What are your favourite designer perfumes?

Civil to strangers

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2016
I briefly got pulled into a conversation on another platform where folks where categorically dissing on designer frags with blanket statements that niche was always more interesting, higher quality ingredients, and more sophisticated. Now I dig lots of niche stuff but I try to keep my hobby affordable and part of that has been seeking out great perfumes I can get fairly (or even very) inexpensively, so I’ve gotten to know love many designer fragrances. From Dune, to Black, to Shalimar, to Jungle Elephant, to Habit Rouge, to Opium, to Youth Dew, to Womanity, to Lolita Lempika, many of my go-tos are designer and I was wondering what people here considered their favourites?
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hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
I don't have a favorite but I enjoy all the masculine releases from Dior, Chanel, Hermes and Yves Saint Laurent among other designer houses.
 

Mai7

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2020
Chanel No'19, Hermes Une Pamplemousse Rose, Sisley Eau de Campagne, Dolce&Gabbana Light blue, Moschino Funny, Bvlgari Black, Versace Eros femme...
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
Niche and designer houses frequently use not only the same ingredients, but the same perfumers, and the ultimate goal is the same: to sell perfume. Because niche is ostensibly focused on a, well, niche audience, as opposed to the mass audience of designer fragrances, niche houses (at least some of them) tend to take greater risks. So, there's the "more interesting" part. That doesn't mean every niche fragrance is more interesting (never mind better) than every designer fragrance. Historically, designers have produced fantastic, sophisticated, high-quality fragrances. And also crap. Which is the same for niche.

Because my collection is focused on vintage, it's a bit of a trap to cite favorite designers from that list. ("Oh, sure, they USED to be great!") But I'll second Hednic's list of designer houses, along with Givenchy, Lanvin, Balmain, Balenciaga, Rochas, Hermès, Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Ralph Lauren, Jean Patou, Robert Piguet, Gianfranco Ferré…you get the picture.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
Jeesh, there's a lot of them.

Almost anything by Chanel is worthwhile. Antaeus, Egoiste, Chanel Allure Homme Sport EauExtreme stand out to me.

Dior Homme, Dior Homme Intense take a back seat to no one.

I guess Guerlain is designer...too many there to list.
 

MFfan310

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2004
Fahrenheit
Mugler Cologne Come Together
Guerlain Vetiver
VC&A Tsar
Zaharoff Signature Rosé (designer fashion brand with niche grade scents - this one is a rose oud oriental
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver

And this common designer could easily be niche:
Replica: Jazz Club by Maison Margiela


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Semi-Retirement
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
On the short list:

Chanel Egoiste
Chanel Antaeus
Chanel Pour Monsieur
Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche
Chanel No 19
Guerlain Derby
Guerlain Heritage
Guerlain Vetiver
Guerlain Vol de Nuit
Guerlain Mitsouko
Guerlain Shalimar
Dior Homme Intense
Dior Homme
Dior Jules
Dior Diorella
Dior Miss Dior
Hermes Bel Ami
Givenchy Gentleman
Givenchy Pi
 

Wingie

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 2, 2009
I own many designer fragrances but some personal favorites are Bulgari Pour Femme (unfortunately now discontinued), Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue (was a limited edition, but is currently available on eBay for a very reasonable price), Balenciaga Paris, Narciso EDP, and Mugler Aura.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
There are many. I’ve enjoyed a fair few designer fragrances over the years. The scents of YSL, Chanel and Dior seemed everpresent during my early life even if I wasn’t the one wearing them and they helped to lay some olfactive groundwork for my current love and enjoyment of what I wear nowadays.

From Chanel, Antaeus and Pour Monsieur stand out. From Dior, Eau Sauvage and Fahrenheit. From YSL, Kouros, Opium PH, the mossy aromatic Pour Hommes and Rive Gauche PH

Some others worthy of mention - Heritage, Bel Ami, Equipage, Armani Attitude.
And I’ll always have a vintage bottle of Cool Water handy.

In terms of what you might find interesting, using criteria like niche vs designer probably won’t get you as close as trying a broad variety of fragrances and seeing what suits you.
 

MisterK

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2003
Personally I tend to prefer designer over niche not out of some kind of allegiance to designer brand, but I'm looking for a track record and a good price point to value (whatever that amorphous word means) ratio. Niche are often expensive and niche are kind of a newish thing so for some frags there's not a long track record. That's just me. I have some niche but the clear majority of my wardrobe is designer/mass market.

My favorite designer frags:
YSL Pour Homme (both the original and the Haute Concentrate, I prefer Haute Concentrate between the two)
Antaeus (Chanel)
Fahrenheit (Dior)
Eau Sauvage (Dior)
Xeryus (Givenchy)
Eau d'Hermes
Monsieur de Givenchy
Habit Rouge EDC (Guerlain)
Tabac Original
Allure Homme Sport (Chanel)
Dunhill for Men (1934)
Dunhill for Men AKA Signature (2003)
Bogart Signature
Worth pour Homme
Zino Davidoff
 

Dothraki

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2013
Always liked Amouage and Creed for myself...there’s some good Chanel’s, Guerlains and YSL for women. I’m not sure what would be considered “Niche” anymore but if it’s Amouage, Creed, Frederic Malle etc. then they aren’t better ingredients than designers, they are designers in fact. There’s a few Amouage Attars that have a couple good ingredients but every house has its own proprietary synthetic compounds that really comes down to personal taste or preference...and depending on the composition can be great or bunk. But that’s all debatable opinion, which is sort of an oxymoron. It’s just people trying to feel superior than others...or just misinformed about what the differences really are between say Creed and Chanel for instance.

Edit: oh and by the way...there’s still nothing that beats classic Old Spice. Forever the best.
 

chypre

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2006
I would say most of my favourites are classic/vintage designer, formulated in the era before stifling fragrance regulations and cost-cutting measures.

Jean Patou Joy
Guerlain Mitsouko, Jicky and L'Heure Bleue
Chanel Cuir de Russie and Antaeus
Hermes Rouge
Estee Lauder Private Collection and Youth Dew
Gres Cabochard (Vintage)
Caron Parfum Sacre, Tabac Blond (Vintage) and Farnesiana (Vintage)
 

purecaramel

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 9, 2013
On the short list:

Chanel Egoiste
Chanel Antaeus
Chanel Pour Monsieur
Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche
Chanel No 19
Guerlain Derby
Guerlain Heritage
Guerlain Vetiver
Guerlain Vol de Nuit
Guerlain Mitsouko
Guerlain Shalimar
Dior Homme Intense
Dior Homme
Dior Jules
Dior Diorella
Dior Miss Dior
Hermes Bel Ami
Givenchy Gentleman
Givenchy Pi

Drop the Pi and this proves an excellent list.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
I’ve heard similar things about niche, including from posters on this site.

My initial reaction is interest. I want in on the good stuff! But from sampling, I seem to like designer more (e.g., Chanel and Dior).
 

epapsiou

Always be smelling
Basenotes Plus
Sep 28, 2015
I’ve heard similar things about niche, including from posters on this site.

My initial reaction is interest. I want in on the good stuff! But from sampling, I seem to like designer more (e.g., Chanel and Dior).

Same here. I have sampled a lot of niches and bought a few of them. But in the end I like designers (mostly vintage version) a lot more.
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
I’ve heard similar things about niche, including from posters on this site.
My initial reaction is interest. I want in on the good stuff! But from sampling, I seem to like designer more (e.g., Chanel and Dior).

Same here. I have sampled a lot of niches and bought a few of them. But in the end I like designers (mostly vintage version) a lot more.

Same. I wonder why that is? Are we just dinosaurs? I mean, I'm old, but you two aren't, and neither are LiveJazz and IsoESuperman, so it can't just be about age.
 

ImaFedec

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2019
At the very beginning or my fragrance journey, I actually believed (although I knew not to say it out loud) that niche > designer because often More original and I had this very binary and simple shortcut to think that more expensive = better quality.
This quickly changed. Now I cannot say I prefer one or the others, it is a non sense (for many reasons already evoked by more outspoken basenoters).

My favourite designers:

Old formulation Dior Homme Intense (cannot say if it was 2011, but I do remember liking it much more than the one I have recently tried)
Occitane - Eau des Baux
Guerlain - Habit rouge, Instant eau extreme, Vol de nuit
Hermes - Terre d'Hermes edt
Chanel n19 edp
Acqua di Parma - Fico di Amalfi

Probably missing some but those are the one that comes to my mind.
 

Xcaliber6685

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 18, 2020
Dior Homme Parfum
Y EDP
Spicebomb Extreme
Wanted by Night
1 Million Prive
1 Million Lucky
Black Orchid
Eros Flame
Dior Sauvage EDP
 

Civil to strangers

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2016
At the very beginning or my fragrance journey, I actually believed (although I knew not to say it out loud) that niche > designer because often More original and I had this very binary and simple shortcut to think that more expensive = better quality.
This quickly changed. Now I cannot say I prefer one or the others, it is a non sense (for many reasons already evoked by more outspoken basenoters).
I think when one is new to the hobby and just learning about niche lines, it’s easy to get that impression, especially if the designers fragrances you know are the current best sellers. But then you poke around and read reviews and collect samples and learn the signatures of specific perfumers and things become way less binary. I’ve ended up surprising myself by falling for so many classic Guerlains, or things like Boucheron, First, or Knowing. Stuff I would not have expected to love when I first got hooked, looking mostly for all things ultra moody or super astringent.
 

Italia

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Like many members, I started my perfume journey through designer fragrances, and many of my favorites today were ones I also wore back 20-30 years ago. A few are d/c or are reformulated beyond my recognition, so I tend to gravitate to vintage versions of most of these, if I can find them.

Chanel: Bois des Iles, Coromandel, and Nos. 5, 19, & 22
Dior: Dune
Guerlain: Vol de Nuit, L'Heure Bleue, Attrape Coeur, Metalys (still trying to learn to love Shalimar and Mitsouko 😬)
Ralph Lauren: Safari, Lauren
Tom Ford: Champaca Absolute
Fendi: Theorema, Fendi
Hermes: Caleche
 

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