Anatomy of memorable perfumes
Coco Chanel said “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory."
Giorgio Armani said "A perfume is more than an extract it is a presence in abstraction. A perfume, for me, is a mystique."
Perfumes have been spreading the essence of aroma ever since the human civilization came into existence when oils and raw flowers were used to invocate the quintessence of smell. The Egyptians use to anoint their bodies using scents of cinnamon and honey. From the remains of Edfu temple, researchers are making depiction of the art of floral extraction as perfume is distilled from the flowers of the white Madonna lily. This accessory was for the upper class of the society but both men and women alike wore the precious scents.
Fragrance has the power to control our emotions setting the mood, be it a professional feel romantic or some nostalgic instance. Every person has a favorite fragrance which his olfactory centre recognizes. At an instant, our nose can detect, and associate, an elixir long forgotten. The oldest perfume was found in the island of Cyprus which is 4000 years old with sweet smelling concoctions brewed from lavender, bay, rosemary, pine or coriander. This article explores some of the great perfumes of the 20th century which lingers a nostalgic smell of an era. Chanel No 5, Joy, Femme, Youth Dew, Shalimar, Miss Dior, Caleche are some of the most successful perfumes which were developed during the 20th century and even after several decades they have managed to captivate our senses. This is a diminutive attempt to pay tribute to these timeless classics.
Chanel N 5
N°5 remains the greatest and best known perfume in the world. It was launched in 1921 by legendary Coco Chanel. A famous Marilyn Monroe story help commemorate this scents fascination. When asked what she wears to bed, Monroe replied “Few drops of Channel N°5”. This timeless classic, both contemporary and unusual, remains the absolute benchmark of feminine fragrances, entrancing, elegant and always modern. Known to all women and yet belonging to each individual, this abstract olfactory bouquet was the first of its kind to blend floral essences and aldehydes in these proportions. It is also known as the world’s first modern perfume. Today Chanel No.5 sells a bottle every 30 seconds. In recent years Chanel No. 5 has been marketed as a spray with two refills in an effort to have it recognized as an essential everyday finishing touch rather than a precious scent to be used sparingly.
Joy is the second best selling perfume after Chanel No 5. Joy is always advertised as "The most costly perfume in the world". It was created by designer Jean Patau in 1930 during the great American depression. It was made using two most expensive ingredients at that time: 28 dozen Bulgarian roses and 10,600 grassie jasmine blossom to produce a single ounce.
Miss Dior perfume was launched in 1947 by Christian Dior SA, in breaking a record period- in one month! Stable and feminine scent was very unusual for those times. Dior’s perfumes combine almost-austere, conservative elegance with fantastic opulence and quite shamelessly animalic undertones.
Caleche is one of the best selling fragrances of the decade. It was launched in 1961 by Hermis house. This perfume was made for the women. Caleche is a multi-floral blend with notes of chypre, oak moss, vetyver and flowers such as jasmine, gardenia, rose, iris lily of the valley. Caleche's heart is composed of orange blossom.
Femme Rochas contains peach, plum, lemon and is accented with rosewood, clove and amber making FEMME ROCHAS perfect for romantic use.Roudniskta created Femme during the worst days of world war second in 1945 in a Paris building with garbage building on one side and paint factory on the other.
This fragrance was launched by cosmetic Giant Este lauder in 1953. The story goes like that when Lauder met with resistance form the store owner to accommodate the classic fragrance she accidentally spell the perfume to attract the owner. It was one of the most glamour’s scent made in America and the marketing was done in such a way that the females learnt to buy fragrances for themselves rather than waiting for males to buy for them on special occasions. This feminine scent contains a blend of warm rose geranium and amber. It is accompanied by moss vetiver and sandalwood.
Launched by the design house of Guerlain in 1925, the scent was named after the famous gardens by emperor Shah Jahan created for his wife Mumtaz. Thus Bacarrat created the bottle like a fountain. SHALIMAR is classified as a refined, oriental fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of iris, rose and vanilla. It is recommended for eveningwear.
These perfumes have astonished the human sense since centuries and they continue to spin our world around. These scents have been successful in surging memory of a special moment in our lives, lifting our spirits with joy, or drown us in a longing moment. Dr. D. McKenzie from Study of Smells says “Of all the senses, none surely is so mysterious as that of smell, the nature of the emanations that stir it to activity is still unknown . . . its effects upon the psyche are wide and deep, at once obvious and subtle." The fragrances today are used as a 'signature' signifying a psychological wallop. They are as good as emotional dynamite in a bottle, with every trace, capable of conveying a myriad message and moods.