I had a blast writing this post because I learned so much about the scents that I find beautiful. Isn’t that wild? Things you think smell amazing are the same scents that some people are disgusted by, which means everyone finds beauty in something different. Maybe I’m taking that too far, but it’s something I’ve spent a long time thinking about.
For me, I don’t stray too far from the scents I like, so most of these are going to be pretty similar to each other. I like floral, citrus, clean, woody scents. I don’t like overly warm or musky scents. After all of my research I’ve found that I love me some rose, orange and amber notes. I’ve also found that I really like some of the notes I thought I hated the most. Here are ten of some of my favorite perfumes:
Remember Warm Amber from Bath and Body Works? I hated that stuff so much that if anyone put it on in class I held my breathe for a second. My mom brought home the moisturizer one day and I could not fathom how people enjoy that scent… here I am with every one of my top perfumes have Amber as a base note. I guess my saving grace is that it’s the least strong of the notes.
I wasn’t too sure how perfume notes worked until I got lost in some research. Perfume is separated into three categories: top/head notes, middle/heart notes, and base/end notes. The top note is the most pungent of the group and are usually what you smell right away, with the middle notes being what rounds out the smell and what last the longest, and the base notes helping the middle note shine, providing depth (like when you let a sauce reduce and build it’s flavor in the kitchen), and being most faint on the way out. You usually can’t smell the base notes until you’ve been wearing it for a little while.
Here’s some of my favorites, if you want to try any of these you can get free samples at Sephora always, also if you buy the perfume sampler ($50-60) you get to redeem a full sized perfume once you’ve tried them all:
Chloé by Chloé
Top: Peony, Freesia, Lychee
Middle: Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley, Magnolia
Base: Amber, Cedarwood
This is my signature scent – the regular chloe, not the rose or love story, just eau de perfum. I bought a bottle of it a long time ago, and it’s kind of stuck with me ever since. I would wear it every day if I could afford to, but clearly I can only afford the rollerball right now, but I’ll get that little bottle soon! Though, as someone who loves smelly good things, it’s always fun to switch it up. The packaging is gorgeous on both the full-size bottle and the rollerball. Chloé is classic, feminine and minimal, which is what I live for. I make sure to keep a rollerball in my makeup bag at all times, just in case. This perfume simply makes me feel effortlessly beautiful. I feel like myself when I wear this, like people will understand me better, if that makes sense at all. I guess that’s the point of perfume, to let people know what you’re about, and your attitude for that day. Even my boyfriend recognizes this perfume on other women and says, “That’s you”.
Si by Giorgio Armani
Top: Cassis (Blackcurrent liqueur)
Middle: Freesia, May Rose
Base: Vanilla, Patchouli, Ambroxan, Musky Blond Wood.
Alright, here’s the thing: I hate vanilla. I mean, I can’t stand it and most of the time the very second I smell vanilla in any body product it’s a no from me. The fact that I’m in love with this scent is crazy to me too, but I absolutely love it. Plus, the packaging… are you kidding? It’s so chic and beautiful it needs to be left out on the counter. The middle notes are my jam, clearly, and I love me from patchouli. I feel capable and independent and one with the world when I have a little bit of patchouli on my skin. The woody notes and vanilla compliment the floral notes well and give it a feminine pull while still staying confident and sexy. This is power fluid.
Stella by Stella McCartney
Top: Mandarin, Rose, Peony
Middle: Rose Absolute
Base: Woody Ambers
I did not like this in high school and I don’t know how. Do you see a pattern? I love me some rose, peony and woody notes apparently. This was a perfume that my best friend wore a lot, and I was in Sephora just browsing and gave it a sniff for old times and I fell in love. This makes me feel like a rockstar. I’d wear this with ripped jeans, band tees, or if I’m just feelin’ a little feisty. It gives me the same confidence that Si gives me, but with a badass twist.
Daisy by Marc Jacobs
Top: Strawberry, Violet Leaf, Blood Grapefruit
Middle: Gardenia, Violet Pearls, Jasmine
Base: Vanilla, Musk, White Woods
Vanilla? Musk? White woods? Wow. WHAT! I’m so surprised with myself. I really love this perfume and if I read these notes before smelling I probably never would have tried this. But, luckily, I got this as a Christmas present from my Aunt a couple years ago and I’m so glad the people I love know me well. This is a beautiful scent. At first I thought it might be a little too young for me because it’s so floral, but it settles beautifully on the skin and leaves you feeling clean all day. It’s a great every day scent. Although, I’m not that into the packaging. It’s nice, but just not my thing.
Gucci Bamboo by Gucci
Middle: Ylang-Ylang, Casablanca Lily, Orange Blossom
Base: Amber, Sandalwood, Tahitian Vanilla
I didn’t know what this was until I hear about it on KathleenLights youtube channel and I’m so thankful. I love this. I’m also blown away that this also has vanilla in it. I really love how woody this perfume is because it makes me feel like I’m not going to scare people away. It’s floral and earthy and light on the people around you. Again, a great every day perfume. This packaging is simple and elegant. I love the bamboo design of the top of it and the edging of the bottle.
Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford
Top: Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Myrtle, Rosemary, Bitter Orange
Middle: African Orange Flower, Jasmine, Neroli, Pitosporum
Base: Amber, Ambrette (Musk Mallow), Angelica
This bottle is life. It’s so bright and beautiful and completely outside of anything else. It’s simple and elegant with the classic, simple Tom Ford gold plate in the center. This smacks you in the face with the first sniff, but it’s vacation in a bottle. This is what I feel like taking a vacation to the Italian Riviera would smell like. It’s full of life. It’s the beach, waves, and sunshine in a bottle. It’s brilliant and energetic. If you’re feeling down, spray some of this and hopefully it’ll bring you back up… for a pricey penny (aka get samples at Sephora).
Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
Top: Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle: Ylang-Ylang, Turkish Rose, Jasmine, Mimosa
Base: Tonka Bean, Indonesian Patchouli, Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk
I feel like a damn lady with this perfume. This is pure class. This perfume is also ageless because it’s a little warmer than I’m used to. What I mean is that anyone can pull this off. I feel like even if you don’t like this you should buy it to say that you have a Chanel perfume and have this beautiful bottle on your vanity. Everyone needs a Chanel perfume, that’s all.
Emelia by TOCCA
Top: Clementine, Magnolia, Fig Leaf, Buchu, Japanese Loquat (Plum)
Middle: Iris Flower, Grass, Mate, Fig, Amaryllis
Base: Coconut Nectar, Ambrette, Praline
I got this in a BirchBox as a sample and I wouldn’t be mad if someone got this for me as a present. Although it’s not my absolute favorite, and there are a lot of scents similar to it there’s something about it that is so girly and effortless that draws me in. It is a little sweeter than I’d pick out myself, but it fades nicely into the skin. I love the thought of having effortless waves in my hair, yoga pants and a tee with sneakers smelling deliciously fresh with this perfume. Not to mention the bottle is so romantic and detailed. The top looks like a bronze doorknob.
Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani
Top: Amalfi Lemon, Mint
Middle: Aquatic Green Accord, Peony, Pink Pepper, Jasmine
Base: French labdanum (Rock Rose), Virginia Cedar, Sugar
I love the simplicity of this bottle, and the light teal color with the flat glass is beyond beautiful. I got this as a sample at Sephora because I was looking for something similar to Chloé, but not Chloé. I was given this and loved it right away. It kind of reminds me of a man’s cologne in the most fem way. If you took all the floral notes from Chloé and added the zest and freshness of a cologne, you’d get Acqua di Gio, which apparently means “water of joy” according to Sephora. Sweet.
Burberry Brit Sheer by Burberry
Top: Lychee, Yuzu, Pineapple Leaf, Mandarin
Middle: Pink Peony, Peach Blossom, Pear
Base: White Musk, White Woods
I’ve had this perfume for a little while and I never feel like it’s too much. It’s clean and fruity and kind of just smells like a more long-wearing body spray. The only thing about this one if that sometimes I feel like it can smell too girly, as in too young, for me.
BONUS! I’m only doing a bonus because I don’t know if I like this or not so I thought I’d just add it in. I barely ever wear this, but it has a bunch of notes that I’m in to, which is so strange to me. Though, tastes change and I may really love it in a few months and thought it was worth sharing with you guys.
Flora by Gucci
Top: Citruses, Peony, Mandarin Orange
Middle: Rose, Osmanthus
Base: Sandalwood, Pink Pepper, Patchouli
This is last on my list because I’m still testing it out. I’ve had it for well over a year, but when I got it I think I was pressured into it because I was with a friend that had a way different style than me. Everything I liked she smelled in disgust and I had a moment of am I smelling this right? I ended up putting it away a little while after buying it because I didn’t feel like it was “me”. In all honestly, it reminds me a lot of my mom. I also worked at a café at the time and thought it was a little too strong for customers.
Now that I’m taking out of the closet and trying it again — I’m not hating it. It’s crazy that there are a ton of notes that I really love, and knowing now how notes accent each other I’m more intrigued by the smell.
Unfortunately I don’t have every bottle so I can take pictures of the gorgeous bottles, but I had a couple. If you’re confused by any of the notes I compared the notes from each perfume’s website, Sephora, fragrantica.com and basenotes.net to find the most accurate notes listed for all websites. Fragrantica.com also has a great index of notes if you’re wondering how certain ones smell.
Isn’t it weird that some people hate what you love? These might be the worst of the worst for some people, but these are some of my favorites I’ve found so far and you can clearly see what some of my favorites notes are. I even looked up some perfumes I know I don’t like to look at those notes and it’s crazy to me that for some of them I liked all the notes, apparently I just don’t like the combination! Perfume is wild.
If you have any suggestions after reading the scents I like please list them below, I’m also looking for more beautiful things in my life. I’m dying to try some Dyptique and Jo Malone scents! What are some of your favorite perfumes?