5 of the Best Perfume Brands for Women

by Allie d'Almo  |  Published March 8, 2024

Choosing the perfect perfume is a risky business, so here are the best brands in the world known for their feel-good fragrances. 

Un Jardin sur nil (Photo: Hermes)

With, quite literally, thousands upon thousands of perfumes on sale across the globe, achieving cult classic status is an accolade only bestowed onto a select few fragrances. If you’re in a dither over which perfume to choose for your next trip, we’ve rounded up five of the best go-to perfume brands for women. These perfume powerhouses have created iconic scents that have marked the history of fragrances and continue to seduce the senses, years later. Whether you’re looking for a fresh, exciting and easy-to-wear scent, or something darker and more complex, these brands are an excellent place to start. 


Renowned for its fashion and fragrances, Hermes has created some of the world’s favourite perfumes. The legendary luxury powerhouse is well known for creating scents that invoke a sense of wanderlust, from the French gardens to the banks of the River Nile. Like their fashion accessories, perfumes tend to be inspired by leather and natural aromas, with complex notes such as oak, cedar, citrus, black pepper and other spices. The brand has created more than 130 fragrances, including big-hitters like Un Jardin sur la Nil, Twilly and Voyage. The bottles are famously every bit as attractive as the scents – and collectable too. 

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Channel No. 5 is possibly the world’s most iconic scent (Photo: Chanel)

When Chanel created Channel No. 5 in 1921, it revolutionised perfume as the world knew it. Before that, fragrances only featured one (usually floral) note but this iconic perfume changed the game by introducing several different notes simultaneously. The brand is as innovative today as it was over a century ago and still leads the way with instantly recognisable scents across the globe. Renowned for creating easy-to-wear, long-lasting and complex scents, Chanel is the ideal option for those looking for a scent that will last all day and still pack a punch in the evening. 

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Most women begin their long-lasting love affair with Dior during their teen years, with a bottle of Miss Dior. The scent, famously fronted by Natalie Portman, is still the brand’s biggest seller, though other perfumes like J’adore, Joy and Miss Dior Cherie aren’t far behind. For over 75 years, the brand has excelled in creating scents that encapsulate classic femininity, while continuing to reinvent every bottle for today’s tastes. Unlike most fashion houses, Parfums Christian Dior has its own in-house ‘nose’, Francois Demachy, who was raised in the heartland of French perfumery – Grasse. 

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Jo Malone 

Jo Malone has created some of the world’s most beloved fragrances (Photo: Jo Malone)

Jo Malone began her fragrance and scented candle business in the early ‘80s at her kitchen table, making bath oils as thank-you gifts for her beauty clients. Today, the British-born brand produces some of the world’s best-selling scents, sold everywhere from Seattle to Singapore. Renowned for creating luxurious fragrances that last, there’s a Jo Malone scent for every mood, price point and stage of life. For those who aren’t able to choose, the five-piece discovery set is a best-seller and offers an excellent introduction to some of the brand’s best-selling scents. 

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Gucci may be best known for producing some of the world’s best-looking handbags, but the brand has created some of the most popular perfumes on the planet too. The century-old luxury powerhouse released its first perfume – Gucci No. 1 – in 1974 and has since produced nearly 120 fragrances. There’s a wide variety of scents to choose from, though many of its most popular perfumes are chyper-floral, with notes of hyacinth, rose, ylang-ylang and jasmine. Blockbuster fragrances include Guily, Memoire and Bloom.

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