If you’ve been playing with perfume since you were a little girl, put your senses to the test with ELLE Canada’s Fragrance Challenge! Find out how much you know about the origins of the world’s most popular scents and the celebrity spokesmodels who made them famous. Remember, choosing the right answer is no different than finding the perfect scent: it’s all about trusting your first impressions!
1. The origin of the word “perfume” comes from
a) The Latin words per, meaning “through,” and fume, meaning “smoke.”
b) The incense used by 14th century French aristocrats during religious services.
c) The fragrant extracts from plants.
2. What trend in perfume swept France in the 17th century?
a) Portable perfume flasks used for travel.
b) The atomizer.
c) Perfumed gloves
d) Fragrances for men.
3. In 1954, when asked by a reporter what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe cooed:
a) “A smile.”
b) “Frederick’s of Hollywood.”
c) “Chanel No. 5, of course.”
4. What is the current top-selling fragrance in the world?
a) CK One by Calvin Klein
b) Chanel No. 5 by Chanel
c) White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor for Elizabeth Arden
d) Poison by Christian Dior
5. What is the world’s largest production centre for the raw materials that go into the making of fragrances?
a) Tuscany, Italy
b) Grasse, Provence
c) Munich, Germany
d) South Beach, Florida
6. What country has the highest fragrance sales in the world?
c) The United States
7. What is the best way to apply fragrance?
a) On the wrists.
b) Spritzed lightly on all the pulse points, starting at the feet and working your way up to the backs of your knees, wrists, and neck.
c) Behind the ears.
Find out your perfume personality here!
You’re not done yet! More questions on the next page …8. True or false? It’s OK to rub your wrists together after applying perfume.
a) True — it will penetrate more deeply into the pores and make the scent last longer.
b) False — the action will “crush” the smell.
9. Some cosmetic counters provide this to rid your nose of a lingering scent when you’re trying out different perfumes:
c) Coffee beans
10. What company sent roses into outer space to create a new scent?
a) Donna Karan, New York
d) Calvin Klein
11.What was the first unisex fragrance?
a) Gaultier2 by Jean-Paul Gaultier
b) CK One by Calvin Klein
c) Bvlgari Black by Bvlgari
d) Marc Jacobs Rain
12. This actress received $3.5 million to appear in a 4-minute commercial for Chanel No. 5.
a) Catherine Deneuve
b) Nicole Kidman
c) Charlize Theron
d) Mary Kate Olsen
13. Who inspired the corseted torso design for Jean-Paul Gaultier’s iconic fragrance Classique?
b) The Surrealists
c) Elsa Schiaparelli
d) Kate Moss
14. What celebrity used the shape of an egg as inspiration for the design of her fragrance?
a) Beyoncé for True Star
b) Paris Hilton for Paris Hilton
c) Sarah Jessica Parker for Lovely
d) Jennifer Lopez for Glow
15. What celebrity has the most fragrances on the market? Can you guess how many?
a) Paris Hilton
b) Jennifer Lopez
c) Britney Spears
d) Elizabeth Taylor
Find the answers on the next page …Answers:
2. c — At the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, gloves scented with lavender and neroli were a popular accessory. In fact, the court of Louis XV was named “the perfumed court” because fragrance had replaced regular bathing.
3. c — This infamous quote sent Chanel No. 5 sales soaring in the 1950s. Monroe became one of the house’s most notorious spokesmodels.
5. b — Grasse leads the world in jasmine, rose and orange-growing trades.
7. b — For a long-lasting scent, spritz your ankles first to allow the scent to rise. The blood vessels in the ankles are close to the surface, giving off more heat and acting like mini fragrance pumps. Follow with very light spritzes on the backs of your knees, wrist and neck.
8. b — Contrary to popular belief, rubbing your wrists together actually damages the scent by preventing the fragrance from opening up and revealing its true smell.
9. c — The pungent aroma of coffee beans cleanses the nose’s “palette” in between smelling different fragrances.
10. b — Shiseido, in a joint venture with the International Flavors & Fragrances Foundation (I.F.F.) and NASA, sent a miniature rose tree into space to analyze how the flower’s scent changed in zero gravity. The altered scent became a keynote in the Shiseido fragrance Zen.
11. b — Calvin Klein created a first in the fragrance industry when he launched CK One in 1994, along with a provocative advertising campaign that showed an orgy of androgynous men and women sharing a singular fragrance.
12. b — Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman reunited with Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann to play the lead in the Chanel ad.
13. c — Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli preceded Gaultier by launching a scent in 1937 that came in a bottle reminiscent of Mae West’s hourglass figure. (West was a regular client of Schiparelli’s.)
14. c — Sarah Jessica Parker’s bottle for Lovely was modeled after a Fabergé egg. Parker found the egg’s simplicity and innocence inspiring.
15. d — At last count, Elizabeth Taylor had nine fragrances on the market: Diamonds and Sapphires, White Diamonds, Passion, Forever, Sparkling White Diamonds, Brilliant White Diamonds, Diamonds and Rubies, Gardenia and Passion for Men.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.