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Discover a new (or old) favorite. Casual Pants
Finding a signature scent that reflects both your personality and range of favorite notes can be a years-long process. It's no surprise that fragrance is one beauty essential that's well-known for being extremely personal, with each one smelling unique on the wearer themselves. While we understand that it can be tedious to narrow down your top choices, a great place to start is with some of the best-selling and most iconic perfumes, ever.
From those that have stood the test of time, like the tried-and-true classic Chanel No. 5 and vanilla-noted YSL Black Opium, to more recent favorites from Glossier, Byredo, and more, the following perfumes have earned a forever space on our vanities until the end of time—or at least until they're discontinued. Whether you prefer floral perfumes, cult-classic celebrity favorites, or something else entirely, we're betting there's a perfect match on this list for you. Keep reading to discover your new (or old) favorite among our list of the best perfumes of all time.
Related: The 17 Sexiest Fragrances of All Time
Featuring notes of jasmine, linen and musk, this timeless, Spanish-made perfume from Loewe is designed to combine with the brand's 001 Man Eau de Parfum for a signature fragrance blend.
Created as a collaboration between the perfumer and Baccarat to celebrate the crystal manufacturer’s 250th birthday, this popular scent is, frankly, a masterpiece. A combination of woody notes, amber, jasmine and other florals, it's sophisticated and never overpowering.
Dior perfumes are so iconic, they even inspired a documentary. This modern classic truly has a bit of everything: juicy blood orange and mandarin, fresh lily of the valley, and earthy patchouli.
We count Heretic's Dirty Vanilla Eau de Parfum as one of our top gourmand-inspired picks, since its warm and spicy notes are a clear standout in a sea of overly syrupy scents.
Named You as a nod to the fragrance’s ability to smell different on each wearer, this blend of floral iris, spicy pink pepper, and warm ambrette seeds became an instant hit for Glossier, and remains the brand’s one and only fragrance.
Rihanna has been name-checked as the best-smelling celeb by just about everyone on the planet, so it was only natural that she create her own signature scent. It instantly sold out, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a bottle of this elevated blend of magnolia, musk, tangerine, blueberry, Bulgarian rose absolute, geranium, and patchouli, know that it’s worth all the hype.
Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2021, Chanel No. 5 is perhaps the most famous fragrance of all time. Heavy with may rose and jasmine, it was the first perfume to be layered with aldehydes, a now-commonplace practice that lends the fragrance an airy quality. Game changing then, iconic now.
Chance was introduced in 2002, and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since. Thank the floral base of iris and jasmine, which is rounded out by sweet vanilla and white musk—plus, pink pepper adds an unexpected touch of spice.
Rich coffee and vanilla create a sweet and warm base, while a floral heart lightens things up. It's excellent during cooler months, but can be worn year-round if you please.
Rangoon creeper, tuberose, and jasmine combine to create this robust and top-rated Gucci floral fragrance, which over 1,300 Sephora customers are raving about.
This sexy fragrance became one of the biggest perfume crazes of the last decade, and for good reason: It’s musky, spicy, and a bit smoky (but not overwhelmingly so), and the genderless quality makes it ideal for sharing.
As the name suggests, this top-rated fragrance from Viktor & Rolf —which close to 10,000 Ulta customers love—is a cult favorite thanks to its floral notes of jasmine and rose, plus scents of warm vanilla and patchouli for added depth.
If you’re looking for a sweet, strong floral scent, you may have found it in the Mediterranean-inspired Sì. It starts out fruity with top notes of black currant nectar, followed by a freesia and Rose of Mai heart, finishing with a musky, vanilla-tinged base.
A bouquet of florals—rose, lily of the valley, freesia, magnolia—give way to amber and cedarwood, which lend a sensual, warm air to the overall light scent. Plus, this one is loved equally for the bottle (topped with a hand-tied ribbon) and for what’s inside.
Not even the fragrance-averse can resist Byredo’s chic, cylindrical bottles, particularly this scent inspired by the Romani, or Gypsy, lifestyle. The woody scent features intoxicating notes of bergamot, lemon, incense, pine needles, and sandalwood.
Like all things Tom Ford, this scent is undeniably sexy and glamorous. The namesake black orchid is surrounded by ylang-ylang and citrus, black plum, patchouli, and vanilla. It’s deep, dark, and elegant, especially for evening.
Bond No. 9’s luxe fragrances are inspired by New York City, though according to the brand, this lavender bottle is named for, “the greatest neighborhood of them all—peace.” Light and fresh, the mix of fresh grapefruit, lily of the valley, and black currant, is just lovely.
You don’t have to live by the beach to appreciate this surf-inspired scent (and one of Jo Malone’s best sellers). With notes of sea salt, sage, and ambrette seeds, it’s simple, sophisticated, and genderless.
The daisy-adorned bottle became an instant sensation, but what’s inside is pretty fabulous as well. With notes of strawberry, sandalwood, and jasmine, Daisy is a light floral that’s become a rite of passage for teens (and teens at heart).
A gorgeous combination of honeyed neroli, peony, jasmine, and musk, this top seller from Michelle Pfeiffer’s fragrance line smells both crisp and clean, and is made with clean ingredients; in fact, it’s the only fine fragrance line to be verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Lindy Segal is a beauty writer and editor. In addition to regularly contributing to BAZAAR.COM, she also writes for Glamour, People, WhoWhatWear, and Fashionista, among other publications. She lives in New York City with her Chihuahua mix, Barney.
Tiffany Dodson is currently the associate beauty commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she specializes in trend forecasting, building relationships with major and emerging brands, and crafting shopping stories—from holiday gift guides to product road tests. Tiffany's work has previously been featured in outlets like SELF, Bustle, and Teen Vogue, and she's been quoted as a commerce and beauty expert in publications and platforms like The Business of Fashion and NPR’s Life Kit podcast.
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