Vintage perfumes. Though they sound intriguing, most people are hesitant about investing in one. The reasons may range from “Isn’t it better to try out fresh new scents?” to “I don’t want to smell like an 80-year-old.” While these concerns are certainly valid, let us clarify that not all vintage perfumes smell like your grandma’s closet. Some of these old classics may be an acquired taste, but when you do end up liking one, it may well become your signature scent for years to come. Here are the 10 best vintage perfumes for women that every perfume enthusiast needs to get a whiff of. Read on.
Top 10 Vintage Perfumes For Women
1. Shalimar By Guerlain Eau De Parfum
Shalimar By Guerlain Eau De Parfum (1925) is an ode by Jacques Guerlain to the legendary romance between Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is named after the gardens of Shalimar that Shah Jahan built for his wife.
The top notes of this perfume are a fresh blend of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, cedar, orange, and citrus notes. The heart notes feature a delicate blend of iris, jasmine, rose, patchouli, and vetiver. The base notes of this classic fragrance are a spicy symphony of vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood, musk, civet, and incense.
2. Anais Anais L’original By Cacharel Eau De Toilette
Anais Anais L’original By Cacharel Eau De Toilette is a feminine scent that was first released in 1978. The floral fragrance is named after Anaitis, the Persian goddess of love. Much like Anaitis herself, this perfume is a celebration of the sophisticated modern woman – one who is unafraid to show her feminine side.
Hyacinth, galbanum, and orange blossom highlight the top notes of this fragrance. The floral profusion in the heart notes that follow includes jasmine, rose, and lily-of-the-valley. Sandalwood, cedarwood, incense, and amber linger for hours at the base and continue turning heads around you. The heavy sillage and longevity also add volumes to the popularity of this iconic perfume.
3. Opium By Yves Saint Laurent Eau De Toilette
Opium By Yves Saint Laurent Eau De Toilette is a fascinating, bewitching, and mysterious fragrance inspired by the Orient. Opium was introduced in 1977 and represents Yves Saint Laurent’s obsession with the Orient. Rich spices, lush florals, and deep wood notes abound in this fragrance that exudes magic and exoticism.
Tart bergamot and sweet mandarin orange as the top notes capture your attention instantly with the first whiff. As the scent deepens, the heart notes of myrrh, carnation, and jasmine come into focus. The perfume entrances as it lingers with the alluring base notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, and amber. Opium is perfect for spicing up a long-awaited date night.
4. L’air du Temps By Nina Ricci Eau De Toilette
L’air du Temps By Nina Ricci Eau De Toilette was released in 1948 just after the Second World War. In tune with the times, the bottle comes with a cap in the shape of a dove, a symbol of peace in celebration of the end of the war. Its design is right up there with some of the best vintage perfume bottles.
Peach, neroli, and carnation blend together in the sweet floral top notes, followed by spicy heart notes of clove and rosemary. The base notes of cedarwood, amber, and sandalwood add a lingering trail of sensual charm and refinement.
5. Youth Dew By Estee Lauder Eau De Parfum
Youth Dew By Estee Lauder Eau De Parfum is a spicy oriental fragrance released in 1953. Designed by Josephine Catapano, this classic perfume is entirely captivating and has long been revered as one of the sexiest fragrances ever created. More than 50 years later, this scent continues to enthrall with its everlasting sensuality.
Rich spices, opulent flowers, and precious woods blend in this fragrance, which opens with top notes of bergamot, spices, peach, narcissus, and lavender. The heart notes that follow are rose, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, cinnamon, and orchid. Amber, musk, vanilla, vetiver, oakmoss, and patchouli create the lingering base notes of this bewitching perfume.
6. Tabu By Dana Eau De Cologne
Tabu By Dana Eau De Cologne is a legendary oriental fragrance created by Jean Carles in 1932. Romance is the essence of this fragrance that is highlighted by luxurious flowers, fresh citrus, and sensual woods. It oozes elegance and femininity, making it perfect for romantic wear.
Italian bergamot and lemon oil lure you in with the first whiff of this fragrance. The heart notes that follow are rich with Bulgarian rose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang. Patchouli, benzoin, musk, amber, and oakmoss create the perfect seductive base to an already alluring perfume.
7. Emeraude By Coty Eau De Cologne
Emeraude By Coty Eau De Cologne is the creation of Francois Coty and was first launched in 1921. It is one of the iconic perfumes of that era and has an exceptional quality that makes it a favorite among the chic, feminine women even today, nearly a century later.
The top notes of this oriental perfume consist of bergamot, lemon, and orange. At the heart lie Brazilian rosewood, ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine. Vanilla, amber, benzoin, sandalwood, patchouli, and opoponax make up the aromatic base notes. Reach out for Emeraude when you want to jazz up your outfit and the evening with a dose of elegance.
8. Mitsouko By Guerlain Eau De Parfum
Mitsouko by Guerlain Eau de Parfum is a mysterious, chypre-fruity fragrance that is a surefire hit among those who prefer strong, woody scents, feminine florals, and fresh citruses. Mitsouko is a masterpiece that blends balance and innovation, giving you a symphony of peach, jasmine, and rose.
This beloved perfume opens with top notes of citrus, bergamot, and peach. Then, the heart notes of lilac, jasmine, rose, and ylang-ylang envelop you in a heady daze. The base notes are a potent blend of warm woody and spicy elements, such as amber, cinnamon, and sandalwood. Its sillage and longevity make it a powerful and ideal scent for days when you want to stand out from the crowd.
9. L’heure Bleue By Guerlain Eau De Parfum
L’heure Bleue By Guerlain Eau De Parfum is the creation of Jacques Guerlain that was launched in 1912. L’heure Bleue or “the bluish hour” is elegant, mysterious and timeless. Its fragrance is a celebration of dusk – a time before the first stars make their appearance in the sky.
This scent opens with top notes of fresh bergamot and spicy-sweet aniseed that evolve into stirring heart notes of carnation, rose, neroli, tuberose, and violet. Vanilla, iris, benzoin, and tonka bean make an arresting base for this floriental perfume with powdery undertones. Overall, this fragrance exudes casual sophistication that is best suited for evening wear.
10. Apres L’Ondee By Guerlain Eau De Toilette
Apres L’Ondee by Guerlain Eau de Toilette is among the most famous creations of Jacques Guerlain. Since its launch in 1906, Après L’Ondée has come a long way. Its fragrance, reminiscent of a bouquet of powdery flowers, celebrates the lovely weather that follows a rainy afternoon in the spring.
This perfume opens with stirring top notes of bergamot and anise, while the heart notes are a floral splendor filled with jasmine, carnation, and violet to add a hint of sweetness. The scent ends on a warm note with musk and vanilla at the base, which continues to please as long as it lingers.
These are the best vintage perfumes out there for women of all ages. Give them a try, and you are sure to be pleasantly surprised. These iconic scents may come from a different era, but they make heads turn and please the senses even today. Which of these did you like best? Let us know in the comments section below.
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