Here at Who What Wear, we're firm believers in the power of fragrance. While I love a bold eau de parfum that really packs a punch, there's an underrated type of perfume out there that should also fully come with caution tape—perfume oil. Applying this type of scent to your pulse points can be hypnotic and extremely inviting. I've also found that it lasts even longer than your traditional EDP or eau de toilette.
Marie du Petit Thouars, founder of cult-favorite fragrance label Maison Louis Marie, backs me up on this. She says there are distinct differences that make oil-based scents more intimate: "We include more fragrance within the perfume oils, so technically, they are actually stronger. Although, the scent tends to be a bit more personal, staying closer to your own body, whereas an EDP tends to leave more of a tail."
It honestly screams cool without trying. Perfume oil just melts into the skin and binds to your body chemistry like it's a second skin. Say less, right? Ahead, find the 12 best perfume oils beauty editors seriously can't get enough of.
Kindred Black Wildcrafted Desert Verbena Perfume Oil
Key note: Desert verbena flower.
If you want to smell totally unique, opt for a floral-infused perfume oil handmade using desert verbena wildflowers—this one fits the bill. The flowers used to make this gorgeous scent were sustainably harvested in Sedona, Arizona, a place known for its uplifting spiritual energy. Snag this one while you can, as it's limited edition and bound to sell out.
Phlur Somebody Wood Fragrance Oil
Key notes: Bergamot, lemon, jasmine, saffron, cyclamen, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, amber, moss, cedarwood.
This spicy and woody perfume oil is a favorite of Who What Wear Beauty Director Erin Jahns. It opens with a bright burst of bergamot but is complemented by warm, sizzling notes of sandalwood, vanilla, amber, and cedarwood.
Frenshe Lavender Cloud Radiance Oil
Key notes: Lavender, sandalwood, cardamom.
Infused with mood-boosting scent technology, this body and hair oil from Frenshe is Who What Wear associate beauty editor Kaitlyn McLintock's favorite. It contains hydrating oils like jojoba, sunflower seed, and shea butter to nourish without leaving a greasy residue. The creamy and fresh notes of lavender, sandalwood, and cardamom also linger long after applying.
Customer Review: "This made my skin smooth after shaving and smells like a gift from the gods. I would fight for this oil. Smell lasts a while too. "
Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil
Key notes: Sandalwood, vetiver, amber wood.
Arguably the most popular scent of all the Maison Louis Marie offerings, this roll-on perfume is named after the family home where Marie grew up, which happens to be surrounded by a mysterious forest. Notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, nutmeg, and cinnamon echo it wholeheartedly.
Customer Review: "I am not a fancy person. I wear T-shirts and jeans, but putting this on makes me want to break out my heels and dresses. Love it."
Byredo Gypsy Water Roll-On Perfumed Oil
Key notes: Bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries, orris, amber, vanilla, sandalwood.
This iconic Byredo scent is even better in oil form. It's easily one of my most-worn perfumes.
Customer Review: "I love this scent. I think it's subtle and not overpowering. I like the roller ball because it’s more concentrated and lasts a long time."
Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Body & Hair Oil
Key notes: Rose, patchouli, sandalwood, frankincense, black currant.
This iconic fragrance is just exquisite. Even the oil version is pricey, but it's worth it. It contains a hefty dose of rose essence, patchouli, cinnamon, frankincense, and musk, making it a heady, head-turning scent you'll always want to keep handy.
Customer Review: "I love this fragrance—a little goes a long way. I simply shake a few drops out, warm it in my palms, and run it through my hair. Deeeelish! I've wanted to buy this for ages and finally finally treated myself. I'm glad I did."
Kai Rose Perfume Oil
Key notes: Rose absolute, gardenia, exotic white flowers.
The original Kai fragrance is long rumored to be Oprah Winfrey's go-to scent, and this oil version brings in all the gorgeous gardenia goodness along with a fresh, sweet rose tinge.
Customer Review: "I received a sample of this scent during a previous order and was hooked. A concentrated scent in a small, portable package. Yes, please! It is a soft, feminine scent (not totally rose, but it has hints of the original Kai Fragrance). I roll-on a few lines on my stomach under my shirt and I can smell it throughout the day."
Nest Balinese Coconut Perfume Oil
Key notes: Coconut, tropical tiare blossom, salted musk.
Notes of creamy coconut, tropical tiare blossom, and salted musk stand out in this vacation-inspired perfume oil.
Customer Review: "Bought [the] full-sized oil. Good enough to wear alone and stays with you all day. Layered with Madagascar Vanilla—so good! Also layered with Baccarat Rouge and literally everyone I passed by stopped to ask what I was wearing."
Kindred Black Aphrodite's Arrow Perfume Oil
Key notes: rose, ylang-ylang, black pepper.
Exotic, warm, and a bit spicy, this perfume oil from Kindred Black is high on my favorites list. It's richly aromatic, and while it's mostly floral, it has woodier undertones I just can't get enough of.
By Rosie Jane Dulce Perfume Oil
Key notes: Vanilla, chocolate, hinoki wood.
If you love the rich, earthy scent of hinoki, you'll love this option from By Rosie Jane. It's complemented by decadent and sweet notes of vanilla and chocolate to give it more of a gourmand feel.
Customer Review: "I had this perfume oil in the Sephora Favorites Vanilla Sampler, and this is beautiful. When you apply it on your skin, it leaves a slight sheen, but the scent is fragrant of being inside of a French bakery or walking in a candy shop with smooth chocolates or caramel. My only complaint is that I wish the perfume oil came in a larger size."
The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Gemstone Perfume Oil
Key notes: Myrrh, vanilla, coconut, sandalwood.
This perfume oil evokes cozy fall feelings—like being wrapped in a warm cashmere sweater. As a bonus, the tigereye gemstone roller is designed to encourage clarity and personal empowerment.
Customer Review: "I loooove this roller so much. The tiger's eye looks so pretty and the scent lasts long when I put it on my wrists. It also is really soothing for my anxiety (I use scents to ground myself)."
Costa Brazil Aroma Em Óleo
Key notes: White jungle flora, Brazil orange oil, pink pepper, grapefruit zest, geranium bourbon, nutmeg oil, cedarwood atlas, vetiver.
All Costa Brazil products capture the spirit of the Amazon rainforest, but this perfume oil from the brand bottled it up to a tee. In addition to notes of orange oil, pink pepper, grapefruit zest, and cedarwood atlas, it's infused with a base of vitamin-rich pataua oil to help reduce stress.
Customer Review: "Let's start with the packaging. #Stunning. The scent is very woodsy that reminds me of Christmas and pine trees. It's a glass bottle that is sturdy, very clean-cut, and easily applicable. The scent lasts forever so you don’t need a lot."