To be deemed a "long-lasting" perfume worthy of your money and wear, a scent must first pass several tests, the most important being how well it lingers on the skin throughout the day. This is something the woman&home beauty team takes very seriously and thus, have trialed 24 iconic fragrances...
After all the best perfume for women can be one of the priciest buys in our beauty arsenal, so it pays to have all the intel on which notes and brands in general, are known to go the distance. That being said though, testing a scent out for a full day before purchasing it isn't always feasible but thankfully, there are a few tricks and tells to look out for when selecting a lingering signature.
One way is to think of perfume as a pyramid, consisting of top, heart and base notes, the latter of which, Karen Harris, Head of Marketing at The Perfume Shop says, "form the foundation of the fragrance." Harris explains that these base notes, "come into force around 30 minutes after integrating with the middle notes, and typically last six hours." So, with that in mind, our team have shared their vetted long-lasting picks, with aromas to suit every preference - and all formulated with enduring base notes that you can count on...
24 long-lasting perfumes for women, chosen by our beauty team
Why you can trust Woman & Home
Whether you're a lover of warm and decadent vanilla perfumes or fresh, hypnotizing perfumes with jasmine, discover our picks of the best long-lasting fragrances - from iconic brands like Chanel and Issey Miyake as well as more niche and budget-friendly finds...
Best floral long-lasting perfumes
Rich & sophisticated
RRP: £92 for 50ml | Notes: Tangerine, neroli, lavender, jasmine, orange blossom and vanilla
Warm and sophisticated, it is the perfect finishing touch to any day. To us, Libre is a distinctly winter and evening scent. That fresh mossiness that's typical of the best lavender perfumes combines with musky vanilla base notes to add evening-ready depth.
Who should wear it: Those who like their florals with a bit of edge.
An iconic floral
RRP: £68 for 30ml | Notes: Rangoon creeper, jasmine bud and natural tuberose
Expect to smell like a fresh-cut bunch of bright and beautiful blooms, all day long. But despite the vivid floral smell, this perfume is for those who like a subtle, lingering scent that doesn't overwhelm you.
Who should wear it: Those who have an affinity with spring and love the classic scent of rose
RRP: £71 for 35 ml | Notes: Pink pepper, jasmine, iris, patchouli, musk and vanilla
The pink pepper is immediately discernible, with an uplifting and enlivening effect on the senses. This spicy note does hang around for an impressive amount of time before the floral heart accords take hold – the perfect balance of sweet and powdery. But it's the patchouli, and later the creamy musk, that really comes to the fore in this chypre floral.
Who should wear it: Those who love all things 'Quiet Luxury', even when it comes to their scent
Floral & green
RRP: £240 for 100ml | Notes: jasmine sambac, black tea and romandolide
This perfume encapsulates a spring evening, with fresh green notes offset by hypnotic jasmine and musky romandolide. Woman&home's Editor-In-Chief, Sarah Ross says: "I’m a big fan of this apothecary style range from Gucci. The bottles look great on the shelf and the floral notes smell like an accurate interpretation of the scent - they smell so blooming real! This is particularly pleasant and intriguing - the jasmine mixed with a smoky black tea gives the bouquet a very interesting edge.”
Who should wear it: those looking to graduate from softer florals to something a little more sophisticated and sultry.
Fresh, sexy & chic
RRP: £118 for 100ml | Notes: English lavender, grapefruit, silver birch accord and oak
Our Beauty Editor, Aleesha Badkar is a particular fan of this scent: "I'm not usually a lavender fan but the heavy woods really ground this warming blend to prevent the namesake heart note from being too aromatic while the fresh grapefruit opening lifts it into a sweet citrussy territory. So delicious and fresh and perfect for the spring months."
Who should wear it: those who steer clear of heavy, heady scents but still want an aroma that lasts and evolves throughout the day.
RRP: £106 for 50ml | Notes: Turkish rose oil, pink pepper extract, orange flower accord, patchouli
With heart notes of rose, this scent oozes elegance but has a modern and seriously captivating edge, thanks to hints of sparkling pink pepper and rich patchouli. According to Sarah, "This feels very sophisticated and chic but also wearable for the day. The first spritz smells fruity, but the woody powderiness and patchouli comes through and stays on the skin for hours."
Who should wear it: those who favour both fruity and floral perfumes but don't want to choose between them...
Best woody long lasting perfumes
Luxe but so worth it
RRP: from £155 for 35ml | Notes: Jasmine, saffron, amberwood, fir resin and cedar
This boasts a unique blend of breezy jasmine, spicy saffron, warm amber and freshly cut cedar. And while this combination may not sound sweet, the overriding scent reminds us of sugary candy floss. Once the sweetness subsides slightly, expect to be hit with a warming, amber base that really sticks to the skin.
Who should wear it: Those who love a signature red lip and appearing mysterious
Warm & leathery
RRP: £168 for 50ml | Notes: Cardamom, iris, violet, Australian sandalwood, cedarwood and musk
This scent is the definition of an autumn/winter scent as it presents a spicy, leathery warmth. Rich floral notes of iris and violet give way to woody and musky hints that just make this fragrance so hypnotic. We've found that it also clings beautifully to clothes - especially knits.
Who should wear it: Those who get excited about a good glass of red wine.
Unisex and universally appealing
RRP: £66 for 50ml | Notes: Vanilla, cashmeran and sandalwood
This fragrance starts off light and powdery, but quickly becomes woody and richer as it dries on the skin. When we tested it, we found it to be a clean smell that becomes more complex the longer you wear it.
Who should wear it: Those who love to keep people guessing.
Best spicy long-lasting perfumes
Smoky & potent
RRP: £140 for 50ml | Notes: Davana, tonka beans, coffee, labdanum, agarwood and sandalwood
Woody, spicy, and a little bit smokey, with potent oud and bitter coffee, this is certainly a powerful olfactory experience. With that being said, this is a fragrance that lives on the skin far beyond the first spritz, and it has an earthy, woody, leathery aroma that will appeal to both men and women.
Who should wear it: If you're looking for a scent to make a statement, this is just the ticket.
Woody and oh-so comforting
RRP: £102 for 50ml | Notes: Ginger, black cardamom, pink pepper, orchid, jasmine, sandalwood and patchouli
On the first sniff, you may be taken aback by the strong scent that conjures up spicy gingerbread with a hint of incense. But after a while, once the fragrance settles on skin, it truly transforms into a warm, woodsy scent that’s comforting and cocooning.
Who should wear it: Those who love being snuggled up in cashmere blankets.
Classic & spicy
RRP: £150 for 100ml | Notes: Truffle, ylang-ylang, jasmine, bergamot, orchid, Mexican Chocolate, sandalwood and white musk
Winter, dusk, a little black dress – these are the things that come to mind whenever we smell Black Orchid. It is a bold, confident scent, with a touch of the gothic about it. This cult chypre has top notes of black truffle and jasmine with a hint of citrus.
Who should wear it: Confident souls who love all-black outfits and dark red nails.
Best fresh & clean long-lasting perfumes
Bright and breezy
RRP: £70 for 50ml | Notes: Bergamot, magnolia and sandalwood
This is splashy, fresh and floral with citrussy bergamot, pretty magnolia and a subtle woody base. It's the fragrance equivalent of a light, neutral-toned cashmere scarf – chuck it on whatever the weather and you'll give off an impression of quiet luxury.
Who should wear it: Those who aren't seeking the spotlight but still want to smell fresh and chic
Smells like a Mediterranean garden
RRP: £102 for 75ml | Notes: Neroli, fig accord, vetiver and tonka bean
This scent perfectly balances a tangy, citrussy top note of neroli with a warm and mouthwatering fig middle for an effect not unlike walking through an Italian garden in full bloom. Don't be fooled into thinking the citrus-focused initial scent means this won't go the distance.
Who should wear it: Those who want to relive their favourite European vacation all day, every day.
RRP: £99 for 50ml | Notes: Citrus, neroli, rose, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli
When we tested Joy, we immediately found it to be a mature scent - perfect for those who want a perfume that is light yet sophisticated. The smell is certainly noticeable and lingers all day, so be prepared for a flurry of compliments.
Who should wear it: Those who want to ooze maturity and sophistication
Smells unique on everyone
RRP: £95 for 100ml | Notes: Iso E Super molecule
It certainly isn't overly fruity or floral, many users experience musky animal notes, or you might find it lightly woody. But then again others say it comes and goes throughout the day. The one thing guaranteed is that if you wear this, other people will smell it and compliment you.
Who should wear it: Someone looking for the ultimate signature scent that is uniquely theirs
Subtle & Powdery
RRP: £57 for 50ml | Notes: Iris, pink pepper, ambrette and ambrox
Trust Glossier's first foray into fragrance to be super modern and effortlessly cool. The fragrance actually contains very few notes - a carefully crafted blend of iris root and pink pepper top notes and smooth, salty, skin-like base notes.
Who should wear it: Those who love change, as this scent is something of a mood ring - it smells a little different depending on the day, where you spray it, and who is wearing it.
Summery & zingy
RRP: £125 for 30ml | Notes: neroli, orange flower, lavender, amber and aromatic rosemary
One whiff of this scent will instantly transport you to the aquamarine shoreline of Portofino. It's like a breath of fresh sea air, with hints of sparkling citrus and earthy rosemary.
Who should wear it: Those who daydream about the Italian Riveria and long for sunny days.
Best fruity long-lasting perfumes
Unique & not sickly
RRP: £97 for 50ml | Notes: Blackcurrant nectar, isparta rose, davana, benzoin and patchouli
This beautifully feminine perfume is not just one of our favourites in terms of smell, but also how long it lingers. For a true indication of how good this perfume is, we could still smell it on our wrists after showering.
Who should wear it: Those who want to appear mature and sophisticated