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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Town & Country Magazine's 85 Best Scents

Nina J. Judar's feature in Town & Country offers the list of 85 Best Scents, compiled based on Town & Country’s “powers of discernment and the expert opinions of various tastemakers". The list is divided into five categories: classic (1919-1979), contemporary (1980-2005), current (2005 to today), rare, and men's scents that Town & Country loves on women. The first four categories are further divided into Potent, Medium Strength and Barely There. This is the division that I found rather odd, since what's potent on one, is barely there on another. For example, Amarige and Joy, which, on me, are potent beyond belief, are placed in Medium Strength, the fairly forceful Allure is Barely There, and the transparent Eau d'Hadrien is filed under Potent. Another question I have, looking at the Best Contemporary section, is, where is Angel?! Obsession made it there, and even Prada did, so why not Angel? The Current Best Scents probably could have been sub-titled We Love Our Advertisers List, witness the presence of Valentino V among the bestest of the best (also found on an ad with a scent strip, page 31). Having said that, with a short description following each scent and an impressive array of fragrances (from Escada Into The Blue to Cuir Beluga to Jarling), this is one of the most exciting pieces on perfume that I have read in a glossy magazine in a long time.

For those who may not have an access to the February copy of Town in Country, here is the list.


Potent: Baghari (Robert Piguet), Bal a Versailles (Jean Desprez), Chanel No 5, Femme (Rochas), Fracas (Robert Piguet), Mitsouko (Guerlain), Opium (Yves Saint Laurent), Shalimar (Guerlain), Youth Dew (Estee Lauder).
Medium Strength: Anais Anais (Cacharel), Arpege (Lanvin), First (Van Cleef & Arpels), Joy (Jean Patou), L’Air du Temps (Nina Ricci), Lauren (Ralph Lauren), L’Interdit (Givenchy), Oscar (de la Renta), Rive Gauche (Yves Saint Laurent).
Barely There: Caleche (Hermes), Diorissimo (Christian Dior).


Potent: Boucheron, L’Eau d’Hadrien (Annick Goutal), L’Eau d’Issay (Issay Miyake), Obsession (Calvin Klein), Prada.
Medium Strength: Amarige (Givenchy), Calyx (Prescriptives), Carolina Herrera, Cashmere Mist (Donna Karan), J’Adore (Christian Dior), Lime Basil & Mandarine (Jo Malone), Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Paris (Yves Saint Laurent), Pleasures (Estee Lauder), Romance (Ralph Laurent), Stella (McCartney), Tresor (Lancôme), Vera Wang.
Barely There: Allure (Chanel), Au The Vert (Bvlgari), For Her (Narciso Rodriguez), L’Instant de Guerlain, Pure Tiffany.


Potent: Black Orchid (Tom Ford), Soir de Lune (Sisley), Valentino V.
Medium Strength: Armani Code for Women, Badgley Mischka, Beyond Paradise Blue (Estee Lauder), Burberry London, Cuir Beluga (Guerlain), Delices de Cartier, Donna Karan Gold, F by Ferragamo, Hypnôse (Lancôme), Insolence (Guerlain), Into the Blue (Escada), Island (Michael Kors), Lovely (Sarah Jessica Parker), Par Amour (Clarins), Rumeur, Silver Rain (La Prairie).
Barely There: Dianthus (Etro), Rose Ikebana (Hermes).


Potent: Fleur Oriental (Miller Harris), Iris Poudre (Frederic Malle)
Medium Strength: Beach (Bobbi Brown), Colonia (Acqua di Parma), Douce Amere (Serge Lutens), Dreams of the Sea (Antonia’s Flowers), Jarling (JAR), Love in White (Creed), No 1 For Women (Clive Christian), Perfect Kiss (Sarah Horowitz), Vanille Abricot (Comptoir Sud Pacifique).
Barely There: Millesime Imperial (Creed), Mimosa Pour Moi (L’Artisan), Acqua di Colonia (Santa Maria Novella), The Scent of Peace (Bond No 9).

Men's Scents Town & Country Loves on Women included: Eau Sauvage, Jean Maria Farina Eau de Cologne, No 88, Pour Un Homme de Caron, Vetiver (Guerlain).

The full text of the artcile can be found in the Febryary 2007 issue of Town & Country, pages 154-159. The magazine's website is


Blogger chayaruchama said...


Let's agree to disagree, on SO many of these.

They get points for variety, though.

7:25 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Where IS my copy of Town & Country?!? (taps manicured nails, rings bell for butler.)

Yes, at least there's some decent variety. Considering the demographic I would maybe have expected a thing or two at the higher end (Amouage, JAR)

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree, there is such a variety there, from clearly what they just *had* to have included for commercial reason to what they truly liked.

8:15 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You must keep stiff upper lip and you mustn't grumble. Jeeves will find you another copy :-)
I have never read T&C before and quite frankly had no idea what to expect, but I'll tell you this, I'll take it over Cosmo any day, simply because it has no silly confession stories and Ask Whomever about ridiculous problems that are either solved by mere common sense or better off on Jerry Springer. End of rant :-)

8:21 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Wow, it's been ages since I got T&C. Don't ask, but I used to get it as an undergrad till I saw the error of my ways and realized it was too obnoxious for words. They also do lists of most eligible men and women (required reading for all debs), so this is certainly a step up for them. LOL at "We Love Our Advertisers List." But am very curious and shall hide this at the bottom of my grocery cart (and do my own bagging) next time I go shopping.

8:28 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I have to admit that there once was a picture of my parents (in Acapulco) in T &C. They weren't at all the sort who usually appeared there, but they knew the photographer (it's a good picture, too:) Anyway, I haven't looked at the magazine since, but I will now!
I do think this is a more interesting list than those you usually see. At least they came up with SOME out-of-the-ordinary scents!

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What does it say about me that I enjoyed the issue quite a lot :-) Seriously, after all the nonsense one reads in Elle and Cosmo and Glamour this days, it was a breath of fresh, society air :-) That is why I also like Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair. None of that Jerry-Springer-esque rubbish there. "What to do if I am in love with my sister's husband" or some such yadayada. Why don't they just stick with fashion and makeup and stuff? Hrmph.

8:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh wow. Very impresive! I am slightly envious :-)
I glanced at the list and saw Cuir Beluga and Jarling and was immediately impressed.

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

So I always have such mixed feelings about this sort of thing. OOH, I look at that list and see that with a handful of exceptions, everything on it is available at my tiny Nordstrom's at the mall. Yawn. OTOH, I breathe a secret sigh of relief that a million people haven't just been told about Tolu or Amoureuse or Ambre Sultan or any of my other beloveds and I can keep them to myself (at least as long as I'm not hanging out with any of you guys!) for a bit longer.

11:09 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That is a very good point :-) I feel that way too, quite often.

11:11 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

They have Goutal's Hadrien listed as Potent! And, they have Poison listed as medium strength? What are they thinking? I am with Chaya, I guess I will just have to agree to disagree on this list. It did get them lots of attention though...

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what I thought too. I actually don't see Poison, hard as I try. If it's not there Poison is not on the list??

12:11 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Now, I read somewhere that these 85 were chosen out of a field of 200 -- is that right? If so, it hardly deserves to be called "Best Scents"...and it explains quite a few of the choices.

12:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's right. They "inhaled some 200" to produce the list :-) I still think that, despite the absence of some and the presence of some, and the ambitious title, it is quite impressive. And I am just so thankful to them for not explaining "how to apply scent", and not telling what ages and hair colors should wear what :-)

12:19 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Hadrien, potent?

Douce Amere? I mean, I love it, but it's not in my top 5 even of the exports.

Oh well, I guess I should be happy they aren't telling everybody about the ones that I really love..

1:44 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeah...Hadrien is potent. :-) One of the funnies things I've read in a while, that.

2:27 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressive list but totally off on the lasting power aspect, IMO. Jo Malone in the same line with YSL Paris? I think not. Must go find the magazine now.

3:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Allure? Barely there? Are they on crack? Pardon my bluntness. ;D

3:19 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree, Paris should be Potent, Allure Medium and Malone Barely There. :-)

3:30 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

M -- confession -- I read T&C fairly regularly at the doctor's office (yeah, I guess I see those kinds of doctors...) Anyway, I keep toying with the idea of getting a subscription, for the reasons you name -- the articles are actually quite well written. Yeah, it's total fluff, mostly, but interesting fluff, and of a higher quality than what's in most of the fashion rags I subscribe to.

3:51 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. It is of course fluff (well, I guess, what's not busines or politics is fluff :-)), but of higher standard.

4:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, they missed the mark on a LOT of these, but you all knew that. Just seeing stuff like Tresor and Oscar on a Best list means that they did not dig very deeply. Meh.

7:19 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Tresor? Meh....maybe it can be on that list, it is sort of a modern classic, like it or not. But Oscar??

9:16 AM EST  

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