Best Women's Fragrances

How should you go about finding the right scent to match your personality, the occasion and complete your style? Find out all about top notes, bottom notes and the difference between EDTs and EDPs below. Read more…

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Rating

Based on 1,269 reviews
Chanel Chance

Chanel Chance 🏆 2024

4.5  (39) Summary
Customer
CustomerNSW16 posts
 
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

4.0  (71) Summary
Esther Beveridge
Esther BeveridgeQLD14 posts
 
Great!Smell so luxurious, for everyday or for occasions. This fragrance really helps and smells even better after a long day! Show details
Vera Wang Princess

Vera Wang Princess

4.2  (41) Summary
Sue Beavan
Sue Beavan
 
Where's the scent?i bought a bottle of Vera Wang perfume and after 10 minutes the scent had disappeared!! A complete waste of money and really disappointed as it's the first time i've ever purchased her perfume,it will definitely be the last time!! Show details
Christian Dior J'adore Fragrances

Christian Dior J'adore Fragrances

4.0  (47) Summary
Jenny
Jenny10 posts
 
Just s very beautiful fragrance not over poweringLove it it's amazing long lasting one of my favourite s Show details
DKNY Be Delicious

DKNY Be Delicious

4.3  (23) Summary
Jess
Jess2 posts
 
My ultimate favouriteThe amount of compliments I’ve gotten on this perfume is insane! The smell lasts forever and it’s amazing
I would spend any amount of money on this perfume! Can’t live without it Show details
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely

Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely

3.7  (49) Summary
sad
sad
 
smell does not lasti bought this perfume as the smell was devine, but unfortunately the smell does not last long at all. I even put on so much of it but no one can smell it :( Show details
Chanel N°5

Chanel N°5

3.4  (65) Summary
Jackie K.
Jackie K.QLD2 posts
 
Smell changedI've been using Chanel no 5 for quite a few years, so I know what it smells like.
This year I purchased a new bottle from Chemist Warehouse (Australia) and it doesn't smell the same! It is sharper and has more of a toilet spray smell than it's iconic powder fresh smell!
Really disappointed! Show details
Narciso Rodriguez for Her

Narciso Rodriguez for Her

4.7  (15) Summary
Lynniep
LynniepQLD
 
For HerI love Narcissco Rodriguez perfumes. Have been buying the pink and black bottles for a few years. They have a subtle sensual scent. Have been asked what perfume I'm wearing many times. Was gifted four samples from the range. Love them all. Show details
Estée Lauder Youth-Dew

Estée Lauder Youth-Dew

4.0  (25) Summary
Eleonora
EleonoraQLD6 posts
 
Perfume of successI have been wearing Youth Dew since it first came out quite a few years ago it has never lost it’s beautiful fragrance
Thank you
Feeling Sexy for allowing this perfume to be sold at such a reasonable price Show details
Sheila1
Sheila1QLD17 posts
 
Gorgeous scentI love this subtle yet feminine smell. As per the other reviewers, yes it gets compliments and I love the smell and don't get sick of it unlike some other branded perfumes. I've been using this over two years now and thank goodness they haven't changed the scent to something else. Yes it's a little pricey but so worth it! Show details
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

4.0  (23) Summary
Anne L.
Anne L.13 posts
  Verified
Flowerbomb has changed...it now has very little smell!! Regret paying $150My favorite perfume was lacking in scent. Disappointed with quality! Show details
Calvin Klein CK One

Calvin Klein CK One

3.7  (26) Summary
Vik_Dogra
Vik_DograNSW55 posts
 
Great fragrance, lasts for hoursI bought it on the Black Friday sale. I like how it smells fresh in the beginning and then the fruity smell settles down and "Musk and Cedar" take over ( the base ) and it lasts for a few hours.
Really Happy with my purchase very refreshing for summer and Moreover it is Unisex. Show details
planetrenzy
planetrenzyNSW11 posts
 
Estée Lauder Beautiful

Estée Lauder Beautiful

3.3  (48) Summary
Rosetta C
Rosetta C2 posts
 
Disapponted in Estee Lauder's BeautifulHave purchased from perfume.com and from Macy's. Thought maybe perfume.com was a lesser quality so went back to Macy's. SAME problem...after 30+ years of using this, it now has no smell!! After spraying on, its gone!! will not buy again - anywhere!! Show details
Rosetta C
Rosetta C  
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Estee Lauder has offered to send me a new bottle. Will advise if any different.

Diane M.
Diane M.
 
Somethings changedI've worn this since the early 90's but my last bottle doesn't smell as good. I rarely use it now. Bought from Boots ,they're reputable. I did read that the EU had banned certain ingredients used for perfumery and JPG had to ammend scents. This must have been one of them. So disappointed. Show details
Chanel Allure

Chanel Allure

4.1  (18) Summary
Kathy
Kathy
 
No SmellJust tried this as a change but have to take back to shop as cannot smell anything from it was told I have got used to smell but I have never bought it before ?? Show details
Lancome Poeme

Lancome Poeme

4.4  (12) Summary
Maggie3029
Maggie3029VIC167 posts
 
Long lasting scent. LOVE ITPurchased the 100ml eau de parfum after spraying it 1st thing in the morning, I could still smell it after a 40 minute 5pm swim. It has a beautiful long lasting fragrance. Not overwhelming like say Youth Dew or Opium used to be. Really pleased that I took a chance and bought it from chemist warehouse for $109.99 instead of $214 in Myer. Show details
Elle
ElleQLD3 posts
 
Fave scentI wear this everyday and get so many compliments on it! It’s the perfect scent, soft and feminine but long wearing so I know if I apply the fragrance in the morning it will last all day. Absolutely love it! Show details
Davidoff Cool Water Woman

Davidoff Cool Water Woman

3.6  (21) Summary
Anne-marie W.
Anne-marie W.ACT
 
Asthma triggerAn awful scent. I came across it in hospital when a nurse wearing it triggered my asthma. It contains something that is lethal to some people.
Others include Red Door, Paris, Sunflowers, some men scents too. They’ve all got something in them I’m unable to define. Cheap and nasty for me.
Good luck to those who can tolerate it Show details
The Body Shop Perfume Oils

The Body Shop Perfume Oils

4.1  (13) Summary
Hayley Bell
Hayley BellNSW7 posts
 
Long lasting fragrantsI adore this vanilla scent and makes me feel fresh and smell great all day long. Been using this for years and still my top best choice everyday use. Show details
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette

4.8  (9) Summary
Melanie H.
Melanie H.3 posts
 
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

2.8  (63) Summary
Addy
AddyNSW4 posts
 
Christian Dior Pure Poison

Christian Dior Pure Poison

4.5  (10) Summary
BringBkItsEvaLastnSmell
BringBkItsEvaLastnSmell
 
Margaret H.
Margaret H.NSW2 posts
 
Love my Angel Au de perfumI’ve used it for 20 years & love it, it’s the only perfume I can wear that agrees with my sinus & Chronic Asthma, I have so many compliments about my Au De Perfum
Yves Saint Laurent Opium

Yves Saint Laurent Opium

3.5  (20) Summary
Perfumelover
PerfumeloverWA
 
My alltime favourite perfumeOrdered through fragrances.com.au order was well packaged and arrived within the delivery schedule. Super happy. Show details
Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue

Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue

4.1  (12) Summary
JLR
JLR3 posts
 
ConvenientRoll on in small size was ideal for travel. No spillage and very light to carry. Exactly the same fragrance as the larger size but could carry around in handbag
Lancome Miracle

Lancome Miracle

4.4  (10)
clarity
clarityVIC23 posts
 
Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse

Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse

3.6  (14) Summary
Sandra
SandraQLD4 posts
 
Not the sameI bought YSL Yvresse in Feb 2020 online..(for over $100) it is just not the same. Could it be fake? l usually buy from DJs and it is just beautiful... however the online version does not last all day. Very strange smell - dissappointing :( Show details
Tarnya Byrnes
Tarnya ByrnesAU
 
Lovely fragrance highly recommendVery nice woody scent and is so afforable! Totally recommend it for those whom want a great lasting quality perfume at a low cost price. Nothing like some of the other SJP perfumes as i found them to be very budget in scent. 4 stars for this one! **** purchased from Priceline.
all of the above
nothing, quality for money spent. Show details
Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers

Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers

3.1  (19) Summary
jay
jay
 
Smell of Sunflower 1st and last purchaseI was very disappointed with the smell. It just might have been old but it was nasty. I threw it out that is how bad it was to me. Smelled like ant spray

Array of famous perfumes

Fragrance families

While there are countless scents, there are four main fragrance families that they fall into. These are floral, oriental, woody and fresh.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to have a sniff around the fragrances already on your dresser and decide which fragrance family you gravitate towards. It’s unusual that you’ll have accumulated fragrances from all different fragrance families since we naturally tend to prefer scents from one or two families. However, you may decide to branch out to complement different occasions and seasons in the year.

Fresh

Fun, upbeat and zesty - fresh scents contain notes like lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit and mandarin. They are most commonly found in the cologne and eau de toilette concentration strengths, making them ideal for daily daytime wear. This is a good fragrance family for you if you’re into bright, uplifting and sunny scents. They conjure images of the summer seaside and fresh citrus breakfast spreads.

A few fresh fragrances include Chanel’s Chance eau fraiche and philosophy by Pure Grace Fragrance.

Floral

Floral is a very popular fragrance family for women’s fragrances since it is very feminine, delicate and pleasant. It is one of the easiest to recognise since they tend to be filled with notes of jasmine, peony, gardenia, tuberose, lily of the valley, magnolia and rose. They evoke sensations of freshly cut bouquets and spring weddings.

To give floral scents some depth, they are often mixed with a touch of spice or musk in order to create deeper, richer and more invigorating scents.

Oriental

The term ‘oriental’ in the perfume world refers to a historic fragrance family classification that embraced notes like amber, sandalwood, coumarin, orris, vanilla and gum resins.

Oriental fragrances exude warmth and sensuality and often feel more ‘grown-up’ than the other fragrance families. The heavy and seductive scents are best suited for evening affairs. They use deep base notes which linger on the skin for longer.

Woody

Perfumers use a warm palette of woody elements in their fragrances, taking advantage of the aromatic scents of sandalwood, cedar, oud and guaiac wood. They also use roots and leaves such as patchouli and vetiver for their profoundly earthy and woody character.

Woody fragrances can be made more versatile by adding spicy and fruity notes. Both masculine and feminine fragrances belong to the woody family.

There are a whole host of sub families such as chypre (mossy), fruity (exotic fruits, berries), aromatic (herbs), aquatic (lotus, sea salt) and spicy (cinnamon, cloves), just to name a few.

Fragrance life cycle

Fragrances have a three-part life cycle. When you first spray your fragrance, you can initially smell the top notes, which later evaporate to reveal the middle notes and finally, the base notes.

Top notes

Also known as head notes, this is the initial scent of the fragrance. Top note scents tend to be light, floral, citrus or fruity. Example notes include lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, pine and blood orange.

Middle notes

The middle note is often called the heart note because it is the main scent that you can smell once the top note evaporates. Fruity and floral scents make an appearance here such as rose and jasmine.

Base notes

The final part is called the base note and makes its appearance last due to its heavy molecules which evaporate slower. The scents in this note are deeper and richer, containing amber, musk and woody aromas.

Perfume concentrations

Fragrances are made up of a small amount of the actual fragrance such as an essential oil or synthetic fragrance which is then diluted in a solution of alcohol, oil or water to contain the fragrance and make it durable. Fragrance concentration percentages depict how much pure fragrance is in the concoction.

The higher the concentration percentage, the heavier and more fragrant the perfume will be - as well as more expensive.

The same fragrance can be available in multiple concentrations so you can choose how long-lasting you’d like your scent to be.

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Credit: toppacksolution.com

Eau fraiche

Eau Fraiche sprays use water instead of alcohol and are the most diluted concentrations between 1-3%, and they can last for up to 2 hours. These are designed to be worn all over the body as opposed to pulse points. These are best known as body mists and sprays. Examples include Body Shop’s Satsuma Mist and Victoria’s Secret’s Bombshell Body Mist.

Eau de cologne

The next step up in terms of strength is an eau de cologne which uses 2-5% of fragrance. Scents in this range tend to contain herb and citrus notes. It’s a common misconception that eau de colognes are exclusively a male fragrance type - but this is not the case. It simply refers to the concentration percentage. Examples include Jo Malone’s English Pear & Freesia Cologne and Bulgari’s eau parfumée au thé blanc eau de cologne spray.

Eau de toilette

EDTs are one of the most popular concentrations of fragrance, particularly because they are affordable and come in light, fruity scents with easy top notes. The short lifespan means it’s a great choice for daily daytime wear. They contain a 5-15% fragrance concentration. Many popular fragrances come in both EDTs and EDPs

Eau de parfum

EDPs contain a fragrance concentration of 15-20% which lasts for 5-8 hours. They have dominant middle notes which makes them ideal for evening wear. It’s recommended to apply these types of perfumes directly to the skin on a few pulse points.

Parfum

Pure perfume has the highest concentration of fragrance per alcohol at 20-30%, making it the most expensive type. Because you only need very small amounts (applied on the pulse points), they come in small bottles. Usually, the scents are rich and complex with strong top, middle and bottom notes which carry on throughout the day.

How to apply perfume

As with anything, it’s best to start with a blank canvas. Apply your fragrance after you have showered and moisturised since the skin will absorb the fragrance better. Dry skin can lead to an acceleration in evaporation.

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t rub your wrists together or rub your wrist on your neck after application since rubbing breaks the molecular bond which removes the top note and makes the scent weaker. Your perfume creates a unique and long-lasting scent when it is left to slowly mix with your skin’s natural oils.

So where should you apply perfume? You should dab a little bit in some or all of your pulse points depending on how strong you want your scent to be. Your pulse points include the inside of your wrists, inner elbows, neck, below your belly button, behind your ear lobes and on the inside of your knees. These points are where your veins sit so close to the skin that your pulse can be felt. They are also warm spots that will help diffuse the scent evenly around your body.

Things to consider

Longevity

When choosing a perfume, you’ll want to consider its longevity ranging from weak, moderate to long-lasting. You can also look at the concentration of pure perfume as an indicator.

Sillage

Pronounced “see-yage,” it refers to the trail of scent left behind from a perfume. Depending on how strong you want your trail to be, look out for reviews that mention the word and if the fragrance has an intimate, moderate, strong or enormous sillage.

Age group

Consider that different scents may suit different age groups. For instance, fragrances for teenagers and pre-teens tend to come in the form of body mists with very light floral and fruity scents. Mature scents tend to command more attention, coming in higher concentrations and complex, amber tones.

Vegan fragrances

Since a lot of fragrances use musk, honey, milk, ambergris or civet, they are not vegan-friendly. If you’re vegan or an advocate for animal welfare, it’s worth checking the brand’s animal-testing policy as well as the ingredients. Some well-rated vegan fragrance brands include Le Labo, Lush, Floral Street, Hermetica, Stella McCartney and Ellis Brooklyn.

Value for money

Two main elements contribute to a perfume’s price: the concentration percentage and the brand’s reputation. More expensive does not always mean better as designer brands may be priced very highly but may not deliver in terms of quality ingredients or longevity. It’s worth reading reviews to see how others reviewed the fragrance in terms of value for money.

Time of the day

Certain perfumes may be better suited for different times of the day with fresh, fruity and floral scents suiting a daytime event and evening fragrances containing more woody, spicy and oriental tones.

Season

Similarly to the point above, many people change fragrances to suit the seasons. Florals are popular for spring, with fresh notes complementing summer, woody tones pairing well with autumn and oriental, spicy tones suiting winter.

Other perfume products

Perfume oil uses oil as a dilutant instead of water or alcohol. It comes as a small bottle with a roll-on applicator that allows you to apply the fragrance to your pulse points easier. The scent tends to be subtle and only detectable at close distances.

Perfumed powder is a type of perfume that’s not very common but can be a great alternative for those who can’t use alcohol-based perfumes or have sensitive skin. It can be patted anywhere on the body, giving you a nice and subtle smell.

You can read reviews on the best women’s fragrances on our site to help you choose the best scent for you.

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