It takes a lot of spritzing to find a new signature scent. We asked six beauty editors and dedicated fragrance lovers to test 45 of the year’s most covetable perfumes across all categories to find out which ones hit the right notes.
The best citrus fragrances
Winner: Nest New York Seville Orange Perfume Oil
A blend of orange zest, pink grapefruit, mandarin and neroli, this luxe oil can be applied all over. “It’s also perfect for layering with other scents,” according to our tester.
$128 for 30 mL, sephora.com
Runner-up: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Forte Eau de Parfum
A deeper, more intense spin on Guerlain’s bestselling Mandarine Basilic scent, this golden eau features juicy mandarin and basil, with cedarwood and vanilla. “This fragrance is bright and elegant, with serious staying power,” says our tester.
$144 for 75 mL, holtrenfrew.com
The best green fragrances
Winner: Oribe Desertland Eau de Parfum
“There’s something otherworldly about this scent,” our tester says. The mix of juniper berry, lavender, pine and cedarwood is equal parts airy and grounding.
$156 for 75 mL, holtrenfrew.com
Runner-up: Maison Margiela Replica Matcha Meditation Eau de Toilette
Matcha and moss accords make for a surprisingly sweet scent. “A delicate balance of energizing and calming influences, Matcha Meditation lives up to its name,” says our tester.
$90 for 30 mL, sephora.com
The best fruity fragrances
Winner: Ellis Brooklyn Sun Fruit Eau de Parfum
This EDP is a blend of fig, bergamot, jasmine, coconut and vanilla. “It’s pure sunshine in a bottle,” says our tester.
$134 for 50 mL, sephora.com
Runner-up: The 7 Virtues Lotus Pear Eau de Parfum
Refreshing and joyful upon first spritz, this scent evolves throughout the day to reveal a soft and subdued warmth. “It’s effortless and sophisticated,” says our tester. “Think of it as a fruity fragrance for grown-ups.”
$105 for 50 mL, sephora.com
The best gourmand fragrances
Winner: Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Illicit Green Eau de Parfum
The iconic coffee-and-vanilla scent has been reinvented with green notes. Our tester loved that the top notes of fig leaf and mandarin still let the gourmand base shine.
$138 for 75 mL, sephora.com
Runner-up: Cacharel Yes I Am Delicious Eau de Parfum
Our tester recommends this fragrance for those who like their gourmands on the sweeter side of things. “Once the chocolate top notes dissipate, it settles into a warm, honeyed and lightly flowery aroma.”
$89 for 50 mL, shoppersdrugmart.ca
The best aquatic fragrances
Winner: Tory Burch Essence of Dreams Electric Sky Eau de Parfum
In a sea of briny aquatics, Electric Sky stands out with its notes of violet, lavender and cactus flower. “My goal is to always smell chic, even when I’m walking my dogs in sweatpants,” says our tester. “This scent delivers in spades.”
$115 for 50 mL, nordstrom.ca
Runner-up: Maison Margiela Replica When the Rain Stops Eau de Toilette
This fragrance—which brings to mind an earthy, mossy forest—combines an aquatic accord with notes of rose petal, bergamot oil and patchouli. “It’s incredibly fresh smelling,” says our tester, who notes that it is also quite intense, so a little goes a long way.
$93 for 30 mL, sephora.com
The best amber and musky fragrances
Winner: Narciso Rodriguez for Her Musc Noir Rose Eau de Parfum
Though this fragrance is paired with tuberose, bergamot and vanilla, our tester thought its musky heart stole the show: “It’s a sexy scent.”
$165 for 100 mL, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Runner-up: Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber Eau de Parfum
So popular that it’s currently out of stock, this fragrance blends notes of amber with cedarwood and vanilla orchid for a powerful hit of warmth and spiciness that’s not overpowering in the slightest. “It’s a cozy scent that’s perfect for winter,” notes our tester.
$134 for 50 mL, sephora.com
The best woody fragrances
Winner: The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum
“There’s no hint of saccharine sweetness here, thanks to spicy myrrh, cedar and sandalwood,” notes our tester, who is typically not a fan of vanilla. “It was love at first whiff.”
$105 for 50 mL, sephora.com
Runner-up: Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme Eau de Parfum
“Between the statement bottle and the bold, unique scent, this fragrance is the epitome of cool,” says our tester. This woody juice pairs notes of cedarwood, balsam and hinoki with hints of tobacco leaves for a deep, smoky, woody scent.
$128 for 65 mL, thebay.com
The best floral fragrances
Winner: Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfum
In this modern spin on jasmine, florals mingle with hints of mandarin and sandalwood. “It exudes both lightness and warmth,” raves our tester.
$186 for 100 mL, sephora.com
Runner-up: Maison Francis Kurkdjian 724 Eau de Parfum
It’s a floral fragrance with an edge, thanks its combination of jasmine, sweet pea and mock orange with notes like bergamot and white musk. “It’s what I imagine a small garden in the middle of a big city would smell like,” describes our tester.
$220 for 35 mL, holtrenfrew.com
The best rose fragrances
Winner: Chanel Les Eaux De Chanel Paris—Paris Eau de Toilette
Damask rose stars alongside notes of citrus, peppercorn and patchouli. “It’s like an oversized white button-down—fresh, elegant and understated,” our tester says.
$174 for 125 mL, chanel.com
Runner-up: Aerin Rose de Grasse Joyful Bloom Eau de Parfum
“This rose lover’s delight hits all the right notes, resulting in a scent that isn’t too cloyingly sweet or overly powdery,” notes our tester.
$265 for 50 mL, esteelauder.ca