Star Scents: Iconic Women's Perfume
- Next1 of 9Glo
- Previous Next2 of 9Katharine Hepburn: American Stock/Getty Images. Courtesy of Givenchy
- Previous Next3 of 9Jane Birkin: REPORTERS ASSOCIÉS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images. Courtesy of Miller Harris
- Previous Next4 of 9Greta Garbo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Courtesy of Grès
- Previous Next5 of 9Princess Diana: Tim Graham/Getty Images. Courtesy of Isis
- Previous Next6 of 9Katharine Hepburn: American Stock/Getty Images. Courtesy of Guerlain
- Previous Next7 of 9Gayatri Devi: The India Today Group/Getty Images. Courtesy of Guerlain
- Previous Next8 of 9Coco Chanel: Roland Schoor/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images. Courtesy of Chanel
- Previous Next9 of 9Kelly:Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Courtesy of Gucci (Gracious Gardenia and Gracious Tuberose)
BEAUTY_fragrance 5.81 of 9
Audrey Hepburn2 of 9
Givenchy L'Interdit, created especially for Audrey Hepburn and commissioned by Hubert de Givenchy, was named Forbidden because, according to rumors, the actress didn't want the designer to share it with other women. In the 1960s, however, it was released to the public, with an accompanying advertising campaign featuring the actress. Powdery and musky, the scent is true to its name, eliciting a sense of shrouded bedrooms and feminine intrigue.
Spritz this if… you're demure on the surface, yet your shyness masks an inner seductress.
Jane Birkin3 of 9
Jane Birkin, the French New Wave beauty famous for her sexual antics—recording a sexy song with Serge Gainsbourg, for one—was vexed without a scent that melded perfectly with her skin. That's until London perfumer Miller Harris created an aroma, L'Air de Rien, just for her. With notes of neroli and Oakmoss, the unisex fragrance is distinctly earthy, meant to be worn by women—and men—who crave the freedom of Paris, and Birkin herself, in the 1960s.
Spritz this if… you're revolutionary and free, a woman who's open to almost anything.
Greta Garbo4 of 9
Composed of a trio of scents—Mythos, Sphinx and Goddess—this Grès collection, released in 2009, is inspired by Greta Garbo, the mysterious Swedish actress. Alix Barton, the original designer of Grès, clothed Garbo in her famously skin-baring designs, so it's appropriate that the house would pay homage to her today. These musky, floral scents recall moody black-and-white film and the depth of Garbo herself, who broke hearts with the subtlest expressions.
Spritz this if… you're deeply nostalgic, with a flair for drama.
Princess Diana5 of 9
Named after the Egyptian goddess, and inspired by Princess Diana—truly a modern-day goddess—Isis was created by William Owen III, whose family has been making scents for the royal family for over a century. A combination of white rose and violet, Isis is sunny and feminine, much like the princess had been.
Spritz this if… you are unabashedly cheerful, but with a regal bearing.
Katharine Hepburn6 of 9
Made by designer Jacques Guerlain in 1933, Vol de Nuit Perfume was an homage to Night Flight, a romance novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The perfume was worn by Ava Gardner, Jean Harlow and, most famously, Katharine Hepburn, whose own love of flight was famously memorialized in Martin Scorsese's film The Aviator. Based on a combination of woodsy and spicy floral notes, including daffodils and amber, the scent evokes the thrill of flight.
Spritz this if… you're singular and airy, a woman who yearns for complete freedom.
Gayatri Devi7 of 9
Although many stars have worn Shalimar, none of them are famous for pouring it down a prison drain, which is what Maharani Gayatri Devi, the princess of Jaipur, reportedly did during her stay in a Delhi penitentiary in 1975. Jailed for violating tax laws, the Maharani doused the pipes to relieve the jail of bad odors. The sweet, fresh scent was first created in 1921 by Guerlain in memory of another Indian princess, Mumtaz Mahal (for whom the Taj Mahal was erected).
Spritz this if… you are glamorous and rebellious at once, and you carry yourself like a queen.
Coco Chanel8 of 9
Created by Coco Chanel in 1920, Chanel No. 5 was designed to epitomize the modern, independent woman. At the time, women either wore distinct floral essences or musky blends; Chanel introduced a new, more complicated fragrance that combined the two. Containing notes of vanilla and jasmine, No. 5 was mixed by Ernest Beaux, who originally designed 25 fragrances for Coco to choose from—and we all know which number she selected.
Spritz this if… you are mature and independent, not afraid to show your inner strength.
Grace Kelly9 of 9
Flora by Gucci is a collection inspired by a scarf made for Grace Kelly after she visited the Milan Gucci store in 1966. When she asked to see their kerchiefs, Rodolfo Gucci said none were worthy of her beauty. Gucci had a pattern created for her, lush and full of blossoms, from which five flowers were used to make the Flora line—Gorgeous Gardenia, Gracious Tuberose, Glamorous Magnolia, Generous Violet and Glorious Mandarin.
Spritz this if… you're high-spirited and romantic, the kind of woman who will never stop looking for (or loving) her prince.
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