Floral perfumes aren't for everyone—I get it. But I want you to hear me out for just one minute, because as a beauty editor of nearly a decade, I can tell you for certain that floral perfumes have an unduly bad reputation. In fact, every floral perfume hater that I've met has got it all wrong. The truth is, the best perfumes in existence are mostly floral blends.
When you hear the terms 'floral perfume' or 'floral fragrance', I want you to rid your mind of any negative connotations. Forget the strong, powdered roses and powerful, heady championing of lily of the valley and instead think about burying your nose into a crisp bouquet of crunchy greens and delicate florals. Yep, floral perfumes in 2023 are totally wearable—they're fresh fragrances that please every nose. Oh, and they're long-lasting, too.
And as somebody who typically leans towards musky, skin-like scents, even I appreciate the beauty of a great floral. You see, having done this job for many, many years, I'm now somewhat of a perfume aficionado. I refuse to wear any perfume that doesn't earn me a compliment on first wear and it has to be unique enough to pique interest—and there are only 14 predominantly floral perfumes (of the hundreds that I've tried over the years) that fulfil my brief. So trust me when I say, these are the 14 best floral perfumes in existence (even the most avid of floral-fragrance haters will like something on this list).
1. Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle
Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle Eau de Parfum
This perfume is, without doubt, one of the most coveted in my entire collection. It is the perfume equivalent of a freshly-pressed white cotton shirt and jeans outfit. It's fresh, laid-back and exceptionally elegant. Like walking past a shrub of fragrant honeysuckle in the Mediterranean sunshine—it's a light, delicate floral that oozes sunshine and joy.
2. Byredo Rose of No Man's Land
Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Eau de Parfum
I might have dubbed this rose perfume 'traditional' but I say that in a modern way. It's not powdery or heady in any way, shape or form. It's traditional in the sense that it is, clearly, a rose-based scent upon first sniff, but it's also fresh, sense-clearing and a little bit fizzy on the nose.
3. Chloé Naturelle
Chloé Eau de Parfum Naturelle
Chloé perfumes are some of my favourite out there. The thing which sets them apart from others is their distinct uniqueness—they're strong and long-lasting in the sort of way that would have people chasing you down the street asking after them. And of all the Chloé perfumes, Naturelle is, I believe, the most endearing. Although a rose-based scent, it smells less like the powdered petals and much more like the green, crunchy stems. With an added hit of neroli, it's airy and breezy in a spring-time sort of way, while the woody base notes are what keeps it lingering on the skin for hours upon hours without fading.
4. Diptyque Fleur de Peau
Diptyque Fleur de Peau Eau de Parfum
Diptyque's Fleur de Peau champions the powdery, unique scent of iris. If you've never smelled iris before, you might consider it a Marmite sort of note—while some love it, other's hate it. Personally, iris is probably my favourite fragrance note. It's powdery, for sure, but it possesses a soapiness that makes it uniquely distinguishable from other floral scents. With added musk and ambrette, Fleur de Peau becomes a skin-like floral that has everyone asking after it.
5. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia
Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Parfum
Forget everything you think you know about floral perfumes being 'delicate' and 'pretty', this perfume packs a sweet, fruity punch and has a hardness to its dry down that puts it on a different playing field entirely. What's so perfect about Flora Gorgeous Gardenia is that although it's unlike other floral perfumes out there, it remains indisputably crowd-pleasing. In fact, I'm yet to come across a soul who doesn't see its appeal.
6. Mon Guerlain
Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum
For those who have a more mature taste in floral fragrances, Mon Guerlain will likely be for you. It has a classic intensity to it which makes the perfume impossible to ignore. Whereas some floral perfumes dance delicately through the air, Mon Guerlain wafts through with a sense of purpose and pride. It's floral, a little bit powdery and also truly intense. Its power is unquestionably one of the reasons it's one of the most popular perfumes around.
7. Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Pivione
Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Pivione Eau de Toilette Intense
L'Eau D'Issey is a fragrance that has become adored all over the world for its water-like freshness. Not in any way salty or marine, it is instead fresh and quenching, like a glass of ice-cold water on a sweltering day. Pivione is the latest iteration of the classic, incorporating delicately floral notes of peony and juicy berries. It is fresh, crunchy, crisp and totally mouthwatering.
8. Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves
Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves Parfum
If you're looking for an ethereal sort of wedding scent, Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves is a great place to start. The best way I can describe this scent is like burying your nose into a freshly cut wedding bouquet of velvety roses and green stems. It's fresh, lightweight and absolutely beautiful.