Perfume or parfum is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds creating an agreeable scent. Perfume makers have been recorded throughout history as far back as BC times. We all have our own signature perfumes and they may have changed over time.
“Leave a little sparkle wherever you go” – Kate Spade
You can leave a little sparkle with the smell of your perfume after you leave a room. Perfumes can be floral fragrances, citrus, musky, green, fresh, exotic, dewy, refreshing, warm, unique, light, zesty, aromatic, delicious, powerful, light, tangy or sweet…..
But do you know what perfumes were most popular throughout history?
- Joy – Jean Patou
Advertised at the time as “the most expensive perfume of all time”, Joy by Jean Patou is the second best selling perfume ever! It is a floral scent, and still available today.
- Tabu – Dana
The brief for this perfume was to “make a perfume a whore would wear” Yes! you read that right.
- Ma Griffe – Carven
The creator of this actually lost his sense of smell. Ma griffe, translated is “my claw”. It is a green, floral, outdoor scent, created for young liberated women.
- Le Dix – Balenciaga
Le Dix, translated as “the 10” is described as “Chanel No. 5 with violets”. It is a classic feminine, floral scent.
- L’air du Temps – Nina Ricci
The dove on the top of the bottle resembles a symbol of peace after WW2. It is feminine and floral and still available today.
- Shocking – Elsa Schiaparelli
This is a warm, amber, floral perfume. The bottle was actually modelled off Mae West’s body! The advertisements were created by famous surrealist artists like Salvador Dali and was one of the first most provocative advertisements for perfume.
- Pour Monsieur – Chanel
Pour Monsieur can be described as a fresh, green and citrusy scent. This is a men’s fragrance, aiming to make a man feel sexy and alluring to women. It is popular still today!
- Diorissimo – Dior
Described as a romantic floral fragrance, Diorissiomo was discontinued for many years but was reformulated in 2009 with modern ingredients. It is still popular today!
- L’Ombre Dans L’eae – Diptyqu
A delicate blend of blackcurrant and musky rose… It is a snapshot of nature or a stroll in an English garden in perfume. It re-emerged in popularity in the 1980s.
- L’interdit – Givenchy
L’interdit is described as a white floral perfume – feminine with a hint of masculinity, and is still popular today.
- No. 5 – Chanel
Chanel No. 5… the most iconic perfume of all time. It has been a staple for many glamorous women since its creation back in 1921! It is also widely known as the only thing Marilyn Monroe wore to bed, “of course“.
- Shalimar – Guerlain
This perfume was originally popular with the flappers in the 1920s, but re-emerged in popularity in the 50s. It is an oriental perfume and was supposed to be the worlds first oriental scent!
- Tigress – Faberge
The bottle stopper of the Tigress perfume was made of fake tiger fur. The tagline of the campaign was “are you wild enough to wear it?”, faced by Lola Falan. Tigress is an amber, oriental, fern-like fragrance.
- Tabu – Dana
- Rive Gauche – Yves Saint Laurent
Rive gauche, translated as “left blank”, was the trendy side of Paris in which the YSL boutique was situated. This perfume, of a floral aldehyde composition, was created for the free spirited, independent, modern woman. It is also still available today!
- Femme – Rochas
Originally created in the 1940s, Femme has a warm, spicy and fruity scent. It is also still available today.
- Azuree – Estee Lauder
Advertised as for the “Golden Girl”. It is aromatic, earthy and fresh, inspired by the warmth of the French Riviera. Azuree is still available today.
- O De – Lancome
This citrus fragrance has a refreshing, summery scent. O De is still available today.
- Charlie – Revlon
This perfume consists of white florals and earthy greens, but the Charlie perfume had many lines of both men and womens fragrances. Charlie featured many celebrities in their advertisements. It targeted the young, working women of the time and actually featured the first women to wear pants in a perfume advertisement! Charlie is not as popular today.
- Opium – Yves Saint Laurent –
This perfume was recognised for its controversial name, which actually aided publicity. The launch of this perfume included an elaborately decorated ship, fireworks and a party at Studio 54. It contains amber and spices, and is described as an oriental, warm scent.
- White Linen – Estee Lauder
This is a cool, clean and crisp scent. It evokes the crispness of a cool Spring breeze. This perfume is still popular today. Estee Lauder created this perfume “as the more complex and complicated woman’s life becomes, the more she prizes simplicity and ease”.
- Babe – Faberge
Babe is a floral, rosy, earthy scent, and includes 118 different essences to create it. Ernest Hemmingway’s granddaughter actually did the advertising for it!
- No. 19 – Chanel
It is a floral green fragrance. The number 19 was actually chosen to commemorate Coco Chanels birthday, 19th August. It was originally released in 1971.
- L’air du Temps – Nina Ricci
Don’t you just love a good perfume? I admire someone when they walk by with a really good scent on. To me a good perfume is important. In life it is essential to find your signature scent. I found mine in my early 20s, Jean Paul Gaultier – The Original, and I have never stopped wearing it ever since. Have you found your signature scent? That scent that you adore and everyone recognises you by?
I hope you enjoyed finding out about perfumes over history!
Ridiculously Retro Xx