100 Fragrances Every Frag-Head Guy Should Try, part 4: Other Feminine Classic Must-Try's

    100 Fragrances Every Frag-Head Guy Should Try, part 4: Other Feminine Classic Must-Try's

    post #1 of 11
    Thread Starter 
    Well, its day four of my grand experiment, and that brings me to a very short list thats almost guaranteed to cause controversy:

    Other Feminine Classic Must-Trys

    To be honest, I could have filled a hundred fragrances with this genre alone, but its been done before, and much better than I could. If youre interested, check out Luca Turins guides or the writings of Roja Dove for more insight than I could possibly give.

    Im being quite brutal and, as such, Ive narrowed it down to three necessary perfumes. Yes, there are many obvious masterpieces missing. Honestly, a sniff around a well-stocked Guerlain counter would be a wise decision, and the classic Chanels re-launched as Exclusifs are definitely worth a sniff, as are any of the Chanel Number perfumes you can get your hands on. The old Diors and Patous are important, as are pretty much any of the Caron urn perfumes. And we cant forget favorites like Habanita or Bal à Verseilles or Arpège or the Piquets.

    But, Im here to focus on scents of interest to men and perfumes that help to define a difficult to understand genre, so with that I give you my three picks:



    11. Tabac Blond by Caron



    I had to include one of the Caron extraits here, so I went with perhaps the most legendary. There are two distinct Tabac Blonds out there, the vintage version and the current version, and theyre supposedly completely different perfumes. Ive only smelled the current formulation, and its a masterpiece, so Ill talk about that version.

    It has a doughy suede core that rivals that of Mitsouko or LHeure Bleue (and is actually quite similar to masculine legends Knize Ten and Royal English Leather), but with more fruit on top. This is also the perfume that made famous the tobacco leaf smell that would eventually be resurrected as a masculine note years later in Le Male. Under the watchful eye of that tobacco note, the suede slowly slips into a rich, creamy vanilla/iris/sandalwood base reminiscent of Chanel No. 5 and, to a lesser degree, Dior Homme.

    Its basically a masterwork, and a perfect example of how older womens perfumes were often composed of notes that would later end up being considered masculine, showing how blurry and ever-changing the line between masculine and feminine really is, especially with something as subjective as smells.



    12. Joy by Jean Patou



    For most of the 1900s, Joy was well known as the most expensive, most luxurious perfume in the world. It belongs to the same aldehydic floral genre as Chanel No. 5, but its a whole different perfume in that, while No. 5 smells abstract (all powdery and vague in its beauty), Joy is very specific. Realistic roses pair with realistic jasmine over a creamy musky base that smells realistically poopy.

    Its a great ultimate example of a dirty floral, and a fantastic reference point for when people say something smells expensive. There are certain notes (usually very upfront, realistic floral notes, especially rose and jasmine) that are very difficult to make without using expensive natural oils, and Joy reeks of them.



    13. Coromandel by Chanel



    Finally, I give you possibly the most perfect definition of a classic oriental perfume.

    Its technically built on a chypre structure of bergamot and oakmoss, but instead of just powdery flowers, it uses ingredients that classically came from the middle east, like amber and patchouli and resinous incences, hence the oriental classification.

    Its sweet but not edible, relying at its core on perfectly intertwined amber and patchouli to create its intoxicating scent, but theres a whole lot going on there, with green notes off to the side as well as a bitter medicinal edge that makes for a dynamic interplay with the ever-present butterscotchy amber.

    Coromandel is also completely wearable by a man. Its the godmother to probably thousands of amber/patchouli/incense niche scents that men wear all the time now.



    So, comments???

    Which legendary feminine classics would you have picked? Instead of these or in addition to them?
    post #2 of 11
    I wasn't expecting to see Coromandel here when I saw the topic for today's list ... but I'm very glad it's there, as it's one of my very favorite Chanels (and may have just moved to the top of my wish list thanks to this post.) Kudos!
    post #3 of 11
    Thread Starter 
    From a masculine point of view, I feel like the continued popularity of Coromandel has really made possible so many current "oriental" frags loved by men, from L'Air du Desert Marocain to Bois d'Armenie. That's why it beat out so many others...
    post #4 of 11
    I think that you have some good choices here. Perhaps Tabu? Or perhaps not. Like you say, there are a gazillion other good choices. No way to say that something else would have been better, IMO.

    I need to give Coromandel a really good wear. Looks like I'm already getting some good direction from this series!
    post #5 of 11
    I'd have picked YSL Opium over Coromandel as the reference oriental. Perhaps I still find Coromandel a little gourmandish...
    post #6 of 11
    I'm liking the way this series is evolving. I agree that Opium would have been a good call - but you already have Shalimar which is, perhaps, the reference Oriental so . . . I might have swapped Bois des Iles for Coromandel. No big deal, either way - just keep 'em coming
    post #7 of 11
    Thread Starter 
    That's funny - it had never even occurred to me to include Opium anywhere in this list. I went with Coromandel not just for its history, but because it has that textbook "oriental" smell, that sweet mix of patchouli and incense that just screams old-school "oriental" to me. So it kills two bird with one stone. And I'm pretty sure I have a tiny sample of Tabu somewhere in my unsniffed sample bucket, but I haven't tried it yet... Doh!
    post #8 of 11
    "doughy suede accord"—wow, you've out into words what I could not describe about the allure of Mitsouka and L'Heure Bleue. I visited Bergdorf-Goodman this summer, but was scent-fatigued by the time I got to Caron, to say nothing of being sick of predatory SAs. I think I must add Tabac Blond to my TPC wish list.
    post #9 of 11
    Totally agree with the first 2, while I do not like the 3rd at all (weird, huh, since I'm such a Chanel fan)

    Joy vintage extrait is scary good - the most badass big feminine floral I've ever encountered. Big teeth!

    What would I have included? Youth Dew by Estee Lauder!
    post #10 of 11
    ...
    post #11 of 11
    I was just at the Chanel Exclusives boutique yesterday to review Cuir de Russie, Coromandel, and Bois des Isles. I already have Sycomore, but i am trying to find one more that really suits me. As beautiful as Bois is, it develops a rather powdery feminine scent with a half hour, so I have ruled it out. Now it is down to Coromandel and Cuir de Russie. The oriental woody notes of Coromandel really tug at my heart, but that buttery soft leather in Cuir is like superb dark chocolate: impossible to resist. Well, at least it is a pleasure trying to decide.
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    9/6/11 at 9:43am

    rogalal said:



    Well, its day four of my grand experiment, and that brings me to a very short list thats almost guaranteed to cause controversy:

    Other Feminine Classic Must-Trys

    To be honest, I could have filled a hundred fragrances with this genre alone, but its been done before, and much better than I could. If youre interested, check out Luca Turins guides or the writings of Roja Dove for more insight than I could possibly give.

    Im being quite brutal and, as such, Ive narrowed it down to three necessary perfumes. Yes, there are many obvious masterpieces missing. Honestly, a sniff around a well-stocked Guerlain counter would be a wise decision, and the classic Chanels re-launched as Exclusifs are definitely worth a sniff, as are any of the Chanel Number perfumes you can get your hands on. The old Diors and Patous are important, as are pretty much any of the Caron urn perfumes. And we cant forget favorites like Habanita or Bal à Verseilles or Arpège or the Piquets.

    But, Im here to focus on scents of interest to men and perfumes that help to define a difficult to understand genre, so with that I give you my three picks:



    11. Tabac Blond by Caron



    I had to include one of the Caron extraits here, so I went with perhaps the most legendary. There are two distinct Tabac Blonds out there, the vintage version and the current version, and theyre supposedly completely different perfumes. Ive only smelled the current formulation, and its a masterpiece, so Ill talk about that version.

    It has a doughy suede core that rivals that of Mitsouko or LHeure Bleue (and is actually quite similar to masculine legends Knize Ten and Royal English Leather), but with more fruit on top. This is also the perfume that made famous the tobacco leaf smell that would eventually be resurrected as a masculine note years later in Le Male. Under the watchful eye of that tobacco note, the suede slowly slips into a rich, creamy vanilla/iris/sandalwood base reminiscent of Chanel No. 5 and, to a lesser degree, Dior Homme.

    Its basically a masterwork, and a perfect example of how older womens perfumes were often composed of notes that would later end up being considered masculine, showing how blurry and ever-changing the line between masculine and feminine really is, especially with something as subjective as smells.



    12. Joy by Jean Patou



    For most of the 1900s, Joy was well known as the most expensive, most luxurious perfume in the world. It belongs to the same aldehydic floral genre as Chanel No. 5, but its a whole different perfume in that, while No. 5 smells abstract (all powdery and vague in its beauty), Joy is very specific. Realistic roses pair with realistic jasmine over a creamy musky base that smells realistically poopy.

    Its a great ultimate example of a dirty floral, and a fantastic reference point for when people say something smells expensive. There are certain notes (usually very upfront, realistic floral notes, especially rose and jasmine) that are very difficult to make without using expensive natural oils, and Joy reeks of them.



    13. Coromandel by Chanel



    Finally, I give you possibly the most perfect definition of a classic oriental perfume.

    Its technically built on a chypre structure of bergamot and oakmoss, but instead of just powdery flowers, it uses ingredients that classically came from the middle east, like amber and patchouli and resinous incences, hence the oriental classification.

    Its sweet but not edible, relying at its core on perfectly intertwined amber and patchouli to create its intoxicating scent, but theres a whole lot going on there, with green notes off to the side as well as a bitter medicinal edge that makes for a dynamic interplay with the ever-present butterscotchy amber.

    Coromandel is also completely wearable by a man. Its the godmother to probably thousands of amber/patchouli/incense niche scents that men wear all the time now.



    So, comments???

    Which legendary feminine classics would you have picked? Instead of these or in addition to them?

    9/6/11 at 10:13am

    JacquesD said:



    I wasn't expecting to see Coromandel here when I saw the topic for today's list ... but I'm very glad it's there, as it's one of my very favorite Chanels (and may have just moved to the top of my wish list thanks to this post.) Kudos!

    9/6/11 at 12:46pm

    rogalal said:



    From a masculine point of view, I feel like the continued popularity of Coromandel has really made possible so many current "oriental" frags loved by men, from L'Air du Desert Marocain to Bois d'Armenie. That's why it beat out so many others...

    9/6/11 at 8:23pm

    Redneck Perfumisto said:



    I think that you have some good choices here. Perhaps Tabu? Or perhaps not. Like you say, there are a gazillion other good choices. No way to say that something else would have been better, IMO.

    I need to give Coromandel a really good wear. Looks like I'm already getting some good direction from this series!

    9/6/11 at 10:52pm

    Diamondflame said:



    I'd have picked YSL Opium over Coromandel as the reference oriental. Perhaps I still find Coromandel a little gourmandish...

    9/7/11 at 1:50am

    mr. reasonable said:



    I'm liking the way this series is evolving. I agree that Opium would have been a good call - but you already have Shalimar which is, perhaps, the reference Oriental so . . . I might have swapped Bois des Iles for Coromandel. No big deal, either way - just keep 'em coming

    9/8/11 at 10:56am

    rogalal said:



    That's funny - it had never even occurred to me to include Opium anywhere in this list. I went with Coromandel not just for its history, but because it has that textbook "oriental" smell, that sweet mix of patchouli and incense that just screams old-school "oriental" to me. So it kills two bird with one stone. And I'm pretty sure I have a tiny sample of Tabu somewhere in my unsniffed sample bucket, but I haven't tried it yet... Doh!

    9/10/11 at 7:53pm

    jujy54 said:



    "doughy suede accord"—wow, you've out into words what I could not describe about the allure of Mitsouka and L'Heure Bleue. I visited Bergdorf-Goodman this summer, but was scent-fatigued by the time I got to Caron, to say nothing of being sick of predatory SAs. I think I must add Tabac Blond to my TPC wish list.

    9/11/11 at 7:12pm

    mikeperez23 said:



    Totally agree with the first 2, while I do not like the 3rd at all (weird, huh, since I'm such a Chanel fan)

    Joy vintage extrait is scary good - the most badass big feminine floral I've ever encountered. Big teeth!

    What would I have included? Youth Dew by Estee Lauder!

    9/11/11 at 7:13pm

    mikeperez23 said:



    ...

    9/22/11 at 4:12pm

    Roper-Hall said:



    I was just at the Chanel Exclusives boutique yesterday to review Cuir de Russie, Coromandel, and Bois des Isles. I already have Sycomore, but i am trying to find one more that really suits me. As beautiful as Bois is, it develops a rather powdery feminine scent with a half hour, so I have ruled it out. Now it is down to Coromandel and Cuir de Russie. The oriental woody notes of Coromandel really tug at my heart, but that buttery soft leather in Cuir is like superb dark chocolate: impossible to resist. Well, at least it is a pleasure trying to decide.





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