Growing up, my mum had the most enchanting collection of beauty products that took residence in her bathroom. (My dad's electric shaver, bare bar soap, and a lone bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner didn't stand a chance and were banished to a different bathroom downstairs.)
Atop my mum's porcelain vanity sat her jars of creams and powders, and along the wall, deep drawers were lined with rows of sophisticated lipstick bullets. Atop gleaming glass shelves sat her collection of Chanel perfumes. Even at a super-young age (and knowing nothing of Chanel's iconic name), I understood with an inherent knowledge there was something supremely special about the gilded bottle stoppers and black lacquer detail. The name "Chanel" was effortlessly etched into my subconscious as the epitome of glamour and covetousness.
Nearly 20 years later (and now me being a beauty editor), that etching hasn't faded. Of course, Chanel makes loads of holy grail beauty products that anyone with an affinity for nail polish, lustrously glossed lips, or glowing skin would want to hoard, but it's the brand's collection of iconic fragrances that will always represent the upper echelon of anything and everything pertaining to beauty.
So because everyone should own at least one Chanel perfume in their life, we're paying homage to the brand by featuring its five best fragrances ever, followed by additional (similar) perfumes from other brands you definitely need on your shopping radar as well.
Slightly warmer than your typical floral (thanks to the mellow additions of cosy vanilla and shimmery mandarin), this Chanel masterpiece was created by Jacques Polge in 1996. I'm partial to it since it's been my mum's signature for as long as I can remember.
Consider Gabrielle (which, ahem, Margot Robbie is the face of) your classic floral fragrance with kind of a fairytale twist. Famed perfumer Olivier Polge crafted this scent to represent an imaginary flower. It's equal parts rich, green, and elegant.
Key Notes: Grapefruit, quince, rose accord, white musk
I may be biased, but Chanel's lush, fruity take on florals is my all-time favourite fragrance from the brand. Classic bouquet notes like rose and jasmine are modernised with fresh hints of quince and grapefruit while the warming comfort of musk keeps the finish smooth and enveloping.
If you're a fan of warm, earthy notes like patchouli but want something that still feels light and floral, then famed Chanel perfume Coco Mademoiselle will probably be your poison of choice. The mix of delicate rose and jasmine is brought to life with vibrant hits of orange and patchouli to create a robust and memorable scent. It's lively while still chic and sophisticated.
You knew this was coming. Chanel N°5 will always be perhaps the most iconic perfumes of all-time (and that extends beyond the scope of just Chanel, folks). Though this is a true, classic floral fragrance, it's powdery and full-bodied thanks to trademark notes of aldehydes, along with earthy anchors like neroli, bourbon vanilla, and sandalwood.