If your signature scent over the past year has been the smell of
hand sanitizer, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. Additionally, venturing out of the safety of your house to smell perfumes with a mask on (if the stores that sell said perfumes were even open) has been a challenge in itself. So if you’re finding yourself considering ordering a fragrance online that you’ve never even sensed before, it’s understandable and perfectly acceptable.
I’m admittedly someone who rarely smells fragrances IRL before deciding to order them, so I think my experience in this arena makes me at least somewhat qualified to dole out advice on doing so yourself. My first tip is to gravitate toward fragrance notes that you know you love (the item description usually lists the notes), and my only other tip is to thoroughly read the reviews since those people have actual firsthand experience with the scent. To save you time, I read tons of reviews for you and selected 16 perfumes that I’d order on the spot without sniffing them myself. Keep scrolling to shop them all—your new spring scent may be among them.
If you’re ready for a break from Santal 33, Another 13 is a unique musky scent that might be your new favorite. Standout review: “Another 13 has a very light and fresh musk scent with some jasmine, amber, and slight aquatic/metallic notes. It’s kinda hard to describe, but the scent is addictive! Unlike some of the other Le Labo fragrances where the scent starts off very strong, AnOther 13 is more subtle but noticeable. The scent comes and goes, lingering throughout the day. Sometimes you might not notice it on you, but others will. A lot of the Le Labo fragrances have these beautiful layered dry downs, but with Another 13 the scent remains consistent throughout wear and doesn’t really have top, heart, and bottom notes.”
Glossier You is known for smelling a little different on everyone. It’s a “soft, warm, familiar” scent. Perfect for every day. Standout review: “I have a few designer perfumes, but this one is by far my favorite! It’s not too sweet or florally. It’s just the right balance of musky and delicate. It’s also just the right heaviness, not too overpowering but lasts all day. I get so many compliments on it! I’m on my second bottle and intend to use this scent for a long time. Also, it really does smell slightly different on everyone which is so cool and makes it unique.”
This cult-favorite scent is perfect year-round, and it’s one of the most long-lasting on the market. Standout review: “First let’s praise this brand for having beautiful, genius, and creative perfumes. Second let’s praise Bal d’Afrique. This is hands down my favorite from this line. It goes on like a lemon amber and transitions to a sensual woody note. Very easy to wear 24/7. Side note: Fragrance is usually a miss for me, so if you’re having issues finding a perfume that doesn’t turn funky on your skin/ clothes try Byredo.”
Diptyque’s newest release is already racking up rave reviews. Charmingly, it’s described as capturing “Paris in the early ’60s.” Standout review: “I did get a sample of this before launch and I am floored at how great this. Bravo, Diptyque. Maybe my favorite Diptyque fragrance to date. It truly is a beautiful skin scent with hints of smokiness and powder (in the best way) and does have a ’60s vibe to it. It’s so fab and I’m definitely getting a full bottle. Also, I heard someone say this will be the fragrance of NYC in a few years like what Santal 33 is to it now and I can definitely see that with this.”
This wildly popular fragrance is earthy yet fresh. It’s a warm-weather favorite with tons of glowing reviews. Standout review: “This is quite literally summer in a bottle. I bought this without evening smelling the sample and I just received it yesterday. The notes are fantastic. I am a big of the velvet rose, peony blush suede, and English pear. This is my new favorite. I can see myself wearing this through fall because it has a subtle warmth. I am beyond impressed and I recommend this to everyone. It has a little bit of freshness, floral, woodsiness, and a tiny bit of fruitiness. Amazing amazing addition to the Jo Malone collection.”
This floral, fruity scent has a very devoted following. It’s a lovely nighttime option. Standout review: “I have been searching for a couple of years for a perfume that lasts long and smells expensive. I never would’ve thought that a sample would achieve that and I really never thought I’d give a perfume five stars. But here we are. I had never heard of this brand and definitely didn’t know the price. But I do understand why the price point is what it is. This has the perfect balance of all three power notes. This is a must-splurge item for sure.”
If you want to try something under-the-radar, meet Hanami, which is said to be minimal, subtle, and warm. Standout review: “I am obsessed with all the Phlur scents. For a natural fragrance brand, they smell expensive and the fragrance actually stays around for longer than an hour—not in an overpowering cheap perfume way, like you catch little subtle whiffs of yourself throughout the day and someone else would need to be close to you to smell it (the way perfume should). This particular scent is delicate and sweet and smells lightly floral without being heady. Perfect for sunny days in the spring.”
Our beauty editors are obsessed with this luxurious scent, which has notes of Sicilian blood orange, rum, vanilla, sandalwood, and of course, bitter peach. Standout review: “This fragrance is stunning, sexy, feminine, breathtaking, and alluring. It is now a personal favorite and will stay in my collection. Bitter peach is perfect for day and night. It has a lasting effect of about six to seven hours strong. After that, the scent becomes subtle… Love it.”
This classic fragrance is much more than a pretty decoration for your vanity. It’s a sensual fragrance that’s sophisticated yet still fresh. Standout review: “Coco Mademoiselle with its wonderful flowery oriental notes is incredibly classy, sparkling, and memorable. It gives me the feeling of wearing a cashmere jumper during the cold seasons, and it still feels perfect when it’s summer, with sea salt and sunsets. I just love it.”
Don’t worry—this is far from a fake, cheap sweet smell. It’s clean and fresh with subtle notes of pear, amber, and marshmallow. Standout review: “I received this perfume as a sample with one of my prior purchases. I am absolutely in love with it! I’ve been searching high and low for over two years for the perfect “clean” perfume. Unfortunately, anything I find, I either don’t like the scent or it fades in a matter of minutes. This is the perfect combination—light, feminine, and sweet. Just what I was looking for this spring and summer. The scent will last about half the day. So, I purchased the regular-sized bottle, as well as the refillable travel-sized option to carry in my purse. If you tend to like sweet and/or lightly floral scents, this one’s a winner!”
If you’re a fan of Oribe haircare products, this fragrance will be your dream come true. Standout review: “I am a huge fan of the Oribe line of products… period. Haven’t met an Oribe product that I didn’t like, thus, I obviously love the signature scent. I finally took the plunge and purchased the Cote D’Azure Eau de Parfum, and as expected, I love it! I don’t wear it in the daytime generally. For me, it’s more of a nighttime fragrance as it’s musky and a heavier scent. I also purchased the roll-on version to carry in my purse for touch-ups. I highly recommend!”
A warm-weather fragrance to a T, this captures “the scent of salt air, the perfume of sunscreen, the glow of sunkissed skin.” Standout review: “The scent is light and fresh with hints of salt and vanilla. I don’t get the suntan lotion smell that other reviewers mentioned, but it smells amazing nonetheless. The scent is long-lasting; I applied on spray on my neck at 5 pm and when I woke up the next morning I could still smell it! Can’t wait to try other Replica scents, but this one is my new go-to!”
In addition to the chic bottle, this sensual, musky fragrance is one that earns rave reviews and compliments. It’s best worn after dark. Standout review: “I totally love this scent! I received this as a sample and it has become one of my new favorites. It has such an elegant, high-end smell and you can wear it for a night out or as an everyday. I got so many compliments when I wore it and it lasted all day. In my opinion, it’s a strong scent but is not overpowering. If you love complex floral-type perfume scents this is a great option. The packaging is also beautiful.”
This indie unisex brand is on the rise, and Flower Porn is a favorite, especially for spring. Standout review: “This perfume at first reminded me of my favorite Heretic perfume, Florgasm, but has noticeable spiciness and edge that undercuts the floral notes that I really enjoy. It also has way better staying-power than Florgasm does. This is a great scent for someone who enjoys a peppery, more complex twist on the gentleness of floral fragrance.”
Fans of Ouai’s delectable-smelling haircare were thrilled when this fragrance hit the scene. It’s fresh and light—perfect for daily wear in the spring. Standout review: “I have loved Ouai products for some time and always loved this fragrance in their hair products. This perfume does not disappoint. It lasts for hours and hours and just smells so lovely. It’s beachy and I get so many compliments on it.”
If you love vanilla fragrances but don’t want to smell like a straight-up vanilla bean, this balanced fragrance may be for you. Standout review: “I watched multiple YouTube reviews of this fragrance before I decided to blind buy it. Happy to say I was not disappointed. It’s lovely and after testing it out for a week I found I liked it more and more each day. It’s a sweet high-end vanilla fragrance with a really lovely dry down. If you like subtle yet classy scents, this one will be right up your alley.”
Next up, the 17 most popular designer perfumes of all time.