Last updated: September 26, 2020

How we pick our products

20Products analyzed

18Hours invested

8Studies researched

102Comments collected

How we perceive an aroma transcends simply how it smells. Smells evoke many different real and abstract feelings. A smell can convey cleanliness, attraction, hunger, and even a memory. There is little doubt that there are certain smells in your life that evoke certain feelings from and images of the past.

Because of this, humans have desired to capture and utilize smells since the beginning of time. Modern scents and perfumes make us feel good, clean, attractive and unique. It might not be immediately apparent, but a nice smell can even change how we are perceived to the people around us. You probably want to know more, right?

Key Facts

  • Perfumes are substances designed to emit a good aroma. Humans have used them throughout history.
  • Perfumes are used not only to create amenable smells. They also create feelings of comfort, safety, and attractiveness. What’s more, they evoke previous memories and events.
  • Several types of perfumes are available depending on the concentration of aroma. This why certain ones tend to outlast others throughout the day. Olfactory families group perfumes based on their aromas, and there are myriad ones to choose from.

Ranking: The best women’s perfumes on the U.S. market

In this section, we have put together the best 5 women’s perfumes on the U.S. market. We have provided summaries of their most important features, while ensuring that all of them have value-for-money in common. After perusing it you should be able to decide on which one is right for you and your unique style.

No. 1: Chloe – Narcisse 2-in-1 Spray and Body Lotion (3.4, 6.8 Oz)

This 2 piece gift set by Chloe includes both a perfume spray and a body lotion for customizable fragrance. First introduced by Chloe in 1992, Narcisse has been the staple fragrance for women all over the United States for decades. It is a sharp, oriental fragrance rich in floral scents that is both feminine and sophisticated. Women have worn this fragrance for years and continue to get compliments on it. The body lotion it comes with feels great and hydrating on your skin, while still giving you that same unique Chloe scent.

The great thing about this fragrance is how ageless it is. Women often talk about certain scents seeming “old” or “young”, but this is a perfume and body lotion that can be worn by women of all ages and still seem “age appropriate”. Subtle, yet distinctive, this is a great women’s perfume that has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the most popular on the market, especially given its very affordable price, and the 2-in-1 box set.

No. 2: Oscar De La Renta – Oscar (5.2 Oz)

Oscar by Oscar De La Renta is a perfumed dusting powder by famous designer and perfumer Oscar De La Renta. It features an ample floral bouquet that also contains softer, woodier scents, this perfumed powder was inspired by the beautiful, fragrant gardens of Santo Domingo. It’s most notable floral scents are that of ylang-ylang blossom, which provides a unique, feminine, exotic smell that changes and lasts all day.

This powder is made to smell exactly like the liquid perfume it was named after, and is one of the silkiest and most luxurious powders you are likely to ever try. At just $40 dollars, you get a lot for a little with this product, as just a small amount of it goes quite a long way. Fabulousness is what Oscar De La Renta does best, having been a designer for some of the most glamours stars in the world for decades. This powder truly captures the mystique of the feminine essence.

No. 3: Versace – Bright Crystal (0.17 Oz)

Versace is a name in women’s perfume that needs no introduction, and their Bright Crystal mini eau de toilette, with its foundation in luxurious and feminine redwood notes, is the perfect travel sized perfume for any bag or carry on. This scent is made for women who exude self-confidence and are quite sure of their charm. Sensual and feminine, this is a great fragrance for a first date, a night on the town, or a romantic anniversary.

Infused with the alluring and charming scents of pomegranate, magnolia, peonia, and lotus flower, Versace’s Bright Crystal is designed to have you smelling like the queen you are. Floral, fruity, and at the same time musky, this scent is sure to make a lasting, positive impression on people. If you are looking for something that will make you stand out from the crowd, and something you are sure to get a lot of compliments on, Versace’s Bright Crystal is hard to beat.

No. 4: Swiss Arabian – Noora (20 ml)

Noora, which translates to “divine light” by perfume artisans Swiss Arabian, is an alcohol-free, all natural, Arabian-inspired fragrance that is unisex and designed to compliment both masculine and feminine energy. It contains base notes of vanilla, musk and sandalwood, middle notes of lily and rose, and top notes of orange and honey. The elegance of the bottle matches the elegance of the scent itself, and looks great on any makeup counter or vanity.

Established in the United Arab Emirates in 1974, Swiss Arabian has been perfecting those sultry Arabic scents that has made the region famous for some decades. One of the best things about this fragrance is how is changes as it ages throughout the day. What you smell like after putting it on in the morning or early evening, will change to something different, but just as alluring as it takes shape throughout the day or evening. Oudh, civet, and patchouli base notes give this a rich and beautiful fragrance.

No. 5: Marc Jacobs – Daisy Gold (3.4 Oz)

Marc Jacobs is another name in women’s fragrances that needs no introduction. Containing notes of wild strawberries, violet, gardenia, and birch and ceder wood, this is a delicate, feminine mix that is sure to have people around you taking notice. This is a playful scent that goes great during the day or evening, and radiates feminine energy and spirit. A great scent for women of any age, Daisy Gold is a more expensive scent, but the big 3.4 Oz bottle will last you for quite some time.

A small amount of Daisy Gold is all you need to smell luxurious and feminine throughout the day or night. Made with the same care and attention to detail that goes into all Marc Jacobs products, this women’s perfume is a perfect holiday, mother’s day, or birthday gift that will make any woman happy. The elegant gold bottle reflects light beautifully and is a nice aesthetic, as well as practical addition to any woman’s vanity or makeup counter.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about women’s perfumes

It is important to know the main features of any perfume you are considering before you make a purchase. The below section will give you some insight into the most salient features of women’s perfume, so you have everything you need to make a good decision. We have also included the answers to some of the most frequent consumer questions to give you even more information.

Gauge the value for money of each product and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
(Source: Iconogenic: 38331136/

What is a perfume exactly?

A perfume is a scented substance, usually liquid in form, people apply to give off pleasant and alluring smells. The word “perfume” is actually a Latin derivative of two words: “per” (meaning “for”) and “fumare” (meaning “through smoke”). A perfume alludes to the fragrance emitted by smoke during the smoking process, in which aromatic woods (like sandalwood, rosewood etc.) were smoked in order to provide an aroma to or purify something.

Throughout history our preferences for different scents and aromas have changed considerably. Today, most perfumes are in liquid form and contain bundles of different aromatic items. Often times they contain both synthetic and natural essences, combinations which make for both enjoyable and long-lasting aromas.

What types of perfumes are available out there?

It is common knowledge that no 2 perfumes are exactly the same. Some, for example, last much longer than others. There are a number of different perfume types that can be categorized based on different types of aroma. They are as follows, based on high and low aromatic concentration: perfume, eau de perfume, eau de toilette, eau de cologne and splash perfume.

Perfume is the most highly concentrated on the list, with anywhere between 15 and 40 percent aromatic essence.The eau de parfum has a concentration of around 15%, while this value reaches 10% for eau de toilette. Citrus aromas predominates eau de cologne, which have 3-6% extracts. Finally, splash perfumes contain 1% aromatic essence.

Floral elements are very feminine and transmit sweetness.
(Source: Jung: 17906371/

What aromas can I find in a perfume?

Every human being is unique, so it makes sense that people’s taste in scents is unique too. Manufacturers and perfumists have, therefore, created a massive range of scents to try and satisfy all of the different proclivities out there. As previously mentioned, you can group perfumes into different olfactory families, where those with similar aromatic characteristics are placed together. Below is a breakdown of those primary categories.

There are generally 6 of these families that are commonly referred to. There are citruses – considered fresh and ephemeral. Florals are very well-liked. The Fougere and Chypre fragrances are not as well-known. There are also woody scents, oriental scents, and leathers.

The following table introduces you to the main components and characteristics of each of these aromatic families.

Family Components Characteristics
Citrus Oranges, bergamot, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit Fresh, ephemeral, optimistic, stimulating
Floral Roses, jasmine, violets, daffodils, lily of the valley Sweet, long-lasting, generally feminine, intense
Fougère Lavender, wood, cumin, bergamot, oak moss Aromatic, deep, provide energy and confidence
Chypre Moss of holm oak, laudanum rockrose, patchouli and bergamot Warm, dry and deep
Woody Sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, lavender, pine, citrus Elegant, deep, persistent. They transmit warmth, confidence and tranquility
Oriental Vanilla, laudanum rockrose and animals Intense, long-lasting, seductive, voluptuous. Generally night perfumes
Leather Burnt wood, tobacco, and leather Warm, sensual, intense

What are perfumes made of?

Perfumes are made using a wide range of different ingredients. They typically contain a mix of aromatics, solvents, and fixatives. This allows their chemical composition to vary considerably, and creates a wide spectrum of scents that impact how the final aroma smells, and how well, or poorly it persists while you are wearing it.

Aromatic substances tend to be both liquid and organic. They are also light and their composition can change between perfumes. The most common solvent you will find in them is alcohol, because it makes for easier dilution. Fixatives, on the other hand, are non-volatile and mare made of plant or animal products, or are synthetic or a combination of both. They help to prevent evaporation and extend the half-life of the various scents.

Woody perfumes are elegant, deep and warm.
(Source: Garloon: 56781754/

How are perfumes made?

It takes some care and deliberation to get that perfect perfume essence. The process used to derive each differs depending of the category of essence, its quality, and where it’s from. They are either extracted from the natural source, or are synthesized in a lab. There are different ways to achieve all this:

First of all, maceration involves submerging the plants in hot water so as to release their smell. A second method used is pressing, where fruits and other plants are essentially squeezed so that their essential oils come out. Distillation remains the most commonly used process by extracting the essences with steam. The enfleurage method uses fatty substances to absorb the essences.

Why is perfume recommended?

As previously mentioned, perfumes have been utilized and created throughout history to augment smells and our overall presentation. Many societies around the world still carry on an ancient, and proud perfuming tradition. They are become one of the most popular and widely purchased cosmetics on the Canadian market.

Around 37 per cent of Canadian women look for products that are fragrance free, meaning the other 63 percent are interested in perfumed scents.

There are a variety of reasons you might want to use a perfume. Primarily, you will want a perfume because it smells good, and you like smelling good too. There are secondary effects from that, including improved confidence and self-esteem, which helps you feel more attractive and capable. Certain perfumes also elicit memory responses that we find enjoyable.

A beautiful and elegant perfume container is always a nice plus.
(Source: Maralingstad: 41854266/

How should I apply my perfume?

No matter the occasion, it is incredibly important to wear a perfume correctly. Our primary recommendation is to apply perfume to freshly washed skin. A good tip to increasing its duration is to do so after applying your favorite cream of moisturizer. Just take care the moisturizer you use isn’t too strong smelling.

It is also recommended that you apply a perfume about 4 inches from your skin. The most important areas to apply a scent are behind your ears, on your neck, on your wrists, the décolleté and the inner part of the elbows. This is because this is where your fragrance tends to hold its scents the longest. It is also important to never massage the perfume into your skin; it has to be left to dry on its own.

Did you know that natural perfumes are more respectful of our body? These products contain ingredients of 100% natural origin.

How should I store my perfume?

These delicate products can easily spoil if they are not properly preserved. This is why you should know which factors to avoid for optimal preservation. Our first recommendation is to avoid exposing your bottle to the sun or other heat sources, as higher temperatures will facilitate its evaporation.

It is best to keep your perfume in cool and shaded areas, like your closet. Keeping the bottle closed is another key factor that will help delay the evaporation of the product.

The average shelf life of a perfume is two years, and this go decreasing once the product has been opened. The best way to avoid waste is buy small bottles if you don’t use large quantities of perfume.

What adverse effects can the use of perfume cause?

There are a wide range of different ingredients and components in each perfume. These include aromatic essences, different alcohols, stabilizers, and other ingredients. Many of them are naturally sourced, while others are artificial. Both, depending on your skin, are capable of causing different unwanted reactions.

The most common of these is known as “aromatic dermatitis”, and it can occur anywhere you have applied the perfume. Other potential side effects include asthma, headaches, and even nausea. These, however, are not nearly as common. Other perfume ingredients might interact with your endocrine, immune, and/or nervous systems.

Don’t forget to always check the components of a perfume before buying it. It is particularly important that you be careful if you suffer from any dermatological or allergic pathology. In Canada, any potentially irritating ingredients have to be listed on the bottle.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of perfumes?

Here is a list of the benefits and potential risks of using perfume:

  • Pleasant smell
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Relaxing effect
  • Evokes memories
  • Fosters self-confidence
  • Migraines
  • Potential dermatological reactions
  • Interaction with endocrine and immune system

Shopping Criteria

When buying a perfume there are some important product features to always have in mind. In the below section, we have put together the most important ones to rely on while evaluating a product. This will help you choose a women’s perfume that best meets your needs. They are:

  • Type of perfume
  • Type of fragrance
  • Composition
  • Health conditions
  • Container

Type of perfume

We have already touched on the different types of perfumes on the Canadian market, and each has its own unique properties. Knowing what to look for is the key to making a smart purchase. The type of perfume affects duration, the intensity of smells, and the different aromatic concentration levels.

For example, it is highly recommended that you choose an eau de toilette if you want something that is going to be both long-lasting and intense. An eau fraiche, on the other hand, is better if you are looking for something lighter and more fresh. Eau de parfum, eau de we would strongly suggest you opt for the perfume type if you are looking for an intense and long-lasting fragrance., while an eau fraîche will suit you better if you prefer a light and fresh aroma. Eau de parfum, eau de toilette and eau de toilette, and colognes are all considered mid-range products. Know what you want from your perfume before browsing.

Type of fragrance

You are also now aware that perfumes are categorized not just by how concentrated they are, but by the different classes of fragrances contained therein. There are a number of different olfactory families (as previously noted) that are grouped into various subfamilies. Choosing one requires time and effort, due to the sheer number of combinations that exist in today’s market.

Each fragrance is more, or less appropriate based on a given situation. Time of day, occasion, and time of year all must be factored in. Citruses, for instance, are more popular during the summer months because they tend to be fresher and lighter scents. Florals tend to be preferred for colder months, because they are sweeter and denser. Know how and when you will be wearing a perfume to make the best choice possible.


Composition is always a key aspect with cosmetic products. This will influence a number of different factors where perfume is concerned. A perfume’s ingredients dictate the aroma. The intensity of the fragrance is how long it lasts will also be influenced by a perfume’s unique composition.

As mentioned earlier, a perfume’s ingredients are also related to its potential adverse effects.

Certain perfumes will have more chemicals and irritants than others. In conclusion, we can’t insist enough on the fact that you must dedicate time to evaluate what ingredients your perfume is made of. This is the best way to make the right purchasing decision.

Health conditions

While allergic and other reactions to perfumes are rare, they do happen. Most of them are skin reactions and they tend to happen more in people with histories of skin pathologies, allergies, hormonal disorder, and other health conditions. You always need to know your body before putting anything in or on it.

If you are worried about a potential adverse reaction, or have a history of skin-related illnesses, always talk to a doctor before buying a perfume. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to avoid. There are also natural perfumes on the market which contain no artificial ingredients or chemicals, and which likely contain fewer irritants.


While it might seem inconsequential, compared to the other features discussed above, the bottle is an important aspect. Smaller containers tend to conserve perfumes longer, if not used gratuitously. Those that come with applicators are useful because they help to better spread the scent in the desired regions.


Perfumes are much more than just a nice smell. They can provide us with a sense of pride, confidence, sexiness, or they may help us relax. It might not be immediately apparent all the time, but much of how we perceive the world around us is based on what and how we smell things.

Good for us, there is a wide variety of women’s perfumes to choose from on the Canadian market. They are grouped based on how long-lasting they are, as well as their unique scent signatures. There is something for every person, and every occasion, and every woman. Use this guide to help make your decision and get yourself something that truly speaks to who you are.

If you liked our guide on women’s perfumes, please share it on your social media, and/or leave a comment for us below!

(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 96320111/

Why you can trust me?