The Secret To French Girl Allure? The Right Perfume

No item on your beauty counter so perfectly expresses the French approach to life.

Few items so fully embody the French approach to life as a perfume bottle. From the act of making it, to that of wearing it, perfume seems to capture all that is alluring about French culture. Its sensuality and savoir faire, its love affair with aesthetics, its insistence that every day contain some kind of sensory pleasure, however small.

When was perfume invented?

Though various forms of personal fragrance have existed for thousands of years, perfume-making as we know it today originated near the end of the 18th century, in the French city of Grasse. There, the first artisan perfumers developed the delicate harvesting techniques that still inform perfume-makers today. Grasse also helped establish jasmine and rose as the roi et reine (king and queen, respectively) of perfumery. Even today, these flowers feature prominently in some of the world’s most-revered fragrances. At Lancôme, they lend their notes to scents like Poême, Ô de Lancôme, and new Idôle fragrance.

French perfume history

True to form, the French tend to view perfume through a somewhat philosophical lens. The reason is simple: scent is intangible in a way that other beauty products are not, lending the wearer a quality (rather than say, a look). The kind of feeling a perfume evokes depends largely on its scent profile: Ô de Lancôme and La Vie Est Belle L’Éclat's citrus fragrance notes give them a bright sophistication full of joie de vivre. Trésor’s soft fruit fragrances notes blend with spicier orientals to create a sense of romance and sensuality. Perfume, to put it simply, states something about who you are.

Lancôme Perfumes

For almost 85 years, Lancôme’s perfumers have worked to create scents evocative of every woman, yet singular in their point of view. Some are chic, elegant, full of joy, some bright and spontaneous, some mysterious and full of sensuality. For all their differences, they all share a common depth, complexity and allure that feels singularly French in spirit. From first spritz to final drop, a Lancôme fragrance always intrigues—as only the French know how.

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