This year brings with it lots of fragrance launches, so there’s no time like the present to do a bit of spring cleaning and update your choice of perfume. With many brands delivering a variety of new fragrances, there’s certainly something for everyone.
Things to consider
Before you rush out and buy a new perfume, it’s important to understand what product will work best for you. When it comes to finding the right fragrance, other things to consider, apart from the smell, include longevity (how long the perfume scent stays on your skin), price and design – some of the bottles below look as good as they smell.
It’s also important to take into consideration fragrance notes: a more intense mixture can be potent and therefore best worn when socialising, whereas a reserved combination of notes is more suitable for work.
Mastering fragrance notes is key for any perfume fan – there are three classes: top, middle and base notes. The top notes are the scents that you smell on first application, the middle is what you smell after the top wears off and the base is what you are left with and should linger all day.
Best fragrances under £50
£29 for 30ml, The Perfume Shop
Best for: A budget-friendly fragrance that smells divine
Fragrance notes – Top; Mandarin, lemon, pear, freesia; Middle: Jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, peach; Base: Cedar, musk
Launched at the end of 2018, this new scent from lifestyle magazine Elle couldn’t be more suited to spring wear. You can immediately smell the top notes of lemon, mandarin freesia and a hint of pear, which presents a very flavoursome scent – ideal for all-day wear once the weather is warmer.
The sweet lemon stays on the skin but the later notes turn it into a more musky smell, which will have universal appeal. One to use daily.
£43 for 100ml, Superdrug
Best for: An uplifting smell
Fragrance notes – Top: Lavender blossom, pear and bergamot; Middle: Coconut, praline and vanilla orchid; Base: Wood, musks
This addictive scent has a strong floral and fruity smell, making it a good option for spring. Once the top notes settle, you’re left with a gorgeous vanilla musk smell that hovers on the skin all day. In fact, our tester was so drawn to the smell and felt invigorated after a few sprays first thing in the morning.
The singer has tried to replicate what her fans want from her in this perfume – a fun, bubbly and joyous product – and she has achieved it well. The fact it also comes in such a dreamy bottle is also a plus.
Best fragrances under £100
£55 for 30ml, Selfridges
Best for: A full-on spring vibe
Fragrance notes – Lime, coconut, eucalyptus, lemon, spearmint
Maybe this is just our longing for beach weather, but this scent reminds us of summer holidays, with fresh lime tones mingling with a hint of coconut. Of all the fragrances we tested, Pacific Lime is certainly the one that will attract the most attention from others – perhaps because it has such a tropical smell. The smell lingers all day too, so it gets bonus points for longevity.
The French brand works with the most famous French perfume houses in Grasse to create products using the most precious raw materials available.
£56 for 50ml, Debenhams
Best for: A floral fragrance
Fragrance notes – Top: Pear juice with honey; Middle: rose; Base; Sandalwood, ambergris and cashmeran
This is the ideal scent for spring, with an instant hit of pear and honey creating a super-sweet smell. Like many floral fragrances, there is something very flirty about this one.
The initial sweetness settles down after a while and as the perfume sits on your skin you’ll pick up the blooming rose, making it a great perfume for everyday wear; nothing overpowering but more of a light and fresh smell.
Our tester got lots of compliments but found a re-spray was required half way through the day as the scent started to fade.
£56.99 for 100ml, The Perfume Shop
Best for: A feminine smell
Fragrance notes – Top: bergamot, litchi, pear, pink pepper; Middle: jasmine, magnolia, pink frangipani, lily, rose; Bottom: Amber, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla
The first thing our tester noted about this perfume is that it has a very girly and sweet smell to it, due to the fruit and flowery mix of pear and rose in the top and middle notes. This can come across as quite intense, so use sparingly, and it may be best suited to those who wear fragrances regularly and like a stronger scent.
Having said that, it is certainly a good day-to-night fragrance, as it lingers for many hours on the skin and when it eased off the underlying vanilla fragrance leaves a cool and clean smell that is very refreshing.
£62 for 50ml, Debenhams
Best for: An eye-catching bottle
Fragrance notes – Top: Lemon zest, raspberries; Middle: Rose, blackcurrant, almond, orange blossom; Base: Vanilla, musk
This fragrance really packs a punch with its delicious combination of zesty fruit and vanilla notes. If you like perfumes that are sweet, then this is the one for you. Our tester said it had a bubblegum smell to it that became more apparent as the top and middle notes faded.
This is not a perfume to be heavy handed with, a spritz or two is enough for it to last well throughout the day. The bottle is so pretty too, with its pink glass surrounded by petal flowers – best suited for leaving out for guests to admire, and use.
£72.95 for 100ml, Fragrance Direct
Best for: Bottle design
Fragrance notes – Orange blossom, amber, ginger, vanilla
Inspired by 1940s cabaret, there’s nothing about this eau de parfum that we don’t like. Launched at the end of January, the perfume has the wow factor in every way – from its iconic bust-shaped bottle encased in a red sparkly corset to its sweet and heady smell.
The fact you only need to use this sparingly, as it lasted on our tester for hours, makes the price well worth it too. The mixture of ginger and vanilla notes brings with it an ultra-feminine scent, which is perfect for evening wear.
£89 for 100ml, John Lewis & Partners
Best for: An instant pick-me-up
Fragrance notes – Top: Jasmin, orange blosson; Middle: Heart of musc; Base: Cashmeran, amber, patchouli
Peony can be quite sharp in a perfume, but what you get with this bottle is a light and airy fragrance with just a hint of the floral notes coming through.
A couple of sprays is enough, as the scent has such a wow factor to it you can’t help but feel more energised as the smell hits your senses. This vivid scent is extremely feminine and, out of all the products we tested, is probably the best to wear on a dinner date.
Best fragrances over £100
£110 for 50ml, Ormonde Jayne
Best for: An intense smell
Fragrance notes – Top: Basmati rice, green Mandarin oil, neroil, Russian coriander seed, freesia, petitgrain oil, bergamot, pink pepper, osmanthus; Middle: Magnolia absolute, blackcurrant, French clary sage, jasmine absolute, gardenia absolute, orris butter; Base: Timbersilk, vanilla absolute, musk, sandalwood, tonka bean absolute, ambroxan
Ormonde Jayne is a selective perfume house founded by Linda Pilkington in London, and the brand’s unique combination of notes makes all its products stand out.
This fragrance smells flavourful and is so distinctive that there is nothing we can think of to compare it too. We’re also huge fans of the bottle and packaging, which allows the fragrance to almost shimmer through the glass. Although the smell is pretty intense, you’ll get compliments on it all day.
£160 for 100ml, Selfridges
Best for: Pure luxury in a bottle
Fragrance notes – Pink pepper, gin accord, iris, violet, tree moss, fir baisam
It’s no surprise that this scent has recently been relaunched, following its 2016 release success. It’s unnamed to allow the wearer to create their own associations with the perfume.
And Byredo’s cult scent is utterly mesmerising – our tester described it as a walking sweet shop. There is an underlying hint of pink pepper with spicy and fruity accents that linger in the air all day. This perfume smells almost good enough to eat, and with just one application needed, is also great value for money.
£225 for 100ml, Roja Parfums
Best for: A special occasion
Fragrance notes – Top: Bergamot; Middle: Lily of the valley, geranium, rose de mai, jasmin de grasse, ylang ylang, heliotrope, violet, raspberry, peach; Base: Violet leaves, cinnamon, cedarwood, casmir wood, sandalwood, vanilla, orris sur cèdre, orris, ambrette, musk
Everything about this perfume is magical, apart from its expensive price tag, which is why this is best reserved for nights out and celebrations. The seductive smell is powerful, so it’s best not to go overboard when applying this. Our tester found the smell lingered in her house the day after she used it, such is its potency.
Of the fragrance notes, the ones that stood out the most were the lily of the valley and vanilla, which gave it a fruity but clean smell that is sure to win admirers.