Chanel N°5 Eau de Parfum, $140 (100 ml)
What other scent has been honoured by MoMA and depicted by Warhol? This hyperfeminine, floral fragrance was created in 1921 by then-perfumer-to-the-stars Ernest Beaux, who was asked by Coco Chanel to create a “woman’s perfume with a woman’s scent.” After being inspired by the fresh smell of the northern lakes in the Arctic Circle, Beaux created an innovative blend of more than 80 ingredients, including May rose, orange blossom, Haitian vetiver, jasmine, sandalwood, tonka beans, ylang-ylang and neroli. He also included never-before-used synthetic aldehydes, which added a complexity to the scent and a unique touch of freshness. Since perfumes of the time were mainly composed of a sole floral note and usually given highly sentimental names, Chanel No. 5 quickly became a standout with its complex scent structure, minimalist graphic bottle (said to be inspired by the geometry of Paris’s Place Vendôme) and straightforward numeric name, all of which have gone on to contribute to its status as the world’s bestselling scent of all time.