I’d like to hear your choices of the best mainstream perfumes currently available. I don’t want to get bogged down with definitions so let’s just say mainstream in this case means anything that isn’t niche, high-end exclusive or in very limited distribution. They don’t have to be perfumes you personally wear; they can just be those fragrances which you think are good examples of modern mainstream perfumery.
Shalimar Parfum Initial, Guerlain
An everyday Shalimar with the smoke toned down and the iris amped up.
L’Eau d’Ambrée, Prada
An easy to wear, lightweight amber that can be worn all year-round.
Bottega Veneta, Bottega Veneta
A plummy modern chypre with a touch of suede.
Voyage d’Hermes and Terre d’Hermes, Hermes
Both by Jean-Claude Ellena, these are simply two of the best mainstream masculines around.
I know there are more mainstream gems out there, so please share your picks.
My choices are 1) Terre d’Hermes edp, the orange is this is spectaular. 2) Fleur du Mâle, a massive explosion of orange blossom and coumarin. 3) Poison by Christian Dior . A timeless classic full of spices and opulence.
Ferris, I know Fleur du Male is very popular with a lot of men and women. I really need to get round to trying it because it sounds gorgeous.
So many!! The current high rotation mainstreamers on my desk include
Boucheron Jaipur pour homme,
Hermes Terre d’Hermes,
Cartier Baiser Vole EdP,
Narciso Rodriguez for Her,
Guerlain: AA Lys Soleia, Shalimar
Gwen Stefani L,
Chanel: Coco, 5 & 19.
Jean Patou 1000
Lovely list, Portia! Good call on Narciso Rodriguez for Her. That’s another popular but well done mainstream perfume. Shalimar is a must (goes without saying!) and Lys Soleia was a great release for the Aqua Allegoris line.
Which version of Terre d’Hermes do you prefer?
I’ve only tried the EdT but I imagine the parfum is wonderful.
I’ve tried all three versions and, to tell you the truth, I didn’t smell any difference. The only thing that was different for me was a longevity. But, just in case, I’d go with a higher concentration 😉
Yes the perfume is great. While the EdT is more transparent with it’s mineral like quality, the Edp is sweeter at the top with the orange and grapefruit and it can be detected all the way down to the base notes. A must try most definitely! I tried it out at a department store called Nordstroms here in the states. I was surprised at how good it was.
Thanks for sharing your impressions!
I also have to cast my vote for Terre d’Hermes, Voyage d’Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Coco & No 19.
Also I want to add Thierry Mugler’s Taste of Fragrance flankers, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil, Hugo Boss Deep Red, Prada Infusion d’Iris and Tom Ford Black Orchid.
Infusion d’Iris, definitely! No.19 has to be mentioned too and Bronze Goddess is a lovely cheap thrill for summer. I haven’t tried Black Orchid for ages but I did like it when it first came out.
I must get to know those Mugler Taste of Fragrance perfumes one day because I’ve heard lots of good things about them.
The complete quartet of “tastes” is worth exploring but, in my opinion, if you dislike original perfumes you won’t become a fan of these flankers. But if you were on a fence you might find that combination more appealing.
I guess I’m on the fence so I’ll definitely check them out when I have the chance.
I rarely hear Tom Ford Black Orchid mentioned in the blogosphere. I’m a fan too!
I think it’s a very nicely done perfume, I had hard time putting it into the “mainstream” busket (as well as my beloved No 19).
I’d cast my vote (rather unsurprisingly, I guess) for Hermès. I think they are the house with the highest success rate, almost all of their fragrances are good, nary a dud in the lot.
I also enjoy Bottega Veneta, Chanel N°19, Coco and N°5 (sans Monsieur Pitt).
Sisley’s Eau de Campagne also deserves a mention.
Hermes definitely have an excellent strike rate with their mainstream fragrances. Such high quality, and with JCE behind them, it’s no wonder.
Good call on Sisley’s Eau de Campagne which is a great green (also by JCE of course).
Oh and definitely No.5 sans Pitt!
My favorite mainstream perfume, hands down, is Dior Homme.
There are some others I do really like which are Fleur du Male JPG, Egoiste Chanel, Body Kouros and M7 YSL, Eclat d’Arpege Lanvin, Burberry London for men…
Terre d’Hermes is another great perfume, but I don’t really like Voyage.
Andrea, Dior Homme was my favourite masculine but I’m afraid to try it since the reformulation. I hear M7 is not as good as the original version.
The bracing Voyage is best tried on a hot day, I think.
Ok, this information strikes out like a lightning in a bright blue sky: it had been reformulated!?!?! That’s why! I used to wear it when first came out, for about a couple of year, then I changed perfume and when I got back to Dior Homme it was not as PERFECT as I remembered and never really bought it again.
A sorry but common story when it comes to reformulations I’m afraid. I hope you’ve found something new to love instead.
A lot of people like Dior Homme. Smells weird to me though. On paper, I detect what seems to be lipstick. I guess that’s iris? After that it becomes richer and fuller and more pleasant. Fleur du Male is very nice. I love the orange blossom blast and the sweet coumarin dry down. Egoiste is nice as well, rose, dry fruit and spices. very delightful! I share the same disdain for Voyage. A big blah fragrance if you ask me.
Ferris, yes there is (or was anyway) a lot of iris in Dior Homme, especially in the beginning.
Voyage isn’t terriably complex it’s true, but it’s very cooling on a hot day.
This is my DH’s fave, I hope to find another pre-reformulation bottle. I love it, but I love almost anything iris!
Nina, I hope you find another pre-reformulation bottle of Dior Homme. It was great.
Tom Ford Black Orchid
Marc Jacobs original – however, this is getting harder to find
Michael Kors for Women
Hermes 24 Faubourg
Chanel No 5
That’s a bigger list than I expected!
Gosh that’s a bigger list than I expected!
Nice list. You know Madeleine, I’m hoping that we will discover the state of mainstream perfume isn’t as bad as we think!
Black Orchid has a lot of fans I see!
Surprising isn’t it? So much fun to see which unexpected perfumes crop up.
I’ll go with the classics (even if some are reformulations):
no 5, no 19, Coco, Pleasures,L’Heure Bleue
and Hanae Mori (not a classic but I like it nonetheless 🙂 !!)
Chanel have done such a great job of preserving their classics, thank goodness.
I agree with some of the other choices so no need to repeat them. The one that popped into my mind to add to the list is Prada Candy.
Thanks for mentioning Prada Candy, poodle. That has been a stand-out mainstream release of recent times and popular with many ‘fume fans.
Everybody seems lo love Terre de Hermes and so do I! For men, I would also add Cartier Roadster and for women, 24 Faubourg by Hermes.
Another vote for Terre d’ Hermes, 24 Faubourg and for Hermes as a house.
Thanks for mentioning Roadster, I haven’t tried that one and it’s good to hear about the quality masculines out there too.
Cartier’s Roadster? Never tried this one. Have to sample this one soon.
A little goes a long way, but it’s one of my “business meeting” fragrances. It says “I’m in charge!” 🙂
Always good to have an “I’m in charge!” fragrance on call. Cuir de Russie can do that for me.
What great lists! It is interesting that people are mostly suggesting fragrances unspoiled, or too new to be touched, by reformulations.
I’m adding my vote for EL’s Pleasures and Hermes’ 24 Faubourg, add will add EL’s Private Collection and White Linen too, and YSL’s Yvresse, Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir and Dior’s Dune (although I admire rather than love AE and Dune). AE is a funny one. It is so different from mainstream the perfumes of today, and yet it sells! The department stores near me are full of AE Christmas gift sets.
I refuse to give in to despair about the state of modern perfumery while Hermes continues to produce 24 Faubourg.
annemarie, I think it is very telling that the perfumes mentioned have been mostly been unspoiled by reformulation. A sad fact and a lesson to those in charge (not that they’re listening).
Aromatics Elixir is a great pick. It can be overpowering but it is so distinctive and my Mum loves it!
oh gosh I forgot about Aromatics Elixir! Wow, they still sell it? wonder if it has been reformulated. I still have an empty original bottle (the year it came out!) and I sniff it from time to time…so pitiful of me!
brie, no one here is going to pity you for smelling an old bottle of perfume! They certainly do still make AE and it hasn’t changed as far as I know.
I agree that Terre is a magnificent mainstream option.
I think Chanel Cristalle, Mugler Cologne and Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar -which I find a younger, brighter version of L’Heure Bleue- are excellent. I also like both Hypnotic and Midnight Poison.
Those are wonderful picks. I’m glad you included Mugler Cologne in particular. I think Cristalle has to be mentioned too, so thanks.
Though it’s not my thing, Hypnotic Poison is great.
In the 80s I was young and desperate to be cool, edgy and a little dangerous, and Poison epitomised all that for me. It’s much too loud and overdone for my more refined tastes of today, but I admit there is still a part of me that would like to get my hands on a bottle of the original forbidden fruit…
Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men is another mainstream fragrance that I have a very soft spot for. My husband wore it when we first met, so it is loaded with beautiful memories for me. When the bottle started to run dry, I stole the last few drops hid them away. He travels a lot with work, so when I miss him I take it out and sniff it.
I love your comment about Poison. CK’s Obsession is exactly the same for me.
That’s also a lovely story about the fragrance your husband wore when you first met. It must be a nice comfort when he’s away.
I love Poison. A friend of mine bought me a bottle. Takes a certain mood to wear it for sure!
Oooh, lucky you Joan. Enjoy!
Yet again, Hermes is pretty high up the list for me, I have voyage in edt and parfum, the first 3 garden series, the 3 colognes, and Terre. Guerlain is up there too, Habit Rouge and Vetiver get a lot of wear, as do the classics. I have L’instant and like it but find it a bit much usually. Bvlgari also, especially Black and The au Vert. Oh oh oh! and Kenzo Jungle L’elephant!!! I was so happy to find such deliciousness on a department store shelf! And I seem to have a problem of loving the discontinued 😦 I find ones I love then the seem to vanish, like YSL Nu, Rochas Alchimie. And Absolu. And Byzance.. Hmmm… And Donna Karen Gold edp. Well, at least there are so many in my collection that chances are I won’t finish them to need to back them up
You beat me to the punch! I was typing many of these while you were posting. I forgot Bulgari Omnia and I’m so glad you mentioned Jungle l’Elephant! That’s such a wonderful fragrance.
Lynley, so many wonderful mainstream scents have been discontinued as your list shows. I guess some of these were just ahead of their time or too unusual to become big commercial successes, as mainstream perfumes need to be to stay alive.
Most of my favorites have been mentioned already, so I won’t repeat them. I’ll just add a few: along with Black Orchid, I enjoy the rest of Tom Ford’s mainstream line for both men and women. Also Bulgari’s tea scents, Estee Lauder in general, especially Cinnabar and Private Collection, and Donna Karan’s earlier fragrances. Black Cashmere is so good but so is For Women (tomato leaf, jonquil and wet concrete) and Gold edp. Even Cashmere Mist, although not my kind of thing, is pretty and well made.
Donna Karan has come out with so many interesting perfumes for a mainstream brand. Sadly, I guess that’s why a lot of them haven’t survived – just that bit too original! Gold in particular is such a likeable and easy to wear perfume though.
Tara, I’m in agreement with most of the ones that you and your commenters list here. Bottega Veneta, Estee Lauder Private Collection and Aliage, Chanel and Hermes anything, but particularly Hermes 24 Faubourg, Chanel Coco, Chanel No. 5 and No. 22. And Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant … yeah, it’s nice to see that one mentioned by Lynley and Ringthing. It’s an amazing fragrance!
Suzanne, I’ve been meaning to try Aliage for the longest time, I really must get round to it now I know you rate it. I must also re-visit 24 Faubourg as you and so many others have mentioned it today.
“Chanel and Hermes anything” seems to be the general consensus!
Consensus seems to be Chanel and Hermes: put me on the bandwagon for Chanel. I love No. 5 Eau Premiere. I haven’t found an Hermes perfume I like yet, although I do like The DIfferent Company’s Osmanthus.
More mainstream favorites:
Paris Hilton Can Can (yep)
No. 5 Eau Premiere is so wearable, that’s a great one. I like osmanthus in most of its incarnations but I can’t think of a mainstream version.
Good for you for including Can Can!
I wore Calyx when it first came out in the 80’s and it is still one of my favorite summer fragrances. Fresh and clean, but people consistently mention how great you smell. And it seems to be true to the original.
Calyx is a fragrance that doesn’t get mentioned much. Maybe because it is from that “clean and fresh school”. But good perfumes in that category seem to be a rarity, so it’s great that Calyx has come through the years unscathed.
Sadly Calyx has been reformulated. I had the original (a loud, sweet, tart, fruity cacophany that I adored) utterly refreshing and very unique for its time! The reformulation (which I purchased two years ago) has the skeleton of the original but it tones down the over ripe fruit element and turns up soft florals resulting in a cleaner, fresher vibe.
Oh that’s too bad. The fruit sounds like the best bit.
I’ll curl some toes I know, but Estee Lauder’s Sensuous Noir was not bad, really unusual for a Lauder, and Black Orchid Voile de Fleur was lovely, also Midnight in Paris, the Van Cleef and Arpels release from a few years back
No toe curling here. I thought Senuous Noir actually smelt quite niche and very unusual for EL, you’re right. I owned Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. It was lovely but not sure its still in production. I’ve heard good things about Midnight In Paris.
Baiser Volé by Cartier is one not mentioned yet. Then I’ll add more votes for Chanel No 19 and Prada Candy.
I have a small bottle of Baiser Volé and I really like it. I look forward to wearing it next spring.
Favourite mainstreams, off the top of my head:
Kenzo Parfum d’ete
Hermes Eau des Merveilles
L’Occitane Labdanum de Seville
Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia
Guerlain AA Herba Fresca
Great list, Axum. I’m glad you put in Parfum d’ete. I wore that for a couple of years pre-perfumania and its great stuff. You may also be the first to pick Eau des Merveilles, which is another Hermes and a cut or ten above most mainstream perfumes. I know a lot of women love the original Egoiste but id didn’t work for me sadly.
Another huge Hermes’ fan here too. I love 24 Faubourg but also Parfum d’Hermes (though I haven’t smelled it as Rouge d’Hermes). I also really like Fracas, D&G The One for Men, Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera and… um… Well, it’s hard to list current, mainstream perfumes that I like even after the 2010 IFRA rules. Would the vintage versions really be considered mainstream? If we’re talking original scents, then my absolute favorite would have to be YSL’s Opium. I also really like Champagne/Yvresse, L’Heure Bleue, original Coco, and perhaps Dior Pure Poison. I don’t think Caron perfumes are mainstream at all, otherwise I would include some of those along with Habanita by Molinard, Fragonard’s Soleil and a few other more obscure thing. (I adored Robert Isabell’s line before it was discontinued and almost impossible to find.)
I love your screen-name!
We’re hearing from lots of Hermes fans today and with good reason. Too bad there aren’t many current mainstream fragrances that you like. Hopefully other people’s lists will give you ideas of new things to try.
Thank you! Have you tried Hermès’ Rouge or (as I know it) Parfum d’Hermes? If not, I think you should give it a whirl. 🙂 With the exception of Caleche, I think almost all their scents are amazing. I forgot to mention (on my original list) one of my big new favorites: the Elixir de Merveilles (EDP). It’s unusual as it’s not really a gourmande fragrance, despite some of the notes (orange, dark chocolate, caramel). It’s kinda salty, too! I think Fragrantica is right in categorizing it as an Oriental Fougere. Out of all the modern, *new* or recent (mainstream) perfumes that I’ve tried, that is my absolute favorite! 🙂
Thanks very much for those recommendations. I haven’t tried either of them but I obviously need to put that right. Elixir and L’Ambre de Merveilles are going to the top of my list.
One from the 70’s that I can’t find anywhere: the tiny bottle of Chloe Parfum. Please let me know if anyone finds it. Here are the others:
Caleche by Hermes
Sensuous (the original in body cream)
Nice to see Caleche, Jicky and Dune get a mention. I am so going to get a back-up bottle of Cuir over Christmas.
I hope you manage to find some Chloe Parfum.
go to http://www.perfumela.com
two summers ago a bought the original mini (1/4 oz) for under 10 dollars.
I hope they still carry it..good luck 🙂 !!
Thanks for passing on the info, brie!
Chanel can be found at most department stores these days. Sephora carries Hermes fragrances which I would recommend to anyone. Even Ulta has alot of good fragrances. My number one vote would be Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere and I have probably misspelled the name. Now I have to go buy a bottle! Not near any of these stores? Run to WalMart and live dangerously. Try some of the Britney Spears mini fragrances. I have complimented two ladies wearing Fantasy. Who knew?
That’s so funny that you complimented two women wearing Fantasy. That’s a good lesson to trust our noses rather than go on image alone, but maybe it just smells better at bit of a distance 🙂
Dior Hypnotique Poison. I’m on the edge of saying regular Poison too, but I’ve heard bad things about reformulations.
Cartier Baiser Vole (at least in extrait formulation).
JPG Classique (which I despise, but admire) and Le Male.
Most of the Muglers.
Scads of Estee Lauders – Beautiful, Private Collection, Sensuous, Sensuous Noir, Bronze Goddess are among my favorites.
Kate Walsh Boyfriend.
Several perfume friends like Kate Walsh Boyfriend though I don’t think it’s available in the UK. That’s one that hasn’t been mentioned so far.
You’ve got to hand it to Estee Lauder. They may not be breaking the mold but they have such a solid back catelogue.
Dior and their reformulations… *shakes fist angrily*
I would say
Prada Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum Absolue,
Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche
just to give an example of something I would buy.
I got a sample of the Infusion d’Iris Absolue at the recent Perfume Lovers London event and I really liked it a lot.
Glad to hear that
I too want to give the Estee Lauder line a plug. The company has been producing high-quality, reasonably-priced fragrances ever since the appearance of Youth Dew. At different times I have worn Aliage, Beautiful, and Azuree. White Linen is a new favorite, and Youth Dew a perennial favorite!
What you say about Estee Lauder’s line of fragrances is absolutely right. I don’t think it’s me but I caught a waft of Azuree on a friend last summer and it was wonderful.
Hm, I’m not too inventive here : I vote for Bottega Veneta as well.
No need to be inventive, it’s nice to see the ones that crop up a lot in people’s lists. Bottega Veneta is real winner.
I really must give the Hermes line some serious sniffing. I do not like Eau de Merveilles and this shouldn’t put me off the whole line. The Jardin series sounds intriguing.
Prada Infusion D’Iris, Eau Ambree and Candy
No 5 Eau Premiere
I would be very surprised if you didn’t find something in the mainstream Hermes line to love. Well worth investigating further, I would say.
Very nice list with lots of popular choices.
I don’t like Eau de Merveilles either, but I love the Elixir version! Perhaps you can give that one a sniff next. 🙂
You’re right, I really need to try a few of the flankers.
I seem to be the onely one on earth who doesn’t “get” Terre d’Hermes. Bought a FB for DH, liked it ..ish for a few times but can’t stand it nowadays. Then again; there isn’t a Hermes I really like, so I’m guessing JPH and me have quite a different blood group.
There are some mainstreams I really like: Bottega Veneta, Paris (Balenciaga), Sensuous, L’eau ambree by Prada and I am pretty sure I will love Oscar de la Renta’s Esprit d’Oscar (if only I could get my hands on it here in the low countries).
Hang on; there is a Hermes I like; un jardin en mediterranee was pretty nice.
So you remembered a Hermes you like in the end! Too bad about the change of heart re Terre d’Hermes but that can happen.
Balenciaga Paris is a good one that hasn’t been listed yet. I must try Esprit d’Oscar too because it gets a lot of love.
Hi Tara! What a wonderful Monday question! I think everyone beat me to the ones that jumped to my mind: Hermès, Prada, Chanel, Bulgari, Hypnotic Poison, and Kate Walsh (to throw a surprisingly nice celubu-scent out there).
To this, I might only add Fahrenheit and Eau Sauvage . . .
So glad you are enjoying this week’s Monday Question!
Fahrenheit and Eau Sauvage are fantastic additions that no else has come up with.
I don’t have too many mainstream perfumes but I’ve been addicted to L’Ambre des Merveilles for a few weeks now. I also own Cuir de Lancôme and Chanel Coromandel, if the exclusives are still considered mainstream? On a funny note, my sister smells great in Brittany Spears, but on me it’s rubbish. And my niece smells great in the first Rihanna scent, was it called Rebel? Once again, not good on me, but then I can’t wear fake metals either, so I guess I’m just doomed to more expensive desires!
Sounds like you’re hooked on Ambre des Merveilles like our own Olfactoria. It seems that one can really get under your skin and become a craving.
Oh to have cheap tastes, I know how you feel!
Oh gosh, good question Tara, but there are just too many to list!
Anything by Guerlain, some of Chanel, most of Gaultier, Hermes etc (the list is endless). I think I find more to love in the mainstream sometimes than I do in niche.
Thanks Thomas! It’s so good to hear that someone prefers mainstream to niche. I have much more mainstream – allbeit mainly high-end – than niche.
As your list is endless I’ll put you down for Alien since you have a litre of it, OK? 🙂
OH MY GOD HOW COULD I FORGET MUGLER?! Seriously, my brain is a wonder sometimes!
Yes put me down for some Alien and I’ll also agree that going for high-end mainstream is the way forward 😀
Ha ha, deal! You must never forget you are the fumiverse’s Mugler champion!
This is true. I should get a badge really.
“Mugler Champion At Your Service” 🙂
Hi Tara, Great question. If I leave out the classic Guerlains, since they are not possible to buy here any longer, and which I just can’t consider mainstream anyway, I’ll go with the definitely mainstream; Lys Soleia and SI, and am also a fan of Insolence edp
Hermes Hiris is great, but I’m not sure I view Hermes as mainstream either, since here it’s only available in the hermes boutique.
Cartier, So Pretty, but I think it’s discontinued now. Very sad, I think it’s actually the perfect accompaniment for Cartier jewelry. (Or something like it anyway ;-)) Much more than anything in their current line.
And then I just discovered Lolita Lempicka L’eau en Blanc, which seems a great mix of Caron Aimez moi and Marron Chic- loads of creamy iris and violet and then heliotrope and tonka bean. I might need one of those actually.
Kenzo flower is a great replacement for vintage Royal Bain de Champagne.
Last but not least; Arpege which is just wonderful. It took me some time to get it, and for the longest time I wanted to swap the bottle away. Now it’s my go-to happy scent, the modern and the vintage parfum both great.
Thanks Asali! I love your picks but I’m sorry you can’t get the classic Guerlains anymore and that Hermes fragrances are so exclusive.
We haven’t had Hiris yet, another great Hermes. So Pretty is so good! Maybe I should have got myself a bottle but the note similar to The Body Shop’s Dewberry put me off. Thanks for reminding me of it. I haven’t heard of Lolita Lempicka L’eau en Blanc but it really sound like something Guerlain lovers would like. I’m glad you got Arpege in the end.
Haha, I complete see how something reminding you of dewberry would put you off :-).
It’s a shame though!
I would add some that have served me well and proved there worth in my everyday life
Lancome Hypnose Senses – elegant rose
Estee Lauder Sensuous – I prefer the EdT – lives up to its name
Prada Candy – easy comfort
Versace Versense – excellent cologney fragrance
Hilary Duff With Love – winter comfort scent with excellent staying power
Thanks for your list, Marie. The nice thing about mainstream perfumes is that they are so good for easy, everyday wear.
I agree – and in my life – and in most people’s lives I suppose – those days are the vast majority 🙂
Like many here I’m a great fan of Hermes and JCE, Voyage, Terre d’Hermes and Ambre de Merveille especially. Guerlain of course, several of them, and Chanel no 19. Also already mentioned Cuir de Lancome, DK Gold and Fleur de Male. I also like Bulgari Jasmin Noir (not Mon Jasmine!) and my newest love Aqua di Parma Iris Nobile edp.
I bought Jasmin Noir for my sister once, it has a very nice vanilla which she loves. I can totally understand why you have recently fallen for Iris Nobile, it’s wonderful.
Modern mainstream perfumery shows great in Womanity, Insolence, Roberto Cavalli, Cristalle Eau Verte, Escale a Portofino. I missed classics, but they’re kind of obvious. I wonder how come Youth Dew Amber Nude was discontinued, it’s a crime!!!! the same with Omnia Bvlgari or Donna Karan Black Cashemere. Prison sentence for everyone responsible for that!
Ha ha! If we could hand prison sentences out for discontinuing great perfumes they’d be an awful lot of people getting sent down!
Insolence isn’t really my style but it’s a great perfume. The same goes for Omnia and Black Cashmere.
I agree with lots of the previous posters, and would like to vote for Chanel Eau Premiere, bottega Veneta, Prada L’Eau Ambree and Candy, Tom Ford Violet Blonde and Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, Cartier Baiser Vole, Estee Lauder Sensuous Noir. Then Bvlgari Black of course and Kenzo Flower Oriental, Indian Holi and Eau de Fleur de Magnolia. To name but a few. I must say though that I tried the Hermes amber Eau de Merveilles one the other day and it was bad on me – like the original crossed with Cologne Pour le Matin. I know I amplify soap and musks so it was something to do with that no doubt. A bit headache-inducing even, but a misbehaving musk can do that. It’s a skin thing!
Ooh, I forgot the lovely Esprit d’Oscar and DKNY Gold, which I think have also been mentioned earlier?
They have been mentioned a couple of times, which confirms your good taste. I really need to try that Esprit d’Oscar.
Thanks for mentioning Violet Blonde, V that’s a great one. There are quite a few good Kenzos which are easy to over-look.
That’s too bad about Ambre des Merveilles. I haven’t tried it yet but I know all too well that awful stabby feeling you can get from some musks. I hope I don’t get that but am addicted instead, like B!
I think I agree with everybody’s selections above (and I’m happy to see a contingent of Alien supporters), so I’d like to suggest one that doesn’t get enough attention: Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline. It’s a flanker, and it’s obviously not the most exciting or original, but it’s got a softness and kind of sophistication that I don’t see in other “clean” scents. It’s probably one of the few that doesn’t remind me of laundry detergent!
I’m glad you’ve highlighted a perfume that you love but doesn’t get talked about much. Not all flankers are poor and if Omnia Crystalline is clean but still sophisticated that’s a great thing.
A few that make my list:
Chanel Pour Monsieur
Dior Eau Sauvage
Guerlain Habit Rouge
Prada Amber pour homme
Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
Hi James, I love your list. All very classy, high quality fragrances.
Thanks, Tara 🙂
Cartier Declaration, Prada Infusion Iris Absolue, Chanel 5 Eau Premiere, Narciso Rodriguez For Her, PC Tuberose Gardenia, Guerlain L’Instant Pour Homme…Jour d’Hermes?
(left out the classics)
The classics have been well covered so thanks for adding a few others which we haven’t had.
forgot Gucci Rush
and Love Chloe
Love Chloe is a good one.
Don’t think we’ve had Gucci Rush, good call.
Well, I can go by those I have and like to wear. Si Lolita and L by Lolita Lempicka, Eau de Cartier and Secret Obsession by CK.
Shalimar too but for some reason I never think of it as being mainstream. 🙂 I’m not sure why…
I don’t associate Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko etc with mainstream perfumes either. I think it’s because they have so much history. It feels like they shouldn’t be sharing a category with the latest celebuscent!
I will get around to trying L by Lolita Lempicka one of these days, sounds yummy.
Having given this some thought I came up with way more than I expected too, so here are some of them:
My vote also goes to Guerlain generally, but I have a soft spot for Bulgari too: Black is wonderful (and my rock ‘n’ roll scent) while Pour Femme is sweet. Estee Lauder does well with Bronze Goddess and Youth Dew, but I have complemented 2 friends recently only to find they are wearing Sensuous Nude. Oh and I liked Prada Candy AND Eau de Cartier gets me through the sweltering few days of the British summer… Finally Noa still holds an important place in my heart for just being so darned pretty.
What a perfectly timed post – I am just trying to pull myself away from the brink of falling in love with Roja Dove’s Danger, I will investigate a few more of these instead
Alex, I do hope we can save you and others some pennies by pointing out the good stuff that doesn’t cost as much as high-end boutique or niche scents.
Thanks for giving your answer so much thought and for reminding me I need to get to know Eau de Cartier and Sensuous Nude. Oh and Noa is a great cheapie.
Oh, great topic! I’d add
Bulgari Jasmin Noir L’Essence (sillier name, it means petrol in French; slightly more jasmine than the original)
Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca
The Hermes cologne trio (esp the Gentian Blanche, but they’re all great)
CD J’Adore L’Absolu
O de Lancome (the new orange flower one is pretty too)
Issey Miyake A Scent
Jeanne by Balmain, unpretentious, pretty musk
the Diane von Furstenberg scents are good also
Looking at my list I realise there’s a lot of green & cologne-style fragrances in it, especially given how rarely I wear this style (hot weather only). Perhaps they’re just a genre that mainstream houses get? Or that are cheap to make?
Figuier, I think you’re probably right on both counts. It’s not very hard to get a green or cologne style fragrance right and they’re very economical to produce.
It does make sense to go to the mainstream for these kind of scents rather the high-end versions, unless you want to pay the premium for the brand/packaging. Someone else mentioned the Hermes colognes, I really need to explore those.
A vote for the fancy version of J’Adore…
I’ve heard good things about J’adore Absolu but I don’t know anything about J’Adore L’Or , except that it is definitely fancy!
Just catching up on blog reading… so a bit late but really love this thread! Have been reminded of a few old favourites.
My own current ‘Boots Perfumes’ as I call them
Another vote for Prada Candy
I love the new Chloe – L’eau de Chloe
And Diorissimo is always on the table
I used to like Gucci Envy too
Ha ha! I can relate to “Boots Perfumes”. I’m glad you’ve been reminded of some old favourites. I wore Gucci Envy non-stop for few years and still think it’s great, so thanks for reminding me of that one.
I think Prada Candy has been a big hit with perfume fanatics and the general public alike.
It’s good to hear you still like Diorissimo as Dior have messed about with their classics something chronic.
yohji yamamoto for men
narsisco- special edition for men