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The Best Perfumes for Women

🕚 Updated January 2023

Perfumes are a long-lasting way to ensure you smell clean, sophisticated, and attractive. From floral to citrus, you can choose your new favorite scent, layer and mix a few together, or find a gift for a loved one. Consider one of our top selections.

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  Top Choice Best Roll-On Option Best Eau de Toilette Best Sampler Set Best Gift Set
  Ariana Grande
Ari Eau de Parfum Spray for Women
Pure Instinct
Roll-On Essential Oil Perfume
Vera Wang
Princess Eau de Toilette Spray for Women
Pacifica Beauty
Wanderlust Spray Perfume Set
Calvin Klein
Obsession for Women
Our SummaryFrom one of America's favorite entertainers, this debut fragrance is playful, timeless, and confident.This perfume oil contains hints of mango, cinnamon, and honey for a sweet and spicy scent.From one of the most famous designers in the world, this light yet exotic eau de toilette embodies balance and a celebration of femininity.You won't have to settle with just one scent when you have a unique set of perfumes like this one.This four-piece gift set makes an amazing present for your special lady for any occasion.
Pros✓ Fresh scent
✓ Perfect for pulse points
✓ Feminine design
✓ Giftable packaging
✓ Made with pheromones
✓ Long lasting
✓ Familiar and sweet notes
✓ Travel friendly
✓ Light yet complex
✓ Beautiful gemstone-shaped bottle
✓ Lasting fragrance
✓ Made with essential oils
✓ Allergen and chemical-free
✓ Five enticing fragrances
✓ Classic and warm
✓ Addictive and alluring
✓ Beautiful packaging
✓ High-quality option
Cons✗ Doesn't last long
✗ Has a strong floral scent
✗ May be too strong for some✗ May be too light of a scent for some people✗ Only lasts about as long as body spray✗ Too strong for some
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The Best Perfumes for Women

Woman smiling with bottle of perfume.

Buying Guide for Women’s Perfume

Close-up of woman applying perfume to wrist.
titov dmitriy/Shutterstock.com

Why buy perfume?

Aside from enjoying the scent of perfume, there are other reasons why you may be interested in purchasing a bottle. Certain scents can trigger memories of a person or point in place or time, so in a way, wearing that scent brings associated nostalgia or happiness. Some perfumes feature scents that provide aromatherapy to soothe and calm your mind and body. Other positive benefits are boosting your confidence, enhancing your mood, and making you feel more attractive.

What should you look for in perfume?

  • Concentration: Perfumes come in different concentrations. Perfume, or parfum, contains 20 to 30% concentration of aromatic compounds; eau de parfum contains 15 to 20%; eau de toilette contains 5 to 15%; eau de cologna contains 2 to 4%; and eau fraiche contains 1 to 3%. When buying a perfume, keep in mind how long you will want the fragrance to last. The more concentrated the formula, the longer the scent should last.
  • Fragrance Family: Perfumes can focus on a single fragrance family or mix and match between them. Fragrance families usually include floral, citrus, or earthy scents. For example, you could have a perfume that has hints of both lemon and the ocean. Some people like to switch up their signature fragrance for different times of the year.
  • Size: Perfumes come in a variety of sizes, with larger perfume spray bottles tending to cost more. If you aren’t sure what scent you want to wear or aren’t ready to commit to one fragrance, there are sample sets available. For a nice present, you can also purchase a gift set.

How should you properly apply perfume?

There are several tips you should follow to fully enjoy the notes of your perfume and keep its integrity when you wear it. First, if possible, spritz right after you shower since this is when your skin is most hydrated and will make your fragrance last longer. Second, be sure to spray in areas where your body is naturally warm and moist, like your elbows, behind the knees, your chest, and the neck. Also, apply it to pulse points, as this will carry the scent along the rest of your body without you having to do the extra work. Lastly, you can take the freedom to spray it on your clothing and layer different scents, as these can create a unique signature fragrance and complement each other.

Our Picks for the Best Perfumes for Women

Top Choice

Ariana Grande Ari Eau de Parfum Spray for Women

From one of America's favorite entertainers, this debut fragrance is playful, timeless, and confident.

Pros: Ariana Grande’s perfume is all the rage. The ultra-feminine scent opens with a fresh blend of crispy pear, pink grapefruit, and sparkling juicy raspberry. Then at the heart, you’ll be hit with the smell of rose along with creamy vanilla orchid. Once dried, it finishes with a musky note and sweet-like-marshmallow scent. The gorgeous bottle with its gemstone-cut design makes it a beautiful gift for a friend or the young woman in your life.

Cons: This perfume isn’t as long-lasting as it could be, and for those who are not a fan of floral scents, you’ll want to avoid this one.

Bottom Line: This light yet sexy perfume is great for everyday wear. It has a complex and sweet scent that can be layered so you can create a truly unique scent.


Best Roll-On Option

Pure Instinct Roll-On Essential Oil Perfume

Loved by people across the world, this unique perfume blends with your skin's natural pH.

Pros: You can’t get a more personal and customized scent than with this travel-ready oil from Pure Instinct. The oil absorbs quickly, leaving hints of mango, cinnamon, and honey behind on your skin. The unisex formula contains carefully crafted pheromones to enhance your mood, attraction, and relationships. Since it’s portable and easy to roll on, feel free to layer it with other oils or perfumes to create a deep and alluring fragrance of your very own.

Cons: For some, the scent may be too strong.

Bottom Line: For those who prefer a more natural perfume that mixes in with your body’s pH, a body oil like this one from Pure Instinct will create a distinct, personalized scent. Its smooth and simple application in a roll-on bottle will have you reaching for it on those travel or low-key days.


Best Eau de Toilette

Vera Wang Princess Eau de Toilette Spray for Women

From one of the most famous designers in the world, this light yet exotic eau de toilette embodies balance and a celebration of femininity.

Pros: For a lighter scent that still has depth and complexity, this perfume is a must-have. It comes in a jewel-like heart-shaped bottle with faceted sides that mimic a gemstone. It’s also beautifully packaged for a gift fit for a princess. This eau de toilette has notes of apple and water lily, rich vanilla, amber, chocolate, and guava. It’s feminine, modern, and sophisticated yet light in spirit. Spray it on right after your shower or bath for an all-day glowing aroma. And take note, this fragrance lasts longer on fresh, moisturized skin.

Cons: If you’re looking to mask other smells or make a strong statement, this perfume may be too light for you.

Bottom Line: Overall, this designer perfume is a wonderful selection that has a range of inviting and rich scents from earthy to sweet. The beautiful stand-out heart-designed bottle will make a stunning addition to your collection and make you smell like royalty.


Best Sampler Set

Pacifica Beauty Wanderlust Spray Perfume Set

You won't have to settle with just one scent when you have a unique set of perfumes like this one.

Pros: There’s a lot to love about this trial perfume set with five miniature bottles. These clean scents are made with natural essential oils that are clean and allergen-free, perfect for just about anyone. They’re also formulated without phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, polycyclic musks, or nitro musks. And this brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and all-around better for the planet. The packaging is even eco-friendly, using glass bottles instead of plastics. Plus, this set includes amazing fragrances, including Island Vanilla, Tahitian Gardenia, French Lilac, Tuscan Blood Orange, and Indian Coconut Nectar. The set makes a fantastic gift on its own, or you can use the individual bottles as stocking stuffers, mini gifts, or prizes.

Cons: Because these perfumes aren’t enhanced with chemicals, they don’t last much longer on the skin than body spray. They do last longer on hair or clothes, however.

Bottom Line: This sample set is perfect if you’re not sure what to give for a gift or if you haven’t nailed down your favorite fragrance. The scents are exotic and sweet without being too strong.


Best Gift Set

Calvin Klein Obsession for Women

This four-piece gift set makes an amazing present for your special lady for any occasion.

Pros: This perfume is a classic choice—and for good reason. Addictive and long-lasting, this perfume for women sets a sexy, provocative mood with a unique blend of dreamy, spicy, woodsy, and floral notes. Then, it opens up a sweeter, more sensual blend of vanilla and amber. Though the formula has changed a little over the years, the warm and alluring base has remained the same, and people love this designer fragrance both for its pleasant signature scent and gorgeous premium bottle.

Cons: Some find this fragrance too strong and closer to cologne than a perfume. So if you are sensitive to rich perfumes, you may want to avoid this one.

Bottom Line: This traditional perfume has stood the test of time, and it’s still a popular choice after decades on the market. It is warm and alluring, and the set comes in gorgeous, giftable packaging.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s to reminisce about your favorite memory or embody a scent that makes you feel more graceful and confident, the right perfume can leave an unforgettable impression. One spritz of a scent may seem small, but the benefits of carrying a scent you love are unmatched.

Jasmine Paxton Jasmine Paxton
Jasmine Paxton is a freelance editor based in Atlanta, Georgia with an extensive editing background in digital media. She has five years of experience editing content within the fashion editorial and beauty and lifestyle industries and specializes in editing product information for buying guides and copy for brand-growth marketing on Amazon. Read Full Bio »
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