First (Van Cleef & Arpels)

There would be no First without there first having been Chanel No.5. But Jean-Claude Ellena's inaugural fragrance is not so much a tribute to No.5 as a vastly improved reincarnation of it.

If No.5 was the first lungfish to heave itself out of the primordial soup onto dry land, First is that creature's fully evolved and upright descendent, walking confidently forth on its own two legs, an Eden's worth of flowers woven through its hair.

And if First is any proof of the efficacy of karma, then I would have to say the sins of Coco Chanel must be forgiven-- otherwise No.5 would have transmigrated straight into a bottle of Paris Hilton Can Can.

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, mandarin, cassis, peach, raspberry, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, narcissus, lily-of-the-valley, carnation, orchid, tuberose, iris, amber, tonka bean, oakmoss, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, honey, civet.