Perfume App Throwdown: Givaudan iPerfumer vs. Roja Dove Scent Selector

Two perfume iPhone apps were released this week: an updated version of Givaudan’s iPerfumer app, and Roja Dove’s new Scent Selector app. Because I am both a perfume geek and a regular geek, I immediately downloaded both. I now feel qualified to advise y’all as to which app is the better choice for passing time while studiously avoiding eye contact with your fellow Metro commuters. My personal choice is iPerfumer, for three reasons: it is free, it contains information on a greater number of fragrances than does Scent Selector, and it offers three recommendations per perfume as opposed to Scent Selector’s one. For a more detailed explanation, I present this table. Will you be downloading either of these apps? What kind of perfume apps would you like to see?

iPerfumer Scent Selector
Price FREE, baby. $4.99. Not cheap, but not terrible.
Visual Appeal VERY nice. Clean and sharp. A big improvement on the first version of iPerfumer. Elegant black-and-gold color scheme.
Features This is where iPerfumer really shines. You can search for fragrances by name or browse four categories: Fragrance Family, Fragrance Notes, Recent Launches, and Brands. Each entry for each perfume contains information on the fragrance notes and brand, and also recommends three similar perfumes. Scent Selection allows you to search for fragrances by name or by scanning the perfume’s bar code. Each entry for each perfume provides information about the notes (this information is allegedly “described by Roja himself, but reads more like ad copy) and recommends one similar perfume.
Scope iPerfumer contains information on a larger number of fragrances than does Scent Selector. Scent Selector contains information on a smaller number of fragrances than does iPerfumer.

11 thoughts on “Perfume App Throwdown: Givaudan iPerfumer vs. Roja Dove Scent Selector

  1. Just heard about that iPerfumer app the other day. Haven’t downloaded either, but think I will check out iPerfumer. I have yet to pay more than .99 for an app, so won’t be getting the Roja Dova one – and really, I don’t need more ideas of scents anyway, my wishlist and to-sample box are both quite full!

    1. I think that iPerfumer is both the better app and the better value. I will probably delete Roja’s, unfortunately- it’s just taking up space.

  2. I do not need any App to give me recommendations so I won’t spend $5 to test Scent Selector, but as for the iPerfumer app I must say that its only (weak) excuse is that it’s free. There is no much use for it. Filtering is done poorly (who on Earth had thought that giving a result by one note without any additional filtering would be helpful?!), there is no indication as to how many results any of your searches has returned, there is no results sorting of any kind and many perfumes do not have information about notes – which makes all that filtering by notes even less useful.


    1. Ah yes, perhaps I should have been more clear that RELATIVE TO THE FIRST VERSION OF THE APP, this new iPerfumer is a big improvement. The worst part is that Apple apps actually need approval (unlike android apps), so there are EVEN MORE USELESS apps that we don’t even see!

    1. I believe Robin of Now Smell This said that this app should be available for android next year. But yes, y’all are lacking in app selection at the moment! 😦

    2. Thank you, Ari, for this interesting comparison. We came across your blog entry only after we downloaded iPerfumer and Scent Selector, because after evaluating them we wondered whether we’d be the only ones who found both not very useful. We came to the conclusion that both apps cannot deny their origin, and saw this as an affirmation for plans to come up with our own app.

      Well, here it is: For now, it’s only available for Android, so hopefully it’s of interest at least for mharvey816. We’d love to get some independent opinions. We’re having lots of ideas for improvements, but after investing a huge amount of time, energy and (our own) money, we first want to know what our potential users think. To find it on Google Play, you can click “Android fragrance finder” above our comment, or search for “fragrance finder” on Google Play.

      We’re not doing this in the name of the industry nor in the name of ourselves as professional insiders. The advantage, or so we hope, is that we can maintain independence and focus on the interests of our users. On the other side, we’re not receiving a share of the industry’s marketing budget, for example. Hence, our app can’t be free. And it’s getting worse, at least from the perspective of those who think that such a thing as free lunch really exists: We believe that a limited licensing period is worth as much as a single cup of your favourite hot drink at your favourite coffee shop.

      We’d love to hear from you. As far as we know, we’ve created the only system which allows the user to combine search criteria in this way.

      Either way, good luck for your graduation, and Happy Easter to everyone!

      P.S. Unlike with iTunes, there’s an automatic refund period for Android apps sold via Google Play, so if you don’t like the app, you can simply return it (without any extra approval, currently within 15 minutes), so trying it is risk-free.

  3. I am delighted that you have reviewed my app. I would like to give you my thoughts on your review.
    The content of the app is the result of some ten years work analysing fragrance formulae. I am not funded by anybody, and do not use any information for research into market trends, which is certainly an important part of Givaudins app.
    My app was created for people who find the market very confusing and not necessarily for people who belong to web communities who have a very strong feeling and knowledge about scents and don’t need help.
    As for your comment on the copy for each scent, I sit by the side of someone in my company who sits and types what I dictate. If youngest the copy, you will see I have tried to remove jargon by prefixing each group of materials with aolfactory adjective, eg, sparking aldehydes. This means that every scent has the same vocabulary, with each ingredient listed in the correct order of volatility, eg vanillin notes before animalic notes etc. The one thing I did not want it to be was my personal opinion of what I think is good or bad, or what I love or hate etc.
    As for why only one alternative, the alternative is based on many differant hidden criteria, niche, fashion, classical, celebrity etc, and most importantly my odour profile. If you don’t like the suggestion you can see which scent that one wuld lea you too as you walk around a store or duty free.
    I also think the barcode scanning aspect is very handy as it takes you directly to the information about any scent listed.
    I hope this has been of some use and I hope that your readers feel that my app has some value – I was created with nothing other than that in mind.

    1. Mr. Dove, thank you for your gracious and informative comment. I wish you the best of luck with your app and all of your other pursuits!

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