Monday, May 27, 2013

The Ten Best Perfumes You're Not Wearing-- Part II

**Before we start with tonight's list, here's a reminder of the Micallef Pomelos giveaway (ten mini bottles).**

It's been almost a year since my previous list of The Ten Best Perfumes You're Not Wearing. Since then I kept remembering other neglected gems that rarely (if ever) get the hype and attention they deserve. Here's the sequel, and as usual I'm cheating a little and talking about ten brands but fifteen perfumes.

  • Cartier-Must Pour Homme. I didn't mean to include discontinued fragrances in my list and was dismayed to discover that the elegant Must de Cartier Pour Homme is a gonner. However, it's still easy to find online and from various mall kiosks and such, so this spicy oriental deserves a mention.
  • Tommi Sooni Eau I, Eau II, Tarantella. The whole line, as a matter of fact. Tommi Sooni is modern French perfumery from Australia, which probably accounts to the brand's low-key presence. Nevertheless, it was my favorite discovery in the past six months, so now that the full line is back at Luckyscent as well as on the shelves at Henri Bendel in NYC it's a good opportunity to get acquainted if you haven't yet. A sixth perfume, a green chypre, is coming out in September.

  • Chanel Bel Respiro and 28 La Pausa. Les Exclusifs de Chanel series has bigger crowd pleasers than these two green charmers. La Pausa is the quirky iris tea one while Bel Respiro is grassy and crisp. Infinitely better than Beige and co.
  • Esteban Paris-Classic Chypre. Beautiful and very French. Esteban perfumes deserve to be on more shelves, but at least you can get them online, even in the US.
Pierre Guillaume in action
  • Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture. According to Pierre Guillaume, I'm one of few people who adore Tubereuse Couture. Neither one of us understands why, as this is a green and complex interpretation of tuberose. Worth the time of all Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle worshipers who have a high tolerance for weirdness in their white florals.
  • Caron Infini is one of the mostly neglected Caron perfumes. It's a green aldehydic fragrance with all the good stuff: narcisuss, iris, and lilac. It's hard to find outside Caron boutiques, but vintage(ish) bottles are everywhere online.

  • Donna Karan Chaos. I'm always surprised to hear that many people have no idea Chaos was relaunched in 2008 and can be found on the shelves at Bergdorf Goodman and online from Donna Karan's own website (under "Accessories"). Spicy and incensy, yet airy and uplifting, I believe Chaos is a modern masterpiece and one of the best things $120 can buy.
  • Tiffany by Tiffany. Once again, many people mistakenly believe that Tiffany perfume was discontinued, while it was merely pulled out of locations outside of Tiffany stores. This massive floriental can also be ordered online from Tiffany's website (under "Gifts"), including body products and parfum concentration. One drop and it's 1987 again.

  • Ramon Monegal- Impossible Iris. The Spanish perfumer launched a line that offers something for everyone. The focus seems to be on the addictive Cuirelle, but Impossible Iris is a study of things iris can do and be, from juicy and pretty to the sexy secretary. Monegal managed to make his iris both romantic and intellectual. 
  • Molinard Chypre d'Orient. This one is a cheap treat, as are most Molinard perfumes. It smells too retro for words, like a torpedo bra of a scent, and can be equally lethal. If you're into more subtle temptations check out Fleur de Figuier.


  1. I love Tubereuse Couture! And it inspired the only "stranger compliment" that I ever got on a perfume. How could anyone not love it, how how how?

    Ahem. Anyway. Love it.

  2. Must de cartier reminds me of my father, the most distinctive perfume in his collection ... it also reminds me of one vacation along time ago when a bottle of it broke inside the car. We tried our best to lessen the smell but to no avail. It remained with us for the whole week. I would say it was the most scented vacation I (or we) ever had.

  3. A big thank you for mentioning CHAOS. I don't know anyone who owns this perfume other than myself and this is the first time I have actually read about it! PS I picked it up for $35 - Yey!


  4. Definitely some in there I have tried and must agree they are very nice.

  5. there are so many on this list that I adore but rarely wear - your post prompts me to pull them out and give them a whirl. Love Impossible Iris.

    I've not tried PG's Tuberose Couture. Weirdness in tuberose? Perhaps that will make up for the heartbreak of that Drama Nuui musk drydown.


  6. I wore a large sample of Bel Respiro and garnered so many compliments - it surprised me really . On me, Bel Respiro seems to last well and especially on clothes.This is the next Les Exclusifs I will get. Nice list, Gaia !

  7. You mentioned the unmentionable but I cant
    find it.a perfume unmentionay better than SDV you said yes the unmentionable but I cant remember which but it must have been a vanille of some sort but not in your vanille blog.

  8. You mentioned in one of your blogs a perfume which could be better than the unmentionable yes did give the name reluctantly.wasn't your blog on best vanille maybe a new perfume out .i can't find it .can you help, I'm curious many thanks

    1. I did include the Better Than SDV in my vanilla post: it's CB I Hate Perfumes-7 Billion Hearts. A truly amazing creation.

  9. Ahh, my friend, but I am wearing most of them. Wink!

  10. Ok I know humans love vanilla, but NOT for me I abhor smelling like I've been baking all afternoon.
    I that understands how I live...and makes others want to join me in the most seductive exhilarating life-affirming romantic adventure ever

  11. I know humankind prefers vanilla...but NOT for me. I don't want to smell like
    I just came from baking cinnamon roles in grandma's kitchen, though that's great for others.
    I want my scent to quietly make an entrance and unconsciously seduce others, to remind them of the exhilarating, exotic, erotic adventures to be had everyday if you look for them and live now. I want a fragrance that calm, soothe, affirms and refreshes and rejuvenates at the same time. I want it to make me and them dream of that 500 mile view from the top of the Continental Divide, or swimming and snorkeling with dolphins in the wild ocean, or hearing the Andrea Bocelli sing 7 encores at an intimate castle courtyard on a perfect summer evening in Italy. Perfume should tell an olfactory story. Where is the "Nez" that knows a life like mine, like yours, like that of any modern woman or man?
    Any suggestions?


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