Collecting perfume is a fine sport indeed. Here, a few selections to help guide your pursuit.
Since the times of Cleopatra, the notion of having a signature scent has reigned in the world of fragrance. Legend has it she scented the sails of her ships with her own custom blend of precious essential oils to herald her arrival to Marc Antony in Tarsus, a romantic notion if ever there was one. Marilyn Monroe famously slept in nothing but Chanel No.5, Hubert de Givenchy created L’Interdit as a very personal homage to Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor had her White Diamonds. Everyone can cite a fragrance they closely associate with their mother, father, or a grandparent. “Owning” and sticking with a signature scent has been de rigueur for centuries, until recent years.
As the fragrance industry has exploded over the last few decades—presenting a dizzying array of options both high and low—who could settle on just one? If you’re a perfume kind of person, it’s fun to match your spritz to your mood, or even use scent to alter it. Today, it’s especially stylish to wear, say, JCrew with a Chanel bag slung over your shoulder. Or to wear a power suit all week and a caftan all weekend. Why not create a similarly eclectic fragrance wardrobe?
The suggestions included here are by no means complete: Dozens upon dozens, if not at least 100, exquisite fragrances spring to mind (we could fill a book!). Instead, what follows is a curated selection of some of our personal favorites—a mix of classics and slightly more esoteric picks— meant to inspire you in your endeavors.