Saturday Question: What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

If you’ve been in this game for at least 7-8 years, you probably still remember times when everyone was talking about a new release from L’Artisan Parfumeur, Serge Lutens‘ releases were expected with growing anxiety, and the next Le Labo‘s City Exclusives would cause growling amongst anxious perfumistas who couldn’t figure out how to get a hold of it. Several more names were in the same camp back then: Frederic Malle, Amouage, Parfum d’Empire and Parfums De Nicolai. But what about now?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #73:

What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

It’s not a question of which perfume brands you like and still follow, but rather which brands you think are still more popular than the rest among people who consider themselves perfumistas? What names do you hear more often than others? What do you attribute it to?

My Answer

With the avalanche of new brands and releases from both new and established brands, as well as the decline of the popularity of the written word in the last years, it seems like perfumistas’ interests are scattered all over. As I watch NST’s split meets, I see that people are mostly splitting old favorites – Chanel, Guerlain, Hermes and, yes, Serge Lutens. But I see much less newer brands. And in the daily SOTD threads whenever anybody mentions new perfumes or lines, those comments don’t collect too many reactions.

I tried to think on the answer to my question. If not to count big names that are talked about more not in the last place because of their accessibility: it is much easier to get to try new perfumes by Chanel, Tom Ford, Diptyque, Jo Malone or even By Kilian than by any of the smaller niche brands.

But if I had to name at least one smaller niche brand that still gathers a lot of interest, I’d say that it is Zoologist Perfumes. Personally, I do not like this brand: I don’t like the name of the brand and perfumes; I don’t like the packaging; I hated one perfume from it that I tried on skin, and I was indifferent to several more that I sniffed at a store. But whenever a new one is released, I see others discussing it and getting samples to try. I think that, in addition to making perfumes that people like, this brand doesn’t charge the super-luxury level prices, and they have samples and travel sprays.

I can think of a couple more brands, but I’ll leave them to you to name.

 

What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

36 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

  1. I think it depends a lot on where one spends one’s social media time. I haven’t been on NST much lately – I can barely get my SOTD photo up on IG for my 365 project. My IG feed sees a lot of Nishane, Tiziana Terenzi, Creed, Parfums de Marly – although probably not representative as my feed is heavily weighted toward beagle photos. There are so many brands out there, with a limited budget and a large collection it’s hard to get too excited about any of them. I don’t feel that I have a lot of holes in my collection to fill these days!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thought about the IG, but since I’m not running any searches there, and there are not tags or groups or anything like that which I would be following, whatever I see depends on who I chose to follow. And, on top of that, since mostly actual bottles photograph nicely*, the field is skewed towards brands that engage “influencers” sending them those bottles, or established influencers’ tastes (since those are the ones who can buy expensive perfumes and expense them against their business incomes).

      * I’m not talking about your project, since it’s interesting on its own, but as you probably realize, it is interesting mostly to people who “know” you, and I doubt that you’ll get too many new followers from running that project – unlike that happens with people who publish nice compositions with new and shiny bottles.

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  2. Agreeing with MMKinPA on Nishane, Creed and Parfums de Marly.
    It seems Xerjoff, Boadicea and Roja Dove have taken off in Australia. I see a fair bit of Memo Paris, Initio, Papillon, Pekji, Bortnikoff, Trudon, Amouage, Goldfield & Banks, Penhaligon’s (animal head bottles especially), Francesca Bianchi, Dusita and 4160 Tuesdays.
    A new release for any of these seems to spark a flurry of interest but it’s not like 10-20 years ago when a new release was talked about for over a month beforehand. Expectations running high. Pre-release bottles ordered and splits selling out in a day.
    I did buy the new Divine release L’Esprit Libre the day the press release arrived in my email inbox and the bottle arrived in the mail on Thursday (review coming). TBH honest it all happened so quickly that I didn’t even think about it, my finances, lockdown or anything. The information went into my brain and the money went out of my credit card within two minutes. I’m surprised there’s been no hype about it though, no one cares.
    Portia xx

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    • In general, companies like Divine don‘t need the hype. Their fragrances are exquisite and bought by people who have no interest in the one day wonders of perfumes hyped on social media. (I have loved the Divine fragrances since 1991, just saying.) They rise above it because their is no need.
      Yeah. I agree with you Undina regarding Zoologist. I see it come up a fair bit. Zero interest, for exactly the same reasons as you write.

      I dunno about the “Split Scene“. Never used it, with one notable exception. A French lady who did bell jar splits, which was how I got 4 of my Lutens including the bottle with it. That was excellent and done out of complete love of Lutens.

      Papillon gets a ton of hype, and I will try the new one when I come across it.

      What I cannot wait for is the up and coming Malle, Synthetic Jungle. I am popping with excitement and I know for sure I am not the only one.
      Hugs and coffee. xxx

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    • About 10 years ago I was interested in Boadicea, and I tried about 10 of their perfumes back then. They were not bad, but I didn’t love any of them, and since almost nobody was talking about the brand back then, I stopped following them. It’s interesting that they are coming to Australia now.
      Pekji, Bortnikoff, Trudon – I’m not sure I even heard these names :)

      I look forward to reading your review. The only perfume that I tried from Divine was … Divine, and I liked it a lot. I still might buy it. I think their test program on the site it quite fair, but I just can’t make myself to pay almost twice the price to get them delivered (EUR 21 S&H on top of EUR25 for the set). Maybe I’ll order it to somewhere in Europe once/if I travel to there ever again ;).

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      • Boadicea seem to have a VERY loyal following. The people who love them are ultra committed. It’s a bit like the Creed ethos.
        Pekji is the work of Omer Ipekci from Turkey, the fragrances are as far weird as I’m comfortable with. Even so, for such out there product they are very wearable. I have the whole set of the first 5 and the second release of three should be available soon. They are extraordinary.
        Bortnikoff are a UK crew, I think, very expensive and also envelope pushers but not really for me. Their sample set is beautifully presented.
        Trudon is the perfume line from the company that used to call itself Cire Trudon and do extremely lavish candles. A couple of their fragrances are unbelievably wonderful. I have Revolution on my to buy list.

        I’m surprised LuckyScent don’t carry the Divine samples. They have the range.

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  3. What an interesting question! I don’t feel well-equipped to respond accurately, as I rarely watch any video fragrance reviews and those seem to be where a lot of the action is now. I greatly prefer reading blogs! I would agree that Zoologist and Parfums de Marly get a lot of buzz (and I reviewed Delina Exclusif here: https://scentsandsensibilities.co/2021/06/06/scent-sample-sunday-delina-exclusif/). There is genuine excitement online about Papillon’s new release, Spell 125, and I’m eager to try it myself. Parfums Dusita is discussed a lot.
    It seems as if some of the independent brands that generated a lot of buzz several years ago and were then acquired by larger conglomerates have lost their momentum. I think there are a few factors at work: they almost always change their packaging, which may affect the longtime fans; the prices are ridiculous, which limits their accessibility; and they probably succumb to a more corporate group-think when developing new releases.
    I do still see strong interest in the established brands Undina named, like Chanel and Hermes. I like it when an independent perfumer generates her own buzz, as Sarah McCartney does for 4160 Tuesdays. Her brand not only has an active social media presence, she also periodically does crowd-funding for a new scent, as she did with Clouds/Clouds Illusion and their flankers (https://scentsandsensibilities.co/2021/05/17/may-melange-marathon-both-sides-of-clouds/) and Meet Me On The Corner (https://scentsandsensibilities.co/2019/12/08/scent-sample-sunday-meet-me-on-the-corner/). It’s a brilliant strategy: she raises advance funds for some very costly materials, she has built-in buyers for her new release, and the advance buyers/funders feel invested in it.

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    • While I think it’s an interesting idea to raise funds for perfume production, I am not sure there is currently any brand or nose a creation from whom I would blind buy. Well… Maybe if Neela Vermeire decided to do something like that with Bertrand Duchaufour I could do it. And maybe Puredistance… Ormonde Jayne – only for an extremely heavy discount, since the newer creations weren’t my favorites. But in general I prefer to try first and to buy after.

      I also want to try Spell 125. And another green perfume before that… from Eris Parfumes, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was just at an event at the Dallas perfume shop Scent Room last night. I hadn’t been in over a year and a half and there was a dizzying array of perfume brands I know nothing about. I used to be able to keep up, but not anymore! And I was also struck by the aspirational pricing. $200 used to make me blink. Now many brands are at $300 and even $400+, way out of my price range! I’m thinking a lot of them won’t survive, though. To answer your question, I think a lot of the popular brands have been named already, but for a lot of people, perhaps including myself, I think it’s chasing the newest thing. The event last night was to introduce to the shop BDK (which I think is getting a lot of press these days), Veronique Gabai, and Fragrance Du Bois (very spendy!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I will admit that my only “social media” has been the blogosphere here on WordPress, but I will venture that Masque Milano has been getting some buzz in addition to the ones already mentioned… maybe that brand stood out to me because people’s descriptions of Lost Alice had me so intrigued. I finally got a sample and the “steamed milk accord” did not disappoint—it smells so inviting along with the tea note.

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  6. Too many brands, so little time. I really would like to support the indie / artisanal brands more and maybe that’s a signal to slow down. Anyway, other than Chanel, Guerlain and Hermès, I get excited when I hear of a new Memo Paris and Kilian. Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention but when was the last time Prada launched a new perfume?

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    • Well… Those names do not fall off the sky! :) You have to read some perfume-related social media to see any of them. (I mean. you do not have to, but it would be hard to be “in the know” otherwise ;) ).

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