Nowadays—with so many celebrities and reality television stars selling their own signature scents in every chain store and pharmacy—it’s hard to remember the once-exclusive and luxurious nature of perfume. But there are a few powerhouses that continue the regal tradition of fragrance.
Bond No. 9 fragrances pay tribute to New York City. The brand’s founder, Laurice Rahme, launched the company after 9/11 in an effort to “make New York smell good again.” Harlem, Madison Avenue, Bryant Park, Hudson Yards, Little Italy and Brooklyn—each fragrance embodies the characteristics, ambiance and style of a different neighborhood. This fall, Bond No. 9 introduces Nuits de Noho, a warm, spicy scent with notes of jasmine, vanilla and patchouli.
Bond No. 9 Nuits de Noho
Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn were a match made in fashion heaven. They met when the designer created costumes for Sabrina and went on to collaborate for the remainder of Hepburn’s caeer. Another memorable treat from their relationship: L’Interdit, the fragrance Givenchy created especially for the actress. It’s a sophisticated and elegant scent that combines notes of bergamot, rose and vetiver.
Glamour magazine called i Profumi di Firenze Vaniglia del Madagascar “a grown-up fragrance for vanilla lovers.” Handmade in Florence, Italy, with the finest vanilla from Madagascar, this perfume is based on recipes commissioned by the Queen of France and is crafted from the same ingredients used during the Renaissance.
i Profumi di Firenze Vaniglia del Madagascar
Known as the most expensive perfume in the world, this scent was worn by Katie Holmes when she married Tom Cruise and given to Kate Middleton on her wedding day to Prince William. It’s a mix of floral and cedarwood and said to be the same scent Queen Victoria wore. So why the high price tag? It’s the concentration—meaning the length of time the fragrance lasts on your skin. Even after multiple showers, the scent of No. 1 lingers.
Clive Christian No. 1
Neiman Marcus, $865
Coco Chanel wanted a scent that embodied the modern woman, unlike the typical fragrances of the 1920s. When the perfumer presented Chanel with five different creations, she chose the fifth, giving the iconic fragrance its name. The complex blend of florals, paired with the woodsy base of amber and patchouli, makes the perfume both sweet and sexy, which explains why one of Hollywood’s most famous starlets, Marlyn Monroe, loved it. “I only wear Chanel No. 5 to bed,” she said.
Chanel No. 5
What do you get the girl who has everything? Prince Rainier of Monaco asked the Creed fragrance house to create a special
perfume as a wedding gift for his bride, the one-and-only Grace Kelly. Made to complement the white flowers the princess carried as she walked down the aisle, Fleurissimo is a beautiful combination of tuberose, violet and Florentine iris.
Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest fragrance houses in the world. Once a pharmacy established by monks in the 1200s, it became a perfumery when it was commissioned to create a signature fragrance for Catherine de Medici upon her marriage to Henry II of France. She was just 14. The scent consists of bergamot, citruses, white flowers and exotic spices.
Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia