My Favorite Perfumes of All Time

Let’s talk about something we all love – perfumes! Isn’t it amazing how shimming through our favorite scent can almost instantly lift us? We have all sorts of fragrances and smells we respond to from the moment we wake up. For instance, I love waking up to the smell of coffee. My mind associates it with new beginnings. It’s probably why I make myself a cup of coffee, every time I start working on something new.

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Quite often, of all our senses, we allocate more significance to sight and taste, rightfully so. But it fascinates me how even a subtle smell, be it freshly baked pastries or someone’s perfume, can evoke memories and emotions associated with an event or a person.

I am obsessed with scents. I love to leave a few scented candles burning in my room, every evening, and I even make my own lavender bed linen spray sometimes. So, as you can imagine my fragrance wardrobe is an essential part of my life, but I rarely wander away from my classics. However, once in a while, I try something new. But with so many perfumes for women in the market, from celebrity perfume lines and whatnot, how do you go about selecting a scent that compliments your style?

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Do you walk into a perfume store and spritz a few testers and go ‘voila’ or…do you read a few reviews and recommendations before heading to a store? Being the latter, I am often disappointed with most perfume reviews out there as they tend to focus more on the composition. Of course, it is important, but do you find yourself scrolling up and down looking for a little more detail than just an overview that’s pretty identical to every other review you’ve already seen online?

So today, I took it upon me to discuss my all-time favorite perfumes on WCMP, hoping it would help some of you who share the same sentiment. Just to paint a picture, my visual aesthetic is “pearls and roses” if that resonates with you, you might like some of these I’ve listed here.

Morning and Mid-Day Fragrances I love

I love to start my day with a fresh scent, for me, a crisp and clean fragrance is often synonymous with breezy florals. Some of you might like something more citrusy or aqua, even musky woody notes but I like to keep it mild and fresh with a soft feminine fragrance. So definitely a light perfume-like Versace Bright Crystal (EDT).

I know it was launched eons ago (2006) but I’ve loved it for a long time. I just hop out of my shower and with a few spritzes, I instantly feel refreshed. There’s an immediate happy feeling that makes me look forward to my day. For some, it’s a song, and for some of us it’s our favorite perfume, there’s nothing wrong with that!

Now if you have used Dior Addict 2 (I love Christian Dior perfumes, they are amazing!), it’s somewhat close to that because it has citrus – floral top notes, and it’s also a very fresh watery fragrance but a little more intense than the VBC. VCB floral notes (Peony, Lotus, and Magnolia) are at the heart, and it has citrus – fruity top notes (Yuzu and pomegranate). Both have a woody musky base. Unfortunately, the Dior Addict 2 was discontinued. Another alternative to Versace Bright Crystal would be Givenchy Very Irresistible except it is a bit more aromatic floral, rosy to be more precise. It’s a very feminine fragrance and would last for a good couple of hours. Burberry Brit Sheer (EDT) is on the other hand is also a gorgeous perfume that’s pretty similar to Bright Crystal by Versace. If you are wondering, the Burberry Brit Sheer is not discontinued, it’s still available on their website, the confusion is probably caused by the change in packaging that happened a few years ago.

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So, let’s talk more about Versace Bright Crystal! It kicks off with a mild citrusy Yuzu and Pomegranate combination and then dries off into a tender flowery explosion, that feels like spring. These floral scents are what my heart is after. If I were to envision, it would be like stepping into a garden filled with Peonies and Magnolias and you pick them up as you go along, except you must walk through a field of lemon-scented foliage to reach the florals. I know it may seem like an exaggeration but just so you get an idea. VBC has a delicate floral fragrance. I used to wear it to work in the mornings, and on days I used to take the office transport, I liked that it wasn’t too overpowering, yet remained a pleasantly charming scent.

Top: Yuzu, Pomegranate, Frosted accord

Heart: Peony Magnolia, Lotus

Base: Amber, Woody

The downside though, is that it is not exceptionally long-lasting. Versace Bright Crystal Absolu (EDP) might be a better choice for you if you prefer something similar but long-lasting. It is sensual and intense, but it retains the freshness of VCB by being tangy, bright, and transparent. Yuzu notes are more intense than the pomegranate. While VCB is more floral at the heart VCB Absolu has both fruity and floral notes; raspberries and peonies to be more precise. The base has a similar trail of sensually woody and sweet musky notes.

Since I prefer VCB, I used to wear it in the morning before I left for work and freshen up during the day with a more fruity-floral scent like Be Delicious Fresh Blossom by DKNY.

DKNY BE DELICIOUS | FRESH BLOSSOM 

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It’s one of my happy perfumes! Another fresh, fruity-floral, and flirty fragrance that just picks you up. It starts with a playful fruit frenzy with apricots and grapefruit and dries down to more ethereal feminine floral notes like jasmines and roses. I think it’s perfect for tropical weather like in Sri Lanka, but also is something I’d wear during spring and summer.
The thing about Fresh Blossom by Donna Karan New York is that the floral notes are on point and they are not nauseating. The rose petal and jasmine trail is quite alluring, and the grapefruit and apple balance it off with subtle flirtatiousness. You know how there is this light airy freshness after a rain, I think Be Delicious by DKNY exudes that feeling.

Top: Grapefruit, Cassis berry(blackcurrants), Apricot

Heart: Lily of the ValleyRose, Jasmine, Apple

Base: Woodsy notes

The difference between fresh blossom and the original is the delectable floral notes. An everyday scent but you might have to use it a couple of times a day as it lasts only a few hours. You could also try to layer it with DKNY Fresh Blossom Perfume Body Lotion to make the scent last a little longer. I love this when I’m brunching with the girls or just running errands during the day. For some, this can be a little too playful. I mean if you prefer a more sensual warm kind of fragrance, this might not be the right fit for you. I used this more often in my twenties, now that I have stepped into my thirties, I still carry it with me on a casual day running around in the city or meeting up with some friends. For me, it is a daytime scent and I love the subtle playful vibe so a must-have in my perfume wardrobe.
Now to one of my absolute favorite iconic perfumes of all times. Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming. It completely resonates with my style and evokes impressions of the femininity and the seductive rebelliousness portrayed by Natalie Portman. I adore her! She is playful, yet charmingly elegant and graceful.
So as far as the notes go it is also a fruity – floral blend but with the addition of the sweetness and spiciness of pink peppers.

MISS DIOR ABSOLUTELY BLOOMING

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For a light scent, it is quite long-lasting and there is a richness to it, but it is not overpowering. If you look at life with a little sense of humor and playfulness this could be for you. I think it’s the essence of a carefree woman in a bottle! Sweet, gracious, ethereal, passionate, romantic, refined, and irresistible … I can go on! There is this positive and larger-than-life vibe associated with this perfume. As Dior itself describes it, “Absolutely Blooming is a cheerful perfume for a woman who enjoys life.”
Again, for me, it is daytime wear but could be suitable for evening as well. The red berry and rose concoction make you stand out when worn on a night out. I love to spray it on my wrist before I go to bed, and when I wake up I could still smell it. It’s amazing!

Top: Raspberry, Pomegranate, Cassis, Pink Peppercorn

Heart: Grasse Rose, Damascus Rose and Peonies

Base: White Musk

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If you ask me, the difference between Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming and Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet is that the latter starts with a citrusy floral accord unlike the former which has fruitier – pomegranate, raspberry notes at the top. If I were to wear a Dior fragrance on a night out, I’d choose Miss Dior Eau de perfume, one of the top scents by Dior House of Perfume. François Demachy, Parfumeur-Créateur Dior said, “I crafted its florality to render it carnal and suggestive. It had to burst like that feeling of falling head over heels. A declaration of love to love!” 

Usually, Dior perfumes last for a good 4-5 hours but you could always layer it up with a shower gel, body crème and fresh rose body oil to prolong this irresistibly romantic scent. And if you didn’t know already, they have this incredible Miss Dior Hair Mist!

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What makes this luxury label by LVMH so special? For me, the brand resonates with my personality and style. But there’s more. Dior fragrances are made of more natural ingredients as opposed to those scents that are mostly synthesized in a lab.  Despite the sourcing process being very nature-dependent, that can be slow, unpredictable, and labor-intensive, their commitment to remain responsible in their sourcing, is quite remarkable.

If you have not yet watched NOSE, the new Dior Perfume documentary, you should! It is now available on Apple TV or Amazon Prime.

Evening Fragrances I love 

SI (Iconic)BY GIORGIO ARMANI

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So, you know as we grow old, how  many things evolve with us, from our sense of fashion to our priorities and preferences? I do not know if my younger self would’ve embraced the iconic Si by Giorgio Armani, but I  love this perfume. It’s my go-to perfume, for date nights or an evening function or a night out.

When I received a small sample bottle of Sì Eau De Parfum along with some other purchase, I thought, no, definitely not my kind of perfume. Probably because I had already decided it was one of those warm spicy perfumes but one day I was just rushing out and dabbed a little bit because it was just lying there on my desk. To my surprise, it smelled incredible on my skin. If I were to describe it in one word – Exotic! It’s a more sophisticated and sensual fragrance suited for the contemporary woman. It exudes a powerful balance between strength and femininity. Definitely, an evening fragrance for me, because the warm vanilla notes might pass off as too intense to be worn during the warm spring-summer daytime.

Top: Blackcurrant nectar

Heart: Freesia and Rose of Mai

Base: Musky blond wood, Vanilla

For a classy and mature perfume, Si EDP still has a lovely floral concoction at the heart of it, but the vanilla and musky blond woody base, beautifully envelops these fruity floral notes to give a more distinctive trail that lingers on for a long while. So, if you think you have an elegant, independent, and seductive personality, I’d say you would love this Giorgio Armani perfume. It is one of the classic fragrances and despite being launched many years ago, it still is one of the top perfumes of all times.

Word of caution though, a little goes a long way. Being a rich fragrance, it’s best not to splurge yourself. It is also perfect for a date night because it’s said that men love a nice warm vanilla scent as opposed to cool floral-fruity scents.

Tip: Take some argon oil on your palm, add a few spritzes of SÌ Eau De Parfum and rub it together between your palms and sweep it through your hair. Now, is this healthy, does it damage your hair in the long run, I can’t say, but I can tell you that it will leave your hair smelling heavenly, throughout the night. And the thing about hair that smells like heaven is, that it’s quite striking.

I couldn’t quite surely say I’ve come across a close contender to this one, but this line has a few options to choose from, I always like to stick with the Iconic, but the others offer slight variations in notes and intensity. Overall, I think this has the right mix of sultry and soft feels. It is also one of the best perfumes by Armani. If I could pick just two perfumes from this list, It would be Si Iconic and Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming, but if I must just pick one, it would be the Miss Dior Eau de perfume. 

You can’t make an all-time favourite perfume list, without mentioning one of the oldest perfumes that have consistently made it to the top of the list of both, best-smelling and best-selling perfumes in the world – Chanel N°5. It is the classic perfume! Designed in 1921, when most perfumes carried one single note House of Chanel introduced this concoction of many and hasn’t deviated from its composition of aldehydes and florals layered over a warm, woody base.

It’s said that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel wanted her perfumer at the time to come up with a scent that smelled like a woman, not a bed of flowers and he did.

This might sound like a perfume cliché, but Chanel N°5 is said to be radically different in its fragrance from one woman to another. It is definitely one of those perfumes, you must sample first. Despite being one of the most legendary perfumes, some may find it a bit too musky or synthesized spirit-like. I know some say they strongly dislike the floral powdery, soapy smell of the perfume when applied to the skin. It also can be easily associated with a more mature persona. Because Chanel N°5  has been around for generations and it’s possible that our moms, aunts or even grandmas have worn it when we were kids. But don’t let this association deter you from trying it out yourself.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more modern take on this iconic perfume, you could also give N° L’EAU a try.

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So, did any of your favourites make it to my collection?

(updated on 01/04/2021)

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