500 Greatest Modern Perfumes

Basenotes celebrates its 15th Birthday in September 2015. Over those years we’ve seen lots of perfumes come, and (sadly) lots of perfumes go.
We’ve compiled a list of the 500 greatest fragrance launched in the time we’ve been around – modern classics if you like.

Some of the perfumes are made by international corporations, and some by an indie perfumer in their back-room. Some sell by the bucketload, and some are no longer available. Some would cost you hundreds of dollars, others you could pick up for less then $10.
They are ranked from 500 to 1, but please don’t get hung up on the order. All of these perfumes deserve a sniff if you have the chance. They tell the story of the perfume industry over the last fifteen years, and each are important in their own way — which is why we’re revealing the list one fragrance at a time, in roughly hourly intervals. The full list will be revealed in full on 25th September 2015.
So who compiled this list? You did!

How the list was compiled

Firstly we took all of the fragrances in our database that were launched between 2000 and the present. (Although Basenotes didn’t launch until September, we counted all fragrances launched that year).

We then took into account:

• star ratings (from wardrobes)
• number of members who own the fragrance (from wardrobes)
• number of people that want the fragrance (from wish lists)
• number of people that wear the fragrance (from the Scent of the Day feature)
• ratio of positive vs negative reviews (from reviews)
• page views (over the last 6 months)”

10 First

Perfume Labels : Chanel, Christian Dior, Creed, Hermès, Narciso Rodriguez, Parfums Frederic Malle, Serge Lutens, Tauer, Tom Ford
Perfumers: Andy Tauer, Christine Nagel, Christopher Sheldrake, Dominique Ropion, Francis Kurkdjian, François Demachy, Jacques Polge, Jean-Claude Ellena, Maurice Roucel, Olivier Gillotin


Narciso Rodriguez for Her
by Narciso Rodriguez (2003)


Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian
Perfumer: Christine Nagel
Supplier: Quest International

Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

Perfumer: François Demachy

Dior Homme Intense is the third fragrances in the Homme series, following Dior Homme and Dior Homme Cologne. The fragrance was originally a limited edition, but is now part of the permanent line up.

The fragrance echoes the lavender, iris and vetiver found in the original fragrance, and increases the strength from Eau de Toilette to Eau de Parfum.

Dior describe the fragrance as:

« The quintessence of prestige and sophistication in a generous and powerful Eau de Parfum. Intense Iris, enhanced by a sensual amber facet and precious wood base, exudes its powerful charm. A sensual interpretation with a fragrant trail that is an invitation. »

Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior

Perfumer: Andy Tauer

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

Perfumer: Jacques Polge
Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake

Part of Les Exclusifs range. A different fragrance to one of the same name launched in 1930.

Sycomore (new) by Chanel

Perfumer: Olivier Gillotin
Supplier: Givaudan
Creative Director: Tom Ford

Part of Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection.  The company say:

« Tom Ford’s affection for London inspired this scent, reminiscent of an English Gentleman’s Club… »

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Packaging: Philippe Mouquet

Terre d’Hermès – meaning ‘Earth of Hermès’ – was launched in March 2006. Perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena was inspired in the creation of the fragrance by the works of author, Jean Giono.

The fragrance features notes of orange, gunflint, flint, vetiver and benzoin. The bottle was designed by Hermès designer, Philippe Mouquet, and features an ‘H’ cut into the base of the bottle.

The fragrance was joined by a Parfum version in 2009, and more recently Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche in 2014.

Hermès say:

« The history of an alchemic journey through the elements: earth, air and water. A woody, vegetal and mineral eau de toilette »

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès


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