Your top 26-50 Perfumes for 2008

Being raised on a farm, my parents were very traditional about the roles of men and women.  Women did women’s work and men’s work, and men only did men’s work. That left the women to do farmwork, plus all the cooking, cleaning and housework.  It took me until about the age of 8 to see that as the crap deal it was.  From that day forward, I hated cooking, and I never looked back on that decision to hate.

Up until now, I do as little of it as I can and caterwaul every time I get stuck cooking anything. By Jeeves, my favorite delivery service, can never go out of business or I will live on toasted cheese sandwiches and crackers.

This thought has entered my mind recently:  perhaps the things I think I hate bear the scrutiny of an adult and not a torched little girl. So… I’ve signed up for some cooking classes. Tonight was fish and seafood, and it was flipping great!  Sometimes it turns out that what hate are the things you don’t really know how to do well, and when you learn about them, without fear, the door opens to something you may learn to love.

For those of you new’ish to perfume and overwhelmed, especially when we trot out these lists of perfumes you may never have heard of, think of it as a reference list to go back to over the years.   Don’t be scared, you just sniff a few things at a time, these perfumes will be around forever.

Without further ado, these are the next 25 perfumes voted on by you guys for 2008 (not perfumes new in 2008, but of all perfumes).  It’s an interesting next tier to the list.

  • Bond Chinatown
  •  Guerlain Vol de Nuit
  • Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan
  • Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan  (woo-hooo!!!)
  • Caron Narcisse Noir
  • Comme des Garcons Avignon
  • Chanel No. 22 (for you, March)
  • Frederice Malle Parfume de Therese
  • Guerlain Attrape-Coeur
  • Guerlain Bois d’Armenie
  • Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
  • L’Artisan Tea for Two
  • Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle
  • Serge Lutens Un Bois vanille
  • Bvlgari Black
  • Caron Parfum Sacre
  • Chanel Coco
  • Dior Diorissimo
  • Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil
  • L’Artisan Safran Troublant
  • Parfum DelRae Amoureuse
  • Serge Lutens A La Nuit
  • The Different Company Sel de Vetiver
  • Balmain Jolie Madame
  • Caron En Evion

Tomorrow or this weekend I’ll post the rest of the top 100, just so y’all can have the entire list.  What perfume are you most disappointed did not make the top 50?

  • Joe805 says:

    Good Grief! L’Artisan Timbuktu is pretty much my holy grail and it’s not here. That’s ok… more for me!

    Also surprised that of The Different Company line, Sel de Vetiver made it and Bois d’Iris did not.

  • rachelsf says:

    I was surprised that Chamade and Bandit didn’t make the cut. Fabulous list though. It has given me lots of ideas on new things to try.

  • Kim says:

    glad you are taking cooking classes – I was lucky to learn how to cook from my mother, both special occasion cooking and daily cooking. And she is a good cook!

    Thank you for doing this interesting survey. I was surprised to see no Parfumerie Generale anywhere on the list. I am new to this line but have been very impressed with it, especially Corps et Ames and Aomassai – both are brilliant and full-bottle worthy!

  • dianawr says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for the shout out to we new perfumistas. I really do use the lists as a reference, and as an improverished, living on my loans law student, they tend to be more dream lists than anything else. Getting my name drawn is, without a doubt, possibly the second best thing to happen to me this semester.

    The first was being gifted a bottle of 100% Love, completely unexpected, which I am also sorry to see did not make the top 50.

  • March says:

    Congratulations on your cooking class! That’s wonderful — I would be surprised if you don’t really enjoy them, free to savor the results for yourself and not trying to please fussy kids, etc. I used to really like to cook before I “had” to do it, every day for dinner. I feel like what I am doing now hardly qualifies as cooking any more. 🙁

  • Justine says:

    Cooking on a Friday or Saturday night: great fun. Cooking nightly dinners: great chore. I get so I hate having to be the one who decides what we’re eating, in addition to cooking it! I often say “I feel I was born with so many meals to cook in me…and I’m quickly reaching that number.” After which, I’ll make myself a burrito and let everyone worry about feeding themselves.

    I like this list more than the first, which was full of too many classics for my taste. Not that the classics don’t have a place in my collection…

  • aelily says:

    Where are you taking cooking classes? I’ve been thinking about doing that myself, but I’m not really sure how to find a class. Maybe you can point me in the right direction.

    Thanks for compling the lists, though they just make my TPC wish list grow longer and longer…;;)

  • Elle says:

    You’re a saint for doing this list! Thanks! Have to admit I have a thing for lists. Love making them, love reading them.
    I’m sorry more OJs didn’t make the list and I’d have loved to have seen a couple of SIPs, Jalaines or Yosh scents on there – I guess I will just have to continue w/ my tireless campaigning for them. 🙂 Oh, and one of DSH’s Rouge series. I always think she’s underappreciated. She *needs* someone to edit her site.
    How cool about the cooking classes! I adore the idea of cooking, but simply never seem to have any time for it. I think it’s an amazing art form. In my next inc. I want to come back as Nigella Lawson or Alex Guarnaschelli.

  • Disteza says:

    I’m at a loss for words that Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca didn’t make it on either list–I know I’m not the only one who loves it. Oh well, maybe next year?

  • sariah says:

    I’m surprised that the cuddly gourmands that used to always show up on the MUA top 25 are not even in the top 50 – Ambre Narguile, POTL, Rahat Loukoum………either perfumista taste has changed a lot in the last few years, or the people that voted here are not the people who voted on MUA.

    Thanks for doing the survey Patty!

  • violetnoir says:

    This is a fantastic list, too, Patty. I mean, any one of these could have been in the top 25, too.

    So many great fragrances…so little time, heh, heh!

    And good for you for learning how to cook! Woo-hoo! It truly is a very thin line between love and hate (a word I have tried to banish from my vocabulary unless something is truly abhorrent).

    Hugs and love!

  • Lee says:

    I’m not codding when I say there’s a plaice for cooking in everyone’s lives, even if, like Musette, its frequency can give you a haddock. I don’t want to carp on, but I’m a dab hand at some dishes, though the list of ingredients in complex recipes leaves me eel-at-ease. I like simple stuff, otherwise I flounder. A friend of mine – I group ‘er with the anti-cookers – says the attempt to cook anything can mackerel (I know – it’s a squeeze!). She’s sad at the moment; I don’t want to correct her tilapia.


    Great list by the way!

  • perfumequeen says:

    Awesome lists! I am surprised more of the “usual” Hermes didn’t make it, but that’s opinion!

    Try fine cokking magazine – – recipes are easy, really good/creative and they explain a ton of technique…

  • Musette says:

    ps. meant to offer congrats on your taking up cooking for pleasure. I think cooking/cleaning/whatever is like anything else – it’s not much fun if it’s an everyday chore. I used to LOVE cooking, did a couple stints as a sous, but living down here, with no access to anything beyond basic hamburgers or pizza, I’ve had to resort to cooking 3 squares, 6 days a week, plus do a lot of cooking for my father’s household (the CNA isn’t a cook). Consequently I’ve begun to dislike it.

    And we won’t even get into the whole women’s/mens work debacle8-| way more fun to talk about fish recipes and perfume!


  • Lindsey9107 says:

    Very interesting!

    I’m not too fond of cooking, either…but luckily I married someone who is into it. I’m his food muse. I usually suggest things for the menu and he is generally very open to trying to learn to make new things I dream up.

    With respect to 25-50, I think Bal a Versailles should be replaced with Tauer Le Maroc Pour Elle@};-, and A La Nuit with Sarrasins. Just my personal opinion. I guess I can’t complain because I didn’t vote. (Is there a sheepish looking smiley?)

  • Musette says:

    Patty –

    Wow. This is definitely a labor of love! Thanks so much for compiling such an exhaustive list! the 26-50 list is more esoteric, IMO, with fewer mainstream classics which probably speaks to the more avant-garde mindset of this Posse. I’m stunned that Bal beat out Diorissimo in placement (love them both) and I’m really surprised that T42 beat out Dzonghka – but that’s the fun of these kinds of lists, innit?


  • helenviolette says:

    What? No Pink Sugar? (he-he)

    I am surprised that no Lauders made the top 50, and no Habanita, no Diorling…but I guess that should not be a huge surprise since Bulgari Black/Parfum Sacre only made top 50…

  • Debbie says:

    Your poor female farmers! With my grandparents, she covered the cooking, cleaning, little garden, chickens. It was my grandfather who did all of the field and livestock work (big livestock). I think the cooking did add some hours to her time. I mean, she had to be up cooking breakfast before he went out and then had dinner and cleanup once he came in. Hmmmm….

    How I loved the chickens, searching for eggs (even if the smell wasn’t the greatest), the mullberry trees/bushes behind the coups, the bright zinnias in the little garden, the weeping willow, the sound of crickets, her cooking….

    Enjoy your classes! If you want another resource to generates excitement, fun and lots of information, check out Recipezaar. It also has a search engine to find things based on all kinds of variables.

    Thank you so much for putting together the lists!

  • Shelley says:

    As for farming, gender roles, and such, I have to give my parents credit where credit is do. The last farmers in my family tree were great-grandparents–though gardening continues to this day. My mom was great about both involving me in cooking, AND giving me my own toolbox and showing me how to use what was inside. (I remember telling my kindergarden teacher the difference between a phillips head and flat head screwdriver.) Any reasons I became cooking averse have largely to do with the multiple demands of outside job and family work…fortunately, spouse picked up the slack when I became overwhelmed.

    I rather miss Hermes Hiris, or for that matter, and one of a handful of good irises out there. Perhaps votes got spread amongst a pack that would include Iris Silver Mist, Iris Bleu Gris, Iris Nobile, Bois d’Iris? Of course, I am an iris fan, so I’m trying to give props to my peeps…

    (Hah! Switched gears from yesterday’s pirate talk…) :-j

  • Kristy Victoria says:

    I’m a little surprised that neither White Aoud nor Sycomore made it up there!

  • kathleen says:

    I love to cook. The more I have to chop the better, such a great catharsis. Just pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and go for it. Now that you are doing it out of desire instead of duty, you will probably enjoy it. Combining flavors and textures. Matching wines to meals. What’s not to love?
    The list is wonderful. I’m not disappointed about any of it. There are so many that are on my own list of fragrances to try. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

  • allabouteve says:

    My mother is a terrific cook (really great, she’s one of those who seems to have a magic wand that turns simple things to delicatessen!)But that’s also a problem, because I am a total loser in the kitchen. I love to eat, but I just don’t seem to have the patience to learn to cook..ok, I can handle some simple things (I make super interesting salads or tortillas de patata, that’s true!)..but nothing else! It’s true though that I started to see this Tv-show about an english cook called Jamie Oliver…anybody out there know him? He’s just sooooooo fabulous!Simple,easy and delicious! And he’s so cool about it!!I like to watch him..maybe he’s the one who’ll make a “chef” out of me!
    (btw, I’d also like to thank you for your hard work! )
    (I never thought Tea for Two was so beloved!)
    (what about my favorite Hermessence?? Vetiver Tonka and Poivre Samarkande? Nobody like them?)

  • Maura says:

    Fab writing Patty! I don’t enjoy doing things I’m *forced* to do either…including cooking/cleaning…but I’ve found an enjoyment in seeing the results and the look of happy faces at the table!

    Where…oh…where has Fifi gone? I’m getting wonderful wafts of remnants this morning. She was beaten out by Amoureuse?? Shocked and dismayed…:o

    • Maura says:

      Forgot to ask…how many voters did you get for the female fragrances? Just curious…thanks!

  • Francesca says:

    I was surprised how many of your top 50 I’m familiar with, since I’m still relatively new to perfumes. Looking forward to seeing the results for the next 50. Nice to see Bois d’Armenie there! Just last weekend I got a compliment on it when I wore it to the farmers’ market.

    So nice that you are taking/enjoying your cooking classes. Cooking can be so much fun, whether you just throw together a simple, tasty meal, or follow a more elaborate recipe. It’s such a pleasure to serve a well-planned meal to those you love—and to know for yourself how delicious it all is.

  • Louise says:

    Thanks again, Patty, for all the hard assembly work!

    Many of my much-enjoyeds got on this list, as well as #1-25. I think overall it is loads of fun to compare preferences, but I love having scents that are no one else’s pets. I guess I sort of like the fact that the Montales didn’t make the list, and especially that my Arabian Oud shop perfumes aren’t here. Prestige al Arabia remains my darling, but I don’t mind that others don’t know it (yet) or favor it.

    How about a list of “Favorite Undiscovered/Weird/Rare” Pet Perfumes? :d/

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, I am not going to dwell on the fact that MKK did’nt make the top 25. Much.

    I am going to write congrats on the cooking thing. I confess that I was drawn to it early- all those yummy things coming out of the kitchen- I wanted to be there at the licking-the-bowl stage. That and I was glued to Julia Child as a kid. How did my parents not guess? Or perhaps they did and encouraged it in the fond hope that if they did live to their old age (which they sadly didn’t) there would be a son cranking out delicacies and making sure the nose hair situation was taken care of? New Englanders are nothing if not practical…

  • Elizabeth says:

    Now THAT is my kind of list!! I think I prefer those to the top 25, actually. Is that heresy? 😮

    • Debbie says:

      I *know* I prefer this list to the first 25. I’m really looking forward to the next 50!

  • Calypso says:

    Thanks, Patty, for your hard work compiling these results. It’s fun because you feel vindicated if some of your top choices show up and if others are there you think “Oh, I’ve got to try those.” As for surprises, it’s funny there’s no Hermes scents, I’d expect at least something, like Eau des Merveilles. Also Malle’s Noir Epices. And nothing from Montale? I wonder if they’re just not very well known or if people are too put off by the ouds? Some of them are really fabulous!!

    Enjoy your cooking classes!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Noir Épices doesn’t get enough love, IMO. But there are a few Hermès scents up there, unless I’m misunderstanding you. I do think Osmanthe Yunnan belongs there, but I’d choose several other Hermès frags over Un Jardin.