France is easily known as the home of Perfumes. If the French perfume industry is mostly located in Grasse (Provence), Paris is the world's perfume capital with most of the Famous perfume brands having their head offices, research units, and main stores. As a consequence, Paris is definitely the best place to buy Perfume in the world, and at a much reasonable price than elsewhere in the world. But if you are not much familiar with "parfums", or if you are ready to discover new fragrances, it's always better to ask advice from experienced 'Parfumeries" (perfume shops) where the employees will be able to suggest the perfect perfume matching with your own personality and preferences. We suggest you visit Parfumerie Burdin Monge, an 80 years old perfume shop located place Monge (Quartier Latin), to get recommendations from experienced staff and enjoy an exclusive 15% on some of their products (check our coupon here).
In order to help you get to know more about some trendy perfumes in France, we have selected a shortlist of 20 great fragrances that you must know about. Is the article, we might sometimes mention perfumes top, middle or base notes. Top notes are « setting the stage”: the first impression of a scent is largely shaped by the top notes. These molecules are small and tend to evaporate quickly. Middle notes are often referred to as heart notes because they essentially form the foundation of the fragrance. These scents are revealed once the top notes recede and often make up between 40-80% of the entire aroma. In contrast to top notes, which are typically energizing and invigorating, base notes are often described as calming. These scents are made up of large, heavy molecules providing complexity, depth, and a lasting impression.
Chanel is a brand familiar to everyone around the world, even to those who don't have an interest in perfume. The iconic Coco Chanel said once "A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed", and Chanel perfumes are definitely associated with the romantic image of France. Coco Mademoiselle, even though it was launched almost 20 years ago, keeps being one of the best sellers of the brand. The top notes are grapefruit and orange, which make the fragrance sweet and fresh. In the meantime, there are middle notes such as jasmine and rose that gives a calm and mature vibe. It suits perfectly women in their mid-20's.
The perfume line of the French fashion house Christian Dior was created in 1947, is a major brand known everywhere in the world. J'adore (which means in France "I am fond of it") is a Classic, signature scent of Dior. It is a perfumed bouquet of the most beautiful flowers from around the world with keynotes of Ylang-Ylang, Damascus Rose, and Grasse Jasmine. The J'adore bottle is as feminine as its fragrance and adorned with a feminine necklace. It is usually used by women around their 50's.
Coco Chanel's real name was Gabrielle. This perfume is an homage to the young Coco Chanel, passionate and free. This Floral and voluptuous fragrance top notes are Grapefruit, Mandarin Orange, and Black Currant, particularly suits young women.
La vie est belle is one of the best-selling perfumes of Lancôme. Its top notes are mainly pear and cassis. As time goes by, the scent of flowers such as jasmine, serenely spread and the fragrance of base notes with vanilla and praline remain for a long time. It has a strong floral fragrance as a whole so it is recommended for women who like floral scents. It brings a lovely and cozy atmosphere with its jasmine and iris fragrance, so it is suitable to use during autumn and winter. We recommend this product to women in their late-20s and 30s.
Chanel n°5 is one of the more iconic perfumes in the world and was the first perfume launched by "Coco" Chanel in 1921. “Gabrielle Chanel wanted a fragrance that was built like a dress, both artificial and abstract, which gives it a mysterious dimension,” says Olivier Polge, Chanel’s in-house perfumer. At first, the scent unfolds with a stunning surge of Ylang-Ylang and Neroli. Then, a perfect harmony of voluptuous May Rose and Jasmine from Grasse emerges, followed by a vibrant woody base of Sandalwood, Bourbon Vetiver and Vanilla. Mature women, over 50, usually like Chanel n°5 the most.
Kenzo's "flower" perfume is easily identified through its unique red flower design on the bottle. Its simple and gorgeous flower emphasizes a strong and at the same time ladyish image. Its modern and sensual powdery floral fragrance is marked by notes of wild mountain trees and rose to give a fresh impression.
Miss Dior is one of Dior's best sellers. The blend between Bulgarian rose top notes and jasmine middle notes gives it a classic and elegant vibe. As a whole, the soft and floral rose fragrance spread gorgeously and the sweet fragrance lasts for a long time that will be emphasizing your lady-like image. The ribbon on the bottleneck gives a reminder of a lovely and charming lady. It is a fresh perfume, especially for a spring outing, and also doubles as an interior accessory on your dresser. It is an ideal gift for friends and girlfriends that all will love.
Who said Perfume is only for women? Well, it is true that more women are wearing perfume than men (that's why we focus mostly on women's perfume in this article) however we found it important to mention some iconic men's perfumes too. As Tom Ford said, "Good manners and good perfume is what transforms the man into a gentleman". Terre d'Hermès is a Woody Spicy fragrance launched in 2006. Top notes are Orange and Grapefruit; middle notes are Pepper and Pelargonium; base notes are Vetiver, Cedar, Patchouli.
Bloom, created by the esteemed Italian luxury house of Gucci is a white floral created to unfold like its name. It is highlighted by a bouquet of fragrant floral, powdery and white flowers scented tones that will bring a sensual, hypnotic, and uplifting perfumed sensation. Its bottle design looking like an amethyst will emphasize your luxurious aspect. Top note is Jasmine, middle note is Tuberose, base note is Rangoon creeper. It particularly suits women between 20 to 40 years old.
Yves Saint Laurent was a visionary, with a modern approach of couture, beauty, and woman which has still today an incredible resonance. This fragrance is seen as a reinvention of the floral perfume and combines lavender essence from France with the sensuality of Moroccan orange blossom, for a unique long-lasting floral fusion. Top notes are Lavender, Mandarin Orange, Black Currant, middle notes are Lavender, Orange Blossom, and Jasmine, base notes are Madagascar Vanilla, Musk, Cedar. Libre means free in French: It's the perfect fragrance for Women in their late 30's or 40's.
Tonic and elegant, Bleu de Chanel marries perfectly woody essences and citrus tonic aromas. Its simple and elegant blue bottle contains a fragrance created especially for the men who love freedom and refuse conformism. Top notes are Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint, and Pink Pepper, middle notes are Ginger, Nutmeg, Jasmine, base notes are Incense, Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Patchouli. Sadly, the brand ambassador Gaspard Ulliel, that you can see on the photo, died following a skiing accident in the Savoie region of France, in January 2022.
Guerlain is a French perfume house among the oldest in the world: it was founded in Paris in 1828 by the perfumer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain. Inspired by the elegance and eternity of a little black dress, the perfume exudes Parisian chic and gracefulness. Top notes are Sour Cherry, Almond, Red Berries and Bergamot, middle notes are Licorice, Rose, base notes are Vanilla, Anise, Tonka Bean, Patchouli and iris.
Narciso Rodriguez is an American fashion designer who launched his first fragrance in 2003. His creations are designed to celebrate women's beauty and sensuality. Naricso Rouge is a sublimely seductive, mysterious, provocative, and passionate perfume. The signature heart of musk is animated by an exquisite floral bouquet of Bulgarian rose, iris, and vivid amber woody notes. The vivid red of Narciso Eau de Parfum Rouge captures the fierce powers of attraction.
Chance fragrance is voluptuous and full of contrast, with notes of Pink Pepper, Jasmine, and Patchouli. It's a composition, in turn floral, spicy, sensual, and gourmand, with heightened floral and vanilla notes. The classy and sophisticated aromas in this perfume are perfect for women who are already confident and want to share that confidence with the world boldly.
Maison Margiela was founded by Martin Margiela, a Belgian fashion designer, in 1988. Replica is a cozy, time-and-place-inspired collection: each perfume of the collection is related to a memory of a specific place and time period. Among them, Bubble Bath, Sweet memories of relaxing moments enjoying a hot bubble bath, is inspired by Beverly Hills in 2005 (freshly powdered blend of coconut, soap bubble accord, jasmine, freesia, musks, and patchouli). Coffee Break evokes the memory of a break from a bustling city at a warm coffee shop at a freezing winter day (Stockolm 2007): is it composed of addictive notes of coffee softly blended with the tenderness of aromatic lavender.
If you are looking for a perfume for the upcoming spring, Chloé Eau de Toilette is a good recommendation. The smell of rose gives a romantic and gentle feeling. The white ribbon and pinkish liquid seem to be already ladyish and elegant. The fragrance is a combination of the warm scent of soap and the sophisticated scent of flowers, which is typically loved by women. It is a perfume that can be used by everyone without any worries because top notes contain pink peony and freesia, middle notes of magnolia, lily of the valley, rose leaf, and base notes with cedarwood, amber, and honey.
This is Givenchy's first aroma in its fragrance series. Like its name 'Irresistible', it intends to offer you an irresistible, sweet, and fascinating fragrance. Its base notes and middle notes have a variety of rose scents that contribute to its feminine, fantastic, and rosy vibe. Centifolia rose, passion rose, peony rose, emotion rose, fantasia rose take up 35% of the whole fragrance. The first impression is fresh and intense and the reverberation is more soft and sophisticated. The pink gradation of the bottle enhances the elegant image. And this gradation symbolizes roses on the earth and stars in the sky.
Pure Musk is a Floral Woody Musk fragrance for women. The sumptuous heart of musk is sublimated by a bunch of white flowers Top note is Musk, middle note is Flowers, base note is Cashmeran.
Serge Lutens is a French photographer, filmmaker, perfume creator, and fashion designer. Fleurs d'Oranger is a Floral fragrance for both women and men. It offers a very French and sophisticated take on orange blossom, with an air of elegance. This is not an overly sweet or cloying perfume by any means.
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French luxury jewelry company, founded in 1896. Inspired by the Californian landscapes that weave the backdrop to the American dream, this fragrance evokes a luxuriant paradise where nature is full of endless wonders and every inch is bathed in glorious sunlight. Top notes are neroli, mandarin, Middle notes are jasmine, frangipani flower and Base notes are beeswax, vanilla.
With O'bon Paris coupon, enjoy extra 15% discounts on several non-discounted perfume brands (such as Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, Clinique, YSL, Lancome, Estée Lauder, Shiseido...), as well as on make-up and skincare products: click here to download it!
Words by Youra CHOI
Photographs by Yuna LEE
Parfumerie Burdin Monge
Address: 79 Rue Monge, 75005, Paris
Transport: Metro line 7, Place Monge
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10:00-13:30, 14:30-19:00
Parfumerie Burdin Gare du Nord
Address: 7 Boulevard de Denain, 75010, Paris
Transport: Metro line 2, 4, 5, Gare du Nord station
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00-19:00