In a new study, scientists have found that using the most common fragrance notes in a perfume will not guarantee success. The survey, carried out by the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, looked at 1000 fragrance notes in more than 10,000 perfumes and their success in online shops, report SPC (Soap, Perfumery & Cosmetics).
It found that some notes and accords are ‘over represented’ in the dataset – meaning they appear more often than by chance – but are not correlated with a fragrance’s success.
Meanwhile, common accords including lavender and geranium were found to be present in ‘successful’ fragrances. However, less common notes, such as famine plus mint or musk plus vetiver and vanilla had a stronger link to successful scents.
Researchers said this could be a new opportunity for perfumers to discover scent combinations that are likely to be successful. The team said that their “work provides insights into factors that play a role in the success of perfumes. It also sets up a framework for a statistical analysis of fragrances based on simple properties and customer reviews. It could be a beneficial tool for systematic ingredient selection and act as an artificial ‘nose’.
The analysis also found which notes had high enhancement effects: this included floral notes musk and vanilla.