Sometimes (being the beauty nerd that I am), I find myself spritzing on my favorite perfumes and wondering what genius thought to create such irresistible magic. Luckily, my job affords me the luxury of being able to look further into the matter and even write a whole story on it. After going down a rabbit hole of research, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how many of these scents were crafted by women (the perfume industry has traditionally been dominated by men). I thought they totally deserved the spotlight this week for creating some of the industry’s most alluring fragrances. Hint: they’re all fabulous, and mainly French.
If you’re curious to know just who is behind the fragrances at brands like Chloé, Versace, Kilian, and Yves Saint Laurent, keep reading below and find out.
French perfumer Calice Becker is behind some of the most memorable fragrances to date. I don’t think I’m solely speaking for myself when I say that I’m constantly lusting over Becker’s unique and deliciously sweet creations. Case in point, Kilian’s Love, Don’t Be Shy (the famous scent worn by Rihanna, herself). With notes of marshmallow, orange blossom, and vanilla absolute, it leans very sweet, but not in an overly saccharine way. Another fresh, floral, and fruity scent I can’t get enough of by Becker is Versace’s Dylan Blue Pour Femme. For me, it has the perfect amount of sweetness to it without smelling like something I would have worn in the sixth grade (you know what I’m talking about). Before concocting these lovely elixirs, Becker is even known for creating Dior J’Adore’s classic formula in 1999.
If you’ve ever been curious about what nose is behind Chloé’s classic and elegant floral perfume, wonder no more. Amandine Clerc-Marie dreamed up Chloé’s self-titled eau de parfum in 2008 with Michel Almairac. It’s a true floral fragrance with notes of peony and rose, but notes of honey and cedarwood also add a freshness to it that makes it perfect for any occasion. Clerc-Marie is also behind the beautifully crafted Illusione from Bottega Veneta. It blends notes of bergamot and orange blossom with earthy, woodier notes like olive wood and tonka bean. It’s honestly the best of both worlds and smells 10/10 on everyone.
Master French perfumer Anne Flipo’s resume of creations includes alluring fragrances like Yves Saint Laurent’s Libre Intense Eau de Parfum. Yes, it’s a heavily floral scent with notes of orange blossom and orchid accord, but the addition of warm vanilla is what gives it that push into the extreme (and long-lasting) territory. Another highly attractive fragrance made by Flipo is Givenchy’s L’Interdit Eau de Parfum. It’s a limited edition woody and floral aroma that features unique notes like leathered vanilla and roasted sesame. To me, it’s the perfect fragrance for fall and winter.
Annie Buzantian is the award-winning perfumer behind one of Estée Lauder’s most popular fragrances, Pleasures. Although the fragrance was launched in 1995, it remains popular for its timeless, and uplifting floral aroma. Former New York Times scent critic Chandler Burr even told me Pleasures is one of his all-time favorites. Maybe it’s the notes of black lilac, white peony, or woody sandalwood, but either way, it doesn’t disappoint. In addition to Pleasures, Buzantian also crafted Clean Reserve’s Solar Bloom—a sparkling citrus scent with a floral heart. It’s fresh, zesty, and contains softer notes like coconut water at the base.
Master German perfumer Daniela Andrier has created fragrances for many iconic brands over the year including Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Prada, and the list goes on. More recently, she’s the mastermind behind Miu Miu’s Twist which features warm and playful notes of apple blossom and an exclusive pink amber accord. She also developed Tiffany & Co.’s signature perfume with notes of blue iris and varying musks. It was inspired by her love of gemstones and jewelry, so naturally, it contains sparkling floral notes with a slightly fruity aroma to it as well.
Daphne Bugey has formulated a handful of Le Labo’s most delicious scents along with other gorgeous perfumes for Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, and more. One of my personal favorite creations of hers is Neroli 36 from Le Labo. Neroli is truly one of my favorite scents—it’s light and almost citrusy. It’s amped up in Neroli 36 by other aromatic notes of watermelon, jasmine, and tonka bean. She also created Rose Milano from Giorgio Armani with fellow perfumer Marie Salamagne. It features notes of pear accord, lily of the valley, rose, and patchouli.
I’m a huge fan of Guerlain’s fragrances so of course, one of the brand’s perfumers, Delphine Jelk, makes this list. Wearing warm floral perfumes is kind of my MO and Guerlain’s Mon Guerlain is one of my favorites. Created by Jelk, it’s a clean and inviting scent with notes of bergamot, mandarin, neroli, jasmine, and sandalwood. Another Guerlain fragrance Jelk formulated is Aqua Allegoria Ginger Piccante—a warm and fresh perfume with notes of candied ginger (yum), jasmine, and sandalwood.
Domittle Michalon Bertier is the nose behind countless fragrances from Carolina Herrera, Cacharel, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, and more. One of her most unique concoctions, however, is Perfect from Marc Jacobs. The notes of almond milk, daffodil, and cashmeran are smooth, fresh, and long-lasting. Bertier also crafted Viktor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb Ruby Orchid—a fragrance I can only describe as floral and deliciously juicy. It has notes of peach, ruby orchid accord, and red vanilla bean accord that are just so magnetic when combined together.