Cool Fragrances - LEAD
Credit: hawthorneformen/Instagram

Thanks to vivid imagery, video tutorials, and ample product reviews, buying beauty products online isn’t as scary as it once was. We used to kinda just wing it, enter in our credit card info, and hope of the best. While purchasing lipstick is relatively foolproof now, ordering a fragrance online hasn’t gotten any easier. Obviously, you can’t “see” a fragrance on someone, let alone smell it through the computer, and nothing is worse that spritzing on a bad perfume and then having to live with the floating, headache-inducing aroma all day long.

But gotta love technology (except that new Instagram screenshot thing—that sucks), there’s a new men’s fragrance site, Hawthorne, that uses a biometric test (stats related to your human characteristics) to help people figure out what scent to buy. Whether or not you believe the logic behind it, the series of questions are fun to answer. Am I the only one who still likes online quizzes? Yes, I do what to know what movie describes my romance, OK?

According to the brand’s co-founder, Brian Jeong, the method was created by doing approximately 300 fragrance testings, where they asked about 25 questions to different individuals and had them smell various scents. Then, they used statistical correlation to identify key lifestyle traits and attributes and then paired it with a scent. Interestingly enough, the brand apparently found that scent preference and taste preference were super similar.

Does that mean people who like apple pie want to wear apple pie perfume? Not quite, but according to Hawthorne, there is some relation. From the brand’s testing, they found that people who like whisky tend to like woody scents—and it gets even more specific from there. They found that people who like bourbon tend to like sweeter woods. So interesting.

Overall, the question algorithm on the site gets an 88 percent approval rating from its clients. While the brand makes specifically men’s fragrances, I have a thing for men’s cologne (I’ll forever dig Polo Blue), so I decided to give it a try, based on my own information.

The test starts off my asking you standards—your name and how knowledgeable you are with fragrance as a whole. Based on your answer to the latter you are guided through a series of questions (it takes like five minutes, tops) that will help determine your “work”and “play” scent. You’ll explain your diet, your drink of choice, how you dress, your personality, etc.

Did I mention how much I like quizzes? My “work" scent is apparently “fresh and aquatic,” while the scent for “play” is woody and smoky.

If you don’t love the scents, which is possible because fragrance is a tricky, tricky thing and incredibly personal, the brand will replace it for you with another concoction you might like. Together, the scents ring up to $100, which really isn’t bad considering one bottle is usually in the $70-90 range.

With fragrance being one of the top categories department stores push on you the minute you walk through the mall doors to do some holiday shopping, this could be the objective nose you need.