Finding a scent you’re obsessed with can feel as if you’re searching for the Holy Grail. There are a lot of theories and opinions out there, but unearthing the one set to become your signature? It’s a process that takes dedication and, sometimes, a bit of an investment.
This is altogether more difficult when you consider the sheer number of fragrance options out there. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference, but who has the patience and the downtime to spritz your way through them all (especially with today’s restrictions)? Luckily for you, we’ve begun investigating which perfumes are the most searched for right now, all in an attempt to help you narrow your search.
Utilising Google analytical insights, new research from Fragrance Direct has helped us to decipher, out of 10,000 perfumes and colognes, which are the most sought after. Harnessing data from the last 12 months, we we’re able to identify the top 10 scents in the UK—some of which may come as a surprise, even to the most informed in the olfactory ways.
So whether you’re looking to invest in a new scent for yourself or are looking for a Christmas gift that’s practically foolproof, scroll below to discover, in order, the most searched for fragrances in the UK over the last year.
1. Estée Lauder Estée
Clinching the top spot is none other than Estée Lauder's Estée fragrance, which has received over 110,000 searches in the last 12 months. Originally launched all the way back in 1968, it was the second perfume created by Estée Lauder, and it boasts top notes of jasmine, rose, and ylang-ylang and base notes of oak moss, sandalwood, and cedar—a potent combination that results in a spicy, warm floral scent.
2. Marc Jacobs Daisy
Perhaps less surprising is the fact that Marc Jacobs's Daisy perfume comes in second place, with a total of 40,500 annual searches—less than half of those commanded by Estée. Daisy is a sparkly floral-woody fragrance which feels fresh and feminine at the same time. It's safe to say its iconic bottle also has something to do with its popularity.
3. Versace Eros
Like many citrus scents, Eros is addictive. The combination of notes of fine citrus fruits like Sicilian lemon and mandarin and crisp fruity notes like raspberry and white currant loan a sweetness to the scent. A base of white patchouli and bright notes of wood, musk, and ambrox lend a sensual dimension to the fragrance.
4. Yves Saint Laurent Libre
Significantly younger than many of the other fragrances that are featured, Libre was launched in 2019 and includes top notes of lavender, mandarin orange, blackcurrant, and jasmine at its heart and base notes of Madagascan vanilla, ambergris, cedar, and musk.
5. Carolina Herrera Good Girl
Launched in 2016, Good Girl boasts commanding tuberose and jasmine florals combined with roasted tonka bean, a scent that blends hints of vanilla, cinnamon, almond, and clove. Notes of coffee and cocoa add a richness that further demonstrates the duality of sweetness with grounding depth.
6. Gucci Bamboo
Gucci released its now iconic Bamboo perfume back in 2015, and since then, it has become a favourite amongst editors and influencers alike. Blending a strong yet gentle variety of scents, its base consists of a powerful mixture of Tahitian vanilla, sandalwood, and amber balanced with delightful citrus notes of bergamot. The heart is filled with floral notes, including orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and Casablanca lily. It's ideal for both daytime and evening wear.
7. Diesel Only the Brave
We believe that scents shouldn't be gendered, so while this fragrance might be masculine, it's not reserved for men and men alone. Launched in 2009, Only the Brave is heavily balsamic, with the scent focus built around leather. Notes of sparkling lemon and mandarin orange add a fresh spin, while earthy tones of cedar, violet, and coriander give it a warm and spicy pay-off.
8. Gucci Rush
The only brand to secure two spots in the top 10, Gucci follows suit with another iconic scent: Rush. Created in 1999, Rush boasts an artful blend of oriental florals and woods. Fresh blasts of African freesia dipped in rich, milky peach and lavished with California gardenia complete the impressive top notes, and firm undertones of vetiver and patchouli laced with the persuasiveness of vanilla hold the bottom tier. We also appreciate the nostalgic qualities of its undeniably '90s bottle.
9. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
It seems hard to believe that this has only been around since 1995. Jean Paul Gaultier's Le Male is, again, a men's cologne and is one which is undoubted still popular amongst them. That said, we know several women who also wear this oriental olfactory. With top notes of mint, lavender, cardamom, bergamot, and artemisia followed by heart notes of cinnamon, orange blossom, and caraway and base notes of vanilla, tonka bean, amber, sandalwood, and cedar, it's beautifully complex and can be built in intensity.
10. Jimmy Choo Flash
Flash is a soft, sweet perfume blended with refreshing strawberry, pink pepper, and tangerine notes. The bright initial combination works into a floral heart of tuberose, jasmine, and lily, all of which work together to create a rich, honey-like body. Finally, balanced with a lightly spicy and powdery base of heliotrope and blond woods, it's sweet but not sickly so.
Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over twelve years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories, and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, works closely with influencer talent on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media. Previously, Maxine appeared on TV in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship, she was offered a position on the Look magazine fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. She went on to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others. Maxine works remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh.