Top 5 Department Store Scents: Gabriella


Post by Gabriella


Hello perfumed peeps! I must admit that I have felt a bit out of the perfume scene of late. Being out of work until just last week and watching my pennies has meant that I’ve tried to resist the temptation of buying new samples or reading online forums or a blog post that may have me craving a new scent.

However, it’s also taught me that enjoying perfume doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise. I’ve been quite happy just going into stores and spritzing to my heart’s content – no credit card necessary. It also got me thinking that I’m lucky that I have access to and can afford niche scents. But what if this wasn’t the case? If I could only have department store fragrances, what would be my picks?
So here, I present to you my…..

Top 5 Department Store Scents

Anais Anais L’Original Eau de Parfum FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. Anais Anais L’Original by Cacharel 2014

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Hyacinth, galbanum, orange blossom
Heart: Jasmine, rose, lily
Base: Sandalwood, cedar, incense, amber
I’ve mentioned my love for this previously and have been wearing it happily ever since that post. Anais Anais to my mind remains one of the best designer scents on the market. Soft, feminine and graceful hyacinth and lily. It always brings a smile to my face.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and The Non Blonde
Anais Anais L’Original (available in both EDP and EDT) and Anais Anais EDT are widely available at department stores and online sellers.
FragranceNet has the current EDT starting at $31.19/30ml before discount
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

Karl Lagerfeld for Her Karl Lagerfeld FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. Karl Lagerfeld for Her by Karl Lagerfeld 2014

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: lemon and peach
Heart: magnolia, rose and frangipani
Base: amber wood and musk

My lovely Mum picked this up for me on a recent holiday overseas. She handed it to me saying: “Well I know you’re a perfume snob, but I kept smelling it and thought it was beautiful. But if it’s not good enough and you don’t want it, I’ll have it.” Hehehe! I ended up keeping the bottle because, as Mums often are, she was right. This makes a nice departure from the swathes of fruitchoulis out there. It’s a pretty, demure and elegant mix of lemon, rose and white flowers.

Further reading:  Now Smell This
David Jones has $75/45ml

Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs for women FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

3. Marc Jacobs for Women by Steve Demercado and Loc Dong for Marc Jacobs 2001

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: gardenia and bergamot
Heart: tuberose, jasmine, white pepper and honeysuckle
Base: ginger, cedar and musk

This was launched eons before the niche revival of gardenia scents and still remains one of the best in my view. It’s a watery take on the voluptuous white flower but without the dreaded aquatic/calone vibe, just an amazingly pretty “wet” gardenia. I just wish it was slightly more readily available as it’s a damn sight better than some of the recent releases by the house.

Michael Michael Kors FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. Michael by Laurent Le Guernec for Michael Kors 2000

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Freesia, incense, Chinese osmanthus, tamarind
Heart: Tuberose, iris, peony, orris root, arum lily
Base: Musk, cashmere wood, vetiver

I’ve mentioned this one before too. Whilst it might be shriek tuberose for some, this always feels like a second skin some 14 years after first trying it. It’s a strong tuberose, tempered by freesia and lily before the spices take over and make this all spicy white floral goodness.

Further reading: The Scents of Self
Michael is available in most department stores and online discounters.
FragranceNet has it starting at $41.19/50ml (before coupon)
My Perfume Samples starts at $2.49/ml

Chanel No 19 EDP Chanel Fragrantica

5. No 19 EDP by Henri Robert for Chanel 1970

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:

Top: green notes and bergamot
Heart: rose and iris
Base: vetiver, oakmoss and leather
I came late to the Chanel 19 party, but what a party it is! An aloof green icicle of perfumed beauty that just oozes confidence and chic. I prefer the EDP of this one for its much rosier depth and fullness.

Chanel No 19 is available in most department stores
Surrender to Chance starts at $3.49/ml

So, there’s my take. What would your top 5 be?

With much love till next time!

M xx

21 thoughts on “Top 5 Department Store Scents: Gabriella

  1. Hey there Madeleine,
    I too love some Department Store beauties.
    Currently I have Shalimar, CHANEL No 5, Aromatics Elixir, Brasil Dream and Womanity on pretty high rotation. Can’t forget Liberte either
    Portia xx


  2. Hello Madeleine! I was also late to the Chanel No 19 EdP party. It is utterly lovely. Chanel is hard to beat really. Hugs. xxx


  3. I think Cartier’s Baiser Vole is a beautiful department store scent. Love that lily note. I am wearing it today, in fact.


  4. Hi Madeleine,
    My 1970’s bottle of 19 has been tucked away for many years, ignored and unloved. I just went to look for it and finally found it in the way back of the the perfume storage (along with several other Department Store Beauties long forgotten). They all still smell like they should. Thank you for this review and reminder, Madeleine. I never really need to buy another bottle of anything!
    Azar xx


  5. Hi Madeleine! Ok, let’s play your game. I’m taking only those available now and I won’t count Neiman Marcus and Saks since they have a lot of niche perfumes nowadays.

    Chanel No 19 – hands down
    Annick Goutal Petite Cherie
    Bottega Veneta Parfum
    Dior Miss Dior originale
    Thierry Mugler Angel


  6. Aha! The Michael! I regard it as my gateway to full fledged perfumania, coming away from a trip to DJs back to the sticks with something that wasn’t Guerlain…..soon after that I tripped over the internet!


  7. Fun game! Let’s see: Jour d’Hermes, Chanel Coco, Thierry Mugler Alien, Bottega Veneta Eau Legère, and I’ll second Cartier Baiser Volé.

    I’ll have to look for the Anaïs Anaïs L’Original, since I can appreciate florals nowadays.


  8. I absolutely love some of these! I haven’t worn them in years though. Thanks for reminding me they’re still out there and I need to revisit them 🙂


  9. I don’t know some of these and will look forward to trying them. I love a few dept.-store fragrances, most notably EL Tuberose Gardenia and Chanel Coco. I dislike most others, mostly because I hate fruit notes, and they are all chock-fulla -froot. But the fruity floral trend is bound to break…right?


  10. This is a fun game 🙂 I enjoy Mugler Cologne, no. 19 edp and parfum, and does Tom Ford Tuscan Leather count? I guess it depends on how nice your department store is…


  11. Almost anything by Guerlain (except Insolence and L’Instant) so ditto to Portia’s Shalimar, many Chanels (No 19, Cristalle in particular), Hermes – the Jardin series, 24 Faubourg and Jour – and a recent release which I disdained at first but enjoy more than I thought Si by Armani. That’s more than five but it’s good to know there’s very beautiful and wearable perfume easily available.


  12. Just to look at a male Top 5 (and off the top of my head):

    1. Terre d’Hermes
    2. Guerlain Vetiver
    3. Annick Goutal Les Nuits d’Hadrien
    4. Acqua di Parma Colonia
    5. Tom Ford Noir de Noir


  13. Enjoyed your list! I love Chanel No 19 edp, more than the edt. You’re right, it’s fuller. And I can personally smell the florals more in the edp. Other dept. store faves are Mugler Alien and Womanity; Lauder Bronze Goddess; and Armani Acqua di Gioia.


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