Find your new signature scent with the very best perfume for women

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • It's easy to find the one with our guide to the best perfume on the market right now

    With millions of perfumes to choose from it can be a daunting, almost impossible, task to find the best perfume for women – let alone the ‘one’ you’ll use as your signature scent.

    Whether you’re looking for a new scent, or drawing inspiration from the most popular perfume on the market to choose your signature, here are all the best perfumes for women you need to know about in 2021.

    How to choose a new scent

    You can endlessly spray yourself at perfume counters, but it’s more likely to leave you with a headache rather than your new signature scent. So how do you discover the scent that almost seems like it’s been made for you?

    ‘You should always be looking for the notes that resonate with you, and only you’, says fragrance supremo, and founder of the Fragrance Society, Lorna McKay.

    ‘For instance, if you enjoy the smell of freshly cut flowers, you should look for notes of white flowers. If you prefer something warm, that almost hugs you, try something with amber.’

    So whether you’re a jasmine fragrance fanatic, a musk perfumes aficionado, or like a fragrance so light it’s barely even detectable, take stock of what you enjoy. What have you smelled in the past and loved? What memories resonate with particular aromas? All these things will help you choose a signature scent or wedding day perfume.

    Once you’ve got that down, then you can spray – but take your time. Don’t spray several fragrances within close distance to each other. Scents have the ability to travel and so will mix together, resulting in an aroma that’s not even close to what you’ll take away when you spray your fragrance on its own. Fragrance combining is a whole different ball game altogether.

    Essentially, you have to take your time before heading to a different fragrance counter. But perfume is all about appreciation. After all, there’s a few surprising facts about perfume and the ingredients contained in them that everyone should know, including how to make perfume last longer.

    Once you think you’ve found the one, spray it on a blotter. If it’s still appealing, spray it on your skin. If it’s still appealing (and not just something that will do), you’ve found the one. It might seem like a long process, but it’s worth it.

    And don’t worry about being without your favourite fragrance when you’re off on your travels, the best travel fragrance kits will see you through.

    The best perfume for women in 2021

    To get you started, we’ve pulled together the best perfume for women on the market right now, along with everything you need to know about them. From the go-to Bvlgari to super cool Byredo, as well as Aesop (you’re probably obsessed with their hand wash) and one of the most popular perfume brands, Jo Malone London, let us help you find a new scent the year ahead. And when you’re done here, read how perfume became the soundtrack to one editor’s lockdown.

    Consider the hard work done for you.

    Reading now

    Popular beauty stories