I have an obsession. I love perfume. Love love love it! It’s one of those things that enhances my mood, makes me feel pretty, and it’s what I most closely associate with femininity. When I was a child, the women in my life all wore perfume. While none of my grandmothers or my mother were super girly and into cosmetics, perfume was something they did wear.
As I got older, I wanted to wear makeup, yes. I really, REALLY wanted to wear perfume, though. I wanted all the perfume sets that came with lotion and powder (Yes, powder was included back in the day.). Commercials for Enjoli, Charlie, Gloria Vanderbilt, Poison, Obsession, Love’s Baby Soft, Exclamation spoke to me. (Yes, I grew up in the 80s.).
If it was popular, I wanted it. I had no regard for what smelled good on me. I knew nothing about body chemistry or top notes and base notes. I just knew that to feel grown up, I needed the most popular perfumes. As I’ve gotten older, I have not lost any love for perfume, and I can still sing the Enjoli song, too.
There was nothing subtle about the 80s. Perfume was as bold as the neon colors that were all the rage. We really didn’t give a thought to how over-powering our perfume was. Times have changed, and so has the approach to perfume. Today we are more conscientious about offending others with our perfume. Our goal isn’t to go big anymore. It’s about leaving behind a tiny hint of something wonderful.
Today’s approach is more about leaving them wanting more, not have them begging for you to leave. I’ve learned to be more subtle with perfume, but I still like to experiment. I like to change scents with seasons or on a whim. While I’ve learned what smells best on me and how to wear it, there’s always something new out there. I’m always looking.
One of my favorite things are perfume samples. Seriously! Who wants to drop $100 on what you think is a great perfume and then have it smell horrible on you? A quick spritz in the store isn’t an accurate picture of the fragrance. Recently, I’ve made it my mission to find new perfumes to try.
To do that, I need samples. I’ve subscribed to perfume sample boxes, requested samples in stores, used my points at Sephora and Ulta on samples, or even purchased small coffret bottles from various designers to check out the entire perfume line. There are some amazing perfumes out there. These are the ones that stand out to me. Some are individual scents. Others are complete product lines with lots of choices. Maybe you’d like to give them a try, too.
I tend to shy away from strong rose scents. It always seems old fashioned to me. It reminds me of a turn-of-the-century female character in old movies dabbing on a small bit of perfume. That is NOT Roses de Chloe
. This one is pleasant, subtle, and long-lasting. It doesn’t smell old fashioned or out-of-date like some rose scents do. It’s a crisp, crystal take on a traditional scent. It ain’t your grandma’s perfume.
2) See by Chloe Eau Fraiche’
Here’s another from Chloe. I drug my feet in trying any of the Chloe scents mostly because I remember when the original came out years and years ago. (In fact, you can still buy the original on Amazon. I can only imagine what it smells like after decades.)
I didn’t want to smell as if I were stuck two decades in the past, but the bottle
was beautiful and a quick sniff at the store had me requesting a sample. Once I gave it a shot, I appreciated this fragrance. See is a watery floral scent. Hyacinth is the top note. This Chloe fragrance is subtle and a fresh take on a traditional scent, too. It’s feminine and floral without being too much of either. This ain’t your momma’s perfume.
3) Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume
I’m going to jump from two traditional scents (rose and hyacinth) to something modern. This is a fragrance that celebrates the untraditional. There are eight different scents in the Juliette Has A Gun series. My favorite is called Not A Perfume
. Not A Perfume is a one note fragrance advertised as the anti-perfume. Clear and mild, is how I’d best describe it. It really is the anti-perfume of the heavy 80s and 90s fragrances. Sophisticated and understated sums up Not A Perfume. This one is young and modern and not what everyone is wearing – but probably should be.
4) Philosophy My Philosophy
This is a line
meant to be mixed together to discover your own signature scent, but each smells equally amazing alone. There are six single note scents that are never too much. Philosophy also makes suggestions on which scents mix well if you fear doing it yourself. My favorite is Grateful, but honestly, I like them all. This is your chance to not smell like everyone else out there. If you ever “kind of liked” a perfume but there was just something off about it, try this line of fragrances. Start simple and add only the scents you like. Mix florals, citrus, woodsy, or marine scents for your own personal fragrance.
I do believe this one has been around awhile but Vert
is crisp, clear, and discreet. Vert is a citrusy scent. It reminds me of a sweet and fruity drink. Bvlgari Au The’ Vert is part of a line including Bleu and Blanc and there are newer Bvlgari fragrances out there. Vert is fun. It’s managed to stay relevant for quite sometime. That isn’t easy in such a competitive market.
6) Vera Wang Hippie Princess
I must admit, the name drew me in and scared me simultaneously. I worried a bit because “hippie” anything makes me think earthy, burning incense, or patchouli. I’m not a big fan of those scents. If you are a fan of those, this isn’t for you. This is a fruity-floral that lingers politely. It’s one of those fragrances
that makes you happy when you smell it. You won’t over-power anyone with this fragrance. You might even have people follow you around asking what perfume you wear. Everyone who smells this one seems to love it.
7) Olivine Atelier She Belongs There
The top note of this scent
is gardenia. That has to be one of my favorite floral scents. This is a pure oil vegan fragrance and it is long-lasting and sensual without a heaviness. The scent is natural and alluring. There isn’t an alcohol scent to this since it’s a pure oil. As it dries down, it tends to keep a similar top, mid, and base note. Think a night in Hawaii. Who doesn’t love that?
8) Terra Nova Aire
This is a vegan scent for those who want to wear perfume, but don’t want to wear it either. It is there but it isn’t. I know, why buy and wear perfume you can hardly smell? Just when I thought this scent
was gone for the day, I’d catch a whiff and love it all over again. It’s a clean mix of floral, fruit, and white tea. If I imagined a perfect breathe of fresh air, it would be this scent. The entire Terra Nova line is simple and broad for all tastes if Aire isn’t for you. I haven’t tried them all, but if Aire is any indication, Terra Nova is a winner.
9) Clean Cool Cotton
This fragrance line
is also broad. It is simple and not the least bit fussy. For days you want to convey a less formal attitude, Clean is the brand you want. It makes me feel like “yeah, I smell this way all the time.” Cool Cotton smells like soap or laundry detergent to me. Some may turn up their nose at that description, but come on. Who doesn’t like the smell of something fresh and clean? All the Clean fragrances have that sentiment at heart, but Cool Cotton reminds me of freshly washed sheets and towels or just stepping out of the shower. This is another fragrance line most people enjoy–even the people who dislike perfume.
10) Kate Spade Walk On Air
I admit, maybe I like this one because I have a soft spot in my heart for an older Kate Spade perfume called Twirl. I liked Twirl because it was “perfumy” for lack of a better word. Twirl reminded me of the smell of the cosmetic section in a department store. Walk On Air
is much lighter than that, though. For those of you who hate the cosmetic section, don’t count Walk On Air out because it is opposite of Twirl. While it is heavier than some on this list, it has a pleasant scent that smells sweet and green. I’d envision this as a first date perfume. It leaves behind a scent your date would remember without drowning them in perfume.
11) Bobbi Brown Beach
Most of favorites listed here have a crisp, clean aspect. While they may be citrusy, floral, green, or marine, they all have a common thread of being lighter. This one
feels different to me. It is a heavier scent in my opinion, although I see it listed and described by many as light and clean. It has a summer cocoa butter soul, but a cool beach breeze intertwined. I know, that sounds silly. It reminds me of sun tan lotion, ocean water, and sand. I think Caribbean island when I wear this one. I might not wear this one year round or everyday, but it’s different from my usual. Sometimes, we all need to switch it up once in awhile.
12) Dior Jadore
–When discussing classic or iconic fragrances, Dior is usually mentioned. Some find the classics too over-powering (like the cosmetic counter scent I described). Some just don’t want to smell like everyone else or walk around wearing a scent that’s twenty years old or older. I get that. Yet, there is a reason some fragrances are classic. They never feel old or out-dated. Jadore
just seems to do that. It smells great on everyone. It is as floral as a perfume can get. It mixes floral scents from all over the world. Jadore lingers, but in a pleasant way. It is sophisticated but not too stuffy. Old and young both identify with this fragrance. It’s a keeper on my list.
13) Marc Jacobs Daisy
I’ve worn Marc Jacobs Lola, Oh Lola, Dot, Honey, and Daisy
. I like them all. I find myself at the Marc Jacobs section in stores a lot. I have for years. Somehow this designer has managed to stay in-style for a long time. Today there are several different Daisy perfumes. I’ve sampled them and worn them, but I always go back to the original Daisy. Strawberry, violet, and vanilla are all present in Daisy. Jasmine is in there somewhere according to the manufacturer’s description, but I don’t notice it much. It is advertised as “sunshine in a bottle.” I’d say that is pretty accurate. It’s bright and summery. It lingers, but with style. Although summery, wearing it year round makes me happy. Maybe it’s the hint of vanilla, but it works in winter too.
There it is–my list of the top perfumes today. Catch me in a week or two and I’ll probably have a new one to add to the list. I’m always looking and trying new scents. Remember, perfumes smell different to different people. They also smell different when mixed with our own body chemistry. Let me know what you think about these. Feel free to share others you love, as well.