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  1. #1

    Default Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Hi all,

    I don't know if this has been done before - apologies if so.

    I have seen it mentioned a few times that designer scents tend to be more linear whereas Niche frags can 'take you on a journey' as the scent develops, as such.

    I am looking for some suggestions of what you all consider to be the most complex/ non linear designer scents? any real transformers?

    Thanks in advance!

    Daniel
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  2. #2
    Dependent Slayerized's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Kouros (vintage) is imo definitely one of them as are more of the old school ones like eg. Antaeus, Paco Rabanne pour homme, Egoiste, Fahrenheit, Givenchy Gentleman, Guerlain Vetiver, Habit Rouge, Heritage etc. in vintage formulation.
    Last edited by Slayerized; 3rd October 2019 at 12:13 PM.
    My Top '11' of main current rotation in no particular order:

    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - TF: Ombré Leather
    - Cartier: Santos edt (vtg)
    - Al Haramain: Excellent
    - SA: Shaghaf Oud Abyad
    - SA: Al Basel
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco
    - Mancera: Aoud Vanille

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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Burberry London comes to mind first.

    Some other designers I consider complex, and deep - some of these are discontinued.
    A*Men
    Paul Smith London
    Loewe Esencia
    Escada pH
    Fahrenheit
    Joop!
    Magnetism
    Hanae Mori H.M. EDT
    Terre d'Hermes
    Lacoste Elegance
    Ferrari Silver Essence
    Polo
    Tom Ford Noir Extreme
    English Laundry Windsor
    Gucci Envy
    Kenzo Air
    Also, most of the Lolita Lempicka Masculin line
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler

  4. #4

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Chanel egoïste

  5. #5

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Aramis Havana has a dramatic evolution.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    apart from maybe Egoiste I really can't think of any recent complex 'designer' fragrances -- it's practically an oxymoron

    You would have to go vintage imo -- L'Homme by Versace up until about 2000 was magnificent and went through at least three stages until the base

  7. #7
    Dependent crashtestbrummie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by AiKz View Post
    I have seen it mentioned a few times that designer scents tend to be more linear whereas Niche frags can 'take you on a journey' as the scent develops, as such.
    I wouldn't agree with this at all.
    Currently wearing: Ambre Éternel by Guerlain

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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    For me - Balafre vintage
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by AiKz View Post
    I have seen it mentioned a few times that designer scents tend to be more linear whereas Niche frags can 'take you on a journey' as the scent develops, as such.
    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestbrummie View Post
    I wouldn't agree with this at all.
    Me either.

    There is some truth that modern fragrances tend to be simpler, more straightforward affairs, but that's true for designer and niche as well. There are plenty of exceptions to this though.

    As others have said, vintage fragrances, traditional perfumes, seem to pay more attention to evolution of scent than many modern perfumes, which seem to be more interested in making a big impression with the top notes, and often have a linear drydown. That's probably as much to do with the expectations of instant gratification of modern society and market dictates than anything.
    Most worn:

    Black Comme des Garçons, Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens, Patchouli Santa Maria Novella

    Currently wearing: Hindu Kush by Mancera

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestbrummie View Post
    I wouldn't agree with this at all.
    +1 maybe some current ones tend to blend in, you just need to find the unique ones and the older ones that truly stand out. Plus there are always those that started the trend that did it better just follow your nose and find them!
    Current Top Favorites

    Azzaro Azzaro Pour Homme
    Guerlain L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme EDP
    Chanel Egoiste
    Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche EDP
    Guerlain Heritage EDT
    Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT
    Christian Dior Dior Homme EDT
    Ralph Lauren Polo

  11. #11

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions! Quite a few are on my list to sample already, but there are a few I'm completely unfamiliar with, so this is great!
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Apart from already mentioned/listed listed, I can only add some:

    Costume National Homme
    Davidoff Zino
    Boss The Scent Parfum Edition
    V&R Antidote
    Azzaro PH Intense
    Baldessarini Ultimate
    YSL M7 or M7 Absolue

  13. #13

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarce View Post
    Me either.

    There is some truth that modern fragrances tend to be simpler, more straightforward affairs, but that's true for designer and niche as well. There are plenty of exceptions to this though.

    As others have said, vintage fragrances, traditional perfumes, seem to pay more attention to evolution of scent than many modern perfumes, which seem to be more interested in making a big impression with the top notes, and often have a linear drydown. That's probably as much to do with the expectations of instant gratification of modern society and market dictates than anything.
    Yeah, if you want proper development, you're going to have better luck going old-school.

    Both niche and designer fragrances at the moment tend to have minimal development, with a big central accord that slowly fades into a background hum.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Kouros, Egoiste and Antaeus are probably among the most complex designer scents. They will no doubt come across as so to any newbie.

    Perhaps M7 too.
    Currently wearing: Bel Ami by Hermès

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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Like others have said, the divide here isn’t between designer and niche, but between today’s styles and older trends. Plenty of niche releases these days are pretty straightforward and linear, too. The whole designer-versus-niche thing gets more and more tedious and misleading by the day, but hey, it sure helps niche outfits justify those big prices.

    I’d also say there’s no inherent virtue in complexity per se. It can certainly add a lot of interest to a scent, but it can also make something feel like a mess. Many heralded classics are not complex at all (Guerlain Vetiver, Caron Pour Un Homme, as just two that pop to mind), or are linear by design (Bulgari Black). What matters in the end is: does a fragrance smell good? Does it succeed at saying what it sets out to say? Some stories are better as simple anecdotes. Sometimes we want the epic tale.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with preferring complexity and development, either. I’m just pushing back a little on biases or assumptions we tend to make automatically in this hobby. Always best to take each fragrance on its own terms, always trusting your nose.

    That said, of in-production designers with some complexity and development, almost everything I can think of counts, but easily notable are:

    Dior Homme
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Mugler A*Men
    Cartier Declaration
    Dior Sauvage (maybe not hugely complex, but this one has pretty dramatic development between the fresh opening and the weird sweaty-woody dry down)
    Bleu de Chanel EDT (deceptively complex when familiarity and attention start to reveal its many working parts)
    Chanel Egoiste
    Chanel Antaeus
    Hermes Bel Ami
    Azzaro Pour Homme

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    yeah all the great designer scents have extensive development and are anything but linear.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    Like others have said, the divide here isn’t between designer and niche, but between today’s styles and older trends. Plenty of niche releases these days are pretty straightforward and linear, too. The whole designer-versus-niche thing gets more and more tedious and misleading by the day, but hey, it sure helps niche outfits justify those big prices.

    I’d also say there’s no inherent virtue in complexity per se. It can certainly add a lot of interest to a scent, but it can also make something feel like a mess. Many heralded classics are not complex at all (Guerlain Vetiver, Caron Pour Un Homme, as just two that pop to mind), or are linear by design (Bulgari Black). What matters in the end is: does a fragrance smell good? Does it succeed at saying what it sets out to say? Some stories are better as simple anecdotes. Sometimes we want the epic tale.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with preferring complexity and development, either. I’m just pushing back a little on biases or assumptions we tend to make automatically in this hobby. Always best to take each fragrance on its own terms, always trusting your nose.

    That said, of in-production designers with some complexity and development, almost everything I can think of counts, but easily notable are:

    Dior Homme
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Mugler A*Men
    Cartier Declaration
    Dior Sauvage (maybe not hugely complex, but this one has pretty dramatic development between the fresh opening and the weird sweaty-woody dry down)
    Bleu de Chanel EDT (deceptively complex when familiarity and attention start to reveal its many working parts)
    Chanel Egoiste
    Chanel Antaeus
    Hermes Bel Ami
    Azzaro Pour Homme
    |^| What he said. Very nicely put onethinline.
    Currently wearing: Witness by Jacques Bogart

  18. #18

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Thanks! And I was by no means making the niche/designer assumption myself - I am relatively new to the hobby and have seen similar things mentioned before, is all.

    Pour un homme is the next fragrance on my list to buy, absolutely love it. I just find it very interesting when I catch a whiff of a scent a few hours after applying and it's taken a new form. I've also had a few samples where I really like the initial blast but the dry down just does nothing for me. But it keeps me interested either way!
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by AiKz View Post
    Thanks! And I was by no means making the niche/designer assumption myself - I am relatively new to the hobby and have seen similar things mentioned before, is all.

    Pour un homme is the next fragrance on my list to buy, absolutely love it. I just find it very interesting when I catch a whiff of a scent a few hours after applying and it's taken a new form. I've also had a few samples where I really like the initial blast but the dry down just does nothing for me. But it keeps me interested either way!
    For sure! I didn't meant to come across too strong on your original question, by the way. More just offering a counter-perspective given that it's easy to get carried away looking for complexity or development for their own sake. But they're certainly good things to start to notice, and can be parts of what makes a fragrance great, or a favorite.

    Thinking about this more this morning, it struck me that a lot of the "greats," and certainly my own favorites, have a really clear signature, where nothing else quite smells like them. It's something you get right away. That signature isn't complex, because it's direct and clear, but often the various notes used to create such a clear signature are complex. So I guess there's perceived complexity ("oh man, there's a LOT going on here and it's throwing me all over the place" -- like with A*Men, or Mitsouko), and then there's complexity which actually harmonizes together to create one distinct, clear effect (Egoiste, Fahrenheit, Shalimar ...). Anyway, just fun stuff to think about.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by AiKz View Post
    I just find it very interesting when I catch a whiff of a scent a few hours after applying and it's taken a new form.
    A really great way to experience this is to spray something on yourself before you go to bed, let it develop overnight, and then smell it in the morning. The evolution can be pretty awesome. I did that when I first got Dior Homme Parfum--I sprayed my hand shortly before going to bed and then sniffed my hand when I woke up--and was amazed when I woke up.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Anything from the 1970's and 1980's should have a huge number of notes in it. The 1990's ushered in an era of more simple, less complicated and "mass pleasing" scents. I think perfumers who worked in the older eras were much happier in that they had creative freedom to be complex and original and not worry as much about pleasing everyone. Today it seems that perfume is going the way of corporate music. Focus groups, only wanting to make fragrances with the highest potential public acceptance and profit, etc. Re-hashing recently popular scents with just a slight twist and releasing them en-mass until you have a million variations on a popular genre. For instance the grapefruit of Bleu de Chanel launched a trend that is no different than you get in pop music. Like singers who all sound very similar to the first big-hit singer who at first was like nobody else. Now you have a thousand clones that wear out the public's attention and it becomes disliked in a backlash and then a new champion emerges that is fresh and new only to be done to death yet again.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    Kouros, Egoiste and Antaeus are probably among the most complex designer scents. They will no doubt come across as so to any newbie.
    These came to mind as well.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarce View Post
    Me either.

    There is some truth that modern fragrances tend to be simpler, more straightforward affairs, but that's true for designer and niche as well. There are plenty of exceptions to this though.

    As others have said, vintage fragrances, traditional perfumes, seem to pay more attention to evolution of scent than many modern perfumes, which seem to be more interested in making a big impression with the top notes, and often have a linear drydown. That's probably as much to do with the expectations of instant gratification of modern society and market dictates than anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    Like others have said, the divide here isn’t between designer and niche, but between today’s styles and older trends. Plenty of niche releases these days are pretty straightforward and linear, too. The whole designer-versus-niche thing gets more and more tedious and misleading by the day, but hey, it sure helps niche outfits justify those big prices.

    I’d also say there’s no inherent virtue in complexity per se. It can certainly add a lot of interest to a scent, but it can also make something feel like a mess. Many heralded classics are not complex at all (Guerlain Vetiver, Caron Pour Un Homme, as just two that pop to mind), or are linear by design (Bulgari Black). What matters in the end is: does a fragrance smell good? Does it succeed at saying what it sets out to say? Some stories are better as simple anecdotes. Sometimes we want the epic tale.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with preferring complexity and development, either. I’m just pushing back a little on biases or assumptions we tend to make automatically in this hobby. Always best to take each fragrance on its own terms, always trusting your nose.

    That said, of in-production designers with some complexity and development, almost everything I can think of counts, but easily notable are:

    Dior Homme
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Mugler A*Men
    Cartier Declaration
    Dior Sauvage (maybe not hugely complex, but this one has pretty dramatic development between the fresh opening and the weird sweaty-woody dry down)
    Bleu de Chanel EDT (deceptively complex when familiarity and attention start to reveal its many working parts)
    Chanel Egoiste
    Chanel Antaeus
    Hermes Bel Ami
    Azzaro Pour Homme
    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    Anything from the 1970's and 1980's should have a huge number of notes in it. The 1990's ushered in an era of more simple, less complicated and "mass pleasing" scents. I think perfumers who worked in the older eras were much happier in that they had creative freedom to be complex and original and not worry as much about pleasing everyone. Today it seems that perfume is going the way of corporate music. Focus groups, only wanting to make fragrances with the highest potential public acceptance and profit, etc. Re-hashing recently popular scents with just a slight twist and releasing them en-mass until you have a million variations on a popular genre. For instance the grapefruit of Bleu de Chanel launched a trend that is no different than you get in pop music. Like singers who all sound very similar to the first big-hit singer who at first was like nobody else. Now you have a thousand clones that wear out the public's attention and it becomes disliked in a backlash and then a new champion emerges that is fresh and new only to be done to death yet again.
    These three posts practically did my talking for me, so all I have to do is add that the more complex designers to be found today are going to be Cartier, Dunhill, Alford & Hoff, Ted Baker, and anyone not beholden to market trends.
    oh look, I have a signature

  24. #24

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Azzaro pour Homme (1978)
    Bel Ami Vétiver (2013)
    Boss Number One [After Shave] (1985)
    Coriolan (1998)
    Déclaration Essence (2001)
    Équipage (1970)
    Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme (2017)
    Halston 1-12 / Z-14
    Hommage à L'Homme (2011)
    Jaïpur Homme (1997)
    Just Rock! (2017)
    Kenzoair (2003)
    Knize Ten (1924)
    L'Anarchiste (2000)
    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme (2004)
    Monsieur Rochas (1969)
    Number 3 / Le 3ème Homme / The Third Man (1985)
    Opium (1977)
    Oud Touch (2014)
    Prada Amber pour Homme Intense (2011)
    Shalimar (1925)
    Ungaro pour L'Homme III (1993)
    Yatagan (1976)

  25. #25

    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Most classic/vintage Chanels and Diors.
    Also some of the designer exclusives by the same or other similar houses, plus vintage powerhouses like Trussardi Uomo, good performance EDPs like Lalique pour Homme. While among the very affordable designers, multi layered masterpieces one might never expect at this price point, like Lapidus pour Homme, Furyo by Bogart or several One Man Show flankers by the same latter house.
    Currently wearing: Baobab by Tesori d'Oriente

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    +1 for Fahrenheit
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Most complex/deep designer frags?

    Oooh yeah glad someone mentioned Caron Troisieme Homme because while it's hardly modern, it's certainly still in production. THOUGH, thinking about it again, Caron isn't a designer brand, is it? Shucks. Well, in any event, it definitely counts as complex stuff.




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