Ten Best Selling Perfumes for Women - Buying Perfumes for a Woman

Ten best selling perfumes of all times for women

Every season of every year brings with it a flood of new perfumes for women. While some do succeed in creating a splash, most are lost in the maze of glossy print advertisements and celebrity endorsements. So whether you are interested in buying a perfume for yourself, looking for one to gift your girlfriend or simply checking out the perennial favorites, here is a list of the ten top selling women’s perfumes of all times.

Chanel No. 5.

This cult fragrance from Chanel remains the best selling perfumes of all times. Introduced way back in 1921, this was the first fragrance from the brand of Parisian couturier Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel who commissioned famous perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a fragrance for the modern woman. Chanel wanted the perfume to be an abstract and unique composition instead of a light and floral product as was the norm in those days. According to Constantine Weriguine, a student of Ernest’s, the creator was inspired by memories of his station above the Arctic Circle during World War I. This is why the perfume captures feel of extreme freshness of the northern lakes under the midnight sun. Chanel No. 5 has for its top notes ylang, ylang, neroli and certain synthetic floral aldehydes. The perfume was in fact the first to use synthetic compounds as its top notes. Its heart is composed of jasmine and may rose. Jasmine was fact the most expensive essence of the time because of its elaborate distillation process. Chanel wanted her new perfume to include jasmine note as a mark of the ultimate luxury. Its base notes of sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla give the perfume its sensuous finish. The never-waning popularity of Chanel No. 5 is underlined by the company’s estimate that every thirty second, one bottle is sold somewhere in the world.

Joy from Jean Patou.

After launch of Chanel no. 5 and its phenomenal success, French fashion designer Jean Patou wanted to create a perfume that would truly be a hallmark for luxury and indulgence. To do this he commissioned French perfumer Henri Almeras who was asked to infuse significant amounts of natural ingredients in the fragrance, the result of which was a bouquet of floral notes like Jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and tuberose. ‘Joy’ continued to be marketed as the most expensive perfume in the world until the House of Patou launched ‘1000’ in the late 1970s. The fragrance was exorbitantly priced because of the natural essences of rose and jasmine it contained. In those days the extraction of these essences was a time-consuming and largely expensive affair. In fact, ten thousand jasmine flowers and twenty dozen roses are still supposed to be required to produce a mere 30 ml of the perfume. The bottle was designed by renowned French architect and artist Louis Sue who chose an elegant, classical shape to keep the focus on the fragrance. According to an anecdote, Jean Patou created this perfume as a gift for those American women who could no longer afford his clothes after the stock market crash and depression of 1929. However despite its elevated price and the shaky economic times, ‘Joy’ soon became a hit across the Atlantic and continued to remain his most famous fragrance.

White Diamonds from Elizabeth Taylor.

This perfume was launched in 1991 by the design house of Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor. The fragrance became hugely popular for its feminine feel which came from a blend of delicate floral ingredients. Perfect for casual wear, White Diamonds soon became a thing to flaunt by society ladies. The top notes in this perfume are neroli, lily and tuberose which give the fragrance a virginal scent. The mid notes are contributed by orris, narcissus and amber while the base is made up of sandalwood, patchouli and oak moss. The blend of floral notes is such that the effect is romantic without being too paper or flowery.


Opium from Yves Saint Laurent.

The famous fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent launched Opium in 1977 when it opened to much publicity on account of its title. Keeping in with Oriental-spicy blend of the fragrance, Opium was marketed on an unabashedly Oriental theme which included splashes of red, gold and purple besides props like a Chinese ship and a statue of Buddha. A group of Chinese American even led a protest against glorifying opium addiction but all the publicity only helped the perfume to become one of the best sellers of all times. The fragrance was the creation of top perfumers like Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac. Top notes of the fragrance are a mixture of fruits and spices like mandarin orange, plum, coriander, clove and pepper. Its mid notes predominantly recall jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and rose with hints of cinnamon, peach, carnation and orris root. The base notes are made up of myrrh, cedar wood, sandalwood, musk, amber and oriental incenses. Thirty years later YSL came up with another best seller among women’s perfumes. Launched in 2007 and wearing the signature fuchsia color of the YSL fashion house, Elle is an exotic composition for the contemporary woman. Perfumers Olivier Cresp and Jacques Cavallier were asked by YSL to come up with a fragrance that is urban, feminine but with a touch of the masculine. The result is a perfume with a bold, unpredictable and extremely sexy style. The perfume tantalizes one with a basic rose-patchouli combination but a deeper appreciation reveals interesting complexities with more woodsy fragrances.

Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Perfume.

This fragrance from designer Paco Rabanne is a infused with feminine grace and is ideal for the charming sophisticate. Its delicate floral scent makes the perfume perfect for spring and summer wear or for a special romantic occasion. The perfume opens with fruity notes of plum and apricot. The heart is composed of peony and Tahitian flower while the base notes are sweeter due to sandalwood and vanilla.

Armani Code for women.

This 2006 perfume from the house of Giorgio Armani followed the  best-selling masculine Black Code which was launched two years before. Code for women is infused with sensuous orange blossom notes spiced with fresh ginger accents. To this, the blending of honey-sandalwood accord creates a captivating fragrance, which truly forms a woman’s code of seduction. Among other notes in this fragrance are jasmine, vanilla and honey.

Covet Eau de parfum from Sarah Jessica Parker.

You see it decorating a shop window, on the pages of a lifestyle magazine or adorning the body of another woman and you know you have to have it. Appropriately named Covet, this perfume is irresistible and a perfect indulgence for every woman of style. The fact that it bears sex icon Sarah Jessica Parker’s signature further raises its must-have quotient. The key notes embodied in the perfume include lemon, honeysuckle, geranium leaves, lavender, amber, musk, teakwood and chocolate.

Valentine V Absolu Perfume.

This warm intoxicating perfume comes from the house of famous Italian designer Valentino. Launched in 2005, this popular perfume has disappeared from many high-end stores but continues to available at online stores. The statement of passion and bold sensuality made by the fragrance is further underlined by the blood red color of the packaging. The key notes in this fantastic fragrance range from the fruity like mandarin, fig, grapefruit to the heavy like musk, amber, vanilla bourbon and exotic incense. Perfect for a romantic evening or a late night out with a special date.

Stella by Stella McCartney.

This perfume comes from the famous English designer who is also the daughter of Beatles Paul McCartney. The fragrance is an amazing, many-layered composition.  The top note of Rose essence gives the perfume a pure and natural rose scent which is then given a lightness of touch by peony as well as a hint of zest and freshness by mandarin essence. Much in the manner of Stella’s clothes the bottle too embodies a harmonious incorporation of contrasts with its feminine pink rose color given an edge by its contemporary masculine shape. The end result is a fragrance that is delicate and sensuous but at the same time assured and long lasting.

Tender Poison from Christian Dior.

This perfume from the house of fashion giant Christian Dior is another homage to the duality of feminine mystique. Launched as far back as 1994,it continues to be the perfume of choice for many women who find it perfect for daytime or casual wear. The innocent charm of this fragrance comes from the floral notes of freesia and galbanum while the  more seductive impact owes to notes of vanilla, sandalwood and orange blossom.

Women and perfume share a long association of romance, vanity, self-assurance and indulgence. So if you raring to explore a new fragrance or nostalgic about an old classic, look through the list above and you will get a fair idea of the perfumes women all around the world have been wearing and loving since the last century.