The Fragrance No One Is Wearing Anymore, According to a Master Perfumer

This spring, Coach launched its latest fragrance, Dreams, which was inspired by the American West. It’s a floral, woody fragrance that mimics the cactus flowers you would find in the desert. One thing it isn’t? “Gourmand,” as master nose Philippe Benacin explained to me. When I chatted with the perfumer behind the scent, he explained to me that gourmand notes and very sweet notes are on their way out right now. Candy-like perfumes were wildly popular two years ago, but they’re being replaced with botanical scents. “Right now,” he explained, “it’s more about floral and beautiful bouquets.”

Personally, I'm not a fan of sweet perfumes and I have never gravitated toward anything that has a sugary fragrance, so this trend is just for me. I tend to opt for anything from Oriental perfumes like Cinema by YSL (which I've been wearing since college) to floral scents like Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle. The latter has become a favorite in the last year.

If you similarly find yourself avoiding sweet perfumes and want to explore fresh floral fragrances, which are the best ones to wear? From soft rose to fresh jasmine to complex tuberose, there are plenty of beautiful scents that will envelop your senses. Ahead, check out the floral scents that will add a bouquet of fresh flowers to your skin.

Gardenia-based scents:

Key notes: orange, gardenia, cactus flower, Joshua tree

The bright composition is an equal composition of floral and fruity citrus scents with base notes that pack a fragrant punch. It's fresh and exceedingly wearable.

Key notes: Sicilian bergamot, floating gardenia, Egyptian jasmine, honeysuckle, creamy musk

A clean and classic scent, this fragrance is supposed to mimic memories of fragrant petals falling into sun-warmed water. Fun fact: This is what I wore in high school.

Key notes: citrus accord, gardenia, ylang-ylang, patchouli, vetiver oakmoss, benzoin

The Pua Noa Noa gardenia from Tahiti is one of the grounding notes of this crisp yet lush fragrance.

Key notes: gardenia, musk

Not only is the Cartier La Panthère perfume a new classic, but it also lasts all day.

Key notes: gardenia, jasmine, apricot flower

If you're looking for a light fragrance that's both floral and bright as well and citrusy and crisp, this is one to try.

Rose-based scents:

Key notes: rose, patchouli, incense, cinnamon, sandalwood

The rose-rich scent is intoxicating and elegant, lingering on the skin all day long. A personal favorite, this is a scent I wear almost daily.

Key notes: turkish rose petals, pink pepper, raspberry blossoms, papyrus, white amber

Key notes: rose, patchouli, pepper

Not only are Tom Ford's perfumes incredible, but they're also often titled with cheeky names like "Rose Prick". This one, inspired by Tom Ford's private rose garden, is warm and soft.

Key notes: ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine.

A personal favorite, this is one I've had in my perfume collection for years. The elegant scent is long-lasting and feels luxe.

Jasmine-based scents:

Key notes: Rangoon creeper, jasmine bud, tuberose

Meant to evoke the experience of stepping into a garden, this scent envelops the senses in a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Key notes: bergamot, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, white musks, vanilla

A floral-meets-oriental fragrance, this is a true classic loved by beauty editors.

Key notes: freesia, jasmine, tuberose, rose, peach, cedarwood, oakmoss

Maison Margiela's scents have a cult following. Among them, this crisp scent that evokes the sense of stepping into a market full of fresh-cut flowers.

Key notes: plum, pink pepper, jasmine

With a soft, elegant scent, this jasmine-forward perfume is perfect for everyday wear.

Key notes: jasmine, musk, saffron, cedarwood, ambergis

A scent with many layers, this fresh fragrance has lots of depth and dimension.

Key notes: jasmine, tuberose, almond, cocoa

Designed for the modern woman, this balanced fragrance is equal parts playful and evocative.

Next, discover the best Byredo scents, ranked by an editor.

This post was previously published and has since been updated. 

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