If you've been reading about perfume and fragrance creation for some time (and if you've been following the Perfume Shrine specifically) you must have come across the mention of focus groups, employed by large companies like L'Oreal or such, to test the "mods" supplied by the laboratory in order to gauge whether the perfumer and his/her team should go back to the drawing board or not.
I have managed to unearth through some research a few concrete examples of just how this works exactly. The following pictures you will see are the actual questionnaires that people participating in focus groups (people off the street, so to speak, without perfumery training) were asked to fill. As you can see, and as has been mentioned on the Perfume Shrine before, the purpose of the focus group and the tool for gauging market reactions is always within the perimeters of comparison. It's always against a current best-seller. This makes for much perfume sameness to be sure; we tackled that in the past as well. But at least now you can see with your own eyes.
The two rival companies below are Lancome/L'Oreal and Dior/LVMH. They're a bit older but the point remains. Makes for fascinating commentary I bet!
Right click and open in new window to see in full size.