Surprise! It’s International Fragrance Day, a holiday that you never knew existed and definitely weren’t excited for! But alas, it’s here, and so are we, which means it’s time to get rid of that dusty Britney Spears perfume your mom gave you in junior high and finally arm yourself with a set of truly gorgeous, holy-hell-you-smell-good fragrances that your adult ass deserves.
And before you come up with a list of reasons why you don’t need perfume, or you don’t really wear it, or “but it’s so expensive!,” just think of the fact that one of Shakespeare’s most romantic and powerful lines (“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”) was written about a scent. Clearly, there’s power in how you smell. And we love power.
But lest you find yourself overwhelmed by the insane number of fragrances on the market, we rounded up our absolute favorite, universally loved (at least by everyone in the office) perfumes for spring, broken down into easy-to-decipher categories of woody, sweet, floral, and fruity, so you have literally zero reasons not to pick up one of these bottles a.s.a.p. Click through to see our favorites, then get ready to have sonnets written about you.
Additional reporting by Marisa Petrarca
Think of this bergamot- and sandalwood-based perfume as the bridge between woody and floral. Not too spicy, and not-at-all powdery—just clean, bright, and impressively sheer.
Gucci Bamboo Limited Edition Eau de Parfum, $94; at Gucci
With red-tea extracts, pink pepper, and bergamot, this surprisingly light fragrance is basically the result of tea leaves scattered in a forest stream. Does it come in a porcelain tea cup, too?
Bvlgari Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge Eau de Cologne Spray, $72; at Neiman Marcus
We honestly cannot smell Edward Bess's Spanish Veil without closing our eyes. Warm, spicy, and just a little bit sweet, this woody fragrance conjures images of sunset holidays on the cliffs of Spain.
Edward Bess Spanish Veil Perfume, $175; at Edward Bess
We're avidly against the use of all clichés, but Vince Camuto's Ciao pretty much deserves a label of "good enough to eat," thanks to its sugar-spiked top notes of strawberry, grapefruit, and blackberry, all housed in an entirely beautiful, pink and rose-gold bottle.
Vince Camuto Ciao Eau de Parfum, $85; at Vince Camuto
An incredibly crisp combination of almond, honey, and balsamic keeps this L'Occitane perfume from being too loudly cloying or bright. Think of this as whispered sweet-nothings for your pulse points.
L'Occitane Terre de Lumière Eau de Parfum, $89; at L'Occitane
With lavender, jasmine, and rich vanilla, Guerlain's Mon Guerlain is so warm and sugary, we're kind of surprised the bottle isn't made from straight pain au chocolat.
Guerlain Mon Guerlain Perfume, $94; at Sephora
Don't let the tobacco in the name scare you off. Jo Malone's latest fragrance combines mandarin orange, sage, beeswax, and a hint of tobacco for a truly crisp, clean finish that feels almost a little discreet.
Jo Malone Tobacco & Mandarin Fragrance, $70; at Nordstrom
The citrus caviar and warm, slightly woody, undertones in Victor & Rolf's latest fragrance is the ideal marriage of brightness and depth.
Viktor & Rolf Magic Lavender Illusion Eau de Parfum, $220; at Saks Fifth Avenue
Viktor & Rolf
At first spritz, this fruity fragrance seems saccharine, with strong notes of pear and ginger, but after a few minutes, hints of cedarwood make an entrance, leaving you with an effect that's cool, insanely intoxicating, and definitely NSFW.
Jimmy Choo Eau de Toilette, $95; at Jimmy Choo
Somehow, Cartier figured out how to cram one-billion lilies into the Baiser Volé, leaving us with an unabashedly bright and powdery fragrance.
Cartier Baiser Volé Fou Eau de Perfume, $95; at Cartier
Olympian might be in the name, but this fragrance is anything but tough. Vanilla, jasmine, and spicy ginger coalesce to form a decidedly sweet, yet surprisingly fiery, scent. Is this what a gold-medal perfume smells like?
Paco Rabanne Olympéa Eau de Parfum, $75; at Ulta
OK, this rose-based fragrance just barely made it into the floral category, thanks to its spicy black pepper and rich coffee notes. The result? A beautifully elegant, yet surprisingly edgy finish that won't leave you with caffeine jitters.
Tom Ford Café Rose, $225; at Tom Ford