Perfume Discoveries Of 2023 - Dior Sauvage

Last year has been full of surprises. Perfume has always been a deeply personal and intimate expression of my identity. My biggest perfume discoveries of 2023 have created some of the most powerful memories, captured various moods, and created lasting impressions on those around me.

Compared to 2022, last year was more of an active period for me, with more purchases, more exciting discoveries, and trying more to focus on purchasing what I love to wear.

The amount of perfume I purchased in 2023 is still lower than in 2021, which I still consider my peak year of fragrance discoveries, but more than enough to improve my collection even further.

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Brands such as Creed and Amouage were top-tier arrivals, which I eagerly wait to share in just a few paragraphs below.

Let’s kick off 2024 with a bang, discover what’s new, and share our love for perfume.

How I Picked My Perfume Discoveries Of 2023

While not expected, somehow, I purchased more fragrances and slowly tapered off as the last quarter of the year unfolded.

It could have been my inner buyer’s remorse and second-guessing before acquiring a new scent just for the sake of the purchase.

Still, by September, I was essentially finished, with just a couple more additional scents now in my possession.

So, what do I mean when I talk about my perfume discoveries of 2023?

In contrast to previous years, where I would split my discoveries and acquisitions into two separate articles, I’ve opted to combine these two topics going forward.

This results in a seamless fusion of the fragrances I’ve sampled and the outstanding scents that have now become part of my collection.

In this article, there’s no budget constraint. As the title implies, these are the cream of the crop, and you can’t put a price on something exceptional that transcends its monetary value.

For those who share a similar taste in perfumes to mine, all of these would be pretty safe blind buys.

However, in reality, I always recommend sampling everything before committing to purchasing a whole bottle.

5. Parfums de Marly Percival

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Presenting a subtle balance of citrus and aromatic notes on a woody base, this eau de parfum exudes a fresh, sensual and refined scent in an ocean blue bottle that will be remembered. Amongst the top notes, scents of bergamot and mandarin sublimate through a touch of aromatic water to offer a unique combination. The heart notes give Percival its character and depth through a blend of natural jasmine, violet and geranium, overlapping with lavender, coriander and cinnamon. On the skin, musk mixes with pepper, absolute balsam fir and, to give emphasis, woody spices are revealed at the base.”

WHY IS PARFUMS DE MARLY PERCIVAL ONE OF MY BIGGEST PERFUME DISCOVERIES OF 2023: This fragrance has been on my radar for quite some time, available multiple times over the past year for around $160.00 for a big bottle.

Strangely, I always skipped it. The pervasive notion in the fragrance community that Percival is a carbon copy of Fierce from Abercrombie & Fitch kept me from reaching for my wallet. However, everything changed in early December.

After a visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to experience the city’s Christmas Market tradition and meeting a new friend who generously provided me with a decant of Percival, I realized I should have trusted my instincts and ignored the negative comments on various fragrance forums.

Now, you might be wondering if this scent is worth your time. Absolutely, especially if you’re in search of one of the most wearable and people-pleasing fragrances on the market.

It boasts a familiar yet higher-quality lavender-ambroxan and citrusy combination that works. The performance is decent, not a deal-breaker.

Overall, it is a fantastic everyday perfume that I can’t wait to add to my collection.

  • PERFUMER: Hamid Merati-Kashani
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Musky Aromatic
  • RELEASE DATE: 2018
  • MAIN NOTES: Lavender, Ambroxan, and Mandarin Orange
  • AGE GROUP: 20+
  • SEASONS: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • OCCASIONS: Any occasion
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 5 – 7 hours with moderate projection
  • ACCORDS: Aromatic, Woody, Citrusy

4. Xerjoff Starlight

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Starlight is the ignition that sparks a seductive and sensual olfactory experience that is difficult to forget. With top notes of citrus bergamot and fresh cardamom, this perfume from the Spotlight Collection travels to a comforting heart of almond, cinnamon and clove for an irresistibly alluring warmth.

The enticing base of cedar wood and amber features balsamic accords that set the senses alight. Warming spices and sensual accords linger on the skin, hugging the wearer and charming those around them.”

WHY IS XERJOFF STARLIGHT ONE OF MY BIGGEST PERFUME DISCOVERIES OF 2023: In my experience with Xerjoff, the brand’s offerings can be a mixed bag.

While they often shine with fragrances akin to others, occasionally even surpassing the originals, there’s a tendency for Xerjoff to be perceived as an opulent clone house, hyped without real substance.

However, the presence of a particular fragrance breaks this mold. Starlight stands out as an exceptional perfume and reigns as the finest cardamom-based fragrance available.

Its remarkable ability to unfold on the skin without becoming overpowering is genuinely noteworthy.

What sets Starlight apart is its nuanced character. It’s not merely a cold-infused spicy scent; with time, its warm and sweet amber accord takes center stage, gradually revealing itself through its sillage.

The overall composition feels like a comforting embrace, evoking autumn’s familiar and cozy aromas.

It’s an unexpected masterpiece, showcasing a unique depth and complexity that defies the usual categorizations.

  • PERFUMER: n/a
  • CONCENTRATION: Extrait de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Spicy Oriental
  • RELEASE DATE: 2019
  • MAIN NOTES: Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Almond
  • AGE GROUP: 25+
  • SEASONS: Fall and Winter
  • OCCASIONS: Business, Leisure, and Night Outs
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 10 – 12 hours with great projection
  • ACCORDS: Spicy, Aromatic, Warm

3. Creed Viking

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Viking Eau de Parfum celebrates the powerful, fearless and fiery modern man. This bold men’s fragrance combines fresh citrus notes of Calabrian bergamot and Sicilian lemon with pink peppercorn, Bulgarian rose and peppermint. Woody base notes of Indian Sandalwood and Haitian vetiver complete this masculine masterpiece.”

WHY IS CREED VIKING ONE OF MY BIGGEST PERFUME DISCOVERIES OF 2023: Creed proudly labels Viking as a masterpiece, a title I might challenge. Nevertheless, it is a refreshing departure for the brand, distinctly different from their other offerings.

Radiating brightness, softness, and warmth, Viking boasts a pronounced spicy character, primarily attributed to the presence of cloves.

The unavoidable similarity to Old Spice might raise eyebrows, but as the fragrance develops, the heart becomes a sumptuous blend.

Lavender, Bulgarian rose, and an array of spices intermingle, infusing the scent with depth and sophistication.

Viking’s excellence extends to its longevity and projection, leaving an enchanting trail that lingers throughout the day—a departure from the usual characteristics of Creed fragrances.

Despite being somewhat underrated, Viking is a uniquely exceptional fragrance in today’s market.

It commands attention and holds the potential to be among the finest versatile niche perfumes, offering a distinctive scent that sets it apart from the mainstream crowd.

  • PERFUMER: Olivier Creed
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Spicy Aromatic
  • RELEASE DATE: 2017
  • MAIN NOTES: Cloves, Mint, and Lavender
  • AGE GROUP: 25+
  • SEASONS: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • OCCASIONS: Business and Leisure
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • ACCORDS: Aromatic, Fresh Spicy, Green

2. Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Man

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Ormonde Man, a most sophisticated fragrance, despite its unconventional ingredients. Complex and full of character, sultry and mystical, the fragrance exudes soft woody notes, but it is the infusion of Oudh oil, the world’s most prized essence since time immemorial, that sets it apart, elevating the scent to one of true distinction.”

WHY IS ORMONDE JAYNE ORMONDE MAN ONE OF MY BIGGEST PERFUME DISCOVERIES OF 2023: Not holding the top spot overall, but certainly claiming the title of my most pleasant surprise last year, is a fragrance that entered my olfactory world through a decant provided by Marija Aslimoska, the proprietor of Dublin’s exquisite niche fragrance shop, Parfumarija.

What sets this fragrance apart is its remarkable timelessness – a 20-year-old release that seamlessly transcends eras, effortlessly passing off as a creation of 2024.

It exudes class and sophistication, making it a perfect choice for daytime wear, especially in formal or business-oriented settings.

The blend of cardamom, cedarwood, pink pepper, and green aromatic notes takes center stage, offering both longevity and a moderately enchanting sillage.

Remarkably, this fragrance has profoundly inspired two other notable releases: Costume National Homme and Creed Royal Oud.

Elegance personified, this fragrance, available at substantial discounts on fragrance websites, is a must-have addition to any collection, bringing a touch of refinement and smoothness that transcends time and trends.

  • PERFUMER: Geza Schoen
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • RELEASE DATE: 2004
  • MAIN NOTES: Cedar, Cardamom, and Pink Pepper
  • AGE GROUP: 25+
  • SEASONS: Spring and Fall
  • OCCASIONS: Business and Leisure
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • VALUE FOR MONEY: 10/10
  • ACCORDS: Woody, Aromatic, Warm Spicy

1. Amouage Dia Man

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: ”A scorching wind, carrying vigorous scents of Bitter Orange and Cardamom, gushes through the silent streets of Muscat where fumes of royal Frankincense and austere Labdanum perpetually dance.

From Rub-al-Khali desert rises the fragrance of distant oases – vaporous Peonies, fleshy Ylang-Ylang and Plums deliciously candied in the light of an eternal sun anchor their exquisite roundness in a bed of earthy, cocoa-like Iris.

Altogether they finally meet the fogs and ephemeral jungles of Salalah under the monsoon, heavy with aromas of dense and damp Patchouli, dry green Vetiver, warm Leather and glorious Amber.

An eclectic chypre inspired by the natural wonders of Oman, Dia Man is a prime example of tasteful subtlety.”

WHY IS AMOUAGE DIA MAN ONE OF MY BIGGEST PERFUME DISCOVERIES OF 2023:The top spot is reserved for a fragrance from my all-time favorite niche house, Amouage.

Admittedly, I’m bending the rules here since I didn’t technically discover it last year, but having finally acquired a bottle in the past year, I’m considering it part of my 2023 fragrance journey.

As highlighted in my review, depending on my mood, this fragrance often rises to the forefront among my favorite Amouage scents, standing shoulder to shoulder with Reflection Man and Imitation Man.

While not typically labeled as a fragrance for a younger audience, it surprisingly resonates with me, summoning memories of my more youthful, innocent days, basking in the scent of my dad’s preferred shaving foam.

Dia Man isn’t a one-size-fits-all fragrance; it calls for a touch of style and life experience, particularly in daily interactions with people.

What captivates me about this fragrance is the delightful marriage of zesty yet not overly bitter orange and the most authentic peony flower notes.

The elegant dance of fragrant notes continues into the heart, introducing lavender and iris.
Extracted from the iris root, Orris imparts a powdery and subtly soapy barbershop elegance, elevating the fragrance’s depth.

This olfactory masterpiece’s core lies in a meticulously crafted blend of warm, comforting, and sophisticated elements, featuring notes such as magnificent Omani frankincense and a rich woody accord.

  • PERFUMER: Bertrand Duchaufour
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Woody Floral
  • RELEASE DATE: 2002
  • MAIN NOTES: Peony, Vetiver, and Incense
  • AGE GROUP: 25+
  • SEASONS: Spring and Fall
  • OCCASIONS: Business and Leisure
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • COMPLIMENTS: Low – Medium
  • ACCORDS: Floral, Woody, Smokey

Final Words

Perfume Discoveries Of 2023 - Yves Saint Laurent Y EDP

In closing, my fragrant journey of 2023 has been nothing short of enchanting, revealing a tapestry of scents that spanned eras, personal memories, and passing trends.

My collection has grown more exceptional than ever, from top-tier arrivals like Creed and Amouage to unexpected masterworks like Starlight and Viking.

While I might have purchased slightly fewer fragrances than in previous years, the quality of my new additions is undeniable.

I look forward to continuing to explore the world of perfume and discovering new scents in 2024.

Remember, when it comes to finding the perfect fragrance, always trust your instincts and sample everything before committing to a purchase. Happy scent hunting!

What are your thoughts about my biggest perfume discoveries of 2023? Let’s start a conversation, and let me know in the comment section below.

In case you are in doubt about whether you should consider buying any fragrance or not, 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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Until next time, stay humble, and keep smelling great!

Best, Marin!
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