Mother’s Day is here again

We have often talked in our blogs about the memories that can be stirred up by aroma. So with Mother’s Day on the horizon, we decided to take a look at some of the classic perfumes that remind us of the special people in our lives. Fragrance can have the biggest, yet often subliminal, impact on our memories and emotions and has the ability to take us back to a time or place in our history and remind us of significant people in our lives.

mothers day

And unlike many beauty products, many of us remain faithful to our favourite fragrance. Perfume is regularly featured as a go to present for Mother’s Day, so we thought we’d take a walk down memory lane to perfumes that remind us of our mums and grandmas. The fragrances featured in the article are a combination of iconic classics, to suggestions and memories from the Carvansons team.

Classic Perfumes loved by Mum’s on Mother’s Day

Chanel no. 5

Let’s start with one of the most iconic perfumes of all time. Chanel No. 5 was the world’s first abstract fragrance, which incorporated more than 80 ingredients in a complex, multi-layered formulation process. The perfume contained aldehydes. These were added by accident. However, it’s inclusion heighten the scents and gave an airy nature to the floral notes. The result was a luxurious blend of sweet, woody and musky notes.

Opium by YSL

Few fragrances induce the instant love-it-or-hate-it response of Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium. With its exotic blend of lush florals, rich spices and deep woody notes, the powerful fragrance is instantly recognisable.

Many will wax lyrical about how over-powering the scent of Opium is but back in 1977, women went wild for it. This fragrance was ahead of its time with it’s heady, rebellious scents. Its intoxicating blend of jasmine, patchouli and vanilla, still makes for a head-turning scent today. And whilst times have changed, this scent remains unapologetically bold.

L’Air du Temps Nina Ricci

L’Air du Temps made its debut in 1948. Most accurately translated as ‘the spirit of the time’, it captured the passion of an emerging generation, as well as the beauty of Nina Ricci’s designs.

Nina Ricci was acquired by PUIG in 1998 and it continues to produce men’s and women’s fashion along with perfumes. The top notes include Carnation, Aldehydes, Rose, Neroli, Brazilian Rosewood, Peach and Bergamot. The elegance of this perfume is rarely found in modern-day formulas.

anais anais

Cacharel Collection

Anais Anais by Cacharel

Very much a fragrance of its time, this is another fragrance that hasn’t necessarily aged well. However, it is still very recognisable today, even if you may not be able to recall what it smells like. Anais Anais is an ultra-feminine fresh, rich and romantic bouquet of flowers, with an intensive floral heart of sweet rose, delicate white lily and jasmine.

It is a classically structured Chypre. This perfume was regularly found among the fragrance collections of women in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

And who can’t but love that Cacharel font!

Tweed by Lenthéric

Time for something a bit different and we are delving into the history books for this one.

Tweed was Lenthéric’s most popular perfume throughout the 1940s and right up until the early 1960 and the scent which came to define them as a brand. A sensuous woody floral fragrance with an emphasis on a dark, captivating earthy-woody mystique, the floral notes add an intoxicating feminine touch. The original scent was a mossy fougère with very distinctive lavender notes. It’s a spicy and herbal fragrance with a warm woody base of sandalwood and patchouli.


A much-maligned and equally beloved 80’s classic, Poison is now 36 years old! In it’s fairy tale apple bottle, Poison is nothing if not provocative. With its rich, woody, spicy, sweet aroma; you will either love it or hate it and usually for the same reasons!

Rive Gauche

For our next fragrance we return to the safety of the lighter, floral and feminine fragrances. Cue Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Rive Gauche, featuring magnolia, gardenia and ylang-ylang, complete with warm, woody undertones. The perfume well and truly sits in the iconic category, if only for its striking bottle design.

But did you know that the perfume takes its name from the southern bank of the River Seine in Paris, which was the home to artists, writers and philosophers and as a result is synonymous with bohemian lifestyles and creativity.

Carvansons Marketing Manager, Vicki said,

“I recall this perfume being the height of sophistication for my mum and it was regularly lurking at the bottom of an oversized handbag. It brings back memories of swimming lessons when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I think I may have even purchased her a bottle for Mother’s Day one year”

Loulou Cacharel

Another Classic bottle shape and very much a staple of the woman of the 80’s. The fragrance was launched in 1987 and was inspired by the silent film Pandora’s Box. Actress Louise Brooks played a dancer and prostitute whose combination of innocence and seduction leads men to ruin. The fragrance is both loved and loathed.

Dianne from the Carvansons admin support team said,

 “This perfume reminds me of my mum. She would wear it when getting ready to go out dancing. She put such effort into her outfit for a night out and I remember thinking how beautiful and glamorous she looked.”

hourglass perfume

Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

This hourglass bottle from Jean Paul Gaultier brought the glamour to your mum’s fragrance collection. Originally launched in 1993, the bottle design itself has gone through many iterations but is still one of JPGs’ most sought-after perfumes.

Featuring notes of sweet orange blossom, zingy ginger it is Classique by name and nature.

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A slightly more obscure one now, which is actually pretty hard to get hold of these days. Named after the famous American painter, Gloria Laura Vanderbilt, this fresh floral scent includes a range of fragrances including jasmine.

Christine Sutton from our Creations Department said,

“This perfume evokes memories of arranging perfumes in mum’s dressing room. The time spent together chatting and playing dress up in her bedroom is a memory I keep very close to my heart.”

Dior J’adore

And, of course, we couldn’t finish this article without mentioning the iconic Dior J’adore. Created in 1999 by French master perfumer Calice Becker for Parfums Christian Dior, its distinctive tear-drop bottle shape is recognisable across the world. J’adore isn’t that old as perfumes go, but has already become a classic. One regularly featured on Mother’s Day present guides. This iconic feminine fragrance captures the sensuality and freshness of flowers and is an ode to fearless women.

Helen Goddard in our UK sales department said

“I think J’adore the probably the only fragrance my mum has ever worn. It has become part of daily routine and probably a representation of her signature style.”

We’ve loved taking a trip through the classic perfumes our mum’s have worn and hope you/or your mother have a lovely Mother’s Day. Why not tell us about the fragrances the remind you of your mum in the comments. below.

About Carvansons

Carvansons is a world-leading creator and compounder of bulk fragrance oil. Our fragrances are used globally in the cosmetic, personal care, household and industrial manufacturing sectors. As a global fragrance manufacturer we create high-quality fragrance oil compounds, aromas and perfumes with a worldwide presence.

We work with many different companies throughout the world, which include both big brand names and smaller, niche industries. Whether your product is highly functional or beautifully indulgent we can create a fragrance that benefits and complements your product. We work to a brief that specifically caters to your brand and target audience. Contact us now.