Friday, July 18, 2008

The Experiment

I’m working on a theory about perfume compliments from others and the type of perfume worn. I did an experiment this week where I specifically wore inexpensive fragrances on certain days and expensive niche perfume on other days. I consistently received compliments on the days I wore the inexpensive perfumes. Except for one day when I wore an expensive perfume and received compliments nonetheless (the most actually). I kept a log.
Here’s how the week played out:
Monday: Nerola Orange Blossom by Pacifica $19.95, available at Whole Foods Market, received 2 compliments
Tuesday: Serge Lutens Chergui, $expensive$, zero compliments
Wednesday: Provence Sante Tilleul, $27 for a big bottle/100ML, 3 compliments, and one woman in ladies room asked what it was and wrote the name down
Thursday: Gucci Envy, average cost, 1 compliment
Friday: Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, $expensive$, 4 compliments
Wednesday was the only day without compliments and this was the most expensive perfume of the week. I recently wrote a piece about my beloved Serge Lutens Chergui. Chergui was my personal favorite of the week.
The exception to this theory is Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. Everyone loves this stuff.
So, I’m thinking that there’s interplay between cost and sillage. The less expensive perfumes with strong sillage get noticed and complimented while the more expensive perfumes that wear closer to the skin either don’t get noticed or aren’t liked.
As I’ve said before, I’ll keep wearing what I like, I just wanted to share my silly little experiment of the week.


Molly said...

I'm impressed that you got comments, period. We've discussed this at length on PerfumeCritic, and it seems in general as though people are reluctant to comment on another person's scent. Or, maybe it's just around here, where you don't make eye contact with people you don't know, much less compliment their aroma. :-P Also, mass market scents are popular for a reason -- they smell good. Not necessarily original or daring, but nice. Those of us who actively strive not to smell like everyone else necessarily deviate from mainstream tastes, and it takes a like mind (like nose?) to appreciate that.

Abigail said...

There are a few people in my office who almost always comment on my fragrance. They aren't perfumista types per se but they like a nice aroma :-D The restroom is outside of our office in a common area for 2 other businesses to use. I often receive comments when I'm standing at the sinks washing my hands next to someone. I think women aren't shy about commenting on fragrance to other women. When a man says something to me in an elevator or some such place I often feel a bit awkward though. Especially when I'm asked exactly what I'm wearing and it sounds like French gibberish!

Tania said...

That's an interesting experiment!

I don't get many comments. Certainly not at work - but I keep the sillage down for the office, one spritz max. (Two if the guy who doesn't shower is in...) And I'm careful what I wear to work.

But I've had some comments in bathrooms at bars and such, where people are more relaxed. And once a guy on the train asked me what I was wearing and wrote it down because he thought his wife would like it too (it was SL Ambre Sultan).

I do comment myself sometimes, because if someone's chosen a nice perfume, I think they should get validation... ;-) And maybe I want to know what it is.
Of course, sometimes when I comment on somebody's scent, I really mean,
'that's nice, but did you have to marinade in it, honey?';-)
(If you can actually taste a person's scent from ten feet away, it's too much...)

I agree that it's the well-known department store mass-market scents (and the sillage monsters), which get noticed most often. They are made to be noticed, whereas often the less-well-known stuff stays close to the skin. Or it's bit avant-garde for most people, who don't know exactly what they are smelling!