The 31 Best Perfumes for Women 2022: YSL, Chanel, Glossier, Marc Jacobs, Le Labo, and More

Like sex positions and your coffee order, your flavor preference is deeply personal. Is there then the “best” perfume for women? Probably not. The best perfume for you may be entirely different from the best for someone else, and that’s part of the fun.

Whether you’ve identified your signature scent at 17 and haven’t lost your way, or you’re still figuring out which notes you’re drawn to, we’ve put together a list of crowd-pleasing picks that are sophisticated and surprising. But first, a few things to know before you start putting on perfume.

What are Remarks, and all the perfume jargon?

If you’re new to the world of perfumes and fragrances, you might be overwhelmed with the language. Here is a short glossary of common terms.

  • Remarks: The key scents that make up the perfume. Every fragrance has layers of notes: the top (or top) notes, the fast-evaporating scents you detect right after spraying; middle (or heart) notes, which help retain the aroma of top notes while introducing new scents; and the base notes, the longest lasting fragrances that penetrate your skin and support the top and middle notes.
  • Dry : The final stage of perfume wear after the top and middle notes have faded and the base notes remain.
  • Sillage (pronounced “see-yazh”): The French term that refers to the scent trail left by a perfume.
  • OK: When two or more notes are mixed together to create a new fragrance.

What to look for in a feminine perfume?

First, you’ll want to research scents that you know or think you might be interested in. Your nose knows; you might be drawn to “feminine-leaning” notes like powdery florals and crisp citrus, or you might have a penchant for “masculine-leaning” notes like leather, tobacco, or incense. Frankly, gender labeling doesn’t really matter. It’s more about how the notes mix with your pheromones and skin chemistry.

Spotting a quality fragrance can get pretty scientific, but it’s all about wear time and high-quality ingredients. You can also choose to look at the sourcing of ingredients (brands like Henry Rose are known for their transparency), the brand’s commitment to sustainability, and whether or not the fragrance is hypoallergenic.

It may take some trial and error to find a fragrance that sounds like “you”, but rest assured the search is worth it. Most brands offer sample bottles of their fragrances so you can try before you buy the actual size. Many also have quizzes on their site to help you find a scent. To help you in your search, below are delicious scents that could each be called the best perfume for women, from heavy musks to deep florals.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you purchase something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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