A woman can never go wrong by wearing a classic luxury
perfume. They exude a timeless elegance and chic which is rare in the more modern fragrances. As Chanel said: "Perfume is a part of you, no elegance is possible without it". There are many classic luxury
fragrances. Some of the best-loved and the most famous include: Chanel No.5, Joy, Arpege, Shalimar, Miss Dior and L’Air du Temps
Ernest Beaux, the perfumer who created this scent, was introduced to Chanel by her lover, a Russian Grand Duke. Originally perfumer to the Tsars, Beaux’s trip to the Arctic Circle inspired him to create a fragrance which was similar to the smell of the water at midnight.
Two legends surround the creation of the luxury
scent which Marilyn Monroe famously wore to bed. According to the first Beaux created six perfumes. Chanel tried these and loved the fifth so much that she named it No.5. According to the other story, Chanel said that the number five had always been lucky for her. She said that: "I launch my collection on May 5th, fifth month of the year, leave it to the number which it carries and this number 5 will carry chance."
Joy was once called 'the most expensive perfume in the world’ by Elsa Maxwell and it remains very expensive. The French designer, Jean Patou requested perfumer, Henri Almeas to create a 'lighthouse’ for his perfume business – one that would shine during the Depression and bring joy through the dark years. Its production allegedly 'involved 1600 flowers and 28 dozen roses — 10 percent (real) Bulgarian Rose! And (expensive!) Jasmine.’ ('Jean Patou, The Man, The Company, The Fragrances’).
Inspired by her daughter’s love for music, the couturier, Jeanne Lanvin, named one of her most famous luxury
perfumes, Arpege. This is French for Arpeggio. The lovely drawing on the bottle by the Art-Deco artist, Paul Iribe, shows Madame Lanvin and her daughter, Marguerite going to a ball together.
Marguerite later became the opera singer, Marie-Blanche de Polignac.
Arpege, reformulated recently, is one of the most romantic and flowery perfumes. It is a floral bouquet of Bulgarian rose, jasmine, honeysuckle and lily.
Shalimar, created in 1925, named after the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, India, was Guerlain’s first Oriental perfume. It is a tribute to the love story of an Indian emperor who was devastated by his wife’s death and built the Taj Mahal as her burial place. This is still a very popular amber-dominated scent.Miss Dior
Miss Dior, a classic chypre fragrance, was created by Christian Dior in 1947 as a tribute to his sister. It coincided luxury
with his New Look – beautiful, tight-waisted dresses with full skirts that brought back femininity and glamor after the war. Green and refreshing, the reformulation is also a classic although some complain that it is not the same and prefer to buy the vintage bottles.L’Air du Temps
Created in 1948 for the house of Nina Ricci, this was also designed to bring joy to women after the war. This wonderfully romantic and ethereal scent is one of the best perfumes of all time. It also has a gorgeous bottle – a sphere with winged doves – that was originally designed by the great artist, Lalique.
There are many other lovely, classic luxury
scents with interesting stories behind them but these six certainly stand out. Any of these gorgeous scents would make lovely, romantic gifts for a woman of substance.