In your opinion: What is the best Occidental perfume house, and what is the best Oriental perfume house?

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I thought it would be interesting to ask this question and see what people come up with.

You can interpret it how you want, but the only hard requirement I'd make is that you only choose one for each category: the best house or brand for each of the West and the East.

Your choices don't have to be bound to location: the best 'Western' doesn't have to be a house situated or founded in the West itself, and vice versa. You could instead choose something that represents the tastes, traditions, or perhaps modern turns of the West without picking a Western house. Or, because lots of modern brands are at least somewhat 'Eurabic' like Montale and Parfums de Marly, your choice of house does not have to neatly and explicitly reside in the region you choose it to represent (although I assume most will).

Also, your decision can be based on the whole history of the house or just one fragrance. It's up to you to interpret this how you want. The only request I'd make, on top of limiting your choices to one for each hemisphere, is to feel free to discuss or explain your choices. What do you think of as Oriental pefumery, and the same for Western? What are the best elements, the staple notes, or ideas that draw you specifically to one house over any other to represent each region?
 

hednic

Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
I don't personally like using superlatives, so what I will say is that Dior is an occidental perfume house I respect a lot and Fragrance Du Bois ( not based in the Orient) is an oriental perfume house I equally respect, the former for its consistent quality of releases and the latter for their abundant oriental inspired releases using many of their own cultivated ingredients.
 

Ken_Russell

Basenotes Institution
Jan 21, 2006
While admitting to be so far completely uniformed about the Oriental ones and although having already had some great experiences, they barely scratch the surface among all superlatives, did enjoy the most so far among the Occidental ones crafting Oriental fragrances especially Memo Paris - among the best but by far not the only in this particular category
 

the_good_life

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 2, 2006
Kind of a spurious question, but my answer for West would be Guerlain, not for the LVMH subsidiary they are now, but as the, in terms of perfume houses, singular best embodiment of the "Golden Age" perfume tradition per se - the long view, if you like. Inasmuch as that tradition is inescapably bound up with Orientalism, same answer for East, though that comes across as very colonialist. Of course I'm not aware that perfume houses in the European sense existed in the Arab world / Middle East before the 1930s or later. There would have been local Attar makers or Royal purveyors until capitalist business structures began emerging. If ownership was an issue I would say Amouage for the first half of its existence.
 

lfc1892

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 12, 2021
Yeh I’d certainly go Amouage for oriental.
If we’re talking contemporary stuff, as in scents banged out in the last decade Or so, I’d stick with Nishane. Nothing convoluted or esoteric, just scents that smell great and perform wonderfully.
 

the_good_life

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 2, 2006
No, it's not spurious in the slightest.
Well, it's like asking what's the best brand of car, i.e. it requires so many qualifications it's not really one but at least ten different questions and any possible answer will be in turn need to be highly qualified . So while the thread may turn out to be interesting I will hold that the question as put is spurious. Of course I'm just pulling your leg, but I do feel the thread won't have too much traction.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
Well, it's like asking what's the best brand of car, i.e. it requires so many qualifications it's not really one but at least ten different questions and any possible answer will be in turn need to be highly qualified . So while the thread may turn out to be interesting I will hold that the question as put is spurious. Of course I'm just pulling your leg, but I do feel the thread won't have too much traction.
I think the word 'best' is the culprit here but it seems to be common terminology for getting discussions going in a general sense, so I don't think it's too egregious for that purpose.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
IMO Serge Lutens had had its ‘time in the sun’ as one of the finest oriental perfume houses. The reigning champ however that continues to push boundaries with rare materials and exciting collaborations has to be Areej Le Doré.
 
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