We did the research—these were the 14 most popular perfumes of 2023

According to retailers, social media, Google search and, well, our expertise

Top of a white perfume bottle, with its lid off, shot from above on a stone background
(Image credit: Getty Images/FabrikaCr)

The best perfume can be one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult) beauty products to buy. Given it’s such a subjective, personal experience, it’s hard to tell from just descriptions alone. And with the most expensive perfumes often taking top spot, it's no cheap feat finding your scent soul mate. That’s often where we as beauty editors come in to help you find your signature scent. Expert opinion aside, the other indicator of how great a perfume is, is the sales and search stats—the figures don’t lie. 

So, in a bid to find the most popular perfumes of 2023, we did some digging. We asked some of the biggest retailers out there to give us the intel on what perfumes are selling best for them. We have also scoured social media sites and Google reports to see what the most searched-for fragrances have been. Oh, and now we have an entire year's worth of fragrance content on site at Marie Claire UK that gives us a clear insight into the exact perfumes people really love. The result? A definitive lift of the most popular perfumes of the year.

The results were surprising in some elements and totally predictable in others, but it’s given us plenty of scents to bookmark to treat ourselves to this year.  First, let’s look at some of the most stand-out trends thanks to Lookfantastic’s expert data. Then, read all of our tips on how to apply perfume and make it last longer. 

The biggest perfume trends of 2023

Unisex fragrance

2023 was the year we finally stopped being so hung up on gendered fragrances. Lookfantastic found that, of its best-selling fragrances, the top three were 'unisex'. With Tom Ford and YSL taking top spot, “both fragrances offer a more distinctively unisex appeal, suggesting that less stereotypically male versus female fragrances are rising in popularity and are stepping into the mainstream,” explains Lillie Ellis, director for fragrance at Lookfantastic.  

Lillie explains that this is also the case with Hermès, with its most popular fragrance, Terre d'Hermès Eau de Toilette.

Hair perfume 

Sure, hair perfume is nothing massively new but the sector sure is growing—and fast. Lillie reports a 25% search increase on Lookfantastic and 33% search impressions increase for the product type, noting Balmain Hair Silk Perfume being the most popular hair perfume onsite. It's a great way to keep your lengths smelling great without the cost of an Eau de Parfum. 

Skin scents 

For Cult Beauty, Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 was in the top five bestsellers. At Marie Claire UK, we reported on the best skin scents earlier in the year, noting their allure is all down to smelling unique on everyone. Sometimes known as pheromone perfumes due to their ability to smell like you but better, these are the perfect picks if you don't want people to know you're wearing perfume, but instead just want to smell really good. 

Vanilla notes 

When it came to popular notes, sweet and woody scents took the top spots, but it seems vanilla is closely following them. “There has been a significant increase in demand for “vanilla perfumes, with a 41% increase compared to last year”, reveals Lillie. There was a time where vanilla was reserved for adolescent scents. Nowadays, the fragrances have never been more elegant, blending notes together to give us that nod to nostalgia but with a modern edge. 

Perfume mists

Another interesting Lookfantastic insight was the rise in perfume mists, blending our love of perfume’s longevity with ease and fun. With a huge 1051% increase this year, the category has grown rapidly, most of which is down to Sol de Janeiro fragrances (more on that later). 

Mini perfume 

In a shock to no one, we’re all still obsessed with minis. The reason is twofold. The first is that during the summer months, we want to take our signature scents to the beach without taking up precious space in those tiny plastic carry-on bags. The second could be down to the cost of living. With prices going up, there’s less money to spend on things like fragrance. Yet, many of us still crave that slice of luxury. That’s where fragrance miniatures come in. Lookfantastic saw a whopping 6951% increase in searches for the term, and a 50% increase compared to last year with mini perfume and travel perfumes. 

These tiny versions are also great to have if you’re looking to sample a few new fragrances without risking a full-size expense. 

The 11 most popular perfumes 2023

1. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist

2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum

3. Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

4. Tom Ford Ombré Leather Eau de Parfum

5. Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum

6. Chanel No5 Eau de Parfum

7. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Giò Eau de Parfum

8. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

9. Hermès Terre d'Hermès Eau de Toilette 

10. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 

11. Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Eau de Parfum

12. Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum

13. Huda Beauty Kayali Vanilla 28 Eau de Parfum

14. Kilian Love Don't Be Shy Eau de Parfum

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.

With contributions from