The last perfume collection post I did was more than 3 years ago, so it's high time for an update. Rather than go through every single perfume I have (which is too many, it's a real problem), I managed to narrow it down to a top 10. Perhaps it was inspired by the top 10 videos I've been watching on YouTube (I particularly liked Top 10 Cinematographers, Top 10 TV Marriage Proposals and Top 10 Gordon Ramsay Outbursts). Perhaps it's because I've finally come to my senses (i.e. presently favour minimalism over excess, though no doubt I could change my position any time), and now value quality over quantity. I used to think if a perfume was inexpensive and didn't mind the smell of it, I would buy it for the sake of having more variety. Now I see that I get a lot more enjoyment and value out of (usually) pricier perfumes that I really had to consider whether I wanted or not.
Ralph Lauren Romance EDP
This was my first proper perfume I ever had, given as a gift to me back in 2003 (if I recall correctly). 2003! 13 years ago. Lawd. I felt so pampered and cool with my first experience of "grown up" perfume. Released in 1998, it's survived the test of time to become something of a modern classic. This isn't the exact same bottle I was given (that was a 30ml one), but close enough since I bought the 100ml a couple of years later. I was insanely devoted to this perfume when I was younger. Not only does it have sentimental value, it still smells pretty good to me now. It's an unassuming, sophisticated, office friendly scent, in the same vein as Estee Lauder Pleasures or Hugo Boss Femme. Clean, floral, not too sweet or dry, well formulated. All the notes sing harmoniously to my nose and there's a brightness to it that's instantly uplifting.
Top notes are rose, citrus oils, ginger, freesia; middle notes are carnation, lotus flower, lily, white violet; base notes are patchouli, oakmoss, white musk.
diptyque Volutes EDP
One of my major perfume splurges — in fact, the biggest one. I shelled out $170 for a 75ml bottle. In my defense, I was on holiday, the diptyque EDP bottles hadn't yet been released in Australia, plus the lovely sales assistant threw in a 12ml sample of Eau Duelle EDP (score!). I was debating whether to get either of diptyque's better known scents (Philosykos or L’Ombre dans l’Eau), but in the end had to go with my gut. There was just something magical about Volutes. I'd been given a 2ml sample a year prior and it always left an impression each time I wore it. It was unlike any perfume I owned, with the possible exception of Guerlain Shalimar. Intense, full bodied, smoky, woody, powdery and sweet, with a distinct progression from top to middle to base notes, utterly spectacular in EDP form (as opposed to the milder, watered down EDT version), with the most irresistible dry down. One spritz on your wrist and one spritz on your neck lasts an age and is seriously plenty (I learned the hard way one morning when I was particularly generous with the sprays and evoked a chimney at work). It's definitely an autumn/winter perfume suited for crisp, cold weather.
Top notes are iris flower, honey, tobacco and dried fruits; middle notes are pink pepper, black pepper, saffron, hay and immortelle; base notes are opoponax, myrhh, styrax and benzoin.
Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum EDT
I still can't quite grasp my luck at coming across this bottle last year at Myer for something like $50. I guess they were concerned with quickly getting rid of all the remaining stock of a limited edition product. Terracotta Le Parfum is frequently compared with Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess which I've only ever heard raves about, but didn't entirely love when I smelled it at the counter. Terracotta Le Parfum actually reminds me more of a much gentler version of Lush Lust, with the addition of coconut. The jasmine in this is actually my least favourite part (at least in the opening where it smells kind of uriney), but once that bit's over, it's a beachy/sweet/creamy blend of white florals, coconut and vanilla. Spritz this and just imagine you're on vacation.
Top notes are bergamot, coconut, tiare flower; middle notes are orange blossom, jasmine, ylang ylang; base notes are vanilla, musk.
Chloé Chloé Eau de Parfum
I dedicated one of my very first posts to this fragrance all the way back in January 2012. Now it's become one of my favourite everyday perfumes. It's the ultimate "pretty" scent, but not childish or cheap smelling. When it first launched, I thought it was dull and generic, but now I find it instantly recognisable and beautifully done. The gorgeous bottle deserves to be proudly displayed on any vanity. The floral notes are fresh, dainty, and perfectly chosen, and blended with juicy lychee and the sweet, rounded base notes make for an intoxicating mix. Staying power is excellent.
Top notes are peony, lychee, freesia; middle notes are rose, magnolia, lily of the valley; base notes are amber, cedar and honey.
Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Eau de Parfum
Previously featured in my June 2015 Favourites, Narciso Eau de Parfum is perfect for this time of year with winter kicking into gear. Although it arguably verges on grandma perfume territory (not that there's anything wrong with that), the composition remains overall modern and unique like its bottle design. It's potent, rich and extremely fragrant in terms of its projection and depth. There's floral, creamy, sweet, powdery and woody elements, but it doesn't smell busy or discordant. There's an overarching purity to it that makes it sing.
Top notes are gardenia and rose; middle note is musk; base notes are vetiver, black cedar and white cedar.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb EDP
It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I finally began to understand the appeal of Flowerbomb. Prior to that, I guess I simply wasn't into these "sexy", drippingly sweet, patchouli-based perfumes. Now there are so many on the market due to the popularity of Flowerbomb, from Lancôme La vie est Belle to Jimmy Choo Jimmy Choo EDP (not to be confused with the EDT, something I learned the hard way). Even Ari by Ariana Grande EDP has seemingly drawn "inspiration" from Flowerbomb, not just in scent but bottle design. Flowerbomb opened my eyes up to the world of gourmand perfumes and shortly after I purchased it, I went on a gourmand perfume buying spree to varying degrees of success. Overall, I'm not the hugest fan of perfumes that are just overwhelmingly sweet, but there's a richness, depth and maturity to Flowerbomb that gives it substance and sophistication. The ultimate girls' night out or date night perfume.
Top notes are bergamot and tea; middle notes are jasmine, freesia, orchid; base notes are centiflora rose, patchouli.
Serge Lutens Un bois vanille EDP
Another gourmand that I purchased alongside Flowerbomb which I wrote about in my May 2015 Favourites. Sometimes I think that Un bois vanille will be potentially nauseating (too much of everything — I mean just look at the notes), but each time I spray it, I only get signals being delivered to the pleasure centre of my brain. In other words, it never lets me down. It's so much more than a "vanilla" perfume. There's aniseed and a woody smokiness that saves it from being all cookies and buttercream.
Notes: sandalwood, black licorice, coconut milk, beeswax, bitter almond, musk, vanilla, benzoin, guaiac wood and tonka bean.
I've actually devoted a whole separate blog post to these three last perfumes, so I won't go into too much detail here.
Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia EDP
If I'm being perfectly honest, it's a touch too dry for my liking, but I'm a sucker for anything gardenia and this according to Luca Turin is a great example. So I needed it, ya know? It's the only perfume I have that exists purely so I can sniff gardenia on command. I don't smell 80% of the supposed top/middle/base notes (really only the ones in the name), but what would I know.
Top notes are neroli, lilac, rosewood; middle notes are tuberose, gardenia, orange flower, jasmine, white lily, orange flower; base notes are carnation, vanilla bourbon.
Jo Malone Orange Blossom EDT
Legitimately one of my favourite perfumes ever. Was so close to pulling the trigger on a 100ml bottle, but couldn't stomach the $185 price tag. But when I run out of my 30ml bottle, I may treat myself. It's juicy, authentic, clean, citrussy goodness. Not too tart, not artificial or cloying, but fresh, delectable, bright — the real thing and nothing extraneous.
Top notes are cedrat, green notes, clementine leaf; middle notes are orange blossom, water lily; base notes are orange blossom, lilac.
Chloé Love, Chloé EDP
Tragically discontinued for inexplicable reasons, this along with Ralph Lauren Romance are the only two perfumes I've purchased a backup for. It's powdery and soapy, clean smelling, feminine, a little retro, pillowy and comforting. The bottle is one of the most beautiful things I own and the longevity of the scent is superb.
Top notes are orange blossom, pink pepper; middle notes are hyacinth, iris, lilac, wisteria, heliotrope; base notes are musk, talc, rice powder.
So there you have my top 10. Honourable mentions go to DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, Cacharel Amor Amor, Narciso Rodriguez For Her EDP (I prefer the EDT but the EDP was given to me as a gift), Estee Lauder Pleasures, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Kai perfume oil.
I'm at the stage where I don't believe in "the one" when it comes to perfume (or perhaps anything, but that's another topic). There is no transcendentally beautiful, "perfect" perfume which is everything I never knew I wanted, that I'll wear non-stop and never get sick of. I'm the kind of person that believes in the merit of being able to select a different perfume depending on the season, weather, time of day, mood or occasion. The problem is distinguishing between a merely nice-smelling perfume, and a perfume with some deeper value or significance to you for whatever reason. Those are the ones worth keeping, since it goes without saying they would also smell good.
Do you have any of these perfumes? What are your favourite perfumes? Leave me a comment as I'd love to know!