Jackie Kennedy's Favorite Perfumes & Their Stories

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A very special American icon

Photogrpaher Ron Galella, contributor Tom Wargacki for Getty Images

Who hasn't daydreamed looking at pictures of Jackie, Jack and the kids at the White House? She's part of American history and style history, too.

Caroline Kennedy shared some of her mother's special keepsakes and prized souvenirs on a broadcast on ABC News, which is how we have concrete evidence on what made the iconic First Lady tick. Biographies also come to the help and it's fascinating to know this American icon a little bit better through her sense of style. Unlike fashion and clothes, which could be seen broadcasted through millions of TV screens across the globe, fragrance had no public facade constraints. So please enjoy delving a bit deeper into what made Jackie Kennedy Onassis tick in this slideshow!

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Creed Fleurissimo


This exclusive fragrance was originally made for the wedding of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco and Creed happily obliged, or so the story goes. But another "royal" in the spotlight chose it as her favorite scent, namely Jackie. (Madonna also likes this one). This delicate floral blend rests on iris and violet and is as elegant as both its patrons. 

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Patou Joy

Jean Patou

 It's ironic that Jackie shared a predilection for her antagonist's scent. Marilyn Monroe also favored this classic rose & jasmine mix by French couturier Jean Patou, tagged "the costliest perfume in the world". [For more of Marilyn's favorite perfumes, consult my article]

Joy is a festive celebration of graceful floral aromas and the seal of good taste. 

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Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Alexandra de Markoff/Jean Desprez

This festive fragrance from 1962 is best known because of its lovely illustration on the bottle, reminiscent of something painted by Watteau. Its name means "Bal at the Versailles" and it's indeed manufactured in France. But its warm, powdery, sexy scent transcends boundaries. A very passionate fragrance that fits the French pedigree of Jackie (born Jacqueline Bouvier) but never quite crosses the line of propriety. 

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Guerlain Jicky


Among Guerlain perfume classics this is one with a loaded history. The first fragrance to unite two revolutionary (at the time) synthetics, vanillin (from the vanilla) and coumarin (from tonka beans), it also smelled halfway between masculine and feminine with its sweetish herbal blend of lavender and vanilla. Still in production, it's one scent that hides a ferocious sensual backdrop to belie its prim opening. No wonder it's -contrary to everything Jackie stood for- a perfume "smelling like a hooker"! [For more of those raunchy fragrances visit my link]

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Patou 1000

Jean Patou

 Showcasing a wilder, more risque side of Jackie comes 1000 (Mille, pronounced MEEhl), again by Jean Patou. This is a scent that Jackie chose in the 1970s when married to Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. A chypre fragrance composition with coriander, osmanthus flower and patchouli that went well with the countryside on the private Skorpios island and its secluded beaches where a paparazzi infamously shot her in the nude. 

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Jil Sander No.4

Jil Sander

Among the perfumes that Jackie favored in her golden years, this spicy oriental shows quite a bit of the backbone that helped her overcome all the obstacles in her adventurous life. It was to be her last fragrance and what a fragrance it is. The German designer's perfume is bold and rich with amber, sandalwood, patchouli and spicy hints of tarragon and mysterious myrrh (a resin that goes back to the times of Cleopatra). Kaboom!