perfume bottle - most important fragrances

Each of us has their most important fragrances that started our perfume journey. While some were surrounded by perfumes since an early age, others found out about the magical world of perfume later on.

As for me, the real deal happened around 2008 with a release of a certain perfume that I’ll mention in the list, but I also have fond memories with two specific aftershaves that if not mentioned, I’m not sure would things turned out as they did.

According to Vogue’s article, most people in the United States don’t experience the “real” perfume until they are 12 or 13, but it’s usually something bought from a drugstore and misted on before a school dance.

So, that would sound about right since around that age I remember “stealing” my dad’s and older cousins’ aftershaves and perfumed body sprays.

What are the most important fragrances that got you into this hobby? Let me know in the comment section below.

Now, let’s see how my love for perfume got me where I am today.

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How I Picked My Most Important Fragrances

Alright, here are a couple of guidelines on how I picked these perfumes and aftershaves. Each entry has a special place in my heart and has unforgettable memories.

Does this mean that each of these is my best perfumes of all time? Of course not. But it shows that most of us start humble, and with time expand our knowledge and perfume collection.

When I look back I know that there could have been many more here, but I think that 11 is a good number to span over the last 25 years. Originally, it was supposed to be ten, but I just couldn’t leave out the last entry.

The most important thing here I believe is the fact that you’ll learn more about me, and, hopefully, you’ll find something to try out as well.

Lately, I have been publishing more new articles in the News category to get more personal touch with the readers which I believe is important when it comes to trust and respect. So, don’t forget to check News on the Scent Grail from time to time for more of this kind of articles.

The List

I have been into this game since 2008, but 2014 was the year that made the most impact on how I perceived perfumes. I have written more about this on my About page.

That’s why I have limited myself to perfumes released up to that year. I have been blessed with finding my best perfumes of all time by sampling some of these as well from friends who were more than willing enough to give me samples in my early days.

This list is made in chronological order.

Old Spice Original

Memories with Old Spice: Here it is ladies and gentlemen. This is the first type of fragrance that eventually got me to where I am today.

I remember wearing it through elementary school and most part of high school as well.

I remember vividly that even though we as young teens haven’t still begun to shave, we certainly wore Old Spice to school.

As a young boy in the 90s, I had no idea that there were other types of scents besides aftershaves and body sprays such as Axe Africa.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental Spicy
  • Perfumer: Albert Hauck
  • Perfume Concentration: Aftershave
  • Release Date: 1938
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Carnation Flower
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 to 6 hours with soft projection
  • Seasons: Any seasons
  • Occasions: Any occasion
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Brut Faberge

Memories with Brut: After I grew a little bit older in the late ’90s and early 2000s, I noticed my two older cousins using strange and new-to-me, deodorant in the green cylindrical spray bottle.

That fragrance was none the other than the good old Brut. This was the first time I have experienced something that had a stronger kick and resembled a real perfume.

After that point, Brut and Old Spice were in my daily rotation for years to come.

  • Fragrance Type: Aromatic Fougere
  • Perfumer: Karl Mann
  • Perfume Concentration: Aftershave
  • Release Date: 1968
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Lavender, Oakmoss, and Anise
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 – 6 hours with soft projection
  • Seasons: Any seasons
  • Occasions: Any occasion
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Hugo Boss Boss Bottled

Memories with Boss Bottled(No. 9): Boss Bottled may be one of the most overused and most popular fragrances in the last 25 years, but it made a major shift for me back in 2006.

The change was so big, that from that point everything was before Hugo Boss, and after Hugo Boss.

One of my friend’s sisters liked the fragrance, and always gifted his a big 100 ml bottle for birthdays.

At that time, I didn’t know what the notes were, but I knew that it smelled fantastic.

Boss Bottled blew my mind in 2006, but there was another new release just around the corner that made an even bigger impact on me.

  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Perfumer: Annick Menardo
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 1998
  • Age group: 25+
  • Main Notes: Apple, Cinnamon, and Vanilla
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 to 6 hours with soft projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 8/10

Dolce&Gabbana The One

Memories with The One: At this time I was still not hooked on perfumes as I am today, but man oh man, how much I’ve liked The One.

My mom purchased The One for my father’s 50th birthday, practically at the release date, and everything about this perfume was unlike anything I have tried so far.

Spices, gentle Tobacco, and playful Amber are still some of my fondest scent memories forever placed in my brain, as it was the first time I smelled The One.

It is the only perfume on this list that reminds me of my father. A fun anecdote, I vividly remember The One even then having a terrible performance and asking friends if are they sure they don’t smell anything after 1 hour.

  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Perfumer: Olivier Polge
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Age group: 20+
  • Main Notes: Ginger, Amber, and Tobacco
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 – 6 hours with soft projection
  • Seasons: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 7/10

Joop! Homme

Memories with Homme: Joop Homme was another game-changer for me which was introduced to me by my younger brother somewhere in late 2013.

Nothing was the same after this point and I was officially hooked. From this point on, I became more “obsessed” with perfumes, notes, and how they are created.

While I have tested other perfumes more regularly, and have purchased my first ever perfume Boss Bottled Night prior, nothing was the same after Joop.

And yes, I still believe that Joop has a much better and more interesting dry down than Montblanc Individuel.

  • Fragrance Type: Floral Oriental
  • Perfumer: Michel Almairac
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 1989
  • Age group: 20+
  • Main Notes: Heliotrope, Vanilla, and Cinnamon
  • Longevity and Projection: 24+ hours with a huge projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Night outs, and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 8/10

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Memories with Le Male: By 2014, I was already in “full-on” perfume mode reading and watching perfume-related videos on a daily level.

It also marks another event of me buying my first perfume based on a YouTube fragrance reviewer. Of course, it was a recommendation from Marc from the Robes08 channel.

It comes as no surprise that I was fascinated with that strange but inviting combination of a minty cinnamon vanilla cupcake.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental Fougere
  • Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 1995
  • Age group: 25+
  • Main Notes: Lavender, Mint, and Vanilla
  • Longevity and Projection: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Romantic and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 7/10

Mugler A*Men

Memories with A*Men: A*Men was my clubbing go-to scent in 2014 – 2015. I had liked this combination of everything that on paper shouldn’t work but it did so much that I at one point owned several other flankers from the line.

Those included: Pure Malt, Pure Havane, Pure Tonka, and Ultra Zest.

Pure Havane still remains my favorite from the line. I strongly recommend checking out the latest Ultimate flanker in case you struggled with the line so far.

  • Fragrance Type: Sweet Oriental
  • Perfumer: Jacques Huclier
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 1996
  • Age group: 25+
  • Main Notes: Coffee, Vanilla, and Patchouli
  • Longevity and Projection: 10 – 12 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 4/5
  • Value for money: 9/10

Mancera Cedrat Boise

Memories with Cedrat Boise: Many don’t know, but Cedrat Boise was the first niche fragrance I purchased.

Due to all craze already going about Creed’s Aventus and even more hype around Cedrat Boise, I wanted to see what was all the fuss about.

Keeping the story short, even now after seven years since I’ve sniffed Cedrat Boise and owning two bottles, it still remains one of my best warm-weather perfumes of all time.

Furthermore, I’ll quickly address the burning question about reformulation. My latest bottle from 2020 has the same projection and longevity as that one from 2015.

So, don’t be afraid to get the latest formulation. It was never a huge projecting perfume.

  • Fragrance Type: Citrus Woody
  • Perfumer: Pierre Montale
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Age group: 20+
  • Main Notes: Black currant, Lemon, and Cedar
  • Longevity and Projection: 8+ hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Spring and Fall
  • Occasions: Any ocassion
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather

Memories with Tuscan Leather: I’m gonna keep it plain and simple with Tuscan Leather.

In my opinion, Tuscan Leather is the best-smelling modern leather perfume of all time. I don’t even mind the somewhat harsh opening since it is everything I ever wanted from a leather perfume.

If those harsh top notes are too much for you, go with Ombre Leather, or in case you still want to experience the whole package but on a lighter level, try out Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Leather.

If I had to narrow down to just the two most important fragrances through my journey, Tuscan Leather and Musc Ravageur would be the prime contenders for those spots.

  • Fragrance Type: Fruity Leather
  • Perfumer: n/a
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Raspberry, Leather, and Suede
  • Longevity and Projection: 12 -16 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

Memories with Musc Ravageur: If it’s not yet clear, I’m in love with oriental perfumes which make up the whole majority of this list.

If Tuscan Leather is everything I want from a leather perfume, then Musc Ravageur is everything I ever wanted from Oriental and perfumes in general.

It is my favorite and most cherished perfume of all time. Is it my signature perfume? Well, not. But it really doesn’t matter.

That place goes to more wearable perfumes such as Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza and Montblanc Explorer.

I had owned Meharées from L’Erbolario prior to buying a full bottle of Musc Ravageur, but I don’t know. It’s nice and that’s about it.

Read the full Musc Ravageur review here.

  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Perfumer: Maurice Roucel
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Age group: 30+
  • Main Notes: Vanilla, Cloves, and Musk
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 12 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Festive and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Guerlain Shalimar

Memories with Shalimar: Last, but not least, the one and only Shalimar. This place could have gone to a couple of other contenders such as Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, but I have avoided listing more than one perfume from the same brand.

I have to say that prior to testing Shalimar, like many of us, I had a popular misconception about men not wearing perfumes marketed for women.

But boy, had this changed since Shalimar came into my life. There is something instantly hypnotic about this masterful creation that is better left unspoken.

If you have not yet tried one of the best women’s perfumes of all time that gentlemen can also wear, please give it a try. You’ll thank me later.

Some of the other women-marketed perfumes you should check out are Chanel No 5, and Tom Ford Black Orchid.

Read the full Guerlain Shalimar review here.

  • Fragrance Type: Oriental
  • Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 1925
  • Age group: 25+
  • Main Notes: Bergamot, Vanilla, and Incense
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10


the journey is on sign - most important fragrances

Looking at the list itself, it just shows how similar paths we all have. Even before the internet craze, perfume reviews, and everything else, we were at least partially affected by popular trends.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my newest article about the most important fragrances, and if I’m lucky, found interesting perfumes to place on your “to sample” list.

Don’t forget to check out my S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide made for such a thing. In this way, you’ll always know if a particular fragrance is worth checking out and get one step closer to finding your signature perfume.

It would be amazing if we would start a conversation by letting me know the most important fragrances that got you into this hobby. You can do this by commenting down below.

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




Until next time, have a great time and choose your scent wisely!

Best, Marin!
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