Long-term Favorites

What is it about some perfumes that make them life-long loves whereas others you may enjoy for the duration of a bottle or decant but not repurchase?  I’ve loved Chanel 22 since college and will probably always love it.  I remember the sales assistant at the time trying to interest me in No. 5 also, but it was 22 that felt right to me. 

 

I’ll probably always have in my collection a couple of roses, a couple white florals, something springy, something woodsy, something incense dominant, and something with moss and hay notes.  I expect to always have Chanel 22, Guerlain Nahema, a rose/violet like Drole de Rose or Poussiere de Rose, Chanel Coco, La Chasse aux Papillons, SL La Myrrhe, Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare, SL Bois de Violette, DelRae Bois de Paradis, FM Carnal Flower, FM Vetiver Extraordinaire, and some others that lead my list of favorites.   Of course it’s fun to have some scents that you wear for a while and then replace with something new and different, but I think we all have some we hope to never be without.  That gets tricky as you add new favorites and your collection expands!

 

What notes or fragrances will always be a part of your collection?  Do you know when you first sniff a scent that it will be a staple, or do you just think it’ll be a keeper and many times change your mind later?  I’ve had both experiences; sometimes when I instantly fall for a scent it really does have some quality that keeps me coming back to it, and other times it loses attraction over time. 

 

When I’m working on fragrances, I think about what would make the scent right for me for the long haul, that little extra factor that makes a perfume really click for me.  One of my goals for the boutique collection is to make it a group of scents that will be long-term favorites for me, and that’s challenging since my tastes have changed with time and will probably keep evolving.   As I think about my own long-term favorites, I also wonder what makes a scent a keeper for other people and if there are any patterns that people see in the choices that last long-term.  Always so much to think about and so much to learn!

About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio
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6 Responses to Long-term Favorites

  1. Maria B. says:

    Laurie, your list of forever favorites is a charming one. My permanent list includes L’Heure Bleue, Nuit de Noel, Chanel No. 19 (No. 22 is lovely too), Habanita, Andy Tauer Incense Rose, and CdG Avignon. Yep, I like those light fragrances. 🙂 I would have added Cameo to that list, but I see it has disappeared. Vintage Rose is wonderful and in that same category. But, oh, what’s coming with your new Champagne de Bois! Oh, my, my!

    I’m like you. It’s sometimes love at first sniff, sometimes I’m wrong, and sometimes it takes me long to appreciate a fragrance.

  2. Laurie says:

    Hi Maria! Avignon has been a long-time favorite for me too, except that lately I’ve been hooked on my decant of Bois d’Encens instead. I wasn’t sure if I should list it since I don’t know if I’ll always have a decant of that one. I was thinking I need to revisit No. 19; it’s been years since I’ve tried it and I’ve been in the mood to sample more greens lately. I love M&B Green, Green, Green speaking of greens. Need to try Incense Rose again; only tried it once and it didn’t start well on me but the drydown was great and just got better and better as the hours passed, very long-lasting.

    When I put Vintage Rose on the list I took down Cameo for now because they are indeed in the same category and I wondered if I should just keep one. I’m still thinking about that.

    I hope that means you like the tweaked Champagne de Bois! 🙂

    I’m trying to wear the three new ones a lot right now (the tweaked Champagne, the tweaked Ambre Noir, and Sienna Musk) so I can be sure I’m happy with them or make adjustments. I’m also collecting feedback to help make that decision. I’m getting close to putting those on the site.

    It’d be nice if I could always predict a long-term favorite from the first sniff, but I can’t do it all the time either. It always helps to live with them for a bit.

    Thanks for writing!

  3. Gail S says:

    Hey, I fell in love with Chanel No.22 in college too! It’s still one of my favorites, but it sure is hard to get your hands on these days. Your tweaked Champagne de Bois might very well be it’s replacement. I’ll be keeping an eye on the website to see when/if it’s added.

    I’ve also loved No.19 since my junior high-school days. I don’t wear it so much anymore, but have added a couple others in the same vein. DelRae Eau Illumine and Carthusia Via Camerelle have a similar “feel” to me and I enjoy them both.

    I’m thinking I’ll try to always keep Vero Profumo Onda around. It makes me feel good all the way to my bones….shiver…. I do enjoy a good deep vetiver/leather combo. It’s not for everyday wear, sometimes I just take it out and smell it, feel all better and put it back up.

    Guerlain’s Jicky is a perennial favorite in the EDT formulation. It’s amazing how many compliments I get on it. Who’da thunk such an old perfume could still smell fresh and lovely to a generation raised on fruity/florals? Right now I’m completely hooked on a couple of tea scents also. Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite and Stephanie de Saint-Aignan’s Un The au Sahara are in heavy rotation right now while it’s so hot. I don’t know if they’ll hold up for me over the years (although I suspect Osmanthus Interdite will), but they’re perfect right now.

  4. Laurie says:

    Yay, another 22 fan! 🙂 I’ll try to get Champagne on the site by the end of this week. Glad you like it!

    I don’t hear Eau Illumine mentioned much but I agree it’s a lovely lavender scent. I’ve enjoyed a couple samples.

    I have to get some Vero samples. Onda sounds so yummy, and the jasmine one caught my eye too.

    I love my sample of Osmanthus Interdite and, yes, it’d be great in hot weather! I need to do some summer scents; I have a gardenia musk and a jasmine/tuberose that both need finishing.

    Great list of favorites! I’ll have to sniff a few of those that I’ve not tried yet.

  5. AnnS says:

    Laurie:

    Hi! Nice post….I think the first fragrances that had an impact on me when I was about 11 or 12 were the ubiquitous Tea Rose and then Guerlain’s Jardins de Bagatelle. I remember lingering and hanging out at the perfume counter while my mom shopped just imagining how profoundly glamorous that J de B bottle was and the type of life the woman who wore it would have. I begged my mom to buy the talc for me (which incidentally I still have a little bit of…). I wore that J de B talc to my senior HS prom and may as well been in Paris for all I felt because of it. I suppose I haven’t always worn it, but I’ve always had a bottle in my drawer since I was able to buy one, and I wear it on special occasions or when I feel nostalgic. My other enduring favorites are Coco Chanel and Bal a Versailles which I began wearing in College. I was not a CK Eternity kind of gal. I won’t go into all the reasons I think that Coco and Bal are wonderful, but they just are, and I always have a bottle of them in my drawer. Tea Rose influenced me to a life-long love of a good rose perfume, and I always have one of those stocked in my drawer. Laurie’s Velvet Rose is my newest rose king (or should I say queen!) of the mountain….My favorite notes are always roses, amber, bergamot, orange & orange blossoms.

    I think in the nearly two decades since I found J de B, Coco and Bal a Versailles, there have been few fragrances that have elicited the type of intellectual and emotional response those did for me. I always have a small collection of fragrances I enjoy wearing, but they come and go. Maybe our favorites are so because they remind us of when we were young, of the dreams we had, and secretly congratulate us if we’ve achieved some sort of the success we yearned for. Maybe as we become older with more experiences and living, it becomes harder to find a fragrance that evokes feelings that are as powerful as the ones we had when we were young imagining our lives, loves, adventures. Maybe that’s why our perennial favorite are so – they have an association of our feelings and desires for the person we’ve become, in addition to the fact that they provide a sensual satisfaction that comforts, excites and pleases.

  6. Laurie says:

    Hi AnnS! The first part of your post describes touching memories that I think many of us can relate to. Some of those earliest perfumes felt so glamorous when we were very young! And the second part of your post is really true; some of the scents that we found and connected to when young will always have associations that make them extra special.

    I still find wonderful new favorites even now after sniffing so many scents (especially when it’s something really different or when it’s so well done I just want to admire it over and over), but a few that I found many years ago have endearing connections that set them apart.

    Thanks for the beautiful post!

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