The best perfumes for women exude elegance and sophistication, offering a harmonious blend of floral, fruity, and woody notes that linger delicately on the skin. These fragrances are captivating and versatile, suitable for both daytime wear and special occasions. Their unique and long-lasting scents leave a memorable impression, making them the perfect accessory to any outfit.
A large part of why perfume is so impactful is due to the way our brains associate scents with memory. The smell of a certain meal can take you right back to childhood, just as the whiff of a particular perfume might whisk you back to your wedding day, high school years, or to giving a loved one a hug.
Research has long explored this phenomenon, and recently, a team of scientists at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown found that this strong association has to do with the neurons in the brain. The research team focused on the primary olfactory cortex, which sits in the front of the brain. To put these olfactory neurons to the test, the team developed a custom-made puzzle filled with different odors for rats to make their way through. The rats sampled odors at four ends of the plus-shaped maze. Then, depending on the scent, they had to figure out where to find the reward. While the animals were solving the puzzle, the researchers monitored the activity of their neurons in a part of the primary olfactory cortex called the posterior piriform cortex.
Perfume Buying Guide
When choosing a perfume, it is important to consider your personal preferences. Do you like floral, fruity, or woody scents? Do you prefer light or heavy perfumes? Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, you can start shopping.
Here are some tips for buying perfume:
- Test the perfume on your skin. Perfume reacts differently to everyone’s skin chemistry, so it is important to test it on your skin before you buy it. Spray a small amount of perfume on your wrist and wait a few minutes to see how it smells.
- Consider the occasion. Are you buying perfume for everyday wear or for special occasions? If you are buying perfume for everyday wear, you may want to choose a lighter scent. If you are buying perfume for special occasions, you may want to choose a heavier scent.
- Think about your budget. Perfume can be expensive, so it is important to set a budget before you start shopping. There are many affordable perfumes available, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget and your taste.
So, whether you’re looking for a new signature scent or just to test something new, a great perfume will leave a lasting impression. From soft florals to bold spices, each scent has its own unique notes. To help narrow down your search for your next fragrance, StudyFinds searched 10 expert websites for their reviews of the best perfumes on the market. This list rounds up the most recommended scents, but if you have a favorite that we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Perfumes, According to Experts
If you’re looking for a feminine scent with floral and vanilla notes, Flowerbomb is the perfume for you. It’s sure to become an instant favorite as a classic fragrance suitable for any age. “The sugary gourmand juice has notes of vanilla, patchouli, and jasmine that are sweet, delicious, and totally timeless,” says Cosmopolitan.
“As the name suggests, this top-rated fragrance from Viktor & Rolf —which over 10,000 Nordstrom customers love—is a cult favorite thanks to its floral notes of jasmine and rose, plus scents of warm vanilla and patchouli for added depth,” adds Harper’s Bazaar.
As an added bonus, Flowerbomb is a scent that’s sure to stick with you throughout the day. “I don’t know what kind of skin-gripping formula they dreamt up, but I was pleased to see just how long the scent lingered,” comments a Who What Wear reviewer. “I spritzed it on in the morning and wore it all day at work. Even after walking out of a (particularly sweaty) Spin class post-work, I swear I was still catching a whiff of it.”
Looking for a scent that will make a statement? Look no further. “The first word that comes to mind when we think of Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium is ‘seductive,'” says CNN. “If you’re looking for a fragrance that smells like pure luxury, look no further. With notes of black coffee, white flowers and vanilla, this will be your go-to date-night scent for sure.”
“Whether you take your coffee black or with a little shot of somethin’ somethin,’ you’ll love this spicy perfume from YSL,” adds Cosmopolitan. “Developed around notes of coffee, absinthe, and orange blossom, this long-lasting fragrance is the perfect kind of indulgent and seductive for your Saturday night out.”
3. Chanel N°5
If you had to name the most iconic perfume of all time, odds are, this is the one you’d name. With a long history and a classic scent, you can’t go wrong with Chanel N°5. “Chanel N°5 is one of those iconic fragrances that every woman should try at least once, especially as reviewers continue to share stories of buying the fragrance after seeing their elders wear it growing up,” says CNN.
Chanel N°5 is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a scent that is both recognizable and unique. Though the scent is an iconic classic, it also smells a bit different on every wearer. “When applied to skin, the perfume reacts with the wearer’s body chemistry to create a highly subjective effect,” explains Byrdie. “The blend of aldehydes and florals is layered over a base of vetiver, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, and patchouli to create a complex, lasting scent that definitely leaves an impression.”
“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,” adds Vogue. “Beaux’s blend of rose, jasmine, and synthetic aldehydes, an ingredient No. 5 would popularize, remains iconic 100 years later.”
4. Gucci Bloom
While some floral scents may seem best suited to an older woman, Gucci Bloom feels natural for any age. The fragrance brings a modern twist to a classic floral blend, making for a lovely mix of new and old. “This full-on floral perfume could easily be written off as a ‘grandma’ fragrance, but the notes of jasmine and Rangoon creeper — a fun south Indian plant that smells sweet and fruity — keep it feminine, flirty and youthful, making it an especially popular perfume for young women,” says WWD.
Byrdie reviewers note that Bloom can be applied once and enjoyed all day. “The fragrance is strong and long-lasting—as many Sephora shoppers point out—though in a good way, and also wears nicely, fading slowly and gradually.”
Clearly, this is a perfume bottle that won’t be collecting dust on your dresser for long. “Gucci Bloom is a classic floral fragrance that you’ll opt for again and again,” claims CNN. “Think of it as a light, soft, timeless option. One reviewer even notes, ‘Gucci has finally placed class and sophistication in a bottle.'”
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 is the perfect fragrance for someone debating between warm and woodsy and bright and floral scents. “Notes of amber and cedarwood balance out the jasmine that’s out the forefront of the fragrance, making for a well-balanced, woody floral,” says Byrdie. “It’s sophisticated and complex, an unexpected pairing that blends beautifully and is sure to appeal to those who like either woody or floral scents alike.”
While this fragrance is certainly on the higher end of price points, a little goes a long way. “Perfect for a romantic night or those who make every day a luxurious celebration, it’s an incredibly rich and long-lasting perfume (seriously, one spritz will linger until the next day),” notes WWD.
“Created as a collaboration between the perfumer and Baccarat to celebrate the crystal manufacturer’s 250th birthday, this popular scent is, frankly, a masterpiece,” adds Harper’s Bazaar. “A combination of woody notes, amber, jasmine and other florals, it’s sophisticated and never overpowering.”
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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 recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links. This post is an updated version of a list first published on November 29, 2022.