Once upon a time, before niche fragrance brands were but a twinkle in beauty’s eye, designer perfumes were all we knew. You see, for decades, fashion brands (think Chanel, Dior and Armani) have used perfume and fragrance as a way to sell their slice of luxury to the masses. Still expensive but not as extravagant a purchase as, say, a four-figure handbag, perfume has long been a way for us to treat ourselves to the finer things.
And sure, while it suits us well, it’s worth noting here it suits the designer fashion houses even more. You see, while profit margins on high-end fashion and accessories are small, profit margins on perfumes are eye-wateringly large. Actually, the fact that designer brands rely on perfume sales to keep money flowing is one of the industry’s most poorly kept secrets.
But for years, designer perfumes were all we knew, so we were prepared to pay the inflated prices. However, when niche perfume brands hit the big time and some of our favourite celebrities started waxing lyrical about them, we were presented with an array of masterfully crafted, lesser-known scents that didn’t leave us smelling like everyone else.
And while specialist perfume brands such as Jo Malone London, Diptyque and Le Labo climbed the beauty ranks, our go-to designer perfumes started garnering a bit of a rep. What were once luxury treasures had become mainstream basics. More recently, however, our trustworthy designer brands have seriously upped their game. In fact, as some of our niche cult favourites become more and more popular, the fashion and beauty pack are once more turning to the designer brands they know and love.
Now, it seems, designer perfumes are more impressive than ever. From forgotten classics to up-and-coming stars, these are the 14 best designer perfumes to buy right now.
Loewe fragrances could potentially be some of the most popular scents among the fashion set on Instagram right now. In fact, it seems like everyone whose style we follow religiously is wearing Loewe perfume. Not only do the bottles look seriously chic, but they smell equally as beautiful and unique. This particular spritz is citrusy, with lemon and Italian mandarin, but delicately floral with notes of jasmine and lily of the valley. It's effortlessly fresh and chic.
Almost impossibly pretty, YSL's Libre has become one of the most iconic designer perfumes of recent years. It's popular, yes, but it's not so popular that it should put you off trying it. Warm and spicy with orange blossom flower and lavender, it's the ultimate night-out scent.
If you were expecting to see Chanel's classic No.5 on this list, you better think again. While we all know that Chanel is responsible for some of the most exquisite perfumes ever created, finding a Chanel scent that's unique isn't easy. However, Le Lion could be just the ticket. It's deep, warm and majestic (like a lion, some might say) and contains notes of vanilla, bergamot and labdanum for a sweet, warm, leathery aroma.
You might think you recognise this classic bottle, and you'd be right. Dior's iconic Miss Dior perfume collection has been popular for years, but this new addition couldn't is unique. Floral notes like rose, peony and iris make it light and carefree, while deep tonka bean and sandalwood give it an alluring kick that keeps you on your toes.
If you thought Byredo was simply a fragrance brand, you'd be forgiven. In fact, Byredo is also known for designing luxury leather accessories. The latest launch from Byredo is, if you ask us, an absolute feat. It's warm and spicy and has notes of coffee that make you want to nuzzle your face into your wrist after just one spritz.
Gone are the days of designer perfumes all looking the same. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia is potentially one of the prettiest perfume bottles we have ever seen. Plus, the concoction of floral notes inside is sure to send you into a state of pure elation.
If you ask us, Hermès is potentially one of the most brilliant designer perfume brands out there. It's slightly under the radar compared to its high-end fashion counterparts, but the perfumes themselves are exquisite. Twilly d'Hermés Eau Ginger is zingy and fresh and makes your nose tickle in the best of ways.
Few perfumes ooze laid-back elegance quite like Chloé's creations. Keen to keep the Chloé girl on board in a more competitive perfume space, the latest addition to the brand's perfume collection, Naturelle, is unique in every way. First of all, it's fresh and earthy thanks to rose and cedarwood and lasts on the skin all day long. On top of that, the bottle is also composed of 25% recycled materials, making it one of our favourite eco-forward perfumes yet.
9. Tom Ford Private Blend Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum
Where do we start with this one? Tom Ford is regarded as one of the, if not the, best perfume brands out there. The scents are head-turning, different in all of the right ways and impressively long-lasting. In fact, it was Tom Ford that really set the precedent for the future of designer perfumes. Lost Cherry is sweet at first and then develops into a rich, deep scent shrouded in rose, tonka and cedarwood.
10. Giorgio Armani Privé Bleu Turquoise Eau de Parfum
You might be familiar with some of Armani's more popular scents such as Sì and My Way, but the brand's Privé line is where you're sure to find some unique gems. Not only is this bottle a total work of art, but Bleu Turquoise is fresh, salty and sea-like but rich and warm with notes of tobacco and vanilla shining through. If you smell this once, it's hard not to keep repurchasing.
Far from a light, breezy, floral scent, this perfume is rich and alluring. With hearty tuberose, jasmine and ginger, the scent smells just as you would expect it to by looking at the bottle. It's seriously wearable but has an edge that will have people asking after it all night long.
Speaking of tuberose, Loubikiss is one of the most incredible tuberose perfumes we have ever smelled. It's heady and musky in the best of ways. Much like the bottle would suggest, it's not one for the faint-hearted.
A cult classic we're sure you're already familiar with, Marc Jacobs Daisy is fresh, light and the very definition of crowd-pleasing. Inoffensively delicate, the subtle daisy notes in this everyday spritz can't be beaten. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that this is one of the best perfumes ever made. Sure, it's popular (one of the most popular perfumes out there, perhaps), but it's got every reason to be.
When Tiffany & Co. released this as its foray into fragrance a few years ago, we were sure it was going to become one of the most popular perfumes around. Much to our delight, however, it has remained blissfully under the radar. Championing soapy iris, it's fresh, clean and sparkling, like freshly showered skin.