To get a better understanding of exactly what we mean by what we grade on our report cards, we have put together a quick guide. We recommend becoming familiar with these “definitions” before reading any perfume reviews.
First sniff (bottle) – Just like it’s unfair to judge a book by it’s cover without delving into the depths of it’s storyline, it’s pretty unfair to judge a scent from first sniff when it’s not sprayed on your skin. In this aspect of our report card, “bottle” could be: the nozzle of a bottle, an uncapped sample vial, a sprayed piece of paper/tester card, etc. This grade is judging the initial smell before being sprayed on skin.
First sniff (skin) – Pretty self explainatory; this grade is judging the smell of the scent when worn on the skin.
Worn scent – Different from the first sniff’; this is the grade for the fragrance overall. This grade is indicative of the scent once it has been worn for a substantial amount of time (this grade is important, as perfumes can “turn” after being worn and the top notes fade, etc).
Staying power – This grade is in regards to how long you can expect the scent to stay with you. If a scent remains fragrant on the reviewer’s skin for quite a few hours, it will get a better grade; if a scent begins to fade after an hour or less, it will get a lower grade.
Scent as compared to note(s) – We know how it is. More often than not, you’ll read the notes in a fascinating new scent and are filled with glee as you drive to the mall to sample it. You get there, and instead of the feminine fragrance you read countless reviews on in which they referenced the overwhelming fruity notes, it smells like the cologne that your father used to wear to church when you were little. In this aspect of our report card, we grade how close the perfume comes to actually SMELLING like the notes that it lists as being contained.
Bottle – This is our only grade that has nothing to do with the actual scent of the fragrance. This one is just for fun! Sometimes the bottle can be the best (or worst) thing about a perfume. Just our thoughts on the package choice for the fragrance. There are no guidelines on how to grade; just whether we thought it was aesthetically pleasing or not.
Please also keep in mind that the Overall grade is how the reviewer feels about the perfume as a whole; it is not necessarily a combination or “average” of each of the individual grades as noted above. For example, just because a perfume earned an A for it’s “Scent as compared to note(s)” does not mean that it was an appealing scent; such a scent could still receive an overall grade of F if the reviewer so chooses.