Friday, January 22, 2010

More Perfume by the Numbers: Google Autocomplete

We had some nerdly fun recently using Google Trends to view seasonal variation in fragrance-related online search activity. We decided to take another look at smelly search terms, this time using Google’s autocomplete function. Type one or two words into the search box and Google helpfully serves up the full text of the most common searches using those words.

Type in “perfume that”, for example, and you get these search phrases.

Clearly there are a lot of ladies wondering how best to lead a guy by the nose; popular autocompletions include perfume that attracts men, that men love on women, and that turns men on. What sort of scents do these wily ladies have in mind? Perfumes that smell like cotton candy, soap, baby powder, roses and laundry. There are also value shoppers looking for perfume that lasts all day, and people so addicted to the discontinued Hollister August fragrance that they want something—anything!—similar.

Here’s another way to see what sort of perfume are people searching for.

Folks want perfume that smells like cotton candy, soap, baby powder, roses, laundry, the beach (wasn’t Ocean by Calvin Klein really Kramer’s idea?), vanilla, chocolate, cake, and of course Hollister August (alright already!).

Concerns about BO crop up on autocompletions to “my girlfriend smell” and “my boyfriend smell.”

What is there to say? Being a teenager isn’t easy.

What happens when we take a wider view and search for “what smell”?

Once again the Google autocompletion ouija board points to sex, specifically smells that guys like and those that turn men on, turn guys on, and turn women on. A lot of people are want to know what smells their dogs and cats dislike—is this about keeping them off the furniture? And what drives the Google inquiry “what smells like weed?” People looking for a good cover story or those thinking of pulling the old oregano scam on some fourth graders?

Let’s take another run at it by typing in “the smell of.”

This produces an interesting set of autocompletions, some benign (rain, apples, and Christmas), some cliched (the smell of napalm in the morning), and some downright creepy (burning ants, the kill, and death).

On closer inspection, the creepy ones are not so much macabre as artsy-fartsy. The Smell of the Kill is a comic play and The Smell of Burning Ants is a short film. The smell of wine and cheap perfume is people searching for the lyrics to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. Searches for the smell of death are a mixed bag: people seeking Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics and others who simply haven’t discovered FN’s I Smell Dead People feature.


+ Q Perfume Blog said...

I simply love your ideas! You are so creative! This post put a smile on my face today. We do it everyday, but never pay attention to it!
Bravo sweety!!!!

I preferred when you had your picture instead this new cartoon. To tell you the truth, I think people should get to know your face. A Marketing thing.... but you didn't ask! I am just being nosey.
I thought that since this blog is related to your work...

p.s.: I think traveling to amazing beaches and not writing in the blog probably took me out of your poll... not that I care...LOLOL


Avery Gilbert said...

+ Q Perfume Blog:

Thanks for taking the time out from amazing beachs to throw sand in the face of my brand-new South Park avatar. I think it looks just like me!

In my defense, Kenny would probably tell you "Smdfdth whdyo *&#@ thmrphh!".

Wait, what's that? Oh, it's Stan and Kyle:

"They discontinued Hollister August."

"You bastards!"

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

I am back to rainy Sao Paulo city already, that is why I am here again.
I did not say I don't like the avatar. He is charming, sweet, sexy...just like you. But it is not you, it is a drawing and I mentioned the reasons....
Besides, South Park???

Anyways, solo kiss to you and index finger!

Avery Gilbert said...

+Q Perfume Blog:

Sorry for the delay in reply, but I spilled a bag of Cheesy Poofs on the keyboard.

Cyber kisses will get you nowhere if you disparage South Park. You will only enrage our inner Cartman. South Park is the core of the First Nerve aesthetic: farts, juvenile humor, and more farts. And boobs.

Nukapai said...

Hahaha! Brilliant :D

Also: burning ants?!