Everything Old is New Again: Classic Perfume Fragrances Reimagined
Here, find a new favourite fragrance amongst these gently modernized familiar notes.
Beloved for generations and evoking orderly cupboards of crisp linens, lavender was due for a rethink. For a modern audience, Yardley has tweaked their stalwart favourite (Yardley of London English Lavender, 50 ml eau de toilette, $19, exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart) with bergamot, white flowers and a warm, musk base.
Chypres fragrances are the grande dames of classic parfumery and must contain bergamot, oakmoss and labdanum.
Classic chypres like Guerlain’s Mitsouko and Chanel Coco tend to the darker, stickier end of the spectrum while newer versions like Narciso Rodriguez for Her, which arguably resuscitated the genre, have dialed down the patchouli and upped the florally.
To fragrance developer Romain Poquet, the rise of “sweet, but heavy” gourmand scents (starting with 1993’s sugary Angel by Thierry Mugler) was a response to the global upheaval of the ’90s. “There was a petroleum crisis, the first war of Iraq, the dollar was falling down and people think ‘when was the last time I feel safe? Childhood.’ So that’s when sweet but comforting gourmands pop up.”
White florals never really went away (think classics like Dior’s J’Adore, or tuberose-heavy Fracas by Robert Piguet) but have now been reenergized by green notes and citrus to lighten their velvety richness. Chanel No 5 L’eau, (50 ml, $119) a modern iteration of the 1921 icon that tops bestseller lists, still features the legendary May Rose of Grasse, with added citrus on top and a more ethereal base.
Miu Miu L’eau Bleue (30 ml, $88) sharpens sunny lily of the valley and honeysuckle with green foliage recalling 1980s scents like YSL’s Rive Gauche and Eau de Givenchy.