Some incredible fragrance flankers launched in 2022. But how do they live up to the iconic fragrances they were based on? We had to find out! We put the latest fragrance launches to the test in our blind fragrance battle, reviewing each completely blind in three trials, including a four-hour longevity test, to determine which scent our team loves most. The catch? There are no brands, gender, or pricepoint to influence their opinion – just the fragrance and three team members’ expert noses.
What is a Fragrance Flanker?
A flanker is a fragrance within a franchise – a variation of a classic or best-selling fragrance (a pillar) that brings something new to the series. So, if you think of Mugler Alien as a pillar, then a scent like Mugler Alien Goddess would be a flanker – it flanks Alien.
Round 1: Paco Rabanne 1 Million
What’s The Difference Between Paco Rabanne 1 Million EDT and Parfum Intense?
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Elixir Parfum Intense joined the 1 Million fragrance collection in 2022 to celebrate its luxurious heritage. Still showcasing the iconic gold bar design, floral heart and fruity top notes, it’s clear that the 1 Million Elixir Parfum is part of their signature collection. 1 Million Parfum Intense mimics the original Eau de Toilette structure with similar themes throughout. When you dive deeper into individual notes, Paco Rabanne has taken a drastically different approach with its latest addition.
The 1 Million Exilir Parfum joined the collection as a richer take on the classic scent. The two scents are like day and night; If you’re a fan of the original but want a more powerful signature and longer-lasting wear for the evening, Exilir Parfum should be your go-to. The best-selling Eau de Toilette is slightly warmer with its heart of cinnamon and spices. Both fragrances still offer a sensual base that showcases the earthiness of patchouli; however, the Eau de Toilette has a more animalistic approach with leather and resinous amber tones. As opposed to the slightly boozy sweetness of vanilla notes in the Parfum Intense.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette (A):
Top notes – Grapefruit, Mint and Blood Mandarin.
Heart Notes – Rose, Cinnamon and Spicy Notes.
Base Notes – Leather, Amber, Woody Notes and Indian Patchouli.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Elixir Parfum Intense (B):
Top notes – Davana and Apple.
Heart notes – Rose Damascena, Osmanthus and Cedarwood.
Base notes – Vanilla Absolute, Tonka Bean and Patchouli.
Who Are They For?
Our team members felt Paco Rabanne 1 Million EDT would make a great day fragrance. They felt the scent would suit a cool character like Angus Cloud or Robert Pattison. The trio agreed that Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Exilir was sexy and could be worn by all genders.
After four hours of wear, the team were impressed! Both fragrances smelt like they’d been sprayed recently, but Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette took the win for most long-lasting. Although, the team did feel that Paco Rabanne 1 Million Elixir Parfum Intense had a more powerful warmer and smokier trail.
It was a close call! But the new fragrance won on preference, with two of three of our team members picking it at the end of the challenge.
Round 2: Parfums de Marly Layton
What’s The Difference Between Parfums de Marly Layton EDP and Exclusif Parfum?
Layton Exclusif has a slightly stronger, darker and spicier woodiness, whereas Layton’s Eau de Parfum combines floral and fresh touches for a slightly lighter feel. Both Layton fragrances perfectly balance seduction and sophistication. Layton EDP and Exclusif Parfum open with the identical citrus-green tang of bergamot and crisp green apple notes. Layton Eau de Parfum pairs the fruity duo with soothing lavender, whereas Layton Exclusif brightens the scent even further with sparkling grapefruit.
The heart is where the fragrances are most dissimilar, both have an unexpected floral edge, but Layton Exclusif projects an added warmth from the blend of cinnamon and agarwood. The base note structure is identical, blending warm woods with earthy patchouli and addictive vanilla. However, Layton Exclusif goes one step further, adding cypriol to the mix to amplify the aromatic earthiness of the fragrance.
Parfums de Marly Layton Eau de Parfum (C):
Top notes – Apple, Bergamot and Lavender.
Heart notes – Jasmine, Violet and Geranium.
Base notes – Vanilla, Pepper, Guaiac Wood and Patchouli.
Parfums de Marly Layton Exclusif Parfum (D):
Top Notes – Bergamot, Grapefruit and Apple.
Heart Notes – Geranium, Cinnamon, Lavender and Agarwood.
Base Notes – Cypriol, Guaiac Wood, Patchouli and Vanilla.
Who Are They For?
Parfums de Marly Layton Eau de Parfum is suited to someone who enjoys a casual fragrance that’s perfect for everyday wear. The fresh, coolness of Parfums de Marly Layton Exclusif Parfum has an energising citrus scent that we would pair with clean-cut Robert Pattinson.
We were impressed with the longevity of both fragrances. But D took the win after four hours of wear.
It’s a win for Parfums de Marly Layton Eau de Parfum; three out of three members preferred its niche scent.
Round 3: Yves Saint Laurent Libre
What’s The Difference Between YSL Libre Eau de Parfum and Le Parfum?
Libre Le Parfum was a hot addition to the Yves Saint Laurent Libre fragrance collection in 2022; Le Parfum enhances the orange blossom and lavender signature of the original scent with a spicy saffron accord. Both fragrances were designed for the same Yves Saint Laurent woman that has been consistently fierce, bold and unapologetic since 1961.
Libre Le Parfum boasts a luxurious saffron top note crafted exclusively for Yves Saint Laurent as a tribute to Mr Saint Laurent’s favourite ‘fleur de feu’. This powerful addition joins a refreshing mandarin citrus start similar to the original Eau de Parfum alongside other warm spices. Aromatic lavender, sourced in YSL’s birthplace France, is an important part of both fragrances, but it is amplified in different ways. Libre Le Parfum solely focuses on the soothing nature of lavender. Whereas, Libre Eau de Parfum pairs the note with a collection of bright jasmine accords. But what is really different is the base notes; in Le Parfum, the base is addictively sweet with its blend of honey and vanilla bourbon. Libre Eau de Parfum mirrors that same vanilla note but pairs it with deeper, resinous notes of amber and musk.
Yves Saint Laurent Libre Le Parfum (E):
Top notes – Bergamot, Mandarin, Ginger and Saffron Accord.
Heart notes – Orange Blossom, Diva Lavender Heart and Lavandin Heart
Base notes – Vanilla Bourbon, Honey Accord and Vetiver.
Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum (F):
Top notes – Mandarin Oil, Petitgrain Oil, Lavandine France Oil and Blackcurrant Accord.
Heart notes – Lavender Oil, Jasmine Sambac Absolute, Jasmine Grandiflorum India Absolute and Orange Flower Absolute.
Base notes – Vanilla Extract Madagascar, Cedarwood Oil, Ambergris Accord and Muscs.
Who Are They For?
Due to its light, delicate nature, our team paired the new YSL Libre with celebrities that felt embodied those characteristics. The team paired the Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum with similar celebrities, including Elle Fanning, Natalie Portman and Ariana Grande.
The Le Parfum just pipped the Eau de Parfum in the four-hour longevity test. However, it was a close call between the two fragrances.
It was a tricky one, but the newcomer (Yves Saint Laurent Le Parfum) took the win with two out of three votes.