Recently I asked the question on Twitter: if you could only have access to the releases of three perfume houses for the rest of your life, which would they be? For me, there must be a classic line, a line that inventively uses synthetics, and an all-natural line. The three I have chosen demonstrate each respective arm of perfumery exceptionally well. There are lots of choices to suit every mood within each house, so there's no way I would get bored.
Guerlain is not without its hiccups in perfume history (especially over the past 15 years or so), but overall, it's undeniable that the classics that have come out of this house have been monuments to the raw emotions of life. As time goes on, I fall deeper and deeper in love with Guerlain.
As far as all-natural perfumers go, to my mind, there is no one better than Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes. In fact, Mandy's talent takes her out of the strictly-natural realm and lets her perform in the same arena as the big boys. She continues to ensnare new fans as her exposure grows within the perfume-loving and blogging community, and with a new fragrance launch right around the corner, I do believe that the future is looking (and smelling) awfully rosy for her.
My third and final choice has to be a house on the avant-garde side of perfumery, a house that is very comfortable manipulating synthetics and pushing all kinds of buttons and envelopes. It's got to be Le Labo. Their attitudes and practices confound some, offend others, but I cannot deny that their playfulness and wit carries over to their olfactory design aesthetic, and I love it. Besides, Oud 27 changed my life.
I must know, if you had to choose, which 3 houses would rule your kingdom?