Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tinkering with the Top 10 List

Turin/Sanchez Top 10 Perfumes
Amouage Gold
Bulgari Black
Chanel No. 5
Guerlain Apres L’Ondee
Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
Guerlain Shalimar
Jean Patou Joy
Serge Lutens Bois de Violette
Thierry Mugler Angel
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

My Revised List
instead of Amouage Gold (Givenchy Amarige)
instead of Bulgari Black (Frederic Malle Carnal Flower)
instead of Chanel No. 5 (Chanel No. 22)
instead of Guerlain Apres L’Ondee (Robert Piguet Fracas)
instead of Guerlain L’Heure Bleue (Guerlain Mitsouko)
Guerlain Shalimar, agreement
Jean Patou Joy, agreement
instead of Serge Lutens Bois de Violette (Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger)
Thierry Mugler Angel, agreement
instead of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche (Yves Saint Laurent Opium)

Here’s my thought process:
Amouage Gold may be beautiful but it’s's just so unapproachable and obscure. It's probably personal, I just wouldn't put Gold in the Top 10. If I am to choose another humongous floral – with uniqueness and classical tendencies – it will have to be Amarige. Sorry to all the haters. Amarige is classic.

Bulgari Black. I think the Turin/Sanchez team are trying to give a nod to something new (ish) – from the last 10+ years as opposed to all the classics on this list which are well over 25+ years old. In this category, I’m picking Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. It’s breathtaking.

Chanel No. 5 – oh please, I just never understood the No. 5 fascination, maybe that’s my loss. I think Chanel No. 22 is so much better.

Guerlain Apres L’Ondee – I think another house is deserving besides Guerlain. For me, Shalimar and Mitsouko are enough recognition for Guerlain in the top 10. Here I would like to include Piguet’s Fracas. Fracas is still a sought after classic to this day.

Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko is just more mind-bogglingly- cool.

Guerlain Shalimar – I agree.

Jean Patou Joy – I agree.

Serge Lutens Bois de Violette, well, while I do agree that Lutens deserves a spot in the top 10, instead I’d nominate Fleurs d’Oranger.

Thierry Mugler Angel – I agree.

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche – for YSL I think Opium deserves recognition over Rive Gauche.

Obviously I have thoroughly bought in/used the Turin/Sanchez model for this list, accepting their logic entirely and substituting where I deemed necessary. If I were to create a top 10 list from scratch, aside from it taking me a full year, 365 days of nonstop revisions and perhaps never concluding; it might also be completely different. Who knows? For instance, it pains me that Tabac Blond, Chinatown, something from Hermes and Teo Cabanel Alahine are not in my top 10.

(I think this could be fun….What say YOU?)

photo credit: above pic is from Fiordiligi's own private stash. Fiordiligi is her user name on Perfume of Life. this photo makes me drool.


Mals86 said...

Wow. No comments yet. I'll confess that I still feel inadequate to make any sort of sweeping judgment about the "Ten Best," and perhaps your usual commenters feel the same.

I didn't agree entirely with the PTG list and likewise, I don't agree entirely with yours. However, I'm lazy enough to not want to have to justify WHY - and then I'd have to come up with my own list, something I just said I don't feel qualified to do.

My own top ten list is easy. Well, easiER. I know what I like; the difficulty is in picking different-enough-from-each-other scents so that I have a scent for all occasions. (Very tough, when many of my Desert Island Scents are florientals...)

I think it just bothers me, in a sort of whiny, "I don't know what I want, but it isn't what I've got" sort of way, that I dislike so many of the perfumes on both lists. Joy? Angel? Okay, unique and influential, I see the point, but GAH. I could go on from there, but I've been offensive enough for now. :)

Abigail said...

Well, thanks for your comment!
I suppose you are right. This requires too much thought at a time of year when we're all running about with Christmas prep.
That's the thing though - there's a big difference depending on how you classify the list - is this list your 10 most favorite - or 10 most influential - or ten best selling/most well known?
Of course it's truly an exercise in futiliy because I want to change the list I posted already. ('cept I stand by Joy and Angel - the two you mentioned!! :-)
Hope you have a fantastic holiday Mals!

Mals86 said...

I do understand why Joy and Angel make the list, given the criteria. I'm just whining because I don't LIKE them. (Oh, with Joy I've tried... many many times. Same deal with Mitsouko - I want to like it, I keep trying to like it, but it just depresses me.) And I would sub Mitsy in for L'Heure Bleue as being a better perfume, yet I own and wear LHB.

I just said I wasn't going to make up my own list, didn't I? Great, this is going to keep me awake now. Crap.

On a side note, I'm awed by Fiordiligi's beautiful collection. Those Guerlain bottles really are beautiful, aren't they... she's even got one of those rosebud bottles, sigh. Most of my collection is in plain decant spray bottles or mini bottles, and the big bottles I have are either boring (PdRosine, Balmain, SSS) or honkin' ugly (L'arte di Gucci, Tocade)!

Abigail said...

I know, that pic of Fiordiligi's stash is one of the most beautiful images of a perfume collection I've ever seen. No, it's THE most beautiful.

I know, a rosebud bottle...

I think Rosine bottles *are* beautiful. It's all about how you photograph them. And the Tocade bottle is at home in every collection.

I bought myself an Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche Butterfly bottle as a holiday gift. It just arrived today. :::does happy dance::: Now I have something pretty and girlie for my own stash. I never focus on the bottles themselves but Fiordiligi is making me consider it's importance. Oh, and I have a limited edition Hermes Eau des Merveilles bottle that is so lovely. I think it needs a friend, though, maybe an LE Elixir des Merveilles bottle...the pegasus one. things look nicer in pairs dontcha think?

ScentScelf said...

I think you are right to keep the spirit of the list, as best as you can discern it...there are so many parameters one could adopt to whittle down to 10, you kind of need to do as the Romans do if you want to talk Rome.

Immediate thoughts when playing by the Rules of the Game:

Big honking floral, in an exquisite/precious manner...that seems to be the Amouage could get another house in there, say Malle, but that would de facto be a modern interpretation...I am a defender of Amarige, but don't know if it can replace...still thinking on this one...

If Black is a modern innovation (as opposed to derivative twist), then I think I'd also consider something like an CB IHP, but then I hear the perfume purist argument that those offerings are accords and not perfumes...resuming thinking here, too...

No.5. I'm not a hater, but not a lover, either. Honestly, I'd go for Bois des Isles, just because a) it is one of my "If I can only have (name a random # between 5 - 10) scents, what would they be?", and also because it is possible its use of sandalwood was an innovation which became a classic.

Apres L'Ondee I accept from them, but En Passant gets my vote. Same melancholy haint, though of this era, and for my money, a contemporary haunting is particularly sad. And it's beautiful. An in the end, I'm grateful for L'Ondee, but Passant makes the aforementioned list over it.

I'm keeping L'Heure Bleu. It's on the handful I can't do without list. And Mitsouko, dare I confess, often is a peachy mess on me. I know, I know--the fault is all mine, I don't get it, I'm not worthy, blah blah blah. ;) hang on...if Opium gets on the list, doesn't Shalimar have to come off? Different eras, but too similar?? I'll table this one for now.

Joy. Well, here's a big floral. If Turchez can overlap one modern and one vintage of a similar ilk, kinda cancels my thought above. Again, tabling for now.

Bois de Violette. Stays, as much for the family tree (back to Fem de Bois, ahead to so many others) and the wood as much as how much I "heart" it.

Angel. Gah. Do we need a "gah" scent on here? Oh, wait; my "gah" is your "get!" :) Hmm, what whacked out hyper dense sweet thing would I nominate? Lolita Lempicka? Thinking...

YSL Rive Gauche did something interesting with rose, which I appreciate. Opium, hmm, a classic in itself. But my favorite is "Y," and there is no chypre love here, so for the moment, I'm going with that.

Thanks for the fun!

Abigail said...

Oh, ScentScelf, what a dear you are to entertain my "tweaking the top 10." I realized after putting it up on the blog that everyone was probably too busy to put much time into this little exercise. But you did!

re: having both Opium and Shalimar.
My thought was that YSL needed an entry and Opium is the bestseller from the line. Opium is instantly recognizable and fairly groundbreaking. I personally prefer Y as you mentioned, too.

I get the impression that this list is not meant to include chypres? Perhaps Mitsouko belongs on a Top 10 Chypre list or something.

It gets altogether so confusing.
Of course my bias is transparent because I listed 2 Ropions with Amarige and Carnal Flower. If we had a Top 10 Chypre list I'd add a Ropion to that one, too, with RL Safari. I prefer Safari to even the notorious Mitsouko. Glorious stuff that Safari.

re: BdI instead of No. 5. I'd be agreeable to that. I was thinking along the lines of a big aldehydic floral, and No. 22 is one of the biggest aldehydes out there. BdI is also aldehydic - an aldehydic sandalwood which is quite unique.

I know, I know, Angel is a monster, but it's monstrously beautiful. Maybe if you applied one microscopic dab from the pure parfum you could smell it's good qualities? Perhaps not. Just a thought. :-/
Have a wonderful holiday and thanks so much for entertaining my post!

Joe said...

Happy New Year (though I'm commenting on a pre-new year post).

I like your tweaking. However, I thought that LT & TS have both been quoted in at least one sources as saying that Mitsouko was each of their #1 favorite perfume? Is the list here from The Guide or...?

Abigail said...

Hi Joe,

Yes, this is the top 10 list from The Guide...

but they have a few different top 10 lists ~ for instance "top 10 masculines" and "top 10 orientals" etc. but the list I've included in this post is the overall top 10 list ~ the general one.

Uella said...

I disagree, Amouage Gold is absolutely top ten best masterpiece worthy, but spray with restraint! Fleurs d'Oranger was my all time favorite, my first Lutens perfume I bought in 1996 but unfortunately it was poorly reformulated in 2003/2004 and since then I find it bland and pale, just can't wear it.

Anna Squidoo said...

As for me "Rive Gauche" is one of the best in Your list. It has very pleasant and long lasting aroma. At the same time it seems to be very light, so it is good for majority of the people.

By the way Yves Saint Laurent released this year their traditional Elle Edition Collector for those who loves Yves Saint Laurent products and fruit and flower sound in perfumes