Monday Question – Which Perfume House Offers The Best Edited Line?

Imagine you have to recommend one single perfume house to a new Perfumista to start, which one would it be?

Which line offers the greatest variety?

Which house has a good representative of every perfume category?

Which house has great perfumers at work who are free to create with excellent materials?

My Answer:

One line that offers variety and isn’t repeating itself? Hmmm, I think I’ll have to go with Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. Malle executes his idea of being an editor of a perfume publishing house very well, he treats his authors well and he releases works of art that fit in with his entire catalogue. You’ll find something of every genre at Malle.

A few Malle perfumes are reviewed here.

EnPassant :: Une Rose :: Musc Ravageur :: Dans Tes Bras :: L’Eau d’Hiver :: Bigarade Concentrée :: Portrait Of A Lady :: Lys Mediterranée :: Iris Poudre

Honorable mentions go to Parfum d’Empire, Parfumerie Générale and Ormonde Jayne.

What do you think? Which perfume house wins the price for “best edited line”?

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53 Responses to Monday Question – Which Perfume House Offers The Best Edited Line?

  1. angie Cox says:

    I have to agree with your choice Birgit , Malle are exceptional.

  2. Sandra says:

    I too agree with your choice of Frederic Malle. They have wonderful selections. The only other line that I find varied in category is Hermessence. I really need to explore the PG creations further – so far I liked most everything I tried.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hermessence has beautiful perfumes, but it offers only a variety of Ellena creations after all, which, some might argue, is a category by itself – minimalistic transparency. 🙂
      Perfect if that is a style you like. (I do.)

  3. Ines says:

    Hmm, I think I’d go with Serge Lutens. I love that line even though I might not love everything in it.
    But I agree with your honorable mentions of Parfum d’Empire and PG.
    Malle is a line that is hit or miss with me, and those perfumes require patience if you want to understand them. So, I’m slowly entering that world…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Serge Lutens is a very controversial range. A lot of love/hate perfumes in the range, but that is probably exactly what makes it great. Those black or white scents are often among the best.

      • Marla says:

        I’m lucky, I can wear practically everything in the Serge Lutens line. My “wish list” has more SLs than anything else, and several, such as Bas de Soie and Rousse, are “go-to” scents for me.

        • Olfactoria says:

          No other house than SL fostered such love/hate relationship with perfumes for me. But a “bad” Lutens is still a lot more interesting and worth my time than an unimaginative blah-fragrance of which there are so many nowadays. And a “good” Lutens has the power to blow me away.

  4. andrea says:

    As a new Perfumista I have found the Ormonde Jayne perfumes to be a good place to start although I have not tried any Fredric Malle as yet. I am now working my way through Parfum d’Empire but so far have not found one that is me but I am on my 3rd sample from my set of 12 samples.

  5. andrea says:

    P.S. I also have loved a lot of the Serge Lutens and you would be hard pushed to not find a perfume that you liked in the very extensive range available.

  6. Tara says:

    Yes, before I read your answer and the comments I too thought “Freferic Malle”. For a newbie it’s such an great education in quality, genres and the perfunmers themselves plus it’s not too overwhelming yet has great variety. I’d recommend delaying any purchases though, at those prices, until further down the perfumista road!

  7. karin says:

    The benefit of Malle – different perfumers, which makes for more variety in style and signature. Some of the niche houses (SL, Nicolai, PG, etc.) display the mark of a particular perfumer or style, making them not so diverse. Even the larger houses–Chanel, Guerlain, etc.–have certains styles that you identify with that house. It’s not easy to find one that offers a wide diversity. I agree that Malle best fits that category. Malle also offers freedom to perfumers. Only thing – it’s not an inexpensive line, especially for a newbie!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is exactly what gives Malle the edge here, different perfumers. The house represents a great cross-section of todays top achievements in perfumery.

  8. Katherine says:

    Malle is an excellent choice, but I must say that Tauer is the first house that came to my mind. There is variety, but also a certain cohesiveness to his line.

  9. Jan says:

    Well, let me include Montale at least in the “covering all aspects of perfume types” category. Some question the quality, saying that it is not that good (I don’t agree much with that), but you definitely could spend a year just with the “couple” of fragrances that Montale has to offer…

  10. Suzanne says:

    You named it: Frederic Malle, is my hands-down favorite.

    My second choice would be Hermes: from the very beautiful and womanly 24, Faubourg by Maurice Roucel, to the offbeat and quiet Olvia Giacobetti masterpiece, Hiris, to the many wonderul leather scents — plus Jean-Claude Ellena’s oeuvre– I think it’s a sensational line.

  11. Suzanne T says:

    Imagine you have to recommend one single perfume house to a new Perfumista to start, which one would it be? Bond 9 – Very Expensive- Best Bottle Design ever
    Which line offers the greatest variety? Jo Malone
    Which house has a good representative of every perfume category? Estee Lauder
    Which house has great perfumers at work who are free to create with excellent materials?
    LVMH-One of my favorite houses.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Interesting choices, Suzanne T! I am very taken with some Estee Lauder creations like Sensuous. Bond no9 is, as you say, very expensive and offers a huge number of perfumes, I find it a bit overwhelming.

  12. I think you can’t go wrong answering this question with Malle. Vetiver Extraordinaire, Noir Epices and Musc Ravageur are the ones that stand out to me. As a fan of wetshaving-style scents, I give honorable mention to Penhaligons. I’ve tried five or six in that line and love them all. English Fern and Blenheim Bouquet are my favorites here.

  13. deeHowe says:

    Good question!

    Ormonde Jayne might win for best-edited collection for a house, but each fragrance certainly bears the unique house signature, and doesn’t answer questions #2 or #3! Whenever I approach my OJ Discovery kit, I get the feeling of approaching a complete, cohesive collection.

    For the second question, I think of L’Artisan; but I suppose that this is at least partly due to my limited experience with Malle. I’ve sampled three or four of the line, found something I like a lot (L’Eau D’Hiver), but nothing to love…

    #3 & #4 are tough! So I’ll just skip them 😉

    I agree with your honorable mention of Parfumerie Generale, such a wonderfully beautiful line!

  14. Warum says:

    My choice is either Annick Goutal or L’Artisan.
    I think these two houses are similar in variety, they have light and easy fragrances and they have interesting incenses and spices, white florals, roses, etc.

    The price range is not as high as Malle.
    The fragrances are, for the most part, less controversial than SL or Tauers. If I started my intro to perfumes with Tauer, I would run and hide, no offense please, Tauer lovers, but so far the only perfume from the house I can wear without fear is Zeta.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I absolutely agree, I discovered Tauer early on and was fascinated, but I didn’t get the perfumes at all! AG and L’Artisan are great, relatively unthreatening and affordable gateway lines.

      • Warum says:

        Nonthreatening and affordable, plus broad in scope — this is what I was looking for to answer your question! Exactly!

        I did not even quite get Ormonde Jayne when I just started 🙂 I must have been a slow starting perfumista 🙂

  15. lady jane grey says:

    For a beginner I’d suggest L’Artisan or Annic Goutal – I’m afraid Frederic Malle could be too difficoult for start.

  16. I would definitely say Ormonde Jayne. It is a perfect line to start traveling down the road to perfume addiction, there are some very friendly fragrances, some daring and rich, some light and tropical, there’s something for everyone. And I would tell that person that if they could, go down to the shop and get their perfume portrait done. I wish I had something like that when I was first starting out in perfume!

    • Marla says:

      I personally love Ormonde Jayne, but I would add a caution that those who are sensitive to Iso E Super should sample first (the sampler set is awesome!). The perfumes use quite a lot of Iso E, and have a very coherent base that continues through most of the line.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I agree, Carrie! OJ is the perfect starter line.

      • I forgot to ask you how you like Seraphim? Do you smell similarities to Ta’if like I do? I can’t wait to see what’s next for OJ- I’m with you, another Oriental would be SO great.

        • Olfactoria says:

          I like Seraphim a lot, and I absolutely agree that it is similar to Ta’if and therefore it is okay with me that it is no longer available.
          It is in the review queue, which is about a mile long, though. 😉

  17. Vanessa says:

    I would also like to champion Ormonde Jayne, because it ticks the “well edited” box so comprehensively, to the point where I think of it as the fragrance equivalent of a capsule wardrobe. The only style missing is a sultry patch-amber-vanilla number and maybe also a big floriental *without* a herbal twist (as Tolu has). But otherwise it is a very compact and accessible range, and two of my top ten fragrances are in there, which says a lot for such a small house! And a third isn’t far behind!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I miss a bit more from the oriental genre as well in OJ. but then again I am a fan.
      I will be forever grateful to OJ to introduce me to wearable white florals.

  18. carole says:

    For me, the house of Annick Goutal. It’s innovative and feminine, plus it has some non tradtional fragrances (Sables, I am looking at you!). Traditionally their body creams are therapeutic for me, and so gorgeously scented it’s as good as wearing perfumes.

    I cannot over look Frederic Malle-they have been so generous with samples, and Dans Tes Bras is a dessert island fragrance for me. Actually, so is Fleur de Caissie. And, to celebrate a recent monument in my life, En Passant. Plus, through the perfume line I developed an interest in the films of Louis Malle, and they touched me to the core, esp The Fire Within.

    Have a good evening!

    Carole MacLeod

    • Lavanya says:

      That is interesting that you started watching Louis Malle because of Frederic Malle..My husband has been trying to get me to watch Louis Malle’s films especially Murmur of the heart for quite some time now..For him it was the other way around- I introduced him to Frederic Malle as Louis Malle’s nephew- which made him more open to sniffing the perfumes..:D
      The only Malle I’ve watched is Dinner with Andre which I enjoyed..
      (sorry for hijacking, Birgit!)

      • Olfactoria says:

        I love a good discussion, so no hijacking possible here. 🙂
        That your husband is willing to smell perfume because of the Malle connection is adorable.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is so interesting, I have heard of a couple of people that they got into appreciating the art of Louis Malle through his nephew.

  19. Lavanya says:

    I would also have to agree with Frederic Malle – both for the quality and the range..
    Serge Lutens was one of my first niche lines and is definitely one of my favorite lines, so depending on the perfumista and what the perfumista (or perfumisto) wants from perfume, I might be tempted to recommend SL as well..It is a great line that showcases all that is possible with perfume- from the impossibly pretty to the weirdly beautiful!

  20. Undina says:

    Malle, Jayne and Goutal are all excellent choices, I agree. I have one more suggestion – if we are talking about a real beginner: INeKE. Her discovery set is inexpensive and very well packaged, it offers a good variety of genres and it’s not too controversial. For $25 you get to try seven perfumes (and this includes S&H) AND then you can apply these $25 towards a $88 FB purchase.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Excellent suggestion, Undina! I especially like the fact that you can redeem the sample money on a FB purchase, of course you can only do so in the US. 😦

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