February 9, 2010

SoTW 1/31/10 – 2/6/10

By Daniel

Hello and welcome to Week 1 of the 2010-2011 Scent of The Year experiment.  This first week has been all about finding the simplest way to process all the data, and to figure out what exactly we’ll be tracking over the next year.

So let’s take a step back, for the uninitiated.  Scent of The Year (abbreviated to SoTY) is a yearlong exercise, reading the daily Scent of The Day threads and compiling all that data to one central spreadsheet, and seeing what conclusions there are to be drawn from it.  You’ll be receiving regular updates for every week (SoTW), month (SoTM), quarter (SoTQ), half-year (SoTHY) and finally the big SoTY rundown, which will happen right around February 1st, 2011, to coincide with my other project, the lead-in to Basenotes March Madness.

Why, one could conceivably ask, would someone take on the tedious, dull, boring and exceptionally un-fun work of reading other people’s fragrance selections and type them into a book with other people’s fragrance selections?  I’ve got two reasons, the first being I get restless without a good long-term project to work at, and the second being that I do get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with data, and seeing what can be really gathered from it.

I harbor no such illusions, however, that you enjoy statistics quite to the level that I do, so I’ll try to keep it interesting, entertaining even, but hopefully informative as well.  If I start drifting off-course, please send me an email, PM, or tweet and let me know, or take me by the shoulders and gently steer me back in the right direction.

To work, then!  The first step when you start collecting data is, obviously, determining exactly what you want to collect; the fragrances themselves, of course, but what else?  Being able to look up the fragrance house independent of any particular fragrance sounds smart, so that was added.  I hit a bit of a wall at that point, as that was pretty much all that was being tracked when the experiment was done from 2008-2009, along with gender.  I chose to also track the Basenoters themselves, and added fields for username and gender.  Lastly, and another common sense one that I initially forgot, was the date!  It does help to know when these are being entered in when you’re on a weekly schedule.

Once the dataset was decided on, the reporting had to be figured out; that is, how I want the condensed and summarized table of information to be displayed for maximum information.  Right now I have three tables, measuring the most worn fragrance, the most worn house, and the most posts by username.  All three can be filtered by date, gender, or both.  Every combination there can give good info, and it’s with that set of tables that I’m using for now.

I’m already getting off track, aren’t I?  Sorry for the thrilling insight into Microsoft Excel, you’re here for the smellies.  All total, 1029 different entries were recorded from the 31st of January to the 6th of February, 2010, with men accounting for 67.7 percent of the total and ladies, 32.3%.  471 fragrances were only worn one time this week, for a uniqueness index of 45.77%.  This first dataset is pretty darn important, as this is the first Top 10, we can see who hangs around and who doesn’t have quite the staying power.  Starting with the combined genders, the most worn fragrance was a Guerlain.  So was the second most.  And the third.  And the fourth.  L’Instant de Guerlain topped the charts at 11 wears, followed by Mitsouko Eau de Toilette with 10, Guerlain Vetiver with 9, and Guerlain Heritage with 8.  Tied below Heritage with 7 wears are Tom Ford Black Orchid, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, and Andy Tauer’s L’air du desert marocain, for positions five through seven.  Six different fragrances all had six wears, and they were Dior Homme, Guerlain Coriolan, Burberry London, Caron’s Le Troiseme Homme, Guerlain Jicky, and YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme.

In what may be a bold predictor for the foreseeable future’s totals, Guerlain as a house had more than double the wears (110) of the next closest house in Chanel (47).  In fact, Guerlain’s entries in the Top 10 frags alone outnumber any other house’s total wears all week long.  Serge Lutens and Creed tied for third with 35 wears, Yves Saint Laurent was one behind with 34, followed by Christian Dior with 32, L’Artisan Parfumeur with 26, Hermes with 25, Caron with 24, and Tom Ford rounding out the field with 20.  Obviously there’s a big difference between the most worn houses and those trailing slightly.

Looking just at the men’s side, now, we find that Guerlain Vetiver got zero wears from the ladies, but was tied with L’Instant de Guerlain for the most worn by men, with 9 wears.  Guerlain Heritage was third with 8, and surprisingly (at least to me) we find that more men are wearing Mitsouko than women this week by more than a factor of two! (7 wears) L’air du desert marocain, Burberry London, Dior Homme and Guerlain Coriolan all tied with 6 wears by men, for positions five through eight.  Nine fragrances tied for the final two positions in the top 10, including names not previously mentioned like Chanel Pour Monsieur, Yves Saint Laurent M7, Creed’s Bois du Portugal, and Prada Infusion d’Homme.

Looking at men’s houses, we discover that of Guerlain’s monster 110 wears, a full 80 of them (72.7%) were by men, but men do account for 67.7% of the total wears recorded this week.  This does mean Guerlain is favored slightly more by men than women this time of year.  Creed was the next closest, with 30 wears, perhaps a more interesting number than Guerlain’s.  Creed’s overall third place performance this week came with the help of only 5 wears on the women’s side of things, 5 of the 35 total.  Below Creed in men’s is a tie between Christian Dior and YSL with 27 wears apiece, then Chanel with 21, Amouage and Hermes both with 17, Tom Ford with 15, Caron with 14, and a two-way tie for the last spot with Montale and Serge Lutens both earning 12 wears.

Moving over to the women’s side of things, we find that having a smaller population can really effect the weekly standings of things.  Tied at number one with 5 wears each are Terranova Gardenia and Keiko Mecheri’s A Fleur de Peau.  The catch?  Both were worn by only one person, for five consecutive days each.  Rochas Tocade got 4 wears the old fashioned way, by multiple users, as did L’ Artisan Havana Vanille, Bal A Versailles and Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum.  Below those six fragrances are eleven different fragrances with three wears each.  More data is needed before any true conclusions can be reached, but it may take until the SoTM at this rate.

The women’s house standings were quite interesting, and featured a few new faces.  Guerlain’s 30 wears by the ladies were enough to make it the most-worn house this week, trailed closely by Chanel with 26 wears and Serge Lutens with 23.  Things trail off rapidly after that, with L’ Artisan at 14 wears, Caron with 10, Hermes with 8, YSL, Keiko Mecheri, and Frederic Malle all with 7, and Bond No. 9 wrapping up the top 10 with 6 wears.  The women’s field is much more diverse than statistically expected, men recorded wears in 202 separate houses and women in 120, with 248 total (There were 46 houses worn exclusively by one gender or the other).

Finally, mikeperez23 (14 wears), Inselaffe (13 wears), and kbe (12 wears) go above and beyond the nose of duty on the men’s side, with Baldufita (11 wears) being the busiest sniffer on the ladies’ side.

That’s it for this week, see you next Monday for new numbers and new insight as we give this fledgling SoTY project some legs.  Until next time, post those SoTDs every day!