By popular demand, after the Top-20 Best-selling Fragrances for women in France for 2011, which many readers mailed me to say was an eye-opener, I decided to post what the popular choices (based on bulk of sales) during the year 2011 in the American market are. A sort of two-faces-of Janus project, if you wish.
I had prefaced my French post by saying that people with an interest in perfumes imagine the French to be wildly sophisticated when it comes to fragrances; perhaps it comes with the territory, having so many options, though to be honest the US market is by far more populated. And yet, it's more of a form of branding, a subject on which the French have excelled while Americans have languished. As one of my friends in marketing says "USA branded itself as star& stripes, hamburgers, NBA, Hollywood and big-tit tanned blondes from California". Not exactly premium, you'd argue. And yet, this is exactly why we love to dump down on American culture, even Americans themselves. The USA as an uber-democratic, nascent nation decidedly branded itself as catering to the mass, with their Walmarts and their Costcos and For All Humanity jeans, in constrast to the largely still medieval-farmer/bourgeois mentality of the French with their small boutiques. Both societies have their elites, socio-economic as well as intellectual, but whereas one of them is proud of it, the other is self-effacing, almost embarassed to see it mentioned. See where I'm getting?
|Robert Redford & Jane Fonda in Barefoor in the Park (1967) via Mary Lou Cinnamon|
To revert to perfumes in the real market perspective, as my reader Victoria commented: "I still think this [French] list is a bit fancier than the top 20 American scents would be. I'd imagine that list would be filled with Britney Spears, JLo, Pink Sugar, and other generic fragrances." But as Mals from Muse in Wooden Shoes says "Chances are, these are the things that your college roommate, your bank teller, your Aunt Becky, and the cashier at your grocery store are wearing, and they don’t smell so bad…"
So come with me, dear readers, to see which 20 perfumes really make America tilt (in no particular order). And if you want to contrast it with what happened an only two short years ago, check this 2009 fragrance best-sellers (US and France) list out.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (this tops the list, predictably as it was the US Chanel headquarters who insisted on its creation and is topping the list for some years now)
Calvin Klein Euphoria
Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche
Christian Dior J'Adore
Clinique Aromatics Elixir
D&G Light Blue
Donna Karan Cashmere Mist
Estee Lauder Beautiful
Estee Lauder Knowing
Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude
Estee Lauder Pleasures
Fendi Fan di Fendi
Justin Bieber Someday
Taylor Swift Wonderstruck
Thierry Mugler Angel
thanks to Laure Philips for info
What we consider that should be popular in the USA presents its own interest, nevertheless. In that spirit, if you hadn't caught it when I first posted it back in 2009, please read Stars & Stripes: 10 Quintessentially American Fragrances.
But more importantly and I'm interested in opinions, rather than hard facts:
What do YOU consider American-smelling? And why?