Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History : 100 Great Perfumes Series 1/10

lavender

Series 1 :: Series 2 :: Series 3 :: Series 4 :: Series 5 :: Series 6 :: Series 7 :: Series 8 :: Series 9 :: Series 10

My most recent project was a compilation of feminine and masculine fragrances that influenced the course of perfume history for a perfumery training course. I decided that perhaps this list might be of interest to you. There are several criteria I used to select the 100 fragrances below: they have to be responsible for setting a new trend either due to their unique character or their novel use of a raw material and they have to be recognized as trendsetting by industry professionals, namely, perfumers.

While my list includes many legendary fragrances, it does not include every grand parfum. For instance, my list is missing Chanel Bois des Iles, Caron Nuit de Noël and Guerlain Nahéma, which are great fragrances, but their impact on the fragrance market was less profound than that of other less unique perfumes. While it is by no means a definitive list—even 100 is bound to exclude some remarkable fragrances–I hope that it provides a glimpse into the development of perfumery, from the late 19th to the early 21th centuries. With each entry, I include an explanation as to why I selected it as well as to demonstrate how its influence on the fragrance market is felt today.

The list has a strong bias to older fragrances, since it is much easier to judge the trendsetting capacity of a fragrance that has been around for a while. The sad truth is that most of the fragrances launched even as recently as a decade ago have been altered due to new regulations and raw material availability. Therefore, any list of historical fragrances is bound to include those that are either no longer available or are only pale shadows of their former selves.

Since my original purpose was to capture the development of perfumery over time, I decided not to exclude something just because it cannot be purchased. That being said, I will make all efforts to indicate how to find a vintage version or what modern fragrances capture the spirits of the discontinued/reformulated original.  In the same vein, while I include a few niche launches, the vibrant growth of niche fragrances is a more recent development. Therefore, I try to include interesting niche launches that were inspired by great classics under each entry. For a great overview of the contemporary market, please see Robin’s 100 Fragrances Every Perfumista Should Try.

On Feminine and Masculine: The list includes both masculine (M) and feminine fragrances. I marked them only for the sake of identifying their original market audience, though these distinctions are at times artificial. Guerlain Habit Rouge, Christian Dior Eau Sauvage and Terre d’Hermès make very memorable and sexy feminine scents. Conversely, fragrances like Guerlain Mitsouko, Estée Lauder Alliage and Ô de Lancôme can work perfectly on a man.

The list is in chronological order.

1. Fougère Royale (Houbigant, perfumer Paul Parquet, 1882) M

Fougère Royale was a groundbreaking perfume, in that it was the first fragrance combining natural essences with synthetics. In order to create a fantasy accord of fern (fougère in French), Paul Parquet added the synthetic material coumarin to the classical eau de cologne accord of citrus, lavender and geranium. The rich notes of amber, musk and oakmoss completed the composition, thus giving birth to a family of fragrances called fougère. It is currently among the most popular fragrance families, and the dramatic juxtaposition of different elements first explored by Fougère Royale have influenced numerous fragrances, from early launches like Dana Canoë (1935) to trendsetters such as Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981), Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir (1982) and Davidoff Cool Water (1988). Recent launches like Penhaligon’s Sartorial and Gucci Guilty Pour Homme likewise explore the fougère theme.

Fougère Royale has recently been relaunched and reochestrated by Givaudan perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. I had a chance to compare it against the original version restored by the Osmothèque perfume conservatory. The new Fougère Royale is certainly a very good reorchestration, preserving the main elements that gave Fougère Royale its character; however, it is paler and thinner overall, with the most significant difference being in the animalic notes. It also has a stronger accent on the moss and amber accord than does the original Fougère Royale. Guerlain Mouchoir de Monsieur (1904) is another fragrance that gives a good impression of the original Fougère Royale, since it was heavily influenced by it.

2. Jicky (Guerlain, perfumer Aimé Guerlain , 1889)

Guerlain experimented with synthetic ingredients in many of its perfumes after the launch of Houbigant Fougère Royale in 1882. Fragrances like Arôme Synthétique de Fleurs d’Espagne and Arôme Synthétique de Fleurs de Champs (both from 1883) disappeared long ago, but Jicky lives on. It used a combination of coumarin and vanillin to give a new dimension to its vibrant citrusy-herbal structure.

The newly discovered synthetics were not the only thing that made Jicky fascinating. It used a combination of elements that would eventually give Guerlain its distinctive signature—the modern freshness of citrus and aromatics, the seductive warmth of the oriental accord and a teasing gourmand sweetness.

Jicky gave birth to the family that produced such distinctive and trendsetting fragrances as Guerlain Shalimar (1925), Chanel Bois des Iles (1926), Must de Cartier (1981), and Christian Dior Dune (1992). Among the more recent Jicky inspired fragrances are Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental and By Kilian A Taste of Heaven. Present day Jicky is a thinned out version of its old self with the drydown missing the plush animalic richness that made it memorable.

3. L’Origan (Coty, perfumer François Coty, 1906) discontinued

A precursor of L’Heure Bleue (1912), L’Origan established a completely new style of fragrance—floral orientals. It combined the seductive richness of a classical oriental accord with the radiance of florals (orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, carnation.) The bridge between the dominant elements is the woody austerity of vetiver and methyl ionone (an aroma-material that combined the sweetness of violet and the darkness of woods).

L’Origan can claim Oscar de la Renta (1976), Vanderbilt (1981), Dior Poison (1985), and Cacharel Loulou (1987) as its offspring. Although it has been discontinued, it continues to influence new fragrances: Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, Ormonde Jayne Taif, Armani Code for Women, and Nicolaï Kiss Me Tender can trace their lineage back to this marvelous and groundbreaking classic.

4. Quelques Fleurs (Houbigant, perfumer Robert Bienaimé , 1912)

Smell the original Quelques Fleurs, and suddenly it all becomes very clear—one glimpses the outlines of the future Jean Patou Joy (1930) and even heady floral blends like Evyan White Shoulders (1945) and Revlon Charlie (1973). Although the fragrance has been in steady decline along with the house of Houbigant throughout the 20th century, it is a remarkable composition that I wanted to include for the breadth of its influence.

Created by Robert Bienaimé, it was a lush, opulent floral bouquet, but it was the inclusion of aldehydes (particularly aldehyde C-12 MNA) that gave the florals a lift and radiance. Ernest Beaux, who subsequently created Chanel No 5, and Henri Alméras, the author of Joy, were both quite taken with Quelques Fleurs and paid homage to it with their own creations.

Quelques Fleurs was reintroduced in 1987, but I cannot recommend it, because it is quite a bland floral with few similarities to the original. Different versions of Quelques Fleurs sometimes appear on various online auction sites, so a pre-1987 bottle can still be found, even if the quality will not be that great. Or else, just try Joy and imagine it with a richer violet, ylang-ylang and orange blossom notes.

5. L’Heure Bleue (Guerlain, perfumer Jacques Guerlain, 1912)

Although L’Heure Bleue was inspired by Coty L’Origan, it did not just repeat the floral oriental theme, but improved and built further upon it. L’Origan has a dramatic, bold character, but L’Heure Bleue is the embodiment of refinement. It is also remarkably luminous and vivid, despite all of the rich, heavy notes that go into it. Its sillage is among the most beautiful—bright, memorable, radiant. It was also the first Guerlain perfume to use aldehydes to give a lift to the rich floral accord.

Carnation, ylang-ylang and anise introduce L’Heure Bleue, but immediately one is aware of the plush iris, vanilla and musk that form its drydown. L’Heure Bleue inspired many perfumers and continues to do so. It is one of Sophia Grojsman’s favorite fragrances, and her Kenzo Kashaya, Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars and Laura Biagotti Sotto Voce were inspired by its structure of plush richness and opulent floral notes.

Recent launches like Costume National Scent, Iris Ganache, Insolence and Kenzo Flower pay tribute to L’Heure Bleue. I do not care for the current version of L’Heure Bleue, which seems to have lost the very quality that made it outstanding—the plush, nuanced feeling; however, the parfum is still worth trying. Update January 2014: the newest re-reformulation of L’Heure Bleue is a marked improvement on the previous version, and the perfume now has some of its former lush curves.

6. Narcisse Noir (Caron, perfumer Ernest Daltroff, 1912)

With orange blossom set into a spicy oriental accord, Narcisse Noir has a distinctive Art Deco aura, a true child of its era. Like Coty, Daltroff was daring when it came to using strong, dramatic materials and exploring unusual contrasts. The spicy oriental genre initiated by Narcisse Noire produced fragrances like Dana Tabu, Estée Lauder Youth Dew, Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles and Lancôme Magie Noire.

Today, this languorous, decadent style of perfumery is out of fashion among mainstream launches, yet it is explored widely in the niche. By way of example, By Kilian Back to Black, Serge Lutens Chergui (and to an extent, Fleurs d’Oranger) capture that dark, exotic spirit for me. Narcisse Noir itself used to be excellent until a couple of years ago. The most recent batch of the EDT I have smelled was just a pretty jasmine and orange blossom blend. The parfum is much better, with the rich orange blossom and sandalwood accord, although the animalic “noir” part is missing.

7. Chypre (Coty, perfumer François Coty, 1917) discontinued

Out of all discontinued and long gone fragrances, Chypre de Coty is the one I most long to see relaunched, even if in a paler, thinner version. During my every Osmothèque visit, it is one of the few perfumes I ask to smell again and again. Chypre is simply remarkable, and a great testament to the avant-garde vision of François Coty. It took the idea of a moss, bergamot and labdanum structure that has existed in perfumery since the Roman times and made it bolder, fresher and brighter with the addition of modern leather materials (iso-butyl quinolines, which subsequently would become an important note in the perfumer’s palette) and new floral bases.

The effect of the roughhewn green mossy accord contrasted with the transparent jasmine-lily of the valley heart is striking and haunting. Chypre was never a commercial success, but its influence on the perfumery was profound. Not only did it revive and modernize a classical fragrance genre, but it also inspired a number of fragrances that themselves were trendsetting and influential: Guerlain Mitsouko, Rochas Femme, Carven Ma Griffe, and Shiseido Féminité du Bois. Chypre was occasionally relaunched, and it is possible to find bottles from the 1960s and earlier today. I find that the quality of Chypre relaunches is highly variable, but even the poorest, thinnest versions nevertheless convey its original strong character.

8. Guerlain Mitsouko (Guerlain, perfumer Jacques Guerlain, 1919)

The most famous offspring of Coty Chypre, Mitsouko took the idea behind its famous forerunner—a bright citrusy top, complex floral heart, coolness of oakmoss and the richness of amber and animalic notes – and made it elegant and refined. Jacques Guerlain used the peach scented aroma-material aldehyde C-14 to give a soft, glowing quality to his composition.

A classical Guerlinade accord of tonka bean, vanilla, iris and rose further refined and rounded out Mitsouko, lending it a delicious, teasing gourmand sensation. Mitsouko inspired classics like Rochas Femme, Guerlain Chant d’Arômes, Yves Saint Laurent Y, Yves Saint Laurent Champagne/Yvresse. Today, its influence is felt in Gucci Rush, Jean Patou Enjoy, and to an extent, in Guerlain Idylle.

9. Chanel No 5 (Chanel , perfumer Ernest Beaux, 1921)

I do not believe in the notion that “clever marketing” is the reason behind the success of No 5. This fragrance remains iconic, because it is an exquisite example of perfumery craft. For all the talk about the aldehydes in Chanel No 5, what makes this fragrance outstanding is its balance of accords: the shimmering aldehydes, the rich ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose and iris, the creamy vanillin and the warm animalic notes. It is a polished, complex fragrance that has a beautiful development and a memorable signature.

Chanel No 5 has a very distinctive character, and it inspired Lanvin Arpège (1927,) which retained the aldehydic floral accord of No 5, but reinterpreted the backdrop to give a richer woody effect. This innovation led to such great creations as Hermès Calèche, Madame Rochas, Paco Rabanne Calandre and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.

Today, strong aldehydic notes are not as fashionable as they once were, but the soft floral accord of No 5 continues to influence fragrances, whether mass market launches like Bath & Body Works Moonlight Path or niche launches like Amouage Jubilation 25.

10. Shalimar (Guerlain, perfumer Jacques Guerlain, 1925)

“If I had used so much vanilla, I would have made only a custard sauce, whereas Jacques Guerlain creates Shalimar! (si j’avais utilisé autant de vanille, j’aurais seulement obtenu une crème anglaise, tandis que lui, Jacques  Guerlain, créa Shalimar! ),” said Ernest Beaux, creator of No 5, thus giving his famous compliment to Shalimar. It is impossible to speak of the oriental fragrances and not mention Guerlain Shalimar.

The memorable aspect of Shalimar is its classical 19th century structure of a citrusy cologne (it contains almost 30% bergamot oil) paired with a rich oriental accord of vanilla, tonka bean, musk and castoreum. In the original 1925 version, the natural animalic tinctures of civet, ambergris, musk and castoreum were used, but over time they were replaced by their synthetic variants. Compared to the orientals created around the same time, Shalimar really seems avant-garde for its radiance and marvelous sillage.

Even today, after almost a century and a slew of offspring and copycats, Shalimar still seems unique. It spawned a very diverse family: the leathery-animalic orientals like Must de Cartier (1981), the gourmand orientals like Chopard Casmir (1991) and Thierry Mugler Angel (1993), and the fruity orientals like Chanel Allure (1996). Modern niche launches like Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, Cartier L’Heure Mystérieuse and Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée pay a particularly interesting tribute to Shalimar. In my opinion, it is one of the more successful Guerlain reformulations.

Coming next in 100 Great Perfumes Series: an influential, if much maligned fragrance and contributions to fragrance history by great female perfumers…

Photography: Vera, Lavender fields near Grasse, France. Nature is the greatest creator of all.

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70 Comments

  • behemot: Hello, I am new here, but I have been reading your great blog for a while. I would like to thank you for this fabulous idea of sharing this information with the readers. This is exactly what I have been looking for a while! I cannot wait to read more.. February 22, 2011 at 1:37am Reply

  • axum: What wonderful a lesson in perfume history. Thank you! I now want to find out what Fougere Royal and Chypre smell like…what is the Osmotheque perfume conservatory? February 22, 2011 at 2:16am Reply

  • Ines: I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the articles in the series. :) So much to learn (and bemoan unfortunately).
    I can’t wait to see what else made the list. How soon do you plan on publishing the rest? I’m very eager to read it all. :) February 22, 2011 at 3:07am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Great idea! Thank you for sharing your profound knowledge in such a succinct and comprehensive format. Like Ines I am curious of the schedule you devised for these posts.
    I feel proud to know seven of those first ten, albeit not always in their original version, of course. :) February 22, 2011 at 3:13am Reply

  • Olfacta: Wonderful. I wish it was possible to experience some of these in there original forms. But, lacking that, your descriptions make imagining them possible. February 22, 2011 at 7:39am Reply

  • Tara: This is so interesting and wonderul. Thank you for such a terrific blog! February 22, 2011 at 7:59am Reply

  • Anya: V, I look forward to the entire series. I have thoroughly enjoyed this first post, as you have perfectly selected the gems of perfumery and described their reason for iconic status on every level. February 22, 2011 at 8:27am Reply

  • Mals86: A very thoughtful look at the groundbreaking and influential, Victoria! I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

    I have a small vintage bottle of L’Origan parfum; it is very rich and lovely. Appears to be 1950s from the packaging – it came in its original satin-lined leatherette box, with a little rubber stopper keeping the air out.

    I recently tried a sample of modern Narcisse Noir edt, and was hugely disappointed. Where was the narcissus? It was all light and fluff, and mostly orange blossom. Sigh. February 22, 2011 at 9:41am Reply

  • kjanicki: A wonderful and very informative series, I look forward to reading the whole thing. I especially appreciate your inclusion of “like this” perfumes, so that I can have a reference, and possibly try other things, if the original is not available. February 22, 2011 at 9:54am Reply

  • Victoria: Welcome to BdJ! I am glad that you liked the Series. These fragrances influenced the course of perfumery history, so I thought that it would be interesting to outline them all, from 1880s to today. Especially since I see so many classical families being revived these days. February 22, 2011 at 10:30am Reply

  • Gitcheegumee: I am also a newbie to this site,but certainly not to the magic and majesty of “L’essence”,as my French grandmere called fragrances .She simply refused to leave the house without wearing some type of scent.(Said she felt undressed without L’essence!)

    Thank you so much for this amazing site and the equally amazing information on so many facets and history of the perfumer’s art.

    BTW,L’Origan has always been my favorite-smells just like the Coty facepowder..Chypre was a favorite of mine too.

    I can’t wait for the next installment! Merci beaucoup,encore. February 22, 2011 at 10:36am Reply

  • Victoria: The Osmotheque is an independent organization and perfume conservatory. It was founded in 1988 by Jean Kerléo and several perfumers with the goal of preserving perfume heritage They recreate all fragrances as truthfully as the current resources permit.
    The Osmothèque is located in Versailles and anybody can visit and take a tour as long as you make an appointment in advance.
    36, rue du parc de Clagny
    78100 Versailles (France) Tél :01.39.55.46.99 – Fax 01.39.55.73.64
    Email : osmotheque@wanadoo.fr February 22, 2011 at 10:37am Reply

  • Victoria: I will try to do once or twice a week. It is just a bit time consuming to do it all at once, because before I write these short paragraphs, I try to resmell the original fragrances and their variants.
    I also hope to have some interesting stories for each fragrance (like my story of Chanel No 19 and the effect of Iranian revolution on it!) February 22, 2011 at 10:42am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, I am glad that you enjoyed it! I certainly had fun with the first 10. I admit that these 10 were a bit easier to choose than the subsequent 90, because they are so groundbreaking and clearly influential.
    I will try to do once or twice a week. I am enjoying taking this journey too. February 22, 2011 at 10:46am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! Some of them live on in fragrances that are popular today, especially when so many classical themes get revisited by the mainstream and niche houses. February 22, 2011 at 10:48am Reply

  • Victoria: I am glad that you liked it! You are most welcome. :) February 22, 2011 at 10:48am Reply

  • sweetlife: This is so generous, V. By the time you are done with this, you will have a short book/guide!

    Very much looking forward to your discussion of the much-maligned fragrance. ;) February 22, 2011 at 10:49am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Anya! I tried to include as much information as possible, without writing full blown reviews of each (which was very tempting–after all, one can write a whole book on each fragrance!) February 22, 2011 at 10:49am Reply

  • Victoria: I have one of those too, and it is a nice version of L’Origan. In fact, even until Coty discontinued it altogether, however thin and pale L’Origan was, it still captured the spirit of the original. You can immediately see how bold and brash that fragrance was that even the reformulation could not kill the spirit completely. Coty was such a genius and was very brave to experiment with new things that other perfumers found unfamiliar and strange.

    The modern EDT of Narcisse Noir is all fluff, as you put so well. The parfum is better, but the trademark Caron dark undercurrent is too light for my taste. February 22, 2011 at 10:55am Reply

  • Victoria: Krista, thank you, I am very happy that it is informative and interesting. One can always find elements of great classics in modern launches, and such discoveries always catch my attention, so I am happy to pass on what I find. :) February 22, 2011 at 10:57am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you for your kind words and welcome to Bois de Jasmin! Your grandmother sounds like my maternal grandmother, who to this today, even if she needs to go across the street to buy some bread would put on some perfume and a lipstick.

    I have some vintage Coty face powder and I also love its scent. February 22, 2011 at 10:59am Reply

  • Victoria: The much-maligned perfumes make for a fun discussion! Plus, I have a thing for defending the much-maligned ones (remember our Sunflowers discussion?) :) February 22, 2011 at 11:04am Reply

  • Jen: This is such a wonderful idea! I look forward to the rest of the posts on this topic. February 22, 2011 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Thank you so much for doing this. It is very informative. It always makes me sad that perfumery is such a transient art. I would love to be able to smell the originals, but fear I never will.

    A visit to the Osmothèque is on order I suppose. To get some idea of their greatness. February 22, 2011 at 12:37pm Reply

  • maggiecat: How fascinating! You’ve combined my twin loves of history and perfume in this post, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting those to come. thank you! February 22, 2011 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, I cannot wait to share more! February 22, 2011 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: It makes me sad too sometimes, but then again, maybe this transience is what attracts me to fragrance in the first place. Something that exists in realm of imagination and memory. February 22, 2011 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Victoria: I also love history, and I spend most of the university years in history classes! They are the ones I remember the most, even though I eventually chose a different career. February 22, 2011 at 1:31pm Reply

  • Marina: Loved reading this!!! February 22, 2011 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Marina! February 22, 2011 at 2:49pm Reply

  • rosarita: V, thanks so much for this post and those to come! A fascinating topic, and of course, I enjoy your writing so much. Your hard work is greatly appreciated. February 22, 2011 at 2:57pm Reply

  • Natalia: I only wish I was into fragrance when I lived in Paris! So much to see.. sniff there! Osmotheque will definitely be on my list now.

    Victoria, your blog is truly wonderful and each day I open the page I’m exited with anticipation of something very interesting and new – to read, to learn, to try. Always a surprise. You’re very generous in sharing your knowledge and you do it in such graceful form! Very inspiring. February 22, 2011 at 3:12pm Reply

  • sweetlife: I do! And was hoping that was the one. February 22, 2011 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are welcome! There is really so much to say on this topic. I am very happy to hear that it is interesting to you. February 22, 2011 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Victoria: Natalia, thank you for your kind words! I write about things that fascinate me at the moment, so BdJ is a reflection of my interests. I am very happy that others can join me on this journey. Perfumery is a never-ending quest and there is so much to learn. Above all, the mutual exchange is very inspiring to me! February 22, 2011 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sunflowers is coming as an honorary mention (it had a more famous predecessor,) but not in the next series. We have a while to go till we reach 1990s! February 22, 2011 at 5:11pm Reply

  • Syl: Victoria,
    I am also new to this site and fragrance discovery.. Thank you for making the journey so interesting!!!! One of my loves is Shalimar perfume- that drydown is absolute comfort food to me! I’ve realized reading your articles that what I’m looking for is an oriental floral- and its given me a place to start through this maze! I so appreciate someone explaining what new fragrances are being developed along the same lines as the classics. I’ve been reading a number of perfume blogs ( I think I’m hooked : )!) and yours consistently give me the most helpful descriptions. All of your effort here is so appreciated. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your articles! February 22, 2011 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Victoria: Welcome, Syl, and thank you! I am glad that I could help you a bit on your perfume quest. Once you start, it is difficult to stop! :)
    Floral oriental is a huge family, and I can imagine that you will have plenty of choices. For a transparent oriental-incense composition with a lovely lily note, I recommend sampling L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer. It has a great drydown. February 22, 2011 at 7:10pm Reply

  • Perfumaniac: I learn so much about perfume from mining your knowledge, Victoria. Looking forward to the rest in this series! February 22, 2011 at 7:17pm Reply

  • Syl: I have two other L’Artisan’s on my list I want to try also.( Traversee du Bosphore,Havana & Timbuktu). From your Sonoma Scent Studio review I can see I need to smell their incense line, and from the reviews on Ineke I think I’m going to need to smell Field Notes.
    Time to order those testers….
    Thanks for the recommendation! February 22, 2011 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Nina Z: I love this article, and I’m looking forward to the next installments (and I am fantasizing about trying every single one of the 100 fragrances). I have nothing special to add, but just wanted to add to the chorus of appreciation. February 22, 2011 at 7:43pm Reply

  • Tania: Brava! I look forward to future installments. February 22, 2011 at 8:01pm Reply

  • k-amber: I am so excited to read this exquisite series ! I appreciate your knowledge as always :)

    Kaori February 22, 2011 at 8:26pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love all three Traversee du Bosphore, Havana & Timbuktu, and Timbuktu would make my personal top 100 favorites list.
    Sounds like you are going to be quite busy! :) February 22, 2011 at 8:40pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, I am so glad that it is useful! I like to make lists. :) February 22, 2011 at 8:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: All of these comments and yours included are very special to me. Thank you. I am so happy to see that you like the series!
    I love perfume history, and I especially enjoy learning stories surrounding the creation of fragrance masterpieces. February 22, 2011 at 8:58pm Reply

  • Victoria: T, thank you! And I look forward to more from you and LT! February 22, 2011 at 8:58pm Reply

  • Victoria: Kaori, thank you very much, it is my pleasure to share. I hope that you enjoy the further series too. February 22, 2011 at 9:00pm Reply

  • Natalia: Syl, i totally agree on Timbuktu and Passage d’Enfer – they’re fenomenal and should definitely be tried. Good luck on your search :) February 22, 2011 at 9:35pm Reply

  • Natalia: Yes, fascination is what is contageous, – passion! But putting it into the right words makes it so much more sharable and inspiring. Thanks for fueling one of my latest and most adored obsessions :) February 22, 2011 at 9:38pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am happy to have more companions in my falling down the rabbit hole of perfumery! :) February 22, 2011 at 10:03pm Reply

  • Henrique Brito: The 100 fragrance list sounds promising for this first 10 entry. I was already curious for the Coty vintage fragrances, but now i`m even more. But i have difficulties identifing what is vintage and what`s new from Coty. How to know how vintage a coty frag is? February 23, 2011 at 8:07am Reply

  • Victoria: Chypre has not been around for a while, so anything you will find qualifies as vintage.
    As for L'Origan, the tall bottles with crown like tops are more modern. Yet, even those have not been around either for some time. February 23, 2011 at 8:11am Reply

  • Robin: Great post, V, and can’t wait to see the rest of the series! I do wonder why Coty doesn’t do more for their own reputation as a perfume house and not just a celebrity/designer conglomerate…you would think they would keep L’Origan & Chypre on the market in decent formulations just for that reason alone. February 23, 2011 at 10:56am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, R! If the fragrance world operated based on logic and solid consumer research, this is exactly what would have happened. But that would be in some ideal world, not this one. :) Still, hope dies last… February 23, 2011 at 3:08pm Reply

  • Musette: V –

    This is an absolutely wonderful post – I was thrilled to read it (and will read it again!). So much valuable information, so beautifully delivered; I had NO idea of a scent connection between Mitsouko and Gucci Rush! Can’t wait to try them side by side.

    I eagerly await your next installment – thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

    xoA February 23, 2011 at 8:05pm Reply

  • Victoria: Anita, thank you so much! I'm so happy it is interesting to you. I just feel so inspired by this topic. What was done in the past really continues to influence what we smell today. February 23, 2011 at 9:37pm Reply

  • harper: lovely list.

    and yet, this makes me so sad —
    not ONE single fragrance of these
    (if it is still being made)
    has not been substantially altered by ingredient restrictions and subsequent reformulations and ingredient substitutions.

    yes, ifra, i’m looking at YOU!
    and no, i’m not talking about the variations due to different batches of raw-products.
    i’m talking the ban on using many raw products all-together.

    (i have therefore, for the last year or so, more or less stopped buying anything that is not niche or natural or outlaw.
    or you listening ifra?
    are you listening, big perfume houses?
    no.
    ‘course not.
    *sigh*)

    hh February 27, 2011 at 9:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: Harper, so true! The industry really lost their control of IFRA regulation process, and it is hurting them now. February 28, 2011 at 8:28am Reply

  • Saintpaulia: Well membership IS voluntary. Also the problem is not actually the IFRA it is the European Union’s bureacrats at the SCSS board.

    Now I posted this last night but don’t see it. Victoria, when can we expect to see #3? I love this project of yours. May 7, 2011 at 11:55am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you so much! I am writing the next installment for the next week. I am so glad that you are enjoying the series. May 7, 2011 at 11:59am Reply

  • Mark: please please please finish up this series! It has been so interesting and well written! March 2, 2012 at 2:40am Reply

  • gerda: I found this site by accident and am completely engrossed. I love L’Origan, which can be found at Vermont Country Store.com. My passion is Casmir by Chopard, which I found on Scentiments.com. I seem to have a knack for loving fragrances that become discontinued. Another favorite is Ombre Rose as well as Giorgio,s Red. I guess I am a floriental girl at heart. April 16, 2012 at 11:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Gerda! Good to know that L’origan can still be found. I completely gave up on finding it, save for an occasional Ebay sighting. Glad that you like the series! April 17, 2012 at 7:30am Reply

  • Carmen: I see you have a wonderful knowledge of French perfumes. Do you know Reyanne? They had a fragrance named “Crystal” ! It had to b the best I have ever worn. Everywhere I went men and women asked me “What fragrance is THat.”
    For some reason I can’t find it any where and found a similar posting online with the same rating of this fragrance. The best I could find was “out of stock”. Can you help me find this beautiful fragrance? You have such extensive knowledge. Thank you Carmen October 10, 2013 at 12:59am Reply

  • mammy: I wish shalimar wouls loose the citrus. It was such a beguiling parfum. The citrus cheapens it. February 5, 2014 at 5:34am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s tricky, because citrus is the most important aspect of Shalimar. It contains more bergamot oil than any other material, so if you chuck that out, you won’t have Shalimar anymore.
      Have you tried Shalimar Ode a la Vanille? The citrus in it is softer and may be more to your liking. February 9, 2014 at 11:28am Reply

  • Ysabelle: Hi Victoria! Just chanced upon your site and I think I’ll be a frequent visitor. :) Love your series on perfumes coz I’m a perfume collector myself. I love Shalimar and Chanel #5 (my most recent purchase!) among others. I have Youth Dew in my collection, too although I haven’t really worn it much coz of its heavy scent. I guess I’ll take the cue from others who wear it with sublety. Thanks for sharing your passion and educate us in the process. March 17, 2014 at 1:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Ysabelle! I’m glad to meet another perfume lover, and I hope to see you around more often. :) March 17, 2014 at 3:19pm Reply

  • Luciana: Hi Victoria, Great list and well written. I love to read the history behind the fragrances. April 15, 2014 at 12:41pm Reply

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