iconic perfumes: 31 posts

Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History : 100 Great Perfumes Series 3 / 10

Rosedemai

Series 1 :: Series 2 :: Series 3 :: Series 4 :: Series 5 :: Series 6 :: Series 7 :: Series 8 :: Series 9 :: Series 10

The next 10 fragrances in my 100 Great Perfumes Series encompass the launches from the 1950-60s, the decades of relative prosperity on the one hand, and of great geopolitical shifts on the other. The fragrance fashion of the time leaned towards warm, sultry blends, against which perfumer Edmond Roudnitska started to rebel by creating radiant, sheer compositions. The woody-leathery chypres became more common in both the feminine and the masculine markets, setting a trend for an austere elegance. Those were the decades that set some of the strongest trends for the future, many of which persist even today.

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Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History : 100 Great Perfumes Series 2 / 10

Jasmine

Series 1 :: Series 2 :: Series 3 :: Series 4 :: Series 5 :: Series 6 :: Series 7 :: Series 8 :: Series 9 :: Series 10

I am continuing my 100 Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History Series with a look at the next 10 great trendsetting perfumes. In this series I would also like to focus on the creators. In some cases, I want to highlight perfumers who were fascinating and flamboyant; in others, I wish to pay homage to those who not only influenced perfume trends with their work, but also broke set stereotypes, mentored a new generation of stellar perfumers or introduced new ways to think about fragrance creation. In many ways, their fragrances were also a fascinating reflection of their personalities and their predilections.

The list is in a chronological order. M indicates a fragrance intended for the masculine market.

11. Joy (Jean Patou, perfumer Henri Alméras, 1930)

Sometimes more than the perfumes themselves, it is the perfumers who are fascinating. This is definitely the case with Henri Alméras, the creator of Joy, who by all accounts was quite a character: very creative, brilliant and dashingly handsome to top it all off! Another great perfumer, Guy Robert, tells that one day he went into Alméras’ lab and found him in some distress. He showed Robert a new perfume he had made which was quite interesting. “I made a perfume to impress a beautiful blonde, and now she is gone, but I do not know how to recreate it. I did not take any notes!” exclaimed Alméras.

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Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History : 100 Great Perfumes Series 1/10

roses5

Series 1 :: Series 2 :: Series 3 :: Series 4 :: Series 5 :: Series 6 :: Series 7 :: Series 8 :: Series 9 :: Series 10

My most recent project was a compilation of feminine and masculine fragrances that influenced the course of perfume history for a perfumery training course. I decided that perhaps this list might be of interest to you. There are several criteria I used to select the 100 fragrances below: they have to be responsible for setting a new trend either due to their unique character or their novel use of a raw material and they have to be recognized as trendsetting by industry professionals, namely, perfumers.

While my list includes many legendary fragrances, it does not include every grand parfum. For instance, my list is missing Chanel Bois des Iles, Caron Nuit de Noël and Guerlain Nahéma, which are great fragrances, but their impact on the fragrance market was less profound than that of other less unique perfumes. While it is by no means a definitive list—even 100 is bound to exclude some remarkable fragrances–I hope that it provides a glimpse into the development of perfumery, from the late 19th to the early 21th centuries. With each entry, I include an explanation as to why I selected it as well as to demonstrate how its influence on the fragrance market is felt today.

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Modern Classics : from 1990 to Present

Angel_1

After presenting a feature on the classics (please see Part I and Part II), I left the subject with a promise to return with a list of fragrances of more recent vintage. In other words, modern classics. Given the increasing rate of releases and decreasing market life of fragrances, any perfume that remains on best-selling lists for more than 3 years seems to automatically receive the title of a classic. When creating my list, I decided to limit myself to fragrances created since 1990. The following fragrances are not necessarily best-sellers (there are indeed a few resounding market failures among them such as Yves Saint Laurent M7), but I am compelled to highlight them nevertheless for their creativity and innovative accords. In some cases, I chose to include them simply because they are beautiful. Admittedly, this list is by no means exhaustive. …

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Coty L’Origan and Francois Coty : Two Legends of Perfume History

55555

Coty_2

Original:

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Reformulation:

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

If one were to enumerate perfumers who wielded great influence over the course of perfume history, François Coty is among them. A person of great talent and creativity, he gave the world fragrances that would serve as inspirations for many perfumers, despite the fact that he did not have formal perfumery training. Born in Ajaccio, Corsica in 1874, Coty realized that in order to expand the perfume market, the high quality product must be presented in beautiful packaging and at a reasonable price. While marketed as luxury, he deemed that perfume had to be affordable for people of every socio-economic class. While La Rose Jacqueminot (1904) was his first fragrance, incorporating new floral bases, L’Origan (1905) and Chypre (1917) would initiate two new genres of perfumery: soft sweet floral and chypre.

L’Origan (1905) cannot be mistaken for anything but a child of its times. Its soft powdery veil embellished with carnation, violet and heliotrope calls to mind gloves and Edwardian silhouettes. A precursor of Guerlain L’Heure Bleue (1912), L’Origan reveals the same bittersweet anisic top notes that sparkle like diamond dust in its powdery cloud. …

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