Perfume Flankers 101

Today fragrance flankers are more numerous on the perfume counter than ever before. Elisa explores how this trend originated and describes some of her favorite examples. After all, some flankers (like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle) have become famous perfumes in their own right.

What is a flanker?

A flanker is the perfume world’s version of a sequel or spin-off: Like The Empire Strikes Back or Charles in Charge, a flanker builds off the success of an existing hit rather than starting over fresh with an entirely new concept. Flankers are a way for perfume brands to capitalize on the popularity of a successful launch, at a lower cost than starting from the ground up. The hope is that fans of the original perfume (or “pillar” fragrance) will also be interested in the flankers, and that people who found the original appealing but not quite right for them (too heavy, for example) will be persuaded to purchase a re-imagined version.

hypnotic-poisonmiss-dior-cherie

The first flankers appeared in the 1970’s. Nina Ricci Signoricci 2, created in 1975, was a flanker to Signoricci from 1966. Other flankers from this decade include Royal Copenhagen Musk (1976) and Norell II (1979). Today, nearly 1 in 5 new launches is a flanker – according to Michael Edwards’s Fragrances of the World, in 2012, out of 1,392 total perfumes launches, 252 were flankers (18%).

Varieties of flankers

Flankers come in different flavors. Perhaps the most common variety is the “variation on the same theme” flanker, which starts with the same basic structure, but either plays up a particular accord or motif or adds new top or heart notes to color the feel. Examples of this type include Flowerbomb La Vie en Rose, a rosier version of the original gourmand, or Narciso Rodriguez for Her Delicate, which adds a fig note to the familiar musky floral. Along these lines, many brands release summer flankers of popular scents, often a “l’eau” version that is lighter or has added citrus or aquatic notes – see the annual summer editions of CK One.

Brands also sometimes release flankers that are entirely unrelated, or only distantly related, to the pillar fragrance. For example, Dior Hypnotic Poison is an almond oriental with no resemblance to the original Poison, aside from the shape of the bottle. Notably, the nose for Hypnotic Poison was Annick Menardo, who works in a very different style from Edouard Flechier, who “penned” the original. When we’re lucky, brands spring for a new formula from the original perfumer or someone of equal caliber; too often, they enlist a new team for a lower formula cost.

Some flankers stay in the rotation as long as they sell; others are limited editions. Some perfumes are so popular that they get new flankers every year, such as Flower by Kenzo and Lolita Lempicka. The four core scents in the Thierry Mugler line (Angel, Alien, A*Men, and Womanity) get new themed flankers on a yearly basis; most recently, Mugler released “liqueur” and leather-inflected versions of all four.

Usually, a flanker is released within a year to five years after the initial launch, but recently – taking a page from the first flanker – there has been a trend of new flankers for classic perfumes, such as those based on Guerlain Shalimar (e.g., Shalimar Parfum Initial), Chanel No. 5 (No. 5 Eau Première), and Jean Patou Joy (Joy Forever). This is typically a way to target a younger client base, who may find the brand’s cache more appealing than the scent itself. Coco Mademoiselle, which Chanel released in 2001, is perhaps the most successful flanker of all time. Though they were both done by Jacques Polge, this candied fruitchouli is closer to Angel than it is to the baroque, spicy Coco from 1984, but the runaway hit continues to be a top-seller.

noir

Favorite flankers

Within the discerning, often skeptical perfumista community, flankers are usually considered cynical, hastily thrown together products that don’t honor the original. Just as in the film world, you have your occasional gems, like Toy Story 2, but many sequels are soulless dreck that only serve to cheapen what inspired them. However, some lines put more thought into their flankers than others, often tapping the same perfumer and taking care to produce perfumes as interesting as their predecessors.

Every now and then, I find a flanker I like even more than the pillar fragrance. Mugler’s flankers are reliably well-done, and if you like the originals, you’ll almost certainly like at least some of the flankers. In fact, A*Men Pure Malt blows A*Men out of the water, skipping the original’s fun but weird mint-chip ice cream accord and adding smoky peat and fruity tobacco notes to the burnt-sugar, amber, and patchouli base – a delicious unisex gourmand for cool weather.

Lauder has also released its share of buy-worthy flankers. To my mind, Sensuous is a pretty but ultimately uninspiring soft woody oriental. Sensuous Noir, on the other hand, is a distinctive statement-maker, with a Chambord-like boozy fruit note and a long drydown that reminds me of much pricier scents from niche lines like Serge Lutens and the Tom Ford Private Blends. Similarly, Youth Dew Amber Nude is a very attractive version of the spicy oriental idea that came first in a bath oil many decades before; true to its name, the update has the sheer weight and golden coloring of nude stockings.

What are your favorite perfume flankers? Is there a flanker that you prefer to the original? 

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92 Comments

  • Hannah: I agree about the A*Men flankers. I think Pure Coffee also deserves mentioning.
    I also like Hypnotic Poison.
    Is the Holi flanker for Flower still available? I wanted to try it. December 6, 2013 at 7:26am Reply

    • Elisa: A*men Pure Havane is also really good!

      I am familiar with the Indian Holi version of Kenzo Amour — did they do one of Flower too? December 6, 2013 at 9:59am Reply

      • Hannah: No, I forgot the name of both Kenzo perfumes, then I read Flower by Kenzo in the article and thought “ooooh yeah, Flower” and typed that oop December 6, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

        • Elisa: Flower is an old favorite of mine! December 6, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

          • Hannah: I used to try everything on the perfume wall at Sephora (I always walked out smelling like fruit cocktail juice), and Kenzo is kind of in the middle so it always got muddled with a million perfumes.
            Anyway, Douglas’ website says that Indian Holi is still around so I’ll try it sometime soon. December 6, 2013 at 4:54pm Reply

            • Elisa: I have a soft spot for Kenzo — one of my faves of the brands that are carried at Sephora, though they’ve put out a clunker or two of course. December 6, 2013 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Compliments on this extensive article!
    There are really good flankers, variations on a theme–why not? First of all, J’Adore L’Absolu, to my nose even better than the original (also one of my favorites). I also like Paris Printemps and the elegant iris of Shalimar L’Initial, as well as Angel Le Goût du Parfum.
    Definitely better than the original is Idylle Eau Sublime. And I like Flora Nymphéa, which could be considered as a variation on Idylle.
    I hesitate about Opium, Vapeur du Parfum, I am curious what others think about that one. December 6, 2013 at 7:40am Reply

    • Elisa: I’ve heard J’Adore L’Absolu is better than the original, but never got to try it as it was already discontinued when I first started haunting the fragrance counters.

      Angel Liqueur de Parfum is great too, with a darker cocoa note. December 6, 2013 at 10:03am Reply

    • Michaela: I totally dislike Opium Vapeurs, it is a cinical blend of jasmine and incense (I’m not particularly fond of any of the two, not to mantion Opium itself is a far cry from my usual liking :). ). The Vapeurs flanker smells like a mean perfume, if that makes any sense. If it were a womsn it would be that perfect bitch nobody loves! December 17, 2013 at 9:55am Reply

      • Olivia: Awww I respectfully disagree! I own and love Opium Vapeurs and that image does certainly not spring to mind at all… I do agree it is most likely not similar to the original though.

        I also love EL White Linen and find Pure White Linen pales by comparison so I understand it can be a passionate subject. November 25, 2014 at 8:13pm Reply

  • ericgmd: I think the most cynical family of flankers that made people cringe were the “Misses” of Dior. Between Miss Dior Cherie, Miss Dior Cherie Reformulated and Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau…followed by Miss Dior (the name Cherie gone) and becoming the new Miss Dior while Miss Dior L’Originale replaces the vintage Miss Dior, consumers were left in confusion-hell.
    But on a positive note, Clinique Aromatics Elixir 40th Anniversary Edition was a very welcome addition and definitely a successful flanker to the original Aromatics Elixir. It took away the jarring and dated “old lady” notes and replaced them with much wearable and sultry notes that could be worn by both men and women. Too bad it is nowhere to be found! December 6, 2013 at 8:12am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh yes, that was a mess and I know a lot of people are still fuming about it. (Incidentally, I thought the recent “Miss Dior Le Parfum” version was well done, even if the name is misleading.)

      Oh, that sounds great! I missed it last year, are they not selling it anymore? December 6, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

      • annemariec: I never see it in my city. I’m in Australia and on a visit to Adelaide in October I was thrilled to see the AE flanker (‘Perfumer’s Reserve’) in a department store. Alas – no tester!! And it was way more expensive than the original too. Portia of Australian Perfume Junkies has tried it and loves it. December 6, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Isn’t it funny how perceptions differ. I think the original AE is far more sultry and unisex than the 40th anniversary edition. Which is a great perfume, although, in my humble opinion of course, nowhere near as great as the “original”. I own both, but wear the AE edp a lot more.
      Maybe Clinique will reissue it, although I have no idea whether it was a commercial success. December 6, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

      • Elisa: have you tried the Clinique version of Calyx yet? I can’t say I’m a fan of the new formula — the balance feels off to me (too sweet). December 6, 2013 at 3:42pm Reply

        • Austenfan: No, I got my Prescriptives Calyx a couple of years ago. (One of those blessed blind buys that I am, at times so lucky with. It’s the 100 ml bottle that shares it’s space with my Goutals in the fridge.)
          I didn’t even know that Clinique now does Calyx. If I see a bottle I’ll give it a sniff, but I have never seen a single Calyx bottle in a shop in Holland.

          Great post by the way. I am not very familiar with the Muglers. So far my favourite flanker is probably Hypnotic Poison. ( I am one of the few people on this planet who actually likes the original especially the old esprit de parfum) I also like Pure White Linen, and 19 Poudrée, once I had stopped sulking about the fact that it wasn’t as bold as the original. On the niche side of things I like Mandragore Pourpre and Nuit Etoilée in eau de parfum, which is almost a flanker to the original eau de toilette. December 6, 2013 at 4:55pm Reply

          • Elisa: I stopped by a Clinique counter for my face lotion last week and saw the tester — only tried it on paper, but it definitely feels tinkered with, not altered beyond recognition by any means. Glad you got a big bottle of the Prescriptives version to last you a while!

            I like Pure White Linen — I think of it as a perfect gym scent, clean and fresh. December 6, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

            • Morelle: I like Pure White Linen Light Breeze – the flanker of a flanker. A citrus/green tea cologne with musks and wood. Really nice for summer, but I find it rather different in character from Pure White Linen, not to mention White Linen. December 6, 2013 at 6:32pm Reply

              • Elisa: And Pure White Linen doesn’t smell anything like White Linen either! December 6, 2013 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Bastet: I have always been intrigued by but unable to wear Chanel No. 5, probably because of the huge dose of aldehydes. I was thrilled to find that the Eau Premiere flanker of No. 5 works so well for me. It is now one of my favorite perfumes not just a favorite flanker! I am also fond of Hypnotic Poison and Angel Innocent. December 6, 2013 at 8:55am Reply

    • Elisa: I find Eau Premiere more wearable as well. And I also have a bottle of Innocent in my collection! It’s got a lovely tonka note. December 6, 2013 at 10:06am Reply

    • Dee: The Eau Premiere is lovely. I also am really fond of the Chanel No. 5 Elixir. December 6, 2013 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Patricia: When I’m in the mood for something sweet, nothing will do but Keiko Mecheri’s Loukhoum Eau Poudree, a vanilla rose confection with candied almond. I prefer it to the original Loukhoum and to the other flanker Loukhoum Parfum du Soir. Go big or go home!

    Is L’Ambre des Merveilles considered a flanker? If so, it is my favorite of the Hermes Merveilles family and would make my top ten list of “reach-for-it” favorites.

    Excellent article, Elisa :). December 6, 2013 at 9:02am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Patricia! I have been in a gourmand mood lately, so that sounds yummy.

      I would consider L’Ambre des Merveilles a flanker, yes. December 6, 2013 at 10:07am Reply

  • Anne Sheffield: I love shalimar parfum initial L eau, which is a flanker of a flanker. The dry down is lovely soft powdery. And i am guilty of actually preferring Eau Premiere to Chanel n 5. Thank you again for another wonderful article! December 6, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Anne! How could I forget to mention the phenomenon of flankers of flankers! December 6, 2013 at 10:08am Reply

  • Erin T: Great early history of the flanker – a few facts in there that I didn’t know and have always wondered.

    I must respectully disagree on A*Men, by the way – liked Pure Coffee and Pure Malt a lot, but they’re a lot less original and more generic than the original. The various Pure flankers are, to me, maybe initially more “wearable”, but more anonymous in long-term use, so not FB-worthy, at least at the prices they go for now, as LEs.

    My favourite flankers are usually from Hermes – I love Concentree d’Orange Verte and most of the Merveilles flankers. Cartier Déclaration has also had some flankers that are as good or better than the original scent: my favourite is the Essence. December 6, 2013 at 10:27am Reply

    • Elisa: Ha, fair enough, Erin! I do like the original A*Men a lot, just was never moved to buy a bottle. What do you think of Ice Men?

      I agree that Hermes does flankers well, though I also have to admit that most of the Hermes scents leave me cold. I’m just not a Jean Claude Ellena fanboy. But I think they put money and effort into them and keep the whole line high-quality. December 6, 2013 at 10:43am Reply

  • Sara: I much prefer the flanker of a flanker of a flanker “Shalimar Parfum l’Eau Si Sensuelle” much much better than the rest!
    Best Regards from Spain. December 6, 2013 at 10:31am Reply

    • Elisa: Ha! Guerlain is competing with Victoria’s Secret on some of those flanker names… December 6, 2013 at 10:44am Reply

  • george: I’m too much of an absolutist to understand “flanker” as being anything other than a word of insult. But that may in part be my being English and it sounding like it verges on rhyming slang. I generally think of flankers (as marketed) as being like the two younger sisters in Downton Abbey: in amongst so many Ediths you sometimes get a Sybil- way too headstrong to be accurately described as an adjunct to another person- and running away to have a much wilder life of her own. December 6, 2013 at 10:35am Reply

    • Elisa: I agree, it’s not really a very flattering term! December 6, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

  • Lucas: Hi Elisa!
    I like the flankers like Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense, although it could be treated like a completely different perfume comparing to Prada Amber Pour Homme. They’re so different!

    I think that Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue is one of my favorite flankers 🙂

    Ah, speak only Prada to me 😉 ;P December 6, 2013 at 10:48am Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Lucas! I know you are a Prada lover from way back. Unfortunately I think I am anosmic to the musks that Prada uses because so many of the perfumes from the line smell very faint to me. From what I COULD smell, the newish Candy flanker is quite nice! December 6, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

      • Lucas: I agree that Candy L’Eau is quite nice.

        And in terms of flankers I also like Chanel Allure Homme edition Blanche. December 6, 2013 at 12:19pm Reply

        • Elisa: Another Chanel flanker I liked is Cristalle Eau Verte. December 6, 2013 at 12:22pm Reply

          • Dee: I liked that one too! Great for when it’s so hot that anything sweet makes you feel nauseas. I know that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement (lol!), but that can be hard to find! December 6, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

            • Elisa: I perversely kind of like sweet scents when it’s hot. I especially love L de LL in the summer. Don’t hate me! December 6, 2013 at 2:38pm Reply

          • Patricia: An easy-to-wear summer favorite of mine, too! I bought a bottle last summer. December 7, 2013 at 5:24pm Reply

      • Dee: Butting in here to say that I’m wearing the Candy L’eau today, and it’s just great, especially now that it’s cold out. It’s cuddly, smooth, and sweet without being cloying. I find myself reaching for my sample over and over again over the past week. December 6, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

        • Elisa: It’s frigid in CO this week and I’ve been reaching for gourmands too! December 6, 2013 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Courant: I second the love for Prada’s D’Iris Absolue and wish to make a case for LIDGE, lets do it, L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme. Kafka’s recent blog on the comparison with its pillar is wonderful! December 6, 2013 at 1:45pm Reply

      • Elisa: Mmm, LIDGE sounds great! December 6, 2013 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Majja: Think Kenzo Amour Le Parfum is sooo much better than the original Amour, also goes for Flowerbomb Extreme! I DONT like Shalimar Initial, to hmm, green, no there something not right about that one! Angel Eau de Toilette is just blaah, nothing in common with my beloved Angel! Sensous Noir is lovely!! December 6, 2013 at 10:50am Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, another Sensuous Noir lover! My bottle is getting dangerously low…

      I was not a fan of Shalimar Initial either, to be honest — too much iris for my taste. December 6, 2013 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Hildegerd: I hated Flowerbomb, but love Flowerbomb Extreme. December 6, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Elisa: You’ve convinced me to try this, I also am not a fan of Flowerbomb! I do love Spicebomb though. December 6, 2013 at 2:07pm Reply

      • Hildegerd: Cool. <3 December 6, 2013 at 2:47pm Reply

  • rosarita: This is a very interesting read, thank you! I’m a fan of Hypnotic Poison and Chanel Eau Premiere but they both smell like brand new perfumes compared to the originals, to my nose. I liked Coco Noir, once I got over my initial disappointment that it wasn’t a more “Noir Coco” but treated it like a different perfume altogether. December 6, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

    • Elisa: Definitely, Hypnotic Poison is unrelated to my nose as well. December 6, 2013 at 2:18pm Reply

    • Dee: I’m loving Coco Noir! It’s true that at first spray, you’re thinking, “This smells like everything else out there.” But then, wearing it for some time, you realize it smells like the most perfectly done version of that purple-fruit-spice scent. It is classic without being stodgy and just a little challenging at the very top, so that you don’t get bored. It’s just a great everyday choice. December 6, 2013 at 2:21pm Reply

      • Elisa: Darn — I think I passed my sample on. You’re making me regret it! December 6, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

        • Dee: I told a friend of mine that sometimes you don’t want to stand out so much as you want your perfume choice to just be impeccable. And I’d say that Coco Noir fits that description.

          I also loved Chloe L’Eau de Chloe for the same reasons. At first, it just seemed like citrus and rose–snore. But I just found myself reaching for it repeatedly, because it was easy but well-done. In the heat, it’s like roses, lemon and warm skin. You can’t be offended by it, but you also can’t deny it is a quality scent. December 6, 2013 at 2:34pm Reply

          • Elisa: I feel that way about some of the By Kilian florals — they are not weird in any way, just so beautifully done and with such good materials, it’s undeniable. December 6, 2013 at 2:37pm Reply

    • Hildegerd: I think Coco Noir smelled like a grown up Coco Mademoiselle. I will certainly not buy a bottle of that. December 6, 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Ann: I know it gets very little love in the Perfumistaphere, but I quite like Chanel No.19 Poudre. I also like Chanel No. 19. They fit different moods for me. Like the “Godfather Part II,” a great sequal that continues the story. Thanks for the history lesson. I’m not familiar with Signoricci, but now I am curious! December 6, 2013 at 2:42pm Reply

    • Ann: sequel (oh dear) December 6, 2013 at 2:49pm Reply

    • leathermountain: I agree, Ann, about Chanel No. 19 Poudre. It would be great to have both!

      Another thought, inspired by the flanker-of-flanker notion, about perfume genealogy. Ultimately, it’s not so important what it’s called. But what is very interesting is the flow of ideas. A flanker of the first variety you describe, Elisa, need not be related by marketing, but is related by scent and/or materials. I would love to see a map of those relationships! Wouldn’t you? December 6, 2013 at 3:09pm Reply

      • Elisa: Yes, a visual map of perfume relationships would be fascinating! December 6, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’ve never tried Signoricci either — V helped me with the research on the first flanker, which we were both curious about. December 6, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Kayti: Hi there Ann, my husband bought No.19 Poudre home from an overseas trip; a huge bottle too. I had been hinting at standard No.19 but he wouldn’t have known about the flanker minefield at the airports. I was (quietly) a wee bit disappointed but, I have to say, I go back to it & really enjoy it again & again – it’s rather lovely for a certain mood isn’t it. December 6, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

      • Ann: Hi Kayti, Well if Poudre is as far afield as he went, you’ve got a keeper! With Extrait, EdP, EdT, pour femme, pour homme, de l’eau, extreme etc. etc. it is hard to keep one’s “hints” subtle. 🙂 December 6, 2013 at 6:20pm Reply

  • annemariec: Many thanks for a great piece. In the history of successful flankers, Magie Noire (Lancome) must get a mention. The original Magie came out in 1950, Magie Noire in 1978 – get a lag!

    I recently picked up a 15 ml bottle of the re-released ‘La Collection’ version of Magie, launched in the 2000s at the same time as Cuir de Lancome and some other of Lancome’s great classics (all now d/c). Magie is a lovely floral amber, obviously made with first rate materials. It reminds me of Arpege but it’s drier, rather humourless and not as sexy as Arpege. Hermes Caleche also springs to mind as a comparison in style, if not in notes. Magie is a teeny bit dull, truth told.

    But Magie Noire was fantastic! Never a dull moment wearing that one! I don’t know if the original Magie was still on the market when MN was released. Probably young women had hardly heard of Magie and assumed MN was a pillar fragrance, not a flanker. Certainly they have nothing common. December 6, 2013 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Elisa: You’re right, I completely forgot that Magie Noire was a flanker! And one of the first, clearly! December 6, 2013 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Amer: I have always wanted to try the Muglers but I can never find where on earth they are sold 🙁 Sensuous Noir’s drydown is indeed one of the richest in mainstream perfumery, heavy on a luxurious sandalwood synthetic that puts many niche to shame (if I remember right it resembles Black Afgano a bit). Funny you mentioned Toy Story 2, I also have fond memories of that one, in fact it was the movie that converted me to 3D animation… and now I am a 3D cartoon myself ?!?! December 6, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Elisa: Sensuous Noir reminds me of Black Violet (which costs about 5 times more IIRC).

      Where do you live, Amer? December 6, 2013 at 3:39pm Reply

      • Amer: Greece December 7, 2013 at 4:32am Reply

        • njaalgâhaisyeini: Hi Amer, the Thierry Mugler webshop doesn’t seem to ship outside of the UK. I’ve gotten my Muglers off eBay, there are some really good sellers there 🙂 Also samples are widely available over there, which was really good for me when I was just getting into TM perfumes.

          Anyway I think Alien Essence Absolue is a great example of a very well done flanker. I still prefer the stark, domineering original, but AEE is a great alternative embodying all of the good parts of Alien and none of the bad. Also the newest Aqua Chic, sadly a limited edition, is a great take on the theme but with a softer orange blossom opening in place of the signature jasmine.

          I also own Insolence Eau Glacée by Guerlain and in some ways prefer it to the original. Same with LL’s Si Lolita Eau de Minuit, instantly recognizeable but still different enough to be enjoyed on its own. December 8, 2013 at 4:56pm Reply

          • Elisa: I prefer the Alien flankers almost as a rule to the original Alien. The one I own is one of the summer “Sunessence” editions, Ambre d’Or something or other. It’s great! December 8, 2013 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Dominic: Most of the time i love originals above all. But I have to admit that Eternity Moment is very good, also Boss Orange Sunset has more gravity than original. And even though i obsessively fell in love with Angel, Innocent has always been great for me. There was also something incredibly nice for me in Rush2 by Gucci. December 6, 2013 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Elisa: To me Innocent is one of those flankers that smells nothing like the original, really a totally new idea. December 6, 2013 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Susan: I must admit to enjoying Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche and Chance Eau Tendre more than I like the original Chance. And loving EL Sensuous Nude and Sensuous Noir while not being overly impressed with their namesake. December 6, 2013 at 4:09pm Reply

    • Elisa: I was initially unimpressed with Sensuous Nude — seemed not-so-special compared to Bronze Goddess, like a really basic Coppertone accord. But then I ended up with a small bottle and go figure, I really like it! December 6, 2013 at 4:12pm Reply

    • Geneviève: I prefer too Chanel Chance eau fraîche and eau tender way more than the original. Same thing for Chanel no.19 poudré over the original (I know, i’m weird) and finally Cartier Déclaration d’un soir over the original.

      So it means, in my case, I happen to love a lot of flankers ! December 6, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Jo: I tend to like the originals best, but there are some flankers which are great. The Poison flankers are all wonderful in their own right I think. I agree that J’adore L’Absolu is definitely superior to the original J’Adore. Versace Crystal Noir I also think is a much more interesting scent than Bright Crystal.
    Sensuous Noir was always too big for me, it never really felt like a flanker scent. I like Sensuous Nude though, even though it is largely along the same lines as Sensuous, I like the simplicity of both.
    I actually have a soft spot for Chanel No 5 Elixir Sensuel, though wish is came in a EDT or EDP rather than body oil. Also quite love Un Air de First, it’s such a pretty scent, with an approachable galbanum note. December 6, 2013 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Elisa: You reminded me of another flanker I like: Pink Sugar Sensual. Don’t take my perfumista card away! December 6, 2013 at 5:48pm Reply

  • Ariadne: Great article! Tresor Midnight Rose is every bit as good, different enough, maybe even better (because I have abandoned Tresor since getting a FB of MR.) December 6, 2013 at 5:39pm Reply

    • Hildegerd: Thank you for reminding me of that one. December 6, 2013 at 5:47pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’m loving all these recommendations! I haven’t tried a lot of these. December 6, 2013 at 5:48pm Reply

  • Portia: I totally enjoyed that read Elisa,
    The only flankers I have a couple of in my collection are the JPG Le Male summer and Fleur editions. I like how the original is reworked in all sorts of textures and still love the original too. Also I have some Mugler flankers for the same reason. I did want to get the Kenzo Holi but it keeps slipping off the list.
    Portia x December 6, 2013 at 5:59pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Portia! The nice thing about flankers is that they frequently turn up at discounters! December 6, 2013 at 7:41pm Reply

  • FearsMice: My favorite flanker is Organza Indecence! And echoing annemariec, I absolutely adored Magie Noire, too. For many years, I didn’t even know about the original Magie, and still have never smelled it. Thanks for another fun article, Elisa. December 6, 2013 at 7:34pm Reply

    • Elisa: Organza Indecence is another good one! December 6, 2013 at 7:41pm Reply

  • Lynley: I like all the Eau des Merveilles flankers as well as the original. My favourite flanker far outstripping the original would be Organza Indecence. December 6, 2013 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Elisa: I hear people mention Organza Indecence far more than the original! December 7, 2013 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Bastet: I just remembered Esprit d’Oscar! Most days I would list this one in my top ten favorite perfumes of all times, and to my nose much better than the original. Also available for a very good price at the online discounters. December 9, 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

    • Elisa: I need to spend more time with this one! I remember liking it when it came out. December 9, 2013 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Sandra: My fav flanker would be shalimar initial- very sexy flanker December 10, 2013 at 7:18am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s been interesting to see how Guerlain has tried to appeal to a wider/younger audience without abandoning its roots! December 10, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

  • Lizzy: I confess my experience with comparing flankers to their originals is quite limited, however I can say that I prefer La Vie en Rose to the original Flowerbomb (but I cannot say the same for FB Extreme and I have not tried Spicebomb), did not care for Shalimar Parfum Initial (jury is still out on the original), and love Chanel No. 5 and cannot imagine loving its flankers more. So much to explore–and so little space in the perfume drawer 😉 December 10, 2013 at 7:54pm Reply

    • Elisa: Having minimal storage space is probably a good thing — I have a huge etagere where I keep my perfumes and so I acquire way too many of them. 🙂 December 10, 2013 at 8:12pm Reply

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