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.
You can endlessly spray yourself at perfume counters, but it’s more likely to leave you with a headache rather than your ultimate scent. So how do you discover the scent that almost seems like its 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 before you even start misting fragrances around the room, take time to reflect on the things you enjoy. What have you smelled in the past and loved? What memories resonate with particular aromas?
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.
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. Here’s what your go-to fragrance says about your personality.
And don’t worry about being without your favourite fragrance when you’re off on your travels, these best travel fragrance kits will see you through.
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.
Consider the hard work done for you.
This is the anti-floral scent. Not because it isn't inspired by flowers, but because the fragrance comes from the stem, soil and earth that create the fragrance. This is a fresh, spring day in a bottle. Divine.
Top notes: Mandarin leaves, wild freesia greens and hyacinth
Middle notes: Muguet flower stalk, rose centifolia stems and jasmine bud
Base notes: White cedar, vetiver, ambrox and musk
This is a floral explosion. Rather than your typical top, middle and base notes, this fragrance opens all at once with three punchy, highly-concentrated flowery notes: jasmine bud extract, tuberose and Rangoon Creeper. From the moment you spray, you're hit with the strength of these three flowers and even though it's an EDT it lasts really well.
Inspired by a lost garden in the middle of the water city, Venice, this fragrance encompasses everything the perfumer smelt as she stepped through the gate into the garden. So much of what makes this fragrance beautiful is its story, but the scent itself is just as enthralling. It's white floral, meets damp woodiness.
Top notes: Madonna lily
Middle note: Pittosporum
Base note: Magnolia
Everyone’s favourite Instabrand Glossier made much noise when it announced a fragrance was coming. We waited with anticipation and when we finally got our hands on this, we fell-in-love. On me, the juice smells soapy clean and warm thanks to the ambrette, and on a colleague it was the perfect blend of musky and powdery with sparkling pink pepper.
Whilst it may be hard to pin down exactly how this smells, there’s no doubt that the intoxicating quality will leave you smelling great and everyone asking what you’re wearing.
Top notes: Pink Pepper, Iris Root
Base notes: Musk, Ambrox and Ambrette
Admittedly fruity fragrances have somewhat of a bad rep, but Louis Vuitton has come up trumps with, in our humble opinion, the most sophisticated way to wear fruit in a scent. It’s a real triumph; from the first spritz where zesty orange peel comes to life, followed by the-right-side-of-creamy magnolia and that satisfying lift that you can expect from Iso E Super.
Le Jour Se Léve not only smells expensive but it looks and feels it too. This is, quite possibly, the best orange perfume ever.
Top notes: Mandarin, Blackcurrant, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle notes: Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac
Base notes: Iso E Super, Vanilla, White Musk
For those that like their florals (Vanilla Orchid and Jasmine) with a sweet edge (Black Plum Nectar), Jimmy Choo Fever is the perfect signature scent.
Top notes: Black Plum Nectar, Lychee, Grapefruit
Middle notes: Vanilla Orchid, Jasmine
Base notes: Tonka Bean, Benzoin, Sandalwood
You’ve probably heard about this scent already and everything is true, it’s rather fabulous. With notes of Orris Root (think grown up and super posh Parma Violets), creamy but bitter almond and smooth leather this is a real head turner.
Top notes: Clary Sage, Lavender
Middle notes: Leather, Vanilla, Bitter Almond
Base notes: Tonka Bean, Amber
Full of fresh florals notes in full bloom but a classic Aquatic scent at the heart.
Top notes: Rose,
Middle notes: Violet, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Patchouli, Musk
Freshly plucked buds of Jasmine float above warm, rich and spicy notes of benzoin, Jo Malone’s Jasmine Sambac and Marigold is s seductive scent with seriously impressive silage.
Top notes: Jasmine
Middle notes: Vanilla
Base notes: Amber, Benzoin
One of three new launches from the house of Chanel. Paris Venise was inspired by the seaside town in which was home to the first Chanel couture house. The warmth and sensuality of tonka bean and vanilla with a fresh burst of neroli makes Paris Venise a modern take on the classic Oriental fragrance and perfect for the warmer months.
Top notes: Citrus, Neroli.
Middle notes: Red Berry, Iris, Geranium
Base notes: Cedar, Amber
A sexy fragrance packed full of personality. The creaminess of almonds are given a injection of energy with the addition of orange blossom, which atop a base of patchouli and tonka bean feels fresh. A real game-changer.
Top notes: Mandarin, pear and pistachio
Orange blossom, magnolia and almond
Patchouli, cashmeran, tonka bean, almond milk
This is pretty much Scandinavian style, bottled. It's initially quite sheer, but once it settles smells more of cedar than before, giving you a nice kick of scent when you least expect it.
Top note: Rose
Middle notes: Virginian cedar
Base notes: Musk, Hatian vetiver
Think of this as the subtle sister of cult classic, Neroli Portofino. The androgynous fragrance is said to have been inspired by the endless skies of the Italian Riviera, but we mainly noticed the delicious aromas of Amber and citrus fruits.
Top note: Citrus
Middle note: Neroli
Base note: Amber
Be transported to the depths of an orange grove in Morocco with this rich citrus scent, crafted by perfumer Marie Salamagne. Lifted from her travel experiences and bottled in sleek black glass, take a whiff, close your eyes and you’ll be somewhere sunnier.
Top note: Orange blossom and White Tea
Middle notes: Musk and Ambrox Overdose
Base notes: Tonka Bean
Joining the collection of My Burberry fragrances is the latest, Black - floral oriental reinterpretation of the original.
Top note: jasmine
Middle notes: rose and peach
Base notes: patchouli and amber stick
This light and floral fragrance is the perfect sweet addition to your fragrance library.
Top notes: Strawberry, grapefruit and violet leaf
Middle notes: Violet, gardenia and jasmine
Base notes: Musk, white woods and vanilla
This citrus aromatic fragrance is so fresh and clean, it can be worn by both men and women. It's quite sheer but lingers on your skin to just give a hint of orange blossoms - perfect for entry-level.
Top notes: Orange blossom and bitter orange
Middle note: Juniper berries
Base notes: Patchouli and angelica
Crafted by Amanda Dicker, founder of The Chapel hairdressing salons, this delicate scent brings to mind a sunny day lounging in a flowery back garden. Drawing on the rich scent of wild roses, this travel-sized roll on is the perfect pick me up before dashing off on a romantic date.
Top notes: Lavender, berries
Middle notes: tuberose, patchouli leaves
Base note: vanilla
Escape to the sun-drenched, azure Mediterranean with this summer perfume by AERIN Beauty. Sweet honeysuckle and sparkling grapefruit are accompanied by warm Italian bergamot and an intoxicating sweet floral bouquet, to awaken all of your senses. It's like every smell of summer in one bottle.
Top notes: Sweet honeysuckle, sparkling grapefruit, Italian bergamot
Middle notes: Mandarin oil, lily of the valley, gardenia,
Base note: Jasmine sambac absolute
This scent is composed of two main notes, the synthetic molecules of tuberose and sandalwood, giving it a floral woody aroma - great for anyone who likes light and airy fragrances that linger.
Top notes: tomato leaf, violet leaf and mandarin
Middle notes: frangipani, tuberose, violet
Base notes: musk, cedar, sandalwood