Find Your Perfect Scent

"Discover new favorites and soon-to-be classics that accentuate your personal style."

Excerpts from a fragrance editorial, Find Your Perfect Scent by Anne-Marie Guarnieri, in Harper's Bazaar Magazine, Dec 2017/Jan 2018 issue.

"One of the most common questions I get," says master perfumer Annie Buzantian - who's dreamed up many legendary scents, including Estee Lauder Pleasures and Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio - "is, 'What is the best fragrance?'" Her answer? "The best fragrance is the one you like." The goal is to build a fragrance wardrobe that complements both your moods and your closet. Here, our guide to the season's best new scents.

Fresh & Modern Perfumes

If you're a woman who appreciates crisp tailoring, simple lines, and little embellishment, and your dream closet includes Calvin Klein, Celine, and Narciso Rodriguez, this is the fragrance category for you.

Tiffany Eau de Parfum

Tiffany & Co.
Eau de Parfum

Floral Musk
Mandarin, blue iris, rose patchouli
Dolce and Gabbana The One Eau de Toilette

Dolce & Gabbana
The One Eau de Toilette

Madonna lily, orange blossom, vetiver
Hermes Twilly d'Hermes

Twilly d'Hermes

Floral Oriental
Ginger, tuberose, sandalwood
Flowerbomb Bloom Viktor and Rolf

Viktor & Rolf
Flowerbomb Bloom

Liquid air accord, patchouli, musk
Obsessed for Women Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein
Obsessed for Women

Oriental Fougere
Citrus, white lavender, creamy musk
Sisley Paris Izia


White bergamot, rose, amber, cedar

"Taking men's notes and blending them with a feminine approach, I think that's what many women are interested in today." -- Anne Flipo

"You want a scent that isn't overwhelming - these are light," says Anne Flipo, a master perfumer whose repertoire includes Jo Malone London Basil & Neroli and Lancome La Vie Est Belle. This group of scents shares the sparkling citruses often found in men's colognes - like mandarin, bergamot, and neroli - but also contains herbaceous notes like ginger, vetiver, and white lavender

Sweet & Feminine Fragrances

You can wear a sweet scent and still feel like an adult, just as you can stock your wardrobe with playful looks from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Coach, and Miu Miu without sacrificing sophistication.

Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau So Decadent Fragrance

Marc Jacobs
Decadence Eau So Decadent

Pear, lily of the valley, white amber
My Burberry Blush Perfume

My Burberry Blush

Fruity Floral
Pomegranate, apple, rose, wisteria
Michael Kors Sexy Ruby fragrance

Michael Kors
Sexy Ruby

Raspberry, rose, cashmere woods
Donna Karan Cashmere Veil

Donna Karan
Cashmere Veil

Spicy Floral
Plum blossom, heliotrope, cashmeran
Tory Burch Love Relentlessly Perfume

Tory Burch
Love Relentlessly

Pink pepper, rose, sandalwood
EB Florals Southern Mimosa

EB Florals
Southern Mimosa

Green Floral
Violet, mimosa, honeysuckle

"It's about a young, vivacious attitude - you sense an energy that goes through these fragrances." -- Ann Buzantian

Over the past few years, perfumers have been turning out fruity-floral fragrances by the truckload, often with a younger customer in mind. ... "It's about a young, vivacious attitude - you sense an energy that goes through these fragrances," says Buzantian, who created Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau So Decadent, an alluring blend of pear, black currant, magnolia, and amber. She suggests looking for fruity notes that aren't traditionally sugary (think stone fruits and dark berries), blended with delicate florals like lily of the valley, wisteria, and honeysuckle. Creamy, wood-like synthetic ingredients - like Cashmeran, as well as comforting sandalwood - also add depth and warmth to counterbalance sweetness.

Ladylike & Polished Scents

Today's best floral fragrances smell as if their raw materials actually came from a garden: They're green and lush, and modern.

"The floral trend started with roses, and finally roses are back in fashion." -- Ann Buzantian

Woman Ralph Lauren Fragrance

Ralph Lauren

Tuberose, rhubarb, orange blossom
Gucci Bloom Perfume


Tuberose, jasmine, orris
Gabrielle Chanel Fragrance


Tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang
Prada La Femme Intense Perfume

La Femme Intense

Floral Oriental
Tuberose, ylang-ylang, patchouli
Creed White Amber Fragrance

White Amber

Floral Oriental
Jasmine, apple, sandalwood
Chloe Absolu de Parfum

Absolu de Parfum

Rose, patchouli, vanilla

Yes, Dynasty has been rebooted for a millennial audience, but thankfully neither the aggressively flowery scents of its original era ... has returned along with it. ... "There's never going to be a Giorgio Beverly Hills again," says Buzantian. "Theses have a lightness and sheerness." For Woman by Ralph Lauren, Flipo mixed tuberose, a creamy white floral (also a main player in Chanel Gabrielle Chanel), with rhubarb and orange blossom, to create a "floral bouquet." Other flower-forward favorites in this category are Le Femme Prada Intense (ylang-ylang), Gucci Bloom and Creed White Amber (jasmine), and Chloe Absolu de Parfum (rose).

Bold & Opulent Fragrances

Perfumes with an edible, consumable quality often become favorites for life. This category is beloved by women who aren't into minimalism on any level. They are drawn to fragrance ingredients that are a little (or a lot) less traditional.

"It's connected to desserts, from chocolate to praline to vanilla. I use those notes to create the addictive part of a fragrance, without making it heavy." -- Ann Buzantian

Dior J'adore In Joy Perfume

J'Adore in Joy

Salty Fruity Floral
Fleur de sel, jasmine, peach
Bond No. 9 New York Nights Fragrance

Bond No. 9
New York Nights

Oriental Gourmand
Coffee, caramel, marine, carnation
Guerlain Mon Guerlain Perfume

Mon Guerlain

Floral Oriental
Vanilla, lavender, jasmine
Eaudemoiselle de Givenchy Romantic

Eaudemoiselle Romantic

Spicy Gourmand
Popcorn, mocha, patchouli
Byredo Velvet Haze Fragrance

Velvet Haze

Woody Oriental
Coconut water, patchouli, cacao
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche

Yves Saint Laurent
Black Opium Nuit Blanche

Floral Gourmand
Pink pepper, coffee, white musk

Non-traditional ingredients: Coffee and caramel form the backbone of Bond No. 9 New York Nights; fleur de sel adds a salty, seaside element to Dior J'Adore in Joy; and a kettle-corn-like accord is at the heart of Givenchy Eaudemoiselle de Givenchy Romantic. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche blends "rice vapour" with bourbon pepper; Byredo Velvet Haze makes liberal use of coconut water and cocoa; and Guerlain Mon Guerlain mixes a hefty amount of Tahitian vanilla (also a hallmark of its Shalimar) to create an enveloping effect.

"These notes are how we perfumers have fun." -- Ann Buzantian

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(Guarnieri, Anne-Marie. "Find Your Perfect Scent." Harper's Bazaar Jan. 2018: 226-228)

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