Top Selling Fragrances in France 2014

As the last of the Christmas sales are tallied up, consumer research groups are sending in their numbers and preparing their lists of top selling perfumes in 2014. In many ways, it was a year that brought some surprises and at the same time ensured that some trends won’t be going away. For instance, despite the breathless proclamations of forecasting agencies last year, there are no signs that the gourmand trend is giving way to woods and chypres. The best selling perfume of the year in France is an extra sweet blend of caramel and cotton candy. But at the same time, the list contains incense accented blend of woods and a powdery floral.

shalimar

The information comes from NPD Group and it was shared by ChallengeS, a French weekly. ChallengeS focuses on economic topics, so if you read French, please follow the link to learn what the new constellation of best sellers means for the French perfume market and L’Oréal in particular.

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Snapshot 2013

Top Selling Perfumes France 2012

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

Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA

10. Flower by Kenzo (2000)

Soft and powdery, alternating between floral and musky notes, Flower is an intriguing perfume. It has a gentle personality, but its presence is distinctive and enveloping.

9. Guerlain Shalimar (1925)

Proof that while some newer fragrances may receive a lot of attention, French perfume wearers remain loyal to classics.

8. Christian Dior Miss Dior (2005)

This Miss Dior is the strawberry gourmand perfume, not the original 1947 composition (it’s now called Miss Dior L’Originale).

7. Thierry Mugler Angel (1993)

The grandmother of all contemporary gourmands has lost a little of its former hold on the market, but it’s still an important brand.

6. Yves Saint Laurent Opium (2009 reformulation of a 1977 classic)

It was a pleasant surprise to see Opium on the list, a fragrance that was nearly killed by regulations. Thanks to a successful and careful reformulation and timely relaunch, it’s back in its high ranking position.

5. Chanel No. 5 (1921)

An icon that needs no comments. It may slip a few slots, but it always graces France’s top 10 lists of best sellers.

4. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (2001)

Like Angel, Coco Mademoiselle has been slipping in its popularity over the years, giving way to newer gourmand blends, but it’s still a popular perfume.

3. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire (2012)

A successful morsel of almond macarons and raspberries from the old French house.

2. Christian Dior J’Adore (2000)

A radiant floral that can now be called a classic.

1. Lancôme La Vie est Belle (2012)

What does Paris smell like these days? “La Vie est Belle and boulangerie (bakery),” says a Parisian friend. According to NPD, La Vie est Belle brought L’Oréal 66 million euros in sales in 2014. La Vie est Belle is one of the biggest gourmands on the market, both in terms of its popularity and diffusion.

Image: Guerlain Shalimar ad.

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95 Comments

  • Sofie: So, I checked out your review of La Vie Est Belle, and had to smile… You are such an optimistic person, always trying to find a positive note or twist. So refreshing!
    We had that whole discussion about ads a bit earlier, and I said I didn’t like overly sexualised ones… Well, I actually like this Shalimar ad. Of a completely nude woman. Ahum, inconsistent, moi? She almost looks innocent, although that probably wasn’t the objective :-D. Sensual, striking and catching.
    The list I find rather unsurprising. But it’s nice to see some grannies in there… January 14, 2015 at 7:32am Reply

    • Victoria: That perfume just had “the best seller” written all over it, and then Lancome did a big PR stint and did it well. I think it’s nicely crafted, all in all, but it’s undoubtedly too sweet for my tastes. And if I want sweet in that amount, then I’d rather go for something less fussy like Aquolina Pink Sugar.

      I hear you on the Shalimar ad. I usually also don’t like overly sexual ads, but this one looks beautiful and alluring. And Natalia is gorgeous. January 14, 2015 at 11:45am Reply

      • Austenfan: Even though she is naked it’s tastefully done, and Shalimar is a very sensual perfume. So I too really like this photo. January 14, 2015 at 3:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: It matches the mood of Shalimar for me, because it’s truly one of the most seductive classics. January 15, 2015 at 8:44am Reply

    • nozknoz: It’s worth looking up the video of La Legende de Shalimar on YouTube – beautiful! January 14, 2015 at 11:55pm Reply

      • Victoria: Agree!

        In Delhi I went to the Shalimar gardens which inspired the perfume, and while they are now far from their former Moghul glory, it’s still a nice peaceful spot in the middle of a busy city. January 15, 2015 at 8:58am Reply

      • Karen: Just watched it, and Wow!! What a beautiful video! January 15, 2015 at 1:12pm Reply

        • Amer: Yes that film was impressive although I would advice against taking a bath with all that jewellery on, unless you want them to take a rusty patina. The rising of the Taj Mahal didn’t make much sense either in this romantic plot since it is a grave and I’d like to think you don’t run grievous risks when applying Shalimar January 16, 2015 at 4:43am Reply

          • Karen: Well if you’re wearing pure gold, no chance of rust, right!? I liked the imagry of the Taj Mahal rising from the river – I took the video as Mumtaz’s travel to the other side and Shah Jahan’s memories of her and their love, and her memories of life/love.

            And then his idea of honoring his love for her with a beautiful building for her to lie in for eternity. (oh my goodness, this all sounds really corny, but isn’t intended to be) I don’t know – I thought the video captured the idea of letting go of someone you love who has passed, and also what that passing could possibly be like (the birds flying in slow motion, the feel of water on your skin, holding the person you love).

            For a perfume ad, I really thought it conveyed a sense of love, especially given that the Taj Mahal is a masoleum. A while ago I read in a book on the gardens there, originally an exact replica in black marble was planned for Shah Jahan’s masoleum across the river, with gardens that mirrored the ones at Mahal’s. January 16, 2015 at 6:39am Reply

  • Michaela: I should not be the one to comment here. Not prepared enough. But… coincidence… my next planned purchase is Shalimar. Probably the EDP. Probably my 2015 purchase.
    I love Flower by Kenzo and TM Angel, also, but I decided… not for myself. I tried all the other perfume listed here but I feel no addiction. Chanel 5 is still intriguing to me. The others are not. Just fine, but I don’t feel the urge to own any of them.
    I’m still surprised La Vie est Belle sells so well. Honestly I prefer Aquolina Pink Sugar flanker Sparks, very close. January 14, 2015 at 7:36am Reply

    • Edward: I always love Shalimar, especially Eau Legere! It is something that I wear on days when I am not decided and just want to smell great! Glad to see someone who enjoys it the way I do (whatever version you might prefer). January 14, 2015 at 7:51am Reply

      • Victoria: Eau Legere is one of my favorite versions of Shalimar, and I love the original too. I hope that Guerlain will also reissue its Ode a la Vanille Shalimar editions. January 14, 2015 at 11:49am Reply

        • Sandra: What is the difference between Eau Legere and eau de Shalimar? January 14, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

          • Victoria: Eau Legere was much more lemony and fresher. It was also a bit sweeter than Eau de Shalimar, but the crisp notes toned that down. January 14, 2015 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Sparks, but I like the original Pink Sugar. When I want a dose of sweetness, it’s just the right thing! January 14, 2015 at 11:48am Reply

    • Aisha: I’m a Sparks fan too. 🙂 January 14, 2015 at 5:54pm Reply

  • Aurora: Oh this is so interesting, Victoria. Some are predictable but others come as a bit of a surprise.

    I was aware of Kenzo Flower’s popularity in France, I find it haunting but don’t wear it that often. Your review of it captured it exactly for me.

    So glad for Opium, I recommended it recently on the December thread it deserved a new name that’s all to avoid comparison.

    Glad to see the classics Angel, No 5 and J’Adore.

    La Petite Robe Noire and Coco Mad… well, so be it, they are well crafted and they knew what their target audience wanted very and I like the Miss Dior it’s a fun fragrance I love strawberry but La Vie est Belle, well I don’t know what to say.

    Oh, V. such a good idea to use Natalia Vodianova, she is worthy of Shalimar; now if I get a little of her gorgeousness when I apply it… Shalimar and she are timeless. January 14, 2015 at 7:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree with you on Opium and the new name, although I don’t blame YSL for not going in that direction. After, Opium is a huge brand and it has so many connotations even for people who never wore the original. In the end, they made a good fragrance, and while it’s not the Opium of 1977, it’s beautiful.

      Kenzo Flower is such an intriguing, contrast perfume. I also don’t wear it that often, but our conversation prompted me to find my little bottle. I will put it on tomorrow. January 14, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

      • Aurora: And you will smell delicious! January 15, 2015 at 4:48am Reply

  • Kat: Rarely has a scent reacted so badly with my skin chemistry as Angel did – it turned into a vile surly concoction. I later noticed the same effect with other scents but never as bad. What they all had in common was caramel. So I’m not a fan of gourmand scents. Hopefully the woods and chypres do make a comeback soon. January 14, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Angel is notorious for that. I know that there are people who don’t believe in skin chemistry, but I’ve smelled Angel on different people with remarkably different results. If you wear it well, on the other hand, it’s one of the most fascinating perfumes. January 14, 2015 at 11:53am Reply

  • Figuier: I love reading these lists – & the numbers are fascinating – 66 million euro of sales!! That’s a lot of bottles of perfume!

    It’s nice to see La Petite Robe Noire on the list; thanks to your review of the Couture version, which prompted me to try it out in our local department store, I’ve ended up really liking it, and am considering purchasing a bottle next winter. The sugary raspberry is gorgeous. January 14, 2015 at 9:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I was trying to picture all of those bottles in my mind! But having just gotten off the metro in Brussels, I can believe that it was a huge sellers. La Vie est Belle is what the train smelled of, and I spotted 3 women wearing this perfume just on one ride. January 14, 2015 at 11:55am Reply

  • George: It’s a very francophile list, isn’t it?- no Lauder for example: the underlying message seems to be that if it isn’t French, it isn’t perfume.

    The business minded side of myself applauds Lancome and Guerlain for getting those first and third positions with new scents; the art-focussed side of myself isn’t QUITE as impressed. In particular, with regard Lancome, I think it takes a real heartlessness to come up the name “life is beautiful” for a perfume. January 14, 2015 at 9:45am Reply

    • Kat: Agreed the name sounds so generic – and the ad with Julia Roberts as a puppet on a string does not really carry the same message. She breaks free from a life of conventions – that seems to stress freedom more than beauty. A very odd ad but most perfume ads these days look odd to me. I never feel the urge to cuddle with an oversized bottle of perfume or to climb up a giant satin bed sheet. January 14, 2015 at 10:34am Reply

      • solanace: The only thing the two have in common is how literal they are. Sad. January 14, 2015 at 11:55am Reply

      • George: I hadn’t seen the advert, but now watching it and then reading some of the PR, it’s obvious that the marketing campaign for LVEB was inspired by Eat, Pray, Love, although the ad isn’t effective in conveying that. January 14, 2015 at 12:13pm Reply

        • Kat: Ah – thanks for the clarification. Makes sense and explains that particular mystery. January 14, 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

          • George: It’s just my guess though- based on the PR blurb-

            “The concept of this fragrance is centered on the idea of natural and simple beauty, freedom from conventions and the choice of once own vision of happiness. The fragrance is a kind of outlook on life, inspired by joy and pleasure in small things”-

            and the Julia Roberts casting January 14, 2015 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, when it comes to perfume, French fragrances still hold the market. Although Light Blue and Aromatics Elixir might be in top 20.

      I see that name is more aspirational than anything else, a part of crafting a fantasy that “life is indeed beautiful.” But I’m not sure I like it either way. January 14, 2015 at 11:56am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe they wanted to make a connection with French cinema: ”La vie est belle!” is repeated many times by one of the characters in ”Les Enfants du Paradis”. January 14, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: They had a whole philosophical treatise for a press release on this one! January 14, 2015 at 3:08pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Philosophical treatise?! January 14, 2015 at 3:55pm Reply

            • Victoria: I was being a bit facetious, but this is from an article on La Vie est Belle by Vogue:

              “Can a fragrance be a philosophical statement in your life?… As the that Lancôme is about to launch, rather than a perfume it is a revolution: starting from the name itself, La vie est belle, reminder of that joie de vivre experienced not as a coincidence of life, but as a personal pursuit of happiness.

              “Happiness chosen by today’s women is a radical philosophical choice worlds apart from the happiness hoped by their ancestors sisters, mostly centered on the defensive – aggressive princesses in desperate search for a Prince Charming. Even worlds apart from the ascetic happiness of their mothers, made of compromises more or less unacknowledged, renouncing themselves, made of self-denial?” says the French philosopher Vincent Cespedes.” January 15, 2015 at 8:43am Reply

              • Karen: Oh Lordy…… January 15, 2015 at 12:34pm Reply

                • Cornelia Blimber: Good Heavens! Thank you for making me laugh! January 15, 2015 at 3:25pm Reply

              • Therése: Oh dear, I can’t stop laughing. January 16, 2015 at 2:07am Reply

                • Karen: This is a perfect example of what kind of press stops me from purchasing a fragrance, and the Shalimar video is a perfect example of advertising that would inspire me to purchase a fragrance! January 16, 2015 at 6:43am Reply

                  • Sofie: Rolling my eyes and laughing at the same time!
                    I couldn’t agree more with you Karen! January 20, 2015 at 7:34am Reply

    • Merlin: Actually, now that you have made that connection, the concept seems less vacuous than it did! January 15, 2015 at 4:09pm Reply

  • Leah: Hi Victoria – I am somewhat surprised by this list. I just read a perfume article back in December about how the big fragrance houses are feeling a pinch caused by consumer demand for niche scents. This list seems to contradict. I can send it to you if you would like, I did not want to take the liberty of including the link. As for my top 2014, I wore a lot of Portrait of a Lady, French Lover (Bois d’Orage), Plum Japonais, Sahara Noir and Cartier’s Oud and Oud. Best wishes January 14, 2015 at 11:13am Reply

  • Sandra: Hi V-
    Thanks for the list. Am surprised like most comments here that Paris smells like Lancome-but it is what it is.
    I love the Shalimar Ad-God she is gorgeous..I love the short film they have for the ad too-the man is also gorgeous too!
    I own a FB of Shalimar Ode a la Vanille-that I have just sprayed on my neck.
    Also got a sample of perfume that was recommended to me from the thread of “recommend me a perfume” a few days ago- Mona di Orio Musc. Very soft and close to the skin. January 14, 2015 at 11:50am Reply

    • Victoria: La Vie est Belle is hugely popular, and it does have a big sillage, so if someone wears it, you really notice it.

      The actor in Shalimar film serves as a proof that diversity is a good thing, and it produces incredible looking people. 🙂 He is of French, Vietnamese and Senegalese heritage. January 14, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

  • solanace: Happy to see some classics, and specially Shalimar, on the list. Paris still smells fabulous. January 14, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Always nice to see classics still being loved, which is an argument against those marketing people who claim that people aren’t interested in the “old stuff.”

      To be fair, there are many not so good smells, especially lately when the cleaning budgets must have been cut. Some metro stops smell not very nice. January 14, 2015 at 12:07pm Reply

      • solanace: Agree! But I miss Paris so much, that I even miss the smell (stink) of Chatellet – Les Halles! January 14, 2015 at 4:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: I haven’t been to Chatellet in ages. I try to avoid it at all costs, since it takes such a long time to change trains there. And the construction is still up. January 15, 2015 at 8:50am Reply

  • Marsha: I also agree that the above ad for Shalimar is absolutely gorgeous. As is the perfume it advertises. I have a bottle of “Parfum De Toilette” (I’ve never heard of this designation) that my mother got from a late sister-in-law, oh Lord, probably well over 35 years ago. And I can’t imagine why because my Mother never wears perfume! However, the bottle is over 3/4 full and it still smells wonderful. It is the bottle with the blue cap and it has a very tight seal. When I first spritz it on, it smells like lemon cheesecake! January 14, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re lucky, Marsha! The vintage versions of Shalimar are so lush, and it stays fresh for a remarkably long time. This is surprising considering how much citrus the blend contains, a note notorious for going off. But my older bottles of Shalimar are in perfect condition. January 14, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Marsha: Also, Victoria, I wish to thank you for posting the story about the Ukrainian Christmas customs and the recipes your grandmother makes on your FB page. I have a special friend who has Ukrainian ancestors that emigrated to American during the 1920’s and she is very proud of her Ukrainian heritage. She has enjoyed a lot of your posts! January 14, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for sharing them with her! Many of these customs are so old, but they are still very meaningful. And I’m always happy to share my grandmother’s food. 🙂 January 14, 2015 at 12:10pm Reply

      • Marsha: Hey Victoria: My friend just replied back to me that she read your post on the Ukrainian Christmas customs. She said that the singing brought tears to her eyes. :-))) January 14, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

        • Victoria: I also find the song very moving, and this particular version really touched me. January 15, 2015 at 8:39am Reply

  • Alex: The list doesn’t surprise me Victoria but I have to disagree on the Opium statement; it is everything but a careful reformulation. I have very strong feelings for real Opium, and unfortunately or fortunately, Opium died in 2009. The atrocity now being sold is… Well I’ll live it to everyone’s imagination! Sorry for the rant, but I get very frustrated on that subject! La vie est belle is my guilty pleasure on the other hand, so not everything is bad 🙂 January 14, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Courant: Opium is the only perfume that a co-worker asked me not to wear. It was 1979 and I believe (Victoria can please comment) that it had a high eugenol content. Memories. I was a long legged city girl on the smoky buses and trains. It was high octane, even then January 14, 2015 at 2:38pm Reply

      • Alex: Then you absolutely smelled divine! 🙂 January 14, 2015 at 2:54pm Reply

      • Victoria: Yep, it had loads of eugenol, and it’s an ingredient that can now be used in the homeopathic dosages, in the words of one fragrance chemist. January 14, 2015 at 3:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: I completely understand why you’re frustrated. Since Opium was composed mostly of ingredients that are now severely limited, remaking it is like asking a baker to make a chocolate truffle cake without using cacao, flour and butter. So, under these circumstances, the perfumers reformulating Opium have done an excellent job. Of course, someone who wore and loved the original may not be thrilled with the new version. On the other hand, at least we have some form of Opium than none at all. January 14, 2015 at 3:05pm Reply

  • silverdust: I think I’m the only person who finds this list “blah.” January 14, 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Fair enough, although after seeing the German and American lists, this one seems very exciting to me. 🙂 January 14, 2015 at 3:08pm Reply

      • George: OOh, can we know what is on the German list? January 14, 2015 at 6:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: Unfortunately, I can’t share it for the time being, since it comes from a proprietary database I use for work. But in general terms, lots of pale citrusy florals and the usual gourmand suspects. If I find something in free access, I will definitely share it. January 15, 2015 at 8:57am Reply

          • George: Thanks! Then I shan’t ask what we uk’er’s love, beyond the fear of what might actually be on that list. January 15, 2015 at 9:08am Reply

            • Victoria: I don’t have that one for the whole year yet, but I remember in the middle of 2014, See Chloe was ranking near the top as did J’Adore. It had fewer big gourmands and floral orientals than the French list. January 15, 2015 at 9:16am Reply

          • Hannah: Whenever I go, I try to see if I notice what perfumes, or at least what kinds of perfumes, are popular. But I rarely smell perfumes on other people (not exclusive to Germany; I rarely smell perfumes on others even when they are wearing something). I think Jil Sander perfumes were on the list in the past, and that’s the only thing that’s stuck out to me. I’ve done a few homestays (women in their late 30’s-early 50’s in Berlin) and I’ve seen Jil Sanders bottles in the homes. And once I wore Philosykos on a date and the guy asked me if I was wearing Jil Sanders Sun, because my perfume was bringing him back to his awkward, early dating years O_O
            Besides that, I know someone who wears Kenzo Flower and I’ve smelled Gautier Classique on the bus, but nothing to indicate any patterns. I see Douglas bags all the time and I sometimes try to see if I can see what’s inside without looking like a creep, but I’ve never been successful. January 17, 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

            • Victoria: Maybe, it’s because people don’t wear that much perfume or apply it lightly? Around here, it’s not uncommon to smell a lot of perfume, but also, it’s just that people select perfumes that have noticeable sillages like La Vie est Belle, Angel or Coco Mademoiselle. January 19, 2015 at 5:34am Reply

    • spe: No, you aren’t the only one! There is nothing on this list that I’d like to wear. LVEB is ….well, let’s just say I have to endure it daily because one of my secretaries must have received some as a Christmas gift. I immediately asked her what it was because I wish to avoid it, of course. Oh, well, I’ve never wanted to smell like everyone else, anyway! January 14, 2015 at 3:23pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: Another vote for “blah”! And La vie… is supposed to be an iris scent? What a shame! Can’t wait for the chypre trend to come! January 15, 2015 at 7:08am Reply

      • Victoria: Yes, its iris is just a glimmer under a thick layer of caramel. 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:01am Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: I’m happy to see the classics are still used and enjoyed by the French. I don’t personally get the attraction of La Vie est Belle. It’s well done, as others have said, but it is such a sweet sillage monster I will never wear it. January 14, 2015 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: On the other hand, you have to admit that it’s a memorable perfume, especially next to so many other big launches. And even though it’s too sweet for me, I can see that it’s nicely crafted. January 14, 2015 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Courant: More and more, these days, I wear Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee in EDP. On holiday recently in New Zealand’s Northland I encountered a lot of Narciso for Her worn by backpackers. My husband commented on the number of men wearing Axe/Lynx. Coco M is definitely on the decline when on trains/ferries January 14, 2015 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: You smell wonderful! I like the EDP version of Nuit Etoilee very much. January 14, 2015 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Austenfan: It’s quite a good list, and I love it that both Shalimar and Chanel No.5 are still on it. I remember trying Opium back in the day because the firm that had given my beloved Paris must only make great smelling fragrances. I’m afraid I didn’t like it at all. Sometimes I wonder how I would appreciate it nowadays with so much more sniffing behind me.
    I remember finding La Vie est Belle rather bland but not unlikeable. And I’ll never stop being amazed by how popular Coco Mademoiselle is, I find it quite brash for a Chanel, although funnily enough I have twice complimented other women who were wearing it. January 14, 2015 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Kenzo Flower, Shalimar, Opium, No 5, and some time tested favorites like J’Adore, etc. Yes, I agree with you. I also find this list very good, reflecting some of the interesting choices women have. After all, top 10 lists track what’s being sold at regular stores, not fancy perfume boutiques, and I find it wonderful that there is a mix of new and old.

      Coco Mad has definitely changed over the years, which I was able to confirm when a colleague let me smell her bottle which dates back to the launch. It was stored in a cool spot, so the perfume has been preserved really well, and it doesn’t smell nearly as sharp and sweet as it does now. There used to be more delicious floral and earthy patchouli notes there, and it used to smell a bit more expensive. January 15, 2015 at 8:49am Reply

  • Aisha: The more I see Shalimar on best seller lists, the more I want to try it. I can’t believe I’ve never even sniffed it before. January 14, 2015 at 5:55pm Reply

    • Courant: I venture to suggest that Eau de Shalimar is a lovely gateway to Shalimar proper if you aren’t used to the big girls. The Shalimar Ode de Vanille series is equally suited to a neophyte. Cheers my dears January 15, 2015 at 3:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Do try it, Aisha! Especially Eau de Shalimar or Ode a la Vanille, as Courant suggested. All changes aside, it’s still an amazing perfume. January 15, 2015 at 8:51am Reply

  • the other Michaela: The only perfume I really like and wear from that list is J’adore…

    But I personally am thrilled No 5 is no longer in pole position, it was so boring to see it there! January 15, 2015 at 10:14am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, for a while it was pretty firmly in place. January 15, 2015 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Karen: It is really interesting that the list is comprised mostly of old(er) classics – which must cause some conversations and debates in the research and development labs. January 15, 2015 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: One can only hope! Of course, the huge success of a sweet gourmand means that we will see even more of them and even sweeter ones. January 15, 2015 at 3:47pm Reply

  • Christina: I find this amusing… I went to France in Sept and Oct of last year, and purchased my first bottle of Nicolaï No 1 in Paris, but everywhere I turned I would be assaulted by huge clouds of Angel, La Vie Est Belle, and Opium! And in every apothecary or cosmetics shop I was given samples of Flower! I know Frenchmen seem to be brand loyal to certain perfume houses (eg Guerlain, Chanel), and it seems ladies are much the same! January 17, 2015 at 2:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I love smelling Opium and I’m also a fan of Angel, and you’re right, they are everywhere. All in all, I prefer to smell some perfume as oppose to none on people. 🙂 January 17, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

  • Raquel: Angel is my signature fragrance and I love the new Opium as well as the vintage one. Do you have any info about UEA or Oman top selling fragrances? I wonder about attars and more Middle East perfumes houses…since I bought my beloved Arabian Oud “Kalemat” (blind buy) I wonder what others hidden gems they have…thank you for this wonderful blog! January 18, 2015 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Kalemat is one of the top sellers in the UAE, but no, I don’t have numbers for Oman on hand. Most of what I have seen just didn’t strike me as remotely reliable. January 19, 2015 at 5:30am Reply

  • Alessandra: Oh my…. SUCH a disappointment. I can’t believe La Vie Est Belle is no. 1, this year! I find it terribly boring… even more boring than J’Adore (I KNOW J’adore has many fans, and I admit it suits several women, but to me, and ON me, it doesn’t appeal at all, sorry everyone 🙁 ).
    I also can’t believe that no. 5 is so low in the chart, haha…. but I am sure it will rise again soonest. It’s just immortal.
    Recently, when I am in Paris the feminine scents I encounter the most down the road are either Chloé or La Petite Robe Noire. Lately, it’s mostly the latter (of which I am not a huge fan, to be honest… on the contrary, I LOVE Chloé) January 19, 2015 at 6:41am Reply

    • Victoria: I forgot to mention La Petite Robe Noire among the scents I have been smelling a lot. Yes, that one is very popular too! January 19, 2015 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Alessandra: Really glad to see Shalimar and Opium!! January 19, 2015 at 6:42am Reply

    • Victoria: All in all, a few of my favorites are on this list. 🙂 January 19, 2015 at 1:00pm Reply

  • JulienFromDijon: I find the top 10 more sensible than other years.
    Still, it’s the best marketing concept that are winning here. Coherent ad & packaging & smell (pleasant & innovative & memorable).
    I don’t like the shampoo base that is “j’adore”, the kind of “cruelty-free for true flowers” that this kind of perfume is”.
    No5 stinks, most of the good rose and iris is gone.

    My surprise is to see Opium back. It’s not the former juggernaut it was (though every sale assistant still claim it’s loud WTF), but it has gained balance and portability. Poor wet kitty.

    I like to see Kenzo flower, because they don’t push it on people with too much advertising. It really shines because it smells good.
    I like to see “la petite robe noire”, because Guerlain only survive by the success (or failure) of its perfume.
    I like to see “shalimar” because the reformulation was well-done.

    La vie est belle symbolises the lazy ass jake-of-all-trade campaign that targets at mother, wife, younger sister, whatever, with a Julia Robert of no age, and a perfume that succeeds at being very shallow but very decent at the same time.
    No5 is the no-brainer gift solution to every man who want to buy a gift. Coco mademoiselle is what people would buy for themself instead, but the sale is boosted by Chanel image.
    J’adore is aided by all the whole “weightless see-though gold” image it conveys since the ad of the beginning. It’s not challenging to the nose at all. It’s dirt-cheap to produce. SHAMPOOOO.
    La petite robe noire suceeded with it’s nifty bottle, adversing, and nice perfume. One of the best quality-price compromise. It cashes on the “parisienne” imagery with no false note.

    Angel was the story of a success. Nice bottle. Striking, innovative and catchy perfume. Over the top advertising… so Mugler.

    Come to think of it. If there were no advertising, no sale-assistant corrupted to do “operations” and push a specific mark to customer, no fashion mark to lend notority to a perfume… only the shape of the perfume and what it smells, most of this top list would bite the dust.
    They are not winners, they are cheaters with unfair advantages.

    But it’s soothing for people to see landmark in the sales number. As for every art (hit in music, hit at cinema) huge sales is not correlated with “good”, even less with “what is the best”. And long live your blog! January 20, 2015 at 9:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: But it’s interesting which department store launches do well. After all, brands spend lavishly on many of their top launches, but some fail, despite the advertising, etc. January 21, 2015 at 8:14am Reply

      • JulienFromDijon: Yeah, I’m not angry of whatever.
        I catch the fun of “top selling list”, and commenting on it. Moreover, art and marketing have both in common to know how the catch the zeitgeit, l’air du temps, that something in the air. I really get into it, because it strings the “how to make a hobbie a job” in me.

        You remind me that I don’t mind sport competition. There, I don’t get the fun. I don’t know, maybe in a certain way I’m conscious that competition does not bring the better in people or art or whom people are picked as role-model. Emulation helps, but it blurs things too
        I’m kind of a aïkido guy : do the stuff for the fun and the grace of it, not to go over other people, to feel good is its own reward, improvement comes only in comparison to yourself, and most medal are fake so no ranking. I like to call them “chocolate medal” the kind you offer to kid, they’re happy, they unwrap them eat them and nothings remain but the pleasure.

        The same here : competition do not sort the best perfumes out. But still, in this crowded area, it’s a sportive fun to see who’s making it to the top.
        A winning game is when everyone is winning from it (it’s a lofty ideal). There’s something unhealthy in the way people are picking their perfumes, and what makes top selling ones. Ads gives visibility and boost sells, like drugs enhance performances, temporarily.

        I know there wouldn’t be enough iris and rose fields in the current world if everyone picked up niche perfumes right now, so I don’t make it a black and white issue. January 21, 2015 at 4:43pm Reply

  • Jo: This list doesn’t surprise me much. La Vie Est Belle was everywhere in Amsterdam and the UK, and I still consistently smell No. 5 and Shalimar in both places. Coco Mademoiselle, J’Adore and Flower also seem to have maintained a strong following. La Petite Robe Noire too was well worn by the younger crowd in Amsterdam, I smelled it a lot at university. Alien I still smell more than Angel in the UK, but Opium it the one I haven’t noticed – and it’s hard to miss! Thanks for posting, these are always interesting to read! April 8, 2015 at 10:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I agree, no grand surprises, but like you, I also find these lists fascinating. April 9, 2015 at 6:18am Reply

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