The scent of your perfume says a lot about you, from the moment it hits the skin. It can stir up a nostalgic memory, like the smell of your mom’s perfume from when you were young, or it could represent a new chapter in your life. But with so many scents out there, it can be tricky to find the one that’s right for you. From timeless aromas that speak for themselves, like Chanel No. 5 or a reinterpretation of Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, to clean options with an upscale aesthetic that’ll look great on your vanity, the best perfumes for women feature irresistible fragrances that last all day without getting overpowering.
Whether you’re looking for something fresh and fruity, woodsy and musky or sweet and floral, there is a perfume out there for everyone. The best perfumes for women also boast unique notes that add a special touch and set them apart from the crowd. To narrow down your options, professional perfumer Kalliope Amorphous recommends starting by assessing what notes you’re drawn to most. “Look at the top notes, which are the initial scents that hit your nose when you spritz, and see what kind of vibe they’re giving off,” she tells InStyle. “Once you know what you’re into, it will be easier to test out other fragrances.”
A spritz of the perfect perfume can instantly elevate an outfit and boost your confidence. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best perfumes for women with different notes, price points and bottle sizes.
If you’re in the mood for something bright and fresh, Calvin Klein’s Ck One is a top pick. With a blend of green tea and hints of cardamom, this light perfume opens with citrus and tropical notes. It’s an ideal scent for summer.
This is a perfume for the bold, free-spirited woman who’s not afraid to be her true self. Lolita Lempicka’s first perfume is reminiscent of her non-conformist princess persona, and the red-orange notes speak to passion and romance.
It’s impossible to forget the gilded J’adore commercials featuring Charlize Theron dripping in gold, and the fragrance itself is just as memorable. The black plum and patchouli-heavy notes of this unisex perfume are hypnotic and sensual.
A floral gourmand that’s as soft and luscious as a freshly picked bouquet, this heavenly fragrance features hints of orange blossom absolute, Hawaiian wedding flower, jasmine and rose. The uplifting top notes are balanced by the warm and rich base of musk, vanilla, amber and sandalwood. It’s the kind of fragrance that can take you from a day in the office to dinner with your S.O.. And its sleek black-and-gold packaging will look just as chic on your vanity as it does in your bag.