Ulric de Varens
French mass market perfume house established in 1982. There are three lines: Parfums Ulric de Varens, Lily Prune (see review for Lily Prune Sublime Vanilla) and Jacques Saint Prez.
Niche house established in New York in 2002 by Ulrich Lang, a former L'Oreal executive. Two fragrances, Anvers (2003) and Anvers 2 (2007).
Where to buy: at aedes, luckyscent, miomia and selected Barneys stores.
Fragrances by pop singer Usher Raymond, produced in collaboration with Liz Claiborne (and now Elizabeth Arden, who has taken over the Clairborne licenses).
Fragrances were introduced in 2007 with Usher She & Usher He.
Recent releases include UR For Women & UR For Men (2008).
Italian fashion design house established by Valentino Garavani in 1959. The house is known for its elegant, very feminine designs. Valentino has announced that he plans to retire in early 2008; Alessandra Facchinetti is slated to take over as Creative Director.
Fragrances include Vendetta & Vendetta Pour Homme (1991), Very Valentino (1997), Very Valentino Homme (1999), Valentino Gold (2002).
Recent introductions include Valentino V (2005), Valentino V Absolu (2005), Valentino V Ete (2006), Valentino V Pour Homme (2006), Rock 'n Rose (2006), Rock 'n Rose Couture (2007), Rock 'n Rose Pret A Porter (2008).
The Valentino fragrance business has been under Procter & Gamble since 2005.
Van Cleef & Arpels
French jewelry & luxury goods house established in Paris in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and Charles & Julien Arpels.
Fragrances were introduced in 1976 with First. Subsequent launches include Gem (1987), Van Cleef (1993), Birmane (1999), Zanzibar (2001), Murmure (2002), First Love (2006), First Summer 2007 (2007), First Premier Bouquet (2008), Feerie (2008).
Vera Wang was a fashion editor at Vogue, then worked for Ralph Lauren before launching her own bridal boutique in 1990. While still best known for her bridal gowns, Wang has since expanded into evening wear and accessories.
Fragrances were introduced in 2002 with Vera Wang for women; subsequent releases include Vera Wang for men (2004) and Sheer Veil (2005).
Recent launches include Vera Wang Princess (2006), Truly Pink (2007), Bouquet (2008), Flower Princess (2008), Look (2008).
Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.
Swiss niche line established in 2007 by perfumer Vero Kern. The intial offerings include three fragrances: Kiki, Onda & Rubj.
Italian fashion design house founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. Versace was known for his bright colors and sexy styles; Vogue notes that his "raunchy, barely-there dresses and reveal-all attitude to the female body gained him a reputation for having been inspired by the dress sense of prostitutes". Since his death in 1997, the house has been under the design control of his sister, Donatella Versace.
Fragrances were introduced in 1982 with Gianni Versace. Subsequent scents include Versus for men (1990), Blonde (1995), The Dreamer (1996), Versace Man (2003) and Glam (2003).
Recent fragrance introductions include Crystal Noir (2004), Versace Man Eau Fraiche (2005), Bright Crystal (2005), Versace by Versace (2007), Versace Pour Homme (2008).
Where to buy: at department stores and online fragrance discounters.
French fashion line established in 1984. Their debut fragrance, Vertigo, launched in 2005.
Recent fragrance releases include Hypnotica (2006).
Where to buy: ulta, Nordstrom.
Designer Vicky Tiel was born in the United States, and established her fashion label in Paris in 1968.
Fragrances were introduced in 1990 with Vicky Tiel Originale. Other fragrances include Sirene (1994), Ulysse (1998), Venus (1998) and Ethere (1999).
Recent releases include Sensuel, Couture & Destiny (2007).
Where to buy: in the US, at fragrance discounters.
Lingerie house established in 1977 by Roy Raymond and acquired by The Limited in 1982.
The stores (and website) carry a range of fragrances under the store's own label in addition to other brands (including Michael Kors, Thierry Mugler, Anna Sui, Jennifer Lopez).
Victoria's Secret brand fragrances include Dream Angels, Pink, Very Sexy for him & her, and Breathless.
Recent releases include Pink Beach (2007), Very Sexy Now (2007), Pink Splash trio (2007), Supermodel (2007), More Pink Please (2008), Isle of Pink (2008), Very Sexy Now 2008 (2008), Dream Angels Heavenly Kiss (2008), Back to Pink (2008), Very Sexy Dare (2008).
Where to buy: at the boutiques or through the website (see below).
Viktor & Rolf
Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren debuted their first collection in Paris in 1993, and have since become known for their conceptual approach to fashion and for their wildly inventive catwalk shows.
Their first fragrance release, Le Parfum, came in 1997 and was as avant-garde as their fashion: the "scent" was in a bottle that could not be opened or smelled (and the limited edition run of 250 bottles sold out). The next fragrance release was considerably more mainstream; the relatively conventional perfume Flowerbomb launched in 2005. Antidote for men followed in 2006. Both fragrances were created under arrangements with L'Oreal.
Recent releases include Flowerbomb Eau de Toilette (2007), Flowerbomb Extreme 2007.
Where to buy: department stores (Saks, Nordstrom) or online fragrance discounters.
British fashion designer who helped to establish the classic punk style of the 1970s, and is still known for her quirky, eccentric designs.
Her first fragrance, Boudoir, launched in 1998. Subsequent scents include Libertine (2000) and Anglomania (2004).
Recent fragrance releases include Boudoir Sin Garden (2007), Let It Rock (2007).
Fragrances are produced under arrangements with Coty.
Los Angeles based home & personal fragrance line established in 1999 by Traci Hinkley and Troy Arntsen. The line of Eau de Parfum includes Jasmine Brown Sugar, Linden Blonde Tabac and Cocoa Tamarind; there are also a number of combination room/body sprays in the Basic Black, Basic Creme and Japonica lines.
Recent fragrance releases include Josephine & Fragaria (2006), the Victoria Collection (2007), Malayan Coco & Fleur de Cafe (2007), the Opulence Collection (2008).
Where to buy: b-glowing, lacremebeauty, your-cosmetics, zanadia.
Originally a London-based tailor & shirtmaker, reportedly established in 1870 but no longer operating as a separate business entity. The Washington Tremlett name was at one time owned by Kilgour and used for their Savile Row custom shirtmaking business, but I am not sure who owns it now or if the fragrances are in any way related to the original company.
Fragrances include Black Tie, My Fair Lady and Royals Heroes.
Recent releases include MPH / Miles Per Hour (2008).
Where to buy: in the US at luckyscent, in Germany at first-in-fragrance.
Uk-based line of gifts & toiletries founded in 2004 by illustrator Scott Wotherspoon and cosmetics expert Elisabeth Henrikse. Four Eaux de Parfum, Muskmallow, Periwinkle, Scented Tea Leaf and Chestnut & Vetiver, are repackaged every year in limited edition bottles created in collaboration with artists.
Recent releases include Fig & Mace (2007).
French fashion house established in 1858 by English-born Charles Frederick Worth, now frequently referred to as "the father of haute couture". The house was subsequently run by Worth's descendants until it was sold in 1953 to Paquin. You can read a brief history of the house at metmuseum.
Perfumes were introduced in 1924 with Dans La Nuit (reformulated and relaunched 1985). The best known Worth fragrance was 1932's Je Reviens.
In 2003, the Worth perfume line was resurrected by Mounir Moufarrige, who relaunched Je Reviens in 2004 as Je Reviens Couture. He also established a couture lingerie line inspired by Worth, Courtworth.
Recent releases include Courtesan (2005).
Where to buy: in the UK, at Harrods. In the US, at fragrance discounters.
Yardley was established in the 18th century as a soap manufacturer in England. Over the years they expanded into other luxury toiletries, and they are still best known for their English Lavender fragrance range. They have been owned by several parent companies over their long history; most recently, UK-based Lornamead purchased Yardley from Procter & Gamble.
Recent releases include Lavender Spa (2007).
San Francisco-based independent niche house of botanical perfumer Yosh Han. In addition to the fragrances marketed under her own brand name, Yosh has designed scents for Minnie Wilde (Minnie Wilde Magic) and Temper Chocolates (Temperare 01, 02 & 03).
Recent releases include Winter Rose & Phenomenon (2006), Kismet (2007).
Where to buy: b-glowing, lacremebeauty, luckyscent, or in Canada, theperfumeshoppe.
French cosmetics firm specializing in reasonably priced, botanically-based products including skin care and fragrance. Note that new fragrances from Yves Rocher generally launch first in France, and only come to the US months later.
Recent fragrances include Pur Desir de Mimosa (2005), Voile d'Ambre & Ming Shu Fleur de L'Aube (2005), Hoggar (2005), Altika (2006), Rose Absolue (2006), Comme une Evidence Eau de Toilette (2007), Plaisirs Nature Strawberry Nectar (2007), Iris Noir (2007), Green Apple / Pomme (2007), Neonatura Souffle (Breath in US) (2007), Naturelle, Comme une Evidence Le Parfum, Comme une Evidence Homme (2008), Tendre Jasmin (2008).
Where to buy: at Yves Rocher boutiques or via the website (see below).
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent went to work for Christian Dior in 1954. After Dior's death, he became the Haute Couture designer for the house. He founded his own line in 1962. His fashion innovations are too numerous to list here, but he popularized tuxedos and stylish pantsuits for women, peasant blouses and safari jackets; Vogue has called him "arguably the industry's greatest designer". He retired from ready-to-wear in 1999 when the Yves Saint Laurent label was sold to Gucci, and retired from haute couture in 2002. Saint Laurent passed away in 2008.
The YSL fragrance line has been prolific. Their first fragrance was Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964). The best known fragrances are probably Rive Gauche (1971), the now iconic Opium (1977) and Paris (1983). Other releases include Kouros (1981), Jazz (1988), Champagne (1993, famously renamed Yvresse after the label lost a lawsuit filed by the French wine industry), In Love Again (1998), Nu (2001), M7 (2002), Cinema (2004).
Recent limited edition fragrances include Paris Eau de Printemps (2002), Paris Premieres Roses (2003), Opium Fleur de Shanghai (2005), Baby Doll Candy Pink (2005), In Love Again Fleur de la Passion (2005), Paris Roses des Vergers (2006), In Love Again Jasmin Etoile (2006), Cinema Festival d'Ete (2006), Opium Eau d'Orient Fleur Impériale for women & Opium Eau d'Orient pour Homme (2006), Kouros Eau d'Ete (2006), YSL Love Sprays (2007), Opium Orchidee de Chine Eau d'Orient & Opium Pour Homme Eau d'Orient (2007), Paris Jardins Romantiques, L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent Eau d’Été, Kouros Tattoo Collector, Cinéma Festival d'Été (2007), Paris Nuit de Fete (2007), Paris Pont des Amours (2008), Opium Poesie de Chine Eaux d'Orient (2008), L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent Eau d’Été 2008 (2008), Elle Yves Saint Laurent Summer Fragrance 2008 (2008), Cinéma Scénario d’été (2008), Baby Doll Magic (2008), Elle Intense (2008).
Recent mainstream fragrances include L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent (2006), YSL Young Sexy Lovely (2006), Elle Yves Saint Laurent (2007).
Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.
Fragrance & body care company. Fragrances include Ore, Earth, Petal & Oolong.
Where to buy: beautycafe.
Men's skin care & grooming company, established in 1995. Two fragrances: Zirh Eau de Toilette (2001) and Corduroy (2005).
New releases include Zirh Ikon (2008).