22 January, 2017

Scented Sunday: Best Women's Perfumes of the 21st Century, So Far

Hello, friends!
It feels very strange to be blogging again after having been "missing in action" for eight months. Here's the reason why I've been gone: I got a full-time job early last year. That job involved spending eight hours in front of a computer, writing reviews. As you can imagine, the last thing that I wanted to do during my free time was to review products, or even type anything on my computer at all. Since then, I have left my job, and am now pursuing other interests.

Anyhow, can you believe that it is now 2017? For this year, I wanted to start a new series, called Scented Sunday, which means that every Sunday will be dedicated to discussing all things pertaining to perfumes and fragrances.

For my first post of the series, I'd like to talk about the best women's perfumes released in the 21st Century, so far. I will begin with the year 2000, and end with 2016, as 2017 is not over yet.

2000: Truth, by Calvin Klein
Truth was a very unique perfume, with cold notes of misty dew, green leaves, and flower petals, contrasting against the warmth and sweetness of woods and a woman's skin. The result was something incredibly beautiful and sensual. Sadly, this perfume was on the market for only a few years before it was pulled off the shelves completely. Why was this? My theory is that the perfume was ahead of its time; if it were launched today, the perfume world would have been crazy about it.

2001: Coco Mademoiselle, by Chanel
Coco Mademoiselle was released 16 years ago, and the fact that it is still one of the top-sellers today should make it a case study. The perfume house of Chanel wanted to release something more contemporary to tap into the youth market. However, it wanted to maintain the high standards that it was always known for (and still is known for), so a lot of care went into the formulation of Coco Mademoiselle. This modern, yet forever timeless chypre, with notes of patchouli and orange blossom, is a modern classic, and I predict that it will still be a top-seller ten years from now and beyond.

2002: Black Cashmere, by Donna Karan
Yet another perfume that is hard to find! I honestly can't determine whether Black Cashmere has been discontinued, or if it just has a very limited production, because sometimes I'd see it being sold, and then I'd go for a few years without seeing it at the stores at all, and then it'd be back again later for a short time.

Black Cashmere really does conjure up the image of a plush, luxurious cashmere sweater, with its blend of warm woodsy notes, along with very subtle hints of warm amber and musk. Definitely worth a try, especially now, when dressing in colors such as black, white, and gray is so popular.

2003: Chance, by Chanel
Basically, Chance smells very similar to Coco Mademoiselle, but less intense. Despite not being a very unique scent from Chanel, due to its similarity to Coco Mademoiselle, its success resulted in multiple spin-offs (Chance Eau Fraiche, Chance Eau Tendre, etc.). After the success of Coco Mademoiselle, Chanel knew that it was onto something when it introduced luxury perfume to the youth market. So, Chance--the younger version of Coco Mademoiselle--was born. If you think about it, this was genius marketing. Let's say a sixteen-year-old girl (the target audience for Chance is 16 to 18 years old) falls in love with Chance and wears it. At some point during her early 20s, she's probably going to graduate on to Coco Mademoiselle. In her late 20s/early 30s, she's most likely going to try Coco, Allure, Cristalle, or even Chanel No 5. So, that is how Chanel gets its lifelong customers, as each perfume is a progressively more intense version of the previous one. Ingenious!

2004: None. Nothing from this year stood out to me

2005: Fantasy, Britney Spears
Twelve years later, Fantasy is still not only a top-selling Britney Spears perfume, but an overall top-selling celebrity perfume, period, according to sales reports shared with me by friends in the industry. It has also inspired a lot of spin-offs (Midnight Fantasy, Circus Fantasy, etc.). 

Sadly, this gorgeous blend of white chocolate-and-vanilla-cupcake has since been reformulated, which I addressed here and here. Fantasy still sells very well because the reformulated version is still attractive in its own right, it's just not exactly the same as the original.

2006: Beautiful Precious Drops, Estee Lauder
This limited-edition release actually had the same scent as the original Beautiful--released in 1985, but had thicker, serum-like texture instead. Did you know that Estee Lauder created Beautiful, after she wanted a perfume that smelled of flowers that one would find in traditional bridal bouquets? 2006 was also a ho-hum year for perfumes; in fact, the ones released that year were so mediocre that that best one was actually a perfume from 1985.

2007: Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Estee Lauder
What a glamorous, full-bodied floral! Aerin Lauder--Estee Lauder's granddaughter--wanted to honor her grandmother's memory by releasing a perfume based on Estee Lauder's personal scent, Private Collection. The result was Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, a gorgeous, long-lasting white floral perfume. What made this an outstanding perfume was the gorgeous gardenia note that did not trigger headaches like other gardenia perfumes can. Definitely one of my most favorite floral perfumes, ever.
2008: Sensuous, Estee Lauder
Wow, another Estee Lauder perfume! I promise that I am not being paid by this brand to give its perfumes all these accolades. Estee Lauder just happens to have hired a very talented team of perfumers. Sensuous is a mix of spiciness and warm skin. It is sexy without being loud, and instead stays close to you. However, it is very long-lasting, and could still be smelled eight hours later.

2009: Omnia Green Jade, Bulgari
Omnia Green Jade smelled exactly like how jade looks--smooth, cool, and green in a sweet way. Sadly discontinued, this perfume was a blend of aquatic, white peony, jasmine, wood, and a hint of pistachio with some citrus. On paper, the notes look disjointed and like they would not flow together, but the result was actually a very cool and smooth, sweet green scent. Omnia Green Jade's discontinuation was due to poor marketing, like pretty much all of Bulgari's scents in the Omnia line. Efforts were put into creating these masterpieces, but they would not have strong, active ad campaigns to let consumers know that they even exist. I will never understand that.

2010: Chance Eau Tendre, Chanel
Honestly, Chance Eau Tendre is not my most favorite perfume. However, it does deserve to be on this list, due to its impact. The perfume is a more romantic and floral, less spicy than the original Chance. Of the Chance series, Eau Tendre is the bestselling one. It is a perfume for somebody who wants to wear perfume, but is afraid to.

2011: Le Parfum, Elie Saab
Wow, glamour and beauty in a bottle! Le Parfum is gorgeous blend of white florals (African orange flower, and jasmine), with honey, a hint of rose, and cedar. The scent has great projection, and is very long-lasting. This is a modern, yet glamorous diva of a perfume.

2012: Pure DKNY A Drop of Rose, DKNY
This is the most beautiful rose perfume ever made. It is full-bodied, smooth, true rose, and is the best edition in DKNY's Pure collection. The scent is strong in a good way, and lasts all day without changing. A Drop of Rose is a romantic rose perfume. There's something almost otherworldly about this perfume; it makes me think of a maiden from King Arthur's court whenever I smell it.

2013: Si, by Giorgio Armani
Wow, this modern chypre (woodsy-mossy) has been a bestseller since its release back in 2013. Si is an aromatic, warm blend of cassis, patchouli, white floral, rose, amber, and woods. The result is something smooth and warm like skin, with a glamorous sweetness that lasts all day. Si is a very versatile perfume; it fits in all settings, whether in the high fashion world or Modern Hollywood. The perfume also has a nice vintage feel; I can picture somebody like Elizabeth Taylor or Ella Fitzgerald wearing it. I'd like to mention one thing, however: the version sold in Europe is much longer lasting than the version sold in America, despite both have "Made in France" written on the packaging.

2014: Black Opium, Yves Saint Laurent
Dark! Sexy! Rock 'n' Roll! Black Opium is the scent of black leather jacket and red lipstick. The perfume is a warm and spicy blend of vanilla and coffee, with hints of jasmine, orange blossom, and woods. I've written a more extensive review for it here.

2015: Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere (2015 edition), Chanel
A beautiful, modernized version of the classic No. 5 that deserves its own name. Despite its beauty and uniqueness (smells like sexy, just-showered bare skin!), No. 5 Eau Premiere has not been selling very well, due to the lack of proper marketing (see the commercial for it below). Also, the bottle is nearly identical to the one for the classic Chanel No. 5, which makes the average consumer overlook it and think that it's just another bottle of Chanel No. 5 instead of something new and different. I am so frustrated by this entire thing, seriously. My complete review for Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere is here.
See the forgettable, uninspired commercial here: 

2016: Si Le Parfum, by Giorgio Armani
This is the most concentrated version of Si. It is deeper and sweeter than Si, and does not have as much of the green patchouli note. While Si Le Parfum does cost more than the Eau de Parfum, if this is your favorite perfume, then it is worth the investment because it's much more concentrated, so you'd use less of it. Elegant, bold, feminine.

What perfume have you been wearing this season?
If you have a blog, feel free to leave a link with your response. I'd love to visit!


  1. First off - welcome back to blogging - I'm really glad you are back as I missed reading your posts. I'm so funny with scents lately , I'm suddenly super sensitive to most perfumes and scents - so I tend to stick to plainer ones that won't leave me smelling like a flower garden lol. For now I can only stand Henry Thierry Angel and Lush Vanillary .


    1. Thanks, Lynette! I've missed reading your posts, too. I could not stand to even look at my computer for eight months during my previous job; I guess a traditional office job just isn't for my personality.

      I love "Angel" and "Vanillary on very cold days; you have great taste!

  2. Omnia Green Jade by Bulgari is the one I would choose, since I am a bit picky with scents. Chanel, for example, I love for makeup - really great - but Chanel scents are not very lasting on my skin. But I love Bulgari! It's so good to have you back, although you left your job. I like the series for Sunday! Hope you have a very nice week!

    1. I like Bulgari's perfumes, too! Bulgari makes such beautiful perfume (and jewelry! My gosh, the jewelry); I need to explore more from this line.

  3. I love the Chanel bottles as they stand out against the others with the pretty shape and feminine touch! I still haven't tried any myself but need too! x

    Jenny | Krystel Couture

    1. Definitely start with their new No. 5 L'Eau, move on to No. 5 Eau Premiere, and then graduate onto the biggest, boldest of them all: the classic No. 5! At least that I was kind of what I had to do; I had to ease myself into the Chanel-ade (it's what I call the tell-tale Chanel scent, lol).

  4. Si is my favorite!!


  5. I finally had the chance to try Si because I'm currently working part-time in the beauty department and I finally understood why it's a cult favourite! And welcome back to blogging, I don't blame you for being silent for 8 months. I mean I wouldn't want to blog too if my full time job is about writing reviews. LOL!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Yeah, it's totally a modern classic! Isn't it so fun to work in the beauty department, when you only have to do it part-time? That was what I loved most about my stint at Sephora: 2 days a week playing with beauty products, and making women feel beautiful.

  6. I really love Si! Great review!

    Sarah x

    1. Thanks! It's definitely a beautiful perfume. :-)

  7. Welcome, back! I too am getting back into blogging, as you know, hehe.

    "Fantasy" by Britney is still one of my go-to's. Love it! I really love all of her stuff though, heh!

    1. Me, too! Haha. There was actually an article on why Britney's perfumes continue to sell well, despite the decline in sales for celebrity perfumes. In short, it's because she's actually enthusiastic about her perfumes, instead of just having her name slapped on random scents, and people can tell that she's genuine about them.

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