The Best Perfumes for Women, Tested & Reviewed by Experts and Clients

Like quality jeans or designer sneakers, women’s perfumes have the power to make a statement without saying a word. They evoke beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) memories, and they are one of daily life’s simplest but most enjoyable little pleasures. That’s why investing in the best perfume for women is a decision you should put extra thought into. 

Fragrance is one of the oldest beauty products in history. In fact, based on ancient text and archaeological discoveries, researchers date the creation of perfume — then just a simple concoction of flowers and oil — back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia around the 2nd millennium B.C. Fast-forward a few thousand years (aka right now), and we’re still just as obsessed with smelling delightful.

“Fragrance helps us create an identity,” says Jones Valadez, marketing director at the storied French fragrance house, Pure Royal. “Fragrance is something that’s very personal; it’s about a sensation. I think how people today wear fragrance is ‘I want to feel a certain way’.”

And similar to cologne for men, one of the most beautiful aspects of perfume for women is that there truly is something for everyone and every environment. Most of us wouldn’t wear the same perfume for a night out with friends as we would for brunch with our grandmother — and with so many varieties, you don’t have to. The world of fragrance is your oyster.

Because there are so many different aromas, formulations, and perfume types to choose from, narrowing down your top few can be intimidating. But the good news is that scent is one of those things in which you’ll know immediately whether you love it or hate it — and there’s rarely any in between.

According to Nest New York founder Laura Slatkin, a fragrance impacts not only the person who wears it but also everyone they come into contact with. “Without it, encounters are, well, boring,” she adds. “Indulging in a magnificent fragrance lifts my spirits and everyone I touch.”

Ahead we highlight the best perfumes for women. From the classics to modern masterpieces and everything in between, these top perfumes are not only great for upping your scent game but double as stellar fragrance and beauty gifts. In fact, here’s a fun fact: During last year’s holiday season, 19% of gifts purchased were fragrances — double the rate of any other beauty category. So really, there’s no better gift to give the women in your life — like your mom — this year.


Top 20 Perfumes for Women 2023

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