Compared to many of its competitors, Elie Saab entered the fragrance biz fairly recently, in 2011. Nevertheless, in this short period of time, it has earned a reputation for its quality releases.
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The Lebanese designer is known for his gorgeous bridal wear and haute couture gowns. His fragrances have the same luxurious effect.
Where known, the name of the perfumer is included in brackets after the name of the perfume.
Our Shortlist for Best Elie Saab Fragrances For Women
A debut fragrance can tell you a lot about a brand. And the radiant and uplifting Le Parfum EDP (Francis Kurkdjian) established Elie Saab’s credentials in superb style.
A big hit of African blossom sets up a sunny white floral mood with citrus undertones. Jasmine keeps the white floral theme going while sweetening the composition.
But it’s the bright honeyed rose in tandem with the other floral notes that defines this EDP. Earthy patchouli ensures it doesn’t tip over into sticky-ickiness. Francis Kurkdjian is too skillful a perfumer for that.
Sophisticated yet accessible, it’s not hard to understand why this scent is so popular.
There’s no shortage of rose perfumes, so this Essence No 1 Rose EDP (Francis Kurkdjian) 2014 release must really be good to stand out in such a busy category.
From the b rand’s highly recommended La Collection des Essences, it’s roses all the way. Only the best Centifolia and Damask rose essences and absolutes are used to produce it.
Showcasing all the facets of rose, from the fresh and dewy to the jammy and voluptuous, it also features ultra-smooth vanilla, which adds to the sense of refinement.
This is a connoisseur’s stuff and not for everyone, so best try it before you buy it.
Essence No 6 Vetiver EDP (Francis Kurkdjian) is the 2015 release, also from La Collection des Essences, and delivers its title note in classic style.
The opening is super fresh, with citrus notes of Calabrian bergamot and grapefruit.
Two essences of vetiver – Haitian and Indonesian – showcase its clean and slightly smoky characteristics, respectively. The combined effect is unmistakably green.
The distinctive spiciness of cloves is discernible in the mix but knows its supportive place in the scheme of things.
As it settles, the note of papyrus brings aromatic woodiness to the chic composition.
Launched in 2016, Nuit Noor EDP (Francis Kurkdjian) takes its inspiration from the contrasts between darkness and light at dusk in Elie Saab’s home in Gemmayzeh, Beirut.
It wasn’t in production for long and was then discontinued. However, this beauty is well worth looking out for.
Sweet floral notes of rose and ylang-ylang are the first thing to stand out in the composition. They are given an oriental vibe with warm notes of spicy black pepper and smoky incense. A dose of honey adds to its complexity.
Rich and intense, without being overpowering, the drydown features woody, patchouli and spicy notes.
Don’t let the slightly cheesy name put you off Girl of Now EDP (Dominique Ropion and Sophie Labbe) 2017 release. The brand’s successful wooing of a younger market is way more grown-up than it sounds.
The opening features softly sweet notes of pear and mandarin orange. Pistachio brings on the gourmand mood, which is amplified by almond essence, with its bittersweet nutty qualities, and sunny orange blossom.
Settling on a base of musky cashmeran and patchouli, this EDP is a treat for those who like it sweet but thoroughly elegant.
Inspired by the brand’s 2018 bridal collection, Le parfum in White EDP (Francis Kurkdjian and Jérôme di Mariano) is wonderfully romantic. And the good news is that you don’t have to be walking down the aisle any time soon to wear it.
Taking its cue from the wedding theme, the rich white florals of orange blossom and jasmine are given a fruity (blackcurrant buds, peach) and citrusy spin (mandarin essence, bergamot).
Clean white musks meet earthy patchouli in the drydown, with hints of vanilla in the background.
Le Parfum Royal EDP (Maïa Lernout ) 2019 release is probably the least crowd-pleasing of all the Elie Saab Le Parfum flankers.
Sweet and fresh mandarin orange shines in the intro. The sunny citrus vibe continues with a note of neroli.
The composition then gets truly into the royal mode with the queen of florals, in the form of powdery Turkish and Bulgarian rose absolutes.
The boldness continues through to the drydown, where the intensity of patchouli is softened by notes of sandalwood and an amber accord.
We’re not exaggerating when we say this is powerful statement stuff, so spray with caution.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.