A perfume that has been carefully designed and produced with quality ingredients will continue to please users and be in demand for many years. As the lists of best selling perfumes for Christmas 2019 show, the “old but good” perfumes continue to be in demand. Some perfumes are classics that have been produced for decades. Combining the lists of the top 10 sellers at the end of 2019 from Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Escentual.com, Elle magazine, Prima, Fragrantica.com and Sephora, respectively, the following fragrances all received more than 1 mention (number of times the fragrance occurred in a best seller or most popular/top rated list in brackets):
- Bamboo Eau de Parfum Spray, by Gucci (3)
- Black Opium Eau de Parfum Spray, by Yves Saint Laurent (3)
- Coco Mademoiselle and Coco Mademoiselle Intense Eau de Parfum, by Chanel (3)
- Libre Eau de Parfum, by Yves Saint Laurent (3)
- Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, by Chanel (2)
- Alien, by Thierry Mugler (2)
- Idôle Eau de Parfum, by Lancôme (2)
- La Vie Est Belle, by Lancôme (2)
- Lady Million, by Paco Rabanne (2)
- Wonderlust Eau De Parfum and Wonderlust Sublime Eau De Parfum, by Michael Kors (2)
Young perfume brands on the bestsellers lists
From the lists it is clear that the established perfume houses still dominate the retail market: Guerlain, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Lancôme, Dolce and Gabbana, Givency, etc. A couple of “young moderns” are also on the top ten lists, such as Jo Malone and Michael Kors. However, there are a few newcomers (or relatively new perfumers and perfumes) that reflect the trends in fragrance design:
- Aerin Rose Cocoa Eau de Parfum, by Aerin
- Good Girl Gone Bad, by Kilian
- Replica Jazz Club, by Maison Margiela
- Sinner Eau de Parfum, by Kat Von D
Aerin – Modern take on the classics
Aerin is a perfume and beauty line founded by Estee Lauder’s granddaughter Aerin Lauder in 2013, on the heels of the success of her lifestyle brand. She immediately started with four fragrances. The perfume house is known for fragrances that are elegant, luxurious and lady-like, modern takes on the classic American perfumes that Estee Lauder dominated. The new limited edition Rose Cocoa was introduced toward the end of 2019 as “velvety florals [combined with] with gourmand notes, providing a rich and enchanting scent. Rose Cocoa Parfum is crafted from an artisanal blend of Mandarin, Cinnamon, Rose Centifolia, Cocoa Bean Absolute, Champagne Truffle Accord, Amber, Vanilla and Musk.” It sounds warm and edible and the presentation is certainly chocolatey. Everyone loves a perfume that smells good enough to eat, combining the best of the senses of taste and smell.
KILIAN – Luxury and art
Kilian perfume house has excellent credentials and, like Aerin, is built on an established luxury brand. Good Girl Gone Bad was launched in 2012. The perfume and fragrance lines are all artistically and beautifully presented, and have exotic and unusual backstories. The current ranges are The Fresh (including the much-discussed Vodka on the Rocks), The Narcotics (of which Good Girls Gone Bad is one), The Cellars, The Smokes, and My Kind of Love. KILIAN is a Paris-based, eco-luxe parfum brand created by Kilian Hennessy, grandson of the founder of the LVMH group. (The “H” in LVMH is Hennessy, the famed cognac-making family.) In 2007, Kilian launched his own perfume house, in keeping with the family’s long tradition of producing luxury goods, and Collection L’oeuvre noire (“Black Masterpiece”) was his first fragrance. Kilian fragrances are made in collaboration with famous noses Calice Becker, Sidonie Lancesseur, Alberto Morillas, Christian Provenzano, Pascal Gaurin, Fabrice Pellegrin, Honorine Blanc and Dorothee Piot.
Each Kilian perfume bottle is a luxury object. In the case of Good Girl Gone Bad, the white-lacquered, refillable, flaçon is engraved with a ceramic fresco representing original sin and decorated with a golden plate, where the name of the fragrance has been carved and manually filled with white enamel. The bottle comes in a white clutch inspired by a slim cigarette case deeply rooted in Art Deco, ornamented with a gold-toned snake—the ultimate symbol of temptation— waiting with flickering crystal eyes. Key notes in Good Girl Gone Bad are Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, and Tuberose, and apparently it smells like an exotic flower bomb with a slightly tangy, but indefinable undertone. Going purely by the packaging alone, you can see why this was a hit for Christmas 2019.
Maison Margiela – Recreating familiar memories
Maison Margiela (formerly Maison Martin Margiela) is a fashion brand primarily known for its radical haute couture. It is part of the OTB (“Only The Brave”) Group, founded by Renzo Rossi. OTB is the parent company of Diesel, Maison Margiela, Viktor&Rolf, Marni, Amiri, and state-of-the-art companies Staff International and Brave Kid. Maison Margiela’s first perfume was created in 2010 and the newest is from 2019. Jazz Club is a fragrance for men, launched in 2013. It is one in the Replica series, described as the “reproduction of familiar scents and moments of varying locations and periods.” The nose who designed this fragrance is Alienor Massenet. Top notes are pink pepper, lemon and neroli, middle notes are rum, clary sage and java vetiver oil, and base notes are tobacco leaf, vanilla bean and styrax. Both the brand and the perfume are classified as young and unconventional. Judging by the notes, it is decidedly, strongly masculine, like the bottled scent of an old, boozy, smoke-filled men’s club. (Oddly, the perfume range cannot be found on the current website. The U.S. page listing perfumes immediately defaults to the .com page with no perfumes listed. Even the Instagram page of perfumes defaults to the non-perfume .com page.)
Kat von D – Young and vegan
Kat von D (real name Katherine Von Drachenberg) is considered a young perfume brand. In 2008, Kat Von D created and launched her eponymous make-up line for Sephora. Since then, she has released new collections every year, expanded her line to include fragrances, and has reformulated all her products to be vegan as of 2016. Sinner Eau de Parfum is nowhere near as expensive as the previously mentioned designer perfumes. It is an oriental floral fragrance which was relaunched, with the complementary fragrance Saint, in 2017.
“We are SO stoked to bring back Kat’s most requested product of all time – the addictive and unforgettable Kat Von D Saint + Sinner fragrances! For the past 8 years, devoted fans and followers on social media have begged us to revive this pair of complementary fragrances. You asked, so we delivered! Meet Kat Von D Sinner — dark, sultry, and empowering, this addictive fragrance is inspired by Kat’s own duality. A little sweet, a little spicy, and undeniably fearless! Cinnamon spices up vanilla and white florals at the heart of the fragrance, while base notes of vetiver, patchouli, and wood form the deeper, darker nuances.” (Description from website.)
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