N°5 Eau de Parfum Spray by Chanel

N°5 Eau de Parfum Spray by Chanel (Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash)

First impressions are everything, and how you smell might be a bigger part of the picture than you think. So why not smell a little…expensive? And by “expensive,” we don’t mean just in price. Some of the most sophisticated-smelling perfumes in the world aren’t necessarily the priciest. Perfumes smell different to everyone and even change according to an individual’s skin pH and body chemistry once applied. Some of the best luxury perfumes come from well-known designers and fashion houses that have been around for decades, but there are also some decadent formulas from lesser-known perfumers that could turn out to be your new favorite fragrance. 

Personal scent products go back as far as the Ancient Egyptians, who used scented oils, but the Ancient Greeks are credited with the first liquid perfume, which the Arabs then refined with distillation processes. Researchers from the University of Cordoba in Spain analyzed a vial of perfume from the Roman Empire that is estimated to be 2,000 years old. The vial was found to contain a combination of vegetable oil and an essence of patchouli, a plant which is still widely used in modern perfume. However advanced production technology has become, perfume is still a personal luxury that allows the wearer to express their own style.

Our sense of smell has a significant impact on our brains. Certain smells can bring back memories from childhood or evoke certain feelings and emotions. Some people may even be able to recognize scents they haven’t smelled in years. A survey conducted by OnePoll finds that 66 percent of 2,000 Americans surveyed say they can recognize the unique smell of their own home, and often find themselves missing those particular scents. This means the scent you choose as your perfume may have more of an influence on the memories you make or the people you meet than you think!

Ready to find your signature scent? StudyFinds researched the best luxury perfumes on the market, ranging from feminine florals to sweetness and spice. Though these are definitely not budget picks, the pricing across this list still has a wide range to choose from. Let us know which one piques your interest in the comments below!

Perfume bottle in front of a sunset
Perfume bottle in front of a sunset (Photo by STEKLO on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Luxury Perfumes, According to Experts

 

1. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum

Baccarat Rouge 540 is a collaboration between famous crystal manufacturer Baccarat and perfumer Francis Kurkdjian that embodies sophistication. The scent is known for having layers of complexity that still wear differently on everyone depending on their body chemistry. “Baccarat Rouge, blended by iconic perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, has an unabashed presence and impressive staying power,” writes InStyle. “Although many fragrance houses describe their perfumes as unique, this one truly is. It’s a neither here nor there scent, as it doesn’t truly fit squarely in one fragrance family, but somehow touches them as the layers unfold with wear.” 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum

This is a captivating scent, with notes of saffron, cedar, jasmine, and spicy fir. The formula contains the compound Ambroxan, which emulates the woody notes of amber. “Created for Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s 250th anniversary, Baccarat Rouge 540 is certainly a fragrance worth celebrating,” says Vogue. “As commerce writer Alexis Bennett wrote in her review of the eau de parfum, following a memorable compliment on the scent from Rihanna herself, 540 always seems to capture people’s attention, without being overbearing.” 

“Quintessentially French in attitude and opulence, Baccarat Rouge 540 is the fragrant hills of Provence and la vie en rose of Neuilly-sur-Seine,” writes Luxe Digital. “Providing the wearer with a veil of intrigue, this enticing scent oozes sensual, spicy notes like saffron, jasmine, cedarwood, and fir resin, set on a landscape of toasty amber.”

2. Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Black Orchid is another powerful fragrance for those who like darker, bolder scents that are still feminine. The main scent notes are black orchid, black truffle, and patchouli. “This sexy, warm floral fragrance has notes of black orchid, ylang-ylang, bitter orange, effervescent bergamot, black truffle, rum-soaked plum, and woody patchouli,” describes Veranda. “The beautiful bottle is inspired by 1920s and 1930s architecture and the ‘deepest black, black orchids, according to Tom Ford.”

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum

The bottle itself was designed to be a luxury tabletop or dresser decoration as well, modeled after elegant architecture. “Tom Ford is arguably more well-known for its extensive collection of perfumes and lipsticks now than it is for fashion,” says Who What Wear. “In fact, the designer brand is regarded as one of, if not the, best perfume brands out there—the scents are bold, unique, and always incredibly luxurious. Black Orchid is one of the stars of the collection—it’s warm, spicy, earthy, woody, and so addictive.”

“Tom Ford’s Black Orchid Eau de Parfum will transport you to a realm of all things elegant and opulent,” writes Pink Villa. “You’ll experience layers of extravagance with every spritz, as aphrodisiacal black truffle and narcotic ylang ylang playfully mingle with bergamot and bitter orange. The middle notes reveal the hero ingredient – tantalizing black orchid extract with rum-soaked black plum, while woody patchouli and creamy vanilla will enrobe you in a decadent warmth.”

3. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Le Labo’s Santal 33 is a highly sought after perfume on social media known for its unique and addicting scent that works on both genders. The formula is meant to evoke the feeling of sensuality and freedom. This intoxicating unisex fragrance has woodsy, smoky notes of Australian sandalwood, papyrus and cedarwood,” says Veranda. “The complex perfume is rounded out with sensual cardamom, iris, violet, amber, leather and musk.”

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum
Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

A bottle of this perfume will cost you a pretty penny, but samples are your best friend before making the splurge. Most reviewers have yet to find someone who doesn’t love this scent. “When I received this perfume, I immediately posted it on my Instagram to brag about my connections,” writes a reviewer at Elle. “No fewer than four so-called ‘friends’ asked if they could have it. As if. That being said, if you don’t know what to buy for someone, I have yet to meet a human being who doesn’t like Santal 33.”

“And while it has dropped off radars in recent years, I want to include it on this list because it is, still to this day, one of the most wonderful works of perfumery,” writes Marie Claire UK. “Its fresh but woody aroma is easily one of the most crowd-pleasing scents in existence, and those who aren’t familiar with Santal 33 should be. So please, if this is the first time you’ve ever heard about it, try to get your hands on a sample or blotter.”

4. Chanel N°5 Eau De Parfum

Chanel No.5 is one of the most iconic fragrances to exist, in a simple timeless bottle that has remained largely unchanged since its creation in 1921. The fragrance itself is an ode to femininity, with its clean bouquet of delicate florals. “Chanel N°5 Eau De Parfum is a floral aldehyde fragrance for women by Chanel, a French luxury fashion house founded in 1910,” writes Yahoo Finance. “Jacques Polge created Chanel N°5 Eau De Parfum in 1986 as another interpretation of the original fragrance, Chanel N°5 Parfum, launched in 1921.”

Chanel N°5 Eau De Parfum
Chanel N°5 Eau De Parfum

Chanel No. 5 can also be described as more of an abstract scent, with its use of aldehydes creating complex layers of florals with touches of vanilla and bourbon. “Famously worn by Marilyn Monroe (in fact, the only thing she wore to bed) and immortalized by pop artist Andy Warhol, Chanel No°5 is a total classic, and has been since it was created over a century ago,” says InStyle. “The complex and robust blend of notes features sparkling aldehydes, powdery iris, and warm sandalwood and vanilla that remain as relevant today as they did in the 1920s.”

“A year prior, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was introduced to Russian-born French perfumer Ernest Beaux in Cannes,” writes Vogue. “He shared a series of his favorite creations, the fifth of which Chanel selected. Initially an ultra-exclusive Christmas gift reserved for 100 of Chanel’s best clients, the scent would go on to become the most famous fragrance in the world.”

5. Yves Saint Laurent Libre

YSL Libre is both feminine and bold, and is meant to be an inspiring scent that embodies the concept of freedom and a feeling of confidence. “YSL Libre is one of those scents that have timeless appeal, meaning it serves as a thoughtful addition to any fragrance collection,” writes Vogue. “It’s no surprise the scent quickly became a hit. Originally launched in 2019, Libre was perfected by master perfumers Anne Flipo and Carlos Benaïm, who sought to put a modern, feminine twist on the fougère fragrance family.”

Yves Saint Laurent Libre
Yves Saint Laurent Libre

The formula combines lavender essence from France with Moroccan orange blossom and notes of musk and vanilla. The bottle comes in a sleek and sophisticated design, with gold chain detailing and a gold YSL logo. “Libre Eau de Parfum is a women’s fragrance from Yves Saint Laurent, a French luxury fashion house,” explains Yahoo Finance

“Living true to its name, YSL Libre is freedom and femininity bottled,” writes Luxe Digital. “Expect white florals like jasmine and orange blossom dancing through lavender, a sprinkling of toasted sugar, and sharp blackcurrant to enliven the olfactories this refined aroma demands respect but doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

6. Clive Christian No. 1 Feminine

If you’re looking to gift a perfume, Clive Chrsitian’s No. 1 is a great choice. Everything about this perfume says luxury, even down to the fragrance ingredients and gold colored bottle decorated with diamond. “If you’re a fan of complex fruity scents, this fragrance from Clive Christian opens with a burst of plum, bergamot, and white peach,” describes Harper’s Bazaar.

Clive Christian No. 1 Feminine
Clive Christian No. 1 Feminine

The scent itself is a heady mix of fruity scents like apricot, peach, and plum, combined with notes of spicy paprika and ylang-ylang. “An exquisite and complex fragrance in which a smooth blend of floral-powdery notes is complemented with juicy fruits and warm spices and enveloped in lingering thick, vanilla-ambery accord,” writes Vent Venir.

“Clive Christian’s No. 1 Imperial Majesty, created in 2006 and issued in a limited-edition run (as in, 10 bottles) of diamond-studded Baccarat crystal flacons, was named the World’s Most Expensive Perfume by the Guinness Book of World Records,” writes Town & Country. “Prepare to be bowled over by a complex composition of floral amber, fruity mirabelle plum, and sensual musks.”

7. Love, Don’t Be Shy by Kilian Paris

This fragrance was designed to be addicting, embodying the sweet and intoxicating feeling of falling in love. The perfect summer evening perfume, this sweet but not syrupy scent highlights notes of luscious marshmallow and vanilla absolute,” writes Byrdie. “Topped off with orange blossom, it feels warm and inviting. In case you need more convincing, Rihanna is a fan—mic drop.”

Love, Don't Be Shy by Kilian Paris
Love, Don’t Be Shy by Kilian Paris

Love, Don’t Be Shy is a gourmand floral perfume that starts with gentle florals laced with sugary sweetness and undertones of amber for sensuality. “With notes of orange blossom, vanilla, marshmallow, rose and honeysuckle, this perfume is ideal for those who love wearing warm florals,” writes Veranda. “The sweet scent is tempered with a base note of sensual amber, making it more complex than other gourmand-leaning perfumes. We also love that the bottle is refillable and has minimal packaging, so it helps reduce environmental waste.”

“I was trying to describe this scent in a recent video I made, and there were two things that immediately came to mind: a gorgeous bouquet, and a decadent slice of cake,” explains luxury lifestyle blogger Lindsay Silberman. “It’s incredibly rich-smelling with a touch of sweetness, and if I passed by someone on the street who was wearing it, I would definitely stop them to ask what fragrance they had on.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendation.

About Elsa Lee

Elsa is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and marketer based out of the Los Angeles area. She has been writing for 7 years.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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11 Comments

  1. Salome says:

    Chanel no 5 is my favorite. It smells like heaven. It is definitely one of those parfume you smell the whole day. This is my first choice.

    1. Paula Da Silva says:

      This is my first choice. I love Chanel no 5.❤️

  2. Salwa zakaria says:

    Paris je l ‘aime beaucoup

  3. Nandojz says:

    For men, it’s Chanel de Bleu, perfume

  4. Paula Da Silva says:

    Chanel no 5 is my first choice. It is the epitome of feminism.
    I feel gorgeous when I wear it.

  5. Yvonne says:

    Forget Chanel 5. Chanel 22 is to die for!

  6. Danielle Watson says:

    Hypnotic Poison by Dior.
    CoCo Chanel,
    Max Mara,
    Nocturnes by Caron.

  7. Gayle says:

    Chanel Chance eau de parfum

  8. Nancy says:

    I am very surprised that Shalimar by Guerlain, the French Perfumery, did not make this list. It is a classic, subtlety sexy scent that has an almost cult following since it was created in 1925, I believe.

  9. Amanda Jepsen says:

    My Perfume CHANEL “MADEMOISELLE “ is just Amazing! I get such a lot of comments ! telling me how wonderful my perfume is! I can’t really smell it now!
    I love it 🤩

    1. Reka says:

      Chanel Mademoiselle is beautiful!