Makeup Products » Best Perfumes for Women

Best Perfumes for Women in 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

How you smell matters. When you wear perfume, you create a sensory experience for yourself and those around you. Our sense of scent is directly linked to the parts of our brain where we experience memory and emotion. 

A perfume can bring up old recollections or forge new ones. Wearing a signature scent is a great way to get noticed and stick in people’s minds.

In this post, we profile the best perfumes for women — from seductive, spicy scents to cheerful florals. Our selection is broad with timeless crowd-pleasers, trendy new smells, and uniquely intriguing options. Browse our selection, and you’ll be sure to find your next signature scent. 

Best women’s perfume overview

How we chose the best perfumes for women

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including main accords, concentration, and more to create a short list of the top women’s perfumes. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best perfumes for women in each category.

Our picks for the best perfumes for women

Best overall
Dior J’Adore Eau de Parfum

What we love

  • Sophisticated floral fragrance
  • Long-lasting
  • Timeless choice for most wearers

What we don’t love

  • Too popular to be unique

With fruity keynotes and prominent floral middle notes, you’d expect J’Adore to be sweet and youthful. Instead, this is a sophisticated, fully realized fragrance that has captured the hearts of thousands of women over the last two decades. 

It’s timeless and clean, with prominent notes of Damascus rose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang in a long-wearing formula. It’s the kind of perfume almost any woman can wear with confidence, although it might be too popular to become anyone’s true signature. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself smelling it on others.

Size: 3.4 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine

Best budget
Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum

What we love

  • Not overpowering
  • Trendy floral-gourmand scent
  • Complex scent

What we don’t love

  • Not very long-wearing

Cloud has become an obsession in recent years — and not just for the pop star’s name stamped on the adorable bottle. It’s a sweet but not childish scent with creamy praline and coconut notes enhanced by floral and musk touches. It’s soft, complex, and extremely trendy. It’s also quite a steal at this budget-friendly price point.

More importantly, it’s not overwhelming, so it’d be an excellent first perfume for a teen or young adult. It can also work well as a daily scent in professional environments. That said, you may want to spritz on a little more before cocktail hour since it’s not as long-wearing as some of the other options on our list.

Size: 3.4 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Coconut, praline, lavender, musk

Best floral
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum

What we love

  • Complex floral scent
  • Fresh notes of green tea and patchouli add balance
  • Strong and long-wearing

What we don’t love

  • Easy to over-apply

With a name like Flowerbomb, you probably know what to expect. This scent is all about the flowers, including rose, jasmine, freesia, and orchid. 

Fresh top notes and a patchouli base keep this perfume balanced. There’s also a bit of sweetness from the added vanilla. It’s a strong, long-wearing perfume and, therefore, quite polarizing — not to mention easy to over-apply.

Size: 1.7 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Rose, jasmine, orchid, osmanthus

Best gourmand
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau De Parfum

What we love

  • Warm, spicy, sweet scent
  • Long-lasting vanilla base
  • Floral notes add freshness

What we don’t love

  • May be too sweet for some

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, gourmand accords smell like things you’d want to eat. Sweet and tasty, Black Opium is an iconic fragrance that’ll take you on a journey. It opens with a hint of spicy coffee followed by a fresh floral bouquet. 

The vanilla base is dominant and keeps the sweet undercurrent strong throughout the day. It’s actually a little too sweet for some, but if you want an interesting twist on coffee and vanilla, give it a try!

Size: 5 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Vanilla, coffee, white flowers

Best long-wearing
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

What we love

  • Wearable, vibrant scent
  • Floral, citrus, and green notes
  • Long-lasting and noticeable

What we don’t love

  • Easy to over-apply

Chanel No. 5 might be the brand’s quintessential scent, but in this day and age, we think Coco Mademoiselle is much more wearable. It’s a bold floral with an orange top note that adds a citrus vibrancy. 

The dominant notes are jasmine and May rose with a patchouli and vetiver base. It’s famously long-lasting for a floral and has the ability to leave a beautifully scented trail behind its wearer, so apply it sparingly.

Size: 1.2 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Jasmine, May rose, orange, vetiver, patchouli

Best woodsy
Le Labo Santal 33

What we love

  • Powerful unisex choice
  • Woodsy notes balanced by florals
  • Very long-lasting

What we don’t love

  • Can smell herbaceous on some wearers

Woodsy perfumes are an elegant and powerful choice often marketed as unisex. But Santal 33 from Le Labo isn’t nearly as traditional as most floral scents. If you like to do things a little differently, it’s worth a try. 

Santal is all about sandalwood and cedar along with subtle spices and florals that keep it fresh. It also has a bit of smokiness and musk, bringing to mind a night of camping in a crisp forest. All of those woodsy notes are excellent bases, so this perfume is long-wearing.

Sample it first, though, since some reviewers noted that it registered as oddly herbaceous on their skin.

Size: 0.5 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Sandalwood, papyrus, cedar, cardamom, iris, violet

Best eau de toilette
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette

What we love

  • Delicate and subtle
  • Soft florals, including violet and jasmine
  • Excellent for beginners

What we don’t love

  • Too weak for experienced perfume wearers

This highly delicate floral fragrance is a perfect starter perfume. It’s a simple floral scent with violet, jasmine, and strawberry notes on a sandalwood and vanilla base. It may not be very exciting, but it’s a sure crowd-pleaser. 

Since it’s an eau de toilette, fragrance compounds only make up 5% to 10% of the formula. In other words, it’s light and not too noticeable, making it an excellent option for enthusiastic newcomers. But if you’ve already learned moderation, you may find it too weak.

Size: 3.3 oz | Type: Eau de toilette | Key notes: Violet, jasmine, strawberry

Best boozy
Kilian Angels’ Share

What we love

  • Warm gourmand scent
  • Woodsy notes add unisex balance
  • Perfect for winter

What we don’t love

  • Might be too masculine for some
  • Very expensive

As part of The Liquors collection, this perfume is all about cognac. This scent was crafted as a tribute to Kilian Hennessy’s heritage (yes, he’s from that Hennessy family). 

It’s sweet and spicy, with cinnamon, tonka, and vanilla softening the alcoholic touch of the luxury spirit. Woodsy notes of oak and sandalwood keep things from getting overly cloying, which makes it an ideal unisex fragrance for gourmand lovers. 

Because it’s so warm, we think it’d be ideal for winter. If you’re looking for an ultra-feminine scent, though, you might prefer a gourmand fragrance without the woodsy base, like YSL’s Black Opium.

Size: 1.7 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Cognac, cinnamon, tonka, vanilla, sandalwood, oak

Best cologne
Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

What we love

  • Reminiscent of the ocean
  • Soft, clean, and comforting
  • Delicate and never overpowering

What we don’t love

  • Might be too unusual for some
  • Requires reapplication

The ocean was the inspiration behind this unusual fragrance from Jo Malone. It’s not the typical scent that comes to mind when you think of perfume, but therein lies its charm. Reviewers described it as soft, clean, and comforting. 

The combination of salt and sage evokes the summer, while reviewers noted a touch of grapefruit that adds brightness. It’s subtle and not very long-wearing — the kind of scent that others may not notice but that you’ll enjoy reapplying throughout the day. 

Note that it’s marketed as a cologne. That means it has a lower concentration of fragrance compounds than an Eau de parfum or toilette. It’s very delicate and considered unisex by many shoppers.

Size: 1 oz | Type: Cologne | Key notes: Sage, sea salt, ambrette seeds

Best body spray
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist

What we love

  • Trendy gourmand fragrance
  • Minimal risk of over-applying
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Body sprays have poor longevity

Sol de Janeiro’s Bum Bum Cream became a massive bestseller, and we think it’s primarily thanks to the brand’s signature fragrance blend. Now available as a spray, it’s a sweet and addictive aroma that fits today’s soft gourmand trends. 

Salted caramel is the most recognizable note, but the vanilla and nutty pistachio are also somewhat powerful. It’s the type of sweet fragrance that would be easy to overdo, but since it’s a body spray, it’s forgiving. That said, don’t expect much in the way of longevity or noticeability.

Size: 3.04 oz | Type: Body spray | Key notes: Salted caramel, pistachio, vanilla

Best seductive
Carolina Herrera Good Girl

What we love

  • Sophisticated floral-gourmand blend
  • Seductive and modern
  • Long-lasting

What we don’t love

  • Awkwardly shaped bottle

Good Girl is a floral meets gourmand fragrance with sophisticated sweetness and depth. Jasmine and tonka are the key notes here, with other florals and warming spices blended in seamlessly. This combination makes for a seductive, modern scent. It’s long-lasting but without overwhelming silage (i.e., the “noticeability” factor). The high-heel-shaped bottle is memorable, albeit a little awkward to use.

Size: 2.7 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Jasmine, tonka, cocoa, almond

Best clean
Elizabeth Arden White Tea Eau de Toilette Spray

What we love

  • Fresh, feminine alternative to florals
  • Budget-friendly
  • Soft and not overwhelming

What we don’t love

  • Requires reapplying

When it comes to perfumes for women, florals have a strong presence. If that doesn’t appeal to you, but you still want something fresh and feminine, this white tea scent sparkles. It brings to mind the cleanliness of a natural spa, with salty top notes, florals and tea in the middle, and a woodsy base. It’s not overpowering at all, so it’s great for the office (though you may need to reapply). Plus, it’s one of the more affordable options on our list.

Size: 1.7 oz | Type: Eau de toilette | Key notes: White tea, salt, iris, madras wood

Best dark
Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum

What we love

  • Rich and dark vibe
  • Complex mix of florals, spices, and wood
  • Excellent longevity

What we don’t love

  • Polarizing
  • Too strong for some

From Tom Ford, this is a rich perfume with depth. It’s quite unusual, mixing florals, sweet gourmand spices, rich black truffle, and wood. If this description sounds alluring, you’re not alone — this perfume is very polarizing but with ardent fans. It’s famous for holding up exceptionally well throughout the day, so expect to be noticed when wearing it.

Size: 0.34 oz | Type: Eau de parfum | Key notes: Black orchid, black truffle, patchouli, spices

Best oil
Byredo Mojave Ghost

What we love

  • Gentle alternative to spray perfume
  • Surprising longevity for an oil perfume
  • Woodsy-floral fragrance inspired by the desert

What we don’t love

  • Quite pricey

If your skin is sensitive or you don’t like that cloud of mist from spray-on perfumes, a roll-on fragrance oil can be an excellent alternative. It doesn’t have the silage of a traditional Eau de parfum, so it doesn’t create that cloud of scent around you. Instead, applying the oil to your pulse points means it’ll get noticed only when someone comes close to you, which has its own sensuality. 

Byredo has a few stunning fragrance oil options, but Mojave Ghost is our top pick for its excellent longevity and unique blend of woodsy and floral notes inspired by the desert. It’s pricey considering the small amount of product, although bear in mind that fragrance oils are often very concentrated.

Size: 1.7 oz | Type: Oil | Key notes: Ambrette, violet, sandalwood, musk

Best one-note
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01

What we love

  • Unique, educational fragrance
  • Excellent for layering
  • Surprising longevity

What we don’t love

  • Unpredictable detectability

If you’re interested in how perfumes work on a molecular level, you need to try a one-note perfume at least once. Barely perceptible, this perfume is based on Iso E Super, a lab-made fragrance compound that feels woodsy but in a clean and subtle way. 

Some don’t notice it at all, while for others, it instantly stands out. On its own, consider Molecule 01 an educational fragrance, although since it’s a base note, it also layers well with other perfumes. Reviewers noted that despite its subtlety, it still gets noticed at times and tends to wear well all day.

Size: 3.5 oz | Type: Eau de toilette | Key notes: Iso E Super (cedarwood)

Feeling fragrant 

Warm and sweet, cool and fresh, feminine and floral — the fun thing about fragrances is that we immediately associate them with experiences, emotions, and feelings. 

You can’t go wrong with our top pick, the crowd-pleasing floral Dior J’Adore. That said, we hope you feel encouraged to explore all the different aromas of the world’s master perfumes and perhaps even get adventurous with something unusual.

How to pick the right women’s perfume for you

A fragrance is a special, personal purchase, so finding the perfect perfume for you is largely a question of experimentation. Even so, the following factors should help guide you.

Consider your signature scent

Perfumes are often split into fragrance families, like florals, gourmand (e.g., spicy), or woodsy scents. There are subfamilies and hybrids within those categories. More than the individual notes, fragrance families can bring to mind specific memories of places, seasons, and even fleeting moments. 

Florals tend to evoke freshness and femininity, while gourmand scents evoke sweet warmth. When narrowing down the right signature scent for you, consider the kind of feelings you want it to evoke and use that as a guide. Your signature scent could one day become a core memory of you to others. 


Another way to differentiate types of perfume is by concentration. 

  • Eau de parfum. Most of the products on our list are perfumes with a 10% to 20% concentration. 
  • Eau de toilette. With a 5% to 15% concentration of fragrance, this is a softer choice that’s great for beginners. 
  • Eau de cologne. Colognes are very soft with a 3% to 8% concentration, so they’re often more appropriate for environments where sensitive noses abound. The term is usually associated with scents geared toward men. 
  • Body spray. The softest of the bunch, generally with a 1% to 3% concentration, these are great for teens. 
  • Perfume oil. A fragrance dispersed in oil will have less longevity and projection than one dispersed in alcohol, despite often containing a high concentration of fragrance. 

Wear time

The concentration of fragrance compounds, the actual notes used in it, and modern fragrance technology will all impact your perfume’s wear time. 

An Eau de parfum has a higher concentration of fragrance, so it’ll offer better longevity than a cologne which, in turn, will outdo a body spray. 

Specific base notes, especially musky or woodsy ones, tend to have the best longevity compared to quick-fading citruses or florals. That said, manufacturers today are working on all sorts of new encapsulation, fixative, and time-release technologies meant to increase perfume wear time more efficiently.


What are the most popular female perfumes? 

You’ll find the most popular women’s perfumes near the top of our list. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Ariana Grande Cloud, and Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush are among the world’s top sellers right now. 

Which perfume lasts the longest?

Coco Mademoiselle offers the best longevity in a floral scent with broad appeal. If you’re interested in more unique scents that last all day, consider Le Labo Santal 33 or Tom Ford Black Orchid. 

How do I find my signature scent?

First, consider what kind of feelings you want your scent to evoke. Then, experiment with perfumes that have a matching fragrance profile. It’s impossible to predict how a perfume will register on your skin, so trying it out for yourself is a must.