There are so many perfumes on the market today and we have been using them for many years. Let’s take a look at ten of the vintage perfumes for women.
Perfume dates back as far as 1371, when we saw the first modern alcohol-based fragrance for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary.
There are many collectors of vintage perfumes and this is another one along with the worlds most expensive perfume to add to the collection.
Those that collect such fragrances find it intriguing how scents have changed over the years.
They will also know that some ingredients such as oakmoss, which has been used in a variety of fragrances and is a species of lichen, has been restricted in recent years.
Some have been banned as they are not longer considered safe to use in perfumes so other fragrance notes have been sourced instead.
If you have a collection of vintage perfumes sitting inside your wardrobe, keep hold of them.
Perfumes dating back to 1950s such as the iconic bottle of Chanel No.5 are well worth keeping.
Perfumes dating before 2000 and are familiar brands are still worth keeping as they too can be sold and money can be made from them.
We all have memories created by perfume we used to wear. Some may still be wearing the same scent today especially if it’s their signature fragrance.
Such perfumes bring special events to life, including happy and sad memories and there are lots that are still on the market today to keep those memories alive.
Some may see vintage perfumes as something our Nan used to wear. That strong and overpowering scent that lingers for hours and in every room.
There are many that are a delicate but unforgettable fragrance.
Vintage perfumes for women
1. Shalimar By Guerlain
The oldest perfume and an oriental fragrance was created in 1925 by the perfume house Guerlain, called Shalimar.
Named after the Garden of Shalimar and it’s history of being created by Emporor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal as a romantic gesture.
It’s scent is still sold today and has fragrance notes of rose, tonka bean, jasmine and bergamot to name a few.
With base notes of musk, vanilla and sandalwood, there is a beautiful mixture and combination of strong and elegant fragrance notes in this bottle.
When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.
Available to buy on eBay
2. Anais Anais L’original By Cacharel
Launched back in 1978 and named after Anaitis, the ‘Goddess Of Love‘, this fragrance is still very popular today and was the first fragrance produced by Cacharel.
It was very much a fragrance created to attract the teenagers with its floral and youthful scent.
Fragrance notes of sandalwood, honeysuckle, orange blossom, lavender, lemon and bergamot certainly caught the attention of the younger generation.
With its floral, pretty bottle, most teenagers owned a bottle of this distinctive scent.
Available to buy on eBay
3. Opium By Yves Saint Laurent
There won’t be many that won’t of heard of Opium.
Launched back in 1977 and created by Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac, this perfume has strong oriental notes and a very distinctive fragrance to it.
With top notes of plum, cloves, pepper, jasmine, coriander, bergamot, citrus and West Indian bay, this spicy perfume should definitely be worn with minimal application.
Added to the fact that this bottle is very distinctive too, it’s possibly one of those perfumes that will go down in history.
Nowadays we also see Black Opium on the market too.
With notes of pear, pink pepper, orange blossom, vanilla, patchouli, cedar and cashmere wood, it’s very much just as powerful as the original.
If you like powerful scents that make a statement and can carry off such an iconic scent, take a look at eBay
4. L’air Du Temps By Nina Ricci
It’s not very often that we hear of Nina Ricci perfumes but it is one of the most popular of the 20th century, alongside Chanel no.5.
Launched back in 1948, this floral/ spicy perfume with its unique glass dove cap contains stunning notes of jasmine, rose, sandalwood and amber to truly capture the sense of being ‘free‘.
It was created in the wake of World War II by the French perfumer Francis Fabron, in collaboration with Nina Ricci and roughly translated from French to mean ‘the trend we have now/something in the air’.
With it’s brightly coloured box and elegant bottle, we really do get a feel for summer, blue skies and open spaces.
Available to purchase on eBay for a reasonable price too.
5. Youth Dew By Estée Lauder
This fragrance was created in 1953 and actually started off as a bath oil. Women felt confident to use it every day and so it soon became a popular product to use as a fragrance.
Back in the days during the 1905s when perfume was only ever bought as a gift from a husband or partner and not by women themselves.
Estée Lauder created this elegant bottled fragrance and women fell in love with its spicy, amber, rich floral and woody notes.
As men loved it’s scent too, it became one of the sexiest fragrances ever created and it still captures the hearts of many women today.
Women will have heard and used the cosmetics that we see in store and online today, created by Estée Lauder and Youth Dew is the first fragrance created by her.
A true classic and if you’re a lover of rose, lavender, jasmine, spices and patchouli notes, take a look at eBay
6. Mitsouko By Guerlain
Another vintage perfume by Guerlain and on first impression, this bottle looks a little masculine.
Launched in 1919, Mitsouko captures the chypre and fruity fragrance family inside this bottle.
A combination of beautiful notes too.
With jasmine, rose, cinnamon, amber, peach, lilac, oak moss and bergamot, this fragrance was inspired by the story of impossible love between Mitsouko and a British officer.
With such a combination of scents, its not your average daytime perfume with its heavy base notes of amber, oak moss and cinnamon.
Not the cheapest fragrance on the market either but well worth trying if you get the chance, purely for such beautiful fragrance notes.
Available to purchase on eBay
7. L’Heure Bleue By Guerlain
Another fragrance created by Guerlain.
This one was launched in 1912 and contains beautiful notes of coriander, bergamot, violet, cloves ylang-ylang, jasmine, orchid vanilla, Sandalwood, musk and tonka bean.
Classed as one of Guerlains’s best classic fragrances in its distinctive bottle, it is a symbol of royalty as one of the Queen’s favourite scent according to Vogue, alongside Floris, white rose EDT.
Check out eBay to purchase your bottle of vintage history.
8. Apres L’Ondee By Guerlain
With its combination of violet, orange blossom and spicy anais notes, this perfume was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1906.
Apres L’onee (April shower) is very much a spring time fragrance after a rain shower.
The smell of freshness that reaches our nose as the rain hits the countryside and then the sun comes out to warm the scent of the wet leaves again, is captured with this scent.
Guerlain really does showcase many a perfume fragrance and a history of being one of the world’s greatest perfume houses.
Available to buy on eBay
9.Tabu By Dana
Tabu was created by the French perfumer called Jean Carles and was launched in 1932 by a company also associated with the likes of Nina Ricci and Christian Dior.
Not the most elegant of bottles for a female perfume, a simple design with an almost ‘old’ and ‘heavy’ appearance and dark bottle but its fragrance notes make up for it.
A mixture of patchouli ( and a high dose at 10% ) combined with clove, bergamot, orange, Coriander, rose, ylang-ylang, Sandalwood, musk and amber, gives us a heavy oriental scent and one of the worlds first strongest.Check out eBay for their bottle.
10. Arpege By Lanvin
With its name derived from the musical term ‘arpeggio’, this fragrance was released in 1927 and a classic scent among some of the world’s most popular perfumes.
Similar to Chanel N0.5, Arpege is very much a flower perfume.
It contains peach, orange blossom, honeysuckle, iris, rose, vanilla, musk, geranium, sandalwood, patchouli and vertiver.
It has quite a simplistic bottle with its black base and gold cap and was created by Paul Vacher and Andre Fraysse. Affordable on eBay.
Do you own a vintage perfume ? I’d love to hear which one you have !
Drop your comment below or contact us for any inquires regarding finding the right scent.
If you prefer more recent fragrances, take a look at our perfume and beauty resources page.
Millions of us, both men and women and even children, love to wear a fragrance but how is perfume made?
Whether it is for a night out, just to wear when meeting a friend for coffee or for a day in the office, perfumes are a hugely popular product and have been around for thousands of years.
Wearing a perfume can have so many benefits from lifting our mood, complimenting an outfit or grabbing the intention of the secret admirer. It’s become part of our everyday wear and with so many on the market today, we have lots to choose from.
We have already covered how to store perfume correctly and how to use perfume to get the most out of your scent but what about where perfume comes from?
The history of perfume dates back to ancient times, so as far back as 3,000BC and it was the Greeks who first created perfumes in the same way as they are created today.
The creation of perfume
There are lots of raw materials that are required before the manufacturing process starts. Ingredients such as spices, leaves, fruits, resins and flowers are all used during the first stages of creating a perfume.
Without the addition of flowers, it will be very difficult to create a perfume without floral essences and most perfumes are based around floral scents so these are an essential ingredient too.
When we think of fragrances such as Chanel, they make their own perfume from their own flower fields.
This is to make sure they have enough product to create their perfumes. Chanel is the largest fashion brand in the world and Chanel no.5 is an iconic perfume.
Animal products can also be present in perfumes such as musk and ambergris.
Musk is very commonly used as a base note in perfumes. Musk is secreted from animals such as the musk deer.
Incredibly, ambergris is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales which means that whale poo is used in perfumes. The smell matures and as it ages, it develops into a beautiful scent that once diluted with alcohol, is used in perfumery.
It’s not always easy to get scents for perfumes from nature so sometimes synthetic chemicals might be used instead.
We are a world of cruelty- free perfumes nowadays so by using synthetic chemicals this can save the lives of animals that are killed in order for their oils to can be used in the making of perfumes.
Many perfume companies such as FM WORLD are cruelty -free.
How the oil is extracted for making perfume
To begin with, oil is taken from flowers and plant material so that it can be used to create fragrances.
In order for the oil to be extracted from the plant one of the ways in which this is done is by expression. The plants are squeezed until the oil releases. A bit like squeezing juice out of an orange or a lemon.
Other methods that are used for boiling plant parts is to steam the plants to get the oils out. This process is known as steam distillation.
Another method is where plant parts are dissolved in benzene. They are then exposed to ethyl alcohol. This is then burned off so that the perfume oil remains and can be used.
Curious as to why perfume is so expensive ?
When oil from around 660 roses is taken to create a 15ml bottle of French perfume, it’s no surprise why fragrances cost a lot of money.
Along with the celebrity endorsers, fancy packaging and sales assistance, it’s easy to see how a small bottle of perfume can end up with a hefty price tag.
Relevant post – The cost of perfume
How the experts create a perfume scent
It’s not a quick process when it comes to creating perfumes. It can take many years and lots of ingredients before the experts reach a desired scent and formula. Of course, the end result is a genuine perfume that we can wear for around 2 years and be complimented on by others.
The experts must take time and do extensive testing and mixing to create the perfect scent.
Once the formula is created, it is then used to blend the extracted oils. When the experts have reached their desired scent, they mix alcohol into the mixture to dilute the ingredients.
The more alcohol that is added to the mixture, the stronger the perfume will be. If we look at cologne for example, this will contain the most alcohol.
When you purchase an eau de toilette, this will contain less alcohol than cologne and if you purchase a perfume, this will have the least amount of alcohol and therefore will give the strongest scent.
Perfume will contain around 40% of essential oils and a cologne will have around 10% essential oils.
This page contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive compensation.
What happens after the oil and scents have been added
Once the oils have been extracted from the plants and blended in with alcohol, the mixture is then ready for the aging process.
In order to do this, the perfume is set in a dark, cool room. It will then stay there for several months without being disturbed or touched.
Whilst the perfume has been left, this will help to bind the oils and the alcohol together.
Quite normally, the smell will be stronger after the aging process. Adjustments to the blending can take place at this time.
When you see a bottle of perfume in a department store, it’s been through a long process to get there.
It will have been thoroughly tested to make sure that the scent is perfect and how it should be before it is allowed to go on sale to the public.
So the next time you purchase a bottle of your favourite perfume, remember just how long its taken to get onto the shelves and in your possession.
Do you have a favourite scent ? Do you wear a different one every day to match your mood? Let us know in the comments below.
Chanel No. 5 perfume history is an iconic story and an interesting one to read.
Whenever we mention Chanel No.5 , I’m sure there’s not many women in the world who haven’t heard of such a famous fragrance. Or indeed men.
We automatically think of a classy fragrance that is still hugely popular today as it was back when it was first created.
With fragrance notes based in the flower perfume family group, with fruity, oriental, aldehyte, citrus and woody notes, it had every woman purchasing, not just for it’s iconic name.
So where does the Chanel No.5 perfume history begin?
A classic Chanel No.5 perfume created back in 1920.
The story began with a very clever French businesswoman.
She was the belle of the Parisian social elite who created a fragrance that revolutionized the way that women smell.
By the beginning of the 1920s, Chanel was already a phenomenal in the French fashion circle.She clearly had an image of what she wanted to look like and gave this impression to other women around the world.By 1921 she had lots of successful boutiques in Paris, Deauville and Biarritz.The success continued.She also owned a villa in the south of France and owned her very own blue Rolls Royce, that she would drive around in. A classic car for a classic lady and her creation.Carrying on her success she now wanted to create a fragrance to fit the new, modern women that she epitomised.Unfortunately, Chanel’s background was very complex and a bit troubled and it was something that edged its way into her trademark fragrance.
This page contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive compensation.
Chanel’s mother was a laundry woman in rural farms but when her mother died, Chanel was sent to a Cistercian convent at Aubazine.
She spent her younger years here and her father was a market stall holder.
Family- Chanel No. 5 perfume history
Living and growing up with the smell of soap and freshly cleaned skin stayed with her for years after.
She was very conscious about keeping clean and when she worked with other mistresses of the rich, she often complained about their odour.
Body odour and musk wasn’t a good mix and had a very unpleasant smell.
She struggled to find a commissioner for her creation with this new fragrance.
Back in the 1920’s, to create fresh fragrance they would often use lemon, orange, citrus and bergamot fragrances.
These scents were fresh smelling. A perfect combination for a ladies fragrance but they didn’t last very well when applied to the skin. We all strive to find a scent that lasts for the day.
During the summer of 1920, Chanel took a holiday with her lover. While she was there, she learned of a Perfumer who could potentially help her create the perfect perfume. This was the perfect solution.
A very sophisticated man called Ernest Beaux who lived close by in Grasse, in southern France and it was the world capital of perfume.
Grasse listened to Chanel’s quest and took up the challenge to create the perfect scent.