The Best Fragrances Of All Time

What does alluring smell like? These 18 potent perfumes for a start
  • 18 Jul - 24 Jul, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

The fifth sense (the sense of smell) is a powerful one, which is why the fragrances you wear can be such a defining feature, and the scents you smell can often be an important factor when forming opinions.

Fragrances can evoke strong emotions in people; a smell instantly drawing you back to past time-gone-by with its nostalgia-enhancing qualities, or perhaps a comforting scent that reminds you so strongly of a loved one, or simply the 'smell of home'.

They can also be incredibly alluring versa. Never underestimate the power of a sexy fragrance and the power it can unwittingly wield on others.

From Chanel to Tom Ford and Robert Piguet, we've rounded up 18 of the best fragrances you can possibly own.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Chanel's perfumes are, of course, some of the most classic around - but we particularly love the Mademoiselle version. Its off-beat mix of orange, jasmine and rose still makes this one of the most mysterious and exciting perfumes to date - but it's the upped dose of Patchouli that's got us well and truly hooked. If ever you’re flagging, but need to pull it out of the bag for a party or big event, wear this. You’ll be able to face anything.

Kiehl’s Musk

Musk amplifies the smell of anything you put on afterwards, but crucially it exalts the smell of skin itself. Spray on Kiehl’s version and you immediately evoke skin and sin in equally joyous parts. Feeling a little bit naughty? This is the one.

Penhaligon's Alizarin

Spicy and seductive this perfume never fails to inspire compliments but more than that, it sinks into the skin beautifully leaving a trace of its deep, smoky sweetness and magical spice lingering on your wrists the next morning.

Tom Ford Oud Minérale

“Wait – let me guess… oud?” The three-letter word has become a fragrance world punchline because it's so recognisable. With Oud Minérale, Tom Ford takes the signature smoky note and makes it seem completely fresh. This version is cold and crisp.

Marc Jacobs Daisy

Though the name of this scent makes it sound like it was made for the younger crowd, inside this quirky bottle is an artistic feat. The blend of wild strawberry, violet, gardenia, and jasmine somehow always feels light and airy – even after multiple spritzes. A decade on, perfumers are still scratching their heads.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris

Like an indulgent French dessert, Mon Paris has just the right amount of sweet. Red berries and pear intermingle with lush, rich ingredients like white musk, patchouli, and – how fabulous does this sound? – crystal moss. The result: a luminous, sexy scent.

D.S. & Durga El Cosmico

Far out in West Texas lies the El Cosmico campground – dreamy, star-strung, smoky, and dark. It sounds like that Gus Van Sant movie you never caught, but it’s also the D.S. and Durga scent you must, must try. It's floral, fresh, and feminine – perfect for spring.

Phlur Greylocke

Grab a sweater – the birch, salt, and pine resin in Greylocke are so reminiscent of the chilly northeast, you can practically feel the twigs snapping underneath your feet when you spritz this on.

Dior Sauvage

So the Sauvage visual – the one in the desert, where he saw a buffalo, hawk, and a coyote – didn’t exactly tell you much about the fragrance, but it definitely conveyed the mood. This spicy, woody scent is packed with intrigue. It smells like a cold night in the desert, where your feet are buried in the sand that’s still warmed by the late afternoon sun, but a night breeze sends a chill through your torso. Grab a jacket.

Chanel No. 19

This woody, green floral has a clarity and sharpness to it that feels feminine, but not frou-frou. No surprise: It’s the last fragrance launched – and worn – by Gabrielle Chanel.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rose

A rose of the Olsen variety: Everything about this reads mysterious, earthy, expensive. Even if you’re “not a rose person,” one sniff and our money says you’ll reconsider.

Imaginary Authors Saint Julep

Once it hits 80 degrees, you’re going to want to douse yourself in this: a cool mix of tangerine, sugar, and wild mint. As its name references, the scent is an olfactory version of a classic cocktail, the Mint Julep, and it’s just as intoxicating. It cuts straight through the humidity and brightens the mood.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Deploy the pink grenade and release one of the most over-the-top floral fragrances of our lifetimes. After the initial girly-girl explosion, expect a more sensual patchouli drydown.

SJP Stash

Before she created her first two fragrances, Lovely and Covet, Sarah Jessica Parker famously cocktailed her own earthy, animalic fragrance blends using perfume oils in her own home, which she referred to as her “stash.” It's an homage to those early iterations, and smells more closely to the original scents she mixed, citing her inspirations as body odor and church. The blend of woods, pistachio, and vetiver (many even swear they get a trace of mint,) Stash definitely has its own point of view that sets itself apart from many other celebrity fragrances.

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc

Even in your flip-flops, this summery white floral – with lush notes of pistachio and "coco de mer" – makes you feel totally chic. Put this on your summer bucket list.

Giorgio Armani Sí

Sí is a blockbuster scent that plays more like an indie. A take on the familiar chypre concept – a favourite perfume family known for its mossy, distinctive scent – it introduces brighter, juicy notes like the tangy blackcurrant. Result: a delicious crowd pleaser.

Estée Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge

Ready to graduate from the super-sweet stuff? Try this. With a velvet cream accord, ripe fruit, and bouquets of roses, it’s sophisticated but still hits the spot.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for Women

Citrus, bluebells, a whisper-light hint of rose: Misted on your neck, Light Blue leaves behind a scent that’s just pretty, not perfume-y. No wonder it’s a classic.