Top Ten Favorite Fragrances : Classical and Modern

Infini_2
Happy Thanksgiving! In lieu of writing on a specific perfume today, I have decided to compile a list of my favorite fragrances. Needless to say, this is rather a snapshot of my current likes and a result of a painstaking task of trying to pick only ten fragrances. I left out probably ten times as many my most beloved fragrances as I ended up including. Nevertheless, here they are: my top five classical and top five modern favorites. Please share yours and do not feel constrained to make separate lists like I did!

 

Top Five Classical Favorites

Caron Nuit de Noël 

 If the mood of a quiet snowy day were captured in a bottle, it would be redolent of Nuit de Noël, a fragrance that represents the beauty of rose and incense intertwined over a dark mossy base.

Chanel Bois de Iles

Among Ernest Beaux’s compositions, Bois des Iles’s perfection stands out. It is a painting of gilded woods touched by the delicate spicy notes.

Christian Dior Diorella

Ripe fruit and green jasmine sustained by the elegant mossy base unfold into an airy and vibrant composition. Roudnitska’s more refined expression of the same theme that inspired Eau Sauvage.

Guerlain Vol de Nuit

The delicate abstract sweetness paired with the dark, yet dewy jonquil makes this Jacques Guerlain composition among his most daring and innovative. The dark veil of Vol de Nuit was not an immediate love for me, yet it has turned into a long term passionate affair.

Robert Piguet Bandit and Fracas

I admit that I am breaking my own rules, however Bandit and Fracas are bound together in my mind, being the bold, unique creations of the first renowned female perfumer Germaine Cellier. Bandit is a darkness of leather juxtaposed with the scintillating green accord, while Fracas is a sensuality of tuberose underpinned by the dusky base of sandalwood.

Top Five Modern Favorites

Hermès Eau des Merveilles (and Parfum des Merveilles)

The stunning interpretation of ambergris, Eau des Merveilles presents its winey richness underscored by an alluring salty undercurrent. A vision of beach at dusk that does not resort to the marine notes in order to achieve the effect.

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka

Simultaneously rich and airy, Jean-Claude Ellena’s take on vetiver results in the gourmand abstraction of sugared hazelnuts folded into the earthy vetiver composition.

Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis

The abstract dessert of caramelized blackberries dusted with sweet spices and layered with rose petals rests on the luminous woody base. An elegant and complex interpretation of the woods theme results in a very sensual and unusual composition.

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist

Maurice Roucel’s luminous iris that evokes walking in the early spring garden when the earth is still frozen, the tree branches are bare, yet the signs of nature coming into bloom are present.

S-Perfume 100% Love

Serene and wistful impression of the rose petals floating on water. Marking a new phase in the perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s artistic vision, the composition captivates me with its ethereal quality.

Bonus: Idole de Lubin

The newest composition by Olivia Giacobetti demonstrates her characteristic their marvelous precision combined with dream-like expression. Rum, saffron, bitter orange, black cumin, doum palm, smoked ebony, sugar cane, leather and red sandalwood are intertwined in a beautiful dark composition. Please see my review tomorrow.

Advertisement: Caron Infini, 1975, which is one of my favorite perfume advertisements. From okadi.com.

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81 Comments

  • parislondres: Fantastic list there dear V! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.
    Tough to list favourites as always but here are some of my current favourites this month:

    Attrape Coeur
    Vol de Nuit extrait
    Chanel 22 extrait
    Bois des Iles extrait
    Farnesiana extrait
    French Cancan extrait
    SL Cuir Mauresque
    SL Fumerie Turque
    SL Iris Silver Mist
    Melodrama by Space NK (created by JCE) – very classic and gorgeous.

    and MANY more…..

    Have a wonderful day dear V! November 24, 2005 at 4:13am Reply

  • MC: Oh that new Olivia Giacobetti sounds good – I look forward to your review.

    You might be interested to know that the lovely Olivia Giacobetti-Artisan Parfumeur-Bottega Veneta number one candle has been released as a room spray – 40 euros for 50ml. I have yet to try it but I will report back to you when I do. A “skin” fragrance based on this scent would be ideal for me, though I am wary of spraying interior fragrances on my skin.

    A second candle has been added to the AP-BV collection, also by Olivia Giacobetti: Again, I haven’t tried it but Artisan’s Christmas brochure claims it is scented with basil and “all the odours of the Tuscan countryside on a hot day.” It is also available as a room spray. November 24, 2005 at 4:14am Reply

  • parislondres: PS dear V – I forgot to mention soon to be Nuit de Noel extrait! ;D November 24, 2005 at 4:22am Reply

  • Shifts: I’m glad to see Eau des Merveilles on that list. A personal favorite of mine and a truely intruiging scent. November 24, 2005 at 6:23am Reply

  • Laura: Hurriedly, because turkey-broth making awaits! New scents: Armani Eau de Jade, Guerlain Angelique Noire, S-ex perfumes 100% Love, l’Artisan Extrait de Songes, Ormonde
    Old scents: Nuit de Noel, too, Vol de Nuit, Cuir de Russie, l’Heure Bleue, Chanel no 5.
    Broth and cranberry sauce, here I come ;D November 24, 2005 at 6:32am Reply

  • Kathy114: What a great list! Your reviews always entice me to try fragrances that take me outside of my comfort zone since I am more of a gourmand scent lover. I am very curious to try the Nuit de Noel parfum while I work my way through sampling some of the Caron fragrances. The Olivia Giacobetti sounds good, and I look forward to reading your review. Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2005 at 6:41am Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): What a wonderful list! And to think I have a large sample of Eau de Meveilles lying around and haven’t tried it yet! Must do soon. And I can’t wait to read your review of the new Giacobetti.
    Meanwhile. . . I tried to make 2 lists, but I kept sneaking things onto my classic one. So–I will painfully give up some of my beloved moderns instead, and produce a combined version:

    Chanel CdR extrait
    Creed Angelique Encens
    Caron En Avion
    Caron Tabac Blond (extrait)
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit (extrait)
    Guerlain Jicky (PdT or extrait)
    Piguet Bandit
    Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle
    Hermes Ambre Narguile
    Malle Musc Ravageur
    10 Corso Como

    Ooops–just counted and got 11. Well, it wasn’t on purpose, so it doesn’t count! I can’t look at them again, because I know I’d change them. Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2005 at 7:15am Reply

  • Håkan Nellmar: Guerlain Jicky
    L’Artisan Dzing!
    Shiseido Feminité du Bois
    Serge Lutens Chergui
    Serge Lutens Muscs Koublaï Khän
    Guerlain Aprés L’Ondeé
    Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
    Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
    Caron Nuit de Noël
    Knize Ten

    And my secret #11: Calvin Klein CKbe November 24, 2005 at 7:20am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hello again! Wonderful lists and comments, as always!My ten current “loves” are:
    Ambre Narguilé Hermessence
    Rose Ikebana Hermessence
    Vétiver Tonka Hermessence
    Cologne Bigarade Frederic Malle
    Eau des Merveilles Hermés
    Un Jardin en Mediterranée Hermés
    Un Jardin sur le Nil Hermés
    Dior Homme
    And among the oldies….: Opium YSL, Rive Gauche YSL
    …I guess I am even a bigger fan of JC-Ellena that I thought…Is it wise? I don´t know. I would probably have also Serge Lutens fragrances on my list, but they are very difficult to find in Spain, and I am not very in the mood of spending more than 100 euros in an unsniffed parfum! November 24, 2005 at 7:35am Reply

  • helg: Hi dear V ! Happy Thanksgiving ( although I know you’re not american).
    Great list of choices.

    My top 10 right now would be :

    Opium YSL
    Narciso For Her EDT
    Vol de Nuit Guerlain
    Mitsouko Guerlain
    Fleurs d’oranger Lutens
    Un Lys S.Lutens
    Fumerie Turque S.Lutens
    Grand Amour A.Goutal
    Angel Innocent Mugler
    Oeillet sauvage L’artisan
    and
    Bois des iles Chanel

    ( I know they are 11….)

    Had to eliminate many other loves of mine ( Iris nobile , Chanel #19 , Musc Ravageur , Dzing!, Miss Dior ……you get the drift) November 24, 2005 at 7:52am Reply

  • Marina: Happy Thanksgiving V!
    Oh goody, a list!
    Mine:
    Hermes Ambre Narguile
    Chanel Bois des Iles
    Delrae Bois de Paradis
    Shiseido Feminite de Bois
    Lutens Bois et Fruits
    Parfums Empire Ambre Russe
    iPdF Talco Delicato
    Malone Pomegranate Noir
    Caron Farnesiana
    Chanel Gardenia November 24, 2005 at 8:55am Reply

  • Robin: Can’t wait to see your review of the Lubin Idole, V, have been wondering about it for months and glad to finally see proof of its existence! The black cumin is a no for me, though 🙂 November 24, 2005 at 10:24am Reply

  • ChristinaH.: Well,since you don’t mind hearing other lists,here’s mine:
    1.Hermessence Ambre Narguile
    2.Caron Or et Noir
    3.Malle Musc Ravageur
    4.Malle En Passant
    5.Chanel #5 parfum
    6.Chanel Coco parfum
    7.Creed Irisia
    8.L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger
    9.Guerlain Apres L’Ondee (wish it were for the parfum)10.YSL Opium
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Victoria! November 24, 2005 at 10:27am Reply

  • Evan: I love lists!

    I don’t differentiate between classical and contemporary, because the contemporary perfumes I love are quite classical, and a great perfume is a great perfume 😉

    In no particular order, my top 15 current and perennial favorites (sorry, I can’t pare it down!):

    Mitsouko

    Bandit/Fracas (linked in my mind too)

    Cabochard (pre-reformulation)

    L’Origan De Coty (pre-reformulation)

    Chanel Cuir De Russie and Bois De Isles (also linked)

    Joy de Jean Patou (extract)

    Bulgari Black

    Farnesiana de Caron

    Alpona de Caron

    N’Aimez Que Moi de Caron

    Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

    Eau D’Hermes

    Lutens Chêne

    Lutens Bois de Violette

    Nombre Noir (it really is beautiful)
    _____

    And just for fun, here are my 15 current favorite aroma chemicals/naturals:

    Tuberose absolute (French or Indian)

    Sandalwood (album species) from Tamil Nadu

    Velvione (Givaudan) [complicated macrocyclic musk with hints of the old banned nitro-musks]

    Exaltolide (Firmenich) [milky musk]

    Cashmeran (IFF) [wood, musk, flowers in the forest]

    Osmanthus absolute

    Narcissus Poeticus absolute

    Spikenard, red or green, EO

    Rose Kanzanlak Otto, Bulgarian

    Methyl Ionone Gamma (supreme) 3-buten-2-one, 3-methyl-4-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl) … [violets and wood]

    Mitti Attar (dirt from Kannuj, India, steam distilled into sandalwood eo)

    true Ambergris tincture (divinity itself)

    Haitian vetiver EO

    Jasmine absolute (both grandiflorum and sambac) from France (hard to get) or India

    Beta-damascone: 4-(2,6,6-trimethyl cyclohex-1-enyl) but-2-en-4-one [roses and woods] November 24, 2005 at 10:47am Reply

  • Ayala: Glad to see Vol de Nuit and Nuit de Noel on your list, Victoria – I love both.
    My current favourites include (I will be separating the list to 8 of my own perfumes and 8 perfumes made by others).

    These are some of the perfumes I love to wear, but also have a strong emotional connection with them that withstand any of my mood trends…
    Mitsouko (Guerlain) – This is perfect! (I will be saying this about a few more perfumes to follow, but realy it is!). I love all concentrations and wear it in any situtation or season.
    Parfum Sacre (Caron) – beautiful, one of the perfect perfumes. I reserve this to trulyfestive occasions.
    Vol de Nuit (Guerlain) – this is a perfect perfume by any measures, and also there is an interesting family history with this one – as it was my grandmother’s signature scent (and still is) for many years. She is quite the adventurous type, travelling the world still at the age of 82 (going on 83, but she doens’t count that until her very birthday day)!
    Fleurs d’Oranger (Serge Lutens) – sunny and warm, the opening notes very true to the fresh orange blossoms in my orchard and than it becomes more sweet and sultry. I was planning to get it in the summer (and for the summer) but didn’t make until fall, and now it brings sunrays to those foggy autumn days…
    Philosykos (Dyptique) – reminds me of the figs in the summer back home. I love wearing this in the summer – and almost drink it – literally.
    Opium Fleur de Shanghai (YSL) – this is antoehr summer drink for me, though I love it anytime. It’s and excellent version of Opium – sweeter becuase f the magnolia, mandarin and vanilla, but also with nice oriental bitter undertones of myrrh and cloves.
    Private Collection (Estee Lauder) – the strange green note at the opening reminds me of my teen years, it’s identical to the first perfume I ever bougth nyself and that got discontinued. It’s beautiful and sublime, and realy strange and special perfume – I don’t wear it often though.
    Feuilles de Tabac (Miller Harris) – this is the most gorgeous leather scent I smelled in a long time, and it also reminds me of my grandfather for sone reason. It’s bold and masculine and warm and sensual all at once. I love to wear it also when its warm – but it’s great any time.

    My favourite perfumes to wear from my own collection, some of which are my most personal ones – the ones I consider autobiographical; They tell my life story with perfume notes:
    Espionage – this is my signature perfume – a perfect, all natural musky vanilla scent that I wear in any situation or mood. It’s woody, slightly smoky and leathery, with a floral heart. I never regret putting it on – it always ends up being the right perfume to put on!
    Tamya – this is named after my daughter and captures the beautiful autumn day when I brought her back from the hospital. It portrays the golden sunlights before sunset, and the luscious fruits of the fall in the middle east.
    l’Herbe Rouge – My most favourite masculine scent and the one that my boyfriend always wears… It’s a captivating fougere.
    Ayalitta – my little green chypre.
    Megumi – a woody floral chypre – rose, jasmine and oud.
    Fetish – my citrus candy splash for the summer. It’s so yummy!
    Viola – violet soliflore, I am not big on soliflore but this is my favourite!
    White Potion – luscious and creamy concoction of white florals (tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, ylang ylang) over tonka, coconut and sandalwood base. November 24, 2005 at 11:33am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, what a wonderful list! I had to take out Chanel 22 and French Cancan with a heavy heart, and even then I keep reminding myself that my top 10 list is just a tip of the iceberg. 🙂

    Have a lovely day! November 24, 2005 at 11:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, I think that you might find it very interesting. It is the richest of Olivia’s creations.

    I use interior sprays as personal fragrances, but sometimes I just apply them on fabric. I cannot wait to see what the room spray is like, because the candle is great. Thank you for a heads up on the new addition. Basil, Tuscan countryside–sounds wonderful! November 24, 2005 at 11:37am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, yes, Nuit de Noel extrait is gorgeous! And the bottle is very special too. November 24, 2005 at 11:38am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Shifts, I recently tried the parfum version and found it to be excellent as well. I do like both, although they are different in spirit–one is more ethereal, whereas the parfum is darker. November 24, 2005 at 11:39am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, great list! I shall take all of it without hesitation. 🙂 November 24, 2005 at 11:40am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kathy, I hope that you are having a wonderful day! I love Nuit de Noel, which was the first Caron I discovered. I have not looked back since then. November 24, 2005 at 11:42am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, I love your list too! My top ten is also top 11, so no worries. Malle Musc Ravageur was the one I took out with a heavy heart, because I decided that my list has to include a Lutens and a Maurice Roucel’s creation, therefore Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist was a perfect choice. Yes, as you can see, I agonized over my choices. 🙂

    Enjoy the holiday! November 24, 2005 at 11:45am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Håkan, another terrific list and the one I would be happy with myself. Your choices were my contenders for every category. I finally need to try Knize Ten. I hear such good things about it. November 24, 2005 at 11:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mercedes, thank you for sharing. I love your list too. I am a big Jean-Claude Ellena fan, which my favourites ranging from Van Cleef & Arpels First to Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan. I like that his compositions are minimalistic without being one-dimensional. Un Jardin Sur le Nil was my fragrance of choice this summer. November 24, 2005 at 11:50am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: E, great list of top 11 🙂 ! The ones you took out (Chanel #19 , Musc Ravageur , Dzing!, Miss Dior) were the ones I agonized over taking out as well.

    Have a wonderful day! November 24, 2005 at 11:52am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, hope that you are having a great holiday! I love your list too. You are actually making me want to revisit Talco Delicato. I have a sample, however when I tried it in the summer, I found it very wrong. I suppose that it is not a warm weather kind of fragrance. November 24, 2005 at 11:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, the cumin is not obvious to me. It seems rather well blended, but I also know from cooking Indian food that black cumin has a very different scent from the regular cumin. Perhaps, that is the reason I do not notice it much. November 24, 2005 at 11:59am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hello again! Last summer I also wore a lot Un Jardin sur le Nil, it´s really refreshing, and I wish they would not discontinue Un Jardin en Mediterranée. I live in Madrid, and in July (well, from May to September, really) the city is awfully hot and we really appreciate citrusy fragrances). I didn´t put them on my list, but I also love Narciso Rodriguez (not really my type of scent, but I use it a lot)and Eau D´Hermés. I read somewhere that J.C.-Ellena himself wears this scent and was inspired by it in some of his works. The Bigarade would be one of them, don´t you think? The mix of citrus and spices is there too. November 24, 2005 at 1:09pm Reply

  • Victoria O: I have two of your faves on my list, having just recently discovered 100% Love. I tend to like more modern perfumers, with the exception of the Chanel and Guerlain.

    1. Anne Pliska
    2. Roberto Cavalli Perfumo
    3. Ormonde Jayne Tolu
    4. Laura Tonatto Dama
    5. Bois Des Iles
    6. Guerlain Chamade
    7. Serge Lutens Douce Amere
    8. Niki de Saint Phalle
    9. Gaultier2
    10.100% Love

    Thank you for your wonderful blog – Happy Thanksgiving!
    Victoria O. November 24, 2005 at 1:26pm Reply

  • michel: In every list there are so much beautyful compositions but if we talk about perfums we realy wear since a long time or for a long time my nominated are

    – dior: eau sauvage
    – rochas: moustache
    – guerlain: habit rouge (edc)
    – creed: cypres musk

    – putman: préparation parfumée
    – lutens: chene
    – dior : cologne noire
    – iunx : ether
    – iunx : n°4
    – prada : n°2 oeillet

    Pour terminer : le plus beau parfum qui soit pour moi le ” STYX ” de coty dont j’ai un flacon d’extrait vintage dans mon réfrigérateur .
    tomorrow, victoria, for the new Lubin November 24, 2005 at 2:11pm Reply

  • MC: I’ll add mine:

    Vetiver Extraordinaire
    Vol de Nuit
    Tolu
    L’Egoiste
    Nicolai New York
    Serge Lutens Chêne
    Eau Sauvage
    Chanel Cuir de Russie
    Encens et Lavande
    Isfahan (or whatever it is called now)

    Victoria, the new Artisan/BV is called Intereccio no2: It is (and I quote) a perfume of the outdoors: Aromatic, woody and spicy. November 24, 2005 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Marina: Dear all! Good evening Moscow time from a newcomer. Victoria, thank you so much for your blog, my favourite. And special thanks for your topics on ingredients, clever done!
    My “non multa sed multum”:

    Balenciaga Quadrille
    Dior Dioressense
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit
    Guerlain Mitsouko
    Guerlain Habit Rouge
    Hermes Doblis
    Hermessense Amber Narguile
    Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese
    Creed Aubepine Acacia
    The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

    And others – not as a list, everyone – solo: Vent Vert, Chanel #22 & Cristalle, French Cancan, Shocking, Jayne Ormonde Frangipani and Ta’If, TDC Osmanthus and Bois d’Iris, IUNX #5, Mystere de Rochas, Terre de Bois, Fumerie Turque, and so on, so on, so on.

    Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2005 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Erick: Dear V, I always follow your blog and love your comments.
    Mercedes, you can find some Serge Lutens at Barfumeria in Madrid (915772854). I tried some last week, have fun.
    Nice to meet you all. November 24, 2005 at 5:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, I love this list! Caron Or et Noir is one of my favourite dark roses, and it never fails to amaze me. You and I seem to like many of the same fragrances, based from the list. November 24, 2005 at 6:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, I only differentiated to have an even coverage of both, and I could easily come up with a top 20 list of each. 🙂 Top 5 in each category is just cruel. Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese… Oh, I love this fragrance, and it moves me very much. Stunning composition, in all respects.

    I very much enjoyed your list and your list of favourite ingredients. From your list, I have not tried Narcissus Poeticus absolute. The name alone is enough to interest me.

    My favourite ingredients would include the following.
    Naturals (limiting to five):
    Jasmine grandiflorum and sambac
    Rose Attar
    Tuberose absolute
    Frankincense
    Vetiver

    Synthetic:
    Ambrox (luminous wooded amber)
    Undecavertol (crushed unripe mulberries)
    Javanol (rosy, creamy sandalwood)
    Habanolide (hot ironed fabric, musk)
    Thibetolide/Exaltolide (milky floral musk, as you have described it) November 24, 2005 at 6:16pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, thank you for such fantastic lists! It is wonderful to learn of the connection between fragrances and personal memories. What a beautiful array you have there. You also have an ability to capture your memories in the fragrances you create, and it is quite special indeed. Thank you for sharing. November 24, 2005 at 6:19pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mercedes, I love Un Jardin en Mediterranée, and I did not realize it was discontinues. That cedar and fig combination is wonderful. I can see how Eau D´Hermés with its leather/citrus accord and a transparent feel was an inspiration for Jean-Claude Ellena. I also notice the same spicy touch of cumin in many of JCE’s creations, especially Cologne Bigarade and Declaration. November 24, 2005 at 6:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Victoria, wonderful list, with lots of very interesting choices. I am so glad to see more fans of 100% Love. I think that it is quite an interesting composition.

    Have a great holiday! November 24, 2005 at 6:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Michel, thank you for sharing these fascinating lists! I should try Rochas Moustache, which I know was created by Edmond and Therese Roudnitska together.

    I am glad that you mentioned Iunx l’Ether, which is one of my favourite fragrances as well.

    You are lucky indeed to have that rare bottle of Coty. I have a few rather rare fragrances, but I hardly use them. I cherish them for their historical value. November 24, 2005 at 6:28pm Reply

  • carmencanada: Don’t you just love lists? I’ll add one of my own, just for the fun of it (no Thanksgiving celebrations here in Paris, but thanks to the gods of scent anyway!):
    Serge Lutens: Muscs Koublaï Khan
    Serge Lutens: Tubéreuse Criminelle
    Serge Lutens: Cuir Mauresque
    Serge Lutens: Bornéo 1834
    Frédéric Malle: Musc Ravageur
    Frédéric Malle: Carnal Flower (my new love)
    Ormonde Jayne: OJ Woman (my current “can’t do without”)
    Piguet: Bandit
    Molinard: Habanita (for old time’s sake, can’t wear it anymore, brings back too many memories)
    Caron: Nuit de Noël
    Dana: Tabu

    So many others from all you people’s list I have to try… Can you believe I’ve never so much as touched a drop of ANY Chanel? Logo allergy, I’d say. November 24, 2005 at 6:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, thank you for the extra information on the candle and for your great list. I recently discover PdN New York and Pour Homme, which are very well-done fragrances. Pour Homme does not strike me as quintessentially masculine, which is a good thing. I am not the biggest fan of fougere, and it is great to see something masculine which is not a sharp, crisp fougere. November 24, 2005 at 6:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, thank you for your kind words! Your list was very interesting to browse through. I love the collection you have, covering a variety of genres and themes. You mentioned Balenciaga Quadrille and Dior Dioressense, which are among my favourites as well, and my latest discoveries. November 24, 2005 at 6:36pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Erick, thank you very much and it is great to see you here! November 24, 2005 at 6:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear D, I love lists too, and yours is fascinating. I love the fact that you mentioned Dana Tabu, which I discovered recently. Such a fascinating composition. Thinking how many fragrances were inspired by its patchouli-carnation accord makes me realize its legendary status.

    Oh, you should try Chanel fragrances, logo or not. Ernest Beaux was a man of remarkable talent, and if you try his Bois des Iles, you will see why. I think that given your favourites and your tastes (as I was able to learn of them from your posts), Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles will be the wonderful discoveries for you. November 24, 2005 at 6:42pm Reply

  • Safran: Dear V,

    love your blog and the quality of your reviews, as well as the passion you have for all these wonderful scents.
    My list for this time of the year would be:
    Hermèssence, Ambre Narguile
    Hermès, Doblis
    Caron, En Avion Extrait
    Takashimaya, “T” Parfum
    Parfums de Rosine, Folie de Rose
    Frederic Malle, Parfum de Thérèse
    Divine, L’homme sage
    Dior Homme, Eau Noir
    Serge Lutens, Cuir Mauresque
    Lorenzo Villoresi, Piper Nigrum November 24, 2005 at 7:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Safran, thank you very much for your kind words! Your list reminded me of another favourite of mine–Divine L’Homme de Coeur. I have worn it a lot in the summer, and it is one of my favourite iris fragrances. I also love Folie de Rose for its chypre accord paired with lush dark roses. It is simply beautiful. November 24, 2005 at 9:00pm Reply

  • Ayala: Even, what a wonderful list you got in fact, all of you have!
    It’s interesting to see how much we all have in common – even if we don’t have identical lists – we all love to make lists it seems!

    My favourite natural building blocks are (without limiting myself to numbers):
    1) Floral notes: Rose Otto, Tuberose Absolute, Jasmine Sambac and Grandiflorum (in all forms – Absolute, Concrete and Indian Attar), Boronia, Orange Blossom, Hyacinth Absolute, Orris Root, Gardenia Absolute.
    2) Base notes: Costus, Ambrette, Labdanum, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Fir Absolute, Tonka Bean, Hay Absolute, Oudh, Spikenard, Aged Patchouli, Atlas Cedarwood, Vetiver.
    3) Spicey notes: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves Absolute, Coriander, Saffron, Pink Pepper.
    4) Citrus: Yuzu, Grapefruit, Clementine, Tangerine, Lemon Verbena, Litsea Cubeba.
    5) Herbal and leafy notes: Violet Leaf Absolute, Juniper Berry, Rhododendron, Sage, Spearmint, Lavender, Galbanum. November 25, 2005 at 3:10am Reply

  • Ayala: Victoria, I am enjoying reading all the lists. You all now remind me of all the bauties I had to leave out! – Ta’if was a hard one, and so was Saffron by Artemisia Perfumes; Miss Dior; No. 5; Tocade (my favourite Maurice Roucel…); Femme; Shalimar… So much beauty one wishes to have more than one nose in a lifetime!
    I chose the ones that were most meaningful for me and also some that I wear often (and will probably mean more when I “grow up” a bit nore).
    Memories and perfumes are almost synonyms… A whiff will transfer me back in time. I am trying to create new fragrant memories as I go about my life… November 25, 2005 at 3:19am Reply

  • julien: I guess my idea was good because you took it!;)

    Well,my favorite perfumes are:

    1-L’HEURE BLEUE Extrait de Guerlain
    The most beautiful scent in the world for me.It stops time and space and always makes me feel good.
    2-HABIT ROUGE de GUERLAIN
    Perfect scent for men,very suave.
    3-Mitsouko edp
    The only chypre i adore,very spicy on me.
    4-Cèdre Lutens.
    Wonderful woody scent,fruity,warm,with a beautiful tubérose and animalistic notes.
    5-FRACAS for i love Tubéreuse.
    6-Eau des merveilles,wonderful on summer citrus/amber.
    7-Opium for men,amber,spices,balsamic notes,vanilla…mmmm.
    8-Ambre précieux de MPG.

    Number 9 and 10 don’t even need to be expressed.
    I am trying to find the good MALLE for me and the good CARON too.

    Kisses. November 25, 2005 at 5:03am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hello! Erick, thanks, I have been in Barfumeria a few times. It´s the only place in Madrid that sells Comptoir Sud Pacifique, not exactly my kind of scent, but I like some of them, specially for summer. November 25, 2005 at 5:16am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hello! Erick, thanks, I have been in Barfumeria a few times. It´s the only place in Madrid that sells Comptoir Sud Pacifique, not exactly my kind of scent, but I like some of them, specially for summer. November 25, 2005 at 5:16am Reply

  • mreenymo: Darling, this is a great list! So many people complain about Fracas, so it is refreshing to see it on your top ten.

    However, I am so fickle, I could not possibly whittle my list down to five classics and five moderns. But, I will tell you one thing: Shalimar would be on the Classics list!

    Hugs! November 25, 2005 at 5:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, what a great list! I loved reading through it. Of course, all of the naturals on your list are among the ones I would pick as well. Wonderful choices. You made me wonder about Hyacinth Absolute and Gardenia Absolute though. I have not encountered any yet that smelled half way decent. Are there any real gardenia absolutes? Based on some discussions I have had, there is none on the market that is not adulterated. Of course, I do not know that much, but would have loved to, and if you have some information, I would be very curious to learn more. November 25, 2005 at 7:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: A, that is how I tried to make my own selection as well as relying on what moved me the most. “Miss Dior; No. 5; Tocade (my favourite Maurice Roucel…); Femme; Shalimar”–so true! I had to leave these out, even though I really like all of these fragrances. Their beauty never fails to touch me. November 25, 2005 at 7:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, yes, your idea was wonderful! I love your list for its breadth and coverage. By the way, I recently obtained a mini of Opium for men (based on your recommendation), and I am going to test it tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. November 25, 2005 at 7:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, thank you! 🙂 I just love everything about Fracas. Recently, I had a chance to test the vintage edition, which is stunning. However, the modern version respects the tradition, and I have no complaints with it.

    Have a lovely weekend! November 25, 2005 at 7:05pm Reply

  • julien: Oh my dear,i really hope you will enjoy Opium for men.
    If you like amber,you should love it.
    Please,just tell me about it.
    Thanks…
    By the way,i love lists.
    Let’s make another one with perfumes we hate most,another one with what we dream to smell or obtain…

    Kisses,dear.
    j. November 25, 2005 at 8:43pm Reply

  • Miriam: I can’t possibly top the lists here, but here is my own list:

    Ancients:

    Joy
    Moment Supreme
    Normandie
    Jicky
    Apres L’Ondee

    Moderns:

    Golconda
    Passage d’Enfer
    Hiris
    Ormonde
    Preparation Parfumee

    So apparently I am both a Patou fan and a Giacobetti fan! November 25, 2005 at 11:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, I will definitely let you know. It sounds like something I would like, especially because I like amber.

    Yes, we will think of more lists. They are a lot of fun. November 26, 2005 at 1:18pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Miriam, I love your lists, needless to say, especially because I also love Patou and Giacobetti’s creations. Moment Supreme is one of the most interesting compositons from Ma Collection. I only wish I could experience it in the parfum. November 26, 2005 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Tania: How cruel, a top five! Where is the cutoff point for “classic” in your mind? I am looking at Chanel No. 19 wondering if its ’70s release qualifies it as a classic or as a modern. November 26, 2005 at 2:30pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, oh, you do not have to give me a top five of each. Just give a top ten of anything. Classic cut off is somewhat arbitrary anyway. I would say that 1980 is probably a cut off, however some people might argue that Angel (1993) is a classic already. November 26, 2005 at 2:34pm Reply

  • Tania: I was just wondering what your cutoff was, since you did split them. Have no idea how you managed to pare down — five each is painfully difficult.

    Just for the hell of it, here in no particular order is my list today, restricted, for sanity’s sake, to scents currently in production. 🙂

    Mitsouko
    Chanel No. 19
    Cuir de Russie (Chanel)
    Bois des Iles
    Black (Bulgari)
    Chinatown
    Tam Dao
    Vétiver Tonka
    Musc Ravageur
    Ormonde November 26, 2005 at 3:57pm Reply

  • Tara: These lists are so hard for me, as I wear something more than once a month so rarely… but, that said, here are the ones that I’ve reached for more than once in the past few months:

    Eau des Merveilles
    Timbuktu
    Borneo 1834
    Eau de Cartier
    Passage d’Enfer
    Jolie Madame
    Jicky extrait
    IUNX Ether
    Cedre
    Rahat Loukhoum

    Tara November 26, 2005 at 11:20pm Reply

  • julien: As i read all your lists,i figure it out that MITSOUKO is so well loved.
    That’s so amazing because only a few people wear it,at least in FRANCE.

    I ‘ve read somewhere that american women loved it and it was maybe with SHALIMAR one of the most acclaimed perfume from guerlain. November 27, 2005 at 6:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, the only reason I decided to impose the split upon myself is that I would be tempted to make my list of ten most influential fragrances from my collection of favourites, and most of those would of course be classics as one would expect (L’Origan, Mitsouko, L’Heure Bleue, Caron Nuit de Noel, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Bois des Iles, No.5, No.19, etc.–and I happen to like them very much.) Therefore, I made two list to feature all generations of fragrances equally.

    Your list reminded that I have not reached for Tam Dao lately, and it is such a beautiful sandalwood. November 27, 2005 at 5:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, I hear you! It is difficult for me to wear something more often than that too. I followed the same criteria as you. Yours is another great list. I have recently warmed up to Timbuktu after not caring for it at all. It is a beautiful fall/winter fragrance. November 27, 2005 at 5:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, great observation! However, I am not sure if these lists are a very representative cross-section of the American perfume tastes (especially since so many people who responded are not American). It is true though that Shalimar and Mitsouko are the most famous Guerlain fragrances. November 27, 2005 at 6:03pm Reply

  • julien: Oh,i know it is an international blog 😉
    But as i was figuring out the love of Mitsouko,i wondered if it was true that american women really loved Mitsouko…

    I hoped someone could tell me so!lol

    In a certain way,this perfume is not very guerlain in its composition but it is one of the most beautiful,cold,distant chypre i have smelled.

    A kind of jewel you wear for your own pleasure,not seductive or attractive but very present..it says:I AM PROUD TO BE MYSELF.
    That’s what i feel when i wear it.

    kisses,j. November 28, 2005 at 6:42am Reply

  • kaie: I love lists! Here is mine:
    Serge Lutens La Myrrhe
    Serge Lutens Bois de Violette
    Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits
    Guerlain Rose Barbare
    Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé (used up a big bottle already)
    Dior Addict
    Montale Patchouli Leaves
    Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur
    Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose
    Frédéric Malle Une Rose November 28, 2005 at 8:56am Reply

  • linda: These lists are sooooo difficult for me to make, but here you go.

    Armani Prive Bois d’Encens
    Frederic Malle Noir Epice
    Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradise
    Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits
    Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque
    YSL Opium
    Annick Goutal Nuits d’Hadrien
    L’Artisan Tea for Two
    Guerlain Shalimar
    Thierry Mugler Cologne November 28, 2005 at 9:05am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: K, thank you for sharing your list! I love so many fragrances from it. You also seem to be a rose and a Frédéric Malle fan. 🙂 November 28, 2005 at 12:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, great list! Frederic Malle Noir Epices is the one fragrance I did not know whether to add or not, however Bois de Paradis won over, because I wear it more often. I do enjoy Noir Epices for its spicy, non-sweet beauty. November 28, 2005 at 12:45pm Reply

  • julien: So,did tou try Opium for men already?
    😉 November 28, 2005 at 3:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, you are right about Opium for men–a very beautiful composition with an interesting amber note. I really enjoyed it, and I thank you for such a great recommendation! November 28, 2005 at 4:03pm Reply

  • julien: Yesssss!:)
    You may write a post for it now!lol
    This is a very beautiful amber spicy balsamic and some gourmand fragrance.

    Don’t you think it is even more feminine than the true Opium for women?
    I mean,the real opium is in a certain facet agressive,what Opium for men in edp is not.
    The men version has more sugar too…

    In a far perception,it recalls me the dead BALENCIAGA for men,which i loved(unfortunately it is discontinued…as my sorrow goes bigger every year because i will never be able to smell it again)exactly for the very gourmand and spicy notes it had.

    Very happy you liked it.

    Hugs,j. November 28, 2005 at 5:04pm Reply

  • cathleen56: How wonderful to see Diorella on someone else’s list besides mine! I think this is one of the most wonderful fragrances ever designed, and it was a bottle of Diorella, recently acquired, that got me over an almost 20-year perfume hiatus.

    And it’s so interesting to see Nuit de Noel has so many fans. I just got a bottle of the extrait in a swap, unsniffed, and I was not disappointed. It’s lovely, and I’m going to go home and put some on RIGHT NOW. November 28, 2005 at 7:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, yes, it is sweeter, so not particularly masculine, in a conventional sense. This is what I like about it.

    I have not tried Balenciaga for Men, and perhaps I will run into it some day. November 28, 2005 at 8:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cathleen, Diorella is a beauty! I do not see it mentioned often, however it deserves as much praise as possible. It is a fragrance (along with Parure) that helped me discover that I love chypre genre.

    Nuit de Noel is another perfection, and it is just right for this time of the year. November 28, 2005 at 8:54pm Reply

  • Rita: I would like to contemplate my favourites, so here goes:(Top of the list is any pure rose oil!)These fragrances illuminate the start of any day for me.

    Diorissimo by CD (my mother and grandmother wore this)
    Osmanthus by TDC (a glorious composition)
    L’ame Soer by Divine (sexy and lasting)
    Jasmin and blood orange solid by Atelier (juicy..)
    Wardh Istanbul by Al Haramain (favourite rose)
    Lady by Contessa di Castiglione Gold (all grown up)
    Misk al Gazzhal by (?)-prefer this on my man
    Ma Griffe by Carven (haven’t smelt this in years)
    Joy (fail proof choice)
    Vetiver and Tonka by Hermes (I want to eat myself lol) March 29, 2006 at 8:13am Reply

  • ruxandra: it is not easy to make such a list!
    Mmmmm, let’s say:
    Rochas-Femme;Byzance
    Chanel-No 19;No 5;Coco
    Lancome-Tresor
    Guy Laroche-J’ai Ose;Fidji
    Paco Rabanne-Calandre
    Estee Lauder-Eau de Private Colection;White Linen;Pure White Linen
    Calvin Klein-Escape;Eternity
    And now I wear whith GRATE pleasure Armani Code and Pure Poison Elixir(the body creme is fantastique!). December 11, 2006 at 4:18am Reply

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