500 Greatest Modern Perfumes

Basenotes Robot

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 20, 2000
500 Modern Classic 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 have been revealed on 25th September 2015.

The first fragrance will make its appearance today (8th September, which is roughly when we launched 15 years ago*) at the following time:


12noon3pm8pm9pm12.30am4am
Los AngelesNew YorkLondonParisMumbaiTokyo



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)

Let us know your comments


Feel free to speculate on what you think might be in the list, or comment on the list once things get going.



Grant

View the list

* Can't remember the exact date...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
I've finally finished this, so I'm making this thread live. This has taken me all summer, practically!

The list will start tomorrow but I'd be interesting in what have been your favourites over the last 15 years..., and what you think might be the top ten?
 

badarun

Basenotes Institution
Jan 15, 2013
If based on popularity - Eau Sauvage edt, Fahrenheit, Acqua di Gio, GIT, Aventus, Platinum Egoiste might make the top 10.

Nobile, Eau Sauvage edt, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Egoiste, Antaeus, Derby, Knize Ten, Bel Ami will be among the contenders for my top 10 spot.
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
If based on popularity - Eau Sauvage edt, Fahrenheit, Acqua di Gio, GIT, Aventus, Platinum Egoiste might make the top 10.

Nobile, Eau Sauvage edt, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Egoiste, Antaeus, Derby, Knize Ten, Bel Ami will be among the contenders for my top 10 spot.

Just to clarify -- its of fragrance launched since 2000, so of yours, I think only Aventus would qualify...
 

PerfumedLady

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 4, 2010
Yay, Happy Birthday Basenotes! And Happy Anniversary to you, Grant! Thank you so much for creating this wonderfully educational and just all around amazing place. Thank you for putting up with us and for all your hard work. You must be a fragrant saint.

Hmmm, guesses-well, I'd think personally several Chanels should be there. Coco Mademoiselle of course but I'd really love to see some Exclusifs make the list. Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire maybe, as it seems to have brought them a new generation of clientele. Too many others to name and probably all tainted by my own biases. I know your choices will be great, even if different from some of my picks. Can't wait to see the list!
 

hednic

Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
This will be a great and revealing source of info.Thank you Grant for all your effort and time A wonderful way to celebrate Basenotes birthday!
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
Yay, Happy Birthday Basenotes! And Happy Anniversary to you, Grant! Thank you so much for creating this wonderfully educational and just all around amazing place. Thank you for putting up with us and for all your hard work. You must be a fragrant saint.

Hmmm, guesses-well, I'd think personally several Chanels should be there. Coco Mademoiselle of course but I'd really love to see some Exclusifs make the list. Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire maybe, as it seems to have brought them a new generation of clientele. Too many others to name and probably all tainted by my own biases. I know your choices will be great, even if different from some of my picks. Can't wait to see the list!

You may be right with some of your picks! I didn't choose any of the list though -- it was all compiled by analysing 15 years worth of site data! (most of the work involved was trying to make sure as many of the 500 in the list had notes details, pictures, and picking reviews; oh and coding a super easy way to add them to wardrobes)
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
New ones since 2000, the year Basenotes started: Dior Homme, I'm guessing, will make the top 500!
 

PerfumedLady

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 4, 2010
You may be right with some of your picks! I didn't choose any of the list though -- it was all compiled by analysing 15 years worth of site data! (most of the work involved was trying to make sure as many of the 500 in the list had notes details, pictures, and picking reviews; oh and coding a super easy way to add them to wardrobes)
Oh, I should have phrased that better! I did read how the list was compiled, not that you can tell from my post. Should have typed something to the effect of "the data's choices". Or something else altogether. Goodness, my brain is slow today!

Have just seen number 500! And I do not know this one. But I've had an idea; think I'll compile a to-sample list of those I haven't tried of the BN 500.
 

Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
Well, well, who’d have thought it? A Pell Wall perfume is the first out of the stocks in the top 500 list - Artemis get’s to be last and first - how cool is that?

Thank you Basenoters!
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
Well, well, who’d have thought it? A Pell Wall perfume is the first out of the stocks in the top 500 list - Artemis get’s to be last and first - how cool is that?

Thank you Basenoters!

Well done Chris

What I love, love *love* about this list -- is that it really is a snapshot of the last 15 years (the next one's up now, and a great indication of the variety of scents included on this list) -- it covers big houses, small indie people and a whole bunch inbetween.

Sadly, about 10% of the list is discontinued......
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
Aramis Havana should be in the top 20.

The list is for fragrances launched since 2000, so sadly not!

I am sure many will object to Fantasy, but it is actually a pleasant sweet fragrance similar to Escada Magnetism (for women) which has appealed to large numbers of young women.

It is a decent scent! I think a lot of celeb scents get a bad rap, but putting a celeb's name on a scent is no different to putting that of a fashion designer in some cases.
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
With Fantasy having more total neutrals and negatives than positives, I am surprised that it still made the list.

Only just though!

It also takes into account wardrobe ratings, page views, wish lists etc -- not just reviews
 

shadesofbleu

The power of bleu
Basenotes Plus
Jun 3, 2005
Oh Grant, what a cool idea! I can't wait to see what all makes the list.

I would think a few Serges would be up there ... maybe Chergui or Un Bois Vanille. I would also expect to see Aventus, Musc Ravageur, L'Air du Desert Marocain, LIDG, Dior Homme, Terre d'Hermes. OK, that's 8 that I think could be in the top 10.

Happy birthday to Basenotes!
 
Last edited:

gimmegreen

Basenotes Junkie
Apr 20, 2012
Well, that's a summer well spent Grant. The presentation is fantastic, so clear and inviting, with a wide spread of sample reviewers. This is going to be hours and hours of reading pleasure for me - and many discoveries, either new or things I hadn't bothered with before. Congratulations!
 

Grant

Basenotes Founder
Staff member
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Sep 29, 2000
Happy birthday Basenotes and a huge thank you to you Grant.

Cheers

A very, very cool idea, and a mammoth task no doubt.

-Mark

Well, that's a summer well spent Grant. The presentation is fantastic, so clear and inviting, with a wide spread of sample reviewers. This is going to be hours and hours of reading pleasure for me - and many discoveries, either new or things I hadn't bothered with before. Congratulations!

Compiling the list was quite easy -- I wrote some code which would rank all the perfumes in order of various variables (reviews, wish lists, page views etc). That took about an afternoon.

What took the time was:


  • Trying to find an advertising image for as many of them as possible.
  • Picking a review for each one
  • Making sure I had notes for as many as possible, and perfumer info
  • Coding the list page -- it was all done from scratch and had to work well on mobile. Having done this though, It is easy-peasy for me to make new lists. (and I'm going to adjust the code so that members can make their own lists really easily -- so members could make a "my best summer fragrances" list, or a "most underrated fragrances list" etc)

The hardest bit, was the new code for adding things to the wardrobe. Traditionally, when you added something to your wardrobe, the page would re-load and it was all rather annoying. The new code allows you to add stuff to your 'drobe without leaving the page, making it all much smoother. I'm going to basically add this code anywhere a fragrance appears on the site, so you'll be able to add/ edit fragrances from the directory search results page / articles etc etc
 

adam090273

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 27, 2013
It's a top 500 so of course there will be many debatable inclusions.

At the top we should be seeing Bleu, One Million, La Nuit, Gucci Pour Homme II, Versace Pour Homme, Aventus, Spice and Wood, LIDGE, Pure Malt etc.

Great idea Grant. Happy Birthday to Basenotes and thanks to all those who make it possible.
 

Persolaise

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Mar 12, 2010
Oh wow! What an absolutely SUPERB idea! Well done Grant and Basenotes.

Of course, this means we're going to have to check back every single hour...

I'm so pleased Trayee made it onto the list. Such a gorgeous piece of work :)
 

Latest News

Top