What are the de facto designer classics?

Andrewthecologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2006
I have been in the fragrance world for decades now, and have met others who are in it as well but haven't tried what I consider "designer classics".
So I want to put together a list of designer fragrances that I consider a must try for anyone in the fragrance world, as a reference point.
The goal is simple: A collection from each decade starting with the 70s until today, so this includes what you think will be a classic.
I define a 'classic' as a fragrance that:
1. enjoyed significant success upon release
2. is still (relatively) relevant in today's fragrance landscape
3. is still available even if out of production
4. was a reference point for men's fragrance
5. has (had) a distinct, unmistakable scent
Must be a designer, no niche, near niche or otherwise.

What fragrances would you put on the list?
 

ImaFedec

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 12, 2019
Guerlain: Habit Rouge, Shalimar edp, Vetiver (and much more but those are the one that come to mind)
Chanel: Pour Monsieur, n5, n19, coco, Allure Homme, Egoiste, Antaeus (and probably much more)
Dior: Eau Sauvage, Fahrenheit

-Terre d'Hermes, Un Jardin line, Bel ami (+vetiver),
-Le Male - JPG

and many many many more but these are the ones that spontaneously come to mind that are classic, were popular upon release and that are still relevant today.
 

StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
With 1970 as start point....

Ralph Lauren Polo
YSL Kouros
Chanel Antaeus
Chanel Egoiste
Terre d'Hermes
Versace L'Homme
Mugler A*Men
L'eau d'Issey
Armani Acqua de Gio
YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme
Dior Homme (original)

A bit subjective to say if all are "still relevant today."

I think Egoiste falls short of "enjoying significant success upon release." But it is legendary and God bless Chanel for sticking with it.

I suppose Calvin Klein Obsession and Dior Farenheit might belong on the list but I loathe one of them and burned out on both of them.
 

The Colognnoisseur

Basenotes Institution
Apr 7, 2013
1955 Pour Monsieur
1965 Aramis
1965 Habit Rouge
1966 Eau Sauvage
1973 Paco Rabanne Pour Homme
1975 Grey Flannel
1976 1-12
1976 Z-14
1978 Azzaro Pour Homme
1978 Polo
1979 Chaps
1981 Antaeus
1982 Drakkar Noir
1982 Quorum
1984 Armani Eau Pour Homme
1986 Obsession for Men
1988 Cool Water
1988 Fahrenheit
1989 Eternity for Men
1993 Escape for Men
1994 Tommy
1994 L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme
1996 ADG
1998 Bvlgari Black
2001 Mugler Cologne
2005 Dior Homme
2006 Encre Noire
2006 TDH
2008 1 Million
2009 Grey Vetiver
2010 Bleu de Chanel
2012 Spicebomb
2015 Sauvage
2017 GGA
2019 Explorer
 
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Andrewthecologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2006
Thank you all for your responses.
So far I see several that are repeated.
I also notice several missing that I would add to the list...Polo Blue for example.
I suppose what each would agree to as a must on the list will be different, wasn't expecting it to be significantly different however.

Keep 'em coming please.
 
Jul 20, 2017
Off the top off my head...
That meet the OPs criteria...
and ones I consider a worthy offering

1970s
Paco Rabbane Pour Homme
Givenchy Gentleman
Azzaro Pour Homme
Ralph Lauren Polo

1980s
YSL Kouros
Chanel Antaeus
Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir
CK Obsession For Men
Davidoff Cool Water
Dior Fahrenheit
YSL Jazz

1990s
Ralph Lauren Safari For Men
Chanel Egoiste Platinum
D&G Pour Homme
Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issay
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
Thierry Mugler A*Men
Cartier Declaration
Chanel Allure Homme

2000s
YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme
Terre d'Hermes
Dior Homme
D&G The One
YSL L’Homme
YSL La Nuit de L’Homme

2010s
Bleu de Chanel
Dior Eau Sauvage Parfum
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him
Prada L’Homme
 

andym72

Basenotes Dependent
Dec 19, 2008
The further you go back, the trickier it is going to be to fulfill the “still (relatively) relevant in today's fragrance landscape” criteria.

And a lot of what I’d call classics that were reference points, weren’t hugely successful on launch (Egoiste, A*Men, even Joop Homme).

So…

Can’t think of anything from the 70’s thats “relevant” to anyone my age or younger who isn’t a perfumista (and I say that when I’m wearing Equipage today).

Eternity for Men
Fahrenheit
L’Eau d’Issey PH and/or AdG PH (my pref is the Miyake)
CK One
Tommy
Le Male
Pi
Allure Homme
Armani Code
Allure Homme Sport
Terre d’Hermes
1 Million
Bleu de Chanel
 

Zgb

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 20, 2009
I personally think that there are too many to list, but the following cross my mind right off the bat:

Azzaro Pour Homme
Azzaro Chrome
Paco Rabanne PH
Paco Rabanne 1 Million and some flankers
Cerruti 1881
YSL Kouros
YSL La Nuit de L'Homme
Dior Fahrenheit
Dior Homme
Dior Sauvage - never liked the stuff, but it's a modern classic
Joop! Joop Homme
Davidoff Zino
Davidoff Cool Water
Givenchy Gentleman
Givenchy Pi
Armani Acqua di Gio
Armani Code
Hugo Boss Boss Bottled
Hermes Terre d'Hermes
Prada L'Homme
CK One
Chanel Egoiste
Chanel Allure Homme and all the flankers
Chanel Bleu de Chanel and its flankers
Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey
Lalique Encre Noire
Burberry London
Mugler A*Men and flankers that need no mention here :D
V&R Spicebomb
Versace Eros - never my deal but has to be mentioned
D&G The One for Men
Nautica Voyage
 

WarmJewel

Super Member
Oct 5, 2022
There's been some good and relevant replies to this thread. But one almost (mentioned once) notable exception that ticks all the boxes—

Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel.

Still in production, still very much available, very successful when launched and still worn and loved by many today (myself included) which is quite remarkable for a fragrance launched 45+ years ago.

Critics would complain it smells dated, old woman's handbagish and soapy but none could say it isn't distinctive.
 

Andrewthecologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2006
There's been some good and relevant replies to this thread. But one almost (mentioned once) notable exception that ticks all the boxes—

Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel.

Still in production, still very much available, very successful when launched and still worn and loved by many today (myself included) which is quite remarkable for a fragrance launched 45+ years ago.

Critics would complain it smells dated, old woman's handbagish and soapy but none could say it isn't distinctive.
Couldn't agree more with you about Grey Flannel.
As a violet lover, I have days where I pine for it
 

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