Perfumes may come and go with the seasons, but a few special fragrances never go out of style. These are the classic scents that launched to huge acclaim, and continue to be produced, worn and loved by women today. Click on the perfume names below for full reviews of five classic fragrances that deserve their enduring fame.
In 1921, Coco Chanel asked perfumer Ernest Beaux to create something that "smells like woman." The resulting elixir would become the world's most iconic fragrance. An instant sales success when it was born, Chanel No. 5 remains the grande dame of perfume sales to this day, with a bottle sold worldwide every 30 seconds.
L'Air du Temps was launched in 1948, in the aftermath of World War 2. To capture and celebrate the longed-for return to peace and optimism, the fashion house of Nina Ricci - known for its ethereal, flowing dresses, set out to develop an innovative new type of perfume for its female clients.
When times get tough, a new perfume can't fix your finances, but it can take your mind off them for a while. In 1929, armed with this wisdom, Parisian perfumer Jean Patou created Joy Perfume for his wealthy American patrons whose fortunes had been ravaged by that year's Wall Street crash. Despite their financial losses, and the high price of Patou's product, Joy was cheaper than couture and women flocked to buy it.
With a name that literally means "temple of love" in Sanskrit, Shalimar is the amber-oriental perfume that spawned a host of successful imitators. Guerlain's fragrance takes its name from the Indian Gardens of Shalimar, where emperor Shah Jahan met the woman who inspired him to build the Taj Mahal. A runaway success since its birth in 1925, Shalimar's irresistable blend of fragrance notes has given it pride of place on the vanities of the world's most famous women.