We review our all-time favourite fragrances
Our list of no-fail scents
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / November 29 2018
It doesn’t get more personal than perfume. The emotions, memories and mood a fragrance evokes is different from person to person. Plus, how a perfume actually smells once it touches the skin can vary as the notes interact with our body’s chemistry differently. No wonder it’s so hard to find the perfect fragrance, and why a friend’s recommendation isn’t foolproof.
However, walking into a department store and spritzing willy nilly isn’t going to get you any closer either. It won’t be long before you’ll experience a sensory overload from smelling too many fragrances at once...you may even get a headache for your troubles, too. You need some kind of short list to get you started, which is exactly what we have here for you. We’ve curated a list of the top 10 perfumes for women, based on the reviews and recommendations from our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members. These popular perfumes for women have all the makings of a signature scent.
#10 / Estée Lauder Modern Muse
This is a perfume for women who are confident without being attention seeking. The feminine notes of jasmine sambac, fresh lily and tuberose have been given a modern freshness with mandarin and honeysuckle nectar, and amber wood and Madagascar vanilla bring a sophisticated maturity.
The review: “This has been my go-to perfume for a few years now. It is beautifully feminine, but without having that sickly sweet floral scent that I find a lot of women's perfumes have. It lasts throughout the day, makes me feel like a strong independent woman, and I think it is great value for money.” Shannon, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $130 (50mL)
#9 / Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP
Marc Jacobs is notorious for creating young and playful scents, but this is Daisy’s cool older sister. She’s seductive and opulent, with notes like Italian plum, golden saffron, iris flower, Bulgarian rose and warm, heady woods combining for a bold statement scent.
The review: “My favourite perfume is Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP. My boyfriend gave this one to me for Christmas a couple of years ago (well done Paul!) and I am now truly obsessed. The bottle is of course shaped as a handbag, which I love! This fragrance is a BIG mood and I usually reserve it for an evening out. I love the complexity in the notes’ layers. Rose, iris, vetiver and amber are just some of the main notes that I smell coming through. It is incredibly strong so just one - or maximum two - spritzes will do or you risk your fragrance ‘entering’ the room before you!” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Assistant
Cost: $150 (50mL)
#8 / Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium EDP
Warm and spicy, this is the sort of scent you will happily commit to for life. It’s timeless yet never boring (think black coffee mixed with white flowers and vanilla) and ever-so-addictive - both for you and those around you.
The review: “My favourite perfume is Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium EDP. It's a rich, decadent scent that has a hint of dark chocolate mixed with floral tones, making it the ultimate night out perfume.” Alex, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $165 (50mL)
#7 / Tom Ford Black Orchid
This fragrance is all luxury, and everyone deserves to own a bottle of it at least once in their life. The warm floral notes of incense, orchid, patchouli and sandalwood are unforgettable and indulgent in the best kind of way.
The review: “I love Tom Ford Black Orchid for its richness and being extraordinary. It is sexy, it is powerful. Black Orchid belongs to the oriental floral family; it is full of patchouli, vanilla and cocoa. It is very strong and has an amazing longevity plus an amazing sillage. Might cause headaches but I adore it.” Anita, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $185 (50mL)
#6 / Dior Miss Dior EDP
The Grasse rose is a signature of Dior’s, and it’s in its element in this floral chypre fragrance. This is the perfume for women who want something romantic, classic and elegant. This versatile scent is just as popular with girls making their foray into fragrances as it is with ladies who have tried them all and can’t help but keep coming back to this faithful favourite.
The review: “A beautiful floral, fruity, sultry, sexy scent that lasts all day. For me, from the moment I apply it I feel sexy, like I have a strut in my step. Notes of rose, mandarin and bergamot are blended perfectly in top, middle and bottom notes, perfect for day or evening wear. I’ll never not have a bottle.” Anne, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $165 (50mL)
#5 / Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin
Meet Jo Malone’s signature fragrance. If you like something fresh that boosts your energy and mood, liberally spritz this. Mandarin, basil and amberwood are an invigorating combination that’s impossible not to fall for.
The review: “Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin is a winner for me. It is a sharp hit of tangy lime, which makes it a fresh unisex perfume. I love the clean and crisp scent, and since it is so unique and pleasing, I only need 1 or 2 sprays, and I can immediately feel the zing. The problem is the price, but it's definitely worth trying out.” Sarrah, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $198 (100mL)
#4 / Chloé Nomade EDP
This free-spirited spritz is a confident floral fragrance with a splash of earthy masculinity. It’s sophisticated, addictive and has all the makings of a signature scent.
The review: “This fragrance has only recently made its way into my fragrance wardrobe, but I’m already head over heels. I’m quite sensitive to fragrances so I can’t wear anything too heavy, so I tend to gravitate towards soft floral fruity fragrances. But sometimes they can be too sweet and young. This is the perfect balance of delicate yet edgy.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
Cost: $140 (50mL)
#3 / L’Aritsan Parfumeur Histoire D’Orangers
Probably the most niche and lesser-known in this shortlist, this is the type of fragrance that elicits compliments everywhere you go. Orange blossom, musk and amber combine for an oriental floral scent that evokes feelings of carefree, sun-drenched days. What's not to love?!
The review: “Picking a favourite perfume is like picking a favourite child, but this white floral fragrance from L’Aritsan Parfumeur has secured itself one of the top spots in my perfume affections. The luxurious scent (and yes, it will set you back a few $$) manages to strike just the right balance between impactful and subtle, making it a floral scent that gets noticed without drawing too much attention. If you love white floral notes like neroli or orange blossom, you’ll love Histoire D’Orangers. Guaranteed.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
Cost: $209 (100mL)
#2 / Burberry My Burberry EDP
This fragrance is Burberry’s signature style, bottled. Effortless and timeless, it is just at home when paired with your boyfriend jeans and sneakers as it is at a red-carpet event. It’s floral but not overtly feminine, and combines notes of sweet pea, bergamot, patchouli and Centifolia roses for a refined, modern spritz.
The review: “Picking a single favourite perfume is no easy task, but I can vouch for Burberry My Burberry EDP – it’s something that is always on high rotation in my fragrance wardrobe as it’s bursting with character and filled with floral notes without smelling too girly or young.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
Cost: $150 (50mL)
#1 / CHANEL Coco Mademoiselle EDP
A best-selling fragrance in just about every corner of the world, Coco Mademoiselle is the best perfume for women who want something elegant that’s still youthful and modern. It captures the bold spirit of a young Gabrielle Chanel through top notes of vibrant orange, a floral heart of jasmine and rose, and an alluring base of patchouli and vetiver.
The reviews: “I always get compliments when I wear this beautiful perfume and it's my absolute favourite as I love that is has a delicate floral fragrance that's never overpowering but still lasts all day long.” Dina, SUPERcrew member
“My favourite perfume would have to be CHANEL Coco Mademoiselle as it’s lovely, intoxicating and fresh all at the same time, and because I get compliments when I wear it.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $164 (50mL)
Want more fragrance inspiration? We’ve handpicked the best fragrance brands (hint: many of them are leading fashion designer labels, such as Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and Versace).
Do you have a favourite scent, or do you have a couple on rotation? Share your top perfume picks with us below.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.