ISBN-10: 1846685192

ISBN-13: 9781846685194

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Azurée is a grand, confident leather from 1969 by Bernard Chant, creator of Cabochard and Aromatics Elixir, with some of the surprisingly persistent lemony-woody sunshine of Monsieur Balmain and a soft, dusty, almost grimy leather-chypre heart as comfortable as an old work glove, a fragrance now as good as it’s ever been and just about as good as it gets. TS 2007 sample. Azzaro pour Homme (Azzaro) anisic lavender$ The monotheists among us believe there is only one proper genre of masculine fragrance, the fougère, and that its apex was reached with the aromatic fougères of the late 1970s.

Such a classical masterpiece must, by definition, be standing on the shoulders of giants, and identifying them can be a compelling game. At times 31 brings to mind the old Chant d’Arômes, before Guerlain messed with it. There is also a touch of the first Dioressence, that overripe, blowsy milky-fruity note of lactones that Gucci Rush took to its logical extreme. But Chant d’Arômes was demure, Dioressence come-hither, and Rush a monochrome. Chanel’s 31 does not play games, try to seduce, or attempt to be modern.

The fragrances reviewed in this book are not the greatest of all time—instead, they are those that struck us as far above their peers in quality, inventiveness, or straightforward beauty when we surveyed nearly 1,900 during the writing of Perfumes: The A–Z Guide, ignoring all publicity, packaging, and the feelings of friends and neighbors and concentrating solely on the scent. This ruled out fragrances that everyone admires except us, and also fragrances that have suffered at the hands of changing formulas.

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A Little Book of Perfumes: The 100 Greatest Scents


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