Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ten Best Perfumes You're Not Wearing- Part V

Wouldn't the limited edition Courvoisier above make a splendid perfume bottle? I found the ad when checking the availability of Courvoisier L’Edition Imperiale, a masculine perfume that appeared in 2008 or 2009, spawned a couple of flankers (including an inferior feminine version), was mostly ignored by the public, and got discontinued in the early '10s. It's still available online here and there, usually for under $50. I strongly suggest going for the spicy and rich eau de parfum, but the lighter EdT isn't half bad, even if more conventional.

Isabey, the classic French house, is more than its famous Gardenia. Between the elegant and kind of masculine L'Ambre de Carthage and the stunning floriental  La Route d’Emeraude they should have been a niche sensation. The gorgeous packaging of the latter doesn't hurt, either.

The names of some Etat Libre d'Orange perfumes haven't always been aiding their sales. Neither have the images (and I'm not talking about Secretion Magnifique. That one is completely on point, even if I can't stand the perfume itself). Je Suis Un Homme has suffered the consequences of both, and it's a real injustice for such a sexy fragrance.

It seems that almost every one of my previous lists included something by Parfumerie Generale. It's no wonder, I guess, since the line has grown so much over the last decade that some earlier perfumes have fallen off the radar while the best sellers are mentioned often. Yes, we all love Felanilla, but fig lovers and ambergris lovers would do well to dig out the Bois Naufrage samples and decants and give this salty gem another try.

A complete stylist opposite is my favorite cheap thrill, Oro by Robert Cavalli (and Maurice Roucel). I know I keep mentioning it lately, but I can't help it. At the rate I've been using my bottle I'm considering a second back up.

Bruno Fazzolari has been getting quite a bit of well-deserved attention lately, and I'm thrilled to see the love for Au Dela and Seyrig, not to mention the cult of Lampblack. But there's also Jimmy, a seemingly easygoing floral with more substance than appears at first sniff, and an utterly delightful personality. It deserves a separate review, which I'll have to write soon.

At the opposite end of what we call "niche" stands Stephane Humbert Lucas with his eponymous line. But his first departure from the Middle Eastern-inspired 777 range, Mortal Skin, goes in a completely different direction. Despite the flashy bottle, Mortal Skin is a lot softer and more contemplative than the showy (and more expensive) 777 perfumes. I've said it before: if you love Dans tes Bras, this is right up your alley.

Nobile 1942 is an Italian brand that often gets eclipsed by its peers but deserves a lot more attention. They're known more for their excellent Patchouli Nobile and Pontevecchio (masculine and feminine, both I find kind of meh), but its Ambra Nobile and Anonimo Veneziano that captured my heart. They're a bit tricky to locate, since Luckyscent only carries part of the line, but the European essenza-nobile.de ships to the US and also sells samples.

I started tonight's list with a perfume suggested by the husband and will close it the same way: the masculine perfumes from MPG (Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier). My first list of Best Perfumes You're Not Wearing included one of my all time favorites, MPG Iris Bleu Gris, and nothing has changed. This line is so good it boggles the mind how Parfum d'Habit, Route du Vetiver, Centaure, Santal Noble, Garrigue, and Racine don't have a place next to Serge Lutens on retail shelves and in personal collections. Not because of any similarity in style (quite the opposite, actually), but because they are that good.

In addition to the first list mentioned above, here are my other installments of BPYNW: Part 2, 3, and 4.


  1. Thank you for the Courvoisier suggestion. That sounds like something I might like. :)
    I couldn't agree more about Ambra Nobile, which I wear a lot during winter months, and MPG line. How that one managed to stay under radar still baffles me...

  2. I've been trying to lay my hands on a sample of Bois Naufrage for a long time, but was not able to find it so far. My favourite sample supplier in Europe does not have it. Do you have any idea where I could order it in the US?

  3. Wonderful list! Am especially glad to see the MPGs included. I'm always mystified that they don't get more love and respect - so many absolute gems in the line. I recently heard someone describe their bottles as the visual equivalent of an "old lady perfume" (a phrase which invariably sets my teeth on edge). I've heard a lot of people comment on their dislike of the bottles over the years , but that may be the most specific comment I've heard and I wonder if that perception of the bottles being less than fashion forward may contribute to the line not getting the wider fan base it deserves.
    Tomorrow I'll be wearing Isabey's La Route d'Emeraude - so beautiful.

  4. I love Parfumerie Generale perfumes and Bois Naufrage is a favorite. I'd venture to say that BN is a bit of a shape shifter. I've put it on in the a.m., and thought it disappeared after a few hours, but in the afternoon, I get discreet whiffs of 'milky musk notes. It would be interesting if it were a little bit dirtier though.

    I'd also add L'Ombre Fauve and Indochine as lovely but ones I don't hear much press about.

  5. Thanks for posting this. It reminded me that I have a bottle of Bois Naufrage in my perfume closet. Wore it today and everytime I get a whiff of it, I smile and sigh contentedly.

  6. Love Jimmy! Looking forward to the review....


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