Entertaining Statistics: 2013 Year Round-up

 

There were no major developments in my life in 2013 and though there were some minor disappointments it was a good year for me overall. I got to smell linden in Kharkov, Vienna and Paris. I met Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels), Sandra (guest writer at Olfactoria’s Travels), Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume) and Natalie (Another Perfume Blog). I tried several new fruits during our Hawaiian vacation. And I had great winter holidays. So I’m thankful to 2013 but I’m ready for the new, hopefully rainier 2014.

Perfume-wise 2013 also wasn’t a bad year (numbers in parentheses are from 2012, for comparison).

 

Perfume Testing

Even though I haven’t tried many of the big new releases and out of those that I have tried I didn’t like many that made others’ “top 2013” lists but I did a lot of testing. I tested1 321 (356) perfumes from 107 (114) brands on 461 (572) occasions. Many of these perfumes weren’t new and of some I own a bottle or a decant but I might have done a parallel testing with some new perfume or for my Single Note Exploration posts. But there were 185 (245) perfumes that I’ve tried for the first time in 2013. The number of new perfumes2 I test declines every year but I think it happens not because of my diminished interest in testing new things but just because of time and skin RE limitations since I often re-visit those that I’ve previously tested.

New Perfumes Tested 2011 - 2013

 

Perfume Wearing

Once my collection (bottles and decants) got to the certain size I decided that I shouldn’t sacrifice my favorite perfumes for testing new ones – especially since I test mostly not for reviews. I wore3 perfumes from my collection almost every day: 142 (138) perfumes from 54 (50) brands on 355 (348) occasions.

Stats 2013 Brands Tested

Nine out of twelve brands I wore the most this year are the same as the last year. Guerlain got to the first place which is a little strange since I still don’t consider myself that brand’s fan.

I wear a different perfume every day and try to give all of my favorites at least some skin time so I do not use each perfume too often. In 2013 my top five (actually, seven since the last three got the equal attention) were: Keiko Mecheri Johana, Giorgio Armani  La Femme Bleue, Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling!, Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, Diptyque Volutes and Yves Rocher Nature.

 

Perfume Statistics

During 2013 I did statistics posts on the perfumes bought by the launch year, dependency of my enjoyment of perfumes and a type of the bottle it came in, quarter to quarter perfume usage comparison, frequency of the same perfumes usage, perfumes by country of origin, reaction to perfumes dependent on weather conditions, perfume application spots, favorite fruits in perfumes, giving perfumes as gifts and spontaneity in perfumes acquisition. Many of this posts were based on answers from my readers – thank you!

 

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Will I find more angles of perfumes counting to keep up my Entertaining Statistics posts in 2014? I hope with your help I will.

 

Images: my own

 

1 For the testing I apply a perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. But, most likely, I’m the only one who can smell it. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time.

2 “New perfumes” refers to perfumes that I haven’t tried before, not the current year’s releases.

3 When I wear a 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.

Entertaining Statistics: November, 2013

 

November this year was uncharacteristically warm (average high was 65F/18C) and still very dry (we’ve got only two rainy days). Work-wise it was the craziest month this year so the testing rate fell below one perfume per day. On a couple of occasions I even skipped wearing a perfume, which is very unusual for me. And I didn’t test almost anything new, which upsets me a little.

I’m trying to switch to the “winter mode” and start wearing ambers that I enjoyed so much before but because of the temperature outside most of them still feel wrong and I regret putting them on a minute after the application. But maybe in December it’ll start feeling right?

Quick November stats:

* Different perfumes worn1: 23 from 16 brands on 28 occasions;

* Different perfumes tested228 from 22 brands on 28 occasions;

* Perfumes I tried for the first time: 5 (!!!);

* Perfume houses I both wore and tested the most: Diptyque (I tested Volutes before making the final decision to get a bottle and then wore it a couple of times while writing a post about it);

So since not much was happening in my life perfume-wise, in the above-mentioned post I turned to my readers for the data on their perfume acquiring habits. The question was:

Have you ever bought a full bottle of perfume on the spot, the same day you smelled it for the first time?

As I found out, I was almost the only one who has never done that so far. “Almost” – because I abused my power as a pollster and declared Lucas’ answer as No though it was a close call. The other seventeen (17) respondents said Yes (“and more than once” was a general sentiment). So instead of charting that impressive 2/17 ratio, I’ll leave you with that picture from the times when we were still having rains and my hope that there will be rain soon and that one day I’ll leave a very nice shop in a very romantic place with a very special bottle of perfume.

Rusty and umbrella

1 When I wear a 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.

2 For the testing I apply a perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. But, most likely, I’m the only one who can smell it. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time.

 

Image: my own

Entertaining Statistics: October 2013

 

October was very warm (too warm if you talk to my vSO), with no rain (which isn’t good whoever you talk to) and a lot of work (no comments). I’m hopelessly behind reading blogs and commenting and I suspect my testing is hitting an all-time record low so I’m glad that this month I decided my readers to help again with the data for the October statistics post.

I asked my readers: Have you ever given a perfume as a gift not knowing beforehand that the recipient wanted to get/liked that specific perfume?

I’ve got thirty-one answers (plus my response). Respondents came from 10 different countries (and 2 not disclosed locations). Out of 32 votes, 22 reported more or less successful perfume-giving experience and 10 stated that they’d never given a gift of an “unsolicited” perfume. It would be interesting to conduct a similar study on a control group of people who do not consider themselves perfumistas.

October 2013 Stats

Until today I’ve hidden only draws announcements in the body of my posts. Today I reached new heights: I’m not mentioning the results of the draw in the headline. But – as I promised – here we go: according to random.org the winner of the Scent Library by Ineke is hajusuuri (#10). Please contact me with your mailing address.

Rusty and Ineke Scent Library

For those who didn’t win: consider buying this limited edition set as a collector item before it’s gone. I have absolutely no financial interest in posting this, it’s just a “public service” type of post. I decided that I will buy one set for my collection. Rusty approves.

Entertaining Statistics: September 2013

 

After a cool summer September arrived warm and very pleasant. And to make it even better I spent the last week of it in Hawaii.

I was so looking forward to that vacation that soon after I booked our flight and rented a house I started playing that choosing game in my mind: what perfume should I take with me? I ended up taking with me 12 (twelve) perfumes. And even though some of them were samples I didn’t take any unknown perfumes just for testing: all of them were to wear.

Black Vetyver Café by Jo Malone I chose as our shared travel perfume for this trip. Partially it was because I suddenly got tired of the scent that we used on many previous trips (Voyage d’Hermes) but mostly because after reading about it being discontinued I wanted to figure out if I should buy a bottle of it before it completely disappears. I do not love it but I like it enough not to let go just yet.

My travel companions from the previous Hawaii vacationEstee Lauder Bronze Goddess, Ormonde Jayne Tiare and Frangipani had joined me again. So after recently relegated Voyage d’Hermes these three are the best-traveled perfumes in my collection. I still enjoyed Bronze Goddess whereas my reaction to Frangipani and Tiare switched places: I enjoyed the former very much and was surprised that the latter felt somehow off.

Perfumes for a Tropical Vacation

Other perfumes that kept me company on that humid tropical island were: L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore, Byredo Pulp (I need to get a decant of this one), Yosh Ginger Ciao (Birgit, thank you for the idea), Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling!, By Kilian Forbidden Games, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine and M.Micallef Royal Vintage. The last two were for my vSO but the others nine were all for me. Good thing about hot humid weather and swimming was that I could easily wear 3-4 perfumes in one day.

All the perfumes I brought were just perfect for the vacation though, completely unexpectedly, Bombay Bling! wasn’t a fan of that climate: it would disappear from my skin within an hour after the application. It has never happened before in cooler Californian weather. It made me curious how it would behave in, let’s say, Bombay. Any upcoming trips? Anybody?

Since my vacation was filled with fruits – both in perfumes and in my diet, I got curious which fruits my readers like the most. Here’re the results:

Nineteen (19) people answered my questions naming seventeen (17) of their favorite fruits to eat (13) and to smell (8) in a perfume form. I decided to be strict and if more than one fruit was mentioned I took just the first answer.

September 2013 Statistics

Mango was an absolute favorite with eleven (11) votes (six (6) for eating it and five (5) for smelling). Black currant took the second place with five (5) votes and fig got four (4) votes but both were named only as perfume notes. Mangosteen, peach and cherry got two (2) votes each (one in each category). And raspberry got two (2) votes but both in food designation. All other fruits – durian, loquat, olallieberries, papaya, mandarin, grapefruit, banana, pomeo, plum and grapes – were mentioned just once.

Even though I had so many perfumes with me after I came back I kept thinking: “I wish I thought of taking <…> as well” about different perfumes. If you were to recommend one more perfume for me to take on a tropical vacation which one would it be?

 

Images: my own

Entertaining Statistics: August 2013

 

August was just perfect: there were several warm days to get some summer feeling but it was never really hot to be unpleasant.

You, my readers, helped me with this month’s statistics. I asked you about your perfume application habits and here’s the quick compilation of the answers to two questions I posed:

1) Do you apply perfume symmetrically (e.g. both wrists or décolletage – it’s still symmetrical even though it’s just one spot) or asymmetrically (e.g. just one wrist, one side of the neck or one ankle)? A single asymmetrical point makes the entire application asymmetrical.

Out of 23 people who took part in the survey 19 (83%) applied perfumes symmetrically and only 4 (17%) admitted to using perfumes asymmetrically (but all for a good reason!).

Stats August 20132) What is the spot that usually gets the first spray?

No matter how carefully I try to pose the question I can never get a straight answer from the respondents. So after all the efforts I had to combine answers for left/right sides since I couldn’t get several people to confirm their choices.

Stats August 2013The most popular first spot is a wrist – 11 people (50%) start applying perfumes there (7 to the left wrist, 1 to the right and 3 undecided). 5 people (23%) apply perfumes to the side of their neck first – 2 to the right, 2 to the left and 1 undefined. 4 (18%) start with chest/décolletage. One person (5%) starts with the back of her neck and one (5%) steps into the sprayed mist making her hair the spot #1. It makes it up to 22 people and one, Lanier of the Scents Memory left it at “I always apply perfume where I want to be kissed.” I’ve decided better not to guess.

 

Image: my own

Entertaining Statistics: July 2013

 

– Why is it so cold?
– Because it’s summer…

A typical exchange between me and my vSO

While many places in the world were suffering from a heat wave here, in San Francisco Bay Area, we had just a perfect July: a couple of hot days – right in time for the 4th of July – and then a very pleasant warm breathy weather for the rest of the month.

For this month’s statistics I decided to look into my readers’ answers to the question from the recent post “My” brand and “not my” brand. I didn’t want to warn anybody beforehand about my intentions but I naïvely thought that after I explain with examples how I define terms “my” brand and “not my” brand I would be able to get two examples from each commenter. Right… Well, it’ll teach me to be more forthcoming about my plans the next time I decide to do anything like that. For now I’ll go with all the votes I’ve got.

33 participants in this poll named 46 unique brands (total 152 votes). The first interesting discovery was that people were more generous naming favorites than bringing up nemeses: 91 positive vs. 61 negative nominations. 21 brands were mentioned just once and 5 got two nominations. For my chart below I used top 20 brands by the total number of votes regardless of the sign (+/-).

My Stats July 2013

How to read the chart: each bar represents 100% of votes for each brand (so all bars are of the same size regardless of whether the brand got 15 or 3 total votes); each bar is placed vertically against horizontal (X) axis in the way that corresponds to the ratio of positive/negative votes for that brand with the number (N%) representing the percentage of the positive nominations; pink asterisk marks the total number of votes for each brand using the vertical (Y) axis as a scale.

For example, Serge Lutens was mentioned the most – 15 times (see the asterisk) but only 10 votes (67%) were positive and 5 votes (33%) were negative – that’s why Lutens’ bar is placed lower than the bar for the next most popular Guerlein that got 11 total votes (see the asterisk) but 9 (82%) of them were positive. The most “controversial” (50/50 split) were Chanel and Hermes (5/5 and 2/2 yay/nay votes correspondently). Several brands got 100% positive responses (that’s why they are placed above the X axis) albeit with just 3 or 4 votes. The only brand that got all negative responses (all 3 of them) was Bond No 9. There would have been 4 negative votes had I considered them a brand worth my attention. But since I’m boycotting them as an opposite of “not getting” but appreciating other “not my” brands I didn’t cast my nay vote for them.

After putting together the chart and an explanation to it I realized that it was probably a little (?) too much to be entertaining so I promise to do something lighter the next month.

 

Image: my own

Entertaining Statistics: June, 2013

 

Most of June I’ve spent either traveling or recovering from it so perfume-wise that month went like in a haze.

Since I didn’t want to bring samples with me in June I tested1 less perfumes than I normally do but I had a chance to sniff a lot of new perfumes both in Vienna and in Paris so most perfumes I tested this month were new for me.

For my trip (have you seen my pictures of linden blossom I took in Ukraine, Austria and France?) I took with me about 20 different perfumes but I wore2 only 14 of them.

What I realized was that living in the area with a great climate and adequate AC systems everywhere I’ve got a completely wrong idea about what perfumes would be suitable for heat. Not only I couldn’t enjoy many of my favorites I thought I would but also I discovered that hot humid weather disagrees with most of my perfumes: they would disappear from my skin within a couple of hours after the application and under the circumstances I didn’t even feel like re-applying.

For this month’s statistics I decided to look into how weather conditions affected my enjoyment of perfumes. I compared my reactions during this trip to the most recent pre-trip ones I had for the same perfumes.

June 2013 Stats

I still enjoyed the perfumes I wore on more occasions than not. And there was even one perfume – Diptyque Volutes that I loved much more wearing there than when I tested it earlier. But eight times of twenty the weather came between me and perfumes I used to enjoy at home.

Has anything like that ever happened to you?

 

Quick June stats:

Numbers in parenthesis are comparison to the previous month’s numbers.

* Different perfumes worn: 23 (-3) from 19 (-1) brands on 29 (0) occasions;

* Different perfumes tested: 24 (-4) from 17 (-1) brands on 26 (-4) occasions;

* Perfumes I tried for the first time: 21 (12);

* Perfume houses I wore most often: Jo Malone, Keiko Mecheri, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Le Labo;

* Perfume houses I tested the most: Neela Vermeire Creations and Xerjoff;

 

1 When I wear a 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.

2 For the testing I apply a perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. But, most likely, I’m the only one who can smell it. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time.

 

Image: my own