French lesson immersed in the Poplar French perfume world, and a peek into the latest trends in Fragrance.

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When it comes to the art of perfumes, France ranks as exceptional, and considered to have produced best popular French perfume in the world, mostly thanks to many of the greatest names in the perfume industry. Chanel, Christian Dior, Hermes. However recently there has been a seismic shift.Today’s blog discusses what has changed. We also share with you some important French vocabulary relating to perfumes and guide you in discovering the best places to explore the fascinating world of French perfume in Paris.

Adjectives in French to describe a perfume

But let’s first look at those sexy French Adjectives to describe a perfume to get you in the mood!

“Capiteux, entêtant“: heady, sensual

“Léger”: light

“Aromatique”: fragrant

“Ambré”: amber-scented

“Poivré”: peppery, spicy

“Boisé”: wood-scented

“Végétal”: vegetal - plant

“Floral”: floral fragrance

“Oriental”: oriental fragrance

“Poudré”: remind of notes of talc or rice fragrance


French perfume brands & iconic French perfumes

Now that you have the tantalising adjectives sorted, I have listed the top ten most iconic French perfumes that have put France on the map as THE destination for everything to do with Fragrance.

The top 10 iconic perfumes from French perfume companies ranked are:

1- Guerlain : Mitsouko (1919)

2- Chanel : No 5(1921)

3 - Guerlain : Shalimar(1925)

4 - Eau d’Hermès : Hermès (1951)

5 - Yves Saint Laurent : Opium(1977)

6 - Coco : Chanel (1984)

7- Annick Goutal l: ’Eau d’Hadrien (1988)

8- Serge Lutens : Féminité du Bois (1992)

9-Jean-Paul Gauthier Classique (1993)


10- Kenzo : Flowers (2000)

So now you are in the know as to what is (or was in the past) considered the best French perfume brands let’s look at where French Fragrance is and will be moving in the future.The exciting part is the growth in new artisan perfumes in Paris like Frédéric Malle.

French Artisan perfumesin Paris: a more personalized touch.

In Europe and Paris, (the European epicentre of Fragrance), mass perfume brands are very much falling out of favour while artisan perfumers are becoming more popular. It’s rather like the growth of craft Beers around the world, where global brands no longer capture the essence of our individuality and style. We want to be different, we want to be in the know, we want to be ahead of the trends, be it in Beer, Champagne, or in this case- Fragrance!


For those looking for something unique, Niche industries are joining the mass market, providing artisanal and natural scents. Moreover, there is a definite trend away from anything artificial. Many people are turning to natural, non-toxic perfumes. Fragrances that contain the health benefits that essential oils bring.

I have outlined 3 new French artisan perfumesthat are very much worthy of your time. The first of 3 new French artisan perfumesare Serge Lutens. Lutens is a multi-talented artist whose careers encompass fashion design, perfume design, hair styling, photography and film-making. In 1992, Lutens created Les Salons du Palais Royal – a former bookshop in Paris"s Jardins du Palais Royal, converted into a house of perfume. He was inspired by art, literature as well as the Parisian surroundings. His creation “Feminité du Bois” (1992) is highly regarded and is sweet, woody, resin-like in its appeal.

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Notes & scents to describe a perfume

Speaking of woodynotes. It’s time to share with you a few useful phrases relating to plants as they play a vital role in the world of expensive French perfume:

“Les plantes”: plants

“Le santal”: sandalwood

“La vanille”: vanilla

“Le vetiver”: vetiver

“La bergamote”: bergamont orange

“La lavande”: lavender

“Le patchouli”: patchouli

“Le musc”: musk

“La fleur d’oranger”: orange blossom

The second of 3 new French artisan perfumes of noteare Annick Goutal, an artisan perfumery in Paris, has its own in-house perfumers.