Fragrance Trends : Your Wishlist


What trend would you like to see in fragrances? And what current trend would you like to go away?

Here is my wishlist: I would love to see a trend for woody orientals that do not rely on candied, sugary notes for their richness. My other wish is for fruity chypres. A recent launch by Annick Goutal, Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille, reminded me how much I love this genre of fragrance, in which the delicious sweetness of fruit gets tempered by mossy-woody notes.

My negative wishlist is very long. Bland florals, cotton candy and lollipops, copycats of bestsellers–I would like to avoid all of these, but my biggest wish is for the reversal of the current trend of quantity over quality. The insane number of yearly fragrance launches (most of which smell identical) makes the marketplace confusing and the selection incoherent. Finally, I really hope that I do not have to see yet another oud, especially when it has nothing to do with the brand ethos (does Bond No 9 New York Oud make sense to anyone?)

Photograph of fragrant sweet peas © Bois de Jasmin.



  • Patty: I love the fruity chypres Femme and Mitsouko as well, but I’m reminded of the saying “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it!”. Any rush to follow a trend seems to result in a rash of poor-quality releases. I’d rather have a few classics of the genre than a million copycats.

    That being said, I’m so tired of the “clean” craze, and want to see the return of animalic perfumes, and more leather notes. Not to mention more “oomph” in fragrances – meaning they should last more than an hour, not fall apart after the top notes are done, and not make me yawn.

    Oud, miscellaneous berries, sugar/candy, and laundry musks are notes I’d love to see disappear. September 19, 2011 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Vanessa: I agree with you on most of your negative wishlist, though I don’t mind candied notes in woody orientals! Enjoying Prada Candy at the moment and several of the Reminiscence “musical gourmand” range, notably Do Re and Mi Fa. I never got the oud craze either, and am also disheartened by the slew of releases of average, forgettable mainstream bleugh!

    Also, I do wish Stella McCartney would start using *McCartney* instead of Stella to introduce its next spate of flankers (if it must introduce them at all). I look forward to seeing “McCartney in Three Peony Eau Fraiche Summer 2012” next year in a special limited edition bottle with bindweed climbing up the side.

    A positive trend I would like to see more of is the introduction of smaller pack sizes, from 15ml and up. Don’t mind paying slightly over the odds for them too. Chanel Les Exclusifs have come down to a somewhat less whopping 75ml, which is a start… September 19, 2011 at 9:24am Reply

  • kjanicki: The new trend for powder, I could do without that.

    Fruity chypre sounds good. Would that include things like Femme and Le Parfum de Therese? September 19, 2011 at 9:25am Reply

  • Victoria: Smaller sizes are a plus for me too.

    I do not mind candied notes married with woods, but I guess, I miss drier woody orientals. September 19, 2011 at 9:33am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, those are the queens of fruity chypres. I also would not mind something new and different in that category. It gives so much potential to use the interesting modern fruit notes. September 19, 2011 at 9:34am Reply

  • Anya: Agree about ouds, but living in the Middle East I think the the reason for producing more and more ouds is that a lot of ME population love perfume and anything oud related (which is considered to be a luxury scent) would sell very well. People here have huge buying capacity and look for big brands who therefore adapt their lines to meet the demand, so I don’t think this trend will end anytime soon… September 19, 2011 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Vanessa: Right – more like Flower by Kenzo Oriental, perhaps? September 19, 2011 at 9:48am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, exactly! Most orientals today are very sweet and very gourmand. Not that it is bad, of course, I have enough of Angel and its family. 🙂
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile September 19, 2011 at 9:59am Reply

  • Andy: I would love modern accords to get away from being made so “clean”. A lot of the rugged elements of natural smelling accords have been removed to make them (to me) almost unrecognizably stark and lifeless. In addition, I would like to see simpler fragrances on the market. I like to pick out notes in fragrances, and I find that today, notes are overblended to produce overly complex smelling fragrances. I’d prefer a few good accords blended together well to dozens of lousy accords blended together poorly. September 19, 2011 at 5:17pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Love your no-list, V. Especially the copy-cat flood.

    I would like to see a trend toward SA and consumer education. Not just of a certain line, but of noses in general, and a history of fragrance in particular. There is so much magic going to waste. September 19, 2011 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: I hate it that femininity in perfumery these days is expressed in terms of sugar candy and insipid florals. It seems so retrograde, and it seems that anything that isn’t sugar candy or an insipid floral is branded as “masculine” by the average consumer. In short, my wishlist is more Parfum de Therese and Cristalle, less Vera Wang Lovestruck Vanilla Princess Candy. September 19, 2011 at 5:44pm Reply

  • Emma: Evidently I’d like to see the emergence of 100% petrochemical-free natural/organic perfumes specially in the niche fragrance market. An all natural dry lavender would be great, something similar to pre-reformulation Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande – the latest reformulation of E&L is still nice but it smells less natural and more feminine, it definitely has more synthetic muscs in it than the original unisex formula. September 19, 2011 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Lavanya: I would definitely want more chypres too! Fruity chypres, leathery chypres..I hadn’t realized that Mon Parfum Cherie was a fruity chypre- now I will need to try it.. September 19, 2011 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Lavanya: btw is jubilation 25 a fruity chypre?- it reminds me a lot of Mitsouko and yesterday I thought I smelled something fruity/peachy in the top notes September 19, 2011 at 4:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, that’s very true, Patty! That’s why in the end, I just wish for fewer launches all around. 🙂 September 19, 2011 at 4:47pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, excellent point! It would be great to see more of this. September 19, 2011 at 4:48pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, that’s another reason for this trend continuing to blossom. Although I hear from the consumers in the Middle East that these Western ouds bear no relationship to the traditional ouds they tend to favor. Still, you are right, it is an attraction. September 19, 2011 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: I even like some non-traditional chypres that do not have the classical oakmoss effect like Chanel 31 Rue Cambon. September 19, 2011 at 4:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am not sure who Amouage classifies it, but it smells like a fruity chypre to me. Very much like Diorella (and yes, reminiscent of Mitsouko too!) September 19, 2011 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Lavanya: In the process of finding perfumes for my Mom, I realized she has an affinity for fruity chypres (and green florals) (she loved Mitsouko, then tried and loved Therese. I made her sniff Jubilation 25 and she fell in love with that too). It was fun when it became clear exactly what she would like. In that process I realized how much I love this genre too..

    In the green floral thread she loved Le Temp, Pure distance Antonia (I’m kicking myself for not making her smell Chanel No. 19 – I just got some vintage edt from the 70s. she already loves fidji and nina ricci’s L’air du temp)

    Sorry for the almost completely out of topic comment…:) (I am always excited when I find certain patterns in tastes) September 19, 2011 at 5:05pm Reply

  • Musette: Victoria,

    You might love (or at least like – a lot) Liz Zorn’s Centennial. It’s a gorgeous peachy-chypre. I imagine Mitsouko and Femme having an illicit affair – Centennial (formerly known as Historical Chypre) is their love child.

    xoA September 19, 2011 at 7:10pm Reply

  • Cathleen56: Less is more — a cliche, I know, but in the context of perfume it makes the most sense to me. More days than most, I end up wearing nothing, because I can’t decide what to wear — too many choices. I’m sure it was easier in my mother’s day, when there were relatively fewer perfumes, and as a result, the signature perfume concept was at its peak of perfection. September 19, 2011 at 11:12pm Reply

  • I am speaking for the guys here, so I would love to see more wood and leather amd a bit less “Bleu” if you know what I mean… I would also like to stop smelling generic fruit notes in perfume, And it would be great if someone got a little imaginative and inventive with names so that we had no more “Gucci by Gucci” naming disasters.. September 20, 2011 at 2:28am Reply

  • Suzanna: I agree with Andy about the clean trend. There is a lot of over-sanitization/laundering going on out there, the latest being in No. 19 Poudre, whose musk is so whitewashed in the “New Age” of musk as to smell like outer space fluff-and-fold.

    I’d like perfume to smell like perfume, not to smell so similar to industrial products that the line between is nearly indistinguishable. September 20, 2011 at 10:41am Reply

  • Olfacta: Leather and tobacco, less chemical stew, ethyl maltol goes away completely (to be replaced by oakmoss, which is discovered to be completely harmless — a second look at the data proved the research to be so flawed that it had no meaning, and had to be thrown out after Brian Ross did an investigative piece on the subject of reformulations; hey, one can always dream, right?). And the wildly expensive niche perfumes are being produced in 10 and 15 ml sizes, so those of us who are not gazillionaires can buy them. September 20, 2011 at 7:44am Reply

  • maggiecat: I would love to see more fragrances designed for and marketed to mature adult women, rather than the sweet fruity things that seem designed to appeal to one’s inner twelve-year old. I’d also like to see better educated SAs, with less emphasis on pressure to sell the newest and more in-depth knowledge of fragrances in general. Feminine woodsy scents are one of my favorites and I’d like to see more of them. And I’d like the trend toward confusing flanker names to come to a halt (Narciso Rodriguez, I’m talkin to you!) September 20, 2011 at 11:48am Reply

  • silverdust: Wow, you’re reading my mind with regard to woodsy orientals! I don’t know if Ormonde Woman is considered oriental, but I’ve been dying to try an affordable version. OW sounds like the feminine version of Polo, which I could float away on. I’ve heard that Ormonde Jayne has a 10% off sale every November, so I may try the sampler then.

    My other wish is for a sexy musk that’s not sweet. For some bizarre reason I love the sillage of Egyptian Musk when others wear it, but it’s just a little too “girly” for my taste. I’m looking for an aggressive musk for daily wear. Maybe someone could come up with a woodsy scent with a sexy musk basenote? Heaven (for me, at least)! September 20, 2011 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Karen: Hi silverdust! Re: your musks, have you tried NR for her, Khiels original musk, SL Clair de Musc? I have the same problem as you, love the smell but find them too girly on me.
      Xx March 11, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

  • Warum: Oh, with DSH Pandora and Tauer’s Miriam I was hoping that one of my wish list is coming true — floral aldehydes. I love ones with character, and based on different floral bouquets. I am yet to smell both new releases I mentioned, but I am hopeful that this is a start of a thread that is on my wishlist.

    Easy sampling is another item on my wishlist. Sample packs or deals available and shipped all over the world from the perfumer. This is almost there, only some brands do not do it.

    Fruity chypres — YES! And if you’re a perfumer from the USA, why not use oakmoss to make it a real chypre?

    What I would like to go away — amount of new releases. A new perfume is special. If you are a brand I love, you want me to wait for your fragrance, not make me run away, cover my ears and sing “lalala” because I just can’t keep up. September 20, 2011 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Flora: All of the above, especially what maggiecat said – perfume for grownups please! Also love chypres, any chypres, with REAL oakmoss and labdanum, and most especially I want to see the return of green florals/green chypres to the mainstream. They can only be found in niche companies these days. September 20, 2011 at 4:29pm Reply

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