Perfume Trends: 26 posts

Overview of fragrance trends and popular perfumes

Bitter and Fresh : Citrus Colognes for Winter

In my new FT column, Sublime Citrus Scents, I talk of Napoleon, bitter oranges and an iconic fragrance family, colognes. Contrary to usual recommendations, I prefer colognes in the winter, and it’s not simply because I don’t believe that scents are seasonal. The freshness of colognes is uplifting on dark winter mornings.  The zesty aromas linger in the cool air and I start noticing new facets even in my summery staples. Finally, while I enjoy winter, even in its grey and rainy Belgian variant, cologne can bring a beguiling reminder of spring.

“Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have used litres of cologne, even when on his military campaigns. While my ambitions don’t reach as far as world domination, fragrances suffused with citrus nevertheless feature prominently in my perfume wardrobe. Few aromas are more uplifting and rejuvenating, and their versatility makes colognes an easy fragrance type to adapt to various moods and occasions. To continue, please click here.”

Please let me know what citrus fragrances you prefer and whether you have favorite winter colognes.

Image via FT

What are Pink Berries?

Fragrance marketing lingo is in a world of its own, and I have given up trying to find the logic behind the use of terms that nobody, not even professionals, can untangle. Perfumers, of course, have their own vocabulary, and the bulk of my perfumery training was learning how to use it correctly. So, the best I can do is to explain some of this vocabulary, both professional jargon and marketing inventions, in a series of installments. In my latest FT column, Pink Pepper Perfumes, I look at the mysterious “pink berries.”

For an introduction, you can also take a look at my Speaking Perfume: A-Z Glossary. It was written four years ago, but is still one of the most quoted articles from Bois de Jasmin. Also, the individual essays on raw materials and accords might be helpful.

pink pepper

“A list of notes describes a perfume’s smell as well as an enumeration of pigments captures Mona Lisa’s smile. While notes can suggest whether a fragrance is predominantly floral, leathery or spicy, they can also be misleading. One example is pink berries. To continue, please click here.”

I wrote the article before I tried the most recent Aedes perfume, Grenadille d’Afrique, but it would be a perfect contender for an innovative take on pink pepper. It was created by Alberto Morillas.

Photography of pink pepper by Bois de Jasmin

What Is The Most Versatile Perfume?

More than a month ago we ran a poll on the most versatile perfume. I asked you to name a fragrance or several that you consider versatile and can wear for any occasion and in any mood. You shared your entries–around 700 perfume names total, and I tabulated the results. Since I posted it as a casual poll, I didn’t follow the standard procedures to correct for errors. Please take the results with a grain of salt. I also don’t think that Bois de Jasmin readers represent the general population, so our idea of versatile may be rather idiosyncratic.

guerlain dali

The most popular houses are Chanel (150 nominations), Guerlain (65 nominations) and Hermes (58 nominations). Frédéric Malle received 30 nominations and Serge Lutens 25.

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The (Blind) Smell Test at WWD : Update

Another update on The Smell Test series from Women’s Wear Daily is in order. As I mentioned in my previous posts, the goal is to blind test recent launches and offer anonymous opinions. All ten judges, myself included, receive fragrances in plain lab bottles, marked only by number, smell at their leisure and offer a rating from 1 to 10. WWD is one of the leading and most influential fashion and beauty publications, and it’s a great platform for such a project.

diptyque-florabellio-test

The latest perfumes tested were as follows:

Creed Royal Mayfair

Diptyque Florabellio

Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or

Kate Spade Walk on Air

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Cologne Indélébile

The Smell Test feature is available without subscription.

My personal favorite from this batch was Florabellio, a quirky, strange thing but quite compelling.

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.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Sofie in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2017: Hi Fanny, I’m catching up on posts hence my late reply… I got really thrown a bit, with your question. ‘Sexy? Why do you want to smell sexy?’ 😀 I’ve… February 26, 2017 at 5:52am

  • Sarah in A Brief Guide to Vitamin C Serums: Thanks for the tips! I’ll see if I can get it to work better for me. I like the other Ordinary things I’ve tried so far (and I really like… February 25, 2017 at 7:16pm

  • Lily in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2017: I have no suggestions to help with your hunt, as these are all unfamiliar to me except by reading. But if no one responds I recommend reposting the question when… February 25, 2017 at 7:02pm

  • Victoria in A Brief Guide to Vitamin C Serums: A valid point, but the research I have seen on those specific ingredients gives me no reasons for concern. Crosspolymers differ tremendously. Depending on how you set the test, you… February 25, 2017 at 3:23pm

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