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  1. #1

    Default Name a "Modern Classic"

    I have been thinking about this for a while. In many reviews by us Basenoters, and even by Turn, Burr and others, we see the term "classic fragrance." There could be lots of discussion as to which ones we're talking about - Aramis, Grey Flannel, something by Chanel, something by Guerlain, this one or that one. And even though we may not even like that particular fragrance, often times we can still appreciate it for it's timelessness and being a "classic."

    My question is this. Is there anything being rolled out and produced today ( within past couple of years or so), that you think 20 years down the road, the new crop of Basenoters will also refer to as classic?

    One more point to consider - and that is exactly how to define classic. Seems to me that many, if not most, of what we discuss being classic, is stuff that my dad wore (as in the above mentioned frags.). That means those scents were widely available and distributed widely. Today, so many of us are plugged in to all things fragrance - but really, so much of what we wear is niche, and not widely available or well known to the rest of the world. So could a fragrance from Creed, Serge Lutens, L'Artisan, Montale, etc., etc. ever really garner the term "classic" - even though in our minds (and noses) one or many of them could and would certainly be worthy?

    Sorry for the ramble.......

  2. #2

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Thierry Mugler's Angel and A Men both a classics and defined a whole new fragrance category.

    In addition you can add Gaultier's Classique and Le Male. Both Mugler's and Gaultier's scents will be around for years to come.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    That's a really good question.

    Unfortunately, there's been such a dearth of really fine fragrances over the last couple of years ( at least for me) that I honestly can't think of any.

    But, as I'm in an "acquisition" mode these days, I'm anxious to read other people's thoughts. Maybe there's a newly released future classic that I need to check out!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Dior Homme
    Terre d'Hermes

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    AdG will definitely be on that list, regardless of what anyone says. It's been on the best seller lists for YEARS now, and has become so much so that it (at least where I live) has come to defy an entire ethnic group of people. I'm sure there will be a Ck or two on that list (possibly eternity, definitely CKone), and maybe cool water. Le male and A*men will have their fans down the road (though they were never my style), as will most certainly Happy and Fahrenheit. I could see 212 making it on there, as well as a couple Nautica's and maybe an adidas. GIT will be the most popular creed (still), with SMW and MI coming in at close seconds (though neither will match the ubiquity of the designers). Azzaro's chrome will likely have a spot as well. Armani mania/code will be remembered, and people will most certainly joke about AXE sprays. Hugo boss will see some of their scents retain popularity, and burberry will be around for a while. Abercrombie's fierce will see that same popularity that wood's did when it was finally discontinued, and of course, CURVE. Dior homme, be delicious, and light blue as well. I think it's a bit early to tell with the releases of the past couple years, but i definitely wouldn't mind seeing Bulgari's aqua and YSL's l'homme around.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    The two I immediately thought of were...

    Terre d'Hermes
    L'Instant PH

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    L´Anarchiste
    Allure
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I'll have to agree with TdH, L'Instant and Dior Homme.

    The scent grows richer, he knows he must be near
    He finds a long passageway lit by chandelier
    Each step he takes, the perfumes change
    From familiar fragrance to flavours strange
    A magnificent chamber meets his eye

  9. #9

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    For the life of me I just do not understand Terre d'Hermes, but I guess that is what makes us all so diffrent.

  10. #10
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    scentimus, I am with you, I do not get all the fuzz about it, I swapped mine-
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    AdG will probably be considered a 'classic' - but for ruining perfumery, not for it's 'excellence'. It's commercial popularity started a 'race to the bottom' among houses to appeal to the mass public with unimaginative, citrus/aquatics. I can't think of any AdG followers that are classics in any way. But I digress....

    There are many good fragrance, but in my mind a 'modern classic' is something that has been accepted widely by people know fragrances. It also helps if the fragrance either set some new standard or re-invented an old one. I'd also have to assume a modern classic is something that will remain on the market for a long time.

    I would agree with Terre d'Hermes and Dior Homme absolutely.

    CdG Hinoki because it re-defined what a realistic wood fragrance smells like.

    Guerlain Cologne du 68 because it defines the direction Guerlain has taken this decade, and perhaps Guerlain SDV for being one of the most audacious vanillas.

    I'm not sure exactly why, but I see Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire as a 'modern classic' - perhaps because it's such a bold vetiver.

    Again, not exactly sure why, but I see Dior Bois d'Argent as either being a classic or becoming a cult-favorite, which I think it is already.

    There are more.... I'll have to report back....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I wouldn't necessarily say that a scent such as... Cool Water, for example, would be considered a classic simply because it sold a lot, any more than I would consider the Ford Escort to be a classic car for being one of the best sellers of its time.

    I think, ultimately, to determine what a classic may be, one has to look forward 30-50 years and think about what scents will be remembered and which won't, for whatever reasons. (What scents will your grandchildren be touting as the Caron Tabac Blond or whatever of this generation).

    The problem here is, unfortunately, there's soooooooooo many new releases occurring on a yearly basis now, that they all tend to blend into the same forgettable mass of blandness.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    IMO, Green Irish Tweed will stand the test of time. But, personally, I can't stand the smell of it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Escada pour Homme will be a cult classic I think.

    I would also tip a nod in the direction of Gucci Homme 1. You could also put a case forward for Calvin Klein Eternity quite reasonably I feel.

    I agree with Dior Homme and Terre too.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Ditto TdH & Dior Homme (no-brainer). As much as it pains us basenoters we'd have to consider AdG and Le Male simply on the basis of their commercial success.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I would add Platinum Egoiste and Egoiste to that list too I think. I know it's popular to laud Egoiste above it's younger brother, but although I love both I favour the Platinum version for just making me feel like a million bucks when I'm wearing it.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    Ditto TdH & Dior Homme (no-brainer). As much as it pains us basenoters we'd have to consider AdG and Le Male simply on the basis of their commercial success.
    I hate both AdG and Le Male.... ugh.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    YAY! I get to be the first one to say Rive Gauche pour homme! Wow, I can't believe it hasn't been mentioned. That's the first thing that came to mind. Next was Dior Homme.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by scentimus View Post
    For the life of me I just do not understand Terre d'Hermes, but I guess that is what makes us all so diffrent.
    i'm with you. terre d'hermes smells like an industrial strength cleaner

  20. #20

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I agree with most of the above posts...I would add M7. Like nothing else. Also Issey Miyake.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Terre d'Hermes, Dior Homme for sure.

    Heritage (1992) is a classic to me as well.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    i agree with issey miyake.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    also, i'm going to have to disagree with dior homme too. I can smell it a mile away because it's so cloying to me. That said, I never smell it because i don't think a lot of people actually wear it that much. I smell a lot more AdG and light blue. i vote no on dior homme.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkface View Post
    also, i'm going to have to disagree with dior homme too. I can smell it a mile away because it's so cloying to me. That said, I never smell it because i don't think a lot of people actually wear it that much. I smell a lot more AdG and light blue. i vote no on dior homme.
    Uh-Oh. Them's fightin words in this community...there are more lovers than haters here. I don't adore it as much as many others, but the dry-down is amazing. Once the make-up bag melts off your skin, the base is very warm and classy. It has a creamy texture that leaves it in a class of its own. I think that it will stand the test of time with any of the rest. Just like Kouros is still sold 25 years later, Dior Homme will have a similar cult following. It will always be in my wardrobe..

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    The face someone doesn't personally like a fragrance doesn't prevent it from being a classic... it requires one to intellectually separate the two concepts to acknowledge the quality of a fragrance they don't personally like. I don't like GIT/Cool Water, but I can acknowledge that they are classics.

    Ultimately it's all just semantics as some fragrances will stand the test of time and others won't.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    L'Anarchiste

    Malle's Musc Ravageur

    Keihl's Musk

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    What say you about Amouage Jubilation XXV? I think the women's version is top notch.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Acqua di Gio (Armani) - one of my all-time favorites. And I'm not a 20-something club boy either.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    It's tempting to simply name one's favorites, but that's not the name of the game. Herewith my nominations, in no particular order, taking into consideration innovation, quality, and broad and enduring acclaim...

    Fahrenheit
    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme
    Platinum Egoiste
    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree
    Dior Homme
    Tiffany For Men

  30. #30

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Zino Davidoff Cool Water

  31. #31

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by scentaddiction View Post
    Uh-Oh. Them's fightin words in this community...there are more lovers than haters here. I don't adore it as much as many others, but the dry-down is amazing. Once the make-up bag melts off your skin, the base is very warm and classy. It has a creamy texture that leaves it in a class of its own. I think that it will stand the test of time with any of the rest. Just like Kouros is still sold 25 years later, Dior Homme will have a similar cult following. It will always be in my wardrobe..
    I'm saying to be a classic, it has to be more than polarizing in this community. I'm saying I don't smell it very often in the real world. It's a smell i'm super sensitive to. I wore it once and I couldn't get the smell out of my nose for days. I catch a wiff of it once in a blue moon. It's a very unpleasant experience for me to smell this. The creamy base notes you smell are so purely sugar to me that it makes my teeth hurt. I can smell it from a long ways away and it makes me sick to my stomach. That said, i do not smell it anywhere near as often as I smell AdG or a*men or even older smells like drakkar or brut. This is why i don't think its a classic, even in its own time, its not as pervasive as other scents. I don't like A*Men for the exact same reasons. It smells like sickly sweet chocolate, but i smell it a lot more often than I smell the Dior. I guess I'm of the it has to be popular to be a classic school of thought.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Hmm ... no mention of Armani Code yet? Aside from it's rampant popularity, I can't think of a better example of a modern classic that will stand the test of time. Just a personal opinion of course.

  33. #33

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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    If you think about existing classics, popularity/sales is not always a prerequisite... Fragrances like Guerlain Derby, Chanel Bois des Iles, Dior Diorella, etc. are all classics but never had tremendous commercial success the way something like AdG did... rather, they were popular among people who know fragrances.

    It may just be that there are multiple different categories of what constitutes a 'classic'... one for the world at large (like AdG) and one for people who are into fragrances. AdG has it's historical place for getting the ball rolling on its genre, and you may be able to smell it as you walk through the mall in Anytown, USA, but that doesn't make it a great classic of perfumery. You may not smell Dior Homme walking around downtown, but that doesn't detract from its technical excellence or its significance as a departure from the traditional 'pour homme' fragrance. In some ways the fact that a fragrance isn't a massive commercial success bolsters its reputation as an excellent fragrance. The world at large isn't known for its taste in quality fragrances of distinction - in fact quite the opposite (i.e. D&G By). Since this is a discussion among people who enjoy and know fragrances, I'd venture to say we shouldn't get hung up on commercial success as anything more than one factor.

    One of the things about BN and this board I really like is that most people are able to recognize the merits of a fragrance, even if that fragrance belongs to a genre they don't per se enjoy. Michael Jordan was a great player even if he was kicking the pants off your team, right?

    As someone mentioned above, Tiffany for Men is a classic, though I believe it's already considered a great classic.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I think its almost inarguable that AdG will be considered a classic...if it isn't already.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    L'eau D Issey
    Terre D' Hermes
    Platinum Egoiste
    Dior Homme and a distant 5th place...Rive Gauche PH

  36. #36

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    YSL M7
    Dior Homme
    Chanel Coromandel
    Montale Black Oudh
    Frederick Malle Noir Epices
    Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

    These scents, if discontinued, can create a stir.
    Last edited by jenson; 17th March 2009 at 05:08 AM.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    What is the cutoff date for "modern"? Chanel No. 19 and Diorella were both launched in the 1970's, and they are undoubtedly modern and classic to me.

    For more recent releases, I agree with Dior Homme and Chanel Coromandel.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Gucci Envy
    Bulgari Black

  39. #39

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I see Allure Sport and Black Orchid hanging around for a bit

  40. #40

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by scentimus View Post
    Thierry Mugler's Angel and A Men both a classics and defined a whole new fragrance category.
    I think this is right on the money.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I love it that Dior Homme is the most mentioned fragrance in this topic.
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Terre d´hermes
    Rive Gauche Pour Homme
    Cartier Declaration
    Gucci Pour Homme
    "Wow, I've never smelled anything like that before."

  43. #43

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I personally never smelled Dior but it defintely seems like a classic (at least around here)
    another one to this list is probably AdG just because of its popularity
    also I would have to admit that, to me at least, Safari is a classic
    its just really wonderful, if ONLY it had better sillage/longevity it would be the best fragrance for me
    one other mention is Aqua bvlgari
    Off-Site Decants =) (updated 05/16/12)
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic....7994440fd3c0ab

  44. #44

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I have tried to pick holes in Terre D'Hermes, and I simply can't find a weakness. If I were to try and imagine what would still be revered in twenty years times, I think this would be the one.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by ziffy321 View Post
    Hmm ... no mention of Armani Code yet? Aside from it's rampant popularity, I can't think of a better example of a modern classic that will stand the test of time. Just a personal opinion of course.
    I agree, I will never wear it, but something must be said for its popularity. I easily see it retaining that popularity well down the line.

    Edit: Some have hit on this already, but BN itself is not a fair barometer for the majority of the perfume world. Just because something is revered here doesn't mean its discontinuation would cause any other person to care. Scents that will become or are already classics must be affect a large enough portion of the public. Scents like Code, Cool Water/GIT, AdG are classics because if they were discontinued today would create an uproar. With that being said the same principle applies to scents like M7, which can hardly be found in any store, so it's known by less people.
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 17th March 2009 at 03:15 PM.

  46. #46

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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05
    Scents that will become or are already classics must be affect a large enough portion of the public
    Nothing personal, but this couldn't be less correct... there are often 'classics' that weren't popular when released - perhaps because they were ahead of their time, or too complex for the public, etc. "Uproar over discontinuation" is only one of many factors when judging the timelessness of a fragrance. As I pointed out above, there will be 'classics' as considered by the world at large, and 'classics' among people who know fragrances. The world at large doesn't care about D&G By, but aficionados do... Guerlain Derby was never a commercial success the way Habit Rouge or Vetiver are, but among collectors it is most definitely one the great classic leather chypres of all time.

    Conversely, commercial success doesn't make something a classic, either. I like Allure Homme Sport, and from what I've read it sells very well - but it's certainly no classic of perfumery. High sales may mean a fragrance simply appeals to the lowest common denominator.

    There will be those fragrances BNers consider classic and those that the world at large will consider classic, and the parameters of one group are not the same as those for the other.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    M7, TdH, and Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme

  48. #48

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    bbBD, and others - some really good posts here. And in my original post, I did touch on whether or not a fragrance needed to be of the mass market variety to be considered a classic.

    If the answer is, in fact that even specialty or niche houses could produce a scent of "classic" status, who is acknowledging such status? The 30,000 or so Basenoters around the world? (And I am not asking the question facetiously, but seriously).

  49. #49

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I think the following fragrances (currently selling well) will be around for a long time (thus becoming 'classics' of the future);

    CK One, Flower by Kenzo, JPG Classique, Coco Mademoiselle, J'Adore, L'eau D'Issey (M+F), JPG Le Male, Joop Homme, Dior Homme, Acqua di Gio, Angel.

    I only actually like 3 of those.

  50. #50

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Terre d'Hermes, Dior Homme, Guerlain L'Instant, Burberry London...

  51. #51

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Nothing personal, but this couldn't be less correct... there are often 'classics' that weren't popular when released - perhaps because they were ahead of their time, or too complex for the public, etc. "Uproar over discontinuation" is only one of many factors when judging the timelessness of a fragrance. As I pointed out above, there will be 'classics' as considered by the world at large, and 'classics' among people who know fragrances. The world at large doesn't care about D&G By, but aficionados do... Guerlain Derby was never a commercial success the way Habit Rouge or Vetiver are, but among collectors it is most definitely one the great classic leather chypres of all time.

    Conversely, commercial success doesn't make something a classic, either. I like Allure Homme Sport, and from what I've read it sells very well - but it's certainly no classic of perfumery. High sales may mean a fragrance simply appeals to the lowest common denominator.

    There will be those fragrances BNers consider classic and those that the world at large will consider classic, and the parameters of one group are not the same as those for the other.

    Ok this makes sense, and I aknowledge the fact that, yes, commercial success is not the ONLY factor that drives what is a classic, as is proven in those instances where something is revered only once they're gone, BUT, IMO the vast majority of what is eventually deemed classic, is lifted to that status by the public, not by a select group of afficianodos. There needs to be, in this discussion, a clear distinction between classics of perfumery, deemed so by the public, and those elevated to that status by those inside the industry. I'm sure this same theory applies to almost anything worthy of mass appreciation (i.e music, movies, tv, etc.) Things will be appreciated on different levels depending on if it's a masterpiece in the eyes of the industry versus those of the public.
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 17th March 2009 at 08:50 PM.

  52. #52

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    a modern classic... Burberry Touch.

  53. #53

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    I have not reviewed it yet on Basenotes (I will eventually), but Giorgio Armani's ARMANI CODE is absolutely BRILLIANT. Even though it's hugely popular and certainly over-exposed, it is a classic scent that will outlive all other rare, obscure or snob appeal fragrances out there.

    A*C will never disappoint. It's a beautifully crafted scent with the right components and can be worn by just about every man any time, any place. That's a classic.

    Did I just do a review???

  54. #54

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    As might have been expected, some of my fellow perfumistos are simply showing off their pets. Alas, personal affection, regardless of how profoundly felt, does not a classic make... at least by any working definition of the word that gets us anywhere. The obscure and rechercher, though deeply admired, and fun to talk about, aren't necessarily in the pantheon. Retreating behind the what-do-the-masses-know-anyway barricades is simply sour grapes, even if they are select pignot noir.

    I don't see an either/or, us-against-them approach as particularly helpful.Thomas Jefferson urged his fellow aristocrats to respect the "opinions of mankind," and it was wise advice. The mainstream is often right on the money, while many an afficianado, though passionate, wanders ever deeper into terminal solipsism.

    On the other hand, the mainstream likes Miracle Whip. How damning is that? (Hey, I like Miracle Whip, fella... you're a jerk!)

    All seriousness aside, I don't think a classic can claim the status without a big helping from both camps... the mainstream and the elite. It's the confluence of both that determines the winners. If this leaves but a handful of well-known, and tiresomely cited fragrance gold medalists... that's the way it's supposed to be.

  55. #55

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Fahrenheit
    Cool Water
    Eternity for Men
    Kenzo Pour Homme
    Platinum Egoiste
    Heritage
    Bvlgari Pour Homme
    A*Men
    Dior Homme
    Armani Code
    L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme
    Allure Homme Sport EDT
    Bvlgari Aqva

  56. #56

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by frug View Post

    All seriousness aside, I don't think a classic can claim the status without a big helping from both camps... the mainstream and the elite. It's the confluence of both that determines the winners. If this leaves but a handful of well-known, and tiresomely cited fragrance gold medalists... that's the way it's supposed to be.
    Well said...

  57. #57
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    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerbullet View Post
    I see...Black Orchid hanging around for a bit
    I must agree with tracerbullet: Black Orchid is a modern classic.

  58. #58

    Default Re: Name a "Modern Classic"

    Terre D'Hermes
    Dior Homme
    Platinum Egoiste
    Guerlain Heritage
    YSL Rive Gauche
    Laeu D'Issey
    Dior Fahrenheit

    Outside bets
    Burberry London
    Versace The Dreamer
    Bvlgari Black
    Narcisso For Him
    "You smell kinda pretty! Wanna Smell me ?"
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