17:23 | 11/05/2021 Print
Finding your signature fragrance is like finding the perfect partner: You’re rarely going to know what you’re looking for until you find it. Still, like with any good relationship, you have your standards, right? Your deal-breakers, your all-or-nothings. Maybe you have a specific type you’re searching for—woodsy and dark or fresh and clean? Perhaps you even envision a particular scene you’d like your scent to emulate: long walks along the Mediterranean sea, or climbing into an Uber after an eventful evening in New Orleans?
Thankfully, the fragrance masters have made discovering the ideal perfume a little easier than matching with the perfect date. After scouring the perfume archives for some of the most popular and most interesting Eau de toilettes on the market, we found scents with a proven track record for intrigue. Order a few samples to compare and contrast your favorites, or go all-in on a bottle that doubles as decor. This is your perfume love story. Never settle.
We like to think of perfume as the cherry on top of the sundae—that final finishing touch that pulls your look togehter. But there’s no denying that shopping for a new scent can be a challenging (not to mention headache-inducing) experience. To help guide your search, it’s a good idea to think of fragrances according to different categories—floral, fruity, woodsy, or clean—as most people innately gravitate towards one of those. That will help you narrow down the options…at least somewhat. But to really make it easy, we’ve done the hard work for you, sorting and sniffing our way through the options out there to select the best of the best in each of these categories—some of which happen to be our personal favorites here at KnowInsiders.
1. Jimmy Choo Signature
2. Tom Ford Black Orchid
3. Dior Miss Dior Rose n’ Roses
4. Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Eau de Parfum
5. Chloé's Nomade Absolu de Parfum
6. Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense
7. Glossier You Perfume
8. OUAI Melrose Place Eau de Parfum
9. Bond No. 9 New York Greenwich Village Eau de Parfum
10. Ex Nihilo Fleur Narcotique Eau de Parfum
11. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
12. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Daze Eau de Toilette
13. BVLGARI Allegra Rock ‘N’ Rome
14. Acqua di Parma Yuzu
15. Juliette Has a Gun Not A Perfume
Tiger orchid and toffee caramel summon an empowering and seductive scent with an effortless click of the finger. Jimmy Choo Signature is charming and vivacious, evoking romanticism and seductive with top green notes that are heady and gourmand. An energetic boost with a wonderfully juicy appeal, it’s sexy and mystical with a unique bouquet. One spritz will lift it from the body to reveal contrasting sweet Italian orange and pear nectar with underlying hints of Indonesian patchouli.
Stroll back into the world of old Hollywood drama with velvet curtains and a dash of red matte lipstick. Black truffle, bergamot and its namesake black orchid confidently take centre stage in this fragrance from Tom Ford, with an Art-Deco inspired bottle that demands attention. Black Orchid’s dark and oriental notes are the forbidden fruit of the fragrance world: plum, patchouli and vanilla smell good enough to eat. Melting dark chocolate and drops of amber, incense and balsam complete this perfume, in a beautifully unisex bottle that lasts forever on the skin.
Dior Miss Dior Rose n’ Roses marks the newest addition to the beloved Miss Dior Collection, offering a brighter reinterpretation of the classic fragrance while still remaining true to its original origins. At the heart of the new Dior fragrance lies a blend of Grasse and Damascus rose, which imbues it with its signature lovely floral scent, while juicy notes of mandarin, bergamot, and white musk heighten its lively, vibrant undertones. We like to think of it as the cooler, younger sister to your traditional old-school rose scent.
As the name suggests, there's a dangerous and seductive quality to this fragrance that makes it perfect for a romantic date night. Inspired by "a luscious floral whirlwind in the garden of good and evil," this intoxicating scent is led by notes of orange blossom, osmanthus and tuberose, which combine to create the perfect balance between sweet and sexy. Often described as smelling "expensive" and "luxurious," this light, jasmine and narcissus-infused eau de parfum is also incredibly long-lasting, making it well worth the investment. Channel your inner temptress by wearing it with a bold red lip and barely-there heels come your next night out.
“A unique, radiant, luscious fragrance” is how Chloé describes its newest addition to the Nomade scent family. A more intense, intoxicating version of the original, Chloé Nomade Absolu nods to a more masculine fragrance with underlying notes of oakmoss and woody chypre, while the sumptuous texture of a sweet cherry plum adds a juicy dimension. Elsewhere, you’ll get hints of warm, creamy sandalwood and velvety davana, resulting in a rich, earthy eau de parfum that will inspire you to set off on your own exotic escape.
Elegant, sophisticated and glamorous: Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense blankets its wearer with a magnetic and decadent mix of woody oud and velvety sweet rose. Dipped in praline, it’s toasted with smoky oud wood and spiked with a hint of clove. Underlying femininity comes from a rich floral depth that’s sweet but fresh, powerful and pleasing and simple all at the same time, Luxe.digital cited.
Smells like: A freshly-washed, crisp, clean t-shirt.
Let's all take a moment to appreciate how adorable this pink Glossier fragrance is... The ergonomic bottle has a thumb-print design that allows the fragrance to sit perfectly in your hand.
Described by the brand as a 'your skin but better scent', it has subtle notes of Ambrette and Musk, that smell comforting and familiar.
Smells like: You know when you walk into a v.fancy shop? It smells clean, crisp and fresh with just a hint of florals, this perfume is exactly that scent.
Everything about Jen Atkin's range of perfumes is appealing, from the chic minimalist glass bottles to the s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g scents inside. Melrose Place is a fresh floral juice, with a hint of creamy sandalwood and amber through the base.
"I usually gravitate towards more niche fragrance brands with sleek fonts and minimalist packaging," says Byrdie editorial director Faith Xue, "But one spritz of Bond No.’s new Greenwich Village fragrance and I knew I had found my new favorite scent—even if it comes in a bright turquoise star-shaped bottle. The scent features top notes of heliotrope and bois d’encens, middle notes of tonka bean and amber, and a warm base of sensual musk and santal. It's all-around intoxicating, and I spritz myself whenever I need a confidence boost (and just want to smell like an angel). I think I might wear this until the end of time."
Faith also loves this Ex Nihilo fragrance, especially during summer. "This is the perfect summer fragrance," she says. "It's light yet pungent and stays on all day. I'm obsessed with all things peach, so I was delighted to find out there were some peach notes in here, coupled with bergamot, lychee, orange blossom, and musk. If you want to smell like a sexy summer cocktail, you can't go wrong with this. I love that it doesn't veer too sweet or floral, either. It smells complex and sophisticated; one time when I was wearing it at breakfast with a publicist she wouldn't let me leave until I had sent her a link for where to buy it. Plus, Hailey Bieber says it's her signature fragrance."
Karli Bendlin, Byrdie's email editor, sometimes feels like an unofficial brand ambassador for this fragrance since she's had so many friends (and strangers) ask her about it. "The brand would say it has notes of jasmine, saffron, and cedarwood, but for me, it just truly smells like nothing else I've ever come across in the best possible way," she says. "Every time I spray it on I immediately feel like a more luxurious version of myself. It's not cheap, so I do try to save it for more special occasions rather than everyday wear—though sometimes I spray it on myself when I'm not even leaving the house, just for the joy of it."
Smells like: Fizzy peach gummy sweets.
There are two types of people: those who go wild for peach scents and those who think Too Faced should go to prison for scenting an entire make-up line with a stone fruit. If you fall into the former camp, the copious peach notes packed into this fragrance will fill you with deep joy. If you fall into the latter, well...
Rock’n’Rome immortalizes the intimacy of a shared spritz in a liquorous floriental fragrance. Like a fizzy cocktail, it starts with the effervescent-like sparkle of zesty notes. To craft the fragrance’s floral fruity aroma, Osmanthus and apricot notes are stirred together. Then the olfactory cocktail tapers into a sweet benzoin gum. Serving up the fun of endless aperativos and free-flowing conversation, Rock’n’Rome smolders with the warm feelings of friendship and the glimmer of dusk. Wear alone or enjoy infinite possibilities when you magnify this Eau de Parfum with one of the five exclusive Magnifying Essences to bring your fragrance experience to the next level. Select from either Musk, Bergamot, Rose, Patchouli or Vanilla, Bulgari wrote.
Rock and roll all the way to Rome and back, transported by the smell of this new spring scent from Bulgari.
One of the scents in the Allegra collection, Rock ‘N’ Rome is reminiscent of your first Aperol Spritz in Italy, or having a cocktail at your favorite bar back home. While you can wear the fruity citrus scent on its own, you can also mix it with one of their Magnifying Essences, available in musk, bergamot, rose, patchouli or vanilla.
Though not typically associated with the Italian coastline, yuzu is getting its moment in the sun this season as the starring ingredient behind Acqua di Parma’s latest artisanal fragrance. A rare and highly-scented oriental fruit, yuzu is often added to warm baths in Japan during the winter solstice to infuse the water with its precious oils, as well as an intense, regenerating aroma. In its latest olfactory form, the highly-prized citrus fruit is blended with bergamot—one of the leading Italian golden fruits in the Acqua di Parma fragrances—spicy Sichuan pepper, delicate mimosa, and warm sandalwood to create a sparkling and highly seductive fragrance that’s made even more appealing by the minimal, light-catching bottle.
Don’t worry, Juliette is kidding about the gun and the perfume… or is she?
Feel a little dangerous and a lot sexy while wearing this scent from Juliette Has a Gun. The scent is actually really cool, as it isn’t a traditional scent at all. Made for those who have a hard time finding a perfume they love, Not A Perfume is made with a single note, called cetalox which is actually a base for many perfumes. This makes it easy to layer or wear on its own for a clean and minimalist smell that is also hypoallergenic and unisex, Nypost noted.
How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer
Have you ever wondered why the scent of your perfume seems to always disappear by lunchtime? The answer may lie in the perfume’s ingredients. Some notes, including citrus and water ones, are more volatile than others, causing them to evaporate from the skin more quickly.
It’s also important to understand the general breakdown of a fragrance and what the various notes mean regarding your perfume’s application. Here’s what you need to know:
Top Notes: The first scent you smell after spraying the perfume, which fades the fastest.
Middle/Heart Notes: The scent that develops after the top note fades.
Base Note: This is the heaviest scent that tends to linger the longest.
How and when you apply your fragrance may also have an impact on its longevity. To help get the most out of your scent, most perfumers agree that you should always spritz your fragrance directly onto the skin, rather than creating a mist and walking through it, to ensure that you’re not wasting any product. You should also always apply your perfume immediately after getting out of the shower (when your pores are the most open) and spritz it directly onto your body’s pulse points, including your wrists, neck, inner elbows, and behind your ears. The warmth of these areas will help activate the notes and diffuse the fragrance across your entire body, according to Editorialist.
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