Classic Floral Scents

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Stylist Team
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Sometimes heady and aromatic, often delicate and romantic, always feminine. Most of us have history with floral fragrance. From sharp, single-note elixirs to big bountiful bouquets, here are the classic floral scents that have stood the test of time.

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Words: Charlotte Jolly

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Mon Précieux Nectar, Guerlain

    £168 (125ml),

    This is one of the covetable vintage fragrances Guerlain reissued as part of the ‘Les Parisiennes’ collection. A rich almondy floral, with tart citrus notes and a sweet, musky ambiance; reminiscent of artisanal French patisseries.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    L’Air du Temps Eau De Parfum, Nina Ricci

    £35 (30ml),

    In spite of its name, this spicy floral is not at all <airy>. It leads with a rich peppery carnation scent, followed by a generous measure of gardenia and bergamot. It doesn’t leave much of a trial; in fact it mellows to a sexy skin-like scent.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    J’Adore Eau De Parfum, Dior

    £46 (30ml),

    The rundown of notes covers off rose, violet, freesias, jasmine, honeysuckle and tuberose, but you’d be hard pressed to pick one out. It has an enveloping, hazy aura about it.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Beautiful Eau De Parfum, Estee Lauder

    £34 (30ml),

    Concocted by Mrs Lauder herself, and still a popular choice for brides, it’s sweet and aromatic on first impressions, but what clings to your skin is more of a honeyed, vanilla musk.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    No 5 Parfum, Chanel

    £88 (7.5ml),

    Perhaps the most iconic of them all? An exhibition on the <culture> of Chanel No. 5 opened at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris this spring. To this day the composition remains ‘undefined’ by Chanel (to avoid it being lumped in with fleeting trends), but may rose, neroli and jasmine are all distinguishable. And you can’t mistake that dusky dry down.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Ellenisia Eau De Parfum, Penhaligon’s

    £60 (50ml),

    An initial neat zestiness quickly gives way to big, bold white blooms (gardenia, jasmine and tuberose), which in turn melts into a base of creamy vanilla and sugared plums. It’s indulgent and completely enveloping.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Floret Eau De Parfum, Antonias Flowers

    £137 (56.7ml),

    In the mid-nineties, New York florist (now perfumer) Antonia Bellanca was inspired by her grandmother’s garden to create this (now cult) fragrance. It’s pure sweet pea and peony. Spritz with wild abandon.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Flower By Kenzo

    £32 (30ml).

    In the late nineties, Kenzo set about consigning a specific scent to poppies (previously unscented). They came up with a composition comprising bulgarian rose, parma violet, hawthorn and cassia, with hints of incense. And it’s proved very popular.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    Une Rose, Frederic Malle

    £130 (50ml),

    This is not a polished, or even a structured, rose scent; it’s a fragrance for rose purists. No dewy petal notes or hints of rosewater; it has the earthy aroma of an uprooted flower (leaves, stem and all), exalted by a dark truffle accord and a splash of red wine.

  • Classic Floral Scents

    L’Eau D’Issey Eau de Parfum, Issey Miyake

    £59 (50ml),

    Infused with lotus and yellow osmanthus notes, this <aquatic> floral has a misty marine freshness. Sandalwood and cedar make it golden and creamy, but it somehow manages to retain a lovely lightness. It has miracle glow-giving properties.