Out of 67 "Best-Ever" Perfumes, Our Editors Tested and Chose the Top 15


Welcome to Deep Reviewsyour one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.

If you were to poll every Who What Wear editor on what they never leave the house without, chances are the vast majority of us would probably say a spritz of our favorite fragrance. The right fragrance is the perfect finishing touch for every outfit, which is something we know better than anyone. Which fragrance is the ideal finishing touch is where we digress. 

Fragrance is incredibly subjective—what smells good to me might smell like New York City street trash to someone else, and vice versa. Not only that but asking people what their favorite fragrance is is equivalent to asking someone to pick their favorite child. Some people are fragrance loyalists and never stray from their signature scent, while others (like me) match their fragrance to their mood, cycling through different perfumes on a whim.

Even knowing that everyone has different scent tastes, a few fragrances always make the top of every list of best fragrances. These scents are universally loved, even by the toughest critics. For this round of Deep Reviews, we decided to put the most beloved fragrances to the test. We tested vanilla perfumessweet perfumes, fruity perfumes, and more from top brands such as Byredo and Maison Margiela Replica

Our Deep Reviews Research & Testing Process

After combing through best perfumes lists from other top publications such as Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Byrdie, and more, as well as considering Who What Wear editor favorites and new launches, I landed on 67 potential perfumes for our list. From there, I whittled it down to 24 fragrances to test. These fragrances ranged from extrait de parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and eau de cologne. While all of these variations smell good, they have differences in concentration, longevity, sillage, and price—the chart below explains the differences between the four types of fragrance.


To adequately test perfumes, I decided to ask my fellow editors to give all 24 fragrances a smell test with me. I wanted to ensure brand loyalty wouldn’t get in the way, so I covered the bottles and numbered each perfume to allow unbiased testing. In a questionnaire, I put numbers one through 10 under every fragrance so people could circle the number they think a fragrance deserves, with 10 being the highest option. 

From there, we all got together and sprayed some fragrances, sniffing coffee beans between each scent to refresh our senses. After every scent, I gave each editor time to figure out their thoughts on each fragrance, tell me what they thought it smelled like, and rate it before I revealed the fragrance name. With so many iconic fragrances in our midst, a lot of people were shocked by the outcomes. I won’t name names, but one of the most consistently popular fragrances on nearly every best-of list got 1 out of 10, while some of our highest rankers were fairly unknown.

After testing in a group, I assigned each editor a fragrance to take on a test run. I asked them if they could wear each fragrance for at least a day and report back to me on longevity, skin scent, compliments received, and how they would describe each fragrance after wearing it. 

Keep in mind when looking at these numbers that these fragrances were tested by nine extremely picky editors who have very high standards when it comes to fragrance—and different tastes. The average score of the 24 fragrances we tested was a 5.8. With that in mind, the following fragrances soared above the rest—take a peek.


This scent in three words: "Soft, warm, feminine." — Anna LaPlaca

Longevity: 6 hours

Testing notes: "I spritzed it on twice—once on my wrists and once at the collarbone—at noon, and by 6 p.m., I noticed that it had faded out. If I were to head out in the evening for dinner or drinks, I would definitely want to re-up with another application. I didn't notice any big difference between how it smelled out of the bottle versus how it did on my skin, which I appreciated. I felt like what I was spraying was the scent I was going to be wearing. If anything, I thought it softened a little bit once it sank in, and it lost the initial citrus note that I detected coming out of the bottle." — LaPlaca


This scent in three words: "Refreshing, juicy, and clean." — Yusra Siddiqui 

Longevity: 4 to 5 hours

Testing notes: "I find that it didn't change too much on my skin vs. me spraying it. Both times it had that fresh, sweet smell with a touch of spice. The fruity essence calms down a little on the skin but in a subtle way. I usually go for floral perfumes because I find that most fruity perfumes smell too strong (like the hand sanitizer you used in middle school), but this one is just divine." — Siddiqui


This scent in three words: "Sexed-up rose.” — Katie Berohn

Longevity: 8+ hours

Testing notes: "I sprayed on this perfume before a friend’s birthday party, and I could still smell it on me at the end of the night. I’m not a big rose girl, but I’ve never smelled a rose this good before—it’s musky, it’s spicy, it’s truly got it going on. When I asked my boyfriend what he thought about it, he paused and said, ‘I love it. It’s subtle but powerful.’ Coming from a man who loves fragrance almost as much as I do and has no qualms telling me when he thinks a perfume I’m testing isn’t working, this is a major compliment.” — Berohn


This scent in three words: "Light, sweet, warm." — Natalie Gray-Herder

Longevity: 3 to 4 hours

Testing notes: "This perfume is my favorite from the brand and has been in my rotation for over five years now. So while my review may be biased because I'm already a fan, I promise it's worth testing. Once applied to my wrists, I pick up on the woody notes most. I prefer warmer, smoky wood scents and tend to stay away from more floral, sweet scents. But I find this perfume is the perfect mix of light, sweet, and warm. It's super elegant, and I would consider this a 'neutral good' in the world of fragrance." — Gray-Herder


This scent in three words: "Victoria's Secret Angel." — Ana Escalante

Longevity: 4 to 5 hours

Testing notes: "Straight out of the bottle, it's like an ode to 2010 malls, Victoria's Secret Push Up Bra campaigns, and 'Umbrella' by Rihanna. A lot of my fragrances are from niche houses, so going with something more commercial, I expected to be put off by the overly floral and citrusy scents found in most mass-produced scents, and yes, to some degree, it is that but it feels a bit more refined and glamorous in my opinion. Sometimes, I want to smell like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan on a red carpet in 2007 and be okay with it!" — Escalante


This scent in three words: "Beachy, flirty, fresh." — Grace O'Connell Joshua

Longevity: 2 to 3 hours

Testing notes: "If you asked me to describe this perfume, I would say it smells like vacation. My friends told me I smelled like a mix of lime, suntan lotion, and coconut, which is a heck of a compliment if you ask me." — O'Connell Joshua


This scent in three words: "Light, floral, springy." — Copelyn Bengel

Longevity: 2 to 3 hours

Testing notes: "I feel like it was lighter and more floral when I sprayed it versus a little bit richer on my skin, which I liked." — Bengel


This scent in three words: "Three drinks in.” — Berohn 

Longevity: 12+ hours

Testing notes: "This has been one of my all-time favorite scents since it launched. It's based around vanilla, which can typically be sweet or cloying, but this is vanilla in its flat-out sexiest form. It's heady and provocative but still versatile enough to wear in nearly every situation. Whenever I ask my boyfriend what fragrance I should wear, the answer is nearly always Vanille Antique—and it's no surprise why.” — Berohn


This scent in three words: "Sweet, youthful, musky.” — Eliza Huber

Longevity: 10 to 12 hours

Testing notes: "When I asked my boyfriend to smell this perfume, he was shocked at how much he loved it. He’s a big Margiela Jazz Club guy, so I wouldn’t have expected him to love it as much as he did, but I can’t say I disagree. It has a much louder, brighter, sweeter scent when you smell the bottle or first spray it. However, as it sits on the skin, it really mellows out. It remains sweet but in a more relaxed way. It becomes a bit muskier too. I would say it gets better with age.” — Huber


This scent in three words: "Feminine, sexy, unexpected." — Huber

Longevity: 5+ hours

Testing notes: "This scent really is a compliment waiting to happen. As I was leaving my apartment on the first day of wearing it, I was politely stopped by my regular UPS delivery guy, who asked what I was wearing so that he could buy it for his partner. That's never happened with any other scent I've worn—ever. This scent stays pretty much the same on the skin, though it gets slightly sweeter as it sinks in and mixes with your natural scent. I think the biggest shock is how the bottle looks compared to the actual scent. Though it's feminine as the bottle appears, it's not 'girly' at all. It feels very mature and sexy." — Huber


This scent in three words: "Unbothered rich woman.” — Berohn

Longevity: 12+ hours

Testing notes: "I mean, at this point, Baccarat Rouge 540 is synonymous with smelling good. The scent exploded on TikTok, and it’s constantly mentioned as one of the best scents out there. The people I actually know in real life who consistently wear it are some of the most successful people I’ve ever met. It’s always fun to wear this fragrance and emulate them for a day. This scent feels like a power play in a bottle.” — Berohn


This scent in three words: "A citrus delight.” — Aniyah Morinia

Longevity: 12+ hours

Testing notes: "I went to dinner the other night and stopped by a bakery for dessert, and the cashier asked what perfume I was wearing. There’s nothing better than getting complimented on your scent by a stranger, especially in a place that already smells so amazing. The fact that my scent was strong enough to overpower the mouthwatering smell of cookies is extremely telling. When I first sprayed this into the air, it was a lot harder to catch a whiff of the notes of grapefruit. I took note of the orange blossom hints, but it was definitely more fragrant on my wrists and neck. The scent is definitely more floral when applied to the body while still having a touch of musk. It’s safe to say that I can’t stop smelling my wrist. Smelling good is such an underrated confidence booster.” — Morinia


This scent in three words: "Cozy, inviting, warm.” — Sierra Mayhew

Longevity: 10 hours

Testing notes: "When I spray it, I get more of the sweet notes that accompany the fragrance, especially the vanilla notes. This surprised me because I have the candle, which smells woodier and has a lot of spice. Once I sprayed it on my wrist, I felt like the scent was the meeting point between what I initially smelled by spraying the fragrance in the air and the familiar smell that I get from my favorite candle.” — Mayhew


This scent in three words: "Sweet, fresh, glamorous." — LaPlaca

Longevity: 12+ hours

Testing notes: "I don't know what kind of skin-gripping formula they dreamt up, but I was pleased to see how long the scent lingered. I spritzed it on in the morning and wore it all day at work. Even after walking out of a (particularly sweaty) Spin class post-work, I swear I was still catching a whiff of it. It exploded with bold floral notes when I first spritzed it into the air, and my first reaction was how sweet and youthful it smelled, but once it hit the inside of my wrist, it transformed into a deeper fragrance, and the vanilla and musk notes became more emphasized, which I thought lent it a more mature vibe than that of my initial impression." — LaPlaca


This scent in three words: "Floral but mysterious.” — Berohn

Longevity: 12+ hours

Testing notes: "Young Rose is a floral fragrance for people who don’t like floral fragrances. With a dash of Sichuan pepper, it has some major bite, which gives it an interesting twist. It’s like if a rose were mixed into an experimental cocktail at the coolest bar in town—unexpected and delightful.” — Berohn

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated. 

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.