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Since the dawn of perfumery, people around the world have wanted to smell like a bouquet of just-picked flowers. And that’s not hyperbole: Ancient Egyptians prized floral fragrances more than their actual currency, while communities in the Far East even tapped lavender and evergreen blossoms for medicinal and healing purposes.
Fast forward to 2022, and we’re just as obsessed with floral perfumes as our ancestors were, with many ranking among the very best perfumes for women.
“Floral scents are vast and a bit abstract, best described according to the actual floral material,” says Tanaïs, perfumer and founder of the eponymous botanical fragrance house Tanaïs. “White florals, like jasmine, neroli, gardenia and tuberose have a deep narcotic scent. Rose and geranium are bright and bodied whereas lavender or chamomile are more herbaceous.”
Similar to vanilla perfumes, floral perfumes are as class as they are diverse. Each truly resembles a unique bouquet, composed with a chorus of supporting notes to enhance and amplify specific scent characteristics. The vast selection of floral perfumes range from having old-school feminine notes of daisies and gardenias to the refreshing snap of orange blossom and lemon zest to bold, earthy cedarwood and sandalwood — each creating a distinctive fragrance.
“I love a floral that is muted by other notes, like dry woods or sweet citrus,” says House of Bō founder Bernardo Möller. “Floral scents that have a lot of background notes and layers can make you feel chic and luxurious.”
And today’s master perfumers are leaning into this eclectic world of fragrance accords to debut surprising floral formulations that stray far from tradition, and even create gender-free scents.
Still, Möller believes all floral fragrances are for everyone, not just women. “Scents, in my humble opinion, don’t have gender; floral aromas are for anyone looking to feel refined and complimented.”
Mirroring this new wave of scent variety are the ways in which fragrances can be worn daily, whether in the form of perfume oils you gently dab on skin or lightweight body sprays. You can even buy perfume gift sets that offer a range of scented products to mix and match to your liking.
Whether you’re looking for something refreshingly clean, soft and versatile or and bright and fruity, our list of the 15 best floral perfumes are worth shopping for. And we bet that no matter your fragrance style, you’ll find one or two to add to your repertoire.
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Top Floral Perfumes
- Best Clean Floral Perfume: House of Bō La Mar Eau de Parfum
- Best Romantic Floral Perfume: Dior Diorissimo Eau de Toilette
- Sexiest Floral Perfume: Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
- Best Long-Lasting Floral Perfume: Le Labo Jasmin 17 Eau de Parfum
- Best White Floral Perfume: Kilian Rolling in Love Eau de Parfum
- Also Consider Sexy Floral Perfume: Gucci Guilty Pour Femme Eau de Parfum
- Most Popular Floral Perfume: Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb
- Softest Floral Perfume: Monique Lhuillier Eau de Parfum
- Best Fruity Floral Perfume: Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu Eau de Parfum
- Best Fresh Floral Perfume: Maison Margiela Replica Springtime in a Park Eau de Toilette
- Best Light Floral Perfume: Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne
- Most Affordable Floral Perfume: Nest New York Sun-kissed Hibiscus
- Best Floral Woody Perfume: Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum
- Best Floral Citrus Perfume: Estée Lauder Aerin Wild Geranium Eau de Parfum
- Most Exotic Floral Perfume: Byredo Flowerhead
House of Bō La Mar Eau de Parfum
Best Clean Floral Perfume
“At the moment, House of Bō’s La Mar is one of my favorites,” Möller says. “It’s a complex scent that transforms from floral to marine to creamy; it transports you to a chic vacation destination.” This perfume hits all the right beachy, summertime notes of grapefruit, Arabian jasmine, white lily, coconut and even seawater (all that’s missing is some sand).
Dior Diorissimo Eau de Toilette
Best Romantic Floral Perfume
“I love the sophistication of Diorissimo,” says Möller, who was introduced to the fragrance by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, the perfumer at House of Bō and nose behind some of the most iconic perfumes including Clinique’s Happy and Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. One spritz of Diorissimo creates a romantic aroma of three fresh florals: lily-of-the-valley (Christian Dior’s lucky flower), tropical ylang-ylang and delicate Egyptian jasmine absolute.
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Sexiest Floral Perfume
Tanaïs counts Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower among their “absolute favorite” floral scents, and so do we. Inspired by Malle’s aunt, actress Candice Bergen, and her character in the fiery film “Carnal Knowledge,” this heady blend of orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, musk and ylang-ylang combine for a sensual, passionate scent that took more than two years to create.
Le Labo Jasmin 17 Eau de Parfum
Best Long-Lasting Floral Perfume
A modern interpretation of old-fashioned floral scents, Le Labo’s Jasmin 17 is a sensual cocktail of jasmine, musk, sandalwood and vanilla. Although a decidedly warm fragrance, it has edgier notes of neroli, bitter orange and amber to create a striking finish that some even call the best floral perfume of all time.
Kilian Rolling in Love Eau de Parfum
Best White Floral Perfume
Kilian’s Rolling in Love was developed to capture the very specific, all-encompassing and dizzying experience of feeling so completely high on love that everything else falls away. Kilian calls this fragrance “monochromatic” in that it focuses on a single experience by layering different white notes of ambrette seeds, almond milk, iris and musk.
Gucci Guilty Pour Femme Eau de Parfum
Also Consider Sexy Floral Perfume
This funky floral fragrance from Gucci belongs squarely in the sexy category. Mysterious and evocative, it uses the power of plum to ground the bouquet of violet, lilac, tuberose and ylang-ylang, with a deep finish of woody patchouli oil that will undoubtedly turn heads.
Most Popular Floral Perfume
One of the best-selling perfumes of all time, Viktor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb is part sweet and part spicy. As its name suggests, it packs a floral punch with notes of cattleya orchid, jasmine and rose, ending with a sensual twist of earthy patchouli and vanilla.
Monique Lhuillier Eau de Parfum
Softest Floral Perfume
Monique Lhuillier, designer of the world’s dreamiest wedding dresses, makes her beauty debut with her first eponymous fragrance. Just like with her gowns, this blend of sweet freesia, rose and lily of the valley warmed with decadent violet, musk and patchouli creates an ethereal aura for all who wear it.
Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu Eau de Parfum
Best Fruity Floral Perfume
According to its product description, French perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena wanted to “express the essence of femininity using flowers, and nothing but flowers” with this impossibly chic fragrance from Hermes. It starts off as a juicy blend of grapefruit and apricot before mellowing into lush layers of gardenia and jasmine for a lively and beautifully crisp aroma.
Maison Margiela Replica Springtime in a Park Eau de Toilette
Best Fresh Floral Perfume
“I really think humans have and will always have an innate attraction to nature, because we are ultimately all creations of planet earth’s diverse and complex ecosystem,” Möller says. “Floral scents will always be a reminder of this.” And this beautiful floral fragrance by Replica smells like a luscious garden in full bloom, featuring accords of lily of the valley, green blackcurrant, pear and a cheeky hint of tartness.
Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne
Best Light Floral Perfume
Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede perfume is a flirty, fun scent with notes of all the soft, delicate flowers we love, like budding blooms of peony, jasmine, rose and gillyflower. It’s balanced by earthier suede, ending with an effervescent, fruity twist of red apple. It smells like classic springtime in a bottle.
Nest New York Sun-kissed Hibiscus
Most Affordable Floral Perfume
If you prefer vacations to be tropical, and your floral arrangements rainbow bright, Nest New York‘s sweet little number has your name all over it. It opens with notes of frangipani and orange blossom before evolving into a warm golden amber with classic notes of white floral heart. Finishing with a creamy coconut accord to keep things smooth, it can read as a summery fragrance but will smell just as good in the dead of winter, too.
Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum
Best Floral Woody Perfume
If you like full-bodied scents, you’re going to want to give this Givenchy perfume a whirl. It mixes floral, fruity citrus and woody, herbaceous notes in a completely harmonious manner. At the heart of the scent are sweet jasmine and tuberose, but the addition of vetiver and patchouli anchor these notes to create a warm, dark and sweet fragrance with a lot of depth.
Estée Lauder Aerin Wild Geranium Eau de Parfum
Best Floral Citrus Perfume
Estée Lauder’s Wild Geranium is a playful interpretation of a classic floral scent. Made to inspire happiness and evoke a “whimsical escape to a field brimming with wildflowers,” this perfume boasts notes of geranium, orange flower, rose centifolia, white peony and narcissus — plus accords of pink pepper and winter lemon that really give it some zing.
Most Exotic Floral Perfume
Six years in the making, Byredo’s Flowerhead was inspired by founder Ben Gorham’s trip to Jaipur, India for a cousin’s wedding. Bright, fresh blooms were strung together in garlands for the wedding canopy and even in the bride’s hair — hence the perfume name. The resulting scent is a rich juxtaposition of jasmine, rose and lingonberry with a touch of Sicilian lemon for an invigorating twist.