Niche Perfume & Classic Fragrance for Intermediates – Perfume Education 201

Niche Perfume and Classic Fragrance for Intermediates - Perfume Education 201Welcome to Niche Perfume and Classic Fragrance for Intermediates – Perfume Education 201 – the intermediate/advanced list of suggestions for fragrances to smell, with input from our panel of experts (aka our blog commenters).

You can tackle the fragrances on this list if you’ve done your basic course of Niche Perfume 101, where we covered some perfume basics and suggestions for where to start in your sniffage. There´s also a permanent link to that post in the left-hand column of this blog.

You know you’re a bona fide fragrance freak if you have your own decanting supplies. Get in the habit of carrying around a baggie of empty vials with you — if you ask nicely, you can often get a baffled SA to let you make a sample of something “for later.” Don’t forget your labels and your waterproof pen! Those teeny Zip-Loc baggies are useful if you’re worried about a vial of something leaking, and the pipettes or bulb syringes are great for decanting things from flacons. It’s hard to find decanting supply places that sell in smaller quantities. March likes Pilotvials; Patty recommends SKS Bottle or Exotic Fragrances. Small (1ml) and larger (2) vials are useful, along with  3 or 5ml perfume atomizers. Plastic atomizers tend to be cheaper, but if you’re going to store a decant for awhile, get the glass ones. You get what you pay for: very cheap plastic atomizers tend to leak. Super-fantastic decants of rare or uber-expensive stuff might be better off in one of those little glass screw-top bottles, just big enough to contain the juice. Remember: heat, light and excess air are the enemy of fragrance.

This Niche Perfume and Classic Fragrance for Intermediates – Perfume Education 201 is for those of you who have a comfort level outside the department-store and mainstream fragrances most folks are familiar with. We have no doubt there are people out there – including some of you readers – who have a higher natural level of sophistication than we do regarding fragrances. Maybe you took your first sniff of some really leathery fragrance, or some civet-ripe vintage treasure, and thought you´d died and gone to heaven. If you are like us, however, you probably just thought you´d died. (Or you were smelling something that was dead.)

We each have our fragrance litmus test – the scents we smelled, and smelled again, and re-smelled until our feelings went from disgust to love. For Patty, those scents are Muscs Khoublai Khan, vintage scents, and indolic (means fecal-smelling) jasmine. For March, those scents are leatherfests like Bandit and S-Perfume Lust.

Anyway, if you think it´s time to broaden your horizons a little and continue your Perfume Education into the best perfumes for an intermediate perfumista  – if you can smell a little leather, or maybe some musk, and not toss your cookies in the nearest trash can, here´s a list of best fragrances we think raise the bar in terms of challenge and interest. Just like the last list, it´s a nonscientific sample and undoubtedly reflects our biases. Dig in and enjoy. Just remember – like your first oyster, your first mouthful of, um… caviar or Stilton, and some of the other firsts in your adult life, you may not love it the first time. And that´s okay.

One additional note on the groupings — these are judgment calls, many of these scents can easily fall into more than one of our categories (e.g., weird AND leather). We stuck it where we thought they fit best, but it’s a coin toss on some, don’t sweat over the classifications. Just smell them. We’ll leave this one up with a permanent link so you can always refer back to it.

You Should Smell:

  • Classics and reissuesChanel No 5. You may hate it, you may despise the aldehydes, but you need to sniff it anyway, preferably in the parfum or the EDP. Christian Dior Diorling and/or Diorama, either the vintage or the reissue. Whether done by Roudnitska originally or the reissues by Roja Dove, these are classic, complicated scents. All of these are valuable to see how far a pefumer can go in creating something complex and beautiful, or in the case of Diorling, A High-Strung Drama Queen that you can’t help but love. Houbigant Apercu — you can still buy it, and it is still stunning. Also, you may not want to wear them, but resniff elevator-clearers like Piguet Fracas and Dior Poison, great fragrances that maybe shouldn’t be worn to work. In fact, the entire Piguet oeuvre, new and vintage, is worth a sniff (Bandit, Fracas, Visa, Baghari, and anything else we forgot.)
  • Leather – There are a lot of great hard-core leathers. Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman, Knize Ten, Caron Tabac Blond, Caron Yatagan, Tauer Perfume’s Lonestar Memories, Rochas Femme (vintage), and Kolnisch Juchten are all worth smelling.
  • Incense – Any or all of the Comme des Garcons Incense series scents, Armani Prive Bois d’Encens, Donna Karan Black Cashmere (incense/woods), Norma Kamali Ceremony or Incense, Etro Messe di Minuit (incense or mildew?), Chanel No. 22, Josef Statkus, Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande, Diptyque L’Eau Trois.
  • Green Chanel No. 19, Carven Ma Griffe, Miller et Bertaux No. 3, Balmain Vent Vert (preferably vintage), Gres Cabochard (ditto), Tauer Perfumes Reverie au Jardin (green/lavender).
  • Musk– You’re ready for the big girl panties and the big boy bed, so head right for the Big Daddy, MKK, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. You did say you’re all grown, right? Over 21 for sure? Well, let’s just keep going. Don’t make that “ew, peas” face, this is an excellent education, and you may even love it – lots of people do – CB I hate Perfume Musk Reinvention. The most universally loved musk would be Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur. Kiehls Musk is the old-timer that has its fans.
  • Woods – one of our favorite categories, the choices are endless. Some recommendations: any of the Serge Lutens Bois series (or their mother, Shiseido Feminite du Bois), CdG Palisander, 10 Corso Como, Diptyque Tam Dao, Guerlain Samsara.
  • Tea Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan or Comme des Garcons Series 1: Leaves (Tea), Parfumerie Generale Harmatan Noir (tea with a little mint, Patty’s favorite tea of all time); L’Artisan Tea for Two, Annick Goutal Duel (mate tea).  These are all a niche perfume
  • Gourmand — There are two vanillas that are just exquisite, Indult Tihota and Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. The only other sort of gourmand niche perfume that we think is interesting, even if you hate it (sorry, March) is Serge Lutens Borneo 1834. There’s a chocolate note in there that allows us to stick it in with the gourmands, but it’s not a sweet chocolate, and it’s all covered up by cobwebs, dust and other yummy notes that make Borneo a singular oddity in the world… take that how you want. Luctor et Emergo’s People of the Labyrinths (aka POTL), love it or hate it, you need to make sure you’ve smelled it. Others recommended by our panel of experts: Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale, Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum, L’Artisan Vanilia or their Epices coffret, Parfumerie Generale Aomassai (also a love it or hate it), Rochas Femme, new version (cumin!)
  • Skank, glorious Skank — You’re a nice girl or boy? Okay, sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace your inner sinner from time to time. To assist you in knowing what we are talking about, try some of all of these: Mona di Orio Nuit Noire, Bal a Versailles, Jicky parfum, Delrae Amoureuse, Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, Bella Bellissima Perfect Night.
  • Iris – Another niche perfume from Serge Lutens fits here perfectly, Iris Silver Mist. Cold, metallic, strange, beautiful, with a charming little spicy drydown. It is an education on how rooty iris smells.
  • RoseMDCI Rose di Siwa, sweet, beautiful, haunting, the perfect rose; or Lancome Mille et Une Rose, another perfect rose. If your taste in roses runs more to the dark, complex and fit for searching for your next victim in the middle of the night, Frederic Malle’s Une Rose and Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit are required sniffing. Other recommended roses: The Different Company Rose Poivree, Le Labo Rose 31.
  • Violet Guerlain Attrape-Coeur and Caron N’aimez Que Moi parfum are the perfect violets, one light and one dark.
  • Chypre– Bonus points if your budget will allow you to do Guerlain Djedi. Yes, it’s vintage, discontinued, rarer than slug’s teeth, but even if it’s just a small amount, the strange weirdness of it is worth sniffing. Coty Chypre, EDT or EDP, is the monster that started it all. Miss Dior, a complete classic. Smell Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon for a “modern” chypre. Others: Paloma Picasso, Caron Alpona.
  • White Flower – Let’s cover both ends of this. Money is No Object – that has to be Shalini and CB I Hate Perfume Cradle of Light, and Cradle of Light will do double duty by covering some of the skank area too. On the lower budget end, Parfums de Nicolai Number One, a gorgeous white flower niche perfume without a lot of perfuminess often associated with white florals. There are millions in this category — Serge Lutens’ A La Nuit and Datura Noir are killah; we also like Caron Acaciosa and L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie du Hameau (white and dark). Other fan favorites: Malle Carnal Flower (tuberose and wintergreen) and Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle (tuberose and death uh, mothballs camphor) — someone’s going to get their writing Crayon taken away if they keep dissing the gorgeous Tubereuse Criminelle, Miss March.
  • OudMontale Black Oud for the dark oud, and Montale Cuir d’Arabie for your “Get out The Whip, Sailor” Oud. Light oud? you’re reading the wrong blog, ouds should never be light.  Okay, one light’ish oud is Montale’s White Oud. Happy?  Updated later – By Kilian Oud just try any of his oud perfumes – pure, rose, incense, amber, doesn’t matter, they are all great.
  • SmokyAnnick Goutal Eau de Fier, CB Burning Leaves, Kolnisch Juchten, Le Labo Patchouli 44.
  • Patchouli Borneo (again), Montale Patchouli Leaves (most suggested), Mazzolari Patchouli, Jalaine Patchouli, Prada (March’s favorite, go figure.)
  • VetiverHermessence Vetiver Tonka, The Different Company Sel de Vetiver, Le Labo Vetiver (skanky!), Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire. This list could go on for days, there are so many great vetiver scents, and most of them are niche perfume.  Guerlain Vetiver is a great classic vetiver fragrance.
  • Weird (aka Love It or Hate It). We dare you; live a little — Commes de Garcons original parfum; Kenzo Jungle Elephant; Bvlgari Black; Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia; Kolnisch Juchten (vintage – smell like a pickled half-smoke!), Serge Lutens Miel de Bois (honey? or funny) Annick Goutal Eau du Fier (blacktop! oil!), Cumming (seriously). Special award to L’Artisan Dzing! (“what … what is that smell?”), Annick Goutal Sables (“is someone wearing … syrup?”)  The weird category is clearly populated by almost all niche perfume.
  • AmberSerge Lutens Ambre Sultan is the grandaddy of all great ambers, but by all means, if you’re adventurous, take a sniff of Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe or Laura Tonatto Amir. Other winners: Montale Blue Amber, L’Artisan Ambre Extreme.
  • Random Fruits Fendi Theorema (oranges touched by an angel), L’Artisan Premier Figuier (fig, regular or Extreme, in this case Extreme being creamier and figgier)
  • Virtual Reality – Keep working your way through CB I Hate Perfumes. We love Memory of Kindness, Wild Hunt and Greenbriar 1968 (pipe). Serge Lutens Chene is a wonderful woody scent.
  • Smell Because We Say So – Any of the JAR parfums, don’t care which, just start somewhere and smell one. Then start working on the Carons. You can start at the more accessible Poivre and Tabac Blond, but anywhere is fine as long as you start. (March says: I don’t love Caron’s base, and even I think you’re a fool if you don’t smell the Carons. Just Do It).  Special mention of two niche perfume lines to smell not only because the fragrances are beautiful, but because you get the idea of how a perfumer’s style works across their line: Ormonde Jayne, Tauer Perfumes (both lines have a huge following on this blog and elsewhere in perfumery fan circles.)
  • What some call Men’s Scents, and we call ours because we’re greedy that wayCarons — L’Anarchiste, 3eme Homme, and loads of others plugged in elsewhere here under individual notes.
  • If You Ever Get The Chance: (rarities that didn’t wind up listed above) any of the Gobin Daudes; IUNX Splash Forte; Donna Karan Chaos; Christian Dior Jules.

The same rules apply  to Perfume Education 201 as in Perfume Education 101 — like Barbies, There are No Rules in Perfume. You like what you like, don’t let anyone tell you that $6 perfume you’ve loved on since you were 16 isn’t beautiful, because if it’s beautiful to you, that’s all that matters. There is no “correct” taste to have here, scent is highly individual, and it should be fun. If you start taking this seriously, you need a new hobby. 

Surrender to Chance has a Niche Perfume and Classic Fragrance Perfume Education 201 sampler pack with many of these fragrances for purchase.

  • Hollyc says:

    Soooo happy to see so many Montales included in your excellent list. Seems to not receive the recognition that I think he deserves on most of the other blog sites. Given that there wasn’t a SINGLE one reviewed in Perfumes the Guide, I suspect he doesn’t pander to critics. You mentioned Samsara and Paloma, two old timers I recently sniffed and can’t get out of my brain . . . must possesssssss. Love your site!

  • Liesl says:

    Gourmands: Angel, yo! And in my humble opinion Hypnotic Poison should be on the 101 list. Mmmmmm….
    And Kingdom deserves to be in Skank. Or at least Wierd.>-)

  • Azalais says:

    Actually…I wear all the Piguets to work, except Baghari because it does not smell terribly good on me. Pretty much my standard arsenal (i.e., the scents I usually wear, I promise only one at a time) is Fracas, Bandit, Visa, Givenchy Pi and YSL pour Homme (the original). I am a woman but the last two have always smelled heavenly on me, so I wear them a lot.

    I’ve yet to clear an elevator or even get a complaint.

    Put something light and sweet (on most people) on me and I will though 🙂

  • Kelly FitzGibbon says:

    Oh I guess there are pictures to the right, so sorry.

  • Kelly FitzGibbon says:

    What would be really great is pictures of all the great perfumes all of you keep talking about…so how about it?

  • Christina H says:

    Great list! I have loved Premier Figuier for years but *hate* the extreme version – it doesn’t even smell like fig to me, it’s just “perfumey.” Oh, and I adore Aomassai! Just ordered a full bottle! Some of you might want to avoid me. 😉

  • Anne says:

    I always mix perfumes from day to day. I do love Ta’if (from Ormonde Jayne in Mayfair) though. It smells of sugared rose petals, saffron and dates, and it does this while managing the miraculous feat of not being remotely sweet. It dries down to amber and a general warm, sexy spiciness.
    A first date type scent when you want to win the man. I am smitten.

  • Maria says:

    I finally got that chance to write in!

    Chypre: the gorgeous Caron Alpona (my favorite in the category)
    White floral bouquet: L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie and Caron Acaciosa
    Jasmine in its singular glory: SL A la Nuit
    Rose-jasmine combination: Tauer Le Maroc pour Elle
    Tobacco & sweetness: Molinard Habanita
    Green: Thank you for including the glorious No. 19. Another great hit of galbanum and other green things is to be found in Tauer La Reverie au Jardin. If you add a lavender category, it should be in that.
    Patchouli: As Judith pointed out, Not Le Labo. Borneo definitely.
    Kitten with a Whip: Piguet Bandit (oh, wait, that was not one of the categories)

    • Maria says:

      Oh, and for carnation/clove: Caron has cornered the market with Bellodgia, Poivre, and Coup de Fouet.

      Oh, and for rose, Or et Noir, of course. I do seem to have a thing about Caron these days.

  • Denise says:

    I love this list and will refer to it for clues on new and interesting perfumes!This is also useful for gift giving as I want to get a great tea scent for my sister for Christmas.I really appreciate your research and guidance.I love tuberose scents and am currently smitten with Carnal Flower and Tuberuse Criminelle

  • Veronica says:

    *waving* Profumum Olibanum is a gorgeous wood/incense!

  • Calypso says:

    Lots of fun recommendations here and many things I don’t know. For some reason I can’t find Perfume 101 even though I know I’ve seen it before. I can’t find the link anywhere! :((
    A few thoughts. I hope these aren’t duplicates of what you already have in 101.

    What about lavender scents? (I love Andy Tauer’s Reverie.)
    Ambre: MPG
    Incense: Creed’s Angelique Encens
    Gourmand: Bond #9 New Harlem
    Variations on one-note florals: L’Artisan Saffran Troublant, Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

  • Kyra says:

    Can’t make myself focus on a truely methodical list, but Chene surely deserves a place in VR.

  • Solander says:

    Great list! I can stand behind most of your recs, but of course I have some to add as well, so:
    Green: Cdg 3
    Green/Chypre: Bandit & Cabochard
    Musk/Skank/VR: L’air de rien and Ambre canelle
    Amber: L’air du desert marocain
    Incense: Messe de minuit
    Patchouli: Here’s another one who questions Patch 44 as a patch rec (it’s cured and drenched in vanilla!) and who votes for Montale Patchouli leaves. Or Coromandel or even Prada.
    Weird/VR: Les Nereides Oriental Lumpur (because it really does smell like a spice market with unusual perfume spices such as chilli and curry) and Profumum Fumidus (whoa, who burned rubber?)
    Fruits: CdG Sherbet Rhubarb, because rhubarb is da shit!
    Weird/VR/skank/leather: Dzing!, of course.
    Masculine: AG Duel, Yatagan, Antaeus
    Weird/VR/masculine: Cumming
    If you ever get the chance: Guet-Apens.
    Hmm, I think that’s it…

  • tmp00 says:

    Great list- I would ass Aomassai and Rahat Loukoum to the gourmands and Kiehl’s Original Musk to the musks (the gateway to MKK)

    • tmp00 says:

      BTW- was lavender left off for a reason? Because Reverie Au Jardin, Gris Clair and Encense et Lavande really should be in there.

      Or is that Perfume 301? :d

  • Tigs the late says:

    Looks great! I third 31 Rue Cambon. My recommendations:
    -For the fruit section (which is looking a little thin), Fleur des Comores, a wonderful pineapple/vanilla fragrance that many MUAers have panned because they can’t get over their MPG bias. (Colony is obviously another great pineapple.) How about the beautiful mango in Kenzo Jungle Tigre?
    – For the Classics I guess (or Chypre? Aldehydes?) the wonderful Lanvin Aperge.
    – For the Ambers (though not a “soliflore”) Andy’s L’air du desert marocain.

    By the way, when did Roja Dove redo Diorama? I love it, but then I read how Luca panned it as nothing close to the original in TEoS, and I wondered: “Wow, this is the crappy version?!?” Has Dove reformulated it since, and now it’s okay to love it?

  • Teri says:

    I’d like to propose a couple of additions to the Chypre category: Paloma Picasso and YSL’s Rive Gauche.

    Your lists (both of them) are excellent!

  • AngelaS says:

    Great list! It must have been fun to do. I agree with the other patchouli opinions–Patch 24 doesn’t smell a thing like patchouli to me. The Montale is almost a patchouli custard, but for a patch less sweet I’d go for Voleur de Roses. How about Vent Vert for the green category?

  • donanicola says:

    Great, thought provoking list, ta very much. It was interesting to chart my progress so to speak ie I’d heard of all those mentioned and had sniffed (and love!) a fair few of them. Couldn’t have said that last year. I third Dzing!, and second 31 rue Cambon as a modern chypre. Under classics how about Femme? Unless its already in 101 and I’m being lazy/dim….

  • Helen T says:

    Loving this list, and taking a mental trip down a scented memory lane at the thought of the Kenzo Jungle Elephant. I really wanted to own Elephant and Tiger, but they were out of my league at that time. Going to have to go see how they smell to me now. Along with the Bvlgari Black.

    In fact anything to get over the strawberry bubble bath someones just spilt round here. That should perhaps read allegedly strawberry bubble bath, with only the bubble bath bit not being in doubt.

  • What a wonderful list!

    Tam Dao would be in the “Woods” section, definitely. And Ava-Luxe Red Tara. And although I’m not a fan, I recognize Santal Blanc as one of those Great Serge Lutens I Do Not Get. I was also going to mention Bois des Iles, but I see it’s on Perfume 101.

    For the Gourmand section, you must include L’Artisan Vanilia for a sweet, smoky vanilla!

    Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories HAS to be on this list somewhere. It is so addictive.

  • Kelly says:

    Oh brother – I think I went in the spam filter. If someone would be so kind?

  • Kelly says:

    In Teas (typed “tease” the first time around :-"): CB’s Tea/Rose Maybe you hate rose, but you’ve GOT to smell it. Gives me goosebumps at first blast because it’s sooooooo good.

  • Suzanne says:

    Great list! Under “Smell Because We Say So,” I think you should include the Robert Piquet perfume house (specifically, the scents of Germaine Cellier). I think Fracas is one of those “must smell!” scents. A diva scent, for sure.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Suzanne! I’m sorta thinking that Fracas would be in 101. Bandit, though, really might need to go in here. It’s truly a marvel, and I wish I could find more of it in parfum. I found one bottle and not seen anymore since!

  • Judith says:

    quick comment: I do love Le labo Patch, but I don’t think it’s really a patchouli scent. Personally, I’d put it in the smoky group. For patch, I’d list Montale Patchouli leaves (as nattygold said), Mazzolari Patchouli.
    some others: oud Rose petals for a rose oud. (under oud)
    Rose Poivree and maybe Le Labo Rose for spicy roses (in the rose category).
    I know how you feel about this, but I really think Ambre Narguile should be listed under Amber. 🙂
    And to add to Marina’s wood category: 10 CC, Tam Dao, Samsara.

    • Patty says:

      We will be relying on all of you for the patch recommends. I think that’s why the Le Labo went there, I don’t think it’s very patchy either, and I love it! 🙂

      Believe it or not, The Nazgul made the 101 list. Just because I despise it on my skin doesn’t mean I don’t admire it. It’s truly a great scent on the right person, and I always wish it were me!

      • Judith says:

        Probably should add Jalaine Patch, too–loved by many.

        Sorry for not reading 101 first; I think I did some time ago–but I forgot. Love the Nazgul. 😡

      • tmp00 says:

        I thought that as well, but lately I am getting more patch from both this and Kolnisch Juchten, so can we consider them crossovers?

  • Marina says:

    Am I just not seeing them or are woody scents not listed? Bois des Iles, Feminite du Bois etc? 🙂

  • Lee says:

    My favourite grouping is skank, glorious skank – love all 3 of these madly, desperately, insatiably. I think that says all anyone needs to know…:”>

    I’d also put Encens et Lavande in the incense category – it’s the only one I regularly wear – and Arabie in there somewhere – it was my gateway drug and I love it beyond measure.

    Great listage, lovely ones!

    • Patty says:

      i really would have just put in that All the Serges need to be sniffed at some point or another because, well, it’s true. There are a couple that could be skipped over by me personally, but I know other people would argue. Encens really is the best original treatment of incense, just the contrast between the notes is pretty stunning and great.

  • Gail S says:

    Great list! I see one glaring omission, but I know I’m probably biased. Chergui! Chergui! Chergui! This is the single perfume that got me started on my life of…perfume 😉 I would never have gone looking for you guys if Chergui hadn’t stimulated my love of the niche perfumes.

  • Rita says:

    I have really grown fond of L’Artisan Dzing lately, but it was NOT love at first sniff. I think I first sampled this before my nose was ready-that first time was really frightening. Now that I am hopelessly addicted to seeking out new sniffing pleasures, I find many things I have tried in the past much easier to handle after giving them another try. Dzing is so (wonderfully)skanky on me, how could I not love this? I can understand why many people would not like it, but it is such an odd fragrance, I think every perfumista should smell it at least once, uh, make that twice…and by the way, Patty, you are endlessly tempting me with those Carons, I think I now have to make them next on my list.

    • March says:

      Do we not have Dzing! up there? Hmmmmm… it should definitely be on there somewhere, IMO.

    • Divalano says:

      I second the Dzing! vote. Also above, the request for a wood category. And fig, which to my nose doesn’t belong in with other fruits.
      I like L’Artisan Figuer Extreme (need to retry the regular one, too)
      Wood … still exploring all the Lutens woods but would be interested in learning about others. Been trying Nelly Rodi Bois & like it.
      And would love to see Datura Noir in there someplace. I adore it but know it’s not an “easy” scent.
      Incense: what about Joseph Statkus? It’s so far the only incense I can wear.
      Re: Nuit Noir … all I ever get from that is orange candy & spices. Can someone explain what the skank bits are like for them??

    • Patty says:

      Agree on the Dzing, I adore it and can’t believe it got left off. It’s one of those that make me so darn happy every time I have it on.

  • nattygold says:

    Montale’s patchouli Leaves is excellent and for their Blue Amber and the intoxicating Aoud Amber

    • Patty says:

      Okay, we’ll definitely have to add patchou, and when three people say patchouli leaves, then that’s one of the ones to go in there. 🙂

  • Gaia says:

    Wonderful list. My only additions would be a section of fig scents and a way to get all of Andy Tauer’s creations somehow into this. Le Maroc as a rose for non-rosy people? L’Air because it’s so amazing?
    Oh, also: Parfumerie Generale. They have the tuberose for tuberose-haters. And Aomassai, under “if it doesn’t kill you…”

  • Kim says:

    Thanks for another great list! Chanel No 5 should definitely be EdP or parfum – it is not at all the same in Edt – the EdP and parfum have much more depth and beauty. I’d Chanel No 22. A gorgeous classic – not sure which group to put it in since I get a stunning incense on my skin from the beginning that continues until the next day but apparently not everyone gets the incense. For amber, Tom Ford Amber Absolute. Would love to see a wood category. Totally agree about the Carons and would add Ormonde Jayne perfumes to the “smell because we said so” category – they are all so gorgeous even the ones I don’t wear.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Kim! I know at one time I had wood on there, and then I deleted it because the list of woody perfumes I love got just horribly long, and that was before March would add to it. I know we need to put it in there and just brutally cut it to a handful of things, but that’s a tough one!

  • Louise says:

    Great list! Not quite sure what qualifies as 201, or 2001, (or might be on the 101 list)-but a few of my favorite things (got that stuck in your head now? sorry…)

    Incense-Messe de Minuit, maybe Heeley Cardinal (so wearable);
    Perfect Night (also fits with skank)

    Amber-Montale Blue Amber

    Gourmand-but not too-Sushi Imperiale, Montale Biosee Vanille (with loads of skank, too), maybe Crime Exotique

    Patch-ditto the Montale Patchouli Leaves

    White Floral-does Datura Noir count? Still love it.

    Oud-Montale White Oud is a bit lighter, lovely

    • Louise says:

      Ooh! For Chypres-how about a “modern”-say-Rue Cambon?

      • Louise says:

        Jasmine-ooh, ha! I don’t even like the note on me, but seems important to add to the single-flower scents, not just white floral. So-Sarrasins, a La Nuit, whatever you jasmine fans admire most.

        • Rita says:

          I think Sarrasins should be sampled based on color alone. I received my sample from Patty yesterday and I know my face looked like a kid on Christmas! It is the most beautiful deep purple, it certainly does not look like perfume.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Louise! We may add another thing later just on single notes. There’s so many categories to cover, it just starts to get very, very long! 🙂

  • camille says:

    Great list!! It gives me some new things to try, and sent me scrambling over to 101 to see what I’ve missed. Love this blog!! =d>

    I was suprised to see only one patch on 201 (and of course it’s one that I haven’t tried!). My current faves (I’ve been in a serious patch mood lately 🙂 ) are Les Nereides’, Montale’s, and Mazzolari’s. Maybe there are more on 101 and I missed them? Need to check again…:-b

    Thanks again for more goodies to look for and sample!

    • March says:

      Camille — this is NOT our idea of a complete list. We got part of the way through and decided to let you folks do the work for us.:d And look how right we were! So — yes, we need more patch, definitely.

    • Patty says:

      yeah, that and neither March or I are patch-heavy in our likes, so the patch recommendations are very welcome! As are any other areas we missed.

  • minette says:

    hi. fun list! a few others come to mind:

    ambers: l’artisan ambre extreme; must parfum

    white florals: carolina herrera (fantastic and affordable); jil sander no. 4; mpg jardin blanc

    skank: amoureuse; dark gift custom blend (bourbon french)

    teas: tea for two; the pour un ete; bulgari red tea

    smell ’em if you can: piguet visa parfum

  • Carol says:

    I’m a student, working diligently on earning my perfumista degree, who practically memorized 101. Many thanks for 201 -I love it!!!

  • sweetlife says:

    This is fabulous. Will read it again tomorrow when I have more time and see if I can think of anything to add or amend (think I might be able to help out your gourmand category…).

    Truly, I think the most important thing is the final paragraph. To me the true perfume 201 or 10001 is to be able to sniff on my own and have confidence in my taste and my love while at the same time being willing to expand my definition of what I consider great.

    • Patty says:

      Totally agree. I love some stuff other people think is insipid, and I hate some stuff other people think is a masterpiece, and that’s perfectly great! It’s like art without the annoying attitude. 🙂