I never considered myself a herby perfume lover—but then I tried these fresh scents

Who knew coriander could make such an epic signature scent?

A girl asleep in long grass
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I have at least 100 perfumes currently sat in my beauty cupboard. Filled with the world's most popular scents, niche perfumes and everything in between. I like to flit between floral perfumes, marine perfumes and woody perfumes, but lately, one new category of fragrance has caught my attention and I have found myself reaching for more than ever before—herby perfumes. 

Similarly to green perfumes, herby perfumes have that outdoorsy, earthy vibe, but uniquely, they also possess something fresh and dazzling, championing notes of basil, coriander, rosemary and sage. 

Herby perfumes

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Far more elegant than experimenting with your herb rack, these perfumes are expertly blended to create some of the most fresh, elevated and wearable (but unique) fragrances out there. 

Here are 11 herby fragrances I can guarantee you'll fall head over heels for.

1. D.S. & DURGA Coriander Eau de Parfum

D.S. & Durga Coriander Eau de Parfum Herby perfumes

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D.S. & Durga Coriander

Best aromatic herb perfume


Key notes: Coriander, geranium, clove stem, clary sage, musk, mace

Coriander might be the marmite of herbs, but this scent certainly isn't. The initial burst is where the herby notes dazzle, making it fairly strong on the opening. It settles to a lovely fresh green scent, which is why it works so well in the the herbal and green categories. This is such a unique perfume without being too unique that it's difficult to wear for many. 

Although it works year-round, it's a scent that I love to get out in spring/summer. 

2.  Apothecary Breathe Eau de Parfum

Apothecary Breathe Eau de Parfum

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Apothecary Breathe Eau de Parfum

Best wellness herb perfume


Key note: Eucalyptus, bergamot, thyme

If you use scent for relaxing and grounding, you're in luck with this perfume. While it may not solve all of your worries, the combination of eucalyptus, bergamot and thyme sure will help you forget some of them for a short while; enough to allow a few moments of relaxation.  It also lasts fantastically well for the price. A real winner. 

3. Byredo De Los Santos

Byredo De Los Santos

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Byredo De Los Santos

Best autumn/winter herby perfume


Key notes: Clary sage, mirabelle, orris, ambroxan, musks

This opens with a real herbaceous smell (slightly medicinal even) but settles to a deep, woody scent. This is definitely one for those who like the herbs to linger though, it's certainly not subtle. Not one to buy without testing it and giving it time to dry down and figure out whether you like the wear on you. Executive Beauty Editor, Shannon Lawlor considers it to be one of her most complimented perfumes: "Every time I wear De Los Santos, someone wants a spritz for themselves. It's deep and enticing, but with a herbal freshness that keeps it away from any associations of headiness. It's one of those perfumes people just gravitate towards."

4. Gabar No.1 Float Eau de Parfum

Gabar No.1 Float Eau de Parfum Herby perfumes

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Gabar No.1 Float Eau de Parfum

Best niche herby perfume


Key notes: Lemongrass, basil, jasmine, bergamot, violet leaf, gardenia, tobacco absolute

With Gabar, you're not just getting one of the best herby scents out there, you're getting true craftsmanship. I'm typically not a lemongrass person, I find it incredibly overpowering, but here, it totally works. The jasmine comes though strong on the opener for me, followed by the herby freshness. The lasting scent is richer, bolder and the herbs fizzle out leaving a lingering richness. Don't judge this scent solely on its opener, give it time to develop on the skin. 

5. Ted Baker Original Skinwear Eau De Toilette

Ted Baker Original Skinwear Eau De Toilette

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Ted Baker Original Skinwear Eau De Toilette

Best clean-smelling herby perfume


Key notes: Rosemary, geranium, vetiver, patchouli, bergamot, lime

Far different than the others in the list but well worth a mention. Not only is this one of the more affordable on the list, it's also one of the more wearable. It's a classic clean-smelling, skin scent that combines notes like geranium, vetiver and lime with aromatic rosemary. 

6. Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford Eau de Parfum

Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford Eau de Parfum - Herby perfumes

(Image credit: Ruth Mastenbroek)

Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford Eau de Parfum

Best complex herby perfume


Key notes: Basil, galbanum, clary sage, rosemary, lavender, vanilla, vetiver, oud

This was created to evoke a quintessential British elegance but a unique twist. That uniqueness comes from a herby heart, which is mellowed by the vanilla and drying down with the punchy oud coming through. Named Oxford as it inspires that feeling of discovery, capturing the essence of this scent perfectly. It's like wandering the history-filled streets with the fresh scent of herbs in the beautiful English outdoors. 

7. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Eau de Parfum

Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Aqua Media Cologne forte

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte Eau de Parfum

Best citrus herby perfume


Key notes: sweet fennel, cirtus, bergamot, woody musk

Aqua Media Cologne Forte  takes freshness to a while new level. Maison Francis Kurkdjian's obviously explains it best: "It smells like happiness and caring, vitality and energy." And that's exactly it. It's an ideal summery scent capturing in the joy we all feel after longing for warmer days and outdoor plans for so many months. It's fresh and uplifting and the inclusion of fennel giving it its herbaceous element.  

8. Hermès H24 Herbes Vives Eau de Parfum

Hermès H24 Herbes Vives Eau de Parfum

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Hermès H24 Herbes Vives Eau de Parfum

Best masc herby fragrance


Key notes: Herbs, pear, Physcool

The third instalment in the Hermès H24 line, Herbes Vives is an impressively modern take on botanical scents. Perfumer Christine Nagel was inspired by the magic that comes after it rains; when the smells of the herbs come to life. What makes this fragrance really special is that it combines herby notes (we don't get specifics, think of it more as a collection of fresh herbs versus a specific one) with Physcool, a synthetic molecule mimicking long-lasting freshness (think: mint). 

Although it's traditionally more masculine, it's definitely one to be worn by anyone, and I think makes an excellent layering scent. Oh, and the mint green bottle is absolutely beautiful.

9. Jo Loves Green Orange & Coriander

Jo Loves Green Orange & Coriander

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Jo Loves Green Orange & Coriander

Best developing herby perfume


Key notes: Black pepper, green orange, coriander seeds, oakmoss

Upon initial spritz, this scent immediately reminds me of travelling. Walking along streets filled with so many smells and colours your brain can't take it all in quick enough. It's definitely cirtusy at first, with the coriander being really noticeable. 

It dries down to a much more familiar scent, one of a lavish but comfy hotel lobby. This is a scent that has really, really grown on me the more I've worn it. 

10. EAU.MG Diaphanous Delight

EAU.MG Diaphanous Delight

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EAU.MG Diaphanous Delight

Best sweet herby perfume


Key notes: Lychee. basil, sage, rose, tea flowers, oakmoss, musk

To me, this has a boozy opening, perhaps it's the lychee because I do love a lychee martini. It's sweet and playful without being cloying. That's all thanks to those humble herbs balancing out the sweetness from the floral notes. The base layer of oakmoss and musk coming through as the fragrance dries down and wears throughout the day. This one is ideal for spring/summer.  

11. Frederic Malle Synthetic Nature

Frederic Malle Synthetic Nature

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Frederic Malle Synthetic Nature

Best balanced herby perfume


Key notes: Basil, jasmine, lily of the valley, galbanum, spiced jasmine

You might know this fragrance as Synthetic Jungle, recently renamed Synthetic Nature. Same formula, new name. It's a punchy scent without being overpowering, and the notes balance perfectly together. Basil is the herby star here, pairing well with lily of the valley and jasmine. 

It's one of freelance beauty editor, Lucy Abbersteen's favourites: "With basil, galbanum, jasmine and patchouli, it's punchy, fresh, herby and a little floral all at once—but perfectly balanced. I can't think of another scent quite like it."

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.