In the world of perfumery, we are obsessed with the classics. Honestly, you cannot speak to a fragrance lover, expert or industry insider without tripping over mentions of Shalimar, Opium and Poison every few minutes! This isn’t without reason, of course, and we talk so openly about the classics because they shaped the landscape of perfumery today – without Shalimar, you’d have no amber perfumes, and without Opium, the mega, blockbuster fashion scent wouldn’t exist. These are the classics of yesterday, but what about the classics of today and tomorrow? What is just becoming a classic, and what will become one in the future? Here are some of our predictions.
1. Eau Dynamisante (1987)
Ahhh, Eau Dynamisante, is there anything more joyful than dousing yourself in this uplifting scent? Answer: no; this is somewhat of a stealth classic of today, I think, because that thirst for simplicity, quality and naturalness in materials is something we see so often today. Many fragrances are wanting to replicate that feeling of wellness, with scents that feel directly plucked from nature – regardless of whether they’re made from all-natural materials or not. Even though it’s as old as I am (which, of course, is very young) I see Eau Dynamisante gracing the shelves of many a perfume lover for decades to come – I’ll undoubtedly be one of them.
2. Mugler Angel (1992)
I know what you’re thinking – “quelle surprise, The Candy Perfume Boy mentions Angel as a classic for billionth time” and you would be wrong, I’ve mentioned it at least a trillion times, thank you. But my love for Angel aside, it’s hard not to place it in the fragrance hall of fame because it has been so important to perfumery. Angel was the first gourmand, and we now have more of those than we can ever consume at an all-you-can-eat fragrance buffet (although I’d certainly give it a good go). You wouldn’t have all of the fruity patchouli scents like Coco Mademoiselle either, so yes, Angel’s impact on perfumery is undeniable, and her status as a classic is not up for debate. If you like sweet scents, chocolatey things, or fragrances that make a statement, Angel is a classic of today you need to revisit.
3. J’Adore (1999)
It’s hard to believe that J’Adore is over 20 years old. It still smells as radiantly beautiful now as it did when it launched in 1999 and we have J’Adore to thank for many of the luminous white florals that followed in the 00s. Like all classics, J’Adore is a perfume that executes a distinct concept to absolute perfection, evoking gold, goddesses and gardens, all showcasing the abundant beauty of nature. Can we also talk about Charlize Theron in those adverts, please? LIVING. Anyway, back on track, J’Adore is as timeless as a movie star and as relevant as the latest of launches – long may she reign.
4. Dior Sauvage (2015)
All hail the power of Sauvage! That’s right, Sauvage is my first guess at a classic for the future, and it will share the space with other neo-fougères powdered by the translucent marine trail of Ambroxan, including the likes of Creed’s Aventus and Bleu de Chanel. The thing is, I think Sauvage does the cool, mineral fougère thing better than its contemporaries because it manages to add a bit of a rugged sensibility into the mix – a bit of stubble if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t wear it myself, but I’d happily follow the trail of Sauvage on a handsome man any day. Will guys be wearing this in 20 years? Absolutely.
5. Comme des Garcons Blackpepper (2016)
The classics aren’t just those that sit within the mainstream though, and since the explosion of niche at the turn of the millennium, we have seen several luxury and exclusive fragrances take centre stage in the perfume zeitgeist. My pick for a niche classic of tomorrow would be Blackpepper by Comme des Garçons; this is a beautiful woody fragrance awash with a silvery trail of crackling black pepper. I smell shadows of Blackpepper in so many mainstream and niche fragrances, and I think it’ll be looked back upon as a gamechanger in what a woody scent can be. Blackpepper proves that niche can be accessible.