Even if you’ve been wearing perfume for decades, you get to the point where you know you have either gotten into a rut – wearing the same thing all the time or the same “type” -- or you have been shopping what is popular and feel you've missed out on the classics of perfume.
Beginner Niche Perfume and Classic Perfume 101 is taken from a post we wrote 15 or 16 years ago on Perfume Posse, and it is our recommendation of where we think you should start in your journey through niche perfume as well as classic fragrances. We think these are great perfumes that are examples of their type. With a couple of noted exceptions, we find these fragrances worthwhile without being scarily challenging to the nosebuds. Is this a biased list, weighted toward niche product and reflecting scents we like and neglecting things we don’t? Well, sure. So what?
Later, when you ready to turn Pro, check out the Intermediate Niche and Classic Sample Set.
You will get a sample of each perfume in the list below (starts with a ½ ml – 1 ml sample vial filled half full - and you can get a larger sample vial set by selecting that option)
- Leather that’s not too scary – Byredo Biblotheque
- Incense - Unum Lavs, a gorgeous incense
- Musk – Narciso Rodriguez for Her
- Tea – Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan
- Amber – Dior Dune (Luca Turin’s description as “bleakest Beauty in all of perfumery” and “unsmiling from top to bottom… drained of life, flesh-toned in the creepy way of artificial limbs, not real ones. Marvelous,”) Honest, that sounds awful, but Dune is great! Also not an big amber that’s too heavy on the oriental.
- Ambergris with a dusting of chocolate – Hermes Elixir des Merveilles
- Iris – Hermes Hiris, just beautiful iris.
- Rose and violet – Yves Saint Laurent Paris, a classic rose/violet blend that is always perfect.
- Chypre – Guerlain Mitsouko, a classic that anyone with an ounce of seriousness about perfume must smell.
- White floral that isn't super scary big – Frederic Malle Lys Mediterranee
- Beginning skank (explanation!) - Rochas Femme. Look, this probably is in no way a beginning skank fragrance, but you got to just dive in this part and sniff and see what you think.
- Tea - L'Artisan Pour Une Ete is a great tea to start with
- Virtual Reality – CB I Hate Perfume Black March is dirt and earth and all the heartbreaking hope and longing for life.
- Oriental Spicy – Dior Oud Ispahan is oud, rose, and spices, a modern oriental spicy fragrance.
- Vanilla – Diptyque Eau Duelle is a really well behaved vanilla, and it has a little tea in there too! It won’t make your teeth ache if you hate vanilla, and you may decide you really don’t hate vanilla perfumes after all.
- Classic and Gorgeous - Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman
- Honey, just because you have to know if you hate it or love it, and this is one that isn't scary and is filled with rum and vanilla - Brooklyn Ellis Bee.