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Rating System for Fragrances?


Well-known member
Jun 7, 2022
I find it hard to rate fragrances because of how subjective liking/disliking a scent is. Also, criteria can vary from person to person. Some people want a scent that's easier to wear in many situations, while some people want a scent for niche occasions. Some people value innovation and creativity more than others.

I like the system Robes08 used in his older videos. Rating the scent, projection, longevity and versatility individually on separate 10-scale. These aren't averaged into the final score, but they're useful for informative purposes. But then the final score is separate, based mostly on the scent. 1 point may be added or taken away depending on the other factors (i.e. an 8 could be a 7 or 9). Or sometimes may find a scent so good or so bad that the other factors the rating itself stays the same.

While factors like performance add some objectivity to a review, fragrances will mostly be subjective. Performance matters in borderline cases. A fragrance lasting a long time only matters if you actually like the fragrance.

Should cost/value be a part of a rating system? Price a concern for the vast majority of people; most people aren't hardcore enthusiasts or have a ton of disposible income. However, I think value shouldn't be a criteria because it would undermine the score. If a cheap fragrance is really good, I'd want people to know that it has a high score because it's good - not because it's cheap.

^ However, an easy workaround for this dillemma is projection and longevity. If you need to spray a fragrance twice as often as the average fragrance, then you'll need to buy a larger size or rebuy it more frequently. So an expensive fragrance with terrible performance could lose a point for that.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
I don't have any sort of specific rating system for scents that I like. I do consider a variety of factors if making a purchase, first being how much I enjoy the smell.


Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Reviews and ratings, for me, are mostly for fun and I read them in order to get very general ideas about what to expect. My experiences sometimes differ widely from those of my peers, and even things like longevity and projection are subject to change and the vagaries of perception.


Well-known member
Jun 7, 2022
For projection/longevity, I think using fragrantica's ratings could help it be a bit more objective. Maybe some people are anomalies, but there's usually an overall pattern on how well it performs.


Wearing Perfume Right Now
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
A fragrance lasting a long time only matters if you actually like the fragrance.
I can see the logic.

Should cost/value be a part of a rating system?
If it's part of the story for you. I like more of a blind sampling approach for myself, where packaging, marketing, cost, etc. aren't part of it.


Basenotes Plus
Jan 3, 2019
I think there are many ways to approach the ratings, but I do it for myself and in a way that makes sense to me. I only rate the scent itself, so its strength, longevity or loudness usually does not reflect in my ratings - although price and availability might influence me to add or remove a star. I mean, a fragrance that sells for several hundreds has to smell pretty damn good to me to be rated 5 stars, while a pretty nice and affordable scent will get this rating easier.
Although on second thought, if a fragrance is too strong it might affect my rating negatively as I will most probably deem it unwearable if it knocks me out with one spray.

In general, if I love the scent it gets 5 stars. If I really like it but something prevents me from truly loving it it gets 4. If it's "oh, it's actually quite nice", "very well done but not for me" or "meh" it will usually get 3 stars - yeah I know, it's probably too broad but I often feel like I don't want to go around giving less than average ratings for something that's not really bad. If I actively dislike it it usually gets 2 stars, and if it's something I wish to never ever smell again, it gets 1.

heavy black heart

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Mar 20, 2022
just a thought: as with other artforms, often times I learn a lot more from reviews of people that disagree with me than with those of people who agree

rating is just for fun - there are 4 stars that I wear more often than 5 stars for example


Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
rating is just for fun - there are 4 stars that I wear more often than 5 stars for example
That's my take, too. Perfumes I'd rate with 4 stars are often more approachable and "user-friendly" than masterpieces that make me want to genuflect before them. I also don't feel as much pressure to hoard conserve 3-4 star bottles. This even extends to reformulations that aren't quite as good as vintage, but close.


New member
Apr 2, 2021
I have zero interest in rating my fragrances on a number scale. Caring about projection and longevity is banal for me. It says only very superficial things about the fragrance. Price to me is also irrelevant since it is not an inherent quality of the fragrance. What I'm more interested in is judging how well the perfumer matches the brief I already have in mind. I'm very intentional when auditioning fragrances, and I already have in mind the qualities I'm looking for and how I want it to make me feel.


Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
I dutifully rate my fragrances on basenotes (with maximum stars because I only buy perfume I think is excellent). For myself I have no need for perfume ratings. I buy based on what I smell locally and want to wear. That’s all I need to choose a scent.

I do want to add that I often enjoy reading ratings, with popcorn, to find out what other people think of various perfumes.!


Well-known member
Dec 12, 2021
It’s fun to rate stuff. Especially if you have a YouTube channel. But otherwise, I either like something or I don’t. Performance matters, but only enough so that I can get a full work days wear out of a scent. Beyond that, why do I need something to last over a day?
Sillage and projection aren’t always a good thing, so although they’re interesting to know, I don’t bother rating that too much.

I only really have three categories.
Love it! - I buy it
Like it - at most I’ll grab a partial
Meh - everything else. No buy. Save the money and spend it on beer and good food.

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
I give it three and a quarter jazz hands.

I only have two. Who's gonna lend me theirs?


Well-known member
Aug 4, 2014
Just want to say, don't feel the need to have a question mark in your title. Ratings are always useful. Nearly all ratings are freely available and no one has to own something to read a rating about it. They instead inform a massive amount of purchase decisions. Every fragrance of note gets rated and every place to discuss fragrance has ratings prominently featured. So ratings in all forms for all variables will always be useful because someone, somewhere will find them to be.

Value is a good one across the board. It is inherently subjective, but that's what ratings are anyway and reasonable people understand that. Is it worth the cost and does it punch above it's price class, more people are interested in these opinions than not. If it's a review for a cheap bottle, people reading it are going to know it's a cheap bottle. That's a big part of why they're reading reviews on it to begin with.

Projection and longevity are critical. The buying public wants to know if they'll be smelled by others. A betting person would never wager that a random owner of a random bottle doesn't care if others can smell it. The winning bet will overwhelmingly be on getting noticed.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
I dislike numerical ratings for perfume. I'd feel the same way about rating a song or a short story.


Basenotes Plus
Jan 1, 2005
No interest in rating my fragrances, either I like it or I don’t.


I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
I write reviews because 1) they're informative for anyone who cares about my observations or opinions, and 2) they're the only way I can remember my observations and opinions.

I find my own ratings less useful, although I do occasionally note the aggregate rating a fragrance gets when I mull a blind buy.

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