Many of us have a signature scent we choose to wear every day, or on special occasions, and finding that perfect blend of perfume ingredients to suit your personal taste can be a defining moment for some people.
But what aroma ingredients can be found in the most popular perfumes in history – and why do so many people go back again and again to certain brand names?
The appropriately named Estee Lauder Beautiful has proved an enduring favourite since its launch in 1985, with its main perfume ingredients including floral top notes of rose and lily, with a middle combining jasmine and orange flower.
A woody base helps to develop the richness, depth and warmth, with a heart of sandalwood – timeless aroma ingredients that we’ll see again in the products mentioned in this article.
The so-called ‘scent of a thousand flowers’ may be over 30 years old, but sales remain strong, with one widely reported statistic that says a bottle of Beautiful is sold on average every 13 seconds worldwide.
Some brands are permanently linked with certain numbers – Pimm’s No. 1, Heinz’s 57 varieties and WD-40 to name a few – and when you mention Chanel perfume, Chanel No. 5 is usually the first product to come to mind.
Legend has it that the blend of perfume ingredients used was the fifth attempt by perfumer Ernest Beaux to please Coco Chanel and make a fragrance with a distinctly female scent – the fifth attempt, hence Chanel No. 5.
In 2021 Chanel No. 5 marks its centenary year, and while the exact recipe has been tweaked over the years to keep it relevant, the signature blend of fragrance ingredients used includes floral notes like rose and jasmine, along with a previously unseen concentration of aldehydes to really bring out the sparkle in the scent.
CK One launched in 1994 and although it’s the baby of the bunch, it’s still a landmark scent as the first unisex fragrance to gain widespread popularity.
Its perfume ingredients are no surprise – a base that includes sandalwood and amber, along with cedar and musk, a middle of rose and jasmine, plus nutmeg, violet and lily-of-the-valley, and citrusy top notes combined with bergamot and cardamom.
A little heavier on the musk and oriental inspirations than the older fragrances already mentioned, it shows that some scents – notably sandalwood, citrus, jasmine and rose – have broad enough reach to work even in a unisex fragrance.