FADING FRAGRANCE

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This Valentine's Day, many men and women will be wearing less — cologne and perfume, that is. According to a survey of 2,000 adults commissioned in May 2002 by Vertis, a Baltimore-based market research firm, just 59 percent of adult men said they wore cologne, compared with 66 percent who said they did so in 2001. Women's use of perfume also declined — to 72 percent in 2002 from 76 percent a year earlier. Despite the waning numbers of scent spritzers, there are plenty of guys and girls who won't leave home before dabbing a bit of eau de toilette in all the right spots. Vertis reports that nearly a third of men (32 percent) and 40 percent of women who wear fragrance wear it every day of the week. And while 43 percent of fragrance wearers say they are loyal to just one brand, more than 1 in 4 adults (27 percent) say their perfume or cologne selection depends on the occasion. African Americans are by far the most likely to say they wear different scents to different events; 39 percent of blacks say they do so, compared with just 17 percent of whites and 18 percent of Hispanics.

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