In 2018, I shared my top designer fragrances for the year. Fragrances that I couldn’t live without were constantly on repeat. Today I want to share with you my top designer fragrances for women in 2023.
Difference Between Niche and Designer Fragrances
I made the switch a few years ago from designer fragrances to niche fragrances and shared my list of the top niche fragrances for women in 2022. For a quick recap on the difference between niche and designer fragrances, niche fragrances are made and sold by dedicated perfume houses, while designer fragrances are sold by designers.
So, for example, perfumes made and sold by Gucci, Chanel, and Prada are all designer fragrances, while Killian, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and Le Labo are all considered niche fragrances. Not only are the price points usually considerably higher for niche fragrances, but the sillage (scent) usually lasts a lot longer as well.
All About Designer Fragrances and What I Love About Them
However, don’t be mistaken; there are designer fragrances that sometimes outlast niche fragrances, and there are also a few that can be just as pricey (think Tom Ford, which is designer) or within similar price points, especially for the eau-de-parfum (EDP) versions of that particular scent. Generally, designer fragrances tend to be more budget-friendly and are a lot more accessible when it comes to purchasing. You can find these at most mid-to-high-end department stores.
Now, while my top designer fragrance list of 2018 still has a few relevant perfumes that I still use to this day (hello, Prada Candy and Carolina Herrera Good Girl), I’ve found that my olfactory has evolved, and I’m drawn a bit more to vanilla boozy fragrances with a few florals thrown in. There are also fragrances such as the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb line, which will always hold a special place in my heart, but unfortunately didn’t make the list here today.
I’m a sucker for perfumes housed in a beautifully designed bottle, but I now focus more on what’s inside than the outside, as many of them look amazing but aren’t really worth the money as there is not much longevity (I’m looking at you, Marc Jacobs).
Whether you prefer a floral, fruity, or woody scent, there is bound to be a designer fragrance that suits your personal style and taste. And while some of these fragrances may come with a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the investment for a long-lasting and high-quality scent. So next time you’re in the market for a new fragrance, consider adding one of these top designer fragrances for women to your collection.
So without further ado, here are my top designer fragrances for women for 2023.
1. Mugler Alien
A few weeks ago, I talked about the Alien Goddess Supra Florale, but I also mentioned the original, the one and only, who can’t be beat, Alien. Alien is one of those fragrances I purchased along with YSL’s Black Opium at the time. While I love Black Opium (it’s on this list), I just can’t live without Alien. I’ve since introduced Alien to numerous friends and family, and it’s one that I refill over and over again (I purchased the refillable bottle). Not only do I love how sustainable it is, but let’s get into the scent! OMGoodness, the scent is to die for!
Mugler’s Alien is just one of those fragrances that I personally feel every woman should have in her arsenal. Alien is a fragrance that is both warm and feminine, making it a perfect scent for women of all ages. Its notes include jasmine sambac, cashmeran wood, and white amber, giving off an overall warm and seductive aroma. This fragrance is long-lasting and definitely makes a statement every time you wear it.
2. Tom Ford Cherry Smoke
Tom Ford’s Cherry Smoke is one of the newer fragrances from Tom Ford, launched in 2022, while Electric Cherry was launched in 2023. I was heading through duty-free on my way to Egypt and just had to get it. At this time, it’s only available in 30 ml (1 oz) and 50 ml (1.7 oz) sizes. If you were a fan of the original Tom Ford Lost Cherry, this is nothing like it. This is a darker, woodier scent, and I have to admit that I love it a whole lot better. Its notes include cherry, oud, and sandalwood. This fragrance is perfect for those who love a bold and unique scent.
3. CHANEL Misia
CHANEL’s Misia is from their Exclusifs collection. While they’re a bit more pricey than the regular scents such as Coco Mademoiselle and No5, don’t sleep on them. Misia is a chypre floral scent that is both elegant and powdery. Its notes include violet, rose, iris, benzoin, and tonka bean. This fragrance is perfect for those looking for a more sophisticated and refined scent.
Read Also: Top 5 CHANEL Fragrances
4. Dior Addict
I had two scents from Dior that I wanted to add to my list, but I had to narrow it down. J’adore by Dior is a classic when it comes to designer fragrances for women. Its floral and fruity notes make it a timeless scent that never goes out of style, but Dior Addict is one that I owned many years ago, and to me, this is a bit more timeless. Dior Addict is a woody floral scent with notes of mandarin, rose, sandalwood, and vanilla. Its combination of sweet and musky notes makes it perfect for any occasion. This is definitely a must-have in any woman’s fragrance collection.
5. Maison Margiela Beach Walk
Maison Margiela’s REPLICA’s Lipstick On was my introduction to the brand, and since then, I’ve owned a few of the fragrances, including “By the Fireplace” and “Flower Market”. This latest “Beach Walk”, is definitely no walk on the beach and not new by any means, as it was released in 2012. This fragrance is inspired by “a lazy afternoon on a summer day”. Its notes include bergamot, pink pepper, lemon, ylang-ylang, coconut milk, musk, and cedarwood. This is the perfect fragrance for those who love a fresh and beachy scent year-round.
Read Also: Maison Margiela REPLICA Lipstick On
6. Aerin Hibiscus Palm
I don’t remember how I found out about Aerin’s Hibiscus Palm. It might have been one of the many beauty vloggers on YouTube who raved about this scent. I usually take YouTuber’s reviews with a pinch of salt as many receive the products for free, and apparently all free products are must-haves and smell amazing. Unfortunately, that’s not always true, but Aerin’s Hibiscus Palm is definitely one that defeats the odds. Aerin Hibiscus Palm is a floral, fruity scent with notes of palm leaf, hibiscus, and frangipani. It’s the perfect tropical scent that will make you want to take a trip to paradise.
7. Lancôme Oud Bouquet
I’m generally not a big fan of Oud, but Lancôme knocks it out of the ballpark with their Oud Bouquet. Lancôme’s Oud Bouquet is part of their Maison Lancôme collection. It’s a floral scent with notes of rose, oud, and patchouli. This fragrance is perfect for those who love a more intense and luxurious scent. Plus, the bottle itself is absolutely stunning and will make a beautiful addition to any vanity.
Here’s a bonus fragrance that I just had to add to the list.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
I couldn’t have a list and not add Black Opium. As mentioned previously, Black Opium is one that I purchased with Mugler’s Alien, and while I don’t always reach for it, I always keep it in stock. Black Opium is a sweet and spicy scent with notes of coffee, vanilla, and white flowers. It’s perfect for those who love a warm and sultry fragrance that leaves a lasting impression.
Designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and Tom Ford have been making fragrances for decades, which continue to be bestsellers year after year. Many of these scents are timeless and so iconic that many women, such as myself, pass them down to their daughters and granddaughters. I remember my own mom wearing Chanel N°5 and now it’s a staple in my own home.
Furthermore, many designer fragrances have become cult favorites among women, and many also have a dedicated fan base. You will usually find beauty bloggers and vloggers raving about these scents on social media and recommending them to others, creating a sense of community among fragrance lovers. This usually adds to the lasting popularity and influence of these fragrances.
These top designer fragrances for women not only offer a beautiful scent that incites your senses, but they also carry with them a sense of luxury, style, and exclusivity. So why not treat yourself or a loved one to one of these iconic fragrances and experience the magic for yourself?
On an ending note, don’t forget that scent is personal, and what may work for one person may not work for you. Don’t feel pressured to like a fragrance just because it’s popular or from a designer brand. Always trust your own nose and choose a scent that makes you feel confident and beautiful. So go ahead and indulge in the world of designer fragrances and find your perfect signature scent today. The possibilities are endless!