Scent & Sensibility: These 20 Luxury Perfumes Are The Best Ones Out There, Even Todayby | August 01, 2019
If there is ever a gift that is generic yet extremely personal, it is a perfume. After all, it forms an important part of your identity and immediately sends out non-verbal cues about your personality. So while we happily pass on sweet smelling gifts to our loved ones, it’s equally important to present something that matches their unique nature while making them feel pampered. Luxury perfumes range from high fashion brands, niche perfumery to celebrity endorsed scents. While the packaging is often an attracting factor in picking a fragrance, its equally important to consider the subtle notes and how the scent sits on your skin. We round up some of the most luxurious scents, from iconic ones to demi bespoke creations for you to truly discover a fragrance of your own.
Bois Blonds, Atelier Cologne
Founded in 2009 by Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel, Atelier Cologne creates ‘Pure Perfumes’ by blending citrus with natural raw materials. The Bois Blonds perfume will have you imagining a summer in the Mediterranean as you lose your senses with its fresh and woody aromas. Experience the spicy notes of Guaiac wood from Central America, neroli from Morocco and pink pepper from the Indian Ocean in this unisex perfume.
Nuit et Confidences, Goutal Paris
This French fragrance house was founded by Annick Goutal, a former model and pianist, after she realised perfumes were her true calling. Explore the Orient in a bottle with the Nuit et Confidences Eau de Parfum from the brand that captures notes of bergamot and full-bodied pepper to create this feminine fragrance.
Cipresso Di Toscana, Acqua Di Parma
Celebrate the gorgeous landscapes of Tuscany, Italy with Italian luxury lifestyle brand, Acqua Di Parma’s Cipresso Di Toscana Blu Mediterraneo. Exhilarating top notes of star anise and elemi merge with refreshing notes of orange and petitgrain to create the tranquil scent.
McQueen, Alexander McQueen
Launched in 2016, McQueen is the first perfume under the leadership of Sarah Burton from the iconic fashion label, Alexander McQueen. The result? A highly seductive scent that combines a trio of white flowers - jasmine, tuberose and ylang-ylang, and enhances them with woody and spicy notes making it the perfect perfume for a night out (in bloom).
Alaïa Paris, Azzedine Alaïa
Azzedine Alaïa’s first perfume captures the very sensuality that the designer is known for, and it reflects in everything from the shape of the bottle (inspired by his famous laser-cut dress) to its musky fragrance. Inspired by the designer’s childhood memories in Tunisia, this scent contrasts floral notes like peony and freesia with a woody musk base, making it a delight for the senses.
Gypsy Water, Byredo
A Swedish luxury lifestyle brand founded by Ben Gorham, Byredo relies strongly on memories of time, place and person when it comes to creating a scent. One of their debut perfumes, Gypsy Water borrows from the scent of fresh soil, deep crests and campfires to create a warm and playful scent with notes of pine needles, bergamot, pepper, and sandalwood.
Can you really call yourself a perfume connoisseur without a Chanel No 5 in your vanity case? The legendary perfume was created by Russian perfumer to the Czars, Ernest Beaux, for Coco Chanel in 1921. This iconic fragrance was one of the first to explore other notes apart from floral for women. The use of aldehydes for the first time in the perfume causes the scent to smell differently on every woman who wears it making it one of the most unique and iconic fragrances in the world. Adding to this are base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, and patchouli.
Miss Dior, Christian Dior
Created as an ode to French couturier Christian Dior’s sister who spent a year at a concentration camp in Germany during the World War II, the Miss Dior perfume was designed to serve as a beacon of hope and love. Heavy with notes of gardenia, bergamot, roses, and jasmine (all flowers found in the garden of their childhood home), the Miss Dior perfume continues to smell like love, as the designer intended. While originally the bottle was curvaceous and hourglass shaped, it later took the form of a rectangular bottle with a bow.
1872, Clive Christian Perfumes
Back in 1872, the Crown Perfumery in London was granted a favour by Queen Victoria when she allowed an image of her crown to be used for the cap of the bottle. In 1999, the brand was taken over by designer Clive Christian who revamped it as one of the most luxurious perfumeries in the world. As an ode to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who made perfumes for each other, Clive Christian perfumes often come in feminine and masculine complementary pairs. Amongst them is the 1872 Perfume, a refreshing citrusy fragrance with notes of pineapple and blueberry and a whiff of myriad flowers in the background creating immense sweetness in a single spray.
Cologne 352, Ex Nihilo
A fairly young perfumery, Ex Nihilo was founded by Sylvie Loday, Olivier Royère, and Benoît Verdier, and created to cause disruption, and challenge the traditional perfume industry. Breaking away from mass-produced perfumes, Ex Nihilo aims to create demi-bespoke perfumes that are unique and personal. Inspired by their flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, is the Cologne 352, a feathery and citrusy scent with notes of Italian lemon, juniper berries, orange blossom, and lily of the valley.
Portrait of a Lady, Frédéric Malle
Born into a family of perfumers, Frédéric Malle’s introduction to the world of fragrances was inevitable. However, it was his keen interest in the nuances of scents that made him collaborate with some of the best noses in the world to create a unique troupe of scents. Among his avant-garde scents is Portrait of a Lady, with heart notes of blackcurrant, raspberry, and clove. Named after Henry James novel from 1881, the scent is inspired by the novel’s heroine Isabel Archer and her mystical persona.
From earning the royal favour of French Emperor Napoleon III to Queen Victoria, French perfumery Guerlain boasts of a rich history that is almost 200 years old. In this vast olfactory saga falls the infamous Shalimar Eau de Parfum, created by Jacques Guerlain in 1925 who was inspired by Mughal empress, Mumtaz Mahal for whom the Taj Mahal and Shalimar Gardens (in Lahore) were built. Popularised by the flapper women of the 1920s who wore the scent to decant jazz parties of that era. This powdery French fragrance with fresh flowers (iris, jasmine, rose) and addictive vanilla is extremely long lasting and alluring.
Eau D’Hermès, Hermés
Equestrian-inspired French leather goods brand Hermés is often touted as the epitome of luxury. It is little wonder then that their signature fragrance line imbibes the same ethos. Created in 1951 by Edmond Roudnitska, the Eau D’Hermès was made to show what the inside of a bag smells like. A hint of leather with a whiff of citrus fruit and seasoned with spices, this historical scent paved the way for many great creations by Hermés for the olfactory obsessed.
Oud & Bergamot Rich Extract Cologne, Jo Malone
London-based brand, Jo Malone needs no introduction when it comes to the world of sweet-smelling scented candles and perfumes. While the eponymous perfumer is no longer part of the business (it was bought by Estée Lauder in 1999), her simple scents and signature packaging of cream with black lettering remains iconic in the eyes of its followers. An intense and enduring scent, the Oud & Bergamot Rich Extract Cologne with notes of orange, cedar, oud, and bergamot is spicy yet smooth for the senses.
Thank You, Jo Malone For Showing Us That Leather Smells Divine!
Santal 33, Le Labo
This New York-based perfumery started by Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot focuses on creating niche fragrances that are created on the spot. In their NY store, Le Labo's demi bespoke perfumes are blended on the spot, bottled and packaged in brown boxes with a personalised label for the buyer’s name and date. Le Labo’s most popular scent Santal 33 takes off from their sweet smelling candle, Santal 26 and was inspired by the Marlboro Man with its smoky variation of sandalwood, cedarwood, cardamom, iris, violet, and ambrox notes. From a scented top created by LA-based brand Hiro Clark to a Santal 33 detergent by Laundress, the scents popularity knows no bounds.
Daisy Eau So Fresh, Marc Jacobs
It’s hard to miss the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh at a perfume counter, the perfume bottle with oversized daisies on the cap has become an iconic image. Recalling words like happy, sunny and energetic, this popular scent blends fruity and floral notes of sparkling raspberry, rose blossoms and crème de cassis base to create natural freshness to the perfume.
Irish Leather, Memo Paris
Memo Paris fragrances are the love child of Parisian-Catalan poet, Clara Molloy and her globe-trotting sportsman husband, John. The brand reimagines far-flung destinations and travel memories into luxurious scents. Intense and unique raw materials, come together to create these fragrances, like their signature Irish Leather. Captures the essence of a galloping horse on an Irish countryside, this perfume has notes of juniper berry, green mate absolute, and leather.
Flowerbomb, Viktor & Rolf
In 2015 designers, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren dropped a sweet-smelling bomb on the fragrance industry with the launch of their grenade-shaped perfume, Flowerbomb. Quite literally, an explosion of flowers, Viktor & Rolf's perfume took over three years to perfect. A modern take on floral scents, it contains notes of bergamot, tea, and osmanthus with middle notes of jasmine, African orange flower, freesia, rose and orchid. While, the perfume was banned at the Oslo, Norway duty-free due to its resemblance to a weapon, it reached cult popularity with its jewel-like bottle and heady smell.
Les Vestiaires Tuxedo, YSL
Paying a tribute to YSL (Yves Saint Laurent)’s most iconic creation i.e the Le Smoking tuxedo jacket is this spicy unisex scent from YSL Beauté. A blend of smoked patchouli with ambergris and enhanced by black pepper, the scent boasts of a magnetic sex appeal. A masculine scent that gets easily transformed into a feminine one, this seductive perfume is a modern must-have.
Fucking Fabulous, Tom Ford
Can a scent be any more clear? American fashion brand Tom Ford’s iconic scent as the name suggests is Fucking Fabulous. The controversial perfume has key notes of almond bitter oil, tonka resinoid, orris accord, cashmeran, leather accord, and clary sage oil making it a scent that’s not for the faint-hearted. Experience pure excess as you put the black bottled perfume on your dresser, that is sure to remind you of an opulent lifestyle of private yachts, champagne showers, and designer outfits.
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