I Usually Don't Like Floral Perfumes, But These 15 Have Changed My Mind

If this time last year, you’d have asked me to sum up my taste in perfume in three words, I probably would have said something along the lines of woody, musky and unisex. I have always liked my scents to enter a room before I do. I lean towards those heavy notes that linger on clothes until the next morning. And while these preferences might not be to everyone’s tastes, I quite like it when my perfumes divide a room. As long as some people found my fragrance distasteful, at least I knew I wasn’t smelling the same as everyone else in the room, who were no doubt doused in the latest, totally inoffensive, crowd-pleasing floral.

But then the pandemic hit, and I had no longer had anyone to fluff up my fragrance feathers in front of. Instead, I was confined to the same four walls with nothing but the intoxicating scents of perfumes to remind me of the excess and freedom of a previous life. In a time when I needed fragrance more than ever before to lift my spirits, the aromas of my trusty favourites couldn’t serve me anymore. And on top of my love for deep, attention-grabbing scents, it’s also worth noting that I was (and still am) painfully fussy. Finding a perfume to fit my mood on any given day is no mean feat. But luckily, despite all of the above, my perfume collection is shockingly vast.


(Image credit: @SALLYOMO)

I have shelves and shelves full of perfumes that I just can’t let go of. From ouds and musks to citruses and florals, I own a perfume for every occasion. And while I spent the best part of the past year trying to make my strong scents work in my new way of living, it was always niggling away in the back of my brain that there were a bunch of wildly unloved, but beautiful, perfumes collecting dust in my cabinets. And so, a few weeks ago, I finally accepted that my beloved woody scents had served their purpose, and it was time for the lighter, floral perfumes to take centre stage. 

But that’s not to say I have totally changed my tune. Sure, I’m ready to embrace the uplifting, lightweight freshness of florals, but my perfumes of choice still need to possess a certain je ne sais quoi. They need to smell unlike anything else, ooze expense (even if they’re affordable) and leave you wanting to go back for just one more sniff. So, after many hours of going through every last bottle in my collection, these are the floral perfumes I’m ready to embrace for the summer ahead—and they’re seriously special.

1. Miller Harris Secret Gardenia

2. Zara Fleur D'Oranger

3. Sana Jardin Incense Water Eau De Parfum

4. Ex Nihilo Honoré Delights Eau De Parfum

5. Estée Lauder Beautiful Magnolia Eau De Parfum

6. Estée Lauder Mediterranean Honeysuckle

7. Diptyque Orpheon Eau De Parfum

8. Jo Malone London Yellow Hibiscus Cologne

9. Guerlain Mon Guerlain Sparkling Bouquet Eau De Parfum

10. Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves

11. The Body Shop White Musk Eau De Parfum

12. The Body Shop White Musk Lover Fragrance Layering Topper

13. Christian Louboutin Beauty Loubikiss Eau de Parfum

14. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Intense Eau De Parfum

15. Penhaligon's Heartless Helen Eau De Parfum

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.