· By Paul Lumley
Icons with Heart & Mind
10 Famous Women and Their Favorite Perfumes
From Audrey Hepburn to Jackie Kennedy, here are 14 style icons and their signature scents.
Arguably the most personal and intimate of beauty products, the choice of perfume reveals volumes about its wearer—orientals are sexy and exotic, aldehydes bold and daring, florals romantic. Marilyn Monroe famously told interviewers that she wore Chanel No. 5 to bed (and nothing else), but it wasn't her only favorite.
1. Marilyn Monroe: Floris Rose Geranium
Like millions of other women, Monroe was a fan of Chanel No 5. However, in 2002, it was revealed that she also had a secret penchant for Floris Rose Geranium. The eau de toilette was delivered in bulk to her at the Beverly Hills Hotel under a cloak and dagger alias while she filmed Some Like It Hot. Featuring notes of rose, geranium, citronella and sandalwood, the British eau de toilette has been discontinued and its scent is now only available as a bath essence. If you'd like to try a similarly intense floral we suggest Amber Rose, a luxurious blend of rare May rose from Grasse blended with a sweet dulce de leche note.
2. Jackie Kennedy: Joy by Jean Patou
While Jackie wore several perfumes throughout her life, including Krigler Lovely Patchouli 55, a spicy, woody blend of patchouli and bergamot and leather, her favorite was the classic Joy by Jean Patou, known for years as the most expensive perfume in the world. For just one ounce of the heavily floral scent, more than 10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses are required—a risky business decision, especially since the scent was created in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression. The aura of uber-luxury and prestige worked: Joy went on to become one of the most successful fragrances of all time, and was voted Scent of the Century in 2000 at the Fragrance Foundation's FiFi Awards. Jasmine is the central note of our rich floral scent Atropa Belladonna. This is one to try if you're a fan of seductive floral fragrances.
3. Grace Kelly: Creed Fleurissimo
When Grace Kelly became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956, walking down the aisle of Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco in front of guests including Cary Grant and Ava Gardner, she did so wearing Creed Fleurissimo. The fragrance, from the esteemed family-owned fragrance house, was commissioned specially by Prince Rainier for his bride to compliment her wedding bouquet and contains notes of bergamot, tuberose, Florentine iris, and Bulgarian rose. Full-bodied floral fragrances convey confidence and sensuality. Try Scarlet Lily, packed with lotus blossom, Ariadne lily and ylang ylang.
4. Elizabeth Taylor: Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
Nowadays, every boldface name has their own fragrance line—but Elizabeth Taylor was a pioneer when she launched her revolutionary perfume empire, spanning blockbuster scents like White Diamonds, Forever, and Passion. (To this day, White Diamonds remains the bestselling celebrity fragrance of all time.) In earlier days, however, Liz wore Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, an oriental scent with notes of rosemary, orange blossom, sandalwood, and vanilla created in 1962. Taylor wore it on the set of Cleopatra, and also gifted the scent to Michael Jackson, who wore it for the rest of his life. Rosemary is prized by perfumeurs for its herbal wood notes. Discover a fresh take on rosemary in Sicilian Limes where it is blended with juicy citrus, sea salt and cedar.
5. Natalie Wood: Jungle Gardenia
An eternal fan of the delicate, romantic gardenia flower (there's even a gardenia on her gravestone), Natalie Wood wore Jungle Gardenia—first given to her by Old Hollywood star Barbara Stanwyck while filming The Bride Wore Boots in 1946. Known as "the most exotic fragrance in the world," the original juice contained notes of bitter orange, tuberose and heliotrope, and was famously reimagined—as an unsuccessful flop—by Coty in the 90s. This year, her daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner released a modern gardenia-laced fragrance in her mother's honor, called, simply, Natalie. Exotic oriental florals are prized for their seductive effect. Try Black Tulip with its blend of cyclamen, tulip and plum.
6. Princess Diana: Quelques Fleurs
A more modern but no less indelible icon, Princess Diana walked down the aisle at St. Paul's Cathedral bathed in Quelques Fleurs, a floral scent featuring notes of tuberose, rose, and jasmine. (Rumors abound that she accidentally spilled the juice on her wedding dress while trying to top up just before getting out of the carriage.) Later in life, Princess Diana was a fan of 24 Faubourg by Hermès, created by in 1995 by perfumer Maurice Roucel and named for the address of the Hermès flagship store in Paris. A sunny scent, it contains notes of orange blossom, peach, gardenia, and amber. Peach has a delicate fruit scent that is almost floral and works beautifully blended with other light flowery notes. In White Peaches Fragrance we use elderflower and silver birch to enhance the natural allure of peach.
7. Dorothy Dandridge: Tabu by Dana
The first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, Dorothy Dandridge wore Tabu by Dana, a sexy fragrance that was supposedly created by perfumer Jean Carles with the risqué instructions to make a scent that a prostitute would wear. (Its tagline was "Tabu—the forbidden fragrance.") Notes include bergamot, clover, oriental rose, amber, moss, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver. Earthy notes like moss can give fragrances a natural sensuarlity. Blackberry Woods blends berry, citrus and cedar for an effect that is fresh green brilliance.
8. Ava Gardner: Creed Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare
Ava Gardner was reportedly partial to Creed Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare, a rose scent that bergamot and green tea notes. Other scents favored by the Best Actress nominee included Guerlain Mitsouko and the bergamot, mandarin, and lilac-infused Fracas by Robert Piguet. While she was married to Frank Sinatra, stories circulated that she'd signal an end to one of their regular, titanic fights by spritzing the stairway with perfume as an invitation. Citrus and green tea bring explosively fresh notes to our summer favourite Watermelons Fragrance.
9. Audrey Hepburn: Givenchy L'Interdit
Created specially for Audrey Hepburn by Hubert de Givenchy, L'Interdit—which means "forbidden" in French—was created in 1957. Rumors spread that Audrey didn't want Givenchy to release the scent, but it was ultimately made available for wide purchase in the 1960s. A floral aldehyde, L'Interdit's notes include bergamot, rose, jasmine, iris, violet, narcissus, and sandalwood. In later years, Audrey wore Creed Spring Flower, another scent created just for her. Iris and rose add elegance to the warm amber and woods in Amber Oud Ahad.
10. Katherine Hepburn: Guerlain Vol de Nuit
Aviation enthusiast Kate Hepburn was a fan of Jacques Guerlain's 1933 scent Vol de Nuit, which was created in homage to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book Night Flight. (The same author wrote the children's classic The Little Prince.) A woodsy and spicy floral, its notes included bergamot, jasmine, and vanilla, and the bottle displays a relief of a moving airplane propeller. Jasmine and bourban vanilla are an irresistible combination. In Atropa Belladonna we added cassis berries and patchouli to create a decedant, mesmerising blend.