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The iconic 90s fragrances back in fashion, that you can still buy today

From CK One to Angel by Thierry Mugler, these retro scents are back in style

We’ve seen the 90s embraced in the fashion world – and now a whole host of instantly recognisable 90s fragrances are back on the agenda too. The defining decade was known for its experimental approach to scent, with bold perfumes like Angel by Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique bursting onto the scene. Here, we’ve rounded up the most iconic 90s fragrances to spritz for a heady dose of nostalgia.

The Glossary Edit

90s Fragrances

CK One by Calvin Klein

When it comes to 90s fragrances, CK One is often the first scent that springs to mind. First released in 1994, the perfume was hailed for being ahead of its time, thanks to the fact it was one of the first beauty products to be openly marketed as unisex. Known for its fresh and subtle blend of musk, bergamot and violet, it’s a fragrance that whispers rather than shouts. Almost as iconic as the scent itself is its cooler-than-cool ad campaign featuring Kate Moss, which was splashed across many a billboard throughout the mid-90s.

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Eau de Toilette Spray
£49

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Angel by Thierry Mugler is one of those heady scents that announces itself as soon as it enters the room – once you’ve smelt it, you never forget it. When it was first launched in 1992 it was like nothing the fragrance world had ever seen, combining patchouli with notes of chocolate, honey and cotton candy to create a new category all of its own: gourmand. Housed in a now-iconic blue glass star-shaped bottle – one of the first to be refillable, paving the way for more eco-conscious beauty consumption – it remains one of the world’s best-selling perfumes.

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Eau de Parfum
£125

Jean Paul Gaultier

Classique

Many 90s fragrances are known for their eye-catching bottles, and Jean Paul Gaultier Classique is no exception. The bottle’s feminine curves are reflected in the sensual, seductive scent, which has an irresistible sweetness that comes from blending orange blossom, ginger, rose and vanilla. Originally launched in 1993, recently the fragrance has seen something of a revival, with searches for the retro perfume steadily growing this year.

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Eau de Toilette
£104

Clinique

Happy

Clinique Happy is an instant pick-me-up in a bottle. Who can forget the fragrance’s original advert in 1997, which featured the strains of Judy Garland singing, “Forget your troubles, come on, get happy!” Joy is at the heart of this citrusy, floral scent, with an uplifting blend of mandarin, grapefruit, lily and freesia that has kept it a cult favourite – and ensured it remains the beauty brand’s best-selling women’s fragrance to this day.

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Perfume Spray
£68

Issey Miyake

L’Eau d’Issey

This fresh scent was the first fragrance to be developed by Issey Miyake, and since launching in 1992 L’Eau d’Issey has gone on to become the house’s most iconic perfume, reinterpreted countless times. Miyake’s original intention was to create a scent that was “as clear as spring water”, combining lily, lotus and rose enhanced by the freshness of water. The result is a pioneering olfactory revelation – the first aquatic floral fragrance for women – that remains a timeless classic.

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Eau de Toilette
£52.80

Diptyque

Philosykos

Master perfumers Diptyque are renowned for their chicly sophisticated scents, and none more so than Philosykos. Its woody aroma encapsulates a certain period in the mid-90s, when this was the fragrance of choice for stylish tastemakers in the know. Inspired by childhood summers in Greece, it combines rich earthy tones of bark and sweet fig (the name translates from Greek as “friend of the fig tree”) to instantly transport you instantly to sunny Mediterranean climes.

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Eau de Toilette
£148

Estée Lauder

Pleasures

Described as “sheer optimism in a bottle”, Estée Lauder Pleasures set the trend for uplifting, airy fragrances and introduced a new category all of its own: sheer floral. Designed in 1995 to capture the fragrance of flowers just after a spring rain, the clean, delicate perfume combines notes of lily, white peony and jasmine with the essence of baie rose to create one of the 90s’ most evocative feel-good fragrances.

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Eau de Toilette
£55

Lancôme

Trésor

The 90s kicked off with the launch of this romantic scent at the very start of the decade, which ushered in a move towards more overtly feminine fragrances. A blend of peach and rose adds sweet, floral notes, while sandalwood and musk round it out with a woody, sensuous aroma. With a bottle designed to look like a precious jewel, Lancôme Trésor is the ultimate fragrance for an elegant night out.

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Eau de Toilette
£100

Dior

Dune

Dior has form when it comes to creating cult classic fragrances: Poison was the scent of the 80s, and with Dune they offered up a softer side to the French fashion house’s trademark Parisian sophistication. Released in 1991, Dior Dune was created as a tribute to Christian Dior’s childhood home in Granville, with notes of vanilla, citrus, amber and driftwood blending to evoke the exact spot where the shimmering sea meets the land.

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Eau de Toilette
£114

Elizabeth Arden

Sunflowers

This sunshine-filled scent was the summer fragrance of choice when it was first released in 1993, and for many years to come. The cheery yellow bottle became a mainstay of dressing tables throughout the decade, with the perfume beloved for its joyous cocktail of citrus, melon, jasmine and oakmoss. Light and fresh, one spritz of Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers instantly conjures up sun-soaked days at the beach and picnics in the park.

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Eau de Toilette
£32

Giorgio Armani

Acqua di Giò

If there’s one men’s fragrance that encapsulates the 90s, it has to be Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò, which was everywhere when it launched in 1996. Inspired by the sea and refreshingly zesty, with notes of Calabrian bergamot, tangerine, neroli, ozonic marine and a lingering base of patchouli, it’s fresh enough to spritz on a summer’s day while still having serious staying power.

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Eau de Toilette
£89

Gucci

Rush

The decade came to a close with the arrival of one iconic scent: Gucci Rush. Known for its immediately recognisable bright red cassette tape-shaped bottle, the playful scent packs a heady floral punch, with its blend of bergamot, peony, vanilla, and patchouli seeing its popularity last well into the Noughties and beyond.

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Eau de Toilette
£43

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