The power of a fragrance lies in more than just its smell. The best perfumes for women transport you to another place entirely: they can lift a mood, serve as a reminder of a loved one, or subtly enhance the impact of an outfit. “When an odour passes through the upper part of the nose and into the brain’s olfactory bulb, the smell is interpreted – almost like puzzle pieces – by the brain,” says famed perfumer Frederic Malle, explaining why perfume can have such an intense effect on our moods and memories.

“That information is carried to the amygdala, where emotions are processed, then it goes to the part of the brain where memory forms.” It is entirely dependent on our own unique memories whether a scent will (or won’t) strike a chord with us, which explains why some of us are thrilled by a waft of freshly-mown grass or petrol, while others might be turned off.

How to find the ultimate signature scent? The first step is to familiarise yourself with the notes you like, then choose fragrances accordingly. If you’re in the market for a sweet scent look to notes of vanilla, while those who prefer a fresh scent might try a perfume with notes of citrus. Setting the mood for a date? Explore spicy and oud-filled scents for your fragrance fix.

Of course, the winter months are a time for stocking up on scents as festive gifts, and 2020 is no different. With a wealth of new perfume launches this year, prepare to fill your shopping baskets with the perfumes that are for life, not just for Christmas.


Versace Dylan Turquoise Eau De Toilette

If the campaign featuring Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber lying on a beach isn’t enough to tempt you to try Versace’s Dylan Turquoise, then the scent itself surely is. With mandarin essence, lemon, jasmine and musks, it’s a sensual-meets-fresh smell you’re guaranteed to love.

£48, available at


Narciso Rodriguez Pure Musc Eau De Parfum Absolue

Fans of the brand’s cult Pure Musc scent will love this new iteration, which intensifies the musk note with a blend of ylang-ylang, jasmine and cedar.

£104, available at


Gucci The Eyes Of The Tiger Eau De Parfum

Inspired by – you guessed it – the eyes of a tiger, this scent is full of woody cistus notes as well as tonka and vanilla to symbolise danger and sensitivity, the two contrasting elements of a tiger’s essence. It smells delicious.

£255, available at


Jo Malone Midnight Musk & Amber Cologne

The ultimate party season perfume, this Jo Malone number is as extravagant as it is sensual, and is guaranteed to make you feel like you’re heading on a decadent night out – even if you’re not. Think notes of amber, juniper and midnight musk at its base.

£105, available at


Chanel Coco Mademoiselle L’Eau Privée

Few can turn down a Chanel scent, and this one is just as glorious as the rest. Soft, sensual and fruity, it’s perfect for evenings and long (cosy) dark days.

£60.30, available at


Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Oud Blanc Eau De Parfum

For the oud lovers, may we suggest Oud Blanc by Van Cleef & Arpels, a lighter, more transparent oud that is housed in an ultra minimal white bottle. As addictive as they come.

£130, available at