Fragrances: the quick ‘n dirty beginners’ guide, part two

I don’t want to write too much of an introduction for this, but simply put: here’s a few lists of fragrances that I think are worth checking out! Are there more worth mentioning? Certainly — but I wanted to keep this list fairly short, so most of the “harder to wear” (and harder to find!) scents have been left out. Fragrance doesn’t have to be exclusive to be good, and you shouldn’t have to pay a ton in order to figure out what you like! One of these days, I’m sure you’ll all see your first niche price tag, but for now? I’ll try to prevent that heart attack.

(Just kidding. I’m lusting after Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille right now, and it boasts a $225 price tag.)

Deciphering your tastes

Aquolina: Pink Sugar. Sweet and syrupy. A teenage gourmand on steroids — and yet, it can really suit some people! (In a good way, I assure you.)
Balenciaga: Balenciaga Paris. Demure and understated; I can’t get enough of this fruity floral.
Chanel: Cristalle. Light, fresh, and very… Chanel.
Coty: Vanilla Fields. A basic-but-beautiful entrance vanilla (or so I’ve been told! I still haven’t tried this one.)
D&G: Light Blue. Fresh, juicy, clean. A no-perfume perfume that has become overwhelmingly popular. It now bores me half to death, but this was my first fragrance love!

Dior: J’adore. A delicious ultrafeminine floral with sillage aplenty.
DKNY: Be Delicous. This is about as clean as fruity scents go — hey there, green apple! Though this is overwhelmingly popular, I can’t bring myself to love it… there’s just something there that’s too synthetic for me.
Hanae Mori: Hanae Mori Butterfly. Woody and oriental; a sweet, warm vanilla.
Kenzo: FlowerbyKenzo. Finally, a floral that smells simply of an interesting flower! Soft and not too crisp.
Kiehl’s: Musk. Another that I haven’t tried yet, but it’s said to be a very pure incarnation of musk — which makes it a great think to smell if you’re starting out!
Lolita Lempicka: Lolita Lempicka. I’ve never loved this, but I do love the gorgeous bottle! Crisp, warm, and sweet.

Narciso Rodriguez: Narciso Rodriguez For Her EdT. Musky and woodsy, though it can be overwhelming. Interesting.
Marc Jacobs: Daisy. One word: supergreenfloral.

Prada: Prada. A good leather is hard to find (no, really — the good leathers are a pain in the butt to track down,) but some people get a bit of a leathery note from this sexy, woody perfume. Again, not for the faint of heart!
Prada: L’Eau Ambree. A fragrance that quite honestly changed the way I viewed fragrance. 

Robert Piguet: Fracas. You know when people say “big white floral”? Yah.
Serge Lutens: Ambre Sultan. Incense, minus the strange tree-hugging populus. (I have no qualms with tree-huggers. Even I’ve hugged trees on occasion. But I do not like most incense sticks!)
Thierry Mugler: Angel. I don’t even know what to say. Loud. Love-it-or-hate-it. Wear sparingly.
Victor & Rolf: Flowerbomb. Another love-it-or-hate-it that has become immensely popular over the past year or so. Unabashedly loud and floral. 

Iconic fragrances

Chanel: No. 5 EdP or parfum. Classic aldyhidic floral. Heck, it even has its own Wikipedia page!
Chanel: Coco EdT and EdP (they’re very different) and Coco Mademoiselle. It’s rare that a flanker becomes more popular than the original fragrance, but Mademoiselle added a sweet edge to the distinguished “floriental” Coco and turned into an instant (and ongoing) hit.
Dior: Poison. I guarentee you’ve smelled this on someone else at least once in your life — so head to the counter and try a spritz of this bold creation, even if it’s just for an afternoon. 
Estée Lauder: Youth Dew. The first fragrance ever marketed specifically for women to buy for themselves… it had to be included!
Guerlain: Shalimar. Warm, oriental, and very bold. This may not be for the faint of heart, but it’s worth a smell anyway!
YSL: Opium. A true oriental; loud, brash, and stunningly spicy.

images credit


This is by no means a complete list (there’s no such thing, frankly,) so: fellow fragrance junkies, what would you add to this list? (And why?) Let us know in the comments, but make sure that it’s accessible!

Want more? Check out part one here, and come back tomorrow for our final installment!
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