Update your fragrance collection with our pick of the best perfumes
A spritz of your signature scent can leave you feeling refreshed, put together and ready to tackle the day ahead. Whether you’re going on a date, job interview or night out, the finishing touch of a floral, invigorating citrus or sensual musk fragrance can give you the confidence you need to make a great first impression.
Whether you’re searching for a perfect staple scent or something fancy for special occasions, below we’ve compiled a list of our favourites, featuring classics from the likes of Tom Ford to popular new launches from Narciso Rodriguez and Gucci.
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How to buy the best perfume for you
What perfume should I buy?
Wearing perfume is a form of self-expression, communicating plenty about you as a person. As such, picking a scent is no more complicated than choosing a fragrance you like. Considering it will be following you around all day, every day, there’s nothing worse than an overbearing scent that you quickly grow tired of.
But you don’t necessarily have to stick to one signature scent. Build a fragrance wardrobe, with a range of perfumes that will set the mood for a particular day. Wear a seductive musk or oriental scent on a first date; a fun, fruity number will be perfect for days (and nights) out; and delicate florals will work well as your everyday go-to.
What is the difference between perfume and eau de toilettes?
Perfumes are the big sister to light and delicate eau de toilettes. Perfumes are pricier, since they have a higher concentration of fragrance oil to alcohol. This means that a tiny dab on your wrist and neck will last for up to eight hours. Some perfumes can still be detected on the skin 48 hours after application.
But we’re fans of eau de toilettes, too. They’re a great alternative to perfume if you’re drawn to subtle fragrances and would rather save a little money. Just be warned that you can spritz your way through a bottle of eau de toilette pretty quickly.
The best perfumes you can buy in 2018
1. Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede
Price: from £45 (30ml) to £90 (100ml) | Buy now from John Lewis
Want to leave a lasting impression? Jo Malone’s beautifully fragrant Peony & Blush Suede lingers long after you’ve left the room. Striking the perfect balance between floral, fruity and sensual, the perfume’s heart notes of peony, rose and honey mix with velvety suede and a hint of red apple for a fresh and flirty scent. Housed in Jo Malone’s signature glass bottle, a spritz of Peony & Blush Suede will instantly give you that well-put-together feel.
You could even create a custom scent, pairing Peony and Blush Suede with one of Jo Malone’s other fragrances. We think it sits particularly well with Grapefruit, which provides a fresh and citrusy kick. This bespoke combining of perfumes offers the possibility of crafting your own signature scent, which could be the stunning final touch to your wedding day or any special occasion.
Top notes: red apple; heart notes: peony, rose and honey; base note: suede
2. Gucci Bloom
Price: from £52 (30ml) to £99 (100ml) | Buy now from Boots
If you’re a fan of a well-designed perfume bottle, one that will sit proud alongside others on your dresser, then you’ll want to feast your eyes on Gucci Bloom. Presented in a powder pink lacquered bottle with a minimalist, monochrome applique label, it’s the chicest bottle of the bunch. And the perfume? Bloom is a beautifully rich and feminine scent with top notes of rangoon creeper – a unique flower discovered in South India. This “blooming” scent is enhanced with heart notes of fresh jasmine bud and base notes of natural tuberose.
Yes, Gucci Bloom is pricey, but if you’re a fan of florals who appreciates the finer things, it’s a little bit of luxury that you won’t regret.
Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum Spray 1 x 50ml
Top notes: rangoon creeper; heart notes: jasmine bud; base notes: natural tuberose
3. Narciso Rodriguez Poudrée
Price: From £36 (30ml) to £74 (90ml) | Buy now from John Lewis
Light and airy, the Narciso Rodriguez Poudrée eau de parfum is a delicate scent that softly lingers on the skin all day. Ideal for summer weddings or picnics in the park, the long-lasting perfume’s heart note of powdery musk blends beautifully with hints of white jasmine petals, delicate bulgarian rose and woody white cedar. Ideal for people who want a subtle fragrance that isn’t overwhelming, those seeking a floral that makes a statement would be better opting for Opium or Peony & Blush Suede.
Our thoughts? Narciso Rodriguez Poudrée is a timeless, feminine scent that’s perfect for everyday wear. Just keep the dinky, blush-coloured bottle in your handbag to top up on the go.
N.RODRIGUEZ Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Poudre Edp, 90 ml
Top notes: white jasmine and bulgarian rose; heart notes: musk; base notes: white and black cedar with vetiver
4. Tom Ford Black Orchid
Price: From £56 (30ml) to £115 (100ml) | Buy now from John Lewis
Tom Ford is famous for its iconic style and glamour, so it comes as no surprise that the brand tops our list as the best perfume to wear on a first date. Black Orchid is rich, dark and alluring, and the perfect scent to capture attention.
A mix of fresh orchid and green lotus, fruity blackcurrant, musky patchouli and woody vetiver with warming base notes of vanilla, chocolate and amber, Black Orchid is a complex and intoxicating scent that will certainly have many people enquiring about the scent you’re wearing. Coming to you in a sleek and fluted black glass bottle, a spritz of Black Orchid will give you an instant boost of confidence.
Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau De Parfum Spray for Woman, 30 ml
Top notes: jasmine, gardenia, blackcurrant, lemon, bergamot, mandarin and tuber; heart notes: orchid, spicy notes, fruity notes and lotus; base notes: vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, incense, amber, chocolate and vanille
5. Charlotte Tilbury Scent Of A Dream
Price: From £49 (30ml) to £96 (100ml) | Buy now from John Lewis
Charlotte Tilbury has bottled the secret to seduction with her Scent Of A Dream perfume. It’s a truly beautiful fragrance, combining uplifting citrus and intoxicating floral extracts with musky patchouli and the bite of spicy black pepper. The art-deco inspired glass bottle wins major bonus points, giving the perfume a glamorous, old-Hollywood feel. It fittingly reminds us of a magic potion, too.
But it’s the ‘magic molecules’ that really set Scent Of A Dream apart from the rest. The perfume’s Hedione, Iso E Super and Ambroxan will amplify and enhance the natural pheromones in your skin to create an intoxicating scent that’s unique to you.
Charlotte Tilbury Scent Of A Dream Eau de Parfum
Top notes: lemon, peach, black pepper, saffron, mandarin, bergamot; heart notes:tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, hedione, violet, muguet, orange flower, rose oil, tea rose, green ivy and magnolia; base notes: patchouli, ambroxan, precious woods, citrus, amber, castoreum and musks
6. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire
Price: From £45 (30ml) to £82.50 (90ml) | Buy now from Boots
Our roundup of the best perfumes wouldn’t be complete without a fruity number. And our pick of the bunch has to be Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire. This fruity/floral mix first hits you with black cherry, sweet almond, berries and fresh bergamot, drying with a hint of rose, tonka bean and smoky black tea.
Making the perfect gift, Guerlain’s perfume comes in a heart-shaped, pink ombre bottle that features an illustration of a little black dress. Fresh, young and flirty – with a spritz of La Petite Robe Noire you’ll be ready to have fun and let loose.
La Petite Robe Noir Guerlain Eau de Parfum Couture Spray for Her 100 ml
Top notes: black cherry, almond, bergamot and berries; heart notes: rose; base notes:tonka bean, liquorice, black tea and patchouli