EauPEN Thread – Favorite Designer Perfumes

Erykah Badu

Name your Top 5 Favorite designer perfume brands.

This is tough for me. When the word “favorite” is mentioned, it makes me nervous. I’m too noncommittal for blanket statements like that! So as of today, these are my five favorite designer perfumes. These are the brands that I own the most from and actually wear:

  1. Prada – I actually own a lot of Prada and I forget this. The original “Prada Amber” is one of my favorites. This may partially be because of memories or the era when I wore it, but even without those memories, it’s a pretty wearable patchouli-amber. Prada perfumes are what I think of as elegant without being fussy. There’s something about their style that I really like. They may not be super exciting but I think they’re great for “day wear”. I love the sweet benzoin/iris Candy in the winter and the powdery iris, Infusion d’Iris in late winter/early spring.
  2. Bvlgari – Same  talking points as above. They’re non-fussy, wearable perfumes. Yes, they have some flops. But, I’ll forgive them even if they make bad choices by discontinuing Omnia and Black. I like their tea scents and even Rose Essentielle. They’re the sort of perfumes that I wear when I don’t want to think about wearing perfume.
  3. Hermès – I’m one of those Hermès people. Either you are or you aren’t. I totally get how someone isn’t. It’s a whisper-y style. I love the Jardin Collection in the summer. I also like all of the various “colognes” (the soaps in these scents are FABULOUS). I’m very much an Hermèssence person. Which is a weird thing to say because I don’t consider myself delicate and/or inoffensive. I guess I’m drawn to that contrast.
  4. Mugler – Speaking of delicate and inoffensive…Mugler. Not! Mugler perfumes can be really big so I have to be in the mood for them. But, when I’m in the mood for something like Angel or Alien, nothing else will do. I think Mugler perfumes are really creative and stand-out. It’s one of the few designer perfume brands that truly works with the designer clothing brand. They are truly an extension of the brand.
  5. Tom Ford – I’d say that the regular Tom Ford lineup (excluding Private Blends) are things to wear when I feel like “standing out”. They’re louder perfumes that project (like the Mugler ones). My favorite one is White Patchouli, which nobody seems to talk about. I also love Orchid Soleil (and nope, I still haven’t bought a full-size bottle!). Black Orchid isn’t the best for me, but I appreciate that something that bombastic exists. Anyway, I actually like the regular Tom Ford lineup over Private Blends because I think those are “edgier” and more interesting.

WAIT. I’m already changing my mind. How can I exclude Chanel?! I mean, half of what I wear is boring ‘ole Chanel like Cristalle and Coco. I can’t believe I’d exclude Chanel… I TOLD YOU I CAN’T HANDLE RESTRICTIVE LISTS.

Anyway, what are your Top 5 Designer Perfume Brands (or even TOP SIX, lol)?

What is a “designer perfume”? I consider these to be those more “mainstream” perfumes that are associated with clothing brand…a designer. These typically have a broader appeal because of their distribution channels and price point. However, these days all of the ones mentioned above have an “exclusive” brand. I call these “boutique designer” or “exclusive designer” or even “designer niche” since they are a designer perfume brand but usually only sold at certain stores/doors/boutiques and usually cost A LOT more. So, that’s like Chanel Les Exclusifs or Mugler Les Exceptions, Hermèssence…you get the picture.

*Erykah Badu for Tom Ford White Patchouli, one of my favorite celeb + designer perfume ads EVER, well, that pic is from

24 thoughts on “EauPEN Thread – Favorite Designer Perfumes

  1. I’m with you on Chanel and Prada. Even though I’m not a Chanel-ish person in any way, I love so many of the perfumes, including No. 19 and No. 22 (and a bit of vintage 5 once in a while) along with 31 Rue Cambon, Coromandel, etc. As for Prada, I recently obtained three of the discontinued exclusives, which are amazing (Oeillet, Benjoin, and Oppoponax).

    After that it gets hard. I just checked my cabinet and I don’t really have any other designers except for some vintage, so honorary mentions to YSL for vintage Opium, Gucci for L’Arte di Gucci, and Madame Gres for vintage Cabochard (my most worn perfume of my earlier years).

    1. I’m absolutely not a Chanel fan in other way (ESPECIALLY not the person). The brand itself isn’t my tastes at all. But, then there’s the perfume. I can’t help it. I like them.

      So, Prada always confuses me. I’ll see that they pulled those and then I see them at other places…it’s like are the discontinued? Did they reformulate? Did the relaunch and thought we forgot? So many questions.

      I love Opium and Paris. Same with L’Arte. I was thinking the other day about how all over the place Gucci is style wise with their perfumes. None of theirs really make sense together.

      Another I just remembered liking…Dior. I don’t wear them very much at all but I like the old school stuff like Poison, Addict and Dune.

  2. The designer that I have the most/wear the most from is Guerlain, however, I totally get why people are frustrated with their recent output. Pretty much all the Guerlain I wear are their old classics. Shalimar is one of my go-tos this time of year.

    I like the Prada Infusions a lot, too, and would like to try more of the line. Sadly, Prada Candy doesn’t do so well on my skin… there’s something in there that smells weird on me in a way that ruins the perfume.

    Balenciaga is a surprise contender for me. I’ve had really good luck with their stuff–Rosabotanica and Florabotanica are fun, easy florals that I enjoy a lot. I also love B., and recently got a sample of B. Skin which shocked me at how good it was, AND that it actually smelled like what it says, “a more sensual version of B.”

    I don’t own any full bottles of Chanel perfumes yet, but I have emptied multiple samples of No. 5 so and Coco so I should probably just buy them.

    1. I like Guerlain but don’t find myself wearing them that much these days (which is crazy, really). I think maybe I burnt myself out? I do reach for Shalimar every now and then.

      I can see how Prada Candy doesn’t work on some people. On me it’s this iris/benzoin. Yes, it’s sweet but not in a “candy” way.

      BALENCIAGA. Yes, they make some great ones. I adore L’Essence so much. I’m also one of the few fans (I say few because nobody ever talks about it) of B. I think it’s pretty. I haven’t tried the B. Skin yet. I think as a designer line, Balenciaga is rather solid.

      For years, all I got with purchases were Chanels. I had so many samples (not complaining!). Now it’s only Flowerbomb (no, thank you). I actually haven’t purchased No. 5 yet because I had sooooo many samples.

      1. B. is so great! It’s such a fun, bright, peppery green perfume, it always puts me in a good mood. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about it.

    2. I would have picked Guerlain myself as my number one but to me this is not a designer but just a perfumer. To me a designer perfume is a perfume that comes from a fashion designer. But I know there is some confusion about what exactly that term means regarding perfume. If Guerlains counts than I’m with you all the way!

      1. Not to be the “technical” one but I agree with you. Those to me are perfume houses because they don’t make clothes, jewelry or design some other fashion item. I mean, I think of brand’s like Guerlain and even Lancome in that “perfume house” genre.

        But, I also see how “designer” is equated to non-niche. And I’m not the rule enforcer so at the end of the day, I don’t really care at all about technicalities 😉

  3. In no particular order:

    1. Tom Ford. Black Orchid and Orchid Soleil are both swoon-worthy and they really last on me.

    2. Kenzo. Flower is that rare thing with me and my dry skin–a soft, powdery, sweet floral that actually stays put. I can still detect it on me up to 8 hours later. But the real Kenzo powerhouse is L’Elephant. Talk about the elephant in the room! I love it but I have to put it on at least a half-hour before I leave the house. It makes me hear Alan Rickman crooning “The air is full of spices.”

    3. L’Artisan Parfumeur. Torn between Timbuktu and L’Eau d’Ambre as a favourite, and I’ve also had remarkable success mixing their fragrances with each other.

    4. Atelier Cologne. Same as above with the mixing–I love several of the scents individually, but pair them and you have something really beautiful.

    5. Cartier. If they’d never done any perfume except Le Baiser du Dragon, they’d still be on my list. That scent is one of my top 5 ever. Heady, gorgeous, and long-lasting.

    Honorable mentions: Designer or drugstore, I’ll always have space for a beautiful perfume that isn’t gone from my skin in 20 minutes–like Coty’s Nokomis or Avon’s Occur! Those two will always be among my best of the best.


    1. A few comments:

      I absolutely love Kenzo Flower but for some reason it always makes me sneeze (when I wear it, this doesn’t happen to me when other people do). I guess if I could get a “cologne” of Flower, I’d be about that.

      CARTIER – I love a lot of their stuff and can’t believe I “forgot” about them. I love du Dragon but their flowers and citrus are also good…and something that can be picked up on discount sites for very little.

      Avon – I adore their perfumes for nostalgic reasons. I love Sweet Honesty! I actually need to pick up another bottle of it.

  4. Toughie! Guerlain and Prada are the top 2. Maybe Dior, since Tresor is my mom’s favorite, I love Hypnotic Poison, and 90s Dolce Vita can brighten up any day. And Estee Lauder- is it weird that now in my thirties I finally feel old enough for it? Im reconsidering Youth Dew and plan to try out some Green Teas for work. Mugler is the “you smell like my sister” brand.

    1. Dior does have some great perfumes. I feel so bad for excluding them!

      I wear the heck out of Youth Dew even though it is my grandma’s and all my great aunts’ fragrance. It’s just so…pungent. I love it.

  5. Channel, I love so many of their perfumes. The lipstick and nail polish aren’t bad, either. My favorite splurge is Chanel beauty products.

    Cartier, yes.

    Hermes, yes.

    Narcisco Rodriguez, even though only the For Her edt & edp work for me, but they work so well.

    I will throw in Mugler as well, because they are all personality and oomph. I can only wear Alien Extraordinaire, but I love that all the others exist.

    Fun topic!

    1. Oh, yes! NR! They don’t all work on me but the ones that do, really do.

      Alien Extraordinaire is wonderful. I wear it more than I do the original.

      I have a tab open and I’m looking at new Chanel lipsticks…Wow, those new limited edition reds are stunning.

      1. Right!? I keep telling myself I have to get through some of my current lipsticks before I buy more. But my will is weak. And the lip is strong.

        1. I need this in calligraphy, framed and on my wall:


          Because never truer words of my strange addiction.

          1. I just bought one of the new limited edition ones in the red (!!!) case (or whatever the right word is). I had gone through and cleared out lipsticks that I wasn’t wearing or used up those I was. The other day I realized I had NO dark autumnal colors!!!!! Well that is now remedied. So Yay! (I feel so glamorous now)

          2. I WANT ONE OF THOSE. The case is so gorgeous and the colors are elegant. I’m weak and impressionable. Stop telling me about these things 😉

            I love Chanel lipsticks and glosses because the cases feel so luxurious. Like if I’m going to pay big $ for a lip product, it better feel glamorous on all levels, right? And Chanel does.

          3. Couldn’t reply to your comment below. If it helps, my lips were absurdly dry after wearing the one I got (#2, matte formula). I’m SO bummed!!! My daily wear everywhere is Raffine, also a matte, which doesn’t dry out my lips at all.

            Not sure what to do. Different matte formula? Just get some lip primer, which I’ve never had to use. Return for the non matte one???

            I’m really bummed as the color is so so perfect!!!! Erggggg!!!!!

          4. Oh, no! And that does help me. My lips have been INSANELY dry lately. Like just the worst. I have a sample of Bite Lip Mask which to my surprise, has really helped.

            I’d return it even if the color is perfect. Dry lips don’t look good even if the color is perfect 🙂 But, ugh, that sucks.

  6. Yes to Hermes, Bulgari and Prada. If L’Artisan counts then that two. I also really enjoy the Bottega Veneta scents.

    1. The Bottega Veneta scents are so good. They really fit with the brand and smell so elegant. I’ve been wearing the original from a sample the past few nights. It’s so good.

  7. For me it’s Dior and maybe Mugler and Tom Ford. I love Dior Homme Intense, and also some of the exclusives, especially Eau Noire and Feve Delicieuse… When it comes to the last two brands I have very few loves from each, and lots of oh-no-you-don’ts… but the loves are lovely, so. I’m a big fan of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, and I really like Lys Fume, but pretty much everything else from the brand has been a miss. From Mugler I have a bunch of likes that turn into loves when I’m in the mood for them, but just as easily into dislikes when I’m not in the mood. I like Alien Essence Absolue for instance, but I rarely wear it because I can’t really predict if I’m going to love or hate it that day. Other likes include Pure Havane, Pure Tonka (this one might be my fav from the brand so far), Angel Cuir…

    If I had to add two more brands, for a top 5, then I guess Lolita Lempicka (but only because I adore L de LL), and Cartier (because I like the Baiser Voles).
    LaDomna recently posted..Long time no blog / catch up outfit post

    1. I’m a fan of all the Poison Diors. And even the unpopular stuff like Dune. Right now, I’ve been wearing so much of Angel Muse that I can’t hate on Mugler. That has redeemed it all, lol.

      There are few TF Private Blends that I like. I tend to like the “regular” lineup more even if I rarely wear them. I love White Patchouli, which reminds me I should pull it out so I actually wear it.

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