Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA: Popular Perfumes

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Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2o12 France

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Popular Fragrances Spring 2012

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2011 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 France

To round out the list of blockbusters last year, the next two posts in this series will focus on masculine fragrances. Looking at the top sellers in men’s market, I was surprised to discover that a newcomer pastiche like Bleu de Chanel managed to outsell the traditional masculine blockbuster Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò Pour Homme by quite a sizable margin. This discovery followed another one—there are more classical, older fragrance among masculine top sellers than is the case with the feminine ones.

20. Aramis (1965)

A gold standard for leather chypres, Aramis is one of my favorite masculine fragrances from the perspective of originality and character.

19. Azzaro Chrome (1996)

Chrome, with its combination of crisp citrus, aquatic notes and sheer woods, is a quintessential “straight out of the shower” cologne that men’s market seems to prefer. Not bad, if that’s what one prefers.

18. Versace Man Eau Fraîche (2006)

Dry amber and citrus, of which there are plenty on the market. For this reason, it is surprising to find it doing so well.

17. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme (2009)

A classical woody composition of vetiver accented with peppery citrus and cardamom. It does not offer many surprises, but it is a solidly built fragrance.

16. Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme (1994)

While it lacks the originality of its feminine counterpart, L’Eau d’Issey, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme is a thoroughly enjoyable marine composition. Excellent sillage.

15. Versace Pour Homme (2008)

Versace Pour Homme alternates between Davidoff Cool Water and Downy fabric softener. I find it strange and disheartening to see its upward climb in the charts.

14. Calvin Klein Euphoria Men (2006)

A nicely crafted, if predictable, aromatic fougère. I prefer the richer Euphoria Men Intense.

13. Ralph Lauren Polo (1978)

A strong patchouli and leather accord was a controversial feature of Polo when it was in development, yet the memorable and original character won out. Today, Polo is still a strong seller that also continues to influence new masculine fragrance ideas.

12. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men (1986)

Next to women’s version of Obsession, Obsession for Men is lackluster. This amber inflected oriental has been a steady work horse for Calvin Klein however, and it still maintains its place among top sellers.

11. Calvin Klein Eternity for Men (1989)

A more elegant take on aromatic fougère fragrances like Davidoff Cool Water and Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir. Eternity for Men may not be an avant-garde composition, but it is very well-made, with a polished, beautiful signature.

10. Ralph Lauren Polo Black (2005)

Sharp lavender and citrus, a common refrain in the masculine market.

9. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme (2006)

Davidoff Cool Water in a spicier guise.

8. Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Mâle (1995)

Le Mâle is an example of the combination between technical excellence—great sillage, excellent tenacity and presence—and creativity, given its original character and strong signature. The traditional aromatic fougère concept is taken into a floral-ambery direction, with a memorable end result.

7. Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme (2008)

This composition explores an interesting juxtaposition between a marine top note and a dry incense accented woods in the base. A strong touch of jasmine gives it a surprising warm twist.

6. Ralph Lauren Polo Blue (2002)

Leather and patchouli are rendered sheer and weightless in Polo Blue. Among Polo flankers, it is one of my favorites, despite the fact that it does not have the strong character of the original.

5. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme (2001)

Extremely sharp, jarring amber notes are paired here with a loud marine note. Being around it is almost painful for me, which is why I am distressed to see its sales rise each year.

4. Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (2008)

A well-build woody oriental composition with warm orange blossom and tobacco notes.

3. Chanel Bleu de Chanel (2010)

Bleu de Chanel is a pastiche of all commercial masculine elements, cleverly packages and neatly presented. Not a particularly original juice, but as a launch and a marketing product, Bleu de Chanel deserves kudos.

2. Giorgio Armani Armani Code Men (2004)

Armani Code for Men will not produce revelations, but this woody oriental composition is very appealing and elegant.

1. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò Pour Homme (1996)

Marine citrus composition with a strong herbal top and a clean woody drydown. It is very recognizable, and to this day, it is one of the masculine fragrances I notice the most in the street.

Source: US department stores sales records

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24 Comments

  • rosarita: Surprised not to see Marc Jacobs Bang, although I know of more women who wear it than men. Myself for one! And I still love Acqua di Gio on the right man, esp my son in law 🙂 September 29, 2011 at 4:51am Reply

  • Martyn: Unless I’m going word-blind, you don’t say if this list is international or US-specific. If it is international, then there are three men’s fragrances that I’m surprised no longer feature in the List. These are Terre (Hermès), Habit Rouge (Guerlain) and A-Men (Muglier – known on the other side of the pond as Angel Men). If I remember right, all three were high players in the middle of the noughties, and the first two at least could now rightly be called classics (A-men is fine the first couple of times you wear it, but it’s mix of chocolate and poop is too in-your-face to have classic staying power). September 29, 2011 at 5:09am Reply

  • Persolaise: Thanks very much indeed for this. I’ve personally got a soft spot for Eternity and Obsession (which works quite well on me), but the others are just the sort of uninspiring fare I’d expect to see on a list such as this. September 29, 2011 at 5:49am Reply

  • Victoria: Martyn, I had it listed on the bottom as US based, but I’ve added the info in the title, so it is clearer.
    Next week, when I publish the French list, you will see all those! Like the feminine best seller list for France, it is also heavier on the classics and on orientals, compared to its USA counterpart. September 29, 2011 at 7:49am Reply

  • Victoria: They are really well made, that cannot be denied. Not exactly earth shattering, but solid, good fragrances. I also have a soft spot for Eternity. September 29, 2011 at 7:50am Reply

  • Victoria: Bang would have been in 2011 list, if it figures among best sellers. Acqua di Gio is a fragrance that can smell really good applied properly. It is fresh and dry, musky and woody, a very interesting interplay of effects. September 29, 2011 at 7:52am Reply

  • Martyn: “Martyn, I had it listed on the bottom as US based”

    There you are! I _told_ you I was going word-blind! September 29, 2011 at 8:46am Reply

  • Victoria: 🙂 Trust me, I feel this way often. September 29, 2011 at 8:56am Reply

  • Carla: What a disappointing list. What about Azzaro, Terre d’Hermes, Declaration? September 29, 2011 at 12:46pm Reply

  • chatchien: INteresting Lists. Thanks for re-posting these.

    I love Estée Lauder fragrances for the most part, but Sensuous? It is as much a non-entity as the current formulation of L’Air du Temps is for me. But perhaps there are a lot of women who want to wear perfume, but don’t want to smell the perfume that they wear.

    Cashmere Mist smells like very good furniture polish to me. Perhaps women do like to get by by being mistaken for a good piece of furniture.

    And that hot Old Spice Guy did nothing for his brand? Or maybe Old Spice is more the drugstore selling fragrance.

    Another interesting list would be for the best drug store selling brand of fragrances. The list above are for department stores? September 29, 2011 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Andy: “Perhaps women do like to get by by being mistaken for a good piece of furniture.” this made me chuckle. Great comparison! September 29, 2011 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Andy: A dissapionting list, I agree. The mass fragrance market is so conservative! September 29, 2011 at 2:49pm Reply

  • Brian: Gah. Most of these are So. F*cking. Boring. But apparently men in the US like to blend in rather than stand out. Screw that.

    I mean “Le Male” and “Aramis” are among the better-built “edgier” fragrances on this list and they’re not even in the top 5. September 29, 2011 at 4:43pm Reply

  • Emma: I’m glad my little brother who is straight, real straight, not “str8” or metrosexual bought Lutens Jeux de Peau and not one of those insipid Bleu de Chanel marketed to insecure men who want to smell clean yet manly. September 30, 2011 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yep, not particularly exciting! October 3, 2011 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, this list is based on the department store sales records. Drug stores would be separate. I am also curious about the current mass market best sellers, and I am wondering if Old Spice is still doing well. October 3, 2011 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sigh… So true! October 3, 2011 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: The market is conservative, and there are few revelations here! October 3, 2011 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, Jeux de Peau would smell great on a man! October 3, 2011 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Victoria: That made me laugh too! Thank you, Chatchien. 🙂 October 3, 2011 at 12:56pm Reply

  • J0hn: I cannot afford different perfumes for different ocasions. I shortlisted two, eternity and cool water. My preferences are longevity, silage and smell that ladies admire. Help me to choose between these two. December 7, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: John, they’re very similar, so it comes down to what you like best. Best thing is to try each and compare how they wear on you. December 8, 2013 at 6:02am Reply

  • Phertest: I have smelt a few of these and have to say that Aqua Di Gio is still one of my favorites… but the one that surpassed it is definitely La Niot De ‘L Homme! I’m a 23 year old, so I’m no “connoisseur” — but honestly, ARAMIS!? that stuff belongs in the 60’s!

    Great article regardless March 8, 2014 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Orv Bratland: Trying to locate a men’s cologne Printemps used to sell named “Tres Homme”. Is it still available? May 22, 2015 at 7:01pm Reply

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