From vibrant citrus notes and sensual musks to bold and beautiful florals, spring’s newest fragrances are a bold and beautiful bunch. Here, Vogue provides some of the best options for the best new perfume to introduce to your olfactory wardrobe now.
What could be a better accessory than a fragrance? The best perfume for women is so much more than just a scent. It’s an extension of an outfit, a sensory statement, a way of leaving an inedible imprint on the minds that you encounter.
Science tells us that the olfactory part of our brains which processes scents is very closely linked to the amygdala and hippocampus, the neurological regions that process emotions and memory. Hence the Proustian effect – sometimes a single sniff of a much-loved perfume from the past or a flower that grew outside a favorite villa is enough to transport you back.
But how to choose? Scent is indeed so personal, and oftentimes, fragrances can even smell different on different people’s skin, thanks to the complicated bespoke blends of oils that we all carry on our skin. Do you go for something heavier in the evening, and only something crisp and fresh for work? Is it coconuts and vanilla on holiday, always?
Vogue’s advice? Go classic, always. That certainly doesn’t mean you need to choose a scent that’s been out for decades. On the contrary, in fact; some of the newest launches that come via our beauty desk are somehow still the most timeless. A classic scent is one not cloyed with overly powerful top notes, nor will it melt away after mere moments. A classic scent is well-balanced, perhaps with a slightly surprising note added in for good measure, and universally appealing.
You may find you want to build up something of a scent wardrobe, or a capsule collection as it were. Something especially fresh for everyday wear, or for interviews or important meetings that’s pleasant and memorable but not overwhelming. A special evening scent, for those wintery nights curled up by the fire with a glass of red, something warming and seasonal. Or a summery scent, one that happily marries with sunscreen and salt on the skin and lazy, languid days.
Perhaps you’re signature or nothing, preferring only to wear your scent once you find it. More power to you – a signature scent is something of a calling card, a comfort to your loved ones when they smell it, and not dissimilar to a favourite pair of jeans or a handbag in the peace and confidence it’ll give you.
Whatever you choose, we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff to bring you a perfectly edited selection of scents that are sure to suit every taste from heady and sensual to light and breezy.
See our edit of the best perfumes for women below…
MiN New York
There is nothing like a scent that smells of the sea and this one gets it down to a tee. With notes of coconut, solar cream, orange blossom and vanilla, it’s sumptuously balmy and goes perfectly with salty locks and a free-spirited mentality.
MiN New York Long Board, £220, available at Harrods.
Inspired by the British nature and the smells that come with it, Laboratory Perfumes is a cool, indie brand that makes interesting perfumes. Few scents say summer like this one, a vanilla-meets-coconut wonder that smells good enough to eat.
Laboratory Perfumes Tonka Eau de Toilette, £65, available at Cult Beauty.
Misting yourself in this new Louis Vuitton scent is like going for an actual afternoon swim in exotic climes. It’s crisp and cool and packed with citrusy notes, like Sicilian orange and mandarin.
Louis Vuitton Afternoon Swim, £185, available at Louis Vuitton.
There’s rosy fragrances, and then there’s this rosy fragrance. Fused with ambrette, the scent is evocative of truly fresh-cut roses, still wet with dew. It’s sensual and alluring, but still delicate rather than cloying.
Jo Loves Rose Petal 25, £70, available at Joloves.com
Think long, hot days in a bottle, the new Byredo scent is warm and welcoming with notes of cotton candy, musk, lemon and mandarin. It’s as carefree as they come and will brighten up days when the sun isn’t shining, no end.
Byredo Sundazed, £165, available at Space NK.
Named to celebrate the year in which Gabrielle Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in Dallas, Chanel’s 1957 fragrance from the Les Exclusifs collection is a gorgeous musky scent, complemented by notes of bergamot, iris, neroli, cedar and honey.
Chanel Les Exclusifs De Chanel 1957 Eau De Parfum, £280 for 200ml. Available at Chanel.com.
Carine Roitfeld Parfums
As part of a collection of perfumes in which Carine Roitfeld imagines crossing paths with various different gentlemen, this one, she says, smells like meeting – and dancing the tango with – a man named Sebastian in Buenos Aires. True to the imagined scenario, it’s sexy, spicy and infused with tuberose, sandalwood and immortelle flower, for the headiest scent going.
Carine Roitfeld Parfums Eau de Parfum – Sebastian, £233, available at Net-a-Porter.
Acqua di Parma
As far as instant transportation tools go, this scent is up there with the best of them thanks to notes or orange, clary sage and cypress that take you straight to the Italian region of Tuscany. It’s energetic and fresh and is ideal for those who like something interesting and light.
Acqua di Parma Cipresso Di Toscana, £72 for 75ml, available at Selfridges.
A musky take on spring florals, Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her Pure Musc features notes of jasmine, orange blossom, musk, cashmeran, amber and patchouli. Understated and elegant.
Narciso Rodriguez For Her Pure Musc Eau De Parfum, £68 for 50ml. Available at Johnlewis.com.
Tiffany & Co.
With notes including blackcurrant, rose, iris and ylang ylang, Tiffany & Co.’s Sheer Eau De Toilette is elegant, feminine and floral. Ideal for sunny spring days.
Tiffany & Co. Sheer Eau De Toilette, £90 for 75ml. Available at Debenhams.com.
Bold, sexy and addictive, YSL Black Opium Intense features notes including absinthe, black coffee, jasmine and vanilla. The perfect choice for those who like to make a big impression with their scent.
YSL Black Opium Intense Eau De Parfum, £78 for 50ml. Available at Yslbeauty.co.uk.
Fresh and aquatic with notes of lemon and juniper berries, mixed with a hint of more sensual amber, this scent smells as good as it looks. Fans of the brand might already know the Costa Azzurra scent that came before it – this is slightly lighter and more refreshing, making it ideal for swelteringly hot days.
Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Acqua, £82, available at Look Fantastic.
Developed in partnership with nose Alberto Morillas, this sensual scent is redolent of rose, jasmine and tuberose with a welcome chypre note to cut through the florals. A base of patchouli adds musky femininity, while fresh ginger lends a zesty finish.
Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiore, £81, available at Boots.com
Created in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society, this scent combines the sparkle of Prosecco with powdery sandalwood and even a lick of dash of salty sea air to make for an undeniably summery mix. Beautifully effervescent, there’s also creamy notes of rhubarb for a tactile finish.
Floral Street Electric Rhubarb, £58, from Floralstreet.com
A limited edition version of the best-loved classic, this fragrances is shimmering, zesty and utterly moreish. Clementine flower has a slightly bittersweet note that melts perfectly into lilac and sandalwood for a slightly spicy blend.
Jo Malone Blossom Editions Orange Blossom, £98, available at Jomalone.co.uk
This perfume by socially conscious brand, Sana Jardin, was made for pulse points, such is its ability to evoke a sense of mystery. A heady blend of patchouli, leather and Australian sandalwood give it a woody kick, while rose, jasmine and osmanthus add a softer edge, for a smell that’s as rich as it is soft and sensual.
Sana Jardin Celestial Patchouli, £95, available at Cult Beauty.
Those who love a more traditionally masculine scent will go wild for this, a patchouli, juniper berry and orange blossom-blended smell with a raw hint of spice and earthiness; it smells mouthwatering on the skin.
Diptyque Eau des Sense, £70, available at Space NK.