Scents for a women; Fragrances ALISON JONES consulted Birmingham's top department stores and scent sellers, including Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and the Perfume Shop, to come up with the top 10 best selling perfumes. These are the favourite fragrances.
Launched during the last global recession back in 1992, this was an escapist perfume, as indicated by the wishful star-shaped bottle, which was actually designed before the scent itself was created.
As a small somewhat dreamy boy Thierry Mugler, a ballet dancer turned window dresser turned designer, used to believe that stars were his friends. He wanted to capture the smells of his childhood, of candyfloss and toffee apples. Angel - the most popular perfume in France - is said to be the first Oriental gourmand fragrance. It contains bergamot, strawberry, dewberry and coconut, with honey for extra sweetness and Veltvol, a synthetic molecule which smells like caramel.
Near revolutionary in design in that the bottle was a perfect circle instead of the more familiar square shape, it was launched in 2002. A fresh, floral spicy scent that is constantly in motion, it is again the work of Jacques Polge while the innovative (for Chanel) shape came from artistic director Jacques Helleu. It was inspired by a quote by Coco summing up her success. "One world was ending and a new one was about to be born. I happened to be there; a chance came my way and I took it."
Calvin Klein Euphoria
Bronx-born Calvin Richard Klein was once hailed as the new Yves Saint Laurent for the clean lines of his designs. He was a protege of Baron de Gunzburg, the influential editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar who introduced him to New York's fashion elite. Famous models for his designs have included Brooke Shields, who purred that nothing came between her and her Calvins while poured into a pair of CK jeans, and Mark Wahlberg, who was wrapped in a young Kate Moss. Klein has given his name to a range of perfumes, including the unisex fragrances cKone and cKbe CK Euphoria was launched in 2005. It has top notes of pomegranate, persimmon and green accord mixed with lotus blossom, champaca flower and black orchid. The striking bottle - designed by Klein and Fabien Baron - was inspired by an orchid about to bloom.
Created by Jacques Polge, the nose of Chanel, this captured the spirit of the Coco who playfully said: "Spray your perfume on all the places you are likely to be kissed".
Launched in 2001 it was aimed at younger consumers. A fresh Oriental scent, it contains Sicilian orange, bergamot, morning rose, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla and white musk. The advert for it features Keira Knightley as Coco and was directed by Joe Wright who has guided the actress to some of her best performances in Pride and Prejudice and Atonement.
Marc Jacobs Daisy
Synonymous with subdued style, smouldering but not in-your-face sexy, New York City born Jacobs was a star in the making when he enrolled at Parson's School of Design.1981 and was made student of the year before graduating. Once fired from his job as head of women's wear for a middle market American fashion house for a creating a grunge collection from silk shirts and cashmere. He joined Louis Vuitton in 1997, revitalising it with the company's first ready to wear line. He has had his own label since 1987.
Released in 2007, Daisy is a floral feminine scent.
It has top notes of strawberry, violet leaves and red grapefruit, hearts notes of violet, jasmine and gardenia and base notes of vanilla, musks and white woods.
Launched by the Estee Lauder company, Clinique was developed for people who have very sensitive skin who had previously been unable to use cosmetics. Known for its skincare diagnostics and for promoting, though not necessarily inventing, the three step technique of cleansing, toning and moisturising. The products are allergy tested and 100 per cent fragrance free, which is why it would seem odd that Clinique chose to introduce scent to its range. Launched in 1971 (the nose behind it was Bernard Chant) Aromatics Elixir has pioneered the way of aromatherapy in perfume. It is a blend of essential oils, including rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and vetiver, that can be tolerated by people with sensitive skins.
Consequently it was able to call itself the world's first hypo-allergenic fragrance.
Introduced in 1984 during the reign of King Karl Lagerfeld, who was lured away from Chloe to put his own distinct signature on the line Chanel, it was named in honour of the late mistress of the house, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The bottle design followed the clean lines of the iconic No 5 bottle. It was created by Jacques Polge who was inspired by the eclectic mix of styles he saw in Chanel's apartment after visiting in 1979. It is a voluptuous floral oriental mix of jasmine, Damask rose and Tonka bean.
Chanel No 5
Created in 1921, its distinctive name came about after Coco Chanel commissioned perfumer Ernest Beaux to make a range if scents for her to smell. She picked bottle no 5 as the one she liked best. By coincidence 5 was also her lucky number. It was launched on May 5.
It relies heavily on jasmine, at the time the most expensive perfume oil, which contributed to its covetable costliness.
It is famous for using synthetic floral aldehydes as a top note, along with ylang ylang, neroli because Chanel wanted an artificial perfume that smelt like it had been created, like one of her signature suits.
It has mid notes of May rose and base notes of sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla.
It's fame was assured when, in 1953, Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed and suggestively replied Chanel No 5.
Gucci by Gucci
Gucci has come a long way from its origins as a leather goods company and small luggage store launched in Florence in the 1920s by Guccio Gucci, who wanted to introduce the refined aesthetic of the English nobility to Italy. The company has gone through many trials and tribulations, not least the familial infighting that brought the luxury brand to the verge of bankruptcy. Creative director Tom Ford is credited with bringing back the glamour to Gucci and increasing profits. It is now reportedly the biggest selling Italian brand in the world. Gucci by Gucci was launched in 2007.
A chypre floral fragrance, it has a top note of guava and pear, heart note of Tahitian tiare flower and base note of musk and honey.
Chloe was the first design house that specialised in luxury ready to wear rather than haute couture. It was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion who named it after a friend.
Though she designed the first range she had a talent for hiring young designers who went on to make a name for themselves. An early hiring was Karl Lagerfeld, whose work attracted Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Bridget Bardot and Maria Callas. It was at Chloe that Marie Sitbon, Stella MacCartney and Phoebe Philo earned their design stripes. The fragrance, in a chunky ribbed bottle with silver plated collar is a sensual feminine fragrance with top notes of peony, lychee and subtle rose and base notes of cedar wood, amber and honey.
The Chloe Collection was created in 2005 and the new Chloe fragrance in 2007. The advert features young actresses Clemence Posey and the appropriately named Chloe Sevigny alongside model Anja Rubik.