Elegance in a Perfume Bottle

What is your most elegant perfume? What fragrance makes you feel chic and sophisticated, whatever outfit you wear and whatever the state of your hair?

When we were discussing Catherine Deneuve, elegance, and Guerlain Rose Nacrée du Désert on Monday, I immediately made a mental list of fragrances that have an aura of effortless elegance. Nothing overstudied or high-maintenance. The perfume that comes to mind when I think of elegance is Christian Dior Eau Sauvage. Eau Sauvage and its sister Diorella are harmonious and understated, but they sure do get noticed. Guerlain Chamade is another fragrance that makes me feel like I live a much more glamorous life than I do.

But the classics aren’t the only perfumes that feel elegant to me.  Parfums de Nicolai OdalisqueCostesEtat Libre d’Orange Putain des Palaces (name aside!), L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse, Lalique Encre Noire, Van Cleef et Arpels Cologne Noire, and Prada Infusion de Vetiver are among my favorite elegant perfumes. And of course, my beloved Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. So, as you can see, it’s quite a range!

More of my elegant perfumes can be found  at Perfume by Mood : Elegant.

Image via whenwewereyoungerandbetter



  • Patt: 31 Rue Cambon makes me feel I need to live up to it every time I spritz it on my neck! August 11, 2012 at 8:43am Reply

    • rosarita: 31 Rue Cambon is the first thing that came to my mind, too. Tom Ford White Patchouli is also on my effortless elegance list. August 11, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Gina: The first one I thought of, also. August 11, 2012 at 5:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s just incredible. A modern fragrance that feels like a potential classic. August 11, 2012 at 5:29pm Reply

    • annemariec: And me! Probably the most elegant in my collection. Rather cold tho’, in my opinion, depending perhaps on my own mood. I never feel I quite live up to it. August 11, 2012 at 6:31pm Reply

  • Anna Minis: Y Ivoire Tubéreuse MPG Eau de Cologne Helmuth Lang Sous le Vent
    Calèche August 11, 2012 at 9:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I was revisiting Ivoire a few days ago. Once again was astounded by how amazing this perfume smelled. August 11, 2012 at 5:29pm Reply

  • Ralu: Coco by Chanel and Carnal Flower make me
    feel elegant and chic. August 11, 2012 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I can imagine why! Such great perfumes. August 11, 2012 at 5:30pm Reply

  • Anne Sheffield: At the moment Cristalle EDT makes me feel elegant. But in cooler temperature I enjoy Love by Chloe. Hugs Victoria! Anne August 11, 2012 at 9:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Love Chloe is one of my fall/winter staples. It’s a bit too sweet and powdery for the warm days, but since now I’m in Belgium, it might actually become a year round staple. 🙂 August 11, 2012 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Lucas: To me perfume that resemble elegance are very important, I’m shirt & tie kind of person. I like to look elegant (of course not always in shirt & tie) and I like my perfume to make me feel like I’ having a day of my life standing in the spotlight.

    Perfume like Prada Amber Pour Homme, Prada Infusion d’Homme, Histoires de Parfums 1725 are very elegant and sophisticated. And they have that clean vibe that I’m after. August 11, 2012 at 9:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Shirt-and-tie perfumes is a great category! I love your choices.
      Remind me again please–1725 which is it? August 11, 2012 at 5:32pm Reply

      • Lucas: 1725 is the one inspired by Casanova. The one with tart grapefruit opening, and lovely lavender-anise-licorice blend.

        Yeah, shirt-and-tie perfume are one of my favourites. I recently tried Gendarme EDP which also fits in this clean and elegant category. August 12, 2012 at 2:39am Reply

  • Nancy A.: What comes to mind: Balenciaga’s Paris Parfum and/or L’Essence, Iris Poudre, Nuit de Tuberose, Baiser Vole (delicate, but with purpose) Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot, Bois des Iles, Van Cleef & Arpels First (a fragrance that I used to consider my signature), L’Heure Bleu which for me is a little arrogance “I can face the world” type of elegance. It’s those notes that seduce you to feel good about yourself and perhaps draw others into your mood as well. August 11, 2012 at 9:45am Reply

    • Victoria: “I can face the world” type of fragrance is an important one in my wardrobe too. And with my recent move even more so! 😉 August 11, 2012 at 5:33pm Reply

  • koray: The ones currently on my mind; Coco Chanel EDP, Robert Piguet Fracas, Habit Rouge by Guerlain and Parfum Sacre by Caron…flashy perfumes 🙂 August 11, 2012 at 9:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I just love how all of us have our own idea of elegance. Bold and dramatic can be elegant too. I wear Habit Rouge on regular basis. For me, it’s a moodier form of Shalimar. August 11, 2012 at 5:34pm Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: Pleasures by Estee Lauder 🙂 August 11, 2012 at 10:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Lauder does polished, statement fragrances so well. I always notice if someone is wearing Pleasures, and I have a bottle on hand for reference pretty much all the time. August 11, 2012 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Gisela: Amouage Gold, Chanel Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie, Hermès 24 Faubourg, Le Parfum de Thérèse, Une Fleur de Cassie and Vero Kern Onda extrait – each spells a different aspect of elegance to me. August 11, 2012 at 10:45am Reply

    • Victoria: You’ve reminded to revisit Vero Kern Onda extrait. I love all others you mentioned, so I know that I should give Onda more skin time. August 11, 2012 at 5:36pm Reply

  • Ari: Hmm, I don’t think I have many elegant perfumes. (Or elegant anything, really- you try being elegant at five feet tall!) I suppose my most chic perfume is Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe, with its vetiver bite. August 11, 2012 at 10:55am Reply

    • Victoria: How about Apres L’Ondee, Ari? Or Safrant Troublant? Or Dzing? (See I remember some of your favorites!) Those feel like elegant perfumes to me, although they all have different characters and different expressions.

      Hey, I need to introduce you to my former coworker who at 4 feet 11 inches was one of the most elegant women I’ve met. But anyway, I’ve seen your photos. I don’t think that you need any coaching on elegance from anyone. August 11, 2012 at 5:39pm Reply

  • MB: Annick Goutal “Songes” is the only one I have that I would put in the elegant category. Although, depending on the season and the event, I might consider Bond No. 9’s “Chinatown” for an evening of non-red carpet glamour here in LA – but its more mysterioso than elegant. August 11, 2012 at 11:24am Reply

    • Victoria: I notice that I alternate on Songes. On some days, it feels elegant. On others–a comforting cashmere wrap! August 11, 2012 at 5:40pm Reply

  • Portia: Heya,
    Please don’t laugh but my guaranteed feel chic la la is Trouble by Boucheron. Ballets Russes by Olympic Orchids runs a very close second though. Today.
    Portia x August 11, 2012 at 11:34am Reply

    • Victoria: I won’t! 🙂 Trouble is fantastic. August 11, 2012 at 5:40pm Reply

  • eminere: Terre d’Hermes, Infusion d’Homme and Gucci Pour Homme II. August 11, 2012 at 11:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Note to self: resmell Gucci Pour Homme II. August 11, 2012 at 5:41pm Reply

  • behemot: Chanel Bois des Iles, FM Parfum de Therese, Amouage Lyric and SL Bois de Violette come to mind. August 11, 2012 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: Incidentally, I just put on Lyric Woman and thought that it should make it onto my list! August 11, 2012 at 5:42pm Reply

      • behemot: It took me about half a year to decide if I should buy Lyric. I really like and appreciate Amouage perfumes, but this is definitely my favorite. I had to think about this one twice – it is very $$$ and I wanted to have this lovely bottle, not a decant.. With time, I like it even better. August 13, 2012 at 1:14am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, that red bottle is so beautiful. It’s probably my favorite packaging from Amouage. August 13, 2012 at 4:00am Reply

  • solanace: The Black Armani. And the old Magie Noire, since I was like 15. More recently, my belle mère went to the Emirates and brought me a bottle of Amouage Dia man (how lovely was that?). The topnotes are a bit masculine but not overly so (vetyver?), but after about five minutes it settles to a scent that I somehow relate to these staples of mine – only a thousand times better. Can’t get enough of it. August 11, 2012 at 12:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your MIL is one of a kind! What a great and fitting present.

      I have a soft spot for Magie Noire. August 11, 2012 at 5:44pm Reply

      • solanace: Isn’t she amazing? I had to use the French term!

        Magie Noire made me feel so grown up when I was young, it’s a shame they have messed with it! The name and bottle were great too, another nicely placed product ruined by moronic executives…

        I just got an Amouage Women sampler set. Bet there are other elegant ones in there too. Epic is the first one I tried, it reminds me of Rose Nacrée. So lovely. Have a nice week! August 12, 2012 at 5:52am Reply

        • Victoria: What can I say, you’re a lucky woman! 🙂

          The sampler set is fantastic and a very good value. The collection is diverse enough that you can play around with different scents, but the aesthetic is similar. I don’t remember if they still make them, but Reflection is only one I really dislike. August 13, 2012 at 4:02am Reply

  • Anna Minis: I tried to write the names of the perfumes in a proper list, each name on top of the other, but computer said ”No”. August 11, 2012 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Natasha: Hah a Little Britain reference! August 11, 2012 at 1:20pm Reply

      • Victoria: Anna, Natasha, that made me laugh! I’m such a Little Britain fan. August 11, 2012 at 5:44pm Reply

  • Natasha: Hermes Hiris makes me stand up straighter and dress up better. August 11, 2012 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: It sure does! And at the same time, it doesn’t feel overly hard to wear (something that I enjoy as well). August 11, 2012 at 5:45pm Reply

  • Emma: Elegance has become an old-fashioned concept. Have you noticed those hordes of tourists in Manhattan who don’t dress appropriately, they dress like they’re at the beach somewhere on the Jersey shore. New York is the fashion capital of North America but people don’t care and noone cares about elegance anymore, it’s sad.
    Anyways, my elegant perfume is Miel de Bois, on me it smells amazing and it’s a perfume for people who have character and a personality.

    PS: As of this week the entire bell jar collection is sold at the new Serge Lutens boutique of Barneys. I bought Miel de Bois and some Lutens makeup too 😉 August 11, 2012 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, wow! Thank you for these news. So, the entire collection that was previously available in Paris only will be sold?

      What makeup did you get? I haven’t tried anything yet, but I’m always curious to hear what others are enjoying. August 11, 2012 at 5:46pm Reply

      • Emma: They carry the exclusive collection, the regular export fragrance collection and the makeup line, the makeup table is spectacular! I just got refills of my lipstics, Mauve de Swann and Roman Rouge as well the concealer pen because it has the best longevity on the market and also the plum lip water. I tried the foundation before but I have dry skin it’s not hydrating enough for me.
        Miel de Bois has been reformulated, it’s softer and not as pungent and harsh. I like it a lot now.

        They don’t sell the bell jars collection online but you can call: 212.833.2425

        http://thewindow.barneys.com/barneys-new-york-says-bievenue-to-serge-lutens-cloche-bottles/ August 12, 2012 at 3:35am Reply

        • Victoria: Emma, thank you very much again! I count on you to hear all of these interesting NYC perfume news.

          The name Mauve de Swann already sounds appealing! August 13, 2012 at 4:15am Reply

    • OperaFan: I have to say that it’s a really sad state,what people here consider “leisure-wear,” and not just in NYC. I think we can devote an entire series of articles and discussions about dress codes, or the lack of it. The last time I was in Europe, most people still observed proper dress. You could always spot the typical American tourist, which is a shame. I believe in respecting the culture of the places I visit. I hope that in this case, we don’t end up setting an example for others to follow.

      Your news on the bell jars at Barneys is an exciting one. I may actually venture over to the East Side one of these days to explore the collection. August 11, 2012 at 7:13pm Reply

      • Emma: Operafan (I am one too), it comes to a point that corporations have to hire image consultants and stylists because casual Friday has gone too far in the wrong direction. It was supposed to be shirts with no ties for men and flat shoes for women, instead it is baggy jeans, sneakers and T-shirts in professional environments that don’t look too professional anymore.

        I take it you live on the West Side 😉 August 12, 2012 at 4:54pm Reply

        • OperaFan: Actually, NJ – but as a fan of “high” performing arts the West Side is my mainstay. Years ago when I lived in Queens, the East Side was a “pass-thru.”

          Always glad to know about other opera fans! August 13, 2012 at 8:36am Reply

      • Victoria: I think that the casual is the way of life everywhere these days, although some people take it further than others. Jeans, t-shirt and ballet slippers is a uniform for women all over Europe. Last week when my husband and I went on a day trip to Antwerp, I wasn’t happy when he turned up wearing shorts. I made him change into pants and black shoes. Then he kept pointing shoes around the city. And at this office, he wears a button down shirt and jeans or black pants and now has a reputation for one of the most dressed up men! I can only shake my head when I hear this. August 13, 2012 at 4:21am Reply

  • Elizabeth T.: SSS Champagne de Bois. Elegant and sultry at the same time. A definite sleeper scent, it’s become one of my favorites! August 11, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Champagne de Bois has such a subtle opening, but the drydown is so memorable. And yes, very elegant. August 11, 2012 at 5:47pm Reply

  • Mimi: Bottega Venetta. Although the sillage is so strong I am wearing it to bed and often still when I get up. I love it though.

    Old reliables are Catherine Deneuve (have various sample bottles and even a larger one that I’ve thought of selling on e-bay–hard times), Climat, Nahema and Heure Exquise. For me, these are elegant and chic.

    I am always wanting to wear Chanel 5 because the bottle is stuck in my mind as the most elegant ever. All her bottles are great, but 5 is the epitome of chic to me. But, I am always disappointed in how it smells on me. August 11, 2012 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Mimi: Bottega Veneta August 11, 2012 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: No 5 is a tough cookie! Most of us have our own ideas of what we want it to smell on us, but it can be difficult for the perfume to live up to the expectations and that alluring Coco Chanel legend. Of course, that’s just what I experienced with it myself. I enjoy wearing it now, and I have no idea when or how I started to appreciate it, but it took a while. August 11, 2012 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Gina: I never was a fan until I got ahold of a tiny vintage No. 5 parfum. I had only tried the lesser concentrations; wow, what a difference. August 11, 2012 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Little Red: I’d say Van Cleef & Arpels First and Estee Lauder White Linen are elegant. August 11, 2012 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: There is something clean and crisp about White Linen at first, and the warmth of the rose feels so unexpected. And First is just a gem worthy of the VC&A name. August 11, 2012 at 5:50pm Reply

    • OperaFan: First was one of the perfumes that instantly came to mind for me. I was given a sample of the perfume in ’77, the year following its release (and still have a few drops in the vial). It’s far superior to the version that exists today, but even now in its current state it wears beautifully. August 11, 2012 at 7:17pm Reply

  • Elisa: Cuir de Lancome! August 11, 2012 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: So glad to hear Cuir mentioned by you and Amy! One of the best leathers. August 11, 2012 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Undina: Chanel No.19 extrait, Amouage Ubar and Annick Goutal Heure Exquise for me. August 11, 2012 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: Every time I see you mentioning Ubar, I push it further and further up my “to try” list! August 11, 2012 at 5:51pm Reply

  • sara: I am wearing Putain des Palaces today! I find it to be very elegant. Other scents that make me feel elegant are: Antilope, Empreinte, Chamade, and Bas de Soie! August 11, 2012 at 3:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: I do too! The name leads me to expected something vulgar and raunchy, but it’s so far from it. August 11, 2012 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Amy M.: I second Cuir de Lancome! August 11, 2012 at 3:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: Now I’m wishing I packed my bottle with me. August 11, 2012 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Apollonia: Feminite du Bois for me is elegant. Also Femme by Rochas (with a black dress, black eyeliner and red lipstick). And Nuit de Noel is warm and elegant and so beautiful – always. August 11, 2012 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love the idea of Femme with that ensemble! Already sounds elegant. August 11, 2012 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Gina: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, Amouage Jubilation 25, and Hermes Eau de Merveilles August 11, 2012 at 5:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I receive a lot of compliments on Hermes Eau de Merveilles. The last time I wore it, someone actually stopped me in the street and asked about my perfume. August 11, 2012 at 5:54pm Reply

      • Gina: I do, too. The 20-something girls I work with say I smell “rich”. August 11, 2012 at 6:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s a great way to describe it and so true! 🙂 August 13, 2012 at 4:22am Reply

  • Judith: Probably Chanel Cuir de Russie. August 11, 2012 at 5:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Cuir de Russie with all of that leather and soft iris is one of the most polished perfumes. Amazing how something so tough as leather (and smoky, well-tanned leather at that) could be made seem so glamorous. August 11, 2012 at 5:56pm Reply

  • Melissa: I appreciate this interesting topic! EL’s Tuberose Gardenia makes me feel oh so chic. For the days when I’m not that chic, L’Artisan’s La Chasse does it! For the days when I’m not quite chic enough for La Chasse, Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom compliments me just right & turns my ponytail into one chic ponytail! August 11, 2012 at 6:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love your graduated stages of elegance, and it makes sense to me, because the perfumes you mentioned are among my favorites. A big white floral fan here! August 13, 2012 at 4:24am Reply

  • annemariec: This is a great list! I’m cheered to see so many perfumes I own. I MUST be elegant, right? 🙂

    I’m not sure that anyone has mentioned Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere or SSS Nostalgie, so I will. And vintage Dioressence? Maybe Dioressence is getting a bit carnal … but so is Rochas Femme … ! August 11, 2012 at 6:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Of course! Maybe it’s my own bias, but whenever I smell a perfume on someone–even if it’s not a perfume I enjoy on myself–that person seems more elegant and more put together somehow.

      Dioressence may be raunchy and carnal, but it’s also refined. That’s the beauty of this perfume for me. August 13, 2012 at 4:26am Reply

  • OperaFan: I have a laundry list of “elegant” perfumes! It has to do with childhood impressions of what elegant meant to me – primarily aldehydic florals. That is why First and Chamade are among the top of my list, along with Nina Ricci’s classic fragrances, whose great fragrance lineage ended with the 1987 Nina. Both the fragrance and its bottle spell the epitome of elegance to me. When I smelled J25 for the very first time, its opening reminded me so much of First that it instantly shot to the top of the elegant list. August 11, 2012 at 7:30pm Reply

    • Edward: I totally agree with you OperaFan! Nina (1987) by Nina Ricci is an epitome of elegance in a bottle. How can I forget that? I was in high school and saved every money I had just so I can buy this perfume in a beautiful Lalique bottle. August 12, 2012 at 4:51am Reply

    • Austenfan: Great to see a Nina fan. Very elegant indeed, I hoard 2 large bottles of EDT and two smaller ones of extrait. Gentle and lovely. August 12, 2012 at 8:00am Reply

    • Patt: Of course, how could I have forgotten my beloved SS Farouche! August 12, 2012 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jubilation 25 is a fragrance I should revisit more often, because it’s exactly as you describe–a polished, glamorous perfume. It reminded me also of Diorella. August 13, 2012 at 4:27am Reply

  • Edward: Good day to you Victoria. What an interesting post so I will chime in. For me, elegance in perfume should be something subtle yet has enough presence to be recognized. And since elegance is never common, I always associate this word to being “unique.” So, among my (few) collection of perfumes, I would say Frederic Malle’s L’Eau D’Hiver as an elegant perfume. But another perfume which my colleagues in the office complimented me on was Prada’s Infusion D Iris. I just enjoy wearing these 2. August 11, 2012 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: It was so interesting to read through the comments and see what everyone defined as elegant. I also think of elegant as something not overstudied, something that’s understated, but then again, I think of Le Parfum de Therese is elegant, but it isn’t exactly understated.

      Infusion d’Iris receives lots of compliments when I wear it. I always think of it as subtle, but it has a wonderful sillage. August 13, 2012 at 4:36am Reply

    • OperaFan: These are two fragrances consistently receiving high marks that I must try. I believe they are both in that “less is more” category as well. When thinking of elegant, I often have trouble uncoupling the meaning with “glamourous.” Although sometimes it is true, it doesn’t always have to be. August 13, 2012 at 8:42am Reply

  • Meg: I’m very partial to Coty Paris when I need to wear a serious dress and walk like I’ve got a book balanced on my head. 😉 August 11, 2012 at 9:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love that! My grandmother made me do that (walk with a book balanced on my head). 🙂 August 13, 2012 at 4:37am Reply

  • maggiecat: If I’m going for elegant (which is rare) it’s Diorissimo, Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere, or, more recently Bottega Venetta and possibly Dior’s Grand Bal, which I just really tried today and am thoroughly enjoying (though watching the Olympics does not seem to be an elegant activity…) August 11, 2012 at 9:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: No matter! You had fun and smelled great. 🙂 Cannot wait to try Grand Bal. August 13, 2012 at 4:38am Reply

  • Emily: Elegant perfumes are very well-represented in my collection. I don’t dress very formally in my day-to-day life (though by Bay Area standards I’m usually way overdressed!) so I think of elegant perfume as an invisible accessory that lets me have a bit of glamour *and* pass as a laid-back Californian— at least until you get close enough to smell me.

    A lot of my elegant favorites have been mentioned already (No. 19, Femme, Eau des Merveilles, L’Heure Bleue, Cristalle EDT, Cuir de Russie, Cuir de Lancome, Fracas, Chamade). I also love Yvresse, Futur, FM Une Fleur de Cassie, DSH Le Smoking, and the original Estee Lauder Private Collection. August 11, 2012 at 11:16pm Reply

    • annemariec: Oh yes, Private Collection is wonderful. Elegant, but (to my nose at least) also relaxed enough to not seem to be trying too hard.

      PC puts me in mind of an elegant woman who invites you over for dinner. You don’t know her well. Perhaps your respective husbands are work colleagues, but you don’t know much about her except that she is beautiful and accomplished, so you are a bit nervous.

      As it happens, she is running a bit late on the night, but instead of panicking, she apologises to you, leaves your husband to the care of her husband while she laughingly invites you into the kitchen to help with the finishing touches to the canapes. She looks gorgeous in her sheath dress, upswept hair and diamond earrings, but she slings on an apron, and before you know it you are swapping recipes and chatting like old friends.

      In other words, she is not just elegant, which by itself can be dull, but intelligent, poised and confident.

      Well, that’s my Private Collection lady. Pure fantasy. Does anyone even wear evening dress and diamond earrings in their own homes any more? Or even serve ‘canapes’? Maybe that is why Private Collection may seem ‘dated’ to some people. August 12, 2012 at 2:38am Reply

      • Emily: I love that PC fantasy-vignette, Annemarie! And I would serve canapes, along with a pitcher of martinis. Part of why I like PC is because it seems so different from so many contemporary fragrances (in her review on NST, Angela favorably contrasted PC with all the “fruity, messy, overtly sexual” fragrances that flood the market anymore). It doesn’t seem dated to me, though — classic is more like it. August 12, 2012 at 2:57pm Reply

      • Victoria: Brava, Anne Marie! What a great PC fantasy, and I can see it all exactly as you describe. To me PC is the least dated of all Lauders (not that others are old-fashioned, but they have more of a “flavor of an era”,) since it has that fresh green accent. It feels so modern. August 13, 2012 at 4:40am Reply

    • Victoria: This makes a lot of sense to me, because I first got seriously into fragrance as a college student. I always wore perfume, but it was during my college days that it became so much more. I think that it’s because the perfume made me feel more elegant, even if I had no opportunity to dress up or wore the student uniform of jeans and t-shirts. August 13, 2012 at 4:53am Reply

  • JennyJo: Vintage Le Dix (of which I luckily own two bottles, one in use, the other one still in its sealed box); Chanel 19 EdT, Cristalle EdT, No. 22, Cuir de Russie, Bois des Iles; Shalimar EdT; Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette; Dior Dune. August 12, 2012 at 5:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you, Jenny! Vintage Le Dix is a treasure. August 13, 2012 at 4:42am Reply

  • Anna Minis: I make a difference between perfumes that make me feel elegant, and those who demand from me to be as elegant as I can: demanding perfumes are for me First, Boucheron, No5 ; that enigmatic beauty: Nahema. Others are familiar friends: like Fracas, Carnal Flower, Femme. August 12, 2012 at 6:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, that also makes sense to me. My “I need to live up to my perfume” perfumes are definitely Joy and No 5 parfum. August 13, 2012 at 4:44am Reply

  • Austenfan: Chanel: Pour Monsieur, No.19, Cristalle (EDT)
    VC&A: First
    Nina Ricci Nina (1987)
    Clinique: Aromatics Elixir
    MDCI: Invasion Barbare
    PdN: New York August 12, 2012 at 8:20am Reply

    • Emily: Aromatics Elixir is always appropriate. It’s probably the most versatile fragrance in my collection. August 12, 2012 at 2:59pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It is. Have you tried the limited edition for the 40th anniversary? Quite beautiful as well, but I prefer the original. August 12, 2012 at 3:29pm Reply

        • Emily: I own both the original and the 40th anniversary edition, but like you, I think I prefer the original version. That being said, there are times when I appreciate the fact that the parfum stays closer to my skin, and of course the bottle is fabulous. August 12, 2012 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I enjoyed that your list includes some masculines too, because I think that crossing the gender boundary–a mythical demarcation that it is–can be great. New York is a great example of that. And of course, Pour Monsieur, which is one of the best chypres out there. August 13, 2012 at 4:46am Reply

      • Austenfan: I suppose that is because I associate elegance with a certain austerity. And masculine fragrances tend to be much less opulent than their feminine counterparts. August 13, 2012 at 4:52am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s probably why Eau Sauvage comes to mind when I think of elegance. It’s the ultimate austere and understated scent, but it’s far from plain. August 13, 2012 at 4:55am Reply

          • Austenfan: I haven’t worn my Eau Sauvage in months. I will get my bottle out and wear it tomorrow. It sits next to Diorella in one of my perfume drawers and I always end up wearing that. August 13, 2012 at 8:49am Reply

  • Felicia C: Lovely post as always- my go to for elegance are: Chanel No.5 extrait, FM Iris Poudre, VCA First, Diorella (esp in summer) and vintage Arpege. There are others for sure that give me courage but as I have paired down my collection over the past 5 years, these 5 remain my favorites! August 12, 2012 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: You have a great wardrobe, Felicia! It is elegant, but also versatile. August 13, 2012 at 4:48am Reply

  • Ann-Sofie: 1. Rive Gauche, always, no matter how messed up I am.
    2. Coromandel, but I would at least have to put a comb through my hair to pull it of.
    3. Mitsouko. Perhaps a bit of lipgloss to go, but non the less allways the scout – “Ready when you are, mademoiselle”. August 12, 2012 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to meet another Coromandel fan! I finally purchased a full bottle, and I have been enjoying it very much. August 13, 2012 at 4:48am Reply

      • Ann-Sofie: I bought my first full bottle last week in Berlin, from the sweetest vendeuse who also threw in a bunch of samples, a glitzy magazine and some extra Chanel bags (the chic paper bags that is, but some Chanel leather bags had been nice too, of course). Walking out of the boutique, I was as happy as happy can be.

        I adore Coromandel for the dirt – the reminiscence of wet earthy soil appearing after 30 minutes or so – it is like working in a garden after the rain, among the flowers in early autumn.

        If a beverage Coromandel flanker is ever made, I will drink it every day and eat no more. August 13, 2012 at 12:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: Ann-Sofie, yes for the beverage! I can just imagine how it would taste. I once tried chocolate flavored with patchouli, and it was so delicious. I would say sinfully delicious, except that I don’t equate good food with sin. 🙂

          Your description of Coromandel makes me want to rush home and put it on right away! August 13, 2012 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Eva S: I agree with many choices above! In my collection the most elegant perfume to my mind is Puredistance I, that one is the epitome of elegance! August 12, 2012 at 3:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: Puredistance fragrances are on my list to try. August 13, 2012 at 4:49am Reply

  • Nicole: Hmm, Iwould think anything by Chanel of course! Its like the finishing touch of polish and glamour. August 12, 2012 at 6:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: You can’t go wrong with Chanel, even with their commercial perfumes, because the quality is so much better than what most other brands offer. August 13, 2012 at 4:50am Reply

  • Joan: Elegant for me is an understated Chanel, like Cuir de Russie and Eau Premiere. Less is more.

    But I feel my biggest and best when I wear an outsized perfume like Carnal Flower. I can only wear that when I’m in a bold mood though, otherwise the discrepancy between my perfume and myself would be embarrassing.

    Amouage Gold is both big and elegant. August 12, 2012 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: Less is more–exactly as Edward pointed out in his definition of elegance above. I think that it’s interesting how Chanel has cornered the market for elegance. And I agree, wearing Cuir de Russie or Bois des Iles, I feel immediately more chic (even if everything else points to the contrary!) August 13, 2012 at 4:52am Reply

  • Penelope: Bottega Veneta, Cuir de Russie, Hermes Hiris. August 13, 2012 at 4:59am Reply

    • Victoria: My favorites for all occasions! I take it that you also like iris? August 13, 2012 at 5:02am Reply

  • Reese: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. Maybe not the most sophisticated choice, but it always makes me feel elegant. August 13, 2012 at 5:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Reese, I think that Light Blue is a great choice, and it’s popular for a reason. I also know many it’s considered to be one of the best modern fragrances by many perfumers (and not just because it sells well!)–it has a very elegant composition.
      So enjoy it! 🙂 August 13, 2012 at 5:11am Reply

  • Penelope: Yes indeed. I forgot Miller Harris Terre d’Iris. August 13, 2012 at 5:05am Reply

    • Victoria: I enjoy the earthy iris too. Another one I like is The Different Company Bois d’Iris, and for a sweeter, more leathery take, Christian Dior Dior Homme. August 13, 2012 at 8:24am Reply

  • Isabelle: Hi Victoria!

    So nice and interesting to discover post after post this elegant bouquet of beautiful scents!

    I can not help but bringing a few more “flowers” to it:

    – Lyric by Amouage
    – Eau Suave & Equistrius by Parfum d’Empire
    – Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle (always get compliments when I wear it) & L’Eau d’Hiver
    – Chamarré by Mona di Orio (wonderful when the weather is warm – I get also lots of compliments and questions about this very particular scent when I wear it)
    – L’Heure Exquise & Mon Parfum Chéri by Annick Goutal
    – Cuir Béluga by Guerlain
    – Cinabre by Maria Candida Gentile

    Have a beautiful scented day! August 14, 2012 at 6:12am Reply

    • Victoria: I feel more elegant simply reading through all of these comments! Thank you, Isabelle, for yours. I’m particularly happy to see Parfums d’Empire Eau Suave on your list, because it’s such a terrific (and underrated rose). August 14, 2012 at 11:11am Reply

  • Dianna: For me, it has been the Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque for a while. I put it on an think of myself as a more elegant self. August 14, 2012 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: I love the way you’ve put it Dianna. Odalisque makes me feel the same way. August 14, 2012 at 11:12am Reply

  • Fieke: I feel so elegant, sensual and compleet woman when I wear C parfum for Woman nu Clive Christian. I feel chic, luxe and at the same time girly in Betrothal parfum nu Grossmith. Love them both and wear them as often as posible on special occasions August 14, 2012 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds wonderful, Fieke! August 19, 2012 at 4:58am Reply

  • Elin: I don’t know if I have a purely elegant perfume in my very small collection, but Chanel No 5 is what comes to mind even if I don’t wear it that often, it makes me feel a bit distant and that I should dress up.
    Otherwise I think of L’air du Temps as elegant because my paternal grandmother always wore it and she was quite elegant in skirt suits ( a bit Chanellike and a bit British) red lipstick, marked eyebrows and waved hair until the end! August 18, 2012 at 9:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love the way you’ve described your grandmother, who sounds like she was very elegant. My grandmother also wore L’air du Temps at one point, and I also think of it as very sophisticated. August 19, 2012 at 4:59am Reply

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