You’re hard-pressed to find a woman – or a person – who doesn’t love perfume. There’s something about fragrance that can boost your mood, give you the confidence to face the day, or help to set the tone for a girl’s night out or a date night. But what are the best perfumes for women?
While everyone’s preference is going to be slightly different, some perfumes for women have a cult following for a reason. So, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular perfumes and why they’re such a hit to help you pick up your ideal scent!
Best Perfumes for Women Overview
- Best Overall: Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray
- Best Rugged Scent: Maison Margiela ’REPLICA’ By The Fireplace Eau de Toilette Spray
- Best Woodsy Scent: Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum
- Best Classic: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Spray
- Best Spicy Scent: Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum
- Best Floral Scent: Chloé Eau de Parfum
- Best Fruity Floral Scent: Dior J’adore Eau de Parfum
- Best Nontraditional Floral Scent: Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum
- Best Elegant: Frederic Malle Iris Poudre Eau de Parfum
- Best Modern Fruity Floral Scent: Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette Spray
- Best Classic Clean Scent: Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette
- Best Original Signature Scent: Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum Spray
- Best Earthy Exotic Jetsetter Scent: Serge Lutens Féminité du Bois Eau de Parfum
- Best Fresh Citrus Scent: Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum
- Best Romantic: Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum
- Best Long-Lasting Classic Floral Scent: Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum
- Best Cologne for the Clean and Earthy: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
- Best Dramatic Fashionista Scent: Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum
- Best Soothing Scent Inspired by Nature: Carine Roitfeld Aurélien Eau de Parfum
- Best Unisex: Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum
- Best Warm & Spicy Unisex Scent: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
- Best Bridal: Valentino Donna Born in Roma Eau de Parfum
- Best Lightweight Scent for Summer: Byredo Sundazed Eau de Parfum
- Best for the Whimsical Soul: Lancôme La Vie est Belle Eau De Parfum
- Best for the Young at Heart: Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming Eau de Parfum
- Best Citrusy Scent for Classicists: Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia Parfum Spray
- Best Luxurious Fruity Scent: Giorgio Armani Si Eau de Parfum
- Best Clean Beauty Perfume: Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil
- Best Musky Scent: Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau de Parfum
- Best Fresh Date Night Scent: Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Toilette
- Best Scent That Evokes Travels: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Eau de Toilette
- Best Warm Floral Scent: Chloé Nomade Eau de Parfum
- Best Exotic Oriental Scent: Parfums de Marly Delina Exclusif Eau de Parfum
- Best for Getaways: Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle Eau de Parfum Spray
- Best Playful & Wearable Scent: Trish McEvoy No. 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Eau de Parfum
- Best Floral Musky Scent with a Bite: Cartier La Panthère Eau de Parfum Spray
- Best Active Fruity Scent: Creed Aventus For Her Fragrance
- Best Luxury Statement Scent: Hermès Eau des Merveilles Elixir des Merveilles Eau de Parfum
- Best Feminine: Gabrielle Chanel Eau de Parfum
Fashion powerhouse duo Victor & Rolf have proven over and over again that they know how to create designs that turn heads. Their heady perfume continues that trend with a classic warm and spicy floral scent that contains bold top notes of cattleya orchid, freesia, centifolia rose, middle notes of sambac jasmine, and osmanthus over a patchouli and vanilla base. Flowerbomb is the best women’s perfume for traditionalist fragrance wearers who want something soft yet heady. Pick it up at Nordstrom, Sephora or Amazon!
If you’re a non-traditionalist who doesn’t love traditional floral or spicy scents, then Replica By The Fireplace from Maison Margiela is the best women’s perfume for you. This unisex scent is described as reminiscent of sitting near a crackling fire while inhaling the heady scents of vanilla, chestnuts, pink pepper, and clove oil. While this unisex scent might be a winner with many, the scent averse or those who dislike smelling smoky would do best to avoid Replica. Get it from Sephora or Nordstrom!
These days, ‘gypsy’ isn’t usually a term we use in polite company anymore. But optics aside, Gypsy Water by Byredo is one of the best women’s perfumes for free spirits who want to embrace their bohemian side.
With fresh and wildflower top notes like lemon, pepper, juniper berries, and bergamot, a lovely heart of orris, pine needle, and incense, and a base of vanilla, amber, and sandalwood, this scent can best be described as spicy with a zest. However, if you don’t care for heavier scents like bergamot, and smoky incense, you might want to keep looking. Find Byredo at Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom and Amazon!
Chanel is one of the originators of great Parisian style thanks to its namesake and creator, Coco Chanel. So, it’s understandable that Coco Mademoiselle makes our list of the best perfumes for women.
While it’s a younger reimagining on the iconic Chanel No. 5 scent, you’ll still enjoy expected notes like bergamot, orange, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, white musk, and vanilla. But again, if musk isn’t your thing, you might struggle to embrace this scent. You can find this fragrance online at Nordstrom, Sephora and Chanel.
Tom Ford gives us a classic style when he dresses actors on the red carpet. So, it’s not surprising that his Black Orchid perfume makes our list as one of the best fragrances for women. You’ll enjoy notes of black orchid, bergamot, and black truffle that combine with softer base notes like vanilla, dark chocolate, and patchouli. However, if you’re not a fan of spicy earthier scents like patchouli, this might not be the winner for you. Pick it up at Sephora, Nordstrom or Amazon!
Not everyone wants a heavy or heady scent. If you prefer women’s fragrances that are a bit softer and feel more light-hearted, then Chloé Eau de Parfum is a better choice. You’ll like that softer notes like peony, rose, honey, and cedarwood combine with freesia and lychee to create a powdery floral scent that will put a spring in your step. Get it from Sephora, Nordstrom or Amazon!
There has to be a happy medium in perfumes for women between dark and mysterious, and cute and floral. J’adore by Dior is the answer to that demand. This fruity-floral scent pairs exotic florals like jasmine and ylang-ylang, and Damascus rose to create something that’s the perfect balance for fans of traditional soft floral scents and those who prefer something a tad heavier. Grab it from Sephora, Nordstrom or Amazon!
Most of us know that floral-based women’s fragrances can be seductive, but they can also be playful. Black Opium from YSL manages to pull this magic trick off by combining traditional floral notes like jasmine and orange blossom with unexpected choices like coffee and pink pepper accords. Black Opium is for the woman looking to make an entrance by wearing a signature scent that sets her apart from the masses. You can find it for sale at Nordstrom, Amazon and Sephora.
In the best perfumes for women, floral scents are known for usually being softer – something that wears well throughout the day. If you’re a floral purist, you’ll love Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre, as it combines classic notes to create a truly traditional floral perfume. Sandalwood and vetiver serve as the core notes, while tonka bean, vanilla, and musk help to round out the bouquet. Get this soft and elegant scent from Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom or Amazon!
Florals are a popular choice for women’s perfumes because there are so many combinations that can be achieved. Marc Jacobs shows that fruits and florals can play well together with his popular Daisy perfume.
Strawberry, violet leaves, and jasmine anchor this scent, while additional notes of sandalwood create a light-hearted scent that transitions seamlessly whether you’re at the office, going out with your girls, or on a date night. You can find this cheerful scent at Sephora, Amazon and Nordstrom.
There are so many options when it comes to the best perfumes for women, but there is a niche that prefers a clean scent. Something that isn’t dripping in spice or musk, or isn’t cloyingly sweet from too many floral notes. Amazing Grace from Philosophy is an enduring scent with a cult following because it’s not too heavy and wears well throughout the day.
The base of musk is balanced with the top note of bergamot, and the middle accords of muguet blossoms to create an enduring scent that continues to wow women around the world. You can find this fresh scent at Nordstrom, Amazon and Sephora.
Whether you’re trying to find your way or you’ve decided to make a serious impact, the iconic Chanel No. 5 is where you begin and end your search. This classic women’s fragrance manages to combine a dizzying amount of florals into one seamless and enduring fragrance.
Heavier notes like vetiver, musk, and sandalwood are played against softer notes like jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and aldehydes to create one of the best perfumes for women of all time. Find it online at Nordstrom, Amazon and Chanel!
If you’re always here and there, you need a fragrance that’s inspired by travel. Féminité du Bois was conceptualized by travels to the exotic Marrakech. Intense notes such as cedarwood are paired with plum and cinnamon for a bolder fragrance, while vanilla and musk help to soften it. Those who don’t typically wear a spicier scent may not appreciate the unique scent profile of this women’s fragrance. You can grab it online at Net-a-Porter or Nordstrom.
Citrus is definitely a common note in women’s fragrances – especially if you’re a fan of bergamot. But it isn’t always the most promoted note. Lancôme’s Idôle makes citrus the star of the show with bold bergamot that’s paired with additional fruits like pear before balancing it out with soft floral notes like rose and jasmine. The result is a gentle yet fresh fruity-floral scent that’s perfect for people who don’t want their perfume to do the talking for them. Get this one from Nordstrom, Amazon or Sephora!
Imagine creating a woman’s fragrance that perfectly encapsulates the vibe of an entire city. Yves Saint Laurent manages to achieve this feat with Mon Paris, a bold romantic scent that features more intense floral notes like orange flower, jasmine, and white peony. These are paired with heavier base notes like patchouli, white musk, cedarwood, before being rounded out with bergamot, strawberry, and raspberry. This is definitely not a scent for the timid. Find it online at Nordstrom, Sephora and Amazon!
Wearability is always a big concern with women’s fragrances. No one wants a scent that’s missing in action a few hours later, or that changes into something unrecognizable. Gucci Bloom is designed with longevity in mind. Core notes of Rangoon creeper, jasmine buds, and tuberose are combined to create the perfect bouquet that continues to release a fragrant scent as the day draws to a close. You can find this one online at Sephora, Gucci and Amazon.
Some people can be intimidated by a perfume that carries a laundry list of notes. If this is you, then Jo Malone London’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne is here to make life easier. Three ingredients are all that’s needed to create – truthfully – a unisex fragrance that’s ideal for the carefree obsessed.
Sea salt, wood sage, and ambrette seeds are combined to create a unique scent that can be worn alone or used as the base fragrance before you add your other preferred scent to create unexpected combinations. Pick it up online at Nordstrom, Amazon or Sephora!
Imagine a woman’s perfume that’s as intoxicating as its packaging. Carolina Herrera shows us that your perfume can look nice on your vanity and complete your look with Good Girl. This stiletto-inspired packaging houses a dichotomous floral scent that features heavy and light notes. Tonka bean, almond, and coffee help to anchor lighter notes like jasmine, tuberose, and velvet almond. It’s available for purchase online at Nordstrom, Sephora and Amazon.
There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a stroll through a park or say a grove of orange trees. Aurélien by Carine Roitfeld Parfums will transport you to a citrus wonderland thanks to a simple balance of notes. Citrus is combined with myrrh and davana oil to create a heady yet grounded earthy experience. Try it by snatching it from Net-a-Porter!
Nothing represents freedom and a ‘wild at heart’ mentality like pictures of the American West from a bygone era. Santal 33 is a unisex fragrance that will have you ready to hit the road or travel by horseback. Earthy notes like cardamom, sandalwood, cedarwood, leather, and iris combine to create a groundbreaking fragrance that will stand out from the traditional musky and floral scents you’re used to. Grab it online at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter or Amazon!
Not every woman is looking for a fragrance that’s ‘girly.’ If this is you, Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille is one of the best perfumes for women that have an edge. Bold notes of tobacco, ginger, and cocoa are combined with softer notes like tonka bean, vanilla, and sweet wood sap for a mellow yet intoxicating scent. Perfect for fall and winter, you can find it online at Sephora, Nordstrom and Amazon.
If your wedding day had a smell, it would be Valentino’s Donna Born in Roma. This bold, yet fresh fruity fragrance for women features top notes of bergamot and black currant with jasmine and vanilla for a scent that wears well throughout the day from prepping with your bridesmaids until the last glass of champagne is drunk at your reception. It’s available online at Nordstrom and Sephora.
If you prefer a barely-there scent, Byredo’s Sundazed is the best women’s fragrance because it’s a floral and fruity selection. It combines citrus undernotes with fresh floral top notes for a perfectly balanced summer fragrance. Feel the sun in your face wearing this perfume that can be found online at Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom and Amazon!
You need a fragrance that matches your personality. If you’re the type who embraces each day with vigor, then Lancôme’s La Vie est Belle is one of the best perfumes for women. It features a full bouquet of floral notes that includes jasmine, Tunisian orange blossom, iris, and patchouli. You can find this fresh and bubbly scent online at Nordstrom, Sephora and Amazon.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting out in life or are ready to adopt a signature scent, Dior’s Miss Dior fragrance for women is a smart choice. This bold and colorful perfume prioritizes floral and fruity notes. Most prominently, you’ll recognize peony, red berries, white musk, and roses. Find this delicious floral scent wrapped inside this cute bottle at Nordstrom, Amazon and Sephora!
If you’re in the market for a scent that evokes a classic and timeless image, Frederic Malle’s Magnolia is a must-have. Designed by the famous master perfumer Carlos Benaïm, this fresh citrusy scent features bergamot, Haitian vetiver, and patchouli. Perfect for summer, find it online at Net-a-Porter and Nordstrom!
Fruity perfumes for women don’t have to be subtle, and Giorgio Armani’s Sí is the best fragrance for women who want to make a statement without saying a word. Citrus combines with deep black currant nectar, musky blond wood and is accented with florals for a balanced effect. Get this fresh and classic scent from Nordstrom, Sephora or Amazon!
Everyone wants to know what’s in their beauty products these days, and women’s perfume is no different. Maison Louis Marie proudly announces that their fragrance oil is free from 50 known harmful ingredients, including sulfates and parabens. This soft earthy scent features sandalwood, vetiver, and amber wood. You can find it online at Sephora and Amazon.
Just because you want a modern scent doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate a hint of what’s made classic perfumes for women so popular. Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her is the perfect example of this. This floral and musky scent combines cyphre with orange blossoms, vanilla, amber, musk, and woods. Get this elegant scent from Nordstrom, Sephora or Amazon!
It’s date night, and you want to wear the best perfume for women that’s intoxicating yet delicate. Chanel’s Chance Eau Tendre is a fruity and floral combination that highlights green grapefruit and pairs it with jasmine and teakwood for a truly unique scent. Pick up this effortless scent from Sephora, Nordstrom or Chanel!
Some perfumes for women transport you to a specific place in time, and if this is your goal, Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s Aqua Vitae is perfect for you. This fragrance blends mandarin with guaiac wood along with vanilla and tonka beans for a scent that feels perfect for your next vacation. Get this luxurious vacation scent from Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom or Amazon!
Some women prefer a lively scent that brings excitement with every whiff. Chloe’s Nomade is the best perfume for women who love bolder scents. This floral fragrance features freesia, mirabelle plum, and oakmoss for a warm floral scent you can wear year-round. Pick up this elegant bottle from Sephora, Nordstrom or Amazon!
No one wants to walk into a room and find that everyone else is wearing the same thing. This is just as true for women’s fragrance as it is for clothing. If you want to stand out from the crowd, Parfums de Marly’s Delina Exclusif features a unique bottle that encapsulates the freshest and most mysterious fragrance. The oriental scent includes lychee, pear, and apricot with balancing notes such as Turkish rose, vanilla, amber, and wood. Grab this exclusive scent from Nordstrom or Amazon!
Some of the best fragrances for women are designed for epic vacations. And Aerin’s Mediterranean Honeysuckle will transport you to a Greek paradise. This rich floral fragrance is balanced with fruity notes. Honeysuckle and grapefruit combine with additional notes, such as mandarin oil, lily of the valley, and gardenia. Find it online at Sephora, Nordstrom or Amazon!
Sometimes there can be a fine line between bold and overwhelming, but Trish McEvoy’s No. 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk strikes that perfect balance. Bold blackberry, plum, and mandarin oil are combined with vanilla, velvet musk, and cashmere woods for a playful fragrance that delights and elicits excitement. It’s available for purchase at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Amazon.
Cartier is another one of those impressive brands known for creating the best perfumes for women that stand the test of time. This soft floral musky scent is designed to linger as gardenia is combined with musk to create the ultimate fragrance that no one can forget. You can get your hands on this luxurious scent online at Nordstrom or Amazon.
Imagine wearing a women’s perfume that perfectly encapsulates your life goals. Creed’s Aventus for Her is meant to represent women breaking through barriers like glass ceilings. This fruit-infused fragrance features Egyptian green apple, sweet peach, and pink berries with bergamot, Bulgarian and Turkish rose, cassis, ylang-ylang, and lilac. It’s available online at Nordstrom.
Nothing says luxury like an iconic bauble in an orange box. Hermès has been a leader in luxury goods across handbags, scarves, and even fragrances. The Eau des Merveilles Elixir des Merveilles fragrance is a sensual and heady perfume with amber as the prioritized top note. You can grab it online at Nordstrom or Amazon.
We round out our list of the best perfumes for women with a classic floral from a brand that’s always been at the top of the list for must-have fragrances. Chanel’s Gabrielle is a bold yet not overwhelming floral scent that combines jasmine, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and Grasse tuberose into one fragrance. Find this radiant and purely feminine scent at Sephora, Nordstrom and Chanel!
Photos via Sephora, Nordstrom