From vintage scents to modern classics, some fragrances are still as elegant today as they were when they first came out. Even if you know exactly what you like, some of the classics might surprise you once you get a feel for them on your skin, not just on scent strips.
Discover some of the best classic fragrances that certainly deserve a shot, whether you’re going for an edgy style or prefer to stick to timeless elegance. From Chanel No. 5 to Femme Rochas, here are the classic scents that are worth your attention.
Chanel No. 5
The original floral aldehyde was a key part in Coco Chanel’s success. Launched in 1921, Chanel No. 5 is a love at first sniff scent for many women, while others become fans only after some adjusting to its unique charm.
Top notes of ylang-ylang, neroli, bergamot and aldehydes open this iconic fragrance, followed by iris, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, and a base of amber, sandalwood, patchouli and musk notes.
Launched in 1947, Miss Dior is definitely one of the best classic fragrances, and thanks to Jennifer Lawrence it’s getting a whole new generation of fans. Woody and mossy, Miss Dior is certainly refreshing and it also includes plenty of green floral notes. Miss Dior is a daytime wear staple.
Shalimar by Guerlain
An amber-oriental scent that’s been around since 1925, Shalimar was named after the Indian gardens where emperor Shah Jahan met the woman who inspired him to build the Taj Mahal. Iris, rose and citruses are blended with vanilla, incense and leather for one of the most influential “exotic” fragrances ever created.
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
Created in 1997, Opium is also among the best classic fragrances thanks to its Oriental-spicy charm. With top notes that mix fruits and spices, Opium has an opulent floral heart that includes lily of the valley and rose notes, followed by a sweet woody base. While the iconic bottle is harder to find than the 2009 redesign, the fragrance has the same timeless appeal.
L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci
Launched in 1948, L’Air du Tempes is floral-spicy scent that’s truly timeless. Carnation and cloves make up it’s gorgeous scent, that also includes notes of bergamot, rosewood, violet, iris for the heart, and a base that mixes sandal and cedar wood notes with a touch of amber and musk.
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Definitely on the modern side of the spectrum among the best classic fragrances, Gaultier’s Classique also features the first torso shaped bottle that’s wearing a corset. Bold in its sweetness, Classique includes top notes of rose and star anise, followed by ginger and orange blossom, with a vanilla and amber base.
Youth Dew by Estée Lauder
Another Oriental-spicy fragrance, Youth Dew first hit the market in 1953, when women were just starting buying perfume themselves for daytime wear. Its gorgeous combination of spices certainly has a timeless appeal. Top notes of aldehydes, spices and fruit are followed by an every more spicy and floral heart, with a soft base of tolu balsam, incense, musk, vanilla and amber.
Eau du Soir by Sisley
While it’s not even a quarter of a century old, Eau du Soir is certainly among the best classic fragrances, thanks to its refined and glamorous scent. This floral chypre plays with contrasts, mixing together fresh citrus notes with strong florals (lily of the valley, jasmine), and finishing with a sophisticated base of musk, amber and patchouli.
After its debut in 1943, Femme Rochas went through many incarnations, and the 1989 reformulation is a lot bolder than the original. Adding a peachy note to its iconic plum, Femme Rochas includes notes of cumin, bergamot, pear, rose, oak moss and sandalwood, for a .
Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds
The success story that cemented the idea that every celebrity should have their own fragrance, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds also qualifies as one of the best classic fragrances. I 2009, it was inducted into the Fragrance Foundation's Hall of Fame. A classic floral, it delights with aldehydes mixed with floral notes, lily, violet, neroli and ylang-ylang, on a base of oak moss, sandalwood, musk, patchouli and amber.