I was going through my little collection of favorite perfumes, trying to figure out if there was some common denominator or if there was a way to tell what kind of fragrance I would like and what I wouldn't. I can't say that I've found a definite answer, but I decided to list all of my current favorites. I'm not linking to other sites this time, because there are just too many. What I can say is that I buy my fragrances offline and online at LuckyScent.com, Sephora, Neiman's, Saks, Bloomie's, FragranceNet.com and Perfume1.com. For what's categorized as "department store perfumes" I highly recommend checking the last two first, as their prices are significantly lower. I always go for the EDP, as I like the smell to linger. This list doesn't include everything I have or things I used to love but fell out of grace, just the most favorite ones, for now.
Reccomendations based on this would be gladly accepted.
Kingdom by Alexander McQueen- This is an odd one. I think I bought it because in a way, it reminded me (don't laugh) of Colors by Benetton, that I wore at 18 for special dates with my boyfriend. Those are some bittersweet memories and so is this fragrance. It's drier than what I usually go for and requires a certain mood. I usually wear it at night and only recently discovered that it's actually better in hot weather than it is in winter. Heat brings out a very sensual element in this one. Decent lasting power.
Tiffany (the original one, by Tiffany, of course)- I was introduced to it about 14 years ago by my friend E, who has since moved on to other fragrances. I bought it for myself in the summer of 1993 just before I met my husband, and have been wearing it ever since. It used to be the one I wore for our special dates and has stayed as a special favorite of us both. I know that many think of it as an "old lady smell", but for me it's anything but. It was perfect when I was 22 and it suits me just as well today. It's become so much a part of me that I can't even analyze the notes or anything else about it. It's one of my signature scents and I wear it easily both days and nights. Excellent staying power.
Eternity (yeah, Calvin Klein)- A favorite daytime fragrance that I've been wearing on and off since 1993. It's a sunny and happy scent, lasts for many hours.
Panthere (Cartier)- Another signature scent that seems to have been made especially for me. Like Tiffany, it's an ambery floral, but it's very very different. It's both elegant and sexy (very), I prefer it as a night time fragrance and has been wearing it since late 1995 or early 1996. It's the perfume I wore for my wedding and all through my honeymoon, which is probably why my husband adores it.
Neroli by L'Occitane- This is a much maligned fragrance (just read the reviews on makeupalley.com and see what I mean). People either love it or hate it with a white hot passion. I used to be obsessed with it, now I just love it. I never fail to get compliments when I'm wearing it. The first notes are indeed pretty harsh, but it soon changes into a spicy-sweet beauty. I wish it had more sillage, but whatever does stay close to the skin is wonderful, and my only complaint is that I wish that it lasted a lot longer.
Jil Sander No. 4- I've been wearing this complex and very layered scent for special nights during the last 6 years, and can never get enough of it. It's deep, rich and sexy, the florals are subtle and the woody-oriental base has both a lovely, lingering sillage and a strong staying power. I love the elegance and sophistication. And it calls to be worn with black, well-cut clothes. It's one of my most beloved signature scents.
Sensi (Armani)-I've heard that it's being discontinued, but I can't get it confirmed. I'd be very sorry if it's true, because I love this jasmine, wood and vanilla combination. It's sensual and elegant. A cute cold weather scent with excellent staying power.
So Pretty (Cartier)- I'm quite sure that this one is on its way to be discontinued, which is a shame. It's one of those classics, a beautiful floral with an almost animalic base. Impeccably elegant, needs to be worn with something fabulous.
Le Baiser du Dragon (Cartier)- Very different than my usual fare, not even a hint of vanilla. Very woody, but with a hard to describe twist. It's bold and rich, full of vetiver and patchouli. It's one of the few reasons to enjoy colder weather, as it's so perfect for fall. Stays on for hours.
Grand Amour (Annick Goutal)- Though different than Cartier's So Pretty, in my mind they are grouped together. Classic elegance, very French. It works for me both for day and for night, but never in jeans. Moderate staying power, lovely sillage for as long as the scent is there.
Quel Amour! (Annick Goutal)- A surprising choice for me, as the fruity element is quite prominent. But those are lovely red fruit (yet I dislike Goutal's Petite Cherie), the official notes says something about currants, but to me it's pomegranate beautifully blended with rose and peony. It's an intoxicating sunny fragrance with an incredible staying power on my skin.
Eau d'Hadrien (Annick Goutal)- Lemon and Cypress, fun and uncomplicated. Wonderful to wear first thing in the morning before doing stuff around the house. It has no staying power unless layered with something else. My little discovery is how good it is combined with Serge Luten's Un Bois Vanille.
Nuit du Hadrien (Annick Goutal)- Hadrien's grown-up, wickedly sexy sister. It's definitely very ambery and lasts much longer. I think I'll be wearing it quite often for fall mornings.
Black Cashmere (Donna Karan)- A fairly recent discovery.
Lea St. Barth Extreme- My journey with Lea is documented here and here.
Loukhoum (Keiko Mecheri)- Again, I've already raved about this one.
Monyette Paris- Everyone is more beautiful when wearing this. One of my staples this summer, as I've predicted here.
Serge Lutens- Un bois Vanille and Cedre. Another new love. Both aren't very summery, yet I'm already wearing them often. I foresee many more Serges in my future.
Valentino V Absolu- I wore the original Valentino when I was 20. I loved it despite the no staying power (it was most likely the EDT. I didn't know better in those days). V Absolu doesn't have the greatest staying power ever (I dread to think how long the regular V would last on my skin), but what is left close to the skin is a heady mix of sweet and citrusy wood, enriched with delicate vanilla. It's a day scent, especially because of the citrus and fig top notes. I love the way it reacts with my skin on a sunny day.
Sage Machado perfume oils: Onyx, Moonstone- A very recent discovery. I have yet to buy them, but for now I'm relishing the samples. They are very similar, but Onyx has more pronounced coconut note. There's something about those two that reminds me of a favorite shampoo from my childhood- Flex by Revlon. It was crap on the hair but I was addicted to its smell. I need to decide if I really love this or if it's a passing summer whim. Wonderful staying power, and for now I'm enamored.
The Heart is Deceitful Above All things (Yosh)- A stupid name for a very beautiful scent. Wood, something earthy and vanilla make this one indescribable. I'm still using the sample, but the decision has already been made. I need a full bottle.
Goldmund by Dorissima - Another very new discovery. My Luckyscents order is going to include this one as well. It's soft and complex, has some of my favorite notes (rose, vanilla, sandalwood and soft musk), doesn't resemble anything else that I have or even know and makes me feel pretty. That alone is a good reason to wear it year round. Moderate staying power, as far as I can tell, but haven't tested it enough yet to know for sure.