Saturday Question: Do You Keep Any Perfume Records? (And My 2021 Year Round-up Entertaining Statistics)

A couple of weeks ago, in another SQ post, Jyotsna suggested this question. And I decided it was a good idea to combine it with my yearly statistics post.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #98:

Do You Keep Any Perfume Records?

Do you have a spreadsheet of your entire collection? Or maybe you’re tracking them somewhere online, as a wardrobe in one of the perfume forums? Do you record what you wear or test? Or, maybe, what you buy?

If yes, how meticulous are you? If no, do you have a desire/urge to do it?

My Answer

As many of you probably know already, I record everything related to my perfume hobby in a database. If anyone hasn’t seen it yet and is curious, in my 2017 Year Round-up post I told more about that database and shared some screenshots. Data that I record there allows me to run these yearly calculations to share with my readers. I try to record what I wear or test daily (in the last year’s statistics post, I provided an infographic that explains wear vs test concept), but some days I don’t get to the home computer where I have that database, so then later I would try to catch up for several days, if I remember what it was.

In 2021, compared to 2020, I wore fewer perfumes (178 vs 210) from fewer brands (79 vs 96) on fewer occasions (291 vs 367). It means that for 2.5 months during 2021 I didn’t wear perfumes. It doesn’t mean that I was completely scentless on those days: if not to count several occasions when I wasn’t feeling well because of the vaccination shots, I used those days to test perfumes new to me or re-test those that I’ve previously tested. But even testing went down in 2021 (compared to 2020): I tested/re-tested 180 perfumes (327) from 68 brands (126).

My traditional Top 10 brands worn chart has the same 7 brands that keep re-appearing in my yearly posts for the last 9 years in slightly different order: Ormonde Jayne, Guerlain, Amouage, Tom Ford, Jo Malone, Chanel and Serge Lutens. The remaining three brands are new on that chart: Puredistance, Olfactive Studio and Masque Milano.

My Stats Year 2021

Nose Prose just did a post on the first week of the project she runs this month: to wear different perfume for each day. When I first read about it, I was almost surprised: how else? I’m so used to my routine of not repeating the same perfume for months, that I forgot that many people, even perfumistas, often rotate through some small subset of perfumes (and I’m not even talking about Brigitte who might wear the same perfume for weeks). This year, out of 178 perfumes that I wore 110 made their appearance just once. And perfume that I wore most often, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, I wore only 6 times (plus 3 times I wore Ta’if Elixir).

The only aspect where I “improved” is the number of 2021 releases that I tested – 38 vs 22 (2020) vs 16 (2019). The list of my Top 5 new releases for 2021 is in the previous SQ post.

 

Now it’s your turn.

 

Do You Keep Any Perfume Records?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Perfumes of 2021?

So, we’re in 2022. I think, by now we all learned to be rather cautious than optimistic about the year to unfold. But at the same time, in the beginning of something new (even though in this case it’s quite arbitrary, just a number accepted by a majority as an identifier for the span of time we find ourselves in), it is both customary and easy(ier?) to let yourself to be hopeful. So, let’s hope that the next 12 months will be kinder to those who had it hard in 2021 and at least not worse for those who didn’t suffer from that year much.

That was about life in general. Perfume-wise, in my opinion, 2021 wasn’t that bad. Yes, on the downside, some perfume events had been cancelled, and many of us had less opportunities to sniff something new both locally and while traveling. But at the same time, it felt like we finally got our wish: in 2021, not everyone and their uncle has launched a new perfume brand; and existing brands seemingly slowed down with new releases. And while we still had a lot more new releases than it’s feasible to test and review, somehow it felt less overwhelming (or maybe I just got used to it?).

So, I thought it might be interesting to share our “best of 2021” perfume finds.

Saturday Question #97:

What Are Your Top 5 Perfumes of 2021?

If you tried enough 2021 releases to come up with 5 that you liked, please share those. But if no, you do not have to limit yourself with just new launches: your top 5 might be of new for you perfumes that you tried in 2021 for the first time and liked. Or it can be 5 perfumes that you finally got into your collection in 2021. And if none of these apply (if you were on a strict “no buy” or just didn’t like anything), just give us your top 5 favorites that you wore in 2021.

My Answer

I plan to look into all of my 2021 numbers soon for my traditional Entertaining Statistics post, but I already looked it up and know that I tested 38 perfumes released in 2021 from 29 brands. And among those that I tested, there are enough perfumes that fit this week’s question. And I can even rank them.

#5: Chanel Paris – Edimbourg

While I don’t think I’ll buy Paris – Edimbourg for myself, I liked it, especially on my vSO. So, one day, after he finishes the samples I passed on him, he might get a bottle of it under a Christmas Tree.

#4: Eris Parfums Green Spell

What can I say? I love green perfumes. I’ll finish the sample I’ve got and then will probably get a 10 ml travel spray.

#3: Teo Cabanel Rendez Vous

Randez Vous was my favorite from the Teo Cabanel’s new line. I can see a small bottle in my future.

#2: Serge Lutens La Dompteuse Encagée

Since I reviewed La Dompteuse Encagee, I had a chance to test it in Hawaii and confirmed that I enjoy it in hot/tropical weather. But since, at least under those conditions, it is less tenacious than I would like it to be, it seems that I will “need” a bottle of it.

#1: Puredistance No. 12

I consider Puredistance to be “my brand”: I had a couple of “loves” from them over the years, and most of the rest perfumes were strong “likes.” But each of their last three releases, Gold, Rubikona and now No. 12 (why haven’t I wrote about it yet?!), was making it almost impossible for me to choose my #1 perfume from this brand. But for 2021, No. 12 is my uncontested No. 1.

Puredistance No.12

What Are Your Top 5 Perfumes of 2021?

Entertaining Statistics: 2020 Year Round-up

We all said probably everything that could be said about the year we just saw out of the door. So, I’ll go straight to the perfume-related numbers.

Since I haven’t done a statistics post in a long while, I’ll remind the basic terms I use.

My Definitions

I wear perfumes and test perfumes. Both refer to applying perfume to my skin and staying with the scent for a while, observing its development over hours of its life. But I realize that different people understand different things under these terms. So, I prepared a short infographic that would explain what I mean when I say “wear” or “test.”

Perfumes Wear vs. Test Infograph

One more term that requires definition is Occasion. The continuation from the time I apply perfume (including continuous re-application) until it completely disappears is counted as one occasion.

Most days I wear one perfume and test two. But, theoretically, for one day I could record two occasions of wearing perfumes or up to eight occasions of testing.

So, let’s see my 2020 in numbers (in parentheses is a comparison to 2019).

Perfumes I Wore

In 2020, I wore more different perfumes (210 vs 190) from more brands (96 vs. 91) on more occasions (367 vs 351). I still didn’t reach a 2018 level when I wore perfumes on 372 occasions, but still, on average

I wore one perfume every single day of the year!

Last year I realized that the most popular brands for each year keep repeating with minor variations of the brands’ positions on the chart and 1-2 different brands temporarily replacing one another. I’m showing my standard Top 10 Brands chart but mostly to keep the tradition. The only surprise there was Byredo: it’s the first time ever the brand made it into the Top 10. It happened because I paired Ouai Super Dry Shampoo x Byredo Mojave Ghost with the same perfume, which I wore from the sample trying to figure out if I wanted to get a bottle. I haven’t decided yet.

My Stats Year 2020: Top 10 Brands

As always, with the number of perfumes I wore, I didn’t repeat the same perfume too often (my most worn perfume was worn on 9 occasions only – less than once per month). And the trend I observed for the last several years continues: the top 2 most frequently worn perfumes were 2 of my all-time favorites, Lancôme Climat (9) and Ormonde Jayne Ta’if (8). And the third place went to the new addition to my collection – Masque Milano Love Kills (6). In two previous years that place was taken by Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Royal Collection Privee (2019) and Chanel Bois des Iles (2018).

 

 

Perfumes I Tested

Staying at home, I tested more perfumes than in a year before – 327 perfumes (vs. 272 in 2019) but from slightly fewer brands – 126 brands (vs. 128). I still haven’t got to the numbers from 2018 (380 perfumes from 139 brands). Since access to new perfumes was even more limited than usual, a big chunk of my testing was done on perfumes I tested previously but decided to revisit to get one final impression before passing them on someone else, finishing them (“thunking”) or binning them. Still,

In 2020, I tested 103 perfumes new to me

Undina’s Top 10 Perfumes in 2020

In 2020 I managed to improve the number of new releases that I tested (thank you to all my friends who shared some of these): I tested 22 perfumes released in 2020 (vs. 16 in 2019). And, unlike a year ago, I even managed to count 10 that I liked, which allows me to do this “top 10” list. And what was even more surprising, I didn’t dislike a single 2020 release that I tested. So, my subjective top 10 releases of 2020 (in the order of my preferences):

Puredistance Rubikona

DSH Perfumes L’Or{ris}

Tom Ford Rose Prick

Ormonde Jayne Tanger

Jo Malone Yuja

Parfums MDCI L’Aimee

Ormonde Jayne Byzance

Hiram Green Vivacious

Jo Malone Vetiver & Golden Vanilla

Ormonde Jayne Damask

In green, are perfumes I already have in my collection; in blue, are those that I consider buying. But after more testing of the rest, I might decide to get one of Ormonde Jayne’s perfumes as well.

Pictures of Rusty

Finally, an important number – a count of pictures of Rusty that I posted in 2020: 61, the highest number for the last 3 years (and this is not counting Instagram pictures that appear on the sidebar or the bottom of the blog!).

Rusty and Yellow Submarine

How was your perfume year? Do you have any numbers to share?

 

Images: My own; infograph created using Venngage

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

I miss those times when we used to have group posts with several bloggers. From time to time we still try to do it, and there is a great group that does Mood Scent 4 series (Portia at A Bottled Rose, Esperanza at L’Esperessence, Megan at Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha at I Scent You A Day). So, when Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) first and then Tara (A Bottled Rose) posted their Top 20 and Top 15 perfumes correspondingly, I jumped at the chance to use this topic for the Saturday Question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #34:

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

We’re using a variation on the “burning building speed grab method”: don’t try to choose perfumes that would cover all possible basis or fit logical categories of “perfumes for work,” “summer wear” or “irreplaceable,” but rather an emotional selection of perfumes that you’d like to “save” from that proverbial burning building, even if all N of them are just a slight variation on the “little black dress” theme.

Name your top 5-10-15, etc., whatever feels right. I suggest to limit the selection by 20 bottles – not because I think we all could live just with that number, but just because otherwise others would probably just skim through your list – and all that after you would risk your other valuable possessions to  save those N bottles!

My Answer

I played this game many times before, but it looks like I’m more or less set in my loves: I selected a list of 30 perfumes I like the most, then sorted it by their importance to me at the moment and chose the top 20 perfumes:

  1. Lancome Climat
  2. Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
  3. Amouage Ubar
  4. Chanel No 19 EdT
  5. By Kilian Amber Oud
  6. Krigler Lieber Gustav
  7. Jo Malone French Lime Blossom
  8. Dior Miss Dior parfum
  9. Guerlain Chamade extrait
  10. Armani Prive Le Femme Bleue
  11. Puredistance Antonia
  12. Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Amour
  13. Tom Ford Fleur de Chine
  14. Jo Malone Sweet Milk
  15. Yosh Ginger Ciao
  16. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady
  17. Amouage Dia
  18. Guerlain Cruel Gardénia
  19. Serge Lutens De Profundis
  20. Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom

 

 

When I compared this list to the list I did 3.5 years ago, interestingly enough, also prompted by Vanessa’s post, I discovered that today’s list contains 16 out of the 20 perfumes that I’d chosen then. The other four are not new, they just moved slightly up and replaced four perfumes that I still like, so, they are still in the top 30, which also includes several new perfumes that joined my collection since I created the previous list. And while I liked them enough not only to buy but to consider for this important exercise, they haven’t replaced any of my old favorites.

I won’t be linking perfumes in the list to posts I previously published about them, but just in case anyone is interested, they are all linked on My Perfume Portrait page (which reminds me that I need to update it with my new loves I accumulated in two years since the last update).

How about you? How fleeting are your perfume loves?

 

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

Entertaining Statistics: 2019 Year Round-up

2019 was crazy busy at work. I hope not to repeat it this year. Most likely because of all the stress, I had more health issues than usually. I hope not to repeat that either. But I got to travel much more than I usually do, both for work and pleasure, including a visit to London during which I had a chance to spend some time with Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) and Tara (A Bottled Rose), as well as visit all the usual places that this perfume Mecca offers. I hope to keep this trend up in 2020. So, I’d say that the difference between all the great experiences I had last year and any negatives is still positive. 2019 wasn’t a bad year for me.

But let’s look at the last year perfume numbers.

In 2019, compared to 2018, I wore slightly less different perfumes (190 vs. 196) from significantly more brands (91 vs. 79) on less occasions (351 vs. 372). It means that I wore perfumes not every day. Partially, it was because there were some days when I didn’t want to risk associating how I felt with any of perfumes I love. Also, on some days, while working from home, I would test several new perfumes instead of wearing one.

Since I tend to wear favorite perfumes from my collection, the same seven brands stayed on my Top 10 Brands chart, changing places, for the last 8 years that I’ve been keeping detailed records. Between any 2 years usually only 2 brands fall out from/appear on the list. New contenders this year were Houbigant Paris (because of the new favorite Summer Iris and one more perfume, about which I’ll write soon) and Tauer Perfumes (no special reason, just felt like wearing 3 of my favorite perfumes).

 

My Perfume Stats Year 2019

 

Top three perfumes that I wore the most often during 2019 – two of my all-time favorites, same as top perfumes from 2018, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if (9 occasions) and Lancôme Climat (8) and a new favorite Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Royal Collection Privee (8). I see a pattern here with wearing more often perfumes newly added to my collection (in 2018 it was Chanel Bois des Iles).

Despite all the hurdles describing which I started this post, I managed to do enough testing: 272 perfumes (vs. 380 in 2018) from 128 brands (vs. 139). Out of 272 perfumes tested, only 107 were new to me: the rest was either repeated testing of older samples or comparison testing between new samples and either older samples or perfumes I own. These numbers do not include my London sniffing sessions since most of perfumes that I tried there had never made it to skin.

I’ve done once, I think, “The Best N New Perfumes of the Year” post. But this year, even had I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t have been able to: out of just 16 new releases that I managed to try in 2019 (Sixteen! It’s almost a quarter of what has been released just in 4 days of 2020!), there were only 5 that I liked and 3 that were not spectacular but not bad. I think, you’ll agree that Top/Best 5 (or even 8) perfumes of 2019 sounds somewhat pathetic. But I’ll mentions those 5 here: Bengale Rouge by Papillon Artisan Perfumes, Puredistance Gold, Paris – Riviera by Chanel, Mon Boudoir by Houbigant and I am not a flower by Floraiku.

In the 2018 Year Round-up post for the first time I started counting pictures of Rusty that I used in my posts during the year. I decided to continue this tradition. In 2019 I used 39 pictures of Rusty, which was significantly fewer than in the previous year (51), but I managed to publish just 29 posts (vs. 48), so the ratio of picture to posts is much higher.

 

Rusty in a Bowl

 

Images: My own

Perfume Roulette

In the post for my blog’s 8th anniversary I asked my readers to name a date from the last 8 years that had some significance for them with the idea of checking my records for perfumes I wore on those dates and wearing those perfumes during February as a personal project.

It was interesting to see which events my readers chose to offer as a significant date in their lives. Birthdays are probably the easiest when it comes to selecting dates (so, just a reminder: do not use them as your passwords or pin numbers!), and it was the most popular reason for selecting a date (6): 3 personal, one mom’s, one son’s and one friend’s birthday (I liked that reason because February is my and my mother’s birthday month). Romantic occasion was the second most popular reason (5): a first date, meeting a boyfriend, two weddings and one wedding anniversary, which also was very fitting for February (Valentine’s Day). Three readers considered meeting with perfumista friend(s) special enough to offer those dates for my list. Two commenters didn’t specify the occasion for their date choice (though, I’m sure those were some special events). And one date was related to the move to a new country (or, maybe, it was returning to that country – it wasn’t clear from the comment).

In total, I got 17 comments with dates, some even with several, so I had a good set to choose from (thank you!).

It was just the fifth time in my life when I planned perfumes to wear for a month ahead. But previously I did it for a specific note: twice I wore amber perfumes for a month of November (Perfume Diary: NovAmber and I did it again: NovAmber 2018 ), once I participated in Lucas’s (Chemist in the Bottle) project of wearing rose perfumes (A Month of Roses) and once for my own project (A Month of Irises). This time I had no rhyme just reason for selecting these perfumes, so it felt a little strange. But I decided to go ahead with the project.

Did I learn anything new from it? I did!

First, even though I do not officially rotate my perfumes and haven’t got (yet?) to adding a seasonal attribute to perfumes in my database, my perfume wearing is seasonal intuitively. So being “forced” to wear in a colder season (and our winter this year is uncharacteristically cold for the area) some of the perfumes that I normally choose to wear in spring or summer, I enjoyed them less. The lesson: I should probably stick to wearing perfumes that feel right for the moment even when choosing them for some project.

Then, I realized that I didn’t like saffron in a leading role. For a while I wasn’t sure and tried to persuade myself that I liked it but the most recent experience with Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense confirmed what I suspected for a while: I get tired of saffron soon after I stop being amused that I recognized the note (as I mentioned before, it doesn’t happen too often with me, so when it does I tend to transfer my feeling good about that occurrence into false positive impressions about perfume itself). So, after coming to that realization, I’m happy that I have just a decant of this perfume and not a bottle.

And finally, I really really like Vol de Nuit in extrait concentration, so I should probably just bite the bullet and buy it. Rusty clearly votes “Yes!”

Rusty and a Test Strip

Images: all but Chanel No 19 (hajusuuri) are my own

Entertaining Statistics: 2018 Year Round-up

Another year is behind us. Once again, it was not that bad for me. Would I want 2019 to be better? I would. But I would settle for it to be not worse than 2018.

Perfume-wise 2018 was a solid year for me. I keep “diversifying”: I wore 196 perfumes (vs. 178 in 2017), from 79 brands (vs. 72) on more occasions (372 vs. 314 in 2017). And if you are wondering how I manage to wear more perfumes than days in a year and also do a lot of testing, just look at the brand I wore the most: with its tenacity I could have worn probably twice as many perfumes if I were to carry extra ones with me to apply later during the work day.

Brands I wore most in 2018

Jo Malone and Chanel keep the first two positions, the next 6 brands changed places but are still on my Top 10 list, and only two brands are new compared to the previous year – Dior and Frederic Malle.

I still rotate perfumes daily, so I do not wear any one of my favorites too often. Perfumes I wore the most often in 2018: Lancôme Climat (10 times), Ormonde Jayne Ta’if (7) and Chanel Bois des Iles (6), which isn’t surprising since the first two are my absolute favorites and the third one was a new bottle purchase this year.

Chanel Bois des Iles

Also, I managed to test more perfumes than I did last year (if to count only perfumes I tested at home): 380 perfumes (vs. 300 in 2017) from 139 brands (vs. 103). Out of these 380 perfumes 145 I tested for the first time.

The only position where I did “worse” than the year before is 2018 releases tested: I managed to try 44 perfumes released last year (vs. 45 in 2017) and liked several of them enough to add to my collection. But I plan to tell their stories in future posts, so for now they shall stay unnamed.

I used 51 pictures of Rusty in posts in 2018 (I didn’t count them before, so I have no comparison point here but you can see all of them if you filter my posts by the “Four legs good” CATegory).

Rusty on the Stairs

How was your 2018 perfume-wise and in general?

 

Images: my own

Entertaining Statistics: Februiris 2018

I want to start this post with saying “Thank you” to all of you who participated in the Month of Irises project. I had fun but without you it would have felt really strange to keep updating those posts on a daily basis. Special gratitude goes to Lucas for coining a great name for the month and supporting and promoting this project throughout the month, Tara and Ines for hosting two days on their blogs.

Daily updates… It was harder than I expected it to be but it was an interesting experience: I’ve never done it before for that many days in a row. Though I still like the idea, I’m convinced now that publishing the continuous updates to the same post isn’t the right format for WordPress: without a notification delivered through the channels readers used to get their updates, only the most persistent ones remember to come back regularly. I’ll have to think of a better approach next year for the Month of X project. I mean, we are going to do it, aren’t we?

 

Iris

 

455 Comments

I went through all the comments on the posts for the project on my blog and three Day of Iris posts hosted by others (455 comments, if you were curious) and got together some numbers.

22 Perfumistas

During this February 22 people participated in the project: I counted only those who reported on one of the participating blogs; I saw some people reporting only on the NST, and I was glad it went “viral” but I couldn’t possibly include those in these statistics.

100 Perfumes

Among all the participants, we wore 100 different perfumes, collectively on 212 occasions.

28 Days

I and at least three more people wore iris perfumes for all 28 days – hajusuuri, Chocolate Marzipane (though she cheated a little wearing the same iris perfume as her bed scent) and Lucas (if you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at his beautiful calendar).

9 Project’s Favorites

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist and Atelier Cologne Silver Iris are two the most popular perfumes (reported by 6 people each). Infusion d’Iris by Prada takes the third place (5 people). Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle, Chanel 28 La Pausa and No 19 EdT, Hermès Hiris, Prada Purple Rain and Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris got 4 mentions each.

Undina’s Top 7 Iris Perfumes

Since the idea of this project came  from my blog’s seventh anniversary, I decided to conclude it with the list of my 7 most favorite iris perfumes based on my recent experience with the whole bunch of them (in no particular order):

Chanel No 19 EdT
Le Labo Iris 39
Armani Prive Le Femme Bleue
Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
Frederic Malle Iris Poudre
Prada Purple Rain
Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris

Result of the Month

Interestingly, I did not get tired of iris perfumes and plan to wear at least a couple of them again soon. I got myself a small travel bottle of Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle. And I think I want to get more of L’Attessa once I’m done with my tiny decant – it grew on me. Oh, and I learned how to make “orrisgami” (© Lucas).

Rusty and Origami

What is your best iris perfume (or three, or seven)?

 

Images: my own

My Blog’s Rainbow Anniversary

Rose, Oakmoss, Ylang Ylang, Galbanum, Bergamot, Iris, Vetiver

How do you like it for a rainbow colors mnemonic perfumista-style?

 

Rainbow Perfumes

 

I came up with it while thinking about my blog’s 7th anniversary and the significance of this number in our culture: there are many things counted in 7 – seven rainbow colors, seven notes to the diatonic scale, seven days of the week, seven letters in the Roman numeral system, Big Dipper/Plough consists of seven bright stars and so on.

So, is the seventh anniversary special in any way for my blog? I thought about it, and I can’t say it is. I mean, it is as special as any other anniversary, but it doesn’t feel any different from the previous one.

I still like this blog. I still enjoy telling my stories to you and every time look forward to seeing your “likes” and comments (and I miss some of you when I do not see you around for a while). I still love perfumes and get thrilled by new perfumes I try (thank you to all of you who participates in friendly swaps). And I still manage to find new perfumes to love and to add to my perfume wardrobe.

 

Speaking of my perfume wardrobe…

In the recent couple of weeks there were discussions in Perfumeland about [not] using or even remembering perfumes from our own collections because there were too many of them. So I got curious: how good/bad am I?

I got a blank piece of paper… I mean, opened a new spreadsheet on my computer and wrote down all the full bottles (including travel sizes) that I could remember. It is a strange exercise provided I have a database with all the perfumes – but how else would I check it?

When I couldn’t think of any more perfumes, I compared results to the list from my database. I won’t divulge any incriminating numbers (as the quarterly spending poll on NST blog says: it’s between me and my credit card) but I’m happy to report that I couldn’t remember less than 5% of perfumes in my collection. The biggest surprise was that I forgot my Vacation in a Bottle perfumeYosh Ginger Ciao, for which I just got a back-up bottle.

 

Rusty and Yosh Ginger Ciao

 

I decided it was a fluke. But, based on my experiment, at least I can say that I do not just buy perfumes and forget.

 

Speaking of not forgetting…

Without scrolling up, how many notes from those that I used in my perfumista-style rainbow mnemonics can you remember? “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information,” one of the most highly cited (according to Wikipedia) papers in psychology, “is often interpreted to argue that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2” dependent on the type of the object and the age of the respondent (follow the link above for the more complex explanation).

 

Rose, Oakmoss, Ylang Ylang, Galbanum, Bergamot, Iris, Vetiver.

Serendipitously, one of the perfumes I used in the rainbow illustration above has all of these notes (I didn’t realize that when I was choosing perfumes for that picture). Would you guess which one?

 

Rainbow and Bird of Paradise

 

Speaking of rainbows…

Did you know that in Greek mythology Iris is the Goddess of the Rainbow and a messenger of the Olympian Gods? To celebrate my blog’s seventh anniversary, I’m going to designate February as a Month of Irises. I realize that irises are not as popular as roses for that month’s big holiday but – following Lucas’s lead – I did a Month of Roses last year already. Besides, I love irises – and not only in perfume form, so I think it will fit perfectly. Will you join me for a couple of days in February?

 

Rusty and Iris Necklace

 

And just not to publish an anniversary post without mentioning the most important perfume in my life, I want to state that today I wore Climat by Lancome – and loved it, as always.

 

Images: my own

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