Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Britain's Best-Selling Fragrances (2014)

These best-selling fragrance lists have their use. Sometimes nodding in comprehension ("ain't that a gorgeous thing?"), sometimes in utter puzzlement ("that dull thing?"), but they always pique curiosity (You can find them all by scrolling the right hand column of this blog). What is out there? Who buys this stuff? Do they wear it a lot? Why are the same fragrances repeat themselves in patterns?

Here's the latest round of fragrance best-sellers for the UK for 2014, according to the Independent.co.uk.

CK One
Chanel No.5
Prada Infusion d'Iris
Chanel Chance
Calvin Klein Eternity
Davidoff Cool Water
Tom Ford Black Orchid
Ralph Laurent Romance
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely
Estee Lauder Beautiful
Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarine
YSL Black Opium
Gucci Rush

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? UK-dwellers are much encouraged to comment on whether they do smell these around.


  1. How is it even possible that CK One is a best-seller? I can hardly even believe it's still on the market. It's the zeitgeistiest scent ever, and that day is long past.

  2. I thought Gucci Rush was not available any more !

    Do not worry Helg .... I will not be going out and buying old Gucci "Rush" .... or any other perfume on that "Popular" list!

    Very strange .

  3. Miss Heliotrope05:43

    Um I assumed One & No.5 were mostly bought due to marketing - (I know many people love No 5, but I thin about a zillion more just think that'd take care of her this Christmas).

    Infusion d'Iris? Wearing it now (but in Australia, so I dont count) - it's light, cheapish, and inoffensive for a quiet day at home with my headache. I do like it, but it goes best on cool days (our summer has vanished) & isnt what I wear for special.

    The rest? I dont really know what they smell like (although I once had a magazine with one of those strip samples of Chance, and I threw it out).

  4. annemarie07:57

    I'm bit surprised to see Beautiful still on the list. I thought modern consumers would find it 'too strong' or 'too old lady'. Surprised also to see that coco Mademoiselle is missing in action. It's a stange mix, that list. As Lady Jicky said,Gucci Rush -really?

  5. Of this list I notice Eternity the most - well you would as it screams in your face! Many of the others are bland office type scents, my niece (22) wears Chance & CK One because they smell 'clean and nice and everyone likes them'. I think No5 is up there because men buy it at airports - it's the obvious gift.I wonder how many women have bottles of it that they don't use? . On the whole the UK is not very adventurous and I am surprised Black Orchid is on the list and very surprised there's no Guerlain! Last week I was in a restaurant and someone on the next table was wearing so much PRN2 I could taste it!

  6. C,

    you're absolutely right in your description of CK one, but truth be told, it's still big here as well, so I can believe it. (Then again, it's big the way Light Blue is big: because these are scents that can only be appreciated in hot weather and they really fit well with sweat, so people wear them in the heatwave instead of plain eau de cologne; well, the under-40s do, at least). In the UK, thought, eh...hmmm....

  7. M,

    this is what I hear as well: many countries don't carry it anymore.
    I checked locally, however, and it's still getting distributed and it's still selling well. I think it's brash in its personality and up there with Hypnotic Poison which is a local best-seller, so maybe it's the bold girl's statement "party girl" scent.

    Our tastes run more researched, I suppose. Still it's always telling what a country or specific demographic chooses: these people shape the market after all, not us.

  8. MH,

    it's odd but I do believe marketing is part and parcel of the perfume experience. The Independent was running an article how Lidl's Suddenly Madame Glamour smells the same with Coco Mademoiselle (something us bloggers have noticed before and commented on it, Vanessa Musson has even devoted a whole post on it, with a side by side testing).

    And indeed they do smell alike. And the tester is ALWAYS on its last drop when I pass by the super-market, meaning people do test it and spray themselves when they get there like crazy.
    But the fact is, Chanel presents its scent as something that validates you, whereas Lidly does not (not is it their aim to, they're offering a bargain product in no nonsense packaging).

    Infusion d'Iris is a modern classic: much more than an "iris" to coincide with the zeitgeist it's a woody fragrance that feels like wearing your pyjamas. It's so wearable and comfortable, it can be worn anywhere (luckily because the PJs don't have that advantage). I have worn it in any weather and it always garners compliments. I don't know, it might be that it feels deep without being deep if you know what I mean?

    Chance is merely passable. It has a kick of vetiver in the drydown, but that's its saving grace. It feels dull.

  9. AMC,

    oh but modern consumers are also "old ladies" (I suppose this derogative term refers to the demographic over 50 for the fragrance companies, irrespective of whether a 50-year-old woman is hardly old in our day and age). So more mature women (there!) do buy Beautiful. In fact here a very young woman I know bought Beautiful herself for herself (!!). I went "huh?" myself but of course didn't show it. It did suit her too! So good bargaining.

    Coco Mademoiselle is indeed oddly missing. Maybe people are fed up with it. It'd be encouraging to hear so! *evil laugh*

  10. Bee,

    I have to agree with No.5. Though I do notice it from time to time locally, I think it's bought more due to its iconic status than for actual wearing (My own first bottle was bought by an aunt upon a teenager birthday saying "every girl should try some No.5"). Well, instead of getting it out of my system, I actually liked it and have been wearing it, but we perfumistas are a different breed on these matters I suppose.

    Interesting that you smell so much Eternity. I think its serene "family" advertising has a lot to credit it for for this phenomenon, since the smell is anything but. (Agree?)
    And even more interesting that LPRN2 is doing so well in the UK too; it's selling like hot cakes in France and the US.

  11. Yes! No:5 - I got mine as a gift from an aunt on my 18th birthday! A long time ago! Huge bottle of EDT and I still have it with some left and it's still amazing. That was the official start of the whole perfume thing for me: A lifelong obsession. And yes - so agree on Eternity's soft focus ads saying nothing about it's massive white noise effect. I just looked at a list of UK bestsellers in 2009 and apart from Eau d'Issey it's just the same as todays. We seem to be in a scent rut!

  12. People are weird.

    And then I pulled a decanter of Quand vient la pluie and stank up the whole office because it's my office and I can.

  13. I had thought SJP's Lovely was discontinued. I still see it at discounters, but not anywhere else? Of those listed I only like the Prada!

  14. Hyp Poison is still here and I think if they did a "popular perfumes" in Australia - Chanel no 5 and those Celeb perfumes would be in the top 10 !!! Help! LOL

  15. Miss Heliotrope04:50

    Update - just had a special dr appt (a new one, for variety), and she seemed to me (didnt really have time to ask - I had been squeezed in as a favour to "my" usual specialist & the appt was conducted at high speed - we had never thought to compare my blood system with house plumbing before) to be drowned in Chance. So there's who is wearing it - hematologists.

    Well, one. In Melbourne.

  16. Anonymous13:53

    Hello there,

    I'm UK based and whilst most of my friends and family wear perfume, it's usually worn with discretion these days.

    I wish it weren't! I rather enjoyed the days when you could actually identify someone's sillage! I think Angel finally killed off the big guns - I loved it for years, but it became a victim of its own success, generating a monstrous fugg in clammy bars and clubs.

    I smell Chanel a lot - CM, Chance and Allure. I'm contemplating a return to Coco - it's such a great scent when wrapped up in jumpers and scarves. The difficulty, however, lies in having since found Bois des Iles...

    I also smell the sporty things that many of the boys like to wear - I'm guessing Cool Water will be the main one.

    Rush is still available, but I haven't smelt it on anyone for many years.

    Closer to home, I'm aware of friends and colleagues who seek out the ubiquitous (polite and comfortable) presence of the Jo Malones.

    Those closest to me tend to have one or two fragrances, and include:
    Lolita Lempicka, TF Noir de Noir, TF Black orchid, TF Oud Wood, Eternity, Eau Sauvage, Egoiste (original), Vera Wang (something very pink!), Chanel No 5, Prada (Amber), something by Boss, Jo Malones, Terre d'Hermes. I think the latter is very popular.

    I am too much of a fragrance flirt to have just the one ;)

  17. Bee,

    the mere fact that both our aunts thought it a rite of passage speaks volumes!

    Regarding scent ruts, I believe customers stick with what has initially clicked even when flirting with other things, so this is rather logical.

  18. Liisa,

    good for you!!! :-)

    In the end, it beats getting stale sweat and farts.

  19. Merlin,

    one wonders why Lovely would fall out of favor. Inexpensive, great smelling and one of the few celebrity fragrances not to rely on scandal to sell.
    I like the Prada too! :-)

  20. M,

    it's rather interesting that celebrity frags are big in Oz. Most are based on American celebrities and why would those be desirable on Australian soil? They're non existent here (apart from Beyonce I believe and some designer brands fronted by celebrities, but that's not the same thing, is it?)

  21. MH,

    how very odd and interesting, at once!

    Hope your appointments become more satisfying and less frequent. :-)

  22. Anon,

    thank you so much for the local perspective!

    I recall with some horror my bars hopping evenings in the UK when trails of Angel choked you before the piss and vomit on the streets brought you round with a jolt. It seemed incredibly popular. I wonder why Coco Mlle didn't make the list though, it seems it does well everywhere. (?)

    Coco is good though BdIles is even better, as you wisely say!

    You are friends with an eclectic bunch!!! Good for you!

  23. I'm really surprised by the list. I would say that the beautiful Aromatics Elixir is one of the most popular fragrances here. I wasn't expecting to see CK One.
    Fruity patchouli scents are prolific too, La Vie Est Belle often leaves it's sticky sickly trail around my city of Manchester.
    I don't think it's really indicative of our habits, maybe more folk are buying from online retailers that have not been picked up by The Survey? A fascinating read though.
    I will try to somehow guerilla scent our residents with Vol de Nuit to improve matters somewhat!


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