Coco Chanel once said, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory”. Yet, with so many choices on the fragrance counter these days, choosing a new signature scent can be an overwhelming task for even the most die-hard perfume lover. You can narrow your choices by first deciding which of the main fragrance categories you are most drawn to—oriental, floral, woody or fresh. The Fragrance Wheel, widely used to define scents can also help you pinpoint a favorite. Once you have selected your most desired notes, why not let the experts recommend their top blends.
The Fragrance Foundation’s prestigious Fifi awards have the best-known brands, newcomers and private labels all competing for the highest honor of Fragrance of the Year. “The Fifi Awards is all about honoring and highlighting fragrance creation through all its many facets. Showing off, if you will, the most marvelous creativity, the abundance of talent, the most beautiful fragrances in the world,“ said Rochelle Bloom, President of the Fragrance Foundation.
This year’s top winners were Tom Ford’s Violet Blond in the women’s category, and Gucci Guilty Pour Homme in the men’s. Following is a complete list of the winning fragrances that just might include the notes of your next signature scent.
by Tom Ford
Tom Ford Violet Blonde is an opulent, dressed-up fragrance that reveals a stunning new facet of violet with an intriguing elegance. Made with some of the most precious ingredients in the world, it is crafted accordingly to the finest traditions of European perfumery. It has notes of violet leaf absolute, Italian mandarin, baie rose, Tuscan orris absolute, Tuscan orris butter, jasmine sambac, sampaquita, cedarwood, vetiver, musk and soft suede.
34 BOULEVARD SAINT GERMAIN
This winner celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Diptyque boutique located on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain and known for its eclectic mementos and rare scents. The result is a fragrance that has an innovative and complex signature. Developed around a chypre backbone, the base notes of wood and balms add comfort and create addiction. It is a rich fragrance suitable for men and women.
JOHN VARVATOS STAR USA
Welcome to the mystical world of John Varvatos Star USA. This casual yet elegant fragrance opens the window on a brand new fragrance vision, tailored for those with a “sixth sense” for seeing things differently. Its fresh and woody scent is infused with a lot of soul and spiked with red ginger, green cardamom, vetiver, cedrat from Italy and tonka bean.
GUILTY POUR HOMME
This fragrance is a powerful mix of excitement, allure, and sensuality. It awakens the senses with a burst of zesty lemon, cool lavender, and spicy pink pepper. The subtle heart notes then reinforce the fragrance’s clean freshness, creating a bridge to the sensual and provocative woodiness in the base. As it dries down, the scent focuses the hallmark of all Gucci fragrances, patchouli, and mingles alluringly with cedar, sandalwood, and amber. The overall effect is young, stylish, and sexy.
Coco Mademoiselle is a feminine and exciting fragrance that is meant to represent the irrepressible spirit of the young Coco Chanel. This Chypre Floral fragrance was created by the famed nose, Jacques Polge with notes of orange, bergamot, mimose, jasmine, Turkish rose and ylang-ylang, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver and white musk.
JASMIN ROUGE PRIVATE BLEND
by Tom Ford
Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge is a sensuous and voluptuous spiced floral. An unexpected blend of precious sambac jasmine sepals absolute, an ingredient never used before in perfumery. It is blended with dusky clary sage and rich spices, for a scent that reveals a new facet of Tom Ford’s sexy glamour. Jasmin Rouge is as bold as bright red lips and should carry a warning label that reads, “beware of its erotic decadence.”
24 Faubourg is classified as a floral fragrance. Launched by Hermès in 1995, this light and feminine scent possesses a blend of orange blossom, amber, vanilla, and blooming fresh cut flowers. Created by the nose Maurice Roucel, it also carries notes of iris and wood for a sensuous and mysterious quality.
ANTHROPOLOGIE 1922 EAU DE PARFUM
by Lily Sanguine
To evoque the exotic and mysterious experiences of young women touring the Far East in the 1920s, this scent is a decadent oriental bouquet with floral accords. The fragrance is housed in an amethyst-colored glass bottle with a sculptural pair of birds, honoring a major design motif of that era. Created by the nose Rodrigo Flores, it has notes of acacia flower absolute, Tunisian neroli and hawthorn, mixed with orange flower absolute, Regal Lily iris and Madagascar vanilla.
CURVE APPEAL FOR MEN
by Elizabeth Arden
Created for a confident younger man, Curve Appeal for Men is a magnetic and sexy blend of cool citrus and sensuous spice, with hints of suede and musk. It also offers up notes of bergamot, cedar wood, iced pear, mandarin and amber.
ACQUA DI GIO POUR HOMME
A masculine scent, it honors the sea, the sun, the earth, and the breeze of a Mediterranean island. Transparent, aromatic and woody, it contains marine and citrus notes with bergamot, neroli, persimmon, rosemary, jasmine, amber and patchouli.
by Heidi Klum
Launched in 2011 by the design house of Heidi Klum, this exotic and sparkling fragrance opens with notes of mandarin, pink pepper and pear. Its heart contains mimosa absolute, lily of the valley and sunflower. The base is composed of vanilla, and tonka beans from Venezuela lead to an alluring powdery trail of sandalwood and musk.
COMME UNE EVIDENCE GREEN
by Yves Rocher
Launched last February, this new fresh, woody men’s fragrance by Yves Rocher is the sequel to Comme une évidence Homme, first introduced in 2008. Inspired by nature, this scent was created by perfumer Ursula Wandel, using notes of lime, mint, sage and patchouli with a focus on green, aromatic and woody accords.
Prada Candy, an instantly seductive fragrance in which notes of white musk come together with a caramel touch to give this scent a truly unique signature. While its top note is a pop of caramel, its middle note is musk with a powdery sophistication that blends into a base of sensuous vanilla.
NEW YORK OUD
by Bond No.9
At Bond No. 9, the Oud has transformed itself into a smooth and sumptuous rose bouquet that spins off into earthy notes of musky teakwood and vetiver to create a unique urban scent. It is also enhanced with notes of red plum, saffron, orange zest, red rose, patchouli and honey.
by Victoria’s Secret
Marketed as the fragrance every angel wants, this winner is a sexy cocktail of sparkling plum, sheer violet and amber notes. Classified as a floral, this scent is the perfect balance of freshness and sultry warmth with more notes of plum, violet, pink pepper, gardenia, amber, musk and agar wood.
SIGNATURE COLLECTION FOR MEN
by Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works has created a classic and refined, masculine blend of bourbon pepper and royal wood. It resembles a high-end sports fragrance without the overpowering feel you can sometimes get from some men’s colognes. This scent is also accentuated with notes of apple, cardamom, nutmeg and sandalwood, with a hint of vanilla and clean musk. ■