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The 12 Best Women’s Perfumes

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Kandyce Angel Avatar
Kandyce Angel
14 February, 2020 • Updated 7 days ago
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The 12 Best Women’s Perfumes

I love perfumes, but buying one and then realizing it’s not for you is frustrating to say the least.

Although everyone loves to have the perfect go-to fragrance, actually choosing the ideal one for you can be a daunting and confusing experience. Your signature scent should suit your personality, your lifestyle, and your taste – but with so many options on the market, finding it can be a challenge.

The internet is full of different brands and fragrances at a range of prices, with some coming and going out of mainstream fashion and other staple classics withstanding the test of time. But how do you know which one will suit you?

To give you some guidance, we’ve researched hundreds of women’s perfumes currently on the market and assessed them based on factors that we’ve outlined below to find the best ones available. We then checked hundreds of reviews on forums such as Reddit, as well as on individual online store sites, to make sure that real customers felt that they lived up to expectations.

We’ve included perfumes at a range of prices for all budgets, plus divided them into sections to make it easier for you to pick the right one for the time of year or find others suitable for either in the day or the evening.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum

Things to Consider

1. Price

One of the first things to consider when buying perfume online is how much money you want to spend because there’s an extremely wide range of prices out there. Plus, two different perfumes made by two different companies can have very similar smells but differ greatly in price purely because of the brand.

Another factor for consideration that has a huge influence over the price is what’s included in the formula – there are certain ingredients that are expensive and will, therefore, make the overall price of the end product more expensive.

2. Fragrance Families

It may come as a surprise, but fragrances can be divided into “families”, of which there are four “feminine” and four “masculine” – and, even if we’re not consciously aware of it, we tend to be drawn to certain families over others.

Therefore, before you start to look for a new perfume, try to ascertain what fragrance families you’re drawn to, then search for fragrances in similar families or with similar notes. You’re more likely to find something that suits you – and that you love – than if you switch to a completely different fragrance family.

3. Fragrance Notes

When choosing a new one perfume, familiarize yourself with the different notes. The top note is the main smell when the perfume is first sprayed and tends to fade fairly quickly. The middle note makes up the main body of the perfume and stays prominent for a few hours. It then gives way to the bottom notes – the deep, heavy, rich scents that should linger until the end of the day.

Therefore, if you’re debating buying perfume with a top note that you love but bottom notes that you’re not too keen on, it’s likely that the fragrance may not be as pleasant to you after wearing it for a few hours.

Saying that, however, try not to overthink it – after all, it’s about how all the individual notes work together.

4. Concentration

Generally, perfumes with higher concentrations are stronger and more powerful, and the smell lasts for longer. There are four different concentration levels: parfum (the strongest), eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and eau de cologne.

As the concentration increases, the price usually does too – however, most people tend to think that the higher cost is justified due to the better quality of the product. Therefore, before making a decision about which perfume to purchase, it’s advisable to consider what concentration would work best for your lifestyle and preferences.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Perfumes for Women


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.6
170+
170+
  • Extremely popular oriental-floral fragrance
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • BEST FOR: Day
  • Extremely popular oriental-floral fragrance
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • BEST FOR: Day
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.4
720+
720+
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • BEST FOR: Winter
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • BEST FOR: Winter
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.4
690+
690+
  • Less than $100 for an extra-large 6 oz bottle
  • Light, subtle, gentle scent
  • BEST FOR: Day
  • Less than $100 for an extra-large 6 oz bottle
  • Light, subtle, gentle scent
  • BEST FOR: Day
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.2
40+
40+
  • Has won 4 awards in the 20 years since its release
  • Very long-lasting fragrance
  • BEST FOR: Evening
  • Has won 4 awards in the 20 years since its release
  • Very long-lasting fragrance
  • BEST FOR: Evening
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
3
20+
20+
  • Gender-neutral scent
  • Available in multiple bottle sizes
  • BEST FOR: Day
  • Gender-neutral scent
  • Available in multiple bottle sizes
  • BEST FOR: Day
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.5
1,940+
1940+
  • Has been a best-seller for more than 10 years
  • A distinctive floral fragrance that has won awards
  • BEST FOR: Summer
  • Has been a best-seller for more than 10 years
  • A distinctive floral fragrance that has won awards
  • BEST FOR: Summer
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.4
45+
45+
  • Spicy base notes with sweet and floral top notes
  • Long-lasting, award-winning fragrance
  • BEST FOR: Winter
  • Spicy base notes with sweet and floral top notes
  • Long-lasting, award-winning fragrance
  • BEST FOR: Winter
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum
A oriental-floral fragrance popular around the world

This long-lasting fragrance is sweet, fresh, and floral – the perfect perfume to wear in the day.

4.6
170+
170+
  • Attractive grenade-shaped glass bottle
  • Falls into the oriental-floral fragrance family
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • Long-lasting floral fragrance
  • Good value for money

Best Women’s Perfumes to Wear in the Winter

TOM FORD Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfume

TOM FORD Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfume

Features

  • 1.7 oz (50 ml)
  • Won the Women’s Luxury Award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards in 2015
  • Spicy base notes with sweet and floral top notes
  • Sleek and attractive packaging

This perfume was released in 2014 as part of Tom Ford’s “Orchid” collection and won the Women’s Luxury Award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards in 2015. It’s definitely more of a fall or winter perfume than a spring or summer perfume, with strong, spicy base notes.

However, the floral and sweet top and middle notes give added depth, as well as an undeniably feminine edge. This, in my opinion, makes it an improvement on Tom Ford’s original classic, Black Orchid – although it still has hints of the signature timeless scent. 

We found multiple reviews stating that it attracts compliments whenever it’s worn, which is a great bonus. Priced at $128 for 1.7 oz (50 ml) of product, it’s not cheap, but you’re getting an award-winning eau de parfum from a well-known brand.

Just a few sprays lasted all day without being overpowering, which means 1.7 oz should last you most of, if not all of, the winter. Lastly, the bottle itself is sleek and attractive, so it’ll look great sitting on your dresser or bathroom shelf.

Pros
  • Eau de parfum, so the scent is long-lasting
  • Award-winning
  • An improvement on a timeless classic
  • Large bottle so should last all winter
Cons
  • Quite expensive

Kilian Light My Fire

Kilian Light My Fire

Features

  • Unisex eau de parfum
  • Winner of the Indie Award at the 2015 Fragrance Foundation Awards
  • Oriental and woody fragrance families
  • Eco-friendly refillable bottle

As part of the Addictive State of Mind collection, Kilian has released Light My Fire, a unisex fragrance that won the Indie Award at the 2015 Fragrance Foundation Awards. In my opinion, the scent really is wearable by both men and women.

It blends together notes of tobacco, cumin, patchouli, hay, honey, vanilla, and vetiver to make a deep, rich fragrance that captures the essence of winter. This may not be everybody’s ideal scent, but if you find yourself drawn to the oriental or woody fragrance families, then this may be the one for you.

The main drawback of Light My Fire is the hefty price tag that comes with it – at $295 for 1.7 oz (50 ml), it’s the most expensive perfume on this list. However, the high-quality ingredients and expert craftsmanship, as well as its award-winning status, contribute to this.

The sleek and sophisticated refillable bottle not only makes it eco-friendly but also helps with the cost of repeated purchases, as the 1.7 oz refills are priced lower, at $195. As an eau de parfum, it’s long-lasting, so it should be easy to make this last all winter, if not longer.

Pros
  • Award-winning fragrance
  • High-quality ingredients and expert craftsmanship
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Eco-friendly refillable bottle; refills are $100 cheaper
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • The combination of bold scents may not suit everyone’s taste

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

This fragrance has been crafted by expert perfumers and presented in an attractive bottle featuring a design similar to previous editions of the YSL Opium collection but features additional sequins on dark background for an extra glam-rock feel.

Priced at $124 for a large 3 oz bottle, it’s good value for a high-quality product that will last you a long time – especially as it’s an eau de parfum and, therefore, only needs to be used sparingly for an all-day scent.

This is a great winter perfume for anyone drawn to scents of coffee, vanilla, and cedar, which make up the rich, deep base notes. Sweet and floral top and middle notes, however, will be enough to wake you up on even the darkest and coldest of days.

Black Opium is available in multiple sizes – you can purchase 1 oz, 1.6 oz, 3 oz, and 5 oz bottles. As with most commercial products, the larger the quantity purchased, the lower the price per oz – basically, the 5 oz bottle is the most cost-effective.

Pros
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Attractive packaging
  • Multiple bottle sizes available to purchase
  • Reasonable price for a high-quality product
Cons
  • No accolades
  • Smaller bottles are not very cost-effective

Best Women’s Perfumes to Wear in the Summer

Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk Eau de Toilette

Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk Eau de Toilette

Features

  • Winner of a Best of Beauty Award
  • 3.4 oz (100 ml) eau de toilette
  • Distinctively designed bottle and label that are both eco-friendly
  • Intended to smell like “sun-kissed and salty skin”

This is one of the more unusual – and little-known – fragrances on this list. However, it’s not gone completely unnoticed, as it’s received a Best of Beauty Award and has hundreds of positive reviews available to view online.

Although it’s called “Replica Beach Walk”, I didn’t think it smelled too “beachy” – but saying that, it’s still delicious, with notes of coconut, citrus, flowers, and ylang-ylang that are reminiscent of a beautiful summer’s day – earning it a firm spot in the “summer” section of this list.

This may be an eau du toilette, but it has more power than expected, with the scent still detectable after 6+ hours. Therefore, at $126 for a large 3.4 oz (approximately 100 ml) bottle, it’s a pretty good value for a niche fragrance.

The design of the glass bottle and 100% cotton label is simple, but I personally like it a lot. It is designed to resemble an apothecary jar and is instantly identifiable. This also makes it a great option for those of you that are eco-friendly and environmentally conscious.

Pros
  • Relatively good value
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Award-winning fragrance
  • Lasts a long time for an eau de toilette
Cons
  • Packaging may not be to everyone’s taste
  • Lower concentration than an eau de parfum

Marc Jacobs Daisy Women’s Eau de Toilette

Marc Jacobs Daisy Women’s Eau de Toilette

Features

  • Both the fragrance and the packaging have won awards
  • Has been a best-seller for more than 10 years
  • A distinctively summery, floral fragrance
  • Additional products available in this range (e.g. shower gel and body lotion)

Since its launch back in 2007, Daisy has become somewhat of a classic go-to summer fragrance for thousands of women around the world, including me! After eight years of sales, it went on to win the Consumer Choice Prestige Award at the Fragrance Foundation Awards in 2015.

It’s described as a “fresh and feminine fragrance”, and that’s exactly what it is, with an overall floral scent with added notes of fruit for extra zest. Although distinctively summery, the scent is not too overpowering, as it also contains musk to round the sweetness off. 

Although it’s an eau de toilette, after one application, it can still be detected for around six hours, which is great. And, at $106 for a large 3.4 oz bottle, it’s relatively good value and should be enough to keep you smelling fantastic for the entire summer, if not longer. 

The packaging is another great aspect of this perfume – it even won the Best Packaging Award at the 2015 Fragrance Foundation Awards! However, it’s worth noting that the lid, which is fairly cumbersome, makes it difficult to carry around in a small bag or purse.

Pros
  • Relatively good value
  • Long-lasting for an eau de toilette
  • Award-winning fragrance and packaging
  • Multiple bottle sizes and additional products available
Cons
  • The bottle lid may make it difficult to carry in small bags or purses

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sun Eau de Toilette

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sun Eau de Toilette

Features

  • Light, zesty eau de toilette
  • Comes in two different bottle sizes
  • Sleek rectangle bottle that is easy to transport
  • Fruity-floral fragrance that’s perfect for summer

You may be familiar with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, which was released way back in 2007. Marketed as reminiscent of a Sicilian summer, it quickly became a firm favorite with many women. In 2019, D&G released an even more summery version: Light Blue Sun.

This fruity-floral fragrance really is named appropriately, as the delicious scent evokes images of blue skies and bright sunshine. Fruity and floral top and middle notes are rounded off by bottom notes of white musk, cedar, and vanilla – truly a fantastic combination.

As it’s an eau de toilette with a light scent (as opposed to deep and heavy), the smell fades after a few hours, so it’s likely that you’ll need to reapply at some point during the day. However, the bottle holds 1.6 oz and can easily slip into a bag, so you can keep it close by.

$80 for a 1.6 oz bottle is a good middle-ground for those of you that want to purchase a good-quality, much-loved summer fragrance but don’t want to commit to a large bottle or spend over $100. However, there’s also a larger 3.4 oz bottle available for $102.

Pros
  • Similar fragrance notes to a very popular tried-and-tested formula (Light Blue)
  • Good option for people who want to try a new fragrance without spending a huge amount of money
  • Different bottle sizes available
  • Bottle is well-designed for easy storage in bags or purses
Cons
  • Eau de toilette that does not last for the whole day

Best Women’s Perfumes to Wear in the Day

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum

Features

  • Attractive grenade-shaped glass bottle
  • Falls into the oriental-floral fragrance family
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • Long-lasting oriental-floral fragrance

This perfume could be described as a cult favorite – and it’s certainly earned that status. Aptly shaped like a grenade, Flowerbomb blew up the perfume world when it was released back in 2005, and it’s stayed as a firm favorite for many women around the world since then.

It definitely falls into the oriental-floral family, with bergamot, green tea, orchid, rose, freesia, and jasmine making up the sweet, fresh top notes and vanilla, musk, and patchouli as the bottom notes. This produces a distinctive scent that is intense yet not overpowering.

At $165 for 3.4 oz (about 100 ml), Flowerbomb isn’t exactly cheap – but you’ll be getting a large bottle of a highly concentrated eau de parfum that’s got a great reputation and thousands of fantastic online reviews, so I think that the price is justified.

Plus, a little goes a long way – you’ll smell great all day after just a couple of sprays. However, if you want to spend less, there are 1.6 oz and 1 oz options available, as well as a larger 5 oz bottle, which, at $215 is the most cost-effective (its value is close to $250).

Pros
  • Has been a popular fragrance around the world for years
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • May be a little expensive for some budgets

Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

Features

  • Gender-neutral scent
  • Available in multiple bottle sizes
  • Additional products available in the Gypsy Water range
  • Simple and sophisticated packaging

Gypsy Water by Byredo has been around since 2008, but it’s one of the lesser-known perfumes on this list. It has been described in multiple reviews as having a “hippy” vibe.

Interestingly, it’s gender-neutral, which makes it fairly unusual. 

With top and middle notes that include lemon, pepper, bergamot, pine needles, and incense, and base notes of amber, vanilla, and sandalwood, it has depth without being overpowering. This makes it perfect as an alluring but unimposing day fragrance that is reminiscent of the great outdoors.

The main downfall is the price, which is high at $180 for a 1.6 oz bottle or $265 for a 3.4 oz bottle. However, you’re getting an unusual eau de parfum made with high-quality ingredients – and it’s unisex. Even so, it’s likely to be out of most people’s budgets.

I like the packaging, which is simple yet sophisticated. Also, there’s a wide range of additional Gypsy Water products available, showing its popularity and meaning that, if you decide it’s the daytime scent for you, you can incorporate it into other parts of your daily routine.

Pros
  • Can be worn by both men and women
  • Crafted by an expert perfumer
  • Attractive bottle that can easily fit into a bag or purse
Cons
  • Expensive

Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette

Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette

Features

  • Designed for daytime use at any point throughout the year
  • Light, subtle, gentle scent
  • Available in multiple different sizes
  • Additional products available in this line

This is a clean, delicate, soft scent that’s been designed for daytime use in mind. Its subtlety means that it’s appropriate to be worn in almost any situation at any point during the year, so if you decide it’s the one for you, it could be a great investment.

Simple floral and fruity notes, rounded off with musk, are used sparingly to ensure it’s never overpowering, making it ideal for those with an aversion to strong smells or sensitivities to intense perfumes. However, some reviews claim it smells like new-born babies and laundry!

Priced at just $89 for a whopping 6 oz, it’s very reasonably priced – especially when you consider that the true value of 6 oz is $150. If you want to purchase less, however, you can buy 1 oz, 2 oz, or 4 oz bottles, but they’ll cost you $50, $60, and $72 respectively.

Either way, Amazing Grace is an eau de toilette, so it’s likely to require reapplication throughout the day– something that quite a lot of online reviews seem to confirm. Lastly, there are multiple additional Amazing Grace products available, including bath and shower gel.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Subtle enough for everyday use in most situations
  • Multiple additional products available in the Amazing Grace line
Cons
  • Needs reapplying throughout the day
  • Reviews state it smells of scents that are not listed as fragrance notes in the product description

Best Women’s Perfumes to Wear in the Evening

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum Spray

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum Spray

Features

  • The winner of multiple awards
  • Extremely popular fragrance from a luxury brand
  • Floral and sweet overtones with intense, deep base notes
  • Comes in different sizes and additional products are available

Released in 2001, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel is a staple classic from one of the most renowned brands in the world. Floral and fresh but, at the same time, sophisticated and alluring, it’s the perfect evening or night time fragrance that will attract compliments for sure.

If you can’t take my word for it, you’re in luck: it has won multiple awards. The first was a Readers’ Choice Award in 2002, just a year after its release, and it went on to win a Best of Beauty Award in 2010 and two more Readers’ Choice Awards in 2015 and 2016.

As an eau de parfum, it’s designed to last for the majority of the day after just one application in the morning, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one of the longest-lasting perfumes I’ve tried, with the distinctive scent still detectable more than eight hours after application.

That’s just as well, as it’s pretty pricey at $135 for 3.4 oz. However, it’s also available in a 6.8 oz bottle, which is much more cost-effective. There are also body creams, body lotions, body oils, soaps, and shower gels available in the Coco Mademoiselle range.

Pros
  • Very long-lasting fragrance
  • Multiple bottle sizes available
  • Has won four awards in 20 years
  • Complex scent made with high-quality ingredients
Cons
  • Could be too expensive for some budgets

Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau De Parfum

Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau De Parfum

Features

  • Long-lasting eau de parfum
  • Fruity-floral fragrance
  • Fairly reasonably priced
  • Attractive, sophisticated bottle design

Described by Calvin Klein as sexy, glamorous, and sensual, Euphoria is a great perfume for the evening and/or night time wear. It’s long-lasting, so there’s no need to worry about topping it up while you’re out, but it’s subtle at the same time so you won’t find it overpowering.

The top notes of this fruity-floral fragrance are pomegranate and persimmon, with middle notes of champaca flower, lotus blossom, and black orchid. Bottom notes of amber, black violet, and mahogany provide an alluring, rich base that is guaranteed to draw you in.

Since its release in 2005, Euphoria has remained popular with women around the world, so it’s safe to say that you’ll be getting a tried-and-tested best-selling product. And, priced at $115 for a large 5.5 oz bottle, it’s reasonably priced considering the quality.

There are smaller bottles available (3.4 oz, 1.7 oz, 1 oz, and 0.33 oz), but they’re not very cost-effective at all; therefore, it’s recommended to buy the bigger size if possible. As it’s an eau de parfum, a little goes a long way, so it should last you for a long time.

Pros

  • Lighter top notes and heavier bottom notes for added depth to the fragrance
  • Fairly reasonably priced for a high-quality product
  • Has been popular around the world for almost 15 years
  • Crafted by experts for one of the world’s leading designer brands
Cons
  • Smaller options are not cost-effective at all, and some people may not want to purchase a large bottle

Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau De Parfum

Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau De Parfum

Features

  • Unique bottle design
  • Designed specifically for glamorous nights out
  • Oriental-floral fragrance
  • Available in two bottle sizes

This is undoubtedly the perfect perfume for a glamorous evening – the unique design of the bottle alone is enough to give you confidence when you spray on the scent. Encased in an impressively high-heeled shoe, it’s designed for the modern woman who means business.

The top note of this oriental-floral fragrance is mandarin, which is complemented by middle notes of ylang-ylang, green pear, and jasmine. Sandalwood, cocoa, almond, and Tonka bean give it a deep, rich base that lasts for hours, which means a little goes a long way.

Costing $119 for a 2.7 oz bottle, it’s a little pricey but, in my opinion, justified. Unfortunately, the smaller 1.7 oz bottle is much less cost-effective at $96. And, despite the bottle design making Good Girl’s more appealing to some, it’s one of the biggest downfalls for others.

It definitely hasn’t been designed with ease of use on a night out in mind – nor can it be easily stored and transported in a small bag. However, if you’re intending to keep it firmly in your dresser or on your bathroom shelf, that won’t be a problem or concern.

Pros
  • Larger bottle is reasonably priced
  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Unique bottle design that will appeal to many people
Cons
  • Bottle design means it’s not easy to store or transport in a bag
  • Smaller bottle is not cost-effective at all, and some people may not want to purchase a large bottle

Conclusion

So, there you have it – the 12 best women’s perfumes available, categorized by season and time of day. While cheaper options lower the initial cost, they’re likely to require frequent reapplication, thereby causing you to bother reapplying them. Therefore, it’s best to buy a good-quality perfume that will last you a long time – think of it as an investment.

That’s why I ended up picking the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum as the Editor’s Pick – sweet, fresh, and floral, it’s the perfect perfume to wear in the day, plus it’s long-lasting. For a more budget-friendly alternative, the Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette is a great choice – it comes in an extra-large 6 oz bottle, so it’s guaranteed to last you for a decent amount of time (and, despite being great quality, it’s less than $100!).

So, now that we’ve provided you with our personal recommendations, you’re hopefully fully equipped to venture out alone and find yourself a perfect signature fragrance. However, it’s extremely important to read product specifications and reviews before making a purchase, just to double-check that it’s right for you. I hope you found this review helpful – if so, please share it for others to see!

Kandyce Angel Avatar
Written by
Kandyce Angel
Kandyce is based in London, England, and has 10+ years of writing and editing experience. She has a passion for testing and reviewing products, but when she’s not researching and writing for MuchNeeded, she spends time reading, long-distance running and teaching English as a foreign language.