The judges use descriptors like “nice,” “easy to wear,” “beautifully blended,” “uniquely crafted” and even “glamorous.” But some seemed to want more.

“Innocent floral bouquet with a dash of musk.”

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Competent sour rose, indistinguishable from a million others. Would have been novel 20 years ago.”

“Cute, very little roses. Does not diffuse at all and disappears on the skin.”

“This beautifully blended floral is the kind of scent worn by a complex woman who inspires men to create great works.”

“Another little spicy fresh rose/peony, which falls down and forgets to come back. No excitement.”

“A rose is a rose is today’s skinny rose. The voluptuous rose of yore has been pruned by regulations.”

“Distinctive. Pretty feminine. Too much alcohol at the top. Very pretty and pleasing dry down. Broad appeal.”

“This scent has nice diffusion. The comforting fruit-jam effect often found in rose absolutes but little used to the fullest
is here fully apparent.”

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“Fresh, pretty rose. Nicely crafted but in the end rather vacuous.”

ABOUT THE TEST AND JUDGES: This is a blind test, panelists are given vials of unidentified scent to judge impartially. Each of them gives a score ranging from 1 (forgettable) to 10 (unforgettable) and the numbers are computed into a final grade. The judges, led by chairman Michael Edwards, also make critiques, which are unattributed to encourage candor. The most promising scents are picked for judging in an effort to find and showcase excellence. WWD buys the products at retail, like any other consumer. The esteemed judges are: Michael Edwards, author of “Fragrances of the World” and “Perfume Legends”; Paul Austin, chief executive officer of sensory storytelling agency Austin Advisory Group; Jean-Claude Delville, senior perfumer at Drom; Karen Dubin, founder and ceo of Sniffapalooza; Victoria Frolova, fragrance industry analyst and Bois de Jasmin editor; Christophe Laudamiel, master perfumer at DreamAir; Nathalie Pichard, owner of training and evaluation agency Topnotes; Chantal Roos, cocreator of Roos & Roos Co.; Luca Turin, biophysicist and perfume critic for, and Kevin Verspoor, founder of PerfumeKev LLC.

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