fragrance purchases 2021 - terre hermes

2021 was my best year altogether fragrance-wise. I’ve practically purchased everything I ever wanted while still keeping the newer releases on my fragrance wish list.

Fragrance purchases can be tricky if they are blind buys, so to make your buying decisions easier, I’ve decided to compile this list of everything I believe is worth checking out.

This is why I had also done my disappointing fragrance purchases just to show how quickly things change in a life of a fragrance enthusiast.

Before we get to the actual list, let me tell you how I decided to choose which perfumes got their place on this list.

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How I picked my top fragrance purchases

In 2022, I have decided to become somewhat of a fragrance minimalist and trim my perfume collection. All this idea came from my overabundant fragrance purchasing from last year.

Thankfully, most of those scents ended up being sold and made me realize I only need a couple of fragrances in my life to be actually happy.

Everything that ended up on this list is everything I wanted years before and two fragrance variations on previously released perfumes. Thus, you’ll notice that almost everything is older releases, once praised hype-beasts in the fragrance community.

Last but not least, yes, you are not imagining it. Out of five fragrances, three come from my favorite fragrance house.

1. Tom Ford Ombre Leather

A note from the brand: The tactile sensuality of rich black leather, textured with addictive patchouli and vetiver, envelops like second skin. The perfume’s floral tones of jasmine sambac conjure wild desert beauty, while layers of amber and moss mimic the heat of rock and sand.

“Ombré Leather is a deeply textural scent that imprints you with a tactile sensuality. It makes one feel different, beautiful and desired.” – Tom Ford

Why is Tom Ford Ombre Leather one of my top fragrance purchases of 2021: In my opinion, Ombre Leather is the best designer release from the 2010s without competition.

A combination of suede leather, raspberry, and amber are out of this world, and while Tuscan/Ombre Leather has been copied to death now, nothing comes close to it.

A long-lasting, and powerful scent ideal for romantic dates, clubbing, or even work environment. Like I always like to say, if you can, always go with the original, never with a copy.

  • Perfumer: Sonia Constant
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Leather Spicy
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Most dominant notes: Leather, Cardamom, and Amber 
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 20+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Night Outs
  • Longevity and Sillage: 24+ hours with great projection
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Leather, Amber, Spicy

2. Tom Ford Costa Azzurra 2021

A note from the brand: Costa Azzurra captures the easy sensuality of a purely uninhibited escape. The exhilarating aroma of sea air, fresh aromatic notes, evergreens and citrus set the scene and mingle with deeper woody scents – a crisp medley of cypress, oaks and aromatics.

Why is Tom Ford Costa Azzurra 2021 one of my top fragrance purchases of 2021: If you want just one high-quality summer fragrance, Costa Azzurra is your best bet.

Not cheap, but not that expensive as well, Costa Azzurra does everything one great summer scent should try to do.

Costa Azzurra reminds me somewhat of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Profumo and Tom Ford for Men but done much better. That “Tom Ford effect” as I like to call it is something only seen in Tom Ford perfumes, and Costa Azzurra delivers.

The scent is dominated by the notes of driftwood, lemon and, seaweed with a lasting power of good 8 hours.

  • Perfumer: Yann Vasnier
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Citrus Aquatic
  • Release Date: 2021
  • Most dominant notes: Driftwood, Lemon, and Seaweed
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 20+
  • Seasons: Spring and Summer
  • Occasions: Any occasion
  • Longevity and Sillage: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 4/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Aromatic, Woody, Aquatic

3. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

A note from the brand: Tom Ford reinvents classic tobacco with creamy tonka bean, vanilla, cocoa, dry fruit accords and sweet wood sap – for a modern, opulent and heady impression of confidence and power.

“Tobacco Vanille is opulent, warm and iconic. Reminiscent of an English gentleman’s club and blended with rich spices, vanilla and tobacco flower, it leaves a powerful impression.” –Tom Ford

Why is Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille one of my top fragrance purchases of 2021: Tobacco Vanille has to be the most mentioned perfume so far on Scent Grail, and for a good reason.

Easily the best vanilla fragrance ever released. No question about it. There are many great vanilla-based scents out there, but nothing comes close to the sheer magic of Tobacco Vanille.

Are these tobacco-vanilla fragrance variations starting to get old like it is with the Oud trend? Yes, it is. But, if you want just one scent that smells like this, skip everything and go for Tobacco Vanille.

  • Perfumer: Olivier Gillotin
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Most dominant notes: Tobacco, Vanilla, and Spices
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 20+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Romantic, Clubbing, Night Outs
  • Longevity and Sillage: 10 – 12 hours with great projection
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Oriental, Sweet, Woody

4. Serge Lutens Chergui

A note from the brand: A fire fanned by the wind, a desert in flames. As if bursting from the earth, Chergui, a desert wind, creates an effect that involves suction more than blowing, carrying plants, insects and twigs along in an inescapable ascent.

Its full, persistent gusts crystallize shrubs, bushes and berries, which proceed to scorch, shrivel up and pay a final ransom in saps, resins and juices. Night falls on a still-smoldering memory, making way for the fragrant, ambery and candied aromas by the alchemist that is Chergui.

Why is Serge Lutens Chergui one of my top fragrance purchases of 2021: I have waited for so long to finally get a full bottle of Chergui. While not the first Serge Lutens in my collection, that honor belongs to Serge Noire, Chergui is without any second thoughts the best Serge Lutens release of all time.

A delicious composition of thick tobaccoish honey, with supreme amber and grassy hay accord, is whats Cherugi about. Does it resemble anything that the brand is trying to push via fragrance marketing? Maybe, or maybe not.

But, it sure does it better than overhyped Tauers L’Air du Desert Marocain. Lasts the whole day, and projects just enough to keep your olfactive senses satisfied. I have also noticed that people around you will notice the tobacco note the most, rather than everything else that surrounds it.

So, it is good to think about whether you should wear it to the office or not.

  • Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Woody Oriental
  • Release Date: 2001
  • Most dominant notes: Tobacco, Hay, and Amber
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 25+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Night Out
  • Longevity and Sillage: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Compliments: Low – Medium
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Oriental, Tobbaco, Sweet

5. Amouage Reflection Man

A note from the brand: Reflection for Man embodies the spirit of refinement and is compelling, distinctive and unmistakably masculine with a timeless appeal.

Why is Amouage Reflection Man one of my top fragrance purchases of 2021: To my nose white florals and sandalwood dominate the composition, and the quality is out of this world. A warm and sophisticated classy fragrance that leans more on the masculine side.

The fragrances I find the most similar to Reflection Man are Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM Homme and Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male.

If APOM weren’t discontinued, I would be here instead of Reflection, since I find that scent just a little bit better for my taste.

Still, this perfume was once the most hyped about fragrance in the fragrance community, and everyone should at least check out what was all the fuss about.

  • Perfumer: Lucas Sieuzac
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Floral Woody
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Most dominant notes: Neroli, Jasmine, and Sandalwood
  • Target Audience: Men
  • Age Group: 25+
  • Seasons: Spring and Fall
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Longevity and Sillage: 10 – 12 hours with good projection
  • Compliments: Medium
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 4/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: White Floral, Woody, Fresh

Conclusion

fragrance purchases 2021 - fragrance bottle

Looking at what ended up on this list, I could easily live with only these fragrances for the next couple of years.

It is also funny to see that most of these scents are older releases like I mentioned before, and made me to one good rule for future purchases.

Everything that is hyped has to go through TARA 5 year rule in order to me to purchase a full bottle:

  • To not fade away in 5 years or get discontinued
  • Avoided too much influencer propaganda
  • Reasonable price/value ratio
  • At least, kept 50% of the initial hype over 5 year period

What are your top fragrance purchases for 2021? Let me know in the comment section at the end of the article.

In case you are in doubt whether you should consider buying a particular fragrance, it’s always good to take a look at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume buying guide on the web. This way, you can check out if a particular fragrance is worth checking out, and potentially find your signature perfume.

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Find out more Scent Grail articles about perfumery, check out top lists, and other helpful reviews via links below:

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Until next time, have a great time and keep smelling like a million bucks!

Best, Marin!
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