Saturday Question: DIOR, Lutens, CHANEL or Guerlain?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Once a week here on Australian Perfume Junkies we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is generally a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

Over 100 responses I will draw a $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Over 200 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card.
Comment purposefully on yours or anothers comment & you’ll have a chance, will draw on Friday.

Last Weeks Winner: $10 Surrender To Chance Gift Card Tiffanie

Saturday Question: DIOR, Lutens, CHANEL or Guerlain?

So many times on blogs and FaceBook chat pages these four fragrance houses come up. They seem to be the benchmark in a multitude of ways and I often wonder if people have a favourite from the big four.

My Answer:

This collection is littered with all four brands. Guerlain is the best represented in sheer quantity but that’s mainly because I buy a LOT of vintage and have multiples of the same thing. There is also a moderate collection of vintage mens and womens targeted CHANEL and not very much of the modern stuff. In DIOR there are a bunch of vintage Miss Dior, a good vintage cross section, some modern and more than half of the prive line. My Lutens collection is currently at 33 bottles (export, bell, vapo.).


So let’s talk about what I wear the most, maybe that will help sort it out. I think Guerlain outstrips the other brands in skin time by at least double. Shalimar and Mitsouko being my most frequent wears but lately Mon Guerlain and Black Perfecto have been getting a lot of skin. I also wear a lot of the Aqua Allegoria line, Samsara, Vol de Nuit, Mahoma, La Parisiennes, L’Art et la Matiere and both of the d’Orient collections. So, though I think the Guerlain brand degraded beyond belief and that it’s going to hell in a handbasket, it does seem to be the house that I wear most regularly and keep coming back to for so many reasons. It’s been a part of my life from earliest recollections and still is a major personal fragrant influence.


So my question to you today is: DIOR, Lutens, CHANEL or Guerlain?

80 comments on “Saturday Question: DIOR, Lutens, CHANEL or Guerlain?

  1. fanny says:

    That would have to be Guerlain for me.

    I love Dior, many Lutens and some Chanels, but Guerlain will always be number one. The characteristics -not to mention the outstanding quality- of their perfumes feels like coming home every time I wear them.
    I’ll mention just a few: Mitsouko EdT, Shalimar, Shalimar Fourreau du Soir, Metallica, Songe d’un Bois d’Eté, Bois d’Arménie, Oriental Brulant, Derby, Encens Mythique d’Orient, Ambre Eternel, Sous le Vent…

    I still have to try a lot of Guerlain as well… Such a happy prospect !!

  2. Jackie b says:

    Guerlain by a mile!
    Have had decants of other houses as well, but full bottles are Guerlain. Will wear Cuir Beluga anywhere. And Ambre Eternel, Shalimar, Mitsi. And some vintages, Vol de Nuit and LHB.
    So do you think Guerlain is beyond redemption? Maybe going too department store?

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey JackieB,
      YAY for Guerlain,
      I think they once used to create art, now they’re more interested in making money. LVMH is a money hungry monster.
      Portia xx

  3. Constantina bitrou says:

    Dior is closer to my taste from the three

  4. Azsa says:

    I’ve only tried a handful across all these houses. No favorites yet.

  5. Ceil says:

    Guerlain for me also. I really love a lot of earlier Serge Lutens…but not of fan of recent releases.

  6. So hard to answer this, given that I am still on a perfume journey to learn more about each of these houses! Dior holds a special place in my heart because of Diorissimo, which I wore regularly for years. Chanel was one of the first important perfume houses I recognized, because Chanel No. 5 was my mother’s perfume, and because I bought No. 22 for myself in my 20s — one of my first “real fragrance” purchases. I was a latecomer to the house of Guerlain and am happily learning more about its offerings: yes, I had to ease into Shalimar through the delightful eau de cologne version, but now I own several of the Guerlains you list here. I love Aqua Allegoria Lila Bella and Muguet 2016. I have just started exploring Lutens’s fragrances.
    Old Herbaceous recently posted…More Women in PerfumeryMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya OH,
      No 22 is a VERY precocious first pick. how spectacular.
      Portia xxx

      • lol! Looking back, I think my 20-something self did pretty well. I started off strong as a young teenager when I bought my mother a tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5 cologne as a gift. Went through the usual atrocious high school years with cheap drugstore fragrances like Jontue. In my 20s, I moved on to Diorissimo, Chanel No. 22 and Dior’s Poison (that one wasn’t really me, it was a hand-me-down from my mother, who didn’t like it on herself, but I wore it pretty often). I seem to recall occasional flirtations with Pavlova and Pheromone, too.
        Old Herbaceous recently posted…More Women in PerfumeryMy Profile

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        All classics now. Even Jontue.
        Portia xx

    • Tiffanie says:

      The eau de cologne version was my gateway to Shalimar too. The dry down is heaven. So beautiful.

  7. AnnieA says:

    One vote for Chanel. Just bought another Boyle of No. 19 edp and nowadays just about nothing is rebought.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Oh yes AnnieA,
      No 19 is a beauty. So gorgeously wearable. Plus it will put some steel rods in your spine.
      Portia xx

  8. shiva-woman says:

    I’m Serge Lutens all the way. I have almost all the SLs in one form or another, and have made some pilgrimages to the Salon. Following be behind is Guerlain of which I have a good assortment, and only one Christian Dior, and a few Chanels (vintage 5), Coco, and L’heure Bleu. Love my stash…gonna go visit it now…
    shiva-woman recently posted…Saturday Question: DIOR, Lutens, CHANEL or Guerlain?My Profile

  9. Mariann says:

    I have none. I always give them a sniff at the airport though and of the four I would probably lean towards the early Lutens (Fourreau Noir, Encens y Lavande) and maybe the Chanel exclusives and Cristalle. Of the bigger ‘non niche’ houses that have been around for awhile my love goes to Hermes.

  10. Tena says:

    I have all 4 houses well represented, but my most often worn would have to be Chanel. I work in an office, and so many of their Les Exclusives are perfect for that.
    I just realized though, that I rarely pick Chanel for my off hours – Interesting…..

    • Lillibet says:

      Ugh…double posted by mistake. Sorry Portia. What I meant to say here was that I also find several Les Exclusives perfect for interesting office wear. At least 4 Chanels, Bois de Iles, Bel Respiro, Coromandel and No 19 EdT are in regular rotation as work scents.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Tena,
      Considering how much time you spend at work then it definitely would get the vote and I reckon you wear everything else outside of work because it needs some loving.
      Portia xx

  11. Tara C says:

    I have a ton of Lutens, Guerlain and Dior, only 4-5 Chanel. I don’t keep track of what I wear, but I’d guess it’s Guerlain I wear the most. That said, I have liked few of the recent Guerlain and Lutens releases, my current release favourites have been Dior Privée. The Guerlains I bought between 2005-2015 get a lot of play, plus the original series of Dior Privée. Haven’t tried any of the new Dior Privée series but they sound less interesting. I also wear my F. Malle scents a lot.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there TaraC,
      Since the original DIOR Privé line came out in 2010(?) it has sweetened and become more in line with modern retail shopper tastes. Very modern Guerlain-ish really. So your waning of love for both is completely understandable.
      Portia x

  12. VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I’m probably an anomaly here… no Chanel, no Dior, no Lutens. And not for lack of trying, the only appealing one to me from that group enough to possibly fb buy is No. 19. Guerlain, on the other hand, although the big two do not appeal to me either, I do own an impressive lineup of the AAs and adore them as well Mon Paris. There, I’ve said it.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi VerbenaLuvvr,
      I don’t hate Mon Guerlain (That’s what you meant? Mon Paris is YSL) too. They have done a super youth-oriented mainstream fragrance with yummy ingredients, I hope it sells shitloads and keeps the house afloat.
      Portia xx

  13. Patty Pong says:

    Guerlain 🙂

  14. Fazal says:

    I own many from all 4 but it is easily Dior for me. I believe Dior has the best overall legacy from Miss Dior, Dioressence, Dune, and Poison to Eau Sauvage, Fahrenheit, and Dior Homme etc. Dior is more versatile and it has had massive hits in both masculine and feminine category. Dior’s hits are as different from each other as they can be. On the other hands, Guerlains are usually about vanillas (absent great ones like Mitsouko and LHB), Chanels are about aldehydes, and Lutens are about that particular oriental DNA. I am not saying other 3 don’t have some variety but I feel Dior has much impressive overall track record.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      All very fair comments Fazal. They have definitely created some interesting menswear targeted scents, all very different. Good call.
      Portia xx

  15. Tiffanie says:

    Of those four houses Guerlain is the one I turn to most often.
    Many of Guerlain’s colognes were an instant love for me along with L’Heure Bleue, Terracotta Le Parfum, Jardins de Bagatelle, Vol de Nuit, Mon Precieux Nectar, Insolence, and vintage Shalimar EdC. So many beautiful things to sniff. I do hope the pendulum will swing away from market glut so the focus on Guerlain’s heritage and quality might sharpen.

    I have several favorites from Chanel but have tried very few from Dior and Lutens. All three houses seem to play the exclusivity card much more deliberately than the others.

    Oh! and many thank yous for the generous draw, it is a delightful surprise to be named this weekend. Portia, you’ve made my hum-drum Saturday much happier. I am grateful for the fragrant love and happiness shared at APJ. 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY Tiffanie,
      Please email me on portia _ turbo AT yahoo DOT com DOT au
      I’ll get that Gift Certificate too you.
      Portia xx

  16. Maggiecat says:

    F o r me it would have to be Chanel!

  17. Chocolate Marzipan says:

    Old vintage Chanel (before the exclusives were released) is what I am most familiar with…so I will go with that 🙂

  18. Kandice says:

    It would have to be Guerlain for me. Two of their perfumes were love at first sniff, and I’m sure there are more I would love once I had a chance to try them! Chanel would come in second although only Coco has ever grabbed me the way the Guerlain’s have. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything I feel the same way about in the other two houses. I haven’t even come close to trying many of them yet, so I guess that could change. But I have a feeling I’ll always be a Guerlain girl at heart 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Kandice,
      No shame in being a Guerlain girl. They have a wonderful selection.
      COCO!! My favourite CHANEL too.
      Portia xx

  19. Kate Apted says:

    Morning everyone!

    Guerlain without a doubt. Through sheer ownership. However, I reach for Chanels much more often. I don’t own any Les Exclusifs, so it is the main line stuff.

    Guerlain represented a craft, and as such, I tend to value my collection as not suitable as a daily. Chanel are pleasant enough for me to wear, but I have no guilt taking my smaller bottle to work and shoving it into my greasy, oily tool box.

    Dior made outstanding scents up until Poison. Downhill ever since. I got given a vintage Miss Dior (50s bottle) and an original bottle of Bal a Versaille when I was 14. Alongside Poison (which I stole shots of from my mum), Miss Dior introduced me to the joy of Dior. None of the moderns do a thing for me. I AM trying to find redemption in J’Adore….

    Lutens. Yes, well. I rushed to buy a bottle of Feminite du Bois when I discovered Lutens released it. My first foray into Lutens. I cried. I rarely cry. But, I am discovering the beauty in the older Lutens. Too late though.

    Guerlain it is. Die hard Jicky fan girl.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Kate,
      Did you try any of the DIOR cruise collection? They are excellent colognes and can still be tried in stores. They may give you a bit of DIOR love?
      Portia xx

  20. Lillibet says:

    This is a tough question Portia! Two cups of coffee haven’t been enough to help me decide on my answer.

    Guerlain was my gateway to daily fragrance wear. Le Petite Robe Noire did exactly what they’ve designed it to do – introduced a new customer to their brand.

    After a while I branched out to Hermes (Jardin swries) and then started to explore Guerlain’s ‘back catalog) and then to mainstream Chanel (No 19! Coco!) and eventually Lutens and Les Exclusifs.

    I only own a couple of Diors (Dune & Diorella).

    I own similar numbers of bottles of Guerlain, Chanel and Lutens… Guerlain has my heart but I think I reach for my Lutens and Chanel more often for daily wear.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      OMG! Dune and Diorella are your only DIOR scents? You are the coolest of the cool kids Lillibet. What an excellent pair you’ve chosen.
      Portia xx

  21. Katya says:

    Guerlain is what I wear and have the most in my collection

  22. Kerri says:

    I have a lot from the four houses but definitely the most of and most worn is Guerlain.

  23. Saffyishere says:

    Guerlain is my favourite. please don’t enter me in the draw.

  24. Ingeborg says:

    I haven’t tried the Guerlain colognes and I love AA Pamplelune (on my 4th bottle)and my bottle of Chamade, but I would still say Dior is a favourite. I’m on my second bottle of Escale à Pondichery and like several others of that line and am planning to buy little by little at least 3 from the private line. Plus vintage Diorella must be heaven!

    Had Hèrmes been in this week’s question I would have picked that house. The Jardin-series is so good quality and widely available and there’s many more for both men and women.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Ingeborg,
      LOVE the Escale line at DIOR, my fave is Portofino. Aren’t they yum?
      WOW! 4th bottle is HUGE! Pamplelune is very nice but somehow I rarely reach for it. I’ll make a concerted effort this coming summer.
      Portia xx

      • Ingeborg says:

        Pamplelune is the closest I will get to a signature scent. Up until 2 years ago I had less than twenty bottles of perfume I would wear. In that way, I do finish both bottles and travel sprays, but less and less often now.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        When the perfume bug bites us we must comply. I hope you’re enjoying it Ingeborg.
        Portia xx

      • Ingeborg says:

        I could easily have bought the Portofino scent, I love citrus in perfume.

  25. Deb Byrnes says:

    I haven’t tried many Lutens and I don’t have many Chanels or Guerlains but I love Mitsouko. But for Dune, Miss Dior Parfum, Diorella, Addict and Pure Poison, I have to pick Dior. I am also looking forward to their new Sakura, you wrote about it beautifully, Portia.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Deb,
      DIOR is wonderful. I love them too.
      Thanks, so glad you liked the Sakura review. Currently wearing DIOR Jasmin Des Ange and reviewing it for Perfume Posse. Another very pretty release.
      Portia xx

  26. hajusuuri says:

    Fun question, Portoa! Team Chanel here when it comes to frequency of wear and number of bottles. No. 19 EDP is my favorite of them all.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya Hajusuuri,
      Team CHANEL has some very cool people in it. You’ll fit in just fine.
      Portia xx

  27. Bernadette Winfield-Gray says:

    Guerlain for me, too. Since well before most of you were born I have been a fan of Chamade, Parure and Jicky. Shalimar into my 20’s before I ‘rested’ it because All the middle aged women wore it! In my forties I discovered Caleche and reintroduced Shalimar as a winter frag. Into my fifties I fell in love with Vol de Nuit. Though I wore Diorella at my wedding it has to be Guerlain for me: Chanel and I are not frag friends, though I adore Cristalle. Lutes is an unexplored world.

  28. Hikmat Sher Afridi says:

    Great Article!!!!!
    Top Position: Guerlain
    2nd Position: Dior
    3rd Position: Channel
    4th Position: SL(maybe beacuase I have few of SL fragrances)

  29. Scott Steward says:

    Chanel for the win!
    Coromandel, Egoiste, Antaeus, #19, #5, #22, Sycomore, Bois Des Iles, Cuir de Russie, Coco, Coco and some more Coco!

    Lutens is second with Fumerie Turque, Chergui, Santal Majascule, Cedre and MKK

    Guerlain comes in third with Habit Rouge, Shalimar, Chamade and Rose Nacree du Desert

    Alas, Dior is a very distant fourth for me – no love for anything current and no full bottles, maybe some Oud Ispahan and Ambre Nuit one day – don’t mind the old Dune, Poison and Dioressence.

    Thankfully you didn’t stress me out with this question at all. If you make me choose between YSL, Rochas, Givenchy, Nina Ricci and Estee Lauder, there will be tears.

  30. Hi Portia. I’m with Lutens – mainly because I own far more of these than any other brand. Also it’s how I discovered a new world of perfume, olfaction … So my heart will always be there. Saying that Guerlain is number 2 in terms of how many I have. Chanel is growing on me but currently only have 2 x bottles – Coromandel and Coco Madamoiselle. That’s soon about to change though. xxx
    meganinsaintemaxime recently posted…Mood Scent 4 : Mainstream PerfumesMy Profile

  31. Gina says:

    Guerlain of course!! I don’t like Chanel. Lutens is weird. Dior is hit or miss.

  32. MikasMinion says:

    I think it’s close between Lutens and CHANEL with CHANEL leading by a nose. I can’t even think of a Dior in my collection, but I do adore Mitsy and VdN as well as a few Guerlain colognes.

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