What’s Hot This Year for Perfume


Fragrance is one of the most personal beauty products out there—and it can also make a fantastic gift. Last year during the holiday season, perfumes were purchased at a rate double that of any other beauty product. And there are plenty of reasons to invest in a new bottle of fragrance, not least of which is that the right scent can elevate an outfit, boost your mood and even improve your skin.

But before you buy, make sure to take a moment to consider your skin type. Fragrance molecules tend to bind with well-hydrated skin, which is why it’s important to moisturize regularly. Plus, rubbing a perfume on your skin can actually degrade its molecules—it’s best to spray on the inside of your wrists and behind your ears (or the back of your neck and decolletage) and rub them in, rather than directly onto your clothes.

As far as perfumes go, you’re likely to find yourself leaning toward floral and woody scents this year. Traditionally, these are the most popular perfumes for women. And they are also the most versatile and universal. “They’re great for both everyday wear and special occasions because they can be worn with any style,” says Eduardo Valadez, a self-described perfume junkie with more than 20 years under his belt working at French fragrance house Diptque. “And you can even layer them with other perfumes to create a completely new fragrance.”

When it comes to floral perfumes, Chanel No. 5 sent a shockwave when it debuted in 1921. Its combination of fresh, green lily and delicate rose is instantly recognizable. Another of our favorites is Guerlain’s Les Exclusifs, which is a modern interpretation of a classic, feminine perfume. This scent is rich and decadent, with notes of orange blossom and jasmine paired with warm nuances of musk and sandalwood.

A perfume’s middle and base notes usually carry a heavier weight and add more complexity to the overall smell. For example, a woody scent could include cedarwood or labdanum. These can also be a good option for people with sensitive skin, which tends to be less reactive to fragrances.

Lastly, you should also keep in mind the time and place of your perfume purchase. You’ll want to choose a lighter scent for daytime and something more intense for nighttime. A perfume infused with tonka bean and vanilla is a great option for nighttime, as is Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, which has just the slightest hint of tobacco.

Then there’s a fragrance inspired by the American West, which would work well for a day hike or evening drinks with friends. And a perfume that captures the spirit of a city, like Paris for Women by Cartier, is a fitting pick for date night. This perfume has a sultry smokiness that’s balanced by sweet citrus notes and musk. And its gilded glass vessel looks chic on your vanity.