The best perfumes for women—30 sensational scents loved around the world

We pick the best perfumes for women for every taste and budget, from fruity to floral, spicy and fresh

Three of the best perfumes for women by Dior, Tiffany & Co and Gucci on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

On the hunt for the best perfumes for women? Picking a new fragrance can seem a daunting process but there's nothing comparable to the feeling when you finally get a whiff of the one. When it comes to scent, you don’t think, you feel

If you're not quite sure where to begin, you're in luck. We’ve spritzed a myriad of scents, from intense ouds to the best rose perfumes and the best Jo Malone fragrances to make choosing your next signature scent as easy as one, two, spray. 

With such a hold over our feelings and personal experiences, it's no surprise that the best perfumes for women is one of the most subjective topics in beauty, as personal as picking your favorite food or Ryan Gosling film. We can objectively agree that the best foundations are like your skin, only better; but what makes a fragrance a best-seller, and worthy of a spot in our top 30? 

We've included a combination of niche brands beloved by cool-girl celebs and Beauty Editors, undeniable and iconic crowd-pleasers, and thrown in a few notable new launches that we think will become future classics for good measure. If you think it's time to update your signature scent, hit the right note with one of our picks of the all-time best perfume for women. 

How to choose the best perfumes for women

With so many fragrances out there, it's not always easy picking out a new signature scent. We've divided our list into five perfume styles to help you choose: 

  • Floral: Feminine with an ingredients list packed full of blooms. Great for fans of iconic floral perfumes like Givenchy L'Interdit and Marc Jacobs Daisy.  
  • Fresh: Citrussy, clean-smelling or with sparkly ‘aldehydic’ notes, these perfumes will suit lovers of Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche and cult-fave Bobbi Brown Beach.
  • Fruity: Juicy and tasty, fruit-forward scents. If you or whoever you're buying for likes Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay or Prada Candy, they're probably a fruit fan.
  • Unisex: Technically, every perfume is unisex. But spicy or clean notes and gender-neutral packaging define this style. Classics include Le Labo Santal and CK One. 
  • Spicy: Heady and warming with woods and patchouli. Wearers of YSL Black Opium or Chanel Coco are likely to fall in love with a spicy perfume. 

The best perfumes for women, as chosen by our experts

Floral perfumes

Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Serge Lutens)

1. Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin Eau de Parfum

Overall best floral perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $150/£110 for 50ml
Top notes: Rose, Geranium
Middle notes: Palmarosa
Base notes: Honey, Moss, Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Aesthetically pleasing+Rose-forward+Good longevity
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heady

This amber floral is all about the classic rose, from the dusty pink-colored juice to the floral top and heart notes. What strikes you about this fragrance is how natural it smells. It evokes childhood memories of plucking garden rose petals to bathe in water to create a personalized perfume concoction. This is no powdery, fuddy-duddy floral blend—it is delicate and elegant, and a sure-fire hit with fans of rose scents. 

Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Toilette

(Image credit: Diptyque)

2. Diptyque Eau Rose Eau de Toilette

Best floral rose perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $145/£75 for 50ml
Top notes: Lychee, Blackcurrant, Bergamot
Middle notes: Rose Centifolia, Rose Damascena, Geranium
Base notes: Cedar, Musk, Honey
Reasons to buy
+Refreshing and light+Modern interpretation
Reasons to avoid
-Not as long-lasting

This is a modern, bright take on classic floral fragrances. The added green accords give not just an impression of a freshly cut rose, but the whole garden blooming in spring. The fruity elements of the perfume are subtle, so it’s not overly sweet. What you gain in light, fresh notes you may find lacking in longevity—a spritz lingers for a couple of hours—so this feels like a perfect rose perfume for day wear.

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau De Parfum

(Image credit: Gucci)

3. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau De Parfum

Best fruity-floral perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $65/£55 for 30ml
Top notes: Pear Blossom
Middle notes: Jasmine, Gardenia
Base notes: Brown Sugar, Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful bottle+Mass appeal
Reasons to avoid
-Not as long-lasting-Quite sweet

If you’re looking for a safe bet scent, this is it. It’s classed as a white floral fragrance and hinges on the white gardenia flower. But it’s the pear blossom note that strikes on first spritzing. The dry down is given a creamy sweetness from sweet brown sugar accords. It’s a pretty scent, not especially long-lasting, but certainly joy-filled and pleasantly simple. If you are worried about how to buy fragrance online without smelling it this is the sort of scent that you could quite happily buy blind for a friend or relative, safe in the knowledge that they would gratefully receive.

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: YSL)

4. YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum

Best long-lasting floral perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $77.30/£56 for 30ml
Top notes: Pear, Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom
Middle notes: Coffee, Jasmine, Bitter Almond, Licorice
Base notes: Vanilla, Patchouli, Cedar, Cashmere Wood
Reasons to buy
+Great staying power+Beautiful bottle+Good projection
Reasons to avoid
-Very popular

With an ingredients list that includes black coffee, long-wearing patchouli, and warming vanilla, this is one addictive floral gourmand fragrance. It has over 13,500 5* reviews online and was the most googled fragrance of 2020. So what more can we add? This is an alluring, rich, and mysterious juice, especially as you start to appreciate the sensual dry down of vanilla and woods, which makes this feel a little more geared towards a winter fragrance wardrobe. 

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Viktor & Rolf)

5. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray

Best warming floral perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $107.70/£78 for 50ml
Top notes: Tea, Bergamot, Osmanthus
Middle notes: Orchid, Jasmine, Rose, Freesia
Base notes: Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla
Reasons to buy
+Stellar staying power+Warm dry down
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too sweet for some

A bottle that remains instantly recognizable over a decade on from launch, this amber floral certainly captured the zeitgeist of the mid-noughties. The first impressions are sweet, not sickly saccharine but certainly a little sugary. The floral heart is elegant and actually surprisingly subtle, given the perfume’s name. The dry down is comforting, with a milky-like accord that lingers on the skin for hours and hours.  

Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Dior)

6. Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

Best luxurious floral perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $69/£58 for 30ml
Top notes: Italian Mandarin
Middle notes: Rose, Egyptian Jasmine
Base notes: Patchouli, Musk
Reasons to buy
+A slice of luxury+Good projection+Long-lasting
Reasons to avoid
-Less overtly floral

Don’t let the ‘Miss’ fool you. This is no frothy teen scent. It’s a mysterious and sensual floral fragrance, which has been masterfully blended to create an elegant, luxurious, and ladylike juice. The mandarin is a fleeting accord, and soon makes way for the soothing, intoxicating jasmine heart. This is a fragrance with great projection—you’ll make an entrance before even stepping foot in the room. It has a cosseting, musky warmth, which makes it great for bedtime, and equally an effervescence that plays well on balmy summer days. 

Fresh perfumes

Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau de Toilette

(Image credit: Versace)

7. Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau de Toilette

Best 'clean' fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $100/£84 for 100ml
Top notes: Lemon, Pink Pepper, Mandarin Orange
Middle notes: Guava, Freesia, Cassis, Jasmine
Base notes: Clearwood, Musk, Cedar
Reasons to buy
+Mood-boosting+Smells clean+Evocative
Reasons to avoid
-Not as long-lasting

The misty, cerulean blue bottle hints at what lies within a watery, fresh-smelling scent, suggestive of exotic crystal clear waters. Citrus notes will galvanize the mind like no other accord. Just think about what happens when someone unpeels an orange in a crowded train carriage—it cuts through the room like a knife. The top notes work in the same way here. Lemon and mandarin orange slice through a foggy mind, immediately enlivening the senses. The heart and base notes continue this olfactory escape to a distant isle, with an aqueous, youthful effect. It might not have the most longevity, but if fresh and sparkling is your fragrance bag, then spritz with abandon.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent

(Image credit: Estee Lauder)

8. Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent

Best escapist fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $57/£48 for 50ml
Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin Orange
Middle notes: Tiare Flower, Magnolia, Jasmine
Base notes: Coconut Milk, Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood
Reasons to buy
+Holiday in a bottle+Good projection+Light and airy
Reasons to avoid
-Very summery

For whatever reason, if an exotic holiday is off the cards, let this tropical scent inject that wanderlust spirit into your fragrance wardrobe. It’s lighter than your average eau de parfum, but it works with its light and airy holiday vibe. The warm and tropical blend of coconut, vanilla, and amber will transport you to sunnier climes, cocktail in hand, sand between toes. It is pure summer in a bottle. So much so it feels rebellious to spritz it in colder climes. But then rules are made to be broken, so there's no need to shove this in a drawer for half the year then frantically google do perfumes expire the next time you want to wear it. You do you. 

Jo Loves Pomelo A Fragrance

(Image credit: Jo Loves)

9. Jo Loves Pomelo A Fragrance

Best zesty and fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $100/ £75 for 50ml
Top notes: Pomelo, Rose
Middle notes: Vetiver, Clove
Base notes: Patchouli, Suede
Reasons to buy
+Unisex appeal+Distinctive+Long-lasting
Reasons to avoid
-Sharp citrus notes

From the brand that makes some of the best scented candles in the business, this is the sort of unique, curious fragrance that would make people stop and ask you what you’re wearing. We have tested its unisex appeal and yes, in our household this is a scent we would gladly share. If you’re a fan of citrus accords, you will be enchanted by this bright and sunny blend. For others, the sharp top notes might be a little too intense. After the initial slurp of citrus zing, it deepens with rich, leathery notes, which stick around on the skin for hours. 

Clarins Eau Dynamisante Treatment Fragrance

(Image credit: Clarins )

10. Clarins Eau Dynamisante Treatment Fragrance

Best mood-boosting fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $39/£52 for 200ml
Top notes: Amalfi Lemon, Caraway, Coriander, Orange
Middle notes: Rosemary, Carnation, Cardamom, Thyme
Base notes: Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Tones skin+Mood-lifting+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-May smell medicinal to some

In a Venn diagram, this splash-on spritz would sit in the middle ring between classic perfume and aromatherapy. First launched in 1987, it has the unique ability to tone, moisturize and perfume the skin in a single spritz. Its effect on the olfactory nerve is certainly enlivening, with a zingy blend of essential oils including lemon, patchouli, and ginseng that some may find a little green, herbal and medicinal-smelling. For us, the juice had an uplifting effect, and conjured up an image of a health spa, tucked away in the forest. 

Armani Acqua Di Gioia Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Giorgio Armani)

11. Armani Acqua Di Gioia Eau de Parfum

Best crisp and fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $72/£53 for 30ml
Top notes: Crushed Mint Leaves, Limone Primo Flore
Middle notes: Jasmine, Aquatic Accords, Pink Pepper, Peony
Base notes: Cedarwood, Brown Sugar, Labdanum
Reasons to buy
+Luxurious bottle+Uniquely bracing scent+Crisp and unisex
Reasons to avoid
-Not overtly feminine

Imagine the clean, crisp and invigorating scent of the ocean. That’s what this floral aquatic number conjures up. It’s a bright and airy fragrance with aqueous accords of crushed mint, lemon and dewy peony, trailed by a warm and woody dry down. What is so striking is how clean this fragrance smells. A spritz before leaving the house will make you feel lighter on your feet. 

Issey Miyake L’eau de Issey Eau de Toilette

(Image credit: Issey Miyake)

12. Issey Miyake L’eau de Issey Eau de Toilette

Best timeless fresh perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $78/£57 for 50ml
Top notes: Lotus, Freesia, Rose Water
Middle notes: Lily-of-the-Valley, Lily, Water Peony, Carnation
Base notes: Musk, Tuberose, Exotic Woods, Sandalwood, Amber
Reasons to buy
+Clean smell+Ageless appeal+Suits all seasons
Reasons to avoid
-Subtle projection

It’s hardly surprising that a fragrance with a roll call of aquatic accords was inspired by the freshness and translucency of water. After the delicate first impression, comes a swathe of white flowers and finally a woody trail that lingers on the skin. This is a clean and classic perfume that transcends age and seasonality. 

Fruity perfumes

Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne

(Image credit: Jo Malone London)

13. Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne

Best high-end fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: £95/£70 for 50ml
Top notes: King William Pear
Middle notes: Freesia
Base notes: Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Good staying power+Elegant blend+Understated 
Reasons to avoid
-Too delicate for some

All too often, the idea of a fruit-filled fragrance conjures up a sickly-sweet perception. In classic Jo Malone style, this interpretation is elegant, understated, and downright classy. It won’t surprise you to learn that it’s bagged the number one spot in the best Jo Malone fragrances, as voted for by customers. On first spritzing, you’re greeted with a burst of juicy pears, with white freesias hot on its tail, trailed by woody patchouli.  “When you smell English Pear & Freesia, you’re instantly transported to an orchard where juicy fruit mingles with blooming flowers. There’s something unexpected about the combination of key ingredients and it’s got that freshness and elegance we’re known for,” says Celine Roux, Global Head of Fragrance at Jo Malone London. We agree. The overall effect is understated and graceful, mirrored in the design of the beautiful fluted glass bottle.

Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Jimmy Choo)

14. Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum

Best sweet and fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $102.64/£75 for 100ml
Top notes: Pear, Mandarin Orange, Green Notes
Middle notes: Orchid
Base notes: Toffee and Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting+Reasonable price point+Good projection
Reasons to avoid
-Very popular

If ever a fragrance could come to embody the unbridled glamour and femininity of a Jimmy Choo stiletto, it’s this, the debut fragrance from the fashion house, which launched in 2011. Part daring, part sensual, refreshing in summer, cosseting in winter, it’s a fragrance that quite understandably earned mass appeal. It’s classed as a fruity gourmand, the latter referring to synthetic edible notes. The juice is warm, creamy, and confident with notes of exotic tiger orchid, patchouli and sweet toffee. 

Jean Paul Gaultier So Scandal! Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Jean Paul Gaultier)

15. Jean Paul Gaultier So Scandal! Eau de Parfum

Best statement fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $124.20/£90 for 80ml
Top notes: Orange Blossom
Middle notes: Jasmine, Tuberose
Base notes: Milky notes
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting+Great projection+A bottle will last a long time
Reasons to avoid
-Quite sweet

Raspberry takes center stage here. That initial fruity burst evokes memories of scented dolls and ponies from childhood, but then it takes on a more grown-up and graceful turn as the floral heart comes into play. For a fruity number, this has impressive sillage and staying power. One spritz is enough to take you from day to night. And the bottle makes an impressive dressing table statement, too. 

Ghost Orb of Night Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Ghost)

16. Ghost Orb of Night Eau de Parfum

Best musky fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $44.40/£37 for 50ml
Top notes: Cherry, Almond, Mandarin Orange, Bergamot
Middle notes: Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Freesia, Ylang-Ylang
Base notes: Caramel, Sandalwood, White Musk
Reasons to buy
+Intoxicating effect+Good staying power+Reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
-A little heavy for day

Call it subliminal messaging (the moon-shaped bottle is a bit of a hint), but this fragrance feels like more of a nocturnal perfume, that would perfectly compliment your party makeup. It’s creamy and mysterious and alluring. Although there is a fruity, foody element to the initial spritz, this has a richer, sensual effect thanks to the ylang-ylang, jasmine, musk, and caramel accords. Sandalwood is one of the best notes for longevity and this fragrance certainly has day to night staying power. 

Tiffany & Co Rose Gold Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Tiffany & Co)

17. Tiffany & Co Rose Gold Eau de Parfum

Best fresh-fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $106/£77 for 50ml
Top notes: Blackcurrant
Middle notes: Blue Rose, Iris
Base notes: Musk, Ambrette
Reasons to buy
+Ornate bottle+Fresh feeling +Universally appealing
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks projection-Not as long-lasting

Fresh, fruity, and fizzy—the initial impressions of this scent read like a dream summer cocktail. Expect a big slurp of blackcurrant on first spritzing, which dries down to a very pleasant and universally appealing musky rose. It’s on the fine and delicate side so don’t expect much oomph. But if you take a less is more approach to fragrance, you’ll appreciate its elegant subtleties. 

Burberry Her Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Burberry)

18. Burberry Her Eau de Parfum

Best berry-filled fruity perfume for women

Specifications
RRP: $62/£52 for 30ml
Top notes: Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Sour Cherry
Middle notes: Violet, Jasmine
Base notes: Musk, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Amber, Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Uplifting effect+Pretty and feminine+Develops beautifully
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks projection

If you like your perfumes sweet, it will be love at first spritz. It sits pretty close to the skin so you might need a few spritzes to make an impact. The fruity top notes smell just like strawberry fizzy laces from the corner store, but before things become a little too saccharine, the fragrance takes a powdery floral turn and suddenly becomes very pretty and feminine, a trail that did last for a surprisingly long time. 

Unisex perfumes

Miller Harris Oud Eclat Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Miller Harris)

19. Miller Harris Oud Eclat Eau de Parfum

Best niche unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $188/£160 for 100ml
Top notes: Agarwood, Tagete, Cashmere Wood
Middle notes: Amber. Fir Balsam, Nutmeg
Base notes: Moss, Musk, Leather, Sugar
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting+Unisex+Good projection
Reasons to avoid
-Higher price point

The matte black, leathery-looking bottle hints at what lies within. Raw and woody oud, derived from the tropical Agar tree, is offset by sparkling sugary top notes, which make for a mesmerizing juice, one that will make you want to sniff your wrist repeatedly. Oud is usually the star of the show in such fragrances, making a bold, ‘look at me’ statement. In this interpretation, the oud makes up part of the first wave of notes so its effect is more subtle and beguiling. The rich composition of base notes (think bonfire-y moss, leather, and musk) mean this unisex fragrance has staying power. It’s a cozy blanket of a fragrance that will make you want to hunker down for the winter.

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Le Labo)

20. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Best statement unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $166/£141 for 50ml
Top notes: Violet Accord, Cardamom
Middle notes: Iris, Papyrus, Ambrox
Base notes: Cedarwood, Leather, Sandalwood
Reasons to buy
+Unisex appeal+Good projection+Stand out scent
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

This unisex scent launched in 2011 and became an underground smash, beloved by Beauty Editors and cool girl celebs, like Alexa Chung. Its cult status was cemented when the New York Times referred to it as “the perfume your smell everywhere.” It fuses sweeter notes of iris and violet with deep yet comforting leathery, smoky and musky accords. You will still have the pleasure of smelling this scent for hours after applying it, heck, even the following day depending on your personal bathing routine. 

Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Byredo)

21. Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

Best nature-inspired unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $175/£122 for 50ml
Top notes: Juniper, Lemon, Bergamot, Pepper
Middle notes: Pine Needles, Incense, Orris Root
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber
Reasons to buy
+Moderate longevity+Unisex+Cult fragrance
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Lacks projection

An ode to Romani culture, this nomadic scent perfectly captures a sense of freedom with bucolic elements, such as juniper berries, pine needles, and sandalwood. For us, it’s the juniper that steals the show in this fragrance, balanced by incense and vanilla, which work in perfect synergy to create a magical, woodsy, and gender-neutral scent.

Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum Rouge

(Image credit: Givenchy)

22. Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum Rouge

Best comforting unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $73/£53.50 for 35ml
Top notes: Blood Orange, Ginger
Middle notes: Tuberose, Pimento Leaf, Jasmine
Base notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Reasons to buy
+Good staying power+Comforting scent+Broad appeal
Reasons to avoid
-More of a winter fragrance

Tangy blood orange and accents of ginger read a little ‘Christmassy’ but this amber-floral has broad appeal beyond the festive season. Having said that, the warm and spicy profile does seem to suit the colder months. It’s a powerful and sensual number that leaves a trail of sandalwood, evoking the cozy, warmth of being sat in front of a log fire in the middle of winter. 

Christian Louboutin Loubicharme Eau de Parfum Intense

(Image credit: Christian Louboutin)

23. Christian Louboutin Loubicharme Eau de Parfum Intense

Best statement unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $340/£250 for 90ml
Top notes: Incense
Middle notes: Geranium, Rose
Base notes: Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful bottle+Long-lasting+Show-stopper scent
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive

First things first, the burgundy-lacquered bottle is incredibly beautiful. The top is adorned with a gilded royal beetle, which is said to bring good luck. It’s certainly a perfume that smells expensive. Labeled as a unisex fragrance, it has a fresh, green quality to it thanks to geranium and rose, undercut by woody patchouli and rich incense. With great projection, this is a rich and powerful fragrance that will get you noticed. 

Acqua di Parma Oud & Spice Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Acqua di Parma)

24. Acqua di Parma Oud & Spice Eau de Parfum

Best spicy unisex fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $271/£199 for 100ml
Top notes: Bergamot, Raspberry, Rose
Middle notes: Cinnamon, Pink Pepper, Cloves
Base notes: Agarwood Oil, Patchouli
Reasons to buy
+Good projection+Great staying power+Alluring mix
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-More of a wintery scent

The excitement of waiting for the fireworks to start, as the bonfire sizzles and crackles in the distance—this is the warm opulence captured in Oud & Spice. The first hit is all campfire and leather, tinged with a hint of sparkling citrus to lighten the mood. It could lean on the more masculine end of the spectrum, and it certainly has a more autumnal feel. We happen to like male scents so found this captivating—a mysterious and alluring mix of spicy and zingy, warm yet fresh.

Spicy perfumes

Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Guerlain)

25. Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Parfum

The best classic spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $98/£83 for 50ml
Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin Orange
Middle notes: Iris, Jasmine, Rose Spiced with Patchouli
Base notes: Incense, Opoponax, Leather, Sandalwood, Vanilla
Reasons to buy
+Iconic+Good longevity+Complex 
Reasons to avoid
-More of a wintery scent

It may be nearing its centenary but Shalimar is still up there as one of the most popular perfumes today. It’s the sort of comforting fragrance you’ll spray and think ‘where have I smelled this before?” The warm and spicy blend opens with a big slurp of juicy, citric bergamot, before mellowing to a soft yet spicy floral heart within 10 seconds. After a couple of hours, it’s the incense and sweet vanilla that really shine through, although the citrus aspect does reappear. Despite its universal popularity, this is a truly unique perfume in terms of its complex blend. 

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Chanel)

26. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

The best 'clean' spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $73/£62 for 35ml
Top notes: Orange, Mandarin Orange, Bergamot, Orange Blossom
Middle notes: Turkish Rose, Jasmine, Mimosa, Ylang-Ylang
Base notes: Patchouli, White Musk, Vanilla, Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Opoponax
Reasons to buy
+Great staying power+Day to night perfume+Clean-smelling
Reasons to avoid
-Very popular

This is a perfume that fills the room. It has fantastic sillage and impressive staying power. We got a whiff when we threw on a coat we’d worn a week earlier. It’s the combination of sweet, citrus top notes and deep patchouli, vanilla, and white musk that make this a clean and classic yet spicy scent that feels appropriate at any time of day, spans the seasons, and has an ageless appeal.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Tom Ford)

27. Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum

The best seductive spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $145/£123 for 100ml
Top notes: Truffle, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Bergamot
Middle notes: Orchid, Spices, Gardenia, Lotus
Base notes: Mexican Chocolate, Patchouli, Incense, Amber, Sandalwood, White Musk
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting+Potent+Glamorous
Reasons to avoid
-May be too heady for some

If perfume is an extension of personality, then the woman who wears Black Orchid is confident, glamorous and takes no prisoners. It’s classified as a chypre, with top notes of black truffle jasmine and a hint of citrus, with a dry down of amber, creamy vanilla, and woodsy accords. There’s a dark side to this fragrance so if you’re looking for something a little more uplifting Coco Mademoiselle might be more your speed. 

Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Thierry Mugler)

28. Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum

The best sweet and spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $93/£79 for 50ml
Top notes: Cotton Candy, Coconut, Cassis, Melon, Pineapple
Middle notes: Honey, Red Berries, Blackberry, Plum, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley
Base notes: Patchouli, Chocolate, Caramel, Vanilla, Amber, Musk, Sandalwood
Reasons to buy
+Good longevity+Impressive sillage+Very popular
Reasons to avoid
-On the sweet side

You can pretty much divide womankind into two camps-those who love Angel and those who prefer Alien. For the purposes of our round-up, we’re going with Mugler’s debut scent, which remains one of the best-selling scents in the world. In fact, we probably all know someone who wears or has worn Angel at some point in their life. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is incredibly sweet, but it’s completely intoxicating too, enveloping the wearer in a sugary, nectary cloud. 

Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in the Library Eau de Toilette

(Image credit: Maison Margiela)

29. Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in the Library Eau de Toilette

The best crisp yet spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $117/£99 100ml
Top notes: Pepper Essence, Orange Flower Petals, Patchouli
Middle notes: Tonka Bean Absolue
Base notes: Cedarwood, Vanilla Absolute, Vetiver
Reasons to buy
+Unisex+Simple and clean+Plays well with other scents
Reasons to avoid
-Moderate longevity

The clue is in the title-this soft and delicate aroma is like an echo of a perfume. What it lacks in olfactory punch, it makes up for in its ability to blend well with other scented lotions, hand creams and even other perfumes, if you’re into fragrance layering. The rich woody notes, inspired by a quintessential English library, are warm and cozy and peppered with a touch of spice, perfect for the colder months.

Penhaligon’s Cairo Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Penhaligon's)

30. Penhaligon’s Cairo Eau de Parfum

The best smoky and spicy fragrance

Specifications
RRP: $210/£178 100ml
Top notes: Damascan Rose, Saffron
Middle notes: Labdanum, Cypriol
Base notes: Sandalwood, Atlas Cedarwood
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly long-lasting+Aesthetically pleasing+Unisex
Reasons to avoid
-Very potent

It’s surprising to think this fragrance only came to be in 2019—it has a romantic, old-world elegance that gives the impression it’s been around for millennia. With saffron, incense, and dusky vanilla, it’s a perfume that smells decadently rich, inviting and warming.

Beauty retailer Lookfantastic took 142 women's scents and analyzed search volumes for each one across the world to create this definitive list of the top 10 most popular perfumes for women now: