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The 20 Best Perfumes for Women for Every Occasion

Last Updated

Oct 11, 2021

Now that the days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting hotter, it’s safe to say that summer may finally be on its way, and our beauty routines are adjusting accordingly. Just like our lipsticks are swapped out for brighter, punchier shades, so too are our fragrances in favor of something a bit lighter, brighter, and at the risk of sounding cliché, fresher. 

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of buzz-worthy new perfume launches hitting shelves, all of which promise to reinvigorate our daily fragrance wardrobe as we head into the new season. With so many gorgeous scents to choose from, though, it can be hard to settle on which one to christen your new signature scent. To help you narrow down some of your options, we put together the ultimate guide to the best perfumes for women, no matter where your olfactory preferences may lie. From YSL’s best-selling Libre scent to Dior’s timeless Dior Miss Dior Rose n’ Roses eau de parfum, see below for our full edit of the best perfumes for every season and occasion, plus tips on how to make the most of your new scent.

How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

Have you ever wondered why the scent of your perfume seems to always disappear by lunchtime? The answer may lie in the perfume’s ingredients. Some notes, including citrus and water ones, are more volatile than others, causing them to evaporate from the skin more quickly. 

It’s also important to understand the general breakdown of a fragrance and what the various notes mean regarding your perfume’s application. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Top Notes: The first scent you smell after spraying the perfume, which fades the fastest.
  • Middle/Heart Notes: The scent that develops after the top note fades.
  • Base Note: This is the heaviest scent that tends to linger the longest.

How and when you apply your fragrance may also have an impact on its longevity. To help get the most out of your scent, most perfumers agree that you should always spritz your fragrance directly onto the skin, rather than creating a mist and walking through it, to ensure that you’re not wasting any product. You should also always apply your perfume immediately after getting out of the shower (when your pores are the most open) and spritz it directly onto your body’s pulse points, including your wrists, neck, inner elbows, and behind your ears. The warmth of these areas will help activate the notes and diffuse the fragrance across your entire body.

The Best Way to Store Your Perfume

Heat, light, and humidity are all big no-nos when it comes to perfume, as they can break down the notes and lessen the fragrance’s quality and intensity. Rather than keeping them in your bathroom, it’s recommended to store them in a cool, dry place that’s out of reach of any direct sunlight. Think: a vanity table or the top of your dresser.

How to Find Your Signature Scent

Struggling to find the one? The best way to discover your signature scent may be through simple experimentation. A growing number of fragrance brands these days, including Le LaboEllis Brooklyn, and Jo Malone, offer fragrance samplers so that you can test out a few of their best-selling scents at once. For the far more indecisive, there’s also The Perfume Society’s “Find A Fragrance” service, which asks you to name a scent you love and will then recommend an array of perfumes for you to try within that scent family. 

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