Monday, March 04, 2013

The Fragrance Potency Index

Written by The Husband

How many sprays of Duro are enough? It depends on whom you're asking, but is there a way to give a definite answer?  The fragrance Potency Index is a new site ( dedicated to scientifically measuring and rating a unique aspect of fragrance. Not how it smells to the wearer but on how much impact a specific scent may have on others around you. Written and evaluated by Aaron Benjamin AKA the “Smelly Scientist” the site also includes a list of notes and a concise personal review.

FP Index defines Potency as a combination of Projection (how far a scent projects off an object) and Sillage (the duration of time that a scent remains in the air). The site tests each perfume in the same scientific method and reports on a 5 star scale the Projection, Sillage and combined score (FPi). It does not score longevity as it was found hard to objectively measure. Fragrantica has user voted measures for Longevity and Sillage and as you guessed, sometimes results vary widely as in giving the highest FPI to Diptyque – Philosykos (3.5 Stars), a perfume that Gaia, I, and Fragrantica readers find to be on the moderate side of sillage).

With all the emphasis on the scientific aspect of the measurements I would have hoped to see some actual details on how the measurements are done and the scientific method behind this but none is provided. The science nerd of this fragonerd is left somewhat unsatisfied.

The aim of the Fragrance Potency Index is to help perfume lovers and general consumers evaluate scent potency and be guided by it. How you are guided is up to you. Are you trying to clear a path at the DMV or stay under the scented radar in the office? The site recommends the number of sprays to use to make a statement (or not).

I'm a bit worried that the main intent of  the Fragrance Potency Index is to guide buyers towards less potent perfumes that would be a better fit for the workplace. It makes sense considering that's where most overspraying issues come to a head, but it also shifts the focus from perfume quality and beauty to "smell pollution" and office politics as determining factors in making a purchase. Then again, making people think twice before fumigating their cubicle with A*Men might not be the worst thing ever.


1 comment:

  1. What a great idea, especially since offices and other places are implementing scent-free policies and areas. However, I doubt that the people who need it most (those who go to work drenched in, say, EL Youth Dew, will avail themselves of it.


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