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  1. #1

    Default Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Hello all
    This is my first post on a fragrance forum. I can hardly believe I am here, but for the longest time I have been reluctant to buy any, despite quite liking the idea of smelling good as the finishing part of my grooming routine. I agree with many members that much of the product available in normal outlets such as Boots, smell pretty awful and alike, no matter the cost or so-called prestige of the brand.
    This week I have bought Terre Parfum, which I am gutted to read is now only about 85% as strong as the original EdT, L'Instant de Guerlain (LIDGE?) and Boss Bottled as my first purchase, which is ok but a bit sweet.
    Right now I feel I need most to know which of those classic fragrances, the reviews for which I am reading, are still as good as they have always been. I am very surprised to read that even the Mighty Chanel has downgrade L'Egoiste Platinum lately. I would like to stay away from vanilla or citurs, preferring spice and/or herb/leather/woody notes.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Welcome!

    As you've been reading, most brands have reformulated their classics, whether because current tastes are for lighter stuff, or because IFRA has banned many ingredients. Probably, very few classics are exactly as they were. That said, I'd say that there are still many perfumes that, despite some differences, are still great (female perfumery has been hit harder than male, I would argue). I'm sure one could argue forever about each one, but in the areas you cite, off the top of my head:

    Caron Yatagan: arresting vegetal top, deep woods drydown. Perhaps it has less animalics than before, but none the worse for it.
    Aramis: musky leather, still great (as is the perhaps even better companion, Estee Lauder Azuree, a brighter version of Aramis).
    $$$ Guerlain Derby: still excellent citrus-leather-wood.
    Chanel Egoiste (the regular Egoiste, not platinum): here I must say I have not smelled the latest batch, which according to some is weaker. What I see here in the US is still good. Incidentally, I had not heard of changes to Platinum Egoiste, but I haven't followed.
    Chanel Antaeus: superspicy. This could be a bit controversial. Again, less animalics than before. But still packs a punch with its intense and slightly objectionable spicy profile.
    Kouros: according to many, the very latest batch has lost all the dirt. But in many stores there are still older batches (the bottle has a metal base, and the batch code ends in -02), which are worth stocking up, if found.

    Then of course there's expensive niche perfumery, which has plenty of fantastic stuff, but that's another story.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Hhmm.
    Thanks, Cacio. I know there is a lot to get my nose around and since I smoke tobacco, I am at a disadvantage from the off. I am also in China for the moment, so the selection will probably be different around here. I tried Anteus, basically from Darvant's review. I've been reading him a lot and if he likes something I try it if I can. He described Anteus as a Masterpiece. It might well be, but on me I smelled the way my mum used to when she was going out for the evening in her fur coat and gold charm bracelet! L'Egoiste i very distinctive, and I do like it a lot, but it maybe makes a bit of a statement. Terre I like very much and I have no problem with it being a skin-scent. I was surprised at the drydown of L'Instant but it's a keeper. The first 45 mins or so are divine. Boss Bottled? Not bad, but I will be staying away from this level of quality from now on.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    I had fallen for these years b4 and am yet to recover...

    The Holy Trinity still reign supreme IMO, with many niche houses following, my order given below...

    # 1 - Guerlain - Derby / Mouchoir / Bois de Armenie / Jicky / Vetiver / Habit Rouge / LIDGE and list goes on

    # 2 - Chanel - Egoiste / Bleu / Antaeus / Pour Monsieur (& their niche / exclusif's - Sycomore / Cuir de Russie / Coromandel)

    # 3 - Dior - Eau Sauvage EDP & EDT / DH / DHI / Fahrenheit


    Followed as # 4 by Hermes - Terre de EDT & EDP / Bel Ami

    # 5 Tied --- Caron - PuH / Yatagan / 3rd &&& Acqua Di Parma (Colonia / Essenza)

    All these have & will be part of my wardrobe...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Smoking should be no problem for appreciation of perfumes. Indeed, most of the masculine powerhouses of the 70s and 80s (as in my list) were designed with smokers in mind, everybody smoked back then. They mix well with tobacco or rise nicely above it.

    Your mom must have had great taste! And now you've made me curious about what perfume she was wearing... a feminine that smelled like Antaeus, which, back then, was considered very sexy macho. In any case, tastes are tastes. Perhaps you're not too much into that powerhouse style, and prefer more modern, smoother styles (as indeed TdH and L'instant are). And how about vetivers, which smell fresh, slightly grassy and woody? Guerlain Vetiver is still good, though it has lost some of the tobacco.

    cacio

  6. #6

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    That's the thing though isn't it? I had no idea until I discovered this site which companies were "sub-contractors" and which were actual Parfumiers. I was all excited at having found Prada, cos, you know, they're brilliant aren't they? It turns out, no not really.
    So Guerlian, YSL, Dior and Chanel to start off with. No Amouage in my neck of the woods......thank God!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    I'd say from all reports Knize Ten (Washroom soap, meets oily workshop rag, meets worn biker jacket, meets floral) has come though relatively untarnished. A fantastic frag, but not a safe blind buy by any means, read reviews, if you like the sound of it sample, then only consider buying.

    One of my favourites now, but got a big surprise at first sniff (I did a blind buy...)
    Well, it's cheaper than therapy... edit: No it's not...

  8. #8
    Guerlainista
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    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Derby and Arsene Lupin are good, although maybe hard to find for you and expensive. Heritage and Habit Rouge are also still good, but probably not up your alley. You should definitely try Vetiver.

    From Dior, try Fahrenheit. Eau Sauvage Parfum is worth a try as well - the original is sort of a citrus, but worth testing as well.

    From YSL you should check out Rive Gauche and Jazz.
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  9. #9
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Another for Derby by Guerlain

  10. #10

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    I remember wearing Jazz and Aramis. I cannot remember if I ever actually had a bottle of either, but I suppose I must have. I don't think I've even seen any around but you know what it's like- once you actually start looking, all these options come out the woodwork. So Vetiver? I think I had a sniff at a Penhaligons Vet and hated it, but utterly loved Spanish Leather some years ago (T&H or GFT?) I do like Armani Code but only have a 5ml sample and won't buy any due to brevity. As long as it's not SWEET I think I can give it a go.
    I was thinking of combining Terre Parfum with L'Egoiste EdT, to lighten Terre and bring a more defined basenote to L'Egoiste, with possibly a smidgeon of Code for the mids. Silly idea?

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  11. #11
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    Terre d'Hermes parfum wears a lot closer than the EDT. Perhaps you equate strength to projection?

    I do not know which fragrances qualify as 'great' in your opinion but a few which still retain their distinctive feel include:

    Guerlain Mitsouko (edp)
    Guerlain Derby
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Aramis Aramis
    Loewe Esencia

    Welcome to Basenotes!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    I am ok with a close scent and one which projects also, just concerned about the seemingly constant, appalling drop in quality. I am looking and looking at all these supposedly legendary names (Cartier, Chanel etc) and they have all apparently drastically downgraded their products. It seems, from a week or so on the fragrance directory, that despite the huge number of smelly bottles out there, there are in fact very few choices. I have tried practically every available fragrance in my city which even remotely appeals; I'm just back from Cartier and Chanel (again). Was thinking of pulling the trigger on P. Msr, but after a couple of hours it had disappeared. And concentree is once again quite warm and sweet- having already bought LIDG and Terre, I think what I really need to do is go out and try Fahrenheit, but it's pretty depressing reading I must say.

  13. #13
    Guerlainista
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    Default Re: Which of the Greats are still Great?

    The be fair, I think Chanel have done what they can to keep true to their original compositions. Pour Monsieur is fantastic, but by no means a longevity beast. Take away the oakmoss and this is what you have left - replace it with something else and you have the Concentree I suppose.

    if you want a good masculine chypre with some lasting power, try Aramis. It's a leather chypre and still kicks major ass. Also pretty readily available. Harder to get, but worth the effort to find is New York by Parfums de Nicolai. Excellent, very refined and unique.

    if you like Fahrenheit but the petrol vibe is too much, try Narciso Rodriguez for Him.
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