When it comes to iconic fragrances, Chanel No.5, Guerlain’s Shalimar and Yves Saint Laurent Opium are probably the type that spring to the forefront of your mind. And as they should. These are perfumes that have stood the test of time, broke the olfactory rules of the time and perhaps most importantly, are still as popular now as they were then. However, there are new fragrances stepping up to take the title of icon, and they’ve only been adorning the beauty shelves for a relatively short amount of time, so how can they be considered iconic?
“For a perfume to become iconic and earn cult status it has to be born out of a combination of different aspects,” says Linda Jayne, creator and founder of perfume brand Ormonde Jayne (ormondejayne.com). “We like to call it the three cherries effect, as in when you pull the handle of a slot machine and you get a surprise win.”
However it’s hard to predict what is going to make a perfume stand out from the crowd. “Clever marketing definitely plays a part these days in elevating a fragrances stature. Some brands like to play on the seduction of the scent or they will bottle it in such a way that just the look of it makes it highly regarded. But of course, it is essential that the perfume performs well. That’s what makes the difference between a customer buying it just once and it becoming their signature scent.”
And what part does celebrity or well-known faces attached to a brand make in transforming a scent from ordinary to extraordinary? “An association with a celebrity or influencers are just another part of the marketing strategy for perfumes today, but I really do think that it’s possible to have a hit scent purely because the actual fragrance is exceptionally good and therefore the success is achieved through people smelling it and word of mouth. Once a perfume from your collection outsells the other by more than 20:1, this is a three cherry win and an icon has been created.”
7 perfumes that your dressing table and your skin need now
1. Hermès Twilly d’Hermès EDP, Dh403 for 50ml
Christine Nagel, Hermès perfumer was inspired by the Hermès Twilly; the satin scarf the brand is synonymous with and the way that the younger generation of Hermès fans would wear them wrapped round their wrists. Essentially the most chic friendship bracelet you have ever seen. The fragrance encapsulates the way they twirl, touch and twist the Twilly and has a playfulness that perhaps isn’t thought of with most Hermès scents. It’s a fragrance of two parts. It has the zing and hit of ginger alongside the depth and richness of tuberose and sandalwood. It’s this juxtaposition which is what could make it become the iconic bottle for the brand.
2. Guerlain Mon Guerlain EDP, Dh410 for 50ml
If there’s anyone that knows something about making a statement fragrance, it’s French beauty house, Guerlain. This is the brand responsible for the heady, exotic Shalimar created way back in the 1920s. It had a huge popularity surge in the 80s and 90s, but perhaps has become the kind of perfume that feels too decadent and over-powering for most to wear. Which is where Mon Guerlain comes in. It’s the first time the brand have used a celebrity to front a fragrance campaign, choosing the heavenly Angelina Jolie do embody the epitome of the scent. This is everything that Shalimar isn’t; light, delicate, super girly and one could argue, prettier to look at too.
3. Jo Malone English Oak & Redcurrant Cologne, Dh600 for 100ml
With Pomegranate Noir being a constant best seller, Jo Malone have introduced a very different offering to shake up their customers wants and desires and potentially create a new icon. There are two versions in the English Oak collection, one with hazelnut and this with redcurrant which we believe takes the edge just slightly. It’s dark, deep and everything you could imagine an English woodland smelling like. Plus it has that oak strength to it that means it can be worn by men and women, so maybe make sure your fella doesn’t get a whiff of this as chances are you won’t see it again.
4. Dior J’Adore L’Or EDP, Dh590 for 40ml
There have been a few variants of the J’Adore franchise, but none as special as this. J’Adore L’Or is the ultimate in luxury fragrances. It contains Jasmine Grandiflorum, a flower that is unique to Grasse in the South of France and is grown at Domaine de Manon, a farm that Dior have an exclusive relationship with. Meaning that this is one of the few perfumes that you will find this exquisite note in. It is paired with the May Rose, a very special flower that only blooms in May and is picked at dawn when the scent is at its peak. So everything about this perfume screams special and one of a kind, which is surely what you want from your scent and makes an iconic perfume.
5. Narciso Rodriguez For Her Fleur Musc EDP, Dh415 for 50ml
Joining an already iconic fragrance franchise comes the latest offering for the ‘For Her’ perfume that hit the shelves earlier this year. But this one stands out from the other three and is garnering cult status of its own thanks to the rare musc it contains alongside utterly gorgeous floral notes and sultry moments of pink peppercorn, patchouli and soft amber. It’s the type of perfume that lifts you up from the very first spritz and makes you feel like you’re wearing something very special indeed. And that’s because you are.
6. Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP, Dh380 for 50ml
Marc Jacobs Daisy has been by far and away the runaway success for Marc Jacobs. Until now. Meet Decadence, inspired by one of the designers most iconic handbag designs and has been developed with master perfumer Annie Buzantian (who has created scents for Tommy Hilfiger, Marchesa and Ralph Lauren). It contains some unusual ingredients such as Italian Plum and Vetiver that make it a really sensual and glamorous perfume to wear now and for years to come.
7. Tiffany & Co. EDP, Dh550 for 75ml
When an iconic jewellery brand decide to create a new fragrance, only the best will do. Which is why for this gorgeous perfume the skills of perfumer, Daniela Andrier were called upon. She is the woman responsible for nearly every Prada fragrance that exists. The inspiration for the scent was the way scent, skin and jewellery combine, so Daniela called upon quite a traditional ingredient, Iris, but put it through a new distillation method to create an Iris butter that is completely exclusive and unique to Tiffany. It is more sensual and bright than traditional Iris notes and is paired with patchouli to give it a soothing musk feeling. Not only that but the bottle design has been inspired by the jewellery houses’ most iconic diamond cuts with an elaborate faceting and the lines that mirror the Lucida diamond engagement ring.