Which flowers feature in the most iconic perfumes?

Few perfumes have achieved the legendary status that Chanel N°5 has enjoyed since its debut in Coco Chanel. Rue Cambon shop in 1921. Sensual and complex, the honey-coloured perfume in its elegant and sober glass bottle, reminiscent of a whiskey carafe, became a star in its own right. In 1952, when Marilyn Monroe posed for her first cover of Life magazine, she confessed that she eschewed pajamas and nightgowns in favor of wearing the scent in bed, cementing its place as a must-have on the dressing table (and bedside table).

The distinctive bouquet is known to be highly concentrated, potent enough that a light dab on neck pulse points and a single spray on each wrist is enough. The complex composition includes citrus, vanilla, jasmine, aldehyde and rose.

Grown by the Mul family near Pégomas, France, Rosa centiflora plays a key role in the floral heart notes of the fragrance. The name of these exquisite pink flowers literally means “hundred petals”. Resembling cabbages, the densely packed petals are harvested and their rich oils extracted. Twelve of these summer-blooming roses make up each 30ml bottle of Chanel N°5.

I love perfume bottles. Credit: Shutterstock

I love Eau de Parfum, Dior

It was in 1999 that perfumer Calice Becker created Dior’s best-selling perfume: J’adore. The fragrance has top notes including pear, magnolia and tangerine, middle notes including jasmine, lily of the valley, freesia, rose and orchid, and base notes of musk, vanilla , cedar and blackberry, housed in an eye-catching long-necked bottle, finely wrapped with gold rings.

Jasmine flowers are harvested at Carole Biancalana’s family estate, Domaine de Manon, exclusively for Dior since 2006. Grasse has a rich history with the perfume industry. Known as the world capital of perfumes, he celebrates his bountiful harvest of jasmine during the Jasmine Festival in August, where decorated floats pass through the region and the town is decorated with garlands of jasmine. Jasmine grandiflorum are evergreen shrubs, but their delicate, intensely fragrant white flowers bloom between July and October.

perfumes
Classic perfume bottles. Credit: Shutterstock

Classic Eau de Toilette, jean paul Gaultier

The bust bottle engraved with a corset is synonymous with the provocative and sensual creations of Maison Gaultier. Created in 1993, vanilla, orange blossom and ginger are the dominant notes of this much-loved Classic fragrance.

Orange blossom is the delicate star-shaped white flower that blooms on Citrus aurantia. They are an essential component of many famous perfumes as they provide a robust and sweet aroma and have long been used in wedding bouquets. The trees flower all year round and although they are not fond of cold British winters, orange trees can be grown outdoors in late spring to early autumn and then brought to a conservatory ( to make sure they get plenty of light) when the temperature drops.

perfumes
Black Orchid Eau de Parfum. Credit: Shutterstock

Black Orchid Eau de Parfum, Tom Ford

One of the most spectacular fragrances on the market, Tom Ford’s luxurious and sensual blend of black truffle, ylang, burgamot and cassis is like a Puccini opera in a bottle. The perfume’s heart note, and the ingredient from which it takes its name, is Black Orchid, which Ford himself developed as Yves Saint Laurent’s house flower.

The orchid notes are complemented by the deep spicy flavors that make Ford’s creation the perfect evening fragrance. Although a rare plant, there are several species of black orchids, including cochlear prosthesis, the national flower of Belize.

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Sarah C. Figueiredo