Monday, September 6, 2010

The 20 Best Ever Perfumes List

The Daily Mail has devoted an article by Elsa McAlonan to a selection of the 20 best ever perfumes for women. The selection includes:

Anais Anais by Cacharel
Angel by Thierry Mugler
Beautiful by Lauder
Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden
CK One by Calvin Klein
Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier
Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
DKNY by Donna Karan
Eau Dynamisante by Clarins
J'Adore by Christian Dior
Je Reviens by Worth
Joy by Jean Patou
L'air du Temps by Nina Ricci
Lime, Basil and Mandarin by Jo Malone
No.5 by Chanel
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
Poison by Christian Dior
Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent
Shalimar by Guerlain
Youth Dew by Lauder

Certainly there is an emphasis on tried-and-true classics, but also the effect of best-selling status entering the equation (CKOne, Beuatiful, Coco Mademoiselle etc). Each and every one on this list is a perfume that has sold millions of bottles over the years.
What say you? Which would have been your picks for a top-20 best ever list?


  1. Peggy22:10

    My 2 favourites are on the list.
    Coco mademoiselle(have used maybe 10 bottles)and Poison are on this list...Unbelievable...
    I can say he has got it!

  2. Interesting...the more I thought about it, the more I had to disagree with the list, though. I ended up blogging about my own 20 best ever scents, so thank you for the inspiration!

  3. not twenty, but in my list I'd had included
    Chanel 19
    EL Private Collection
    Eau de Givenchy
    My only favourite from that list is Rive Gauche....

  4. Anonymous03:59

    I would have added:

    Hermes Caleche
    Chanel Sycomore
    Bulgari Au The Verte

    and maybe Chanel 18

  5. The one glaring omission, from my point of view anyway, is Fracas. Where on Earth is Fracas?!?

    Six decades after it was released it's still worshiped by some, admired by many, and is arguably THE ultimate tuberose fragrance. How can that not count for something?

  6. The visit was useful. Content was really very informative.

  7. I didn't see my preview and i'm trying one more time maybe changing a little the list.
    opoponax santa maria novella
    violetta " " "
    caleche soie de parfum hermes
    equipage "
    habit rouge guerlain
    chantes d'aromes "
    jicky "(personal favorite)
    no 19 eau de parfum chanel
    florence tocca
    do son diptyque
    pepper gaiac wood corres
    diorella christian dior
    eau sauvage "
    carnation comme des garcons
    quelque fleurs houbigant
    escada original
    red door elizabeth arden
    cinnabar estee lauder

    Just to name a few. I don't always associate the success of a perfume at how many bottles has sold. I don't agree with some perfumes on the article's list, but it's just a personal thing. I must confess i religiously read helg every day, even though it's the first time i try to post something. Thanks to Helena and wishes for all.

  8. Fiordiligi14:29

    Oh dear. Where on earth is Mitsouko? I will leave it at that..... but there are some extremely odd selections in this list!

  9. I agree with Fiordiligi- where is Mitsouko?

  10. Anonymous14:49

    best-selling as an argument?

    That is as if you would do a list named "The 20 Best Ever Cars" and it would consist of the likes of
    Volkswagen Beetle and Toyota Corolla...

    And I am absolutely sure that obviously the best ever dish is "BigMac with Fries and a large Coke"...

    Conclusion: Call it "The 20 Best-selling Perfumes list" please

  11. Anonymous20:44

    well the above perfumes could have been bought for christmas gifts...
    perfume is a don't need it...that's why it makes the perfect gift....i've worn a few of the above especially l'air du temps...forget the list and folow your nose!!!!!!!

  12. Major omissions would surely be the following:
    * Eau d'Herm├Ęs
    * Eau Sauvage
    * Chanel No. 22
    * Cuir de Russie
    * Antaeus
    * Kouros
    * Jubilation XXV
    * Clive Christian X for Men

    At the same time, I find it hard to imagine that anything by Jo Malone would be on a Top 20 list. And CK One? Hm... If we're getting that "tired", then I'd prefer L'Eau d'Issey for women or men any day.

  13. Amy K02:44

    I love Eau Dynamisante, but I have to say I'm surprised to see it on the list. Maybe this means I'll start smelling it on more people:)

  14. Where's the Guerlain? I can't believer that Shalimar is not on the list. When I disagreed with 9 out of the first ten listed (EA Blue Grass has been around forever) then I knew that the list was pretty much bogus.

  15. Peggy,

    WOW!!!! 10 bottles!!!!
    This is one perfume I always try to make mine and never can for some reason. I have an intellectual curiosity on knowing why best-sellers sell so much. It's certainly very well loved by people.

    Poison, I can see the (bold) appeal instantly. Still, it's unusual even in its time, which is another bonus.


  16. VA Gal,

    thanks for commenting, I disagree as well, which I thought was a great springboard for discussion. Will have a look! :-)

  17. MJ,

    love your list! Scherrer is so grossly underrated, isn't it?

  18. Anon,

    I believe the more limited-release editions (Sycomore, No.18) would be "doomed" in a list that included such mega-sellers as Shalimar or Opium or No.5. Not enough people attuned to their individual beauty as they don't recall other things (especially No.18). Then again, is a top-20 list filled with best-sellers? Ah...that's the question!
    Love some you named, Sycomore especially and Diorama in the vintage version.

  19. Spike,

    great comment, indeed Fracas is something of a benchmark: the tuberose of reference. I think that it's not as "all the It rage" it was in the mid-90s, hence the paper "forgot" it in their list. I certainly would put it in there before some others. But...

  20. Efi,

    sorry about the problematic comment and thanks for all your kind words, I'm especially happy you decided to delurk.
    I believe Blogger acts up sometimes; "eating" a comment so people have to repost or just posting something twice or three times in a row. I don't edit comments unless they're blatant spam advertising or extremely rude towards other people.
    Anyway, very glad you managed to post your own top20!

    Lovely choices and some which are especially near and dear to my heart (and unsung, Chant d'Aromes, I am looking at you!). One would assume that if they were willing to include one masculine it would have to be Eau Sauvage: it launched a thousand, I mean. :-)

  21. D,

    these seem to be from a "what's popular, what was influential and what has endured" standpoint. And even though Mitsouko has endured, some others are more popular than it in the West. It's the #1 Guerlain in Japan though! (fittingly enough!)
    I have to grudgingly admit that CKOne, for instance, was very influential upon its time...

  22. Dixie,

    see above my reply to Fior.
    These are newspaper and magazines lists: they need to appeal to their readers who belong to the masses and not on perfume boards. I assume they're going for some recognisability. Hence I brought this list here for discussion. It was certain we'd come up with our own top 20!

  23. Anon,

    absolutely valid complaint! These are geared towards a more mass audience, who recognises specific names and brands. See my comment above to Dixie.
    I would agree that some best-sellers stump me as well: I do try to find out what's the appeal, though. There's got to be something going on for them, I assume. ;-)

  24. Anon2,

    it's certainly a good shopping list, LOL! Good point!
    And of course everyone has different taste, so what is "great" does have a subjective tinge. I do think it also has an objective one though (as in innovation & imagination, craftmanship, endurance, quality ingredients, reflecting its times etc)

  25. Michael,

    hope you're well!

    Yup, there are some major omissions, especially since they're focusing so much on feminines and forgetting at least two ground-breaking and influential masculines which you name: Eau Sauvage and Kouros. I think these both sold millions, were masterful and influenced the market enough to be included, but they didn't include them.
    Some others (great stuff nevertheless) you mention is perhaps a little more esoteric and quite niche. Oh well, like I said to others above, these newspaper and mag lists aim for recognisability factor in their readers' minds.

  26. Amy,

    I love Eau Dynamisante too but you nailed what surprised me most myself: is it really popular? I haven't ever smelled it on anyone! It would be nice if we did, though, I'll give you that!

  27. Well-Preserved,

    Shalimar is indeed included in the list, you might have missed it but it's there. I wouldn't believe they would omit it, it's so iconic on every level.
    Got to give it to you that the list is lacking though. As to Blue Grass, it's nice even if around for ever and low-brow, but best top20 status? I would put others before it myself as well.

    Keep up the good effort and thanks for visiting and commenting here!


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