From Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe to Elizabeth Taylor, here are 8 style icons and their signature scents.
1. Marilyn Monroe: Floris Rose Geranium
Like millions of other women, Monroe was a fan of Chanel No 5. However, in 2002, it was revealed that she also had a secret penchant for Floris Rose Geranium. The eau de toilette was delivered in bulk to her at the Beverly Hills Hotel under a cloak and dagger alias while she filmed Some Like It Hot. Featuring notes of rose, geranium, citronella and sandalwood, the British eau de toilette has been discontinued and its scent is now only available as a bath essence.
2. Jackie Kennedy: Joy by Jean Patou
While Jackie wore several perfumes throughout her life, one of her favorites was the classic Joy by Jean Patou, known for years as the most expensive perfume in the world. For just one ounce of the heavily floral scent, more than 10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses are required—a risky business decision, especially since the scent was created in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression. The aura of uber-luxury and prestige worked: Joy went on to become one of the most successful fragrances of all time, and was voted Scent of the Century in 2000 at the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Awards.
3. Elizabeth Taylor: Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
Nowadays, every boldface name has their own fragrance line—but Elizabeth Taylor was a pioneer when she launched her revolutionary perfume empire, spanning blockbuster scents like White Diamonds, Forever, and Passion. (To this day, White Diamonds remains the bestselling celebrity fragrance of all time.) In earlier days, however, Liz wore Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, an oriental scent with notes of rosemary, orange blossom, sandalwood, and vanilla created in 1962. Taylor wore it on the set of Cleopatra, and also gifted the scent to Michael Jackson, who wore it for the rest of his life.
4. Grace Kelly: Creed Fleurissimo
When Grace Kelly became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956, walking down the aisle of Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée in front of guests including Cary Grant and Ava Gardner, she did so wearing Creed Fleurissimo. The fragrance, from the esteemed family-owned fragrance house, was commissioned specially by Prince Rainier for his bride to compliment her wedding bouquet and contains notes of bergamot, tuberose, Florentine iris, and Bulgarian rose.
5. Princess Diana: Quelques Fleurs
A more modern but no less indelible icon, Princess Diana walked down the aisle at St. Paul’s Cathedral bathed in Quelques Fleurs, a floral scent featuring notes of tuberose, rose, and jasmine. (Rumors abound that she accidentally spilled the juice on her wedding dress while trying to top up just before getting out of the carriage.) Later in life, Princess Diana was a fan of 24 Faubourg by Hermès, created by in 1995 by perfumer Maurice Roucel and named for the address of the Hermès flagship store in Paris. A sunny scent, it contains notes of orange blossom, peach, gardenia, and amber.
6. Hepburn: Givenchy L’Interdit
Created specially for Audrey Hepburn by Hubert de Givenchy, L’Interdit—which means “forbidden” in French—was created in 1957. Rumors spread that Audrey didn’t want Givenchy to release the scent, but it was ultimately made available for wide purchase in the 1960s. A floral aldehyde, L’Interdit’s notes include bergamot, rose, jasmine, iris, violet, narcissus, and sandalwood. In later years, Audrey wore Creed Spring Flower, another scent created just for her.
7. Kate Hepburn: Guerlain Vol de Nuit
Aviation enthusiast Kate Hepburn was a fan of Jacques Guerlain’s 1933 scent Vol de Nuit, which was created in homage to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book Night Flight. (The same author wrote the children’s classic The Little Prince.) A woodsy and spicy floral, its notes included bergamot, jasmine, and vanilla, and the bottle displays a relief of a moving airplane propeller.
8. Lauren Bacall: Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau
The sultry half of one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories was a fan of French luxury perfume house Diptyque Paris, wearing its blackcurrant and Bulgarian rose-scented L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and Opone (a woody Chypre featuring saffron, cumin, leather, and smoke).