Best in Show Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)

Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)

01/08/17 09:41:48 (26 comments)

by: Jodi Battershell, Elena Vosnaki, Juliett Ptoyan, Rouu Abd El Latif, John Biebel

An assortment of Oriflame perfume bottles

Oriflame is one of the world's best-selling beauty brands. Founded in Sweden in 1967 and originally distributed exclusively by direct sales consultants, not unlike the American brand Avon, Oriflame successfuly marketed its innovative Swedish beauty style across Europe, into Asia, down to Africa and across the pond to Latin America. Today, Oriflame offers its products through consultants and via the web in more than 60 countries around the world.

Despite its 50 years in business and the brand's global footprint, the average American is likely not familiar with Oriflame, as the United States is not included in those 60+ countries. (Canada, Australia and Brazil are other big markets that Oriflame has chosen not to enter as of yet.) Oriflame products are difficult to find here, often available only though third-party sellers at higher prices than when purchased from an Oriflame consultant or a particular country's official website. (There is hope: in March 2016, Reuters reported that Oriflame are seeking new markets and considering expansion to countries in North and South America.)

Fragrances have long been an important part of Oriflame's offering. Fragrantica has 278 fragrances from this brand in our encyclopedia. Some of the world's most esteemed noses—Mark Buxton, Francis Kurkdjian, Thierry Wasser, Sonia Constant, just to name a few—have composed fragrances for the brand. Oriflame is known for offering pleasant, affordable fragrances that capitalize on current trends (often as "Limited Life" editions), as well as for maintaining a stable of their classic bestsellers like Giordani Gold, first introduced in 1976, or Divine, launched in 2002.

A random sample of Giordani Gold crossed my path back in 2010. I liked it, but it was my first and last experience with Oriflame until October last year, when dear Elena Vosnaki gifted John Biebel and me with sample packets of current Oriflame releases. Both John and I were impressed by these scents and found a few favorites quickly. I also got curious about the choices of my colleagues from parts of the globe where Oriflame actively markets their products. Here we share with you our top picks from this beloved Swedish beauty brand.—Jodi Battershell

AMBER ELIXIR

By: Jodi Battershell, editor and columnist of Fragrantica in English

a bottle of Oriflame Amber Elixir perfume

I'm drawn to sweet orientals when the weather grows chilly and Amber Elixir found me at the perfect time of year for me to fall in love with it. There is so much more to this scent than amber, though amber is definitely the key to its beauty. Warm, sweet, gently fruity, gently floral and wonderfully complex, it brings to mind the openings of several other fragrances I enjoy (Flowerbomb, Poison and Hypnotic Poison, Coco Mademoiselle, maybe even a little Alien) with a timeless drydown that will please fans of revered oriental scents like Obsession or Euphoria or the late great Trouble. And yet it smells completely distinct and has a much softer approach than any of these.

It's beautiful from the first spritz, but it's best appreciated on a day when you can allow it to cycle through its full lifespan. The sillage is acceptable for the workplace—arm's length, but don't go nuts spritzing right before you reach the office—and the longevity is outstanding. The fruits begin to burn off after an hour and the sensuous amber woody-musk base notes take over. You'll still be smelling the last tender traces of them at bedtime and it will all have been worth the journey.

Honorable Mentions: Giordani Gold, Enigma, Divine, Divine Sensual, Precious EDP

MIRAGE

By Elena Vosnaki, editor of Fragrantica in Greek

a bottle of Oriflame Mirage perfume

One of the few and far in between fragrances composed by Françoise Caron for Oriflame (as per the company's official info), Mirage had the stunning visuals to turn heads even before smelling its intense "magical broth" scent. The intensely green bottle and the red-haired heroine representing it, dressed in emerald flowing gowns (red enhancing the green) had me salivating even before holding the lovely rollerball vials they used to make and trying it on my own skin with all the apprehension reserved for ritualized experiences.

This most striking of colors, green being the color of horror movies and sorceresses' brews, is taken for a wild ride in Mirage. The peppery, mysterious and lush smell of vetiver and sticky, sweetly spicy resins engulf its core of dark, gothic rose with thorns. One can almost feel the ache of those "pricked thumbs" and the foreboding of [the] "wicked [which] our way comes" as per Macbeth's second witch's famous lines. But unlike Lady Macbeth you won't long to wash it off your hands, if it catches your heart. And it very well might, unless you're of the gourmands and fruity florals brigade, in which case step away like hordes of Huns are stampeding down your path.

Unusual for Oriflame fragrances Mirage was very potent and with a high sillage, making it a true love-it-or-hate-it perfume. And I say "was" because it is discontinued. In the hopes of having it re-introduced, even under another name, I am writing this elegy of its emerald-hued heart of darkness...

Honorable mentions: EnigmaPower WomanAmber Elixir NightS8 Night, Giordanni Man NotteFreyaLove Potion.

MIDSUMMER WOMAN

By: Juliett Ptoyan, writer at Fragrantica in Russian

a bottle of Oriflame Midsummer Woman perfume

Oriflame catalogs gained popularity in Russia about 10 or 15 years ago and I clearly remember their fragrances since that time—and if someone were to ask me about the best ones, I'd name Freya and Midsummer Woman. The first one was totally different from anything this (and not only this) brand presented at that time—and, to be honest, I've never met a fragrance which reminded me of the kind of subtlety, freshness and the inner freedom of scent which Freya had: clear, a little frosty cedar, tender songs of the sea, and pale blue, a bit melancholic—all of this is about it (they also had Frey for men, but it was like what Gucci made with Rush: a legendary feminine scent and a pretty ordinary masculine). Freya also was produced as solid perfume but I had only the eau—in a heavy matte glass bottle which reminded me of northern fog or a blade from Scandinavian fairy tales.

Midsummer Woman (I mean the old version, because now we have completely another scent which barely has anything in common with the original formula) was built around a magical aquatic cloudberry-mimosa accord, very authentic and heavenly soft thanks to feathery musks. It was a perfect scent of an early spring morning—airy, light, perfectly clean and joyful. It was one more success of the brand, and, seeing it now in catalogs (I still love Oriflame for their lip balms and hand creams) I understand that its popularity is almost the same and it's good even if it's not that Midsummer which caught my attention one day in the 2000s.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: EnigmaNomadicNomadic HimSagaTogether HerElvie FireflyVolare Spring Flower Parfum, Aloha Collection

 

GIORDANI WHITE GOLD

By: Rouu Abd El-Latifeditor of Fragrantica in Arabic

a bottle of Oriflame Giordani White Gold perfume

Affordable and always with novelties in sight—for perfume-loving teenagers this is heaven. Oriflame is one of the most widespread direct sales corporations in the world, crafting elegant, well-made inexpensive products, including a fine perfume collection. It's almost two decades of goodness since I met the sophisticated Oriflame Giordani Gold with its edgy floral creaminess of jasmine which was too much for the younger crowd. Later, in 2008 I had the stunning Oriflame Giordani White Gold with no regrets. Dosing myself used to be a pleasure.

It's a "good girl” type of scent: tame, nice, balanced and generous. An initial musky vibe pounces at first spray, then seeps softly and quietly on your skin, trailing a floral bouquet that tends to be lightly sweet rather than fresh. It barely evokes any fruity accords on my skin. The woodsy/patchouli binary comes deep and rich. Virtually nothing soapy, nor is it fresh, due to the ending, but it's decent, light and airy and holds a discreet floral tint that comes through the strong musky/woody accord. 

Would I buy this again? Definitely yes. It's a good value for the money and it stands out more than many popular high end brand names out there. It's good for wearing to the office and to college on a daily basis, with moderate sillage and longevity of up to five hours of dour goodness.

Honorable Mentions: Amethyst Fatale , Amber Elixir , Elvie , Enigma , Embrace Her , Midnight Pearl , Precious Moments , Freya

NATIVE FORCE

By: John Biebel, editor and columnist of Fragrantica in English

A bottle of Native Force fragrance

Oriflame’s Native Force is one of those modern men’s scents that combines the green and earthy elements of a fougère with the smooth and creamy aspects of a sandalwood attar. When mixed, the two make an intriguing herbal brew of numerous humid forest smells. From start to finish it is green and woody: beginning with lime, through spicy cardamom, ending on sinewy cypress.

Native Force is peculiar because of its silky character—something reminiscent of Turkish ayran, the yogurt drink made with mint leaves and salt. It’s extremely pleasant, grounding, aromatic. The various spices (primarily cardamom and nutmeg) rise to the surface as well and add depth, while small doses of lavender, woods like guaiac and palo santo, create a solid resonant base on which the aromatic notes are most noticeable. Citrus is here at the top but doesn’t play a broad role, just quietly supports the rest of the perfume.

Oriflame’s herbal fougère works very well as a balanced, modern men’s fragrance for its classy smooth edges and softly masculine character. Cypress has a wonderful ability to bring sparkle to a perfume, and it glows seductively in Native Force. This pulsating green beacon is a seductive wonder and yet still very cosmopolitan. It could be worn as easily in Helsinki as it could in Buenos Aires. It’s blending of the aromatic with the smooth wood notes make it an international scent.

Honorable Mentions: ArchitectGiordani White GoldS8 NightManful

We wish a happy 50th anniversary to Oriflame!

Ladies and gentlemen of Fragrantica, have you tried any Oriflame fragrances? Please tell us about your favorite Oriflame scents, past and present, in the comments. 

 



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Yana Dreharska
Yana Dreharska

Thank you for writing about Mirage and making it the main picture for the article. I was waiting for a long time for someone to mention it. So many people want it back and I hope Oriflame does something about it. It's the company's most interesting fragrance.

Jan
11
2017
scarlett.angel
scarlett.angel

Funny you say that @Betsywoolbright,
I'm in Australia, and we don't have Oriflame products here. Though about 2 years ago now I managed to find Mirage (the original green one) from an eBay seller in Poland too! Blind bought it for about $40. I think it's impossible to find it anymore. I'm glad it got a mention here, as wow, Mirage is potent stuff! It smells so strong, lush and green... I love sniffing the bottle but have trouble wearing it especially with our hot weather. It's a green vetiver bomb which smells stronger and lasts longer than Midnight Poison on me!

Jan
11
2017
Betsywoolbright
Betsywoolbright

I'm in the US, and I managed to find adecent deal on Mirage Daydream from an ebay seller in Poland. I like it, but it is a bit delicate for my taste. I've been on the hunt, off and on, for Mirage.

Jan
10
2017
lauren.moss
lauren.moss

I've only gotten into blind-buying Oriflame in the last six months, recently acquired Pretty Swan, which is the perfect powder fragrance, Volare Forever, which is a phenomenal fruit floral, and Eclat Femme Weekend, which proved far too aquatic and sharp for me, but my sister adopted my bottle and apparently loves it! I've already realised that it's going to prove impossible to replace my bottle of Pretty Swan, and it's currently my signature. If only they would re-release it!

Jan
10
2017
veda
veda

My fav was Sun back in 1996!
I want to try Lovely Garden, Mirage, Mirage Daydream,
Pretty Swan, more.
I expected more from Amber Elixir.

Jan
09
2017
SumoTigerCat
SumoTigerCat

I have two Oriflames that I love, although they couldn't be more different from one another... Mirage (wow, that Elemi is great) and Pretty Swan (a delicate and ethereal beauty). They are a bit hard to get in the US, but worth the search, I think.

Jan
09
2017
Jayawardana
Jayawardana

They forgot to mention Sir Avebury and Excite, my beloved men's fragrances from the house
Lol, they're very inexpensive in Indonesia, i got Sir Avebury for 15 dollars,and Excite for 20 dollars, i assure you it's authentic.

Jan
09
2017
ptilda
ptilda

I need to investigate this house, but it's less easy to sample for me. :(

Jan
09
2017
ilovekylie
ilovekylie

very chep in my country romania

Jan
09
2017
DiBonD
DiBonD

My favorites so far are Visions V* fragrances and Aromabliss series, all which have been long discontinued.

Jan
09
2017
an.jorePipip
an.jorePipip

my faves from Oriflame would be: Amber ELixir, Architect, and Love Potion

Jan
08
2017
esteban747
esteban747

I wish Oriflame had a US website.

Jan
08
2017
vintage_scent
vintage_scent

Great article! We needed more insight into Oriflame...many I really would love to try, namely Amethyst Fatale...

Jan
08
2017
goldenfire5
goldenfire5

I really love Mirage - good choice! I may need a back-up bottle. I also love Pretty Swan, a delicate, powdery apricot. I wish there was a way to sample more Oriflame perfumes here in the U.S.

Jan
08
2017
Angela Agiannidou
Angela Agiannidou

No mention of Paradise?!!!? It is amazing, spicy rose and patch. So aromatic!!! Mirage, of course, and Giordani Incontro. Amber Elixir went straight into my wish list! Great article Editors!

Jan
08
2017
Bretto66
Bretto66

Im from Australia and like you suggest we are not familiar with this brand. Are their ingredients of a good quality?

Jan
08
2017
*sophi*
*sophi*

I miss Aspasia,Grace and Izmya a lot !!!
Lucia is a beauty, too !!!

Jan
08
2017
RkrChk
RkrChk

The small 'collection' of Oriflame that I've acquired has come from Poland; since it's considered the equivalent of our "Avon" here in the USA, I've snagged those few bottles for a great price...

These are quality fragrances! I'm excited at the prospect of Oriflame expanding to the US...!

I really and truly enjoy Dancing Lady Exotic Night and Mirage Daydream...Mirage did not like my skin; I'm afraid the elemi note just was not going to give in and give me a pleasant experience...

Thanks for this wonderful article, Ms. Jodi & the rest of the lovely editors here at Fragrantica...

:)

Jan
08
2017
Tardismama
Tardismama

I'm in the US so my experience has all been blind buys from 3rd parties, and I have not met a dud yet! Pretty Swan is my absolute favorite, but I also really love Love Potion and Mirage Daydream, Lovely Garden is also nice, and quite unique, but needs a very specific mood mixed with weather to keep from being cloying.

Jan
08
2017
paneradfisk
paneradfisk

Fairy City Lights is my favourite from Oriflame. It smells like an apple scented body mist from VS. Another quite pleasant one is Mirage Daydream. It's more like a very faint nutty woody aroma. I am in no way a perfume snob and I take into consideration that Oriflame's prices are very low, but I would say their scents are very market oriented and mainstream smelling. I find the notes on here rarely represent what I'm actually smelling-- I'm almost always expecting something else.

Jan
08
2017
nguyenvuhungvuong
nguyenvuhungvuong

I hope they bring back Precious EDP, Mirage EDP and Mirage daydream EDT, Petal Quartz EDP, Diamond Musk EDP , Intense Embrace him EDT, Volume EDT and Platinum EDT. I love all of them and use them for a long time since I was teenager. But they stop selling these I want to enjoy them again and again. I hope all of you can tell them that. Miss these Oriflame perfumes food package and good quality.

Jan
08
2017
Tiger84
Tiger84

I wish they brought Mirage back! It was such a unique powerful, amazing frag! Cannot find it anywhere, obviously those who like it cherish their bottle. My 50 ml will also last for some time. But it is sad that I won't be able to find a backup after that.

Jan
08
2017
iamoir
iamoir

I have the catalogue each month from a friend and yes I place orders on perfumes. The thing with Oriflame and Avon sometimes is that the products are discontinued quite often. Other times they are replaced with successful creations but others not.

Here is a list with my favorites:
1. Amber Elixir: I swear by it. Full stop. Amber throughout and throughout. Maximum longevity, sillage and projection; heady and heavy and HOT; stains everything! Just get your hands on it.
2. So Fever: even hotter than Amber Elixir, as heavy and deep, but with less longevity. A non gourmand vanilla; perfumey vanilla. Boozy!
3. Giordani Gold Essenza: Has some issues with longevity, but the scent itself is luxury liquefied.
4. Mirage: elemi at its best. An ingredient not often used in perfumery, yet it can have your nose occupied forever on your wrist. Projects amazingly; everybody and their mother will ask you what you're wearing. If you want to try some of the ingredient, try Si Lolita Lolita Lempicka; they are not dupes, but Si Lolita also contains elemi (along with pink pepper and patchouli)

I can also speak for my mum. She always loved Divine. To me it's uninteresting, but it's packed with flowers, lasts long and is a compliment getter. Worth a try.

If you wish for a sensual take, try Love Potion. It's the sweetest of all in my post. Lasts approximately up to 6 hours but has problems with sillage and projection.

Jan
08
2017
smellagent
smellagent

I live in the USA so I have not had access to these perfumes. One that caught my eye Cherries in a three cherry bottle(so cute)has remained out of my reach. Oh well maybe someday.

Jan
08
2017
sistermoon
sistermoon

My favourite Oriflame fragrance is "M". Patchouli and suede with vanilla - good quality and smells expensive. Most of their older fragrances smell kind of "synthentic" to my nose but there are definitely a few gems worth discovering. I think Oriflame is actually getting better - in their makeup department too.

Jan
08
2017
rednut
rednut

Love love love Mirage. Very disappointed when they discontinued it. I emailed them and they suggested I try possess although why is beyond me - they are not even remotely similar.
Another great Oriflame for me is Giordanni Gold Essenza. The orange blossom is fantastic and the scent has huge longevity on me and the sillage is pretty good too.
I haven't tried that many from Oriflame but these two for me are excellent.

Jan
08
2017

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