For the modern woman, wearing perfume is more than just about the scent. It’s an expression of who she is, an assertion of her personality and even a proclamation of her unique style. That’s why you’ll find that most women have a massive perfume collection with different scents for different occasions and moods.
Some perfumes are suitable for t-shirt and jeans days, while others bring out her inner vixen. There are also seductive scents that can add to the allure of a woman while other fragrances have an innocent flair that’s reminiscent of spring blossoms and countryside picnics.
Whatever her favorite flavor is, your girl will definitely appreciate getting perfume from you, especially if you manage to get the scent right.
This won’t be easy of course, as most guys find it extremely difficult to purchase perfume for their girlfriends. One of the most challenging aspects of the process is the fact that not all perfumes are made equal. There are also a wide variety of options to choose from with new perfumes being added to the market all the time.
So we’ve put together a small but useful guide to make the process easier for you. We’ve also narrowed down the selection to 15 of the best and most popular women’s perfumes on the market. Read on for more.
How to Find a Perfume That Suits Your Girlfriend
Part of what makes it so difficult to purchase perfume for your girlfriend is the fact that at some point you’ll have to ask her what her favorite scents are. Now, you have to be very tactful when you do this and avoid giving away the surprise. For example, you can complement her scent the next time she gives you a hug and follow up with a question like, “what’s that beautiful scent you have on?”
Another method that you can use to find a good quality scent is to look at the packaging. Most perfume makers consider the packaging to be as important as picking the ingredients that make up the scent because both aspects are important to women. Similar to how women have different moods and personalities, perfumes have different types of visual appeal as well. For example, fragrances like Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent are perfect for assertive and glamorous women, while Le Labo’s ‘Labdanum 18’ Perfume Oil is often favored by the minimalist, girl next door personality types.
Perfume vs. Eau de Toilette
Once you’ve figured out what your significant other’s favorite scent is, be sure to get her the full bottle version instead of a small roller ball. This will show her that you’re serious about your relationship with her and that you see long-term potential in your union.
A full-sized bottle of perfume typically costs between $100 and $1,000 depending on which brand you purchase. If you simply can’t afford the high price tag of your girlfriend’s favorite perfume, look for the “sheer mist” version of it, which will have the same fragrance (albeit lighter) but without the hefty price tag. You can also supplement the perfume gift with a nice home-cooked romantic dinner.
Most reputable perfume brands like Calvin Klein or Chanel also offer an “eau de toilette” spray version of the perfume bottle. While the perfume version is stronger and much more potent, the eau de toilette is usually lighter and much more affordable.
Besides, if your girlfriend is an understated woman that prefers to keep things simple then she’ll probably like the subtlety of the eau de toilette over the perfume anyway. Most women don’t mind getting either option because at the end of the day it’s the thought that counts.
Stay Away from Low-Quality Perfumes
Celebrity scents and other types of cheap, low-quality perfumes are a huge pet peeve for most women. The only way you’ll get away with buying your girlfriend a Britney Spears scent is if she’s a die-hard fan of the celebrity.
In addition to being outright tacky, cheap perfumes also feature a lot of low-quality and even harmful ingredients. Street perfume has been known to contain carcinogenic ingredients so avoid them like the plague. Don’t be fooled by the shiny packaging or the big-name brands because they’re most definitely fake. As if that wasn’t worse, the scent from low-quality perfume is usually very strong and irritating to the skin and nose, plus the scent doesn’t last long at all.
Your perfume shopping budget should start at $100 if you want to get a high-quality scent that she’ll actually like. This price is usually for the small roller bottle of the perfume while full-sized versions can cost significantly more.
When it comes to buying perfume, you need to be willing to make an investment because getting knock-offs is a definite no-no. If you can’t afford the real thing rather go for an eau de toilette bottle instead and a bunch of roses.
Don’t Buy Her an Ex’s Perfume
This is very important; don’t buy your current girlfriend a scent that was once worn by an ex or even your mother. You might end up getting flashbacks of your ex while you’re spending time with your girlfriend and that might spoil your quality time together. You also don’t want to lump your girlfriend in the same category as your mother for obvious reasons.
For the best results, smell each scent with your nose before you decide on what to purchase. That way, you’ll have a better chance of buying her a scent that actually represents her and one that she’ll really like and enjoy.
How to Buy Perfume Online
Not everyone can go into a physical department store in order to purchase perfume. Perhaps you just don’t have the time to drive to the store or there’s no reputable perfume store in the town or city where you live. Or maybe you’re just averse to the prospect of putting your nose through the process of smelling tons of different scents at once.
Whatever the case is, keep in mind that just because you’re shopping online doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put much thought into the process. First of all, you need to purchase the perfume from an online retailer that’s trustworthy and reliable. Leading online perfume retailers are known for going the extra mile to provide additional services along with your purchase, such as gift wrapping the perfume and including a sweet personalized message with the package.
It’s also important that you consider your girlfriend’s preferences during the purchasing process. The good news is that reputable perfume retailers invest a lot of time and money in designing their online store to make the purchasing process easier for you. They use a lot of descriptive language to let the customer know what the scent entails. So you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a perfume that’s perfect for your girlfriend’s personality and preferences.
Reputable online retailers will even provide you with an online questionnaire to help you narrow down the available options.
Generally speaking, most perfumes are usually a combination of fruity, sweet, woody, musky and spicy notes in different variations.
Another really great tip is to get your girlfriend a fragrance that is similar to her favorite perfume, granted you know what it is.
To find a similar but more affordable version of her favorite perfume, simply go to Google and type in “perfume scents that are similar to (fill in the gaps). The results will show you perfume scents that have a similar structure to your girlfriend’s favorite perfume, and if you visit the Fragrantica website you’ll be able to find additional information on the perfume including its origin, history and fragrance notes. Sharing all of this information with your girlfriend after you give her the gift will also show her that you actually went through a lot of trouble to purchase the gift for her, which will make it even more special.
15 Best Perfumes to Buy Her
Buying perfume is like purchasing jewelry; you need to be willing to invest time and money to get the perfect gift. The following is a selection of 15 top perfumes that are loved and adored by women of different personalities and preferences. Take your pick and good luck!
1. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Eau de Parfum
The Juicy Couture brand is taking the world by storm with its range of Viva La Juicy Eau De Parfum fragrances. These fragrances are edgy, funky, and definitely on-trend. So if your girl is a party animal that likes to have fun, then get her this scent because it’s a party in a bottle.
The fragrance consists of floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and gardenia with a citrusy element of zesty mandarin and wild berries. All of these components are layered on top of an eclectic base that encompasses sandalwood, vanilla, amber, pralines, and caramel.
A little goes a long way with this confident scent and a little spritz is usually enough to keep the wearer fresh all day.
2. Burberry Brít Perfume for Women
Burberry is known as a playful yet elegant brand that is young at heart. So it comes as no surprise to find that this scent is fresh, sophisticated and feminine. It’s an ideal scent for a woman that works in a corporate or traditional workplace in general. That’s because it’s a fragrance that goes down well with most people and it’s never too overpowering.
At the base of this fragrance are some very musky and smooth vanilla tones layered with rich sandalwood, jasmine, cedarwood, and moss.
3. English Laundry Signature by English Laundry Eau De Parfum
As you’ve probably guessed, the secret to this scent is in the name. English Laundry is reminiscent of the classic English garden with its array of enchanting flower fragrances such as rose geranium. The base is made up of very sexy and sensual musk and woody fragrance, with a topping of jasmine petals and delectable white chocolate. The only downside that we could note with this scent is the fact that it doesn’t last that long. However, it’s still a titillating gorgeous fragrance.
4. Calvĭn Kleĭn Reveal for Women Perfume
The Reveal scent from Calvin Klein smells like summer and it’s ideal for the girl who likes to surf and chase the sun. The base notes are a combination of sandalwood, musk, cashmere wood and vetiver, while the middle notes are made up of light ambergris and powdery iris. Lastly, it’s topped with black and white pepper along with salt essence to finish off its oriental and sensual signature.
A single application of this perfume usually lasts for the whole day and it’s highly recommended for daytime wear. The best part is that you can purchase Reveal as a beautifully packaged full scent package that includes a body lotion and shower gel.
5. Lacŏstė Eau de Sensuellė Perfume for Women
As the name describes, this fragrance from Lacoste is very sensual and feminine. It has top notes of blackcurrant and pink pepper, while the middle notes are made up of floral notes like sweet pea and Turkish rose. However, it is the base of this scent that gives it its signature fragrance. The nougatine blends combined with rich amber make for a truly standout scent that is perfect for a sultry summer’s night.
Although it’s a daring scent, you can easily wear this during the day as well, thanks to its vibrant floral notes.
6. Versace Woman Summer By Gianni Versace
Versace Woman is a very strong and assertive scent that’s perfect for the elegant and sassy girl who likes fashion and fun while still killing it in the boardroom. It’s a combination of woody and fruity, with nice floral tones like frangipani, wild rose, bergamot, and jasmine.
You can tell that a lot of thought went into this scent because these delightful top notes are complemented by a musky base of Inoki wood and grey amber. To balance it all out is some Lebanese cedar wood, raspberry, plum and lotus flower.
All in all, this is a versatile and elegant perfume that comes in five different scents so you’re sure to find one that suits your girlfriend.
7. Ange Ou Demon Le Secret Eau De Parfum Spray By Givenchy
If you’re purchasing perfume for your girlfriend during the warm spring and summer months then you might want to consider Ange Ou Demon by Givenchy. It’s a very unique scent that smells like being in a candy store. Perhaps this is due to the addition of sweet and titillating water lily and peony which is topped with cranberry, lemon and tea leaves.
Needless to say, this is a very fruity and fresh scent, and because of the blonde wood and white musk base, it’s also very light. The best part about this perfume is that it comes as a pre-packaged gift with two other items including a scented lotion and purse spray.
8. Boucheron Perfumė for Women
If your girlfriend is one of those carefree, wild and joyful personalities then this scent is for her. It boasts top notes of tangerine, apricot, asafetida, marigold and current leaf buds as well as lemon, bergamot and bitter orange.
As if that weren’t enough the mid-layer consists of exotic scents like Lydia bush, iris root, ylang-ylang, tuberose, jasmine, geranium and lily of the valley. Bringing it all together is the base of the fragrance which is made up of musk, amber, vanilla, oakmoss, benzoin and tonka.
As you can see, a lot went into making this fragrance which means it has a large scent profile that only a few women can pull off.
9. Lolita Lempicka Elle L’Aime Eau de Parfum
This beautifully packaged fragrance from Lolita makes quite a statement with a strong base that consists of myrrh, vanilla, and sandalwood. These are infused with coconut flower, ylang-ylang and jasmine in the middle, as well as neroli and bergamot at the top.
When your girlfriend wears this she’ll smell like a coconut grove with vanilla beans and fresh lime. Basically, it strikes a good balance between sweet and citrusy, so it’s perfect for any woman that enjoys a fresh, fruity and floral scent.
10. Michael Kors Women’s Eau De Parfum
This fragrance from Michael Kors is a great representation of the brand’s overall aesthetic. It’s very elegant, feminine and sexy. It’s perfect for the modern-day fashionista who likes her morning coffee strong and her evenings sultry.
This scent is topped with beautiful Chinese Osmanthus, incense and freesia, while the base consists of cashmere wood, musk, and Tahitian vetiver. Tying it all together in the middle is a brilliant combination of orris roots, peony, lily and tuberose.
This is a really good quality scent that can go from day to evening with ease and a little goes a really long way.
11. Chanel N°5
Chanel No5 is a classic fragrance that comes from one of the most famous brands in the world. As such, it’s a favorite among most women and you can never go wrong with it. Even if your girlfriend already owns a bottle of this perfume, she’ll be glad to add another one to her collection because it is that good. It’s also one of the top-selling fragrances of all time so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Chanel No5 has a simple yet powerful scent profile that’s very fresh and floral. It’s a breath of fresh air for any season of the year, and it’s versatile enough to be worn during the day and at night.
12. Kilian In the Garden of Good and Evil – Good Girl Gone Bad
The Good Girl Gone Bad fragrance from famous perfumer Alberto Morillas is very sexy and seductive. It has top notes of rose and apricot and has a very mysterious air about it. Get this for your girlfriend if she’s a sexy vixen and not afraid to show it.
13. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Carnal Flower is an extremely exciting fragrance that you’ll never get tired of. It’s one of those scents that opens up strong thanks to its vibrant notes of jasmine, orange blossom, bergamot, and citrus. After a few hours, you’ll notice that instead of dying down it transforms into a lovely tuberose scent with a musky undertone.
Just a few spritz of this scent in the morning should last your girlfriend for the whole day and you definitely won’t be able to keep your hands off her when she wears this perfume. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, fresh and exotic.
14. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
This is a very refreshing and clean scent with strong citrus tones. It’s also super light and simple, which means she can wear it to the office or at a picnic with equal ease.
Personality wise, Light Blue is perfect for the minimalist who likes to keep things simple with her scent as well as her style choices in general.
The best part about this fragrance is that it actually adapts to the wearer’s natural body chemistry so it can work for anyone and it comes highly recommended as a light spring/summer fragrance specifically.
However just note that this scent does not last very long on account of how light it is, but it’s still a collector’s item that your girlfriend probably won’t mind having.
15. YSL Eau De Parfum Spray for Women
The YSL brand is well-known for their strong portrayal of women and this scent is no different. It has musky undertones with floral top notes that make it slightly sweet but not too overpowering. You’ll also get a bit of sweet vanilla and coffee in the middle which makes it a firm favorite with the girl-next-door that likes to keep things interesting.
All in all, this rich and sultry perfume is well-balanced and well worth the price tag.