20 Best Perfumes For Women That'll Make You Smell Like A Dream

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best perfumes for women

Did you know that your sense of smell is the sense that’s most heavily linked to memories? It’s true. Perfume isn’t just the way you smell; it’s a memory in the making. That’s why guys go gaga for the perfumes their exes wore and why your signature perfume matters oh so much.

We've decided to show our picks for the best perfumes for women who want to make a statement. Here are the ones you’re going to need to try, based on just about every type of scent profile.


1. Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules

This is one of the most unique scents you’ll ever see on the market. It’s not a women’s perfume, per se. It’s androgynous. The scent itself is very light, fresh, and slightly oaky. The best way to describe this perfume is hormonal and super-subtle. If you are the perfume wearer who hates perfume, then this is the best choice for you.


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2. Rain by Clean Fragrance

Finding a fragrance that really, truly smells fresh is hard. That’s what makes Rain by Clean Fragrance so impressive. This fragrance is all about bringing a dewy, watery aroma around you without it feeling chemical or sugary. When you spray this on, you can smell melon, lilies, and the nice scent of fresh summer rain.

(Sephora, $72)

3. Baby Powder by Demeter

Demeter is known as the company that got its start from making uniquely realistic fragrances that smell just like everyday things. It’s no surprise to anyone, then, that some of the freshest scents are the ones we often wish we could bottle but never quite seem to be able to.

For many of us, the smell of baby powder is as soothing as it gets. That’s what makes this one of the best fresh fragrances for women (or men) who dig that smell and the memories it brings back.

(Demeter Fragrance, $3.40-$34)

4. Lime, Basil, and Mandarin by Jo Malone

Believe it or not, Jo Malone was one of the first perfumers to use basil in perfume—and when she first started out, many people derided her. Now, her name is internationally famous! If that wasn’t a refreshing enough story, wait until you see the story Jo Malone’s Lime, Basil and Mandarin cologne. It’s citrusy, but herbal—and shockingly fresh.

(Blue Mercury, $65-$135)

5. L’eau D’Issey by Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake is one of the hottest designers in the world right now, and boy does he know how to make a fine fragrance. L’eau D’Issey is best described as a fine mix between aquatic and floral, with delicately crisp notes of je ne sais quoi. It’s hypnotic, and smells incredible.

(Walmart, $45)


6. Rose of No Man’s Land by Byredo

This is one of the floral perfumes that keeps things flowery but takes a nontraditional route to its appeal. If you love heady, spicy and exotic scents, you’ll love Byredo’s work with this perfume. The smell is best described as a light, delicate roes, with a darker undertone of musk and spice right underneath.


7. Mad Madame by Juliette Has A Gun

The problem with many rose-oriented perfumes is that they tend to smell like “granny perfumes,” and the brand Juliette Has A Gun has been working to end that once and for all. Mad Madame is one of the most unusual twists on rose we’ve seen and works its way into the both the floral and chore categories of perfume. It’s crisp. It’s icy. And, good heavens, is it ever hypnotic!


8. Wild Honeysuckle by Bath and Body Works

Does anything really say “summer” like the smell of honeysuckle floating in the air? This sweet but floral fragrance is balmy, warm, and at the same time, a perfect memory of times spent at summer camp years ago. It’s perfect!

(Bath and Body Works, $8)

9. Tahitian Gardenia by Pacifica

Some scents remind you of home, but not this one! Tahitian Gardenia is the kind of perfume that will beckon you to a wild, exotic island filled with breathtaking greenery — all with a single whiff! This perfume is about as traditionally floral as you can get, and its soft embrace of Tahitian flora will have you feeling like you just took a trip to the islands.

(Ulta $22)

10. Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf

With a name like “Flowerbomb,” it’s unmistakable what this design house was shooting for with the making of this perfume. Simply put, it’s floral — extremely floral. Though it’s floral, it’s not overly sugary or overpowering in its nature. It’s just pure joy, bliss, and floral fun.

(Nordstrom, $55-$165)


11. Sorbetto Rosetti by Escada

Who doesn’t like a little sugary sweet sorbet once in a while? Escada has been great at dishing up fruity scents that smell wonderful and avoid the “sugar” trap. Sobetto Rosetti keeps things crisp and offers a slightly juicy, tropical twist that everyone can enjoy.


RELATED: These 7 Scents Are Scientifically Proven To Turn Men On

12. So Real by Cheap and Chic Moschino

Moschino is one of those designer houses that really knows how to make fragrance fun. Juicy, but at the same time sharp, So Real is a great option for people who want to smell trendy, wild, and carefree. Bitter orange, blackberry sorbet, mandarin, and a little bit of ambroxan make this a serious statement no matter where you go.

(Nordstrom, $69-$86)

13. Papaye Tropique by Gourmand

Gourmand is Urban Outfitters’s way to make sure that you smell good enough to eat. Their Papaya Tropique is one of the best fruity fragrances that you can find under $20. The papaya smell in this is strong and juicy enough to make guys beg for a taste. If you love tropical scents, you’ll adore this.

(Urban Outfitters, $18)

14. Be Delicious by DKNY

DKNY’s Be Delicious might be a bit old school for some, but it’s undeniable how tasty it smells. Inspired by the Big Apple, this fragrance delivers a powerful punch of Granny Smith Apple with delicate floral undertones. It’s youthful, fun, and at the same time, fresh enough for work.

(Ulta, $50)


15. Aura Quartz/Creativity by Adorn

Aura Quartz’s scent is one that can be a little hard to describe without using the word “exotic.” It has a floral but smoky aroma that’s vaguely reminiscent of incense. At the same time, it remains feminine and flirty, in that seductive way. It’s pure “hippie vibes” in a bottle, and you’re going to love it for that.

(Urban Outfitters, $24)

16. Aphrodite’s Slipper Orchid by Demeter

Demeter has made quite a few eyebrow-raising scents in the past (Lobster perfume, anyone?) that would put off most people from ever buying a bottle. However, their Orchid collection can make a Demeter believer out of anyone. Those who love a spicy, cinnamon-like floral scent with honey undertones will adore Aphrodite’s Slipper.

(Demeter Fragrance, $3.40-$34)

17. Wicked by Victoria’s Secret

Wicked is a spicy scent in a different kind of way. It’s spicy due to its warm vanilla undertones, but keeps things seductive with freesia and a hint of black sugar. If you’re looking for a sugary yet spicy fragrance that just screams seduction, this number by Victoria’s Secret is a great option.

(Victoria’s Secret, $55-$68)

18. Queens by Bond No. 9

Bond No. 9 is the luxury indie brand that always seems to show the best that New York City has to offer. Though this company definitely has a lot of different perfumes that are of note, the best spicy perfume they’ve ever made would have to be Queens.

This scent walks the lines between fruity and spicy, with notes like bergamot, cardamom, and blackberry all meshing together with a pinch of amber. It’s hypnotic.


19. Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

We can’t talk about spicy fragrances for women without including one of the most popular perfumes to ever be sold in this category. Yves Saint Laurent makes a seriously impressive, downright mesmerizing scent.

(YSL Beauty, $67-$122)

20. Smoke Show by Vilhelm Parfumerie

Are you looking for something that's seriously sultry, a little bit wild, and just a touch spicy? Vilhelm Parfumerie created a scent that really doesn't play around.

The best way to describe Smoke Show is film noir in a bottle form. Pink pepper, saffron, leather and rose are some of the notes you'll smell — but no matter how many times you take a whiff, you won't be able to avoid the distinct smell of jazz-era mystery in every sniff. 

(Barneys, $245)

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.

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