My top 5 perfume houses

Well, Birgit beat me to it. 😦 Even so, I’ll go with the one I had planned several weeks ago and never published (now wonder people beat me to different things). 😉

So, as there are posts like these all the time (your favorite perfumes, notes, brands, perfumes from a brand, etc.), I wanted to share my preferences on the subject.

I have a hard time naming favorite perfumes as that changes all the time. Plus, there are so many good perfumes out there, I hate having to choose among them. I have enough love for all of them. 😉DSC00761

That is why I decided to tell you about my favorite perfume houses because even though I don’t like everything they do, I like/love most of their perfumes and look benevolently on others even when I don’t like them. They are also better represented in my collection. 🙂

In no particular order:

Serge Lutens – I’m guessing most perfumistas have Serge Lutens on their list of perfume houses they enjoy. I don’t think a special explanation is needed but to explain my reasoning – they are like a wonderfully intelligent conversation you might lead at the most unexpected places but one you really need to be alert for, otherwise you will lose your strain of thought.

Guerlain – again, some of the ingeniously great perfumes came from this house and they still come up with some great perfumes.

Ramon Monegal – now, I only recently discovered this gem of a perfume house and the more I smell their perfumes, the more I fall in love. Which isn’t surprising considering Mr. Monegal’s love for books which in my mind only means he knows what he’s doing when it comes to perfume as well. And the inkwell! I was sold at that. 😉

Histoires des Parfums – I always think they don’t get enough love and raving reviews because honestly, those perfumes are great, and very wearable. And not expensive either (considering what else is out there and how much it costs).

The last but not the least, the house that started my perfume journey – L’Artisan Parfumeur. They are also the house I would recommend every perfume newbie to start with as they make you fall in love with some amazingly down-to-earth notes.


I noticed in this list that my European heritage is rather obvious. 🙂

And of course I have special additions. 😉

Special mention goes to Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (being both an American perfume house and indie as well) whose perfumes I keep enjoying since the first time I smelled them. I’m amazed at the work Dawn does, both in its expanse and quality and look forward to smelling many more perfumes her artisan hands make.

And Frederic Malle which would have made the list if I were to mention 6 perfume houses. They’ve been steadily climbing my list of favorite houses for some time now…

P.S. Special thanks to Asali for the absolutely wonderful photos I could use for this post and my blog header.

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25 thoughts on “My top 5 perfume houses

  1. lucasai April 21, 2014 at 19:24 Reply

    Ines, I totally agree that Histoires de Parfums don’t get enough love from the perfumistas. The line is affordable (plus they have those cute 14ml travel sprays!) and the perfumes are really nice.
    I have 1725 “Casanova” in my collection and I liked 1899 “Hemingway” which is the newest one at the moment.


    • Ines April 22, 2014 at 09:44 Reply

      Lucas, I have no idea what Hemingway smells like but I like the sound of that name. 🙂
      I’m glad you agree with me – I particularly like their “spring” perfumes (that’s what I call them) – Blanc Violette and Vert Pivoine for well, spring. 🙂


    • Undina April 23, 2014 at 02:34 Reply

      They should have thought about their perfumes’ names! Who can remember (and why should they?!) Eugénie de Montijo’s year of birth? ; -)


      • lucasai April 23, 2014 at 08:54 Reply

        But the name of the house is “Histoires” and history is about dates and names, isn’t it?


        • Undina April 23, 2014 at 09:17 Reply

          I’m not saying their names aren’t fitting ;- ) It was a response to your thoughts of them not being loved enough – and not even a serious response (I’m fighting those ugly new smileys – so my unconventional smiley got wrapped in the middle).


          • Ines April 23, 2014 at 09:37

            I’m so glad someone said it out loud. I hate these new smileys! Why wordpress thought they were better is beyond me…


          • Undina April 23, 2014 at 09:41

            I’ve even started a posting on the topic but the rate of not-[directly-]perfume-related topics on my blog is getting too high so I’ve postponed it. But I might still do it next week.


          • Ines April 23, 2014 at 09:42

            I understand – I have the same problem with the ratio between perfume related and not perfume-related subjects. 🙂


          • lucasai April 23, 2014 at 09:43

            OH, OK! You already noticed that I sometimes don’t get the right context of the sentence.
            I can imagine the dates being hard to remember, especially when there’s more of them 😉
            But that’s not a problem for me.


  2. Asali April 21, 2014 at 22:25 Reply

    I’m so happy you could use the photos- yep I agree on HdPs too. I have quite a few loves from them. Actually, my houses would be the same as yours except the Monegal- the fifth spot is rather a tough one actually: from the number of bottles it would probably be Caron- which surprises myself, but then again, I too have definite loves in the Malle oeuvre, and then vintage Patou, quite a few loves there and of course April Aromatics, for giving me my beloved Unter den Linden, and Armani Privé and and and you see fifth spot is battling it out 🙂


    • Ines April 22, 2014 at 09:45 Reply

      Ha, in my case it is only chance HdP got the spot, as both DSH and Malle came very close to it so I understand your predicament. 🙂
      And thank you once more for the great pictures.


  3. Asali April 21, 2014 at 22:26 Reply

    …and the new look is great ❤


  4. Tara April 21, 2014 at 22:28 Reply

    I’m glad you still posted, Ines. I can’t enough of people’s Top 5 lists.

    Totally agree that L’Artisan is perfect for newbies.


    • Ines April 22, 2014 at 09:47 Reply

      Thanks Tara! 🙂
      I admit I’m a sucker for reading other people’s lists – doesn’t matter what they are, I always check them out.


  5. theperfumeddandy April 21, 2014 at 23:26 Reply

    Dearest Ines
    Five is so few!
    Well done you for cutting down the numbers so expertly.
    I personally couldn’t be scented without Guerlain for sure…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


    • Ines April 22, 2014 at 09:46 Reply

      Dear Dandy, it is a bit small number but it’s still better than choosing one. 😉 I admit, I enjoy thinking about my favorite stuff in terms of 5, makes you realize what you really like.


  6. jdennard75 April 22, 2014 at 05:27 Reply

    Guerlain and Lutens are certainly among my top houses. Great list, dear Ines. xo


    • Ines April 23, 2014 at 09:23 Reply

      Great minds think alike! 😉


      • jdennard75 April 23, 2014 at 22:30 Reply

        They do 🙂


  7. Undina April 23, 2014 at 02:31 Reply

    I’ll do my Top 5 first and then read everybody’s answers.

    My Top 5 perfume houses (alphabetically):
    1. Amouage
    2. Chanel
    3. Dior
    4. Ormonde Jayne
    5. Tom Ford

    Honorable mentioning: Jul et Mad and Neela Vermeire Creations (these two still do not have a range wide enough to call them “my favorite brand” but I like almost everything they’ve done so far).


    • Ines April 23, 2014 at 09:24 Reply

      Ha, ha, we have absolutely no overlaps! 🙂 Although I would agree with honorable mention of Neela Vermeire.


      • Undina April 23, 2014 at 09:38 Reply

        If I could name 10, Guerlein, Serge Lutens and Malle would have been there!


  8. Natalie April 26, 2014 at 09:30 Reply

    I am very impressed that Ramon Monegal has made this list. I should give that line more of a chance, based on your favorable reaction (top five is pretty impressive!). Guerlain and Serge Lutens would definitely make my list.


    • Ines April 27, 2014 at 14:51 Reply

      I can’t help it when it comes to Monegal, they just seem to hit all my like buttons. 🙂
      I wonder what else would be on your top 5 list…


  9. haticedogan April 28, 2014 at 12:29 Reply

    I love this post! I did a review on Taylor Swift’s wonderstruck perfume and did a post about ‘comparing yourself to others’ It would mean alot if you could check it out and maybe follow me. You have areally lovely blogkeep up the good work! XXX hatice


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