The 10 classic fragrances you can find in every perfume addict's closet
If you're just beginning to explore the world of fragrances, having so many to choose from can overwhelm you. Choosing one that suits you or feels worthy of becoming your signature scent is something of a trial and error thing, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the journey in the meantime!
Good fragrances aren't cheap so to start your perfume collection, we recommend in investing in tried and tested classics. Many of these fragrances are best-sellers that have been loved for decades, and continue to enjoy a cult following even now. Here are ten from different fragrance families for you to try out!
First up is Philosophy’s Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette and Pure Grace Eau de Toilette. Amazing Grace is a citrusy floral scent with notes of musk, freesia, jasmine, rose, bergamot, grapefruit, and mandarin orange. It’s light, refreshing, and womanly. It has a soft powdery scent that makes it a hit even for sensitive noses.
Pure Grace, on the other hand, is a concoction of lavender, musk, jasmine, water lily, and bergamot. Though it contains floral notes, the overall appeal is one that simply smells clean and crisp. You’ll love this if you like shower-fresh scents, and though it’s supposed to be a perfume for women, the fragrance is pretty unisex.
We’re big fans of citrus fragrances because a single spritz can instantly uplift the mood, so our next pick is Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne. Zesty with a lime top note, it settles to a beautiful mix of sweet mandarin and leafy basil. It’s a lovely scent to wear through summer, on an active day out, or whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.
If you were a 90s kid, you probably grew up smelling this on your mom and titas. Estée Lauder Pleasures is an elegant floral bouquet of lily of the valley, peony, lilac, and green notes. If the original feels too dainty and mature for you, Pleasures has been released in other variations such as Eau Fraiche and Flower. Compared to the classic version, Eau Fraiche has a spicy zing while Flower has stronger citrus notes that give it a youthful vibe.
Another memorable fragrance from Estée Lauder is Modern Muse. The 2013 release of this perfume also marked a huge comeback for the company, which had previously launched its last fragrance a decade earlier. Compared to Pleasures, the white floral scent of Modern Muse has a more contemporary vibe. The blend of jasmine sambac, lily, and honeysuckle is balanced with musk, which gives the wearer that powerful girl boss aura. Recently, Estée Lauder released a flirty, more romantic version called Le Rouge for their latest muse, Kendall Jenner.
One of the oldest bottles in my mom’s stash is Anais Anais by Cacharel. Released in 1978, this perfume is no longer very visible in the market but select stores and Amazon.com still carry it. It was such a popular scent that you’ve probably smelled this at least once before, and if you don’t remember, a whiff of the white lily, hyacinth, lily of the valley, and Moroccan jasmine notes will be sure to refresh your memory. It can last up to 12 hours, depending on your body chemistry.
Marc Jacobs Daisy earns its rightful spot in this hall of fame. It was released in 2007 and like Pleasures, has inspired a number of newer variations. The original perfume boasts of violet leaf, blood grapefruit, strawberry, gardenia, jasmine, musk, white woods, and vanilla. The combination of fruity and floral makes this a youthful and vibrant fragrance. The pretty bottle makes it so display-worthy, too!
From the bottle design alone, Be Delicious by DKNY is obviously a fruity scent, with strong notes of green apple mixed with cucumber, grapefruit, lily of the valley, magnolia, rose, tuberose, and wood. It’s every bit as delicious as the name suggests, and puts you in a fun and energetic mood. No wonder it continues to be a favorite among young women even though it was launched 12 years ago!
This scent is single-handedly responsible for the green tea obsession of women all over the world! The refreshing blend of green tea, lemon, mint, bergamot, and orange peel in Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden made it a best-selling hit that’s been going strong since 1999. Light and clean, you can wear this without overpowering sensitive noses. It doesn’t last very long but spraying it on again is a delight all the same.
For a scent that’s warm and sensual, the radiant appeal of Bulgari Omnia makes it a great date night pick! It features a blend of bamboo, nashi fruit, lotus flower, balsa wood. It also has a nice powdery quality that makes you just want to snuggle up, and it lightly envelops your body without overwhelming the senses.
When shopping for fragrances, it's best to limit the number of scents you try in a day. Unless you're given a small tester vial to take home, chances are you'll end up having to spritz the scent on your wrists. Applying it directly on your skin is important for determining how well the fragrance mixes with your body chemistry, as well as checking if you might get any allergic reactions to the product. Spray a scent each on either wrist and don't let them mix with other scents. You can also take a whiff of coffee to clear your nose if you find something too overpowering!
Have you found your signature scent? What are your favorites so far?