Beauty

5 Iconic Perfumes and Their Modern Counterparts

How do you redefine the classics?
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When one thinks of classic scents, names like Chanel N°5 and Guerlain Shalimar usually come to mind. But not all know that these popular perfumes have modern counterparts. Here, some fragrances that are reimaginations of iconic scents.

Chanel N°5 L’Eau


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A 1921 trip to Monte Carlo inspired Coco Chanel to launch a perfume, a move that was virtually unheard of for a fashion brand at the time. She tapped Ernest Beaux, an established perfumer, to create Chanel N°5, which soon became one of the most popular fragrances in the world. A fresher, more natural take on the classic perfume, Chanel N°5 L’Eau was crafted in 2016 by Olivier Polge, the son of Jacques Polge (the perfumer behind the original scent). Apart from the familiar notes of May rose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang, the perfume also features more citrus elements (lemon, mandarin, bergamot, and orange) with the addition of creamy cedarwood.

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Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta

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Acqua di Parma Colonia, which features a mix of Sicilian fruits, rose, vetiver, and sandalwood, was created in 1916 by Carlo Magnani, heir of an Italian noble family. A vibrant reinterpretation of the 102-year-old scent, the Colonia Assoluta features fresh bergamot notes and blood orange with touches of lavender and rosemary.

Lanvin Éclat d’Arpège

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In 1927, Jeanne Lanvin had the Arpège perfume created to celebrate her daughter’s 30th birthday. Made with a combination of rare and precious flowers, the scent features notes of Bulgarian rose, jasmine, and Florentine iris. The Éclat d’Arpège takes notes from the brand’s most legendary fragrance, with the sweetness of lilac and peach blossoms to mimic the sensuality and luminosity of springtime.

Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum

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Inspired by the love story of Indian emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife princess Mumtaz Mahal, Jacques Guerlain created Shalimar, whose name means “temple of love” in Sanskrit. Regarded as the first oriental fragrance in the world, the iconic perfume symbolizes the promise of eternal love. Thierry Wasser reimagined the original scent and created Shalimar Souffle de Parfum, a sensual “floriental” fragrance with the zest of bergamot, lemon, and mandarin, floral notes of jasmine Sambac and orange blossom, and the sweetness of vanilla and musk.

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Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium


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Over 40 years ago, Yves Saint Laurent dreamt of creating a fragrance fit for the Empress of China. Opium, a spicy-sweet eau de toilette, features a combination of plum, tangerine, orange, and coriander. Described as a “modern, young, and vibrant interpretation of addiction,” Black Opium includes notes of coffee and vanilla with a hint of white flowers.

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Paulina Paras
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