Perfumes may come and go, but there are a few special ones that simply never go out of style. These are the classic scents that were launched to huge acclaim, and continue to be produced, worn and loved by women today.
Joy by Jean Patou
This fragrance was created in 1929 by Parisian perfumer Jean Patou for his wealthy American patrons whose fortunes had been ravaged by that year’s Wall Street crash. Despite the high price, Joy was cheaper than couture and women flocked to purchase it. Patou’s well-timed gamble paid off, and a classic was born. More than 80 years on, Joy remains a consistently best-selling perfume.
L’Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci
Launched in 1948, in the aftermath of World War II to capture and celebrate the return to peace and optimism, the fashion house of Nina Ricci set out to develop an innovative perfume for its female clients. L’Air Du Temps or “the spirit of the times,” therefore, comes in a beautiful bottle topped by intertwining doves. An instant success back then and a frontrunner till today, the fragrance continues to be a favourite with elegant women around the world.
Miss Dior P by Christian Dior
This perfume was launched in 1947 shortly after the success of Christian Dior’s ground-breaking New Look collection, which revolutionised women’s fashion and re-established Paris as the fashion capital of the world following World War II. Miss Dior has undergone a makeover in the years since it was created and the perfume now referred to as ‘Miss Dior’ is actually not the original fragrance. The classic fragrance is now called ‘Miss Dior Classic’ and ‘Miss Dior Original.’
Shalimar by Guerlain
The Oriental perfume that spawned a slew of successful imitators, Guerlain’s fragrance takes its name from Kashmir’s Shalimar garden, where emperor Shah Jahan is said to have first set eyes on Mumtaz Mahal, the woman who inspired him to build the Taj Mahal. A runaway success since its birth in 1925, Shalimar’s blend of fragrance notes gives it pride of place on the vanities of the world’s most famous women.
No. 5 by Chanel
Back in 1921, when Coco Chanel asked perfumer Ernest Beaux to create something “that smells like a woman, not a flower bed,” even she could not have predicted its instant success and lasting impact. A runaway hit since it was born, Chanel No. 5 remains the grande dame of perfumes even to this day, with a bottle sold worldwide every 30 seconds. Clearly, the world’s most sophisticated and iconic fragrance ever.