerbomb?! I can’t believe it. I wasn’t myself, probably. For the rest I take full responsibility :)

      Keeping in mind the ratio of frogs to “loves” helps me to limit resources I spend on samples though sometimes I get tempted (like it was in case with Berdoues samples set).

  6. I loved and bought Idyllwild and Bee’s Bliss as well. This year I plan to add very few bottles to my collection and just wear my favourites. In fact that is my plan going forward for the forseeable future. Thanks for sharing your data and statistics with us. I am far too lazy to track anything but I am sure the results would be interesting. I have so many lots of my bottles only get worn every 2-3 years.

    • I do not need any more perfumes, so I’m not planning to add any. But I will, most likely :) Now the task is to be very picky and welcome into my collection only something that isn’t less interesting than perfumes I already have – or I won’t be wearing them.

  7. I really love the database idea. Not sure I’m disciplined enough to do that, maybe when I retire!! I think the only new release I bought this year was Chanel;s Gabrielle. I like it, but could have done without it. A better purchase was Chanel No. 19 Poudre, now that’s a beauty. 2 best buys of the year Stephane Humbert Lucas’s Rose de Petra, not sure when that came out, and Purdistance’s Opardu. I’m a big Jo Malone fan myself. Ginger Biscuit and Nectarine Blossom and HOney both were worn many times in 2017.

    • I’d like to be able to say that it’s like brushing your teeth – but it’s not: I’ve been doing that database for more than 7 years – and I still haven’t formed a habit, I have to make an effort every day. But it amuses me to see the results – so I keep doing that.
      I haven’t tried Rose de Petra (or anything from that brand) but congratulation on your bottle. I keep complaining about new Jo Malone perfumes but still enjoy wearing many of the older ones. And sometimes even newer offerings. Though I wish they kept in production some of the limited editions or discounted scents.

  8. Rusty is adorable, the look in his eyes is priceless.

    I have not purchased any bottles released in 2017. I do have a long list of scents that received “best of the year” accolades. I hope to sample them in 2018. Bee’s Bliss and Idyllwild are near the top, along with Shalini Jardin Nocturne and Grandiflora Queen of the Night.

    Thank you for sharing your statistics, each person’s individual perfume habits are fascinating to me.

    • Usually my perfume purchases are also something more… proved by time but the two I bought this year just captured me, and I had to have them NOW (but I did a split for Idyllwild and got a travel spray for Bee’s Bliss).

  9. Wow, just wow! Your database is impressive and you are more impressive for keeping up! I can’t even track my SOTD for more that 10 days! Perhaps, I will turn over a new leaf and track my SOTD; so far so good, but then again, we’re only on Day 8 of the year.

    As to perfume purchase of perfumes launched in 2017, I bought 11 (Jo Malone x 4, Guerlain x 2, Prada x 2, Arielle Shoshana, Hermes, and Tom Ford). It’s possible I may have forgotten one or two.

    • Your list is impressive! But if you keep your SOTD records, you’ll see that you’re not wearing half of what you’ve got – so maybe not recording anything in your case is a safer choice? :) And now I’m curious as to which perfumes (Jo Malone, Prada and TF) you’ve bought.

  10. Love your very scientific approach, Undina. Quite a few 2017 releases joined my collection. Among the best were Cartier L’Envol EDT (will be reviewing this one soon), Gucci Guilty Absolute and Narciso Rodriguez Fleur Musc. R

  11. This is always one of my favorite posts of the year from you because I am in awe of your record keeping! You should seriously develop an app based on this database, I’m sure it’d sell to all of us perfume obsessed people! I think I’m pretty good at keeping track of my testing, wearing and purchases because I keep “old fashioned” handwritten diaries for samples, purchases and SotD. But I’d love to be able pull things out of a database such as “all scents by xyz perfumer that I own”. I do love my new SotD diary with the gorgeous drawings of a different perfume bottle each day, it has helped me get in the habit of writing down my daily scent choice with any notes on why I chose it or any comments I got. I think it will be great to reread as I continue it again this year.

    I don’t have my purchased-bottle book handy but, off the top of my head, my 2017 release buys included: Zoologist Elephant and Camel, Amouage Figment, Blossom Love and Al Jawhar attar, Vero Profumo Naja and Bruno Fazzolari Feu Secret.

    • Thank you.
      Databases are good for those “by brand,” “by perfumer,” “by note,” “by year,” etc. queries. I wish I could make it into the app, even just to use it myself. But I’m not sure I have enough time (and determination) to learn new skills. But we’ll see.
      I keep reading praises to Bruno Fazzolari perfumes. I should probably give in and order a couple of samples – at least to know what everybody’s talking about :)

  12. So organised and systematic. I still do everything by paper and handwritten notes which, of course, takes me a lot of time. I should create a system to track the hordes of samples. Interesting idea!

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  14. Your database is amazing, and I love your chart! 2017 releases I bought were Papillon’s Dryad for my birthday (it’s wonderful) and two Jo Malone limited editions from the Bloomsbury collection, Blue Hyacinth (love it so much I bought a back up bottle), and Whisky and Cedarwood (strong like). I was given the new Tiffany & Co. scent as a surprise for Christmas, and it is lovely.

    • Thank you, I like calculating different things so I might go back to running those Statistics posts more often than once a year.
      I usually like how JM limited editions look but I do not warm up to them (or do it quickly enough) to buy. Had they been producing those collections in sets of 9 ml bottles (with the copy of the design of bigger ones), I would have owned several by now.

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