The Best Fragrances for Women and Men, Spring 2016 | Stylist Picks
Spring is here, which has us ready to update our closets and our fragrance wardrobe. We asked some of our expert Beauty Stylists to share what scents they’re excited to wear in the warmer days to come. Each recommends both their favorite classic scent and one that’s newly on the market. Finding a fragrance you love can be a challenge, so get our stylists’ best fragrance picks for women and men–there are 18 to love!
A good fragrance is one that brings us to the center of a feeling or recalls, in the most vivid color, a certain moment in our lives; but, the best ones—the classics—inspire passion and dreams.
CLASSIC: Samsara, by legendary French perfumery Guerlain, is a heady and timeless interpretation of the femme fatale. Lush with ripe peach and sharpened by zesty bergamot, this exotic sophisticate evolves into a rich bouquet of iris, velvety jasmine, violet and rose, each combining to lend an air as complex as the wearer. It’s a slow burn, so it’s perfect for long evenings. As an adolescent, I didn’t step into my mom’s heels to pretend I was grown—I dabbed Samsara onto my wrists!
NEW: Houbigant Paris gave us the daydream that is Orangers en Fleurs in 2012, and it has sparkled warmly since. Juicy blackcurrant ushers us into a summer floral masterpiece led by the eponymous orange blossom, and accompanied by tuberose and jasmine. When I wear it, I detect sweet hay in the background, yet what makes this fragrance truly coveted is its ability to convey light and youth, without ever devolving into saccharine. Instead it sparkles on the skin for hours, just like a warm day in July.
CLASSIC: Lanvin Arpège Éclat d’Arpège eau de parfum spray. I love how captivating the blend of florals are in this scent as it is truly unique. You can really smell the notes of bergamot, neroli, jasmine, and sandalwood in this full-bodied fragrance. At first, the fragrance is very bright and floral but once it dies down you can really smell the warmth coming from the sandalwood and patchouli. You can’t go wrong wearing this fragrance, and the numerous compliments I get is proof of that!
NEW: AERIN Beauty Mediterranean Honeysuckle eau de parfum. This has been my ultimate go-to for springtime! I recently visited Greece, and this fragrance reminds me of walking down the beach and smelling the fresh flowers in the breeze. Every time I spray this fragrance it brings me back to the Mediterranean and all the fun memories that go along with it. Now, we can all enjoy this Mediterranean-inspired fragrance without having to step on a plane! I love the hint of citrus mixed with the sweet honeysuckle—it is well-balanced and not too heavy. I have a strong feeling that I will only be wearing this all throughout the summer as well.
Je ne sais quoi (French, meaning ‘a pleasant quality that is hard to describe’) is an appropriate phrase that comes to mind when trying to describe two of my favorite and treasured French fragrances. But I’ll try to do better than that…
CLASSIC: CHANEL N°5. is the chic, elegant and sophisticated signature fragrance beloved by generations of women. This eau de parfum has stood the test of time, with alluring notes of ylang ylang, jasmine and sandalwood. It is presented in a timeless bottle that is a work of art worthy for any woman’s fragrance collection.
NEW: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra. This fragrance conjures visions of warm sunshine and cool blue waters. Guerlain has created this gorgeous fragrance with that in mind. This Nordstrom-exclusive fragrance is fresh, modern and enticing with lovely notes of sparkling citrus and green tea.
CLASSIC: HERMÈS Kelly Calèche eau de parfum. I remember when I first fell in love with this fragrance. I was given a sample of it and wore it to my sister’s 40th birthday party. I immediately felt like this fragrance fit my personal style. It’s feminine with a little bit of an edge. I absolutely love the hint of leather that is surrounded by delicate flowers. Now I always think of being with my family when I wear it.
NEW: AERIN Beauty Mediterranean Honeysuckle eau de parfum. When I smelled this fragrance, I knew right away that it would be my new summer scent. Great mood booster! Just like when you walk outside and the warm sun hits your skin. It instantly puts a smile on your face. Italian bergamot, mandarin oil and jasmine sambac absolute are just a few of my favorite notes that are featured in this fragrance. Can’t wait to wear it to the beach!
CLASSIC: Lolita Lempicka. This was my favorite fragrance for the longest time. I loved that it smelled like nothing I have ever smelled before–or since for that matter. With the combination of vanilla and “licorice” coming from the star anise in it, it is wonderful. Now when I smell it, I am transported back to that time. The bottle is a personal favorite too. Shaped like an apple with the stem as the sprayer. Absolutely charming!
NEW: Jo Malone Nashi Blossom. I am so excited for this fragrance. It will be perfect for spring and summer. Mouthwatering and fresh. Once again, Jo Malone knocks it out of the park. Just don’t wear it when you’re hungry—it is so delicious! The bottle is very special too. Uniquely Jo Malone. This is a true winner!
CLASSIC: Houbigant Paris Quelques Fleurs l’original parfum. This fragrance began my love affair with classic fragrances. It transports you to another, more elegant time. Quelques Fleurs is one of the most renowned perfume classics of all time. Created by Perfumer Bienaimé in 1912, Quelques Fleurs was the first true multifloral bouquet ever created. Up to that time, floral fragrances had been mostly single flowers or were blended with herbs and other essences.
NEW: Guerlain Muguet 2016 eau de toilette (limited edition). This is a very feminine, very intimate fragrance. It is a special offering from Guerlain every year to remind us how exciting and romantic spring is. There is always a bit of a tweak to make it special. The juice has been updated this year to a new version by house perfumer Thierry Wasser, with green notes, rose and jasmine.
I’ve never wanted to be “that guy” you can smell from across the room, and I’m sure we all have an uncle who shows up to Thanksgiving every year dripping in his favorite aftershave for everyone to enjoy. When it comes to fragrances, I think less is definitely more.
CLASSIC: L’Eau d’Issey pour Homme eau de toilette spray by Issey Miyake. This hits a home run for me—its classic, light and fresh scent prevents fragrance overkill. Unlike a lot of fresh and citrusy fragrances that dissipate soon after you apply them, the drydown in this one has amber, musk and tobacco, which tend to last on the skin for much longer. From when you first apply it, to well into the evening, you’ll be smelling great.
NEW: Dior Sauvage eau de toilette. I’ve never received so many compliments on a fragrance as I do when I wear Sauvage. It’s a mix of fresh, woody and spicy all in one—a perfect gift for you or for any man in your life. It was also a winner of Allure magazine’s ‘Best of Beauty’ awards for Best Men’s Fragrance of 2015. If you’re looking for something masculine, multi-faceted and bold, Sauvage is the perfect option for you.
Fragrance has always been a source of comfort, joy and memories for me. Growing up with a European mother who worked in beauty for years exposed me to many wonderful scents: Tuscany Per Donna, Sunflower and Red Door to name a few. One thing I can always recall is that the fragrances that surrounded me were warm, inviting and felt like a cashmere blanket surrounding me.
CLASSIC: Thierry Mugler A*Men. This has definitely shaped my choices for fragrances and is one of my classic favorites. I love the mixture of the coffee bean, vanilla, caramel, lavender and the subtle kiss of chocolate. This fragrance definitely wraps you up in a warm and relaxing scent. When first sprayed, you may feel that it will overpower you, but once settled, the smell is intoxicating and intriguing.
NEW: Tom Ford Black Orchid. A fragrance that has caught my attention and newly launched as an eau de toilette. I can still recall the first time I smelled this fragrance on a friend, and it threw me right back to my childhood. It reminded me of the safe and joyous feeling that my mother’s scents would give me. After trying it out myself, I felt enveloped in the notes of sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, lemon and that subtle kiss of chocolate again. It reminded me of a cousin of the Angel for men. Some may think it’s a woman’s fragrance, but it is definitely unisex and open for all. It has the hint of floral that is welcoming and still the bite of the spicy notes to let others know you are still one that commands attention.
CLASSIC: HERMÈS Rocabar. Something about the leathery-woodsy drydown is so timeless and decidedly masculine, and I’ve always loved it. The sillage is long-lasting and even though the bottle has changed, the toilette remains the same: an homage to the first clients of HERMÈS, the horses.
NEW: Creed Royal Mayfair fragrance. This is something I’ve really been loving and is a throwback to a cologne commissioned by the Duke Of Windsor almost 80 years ago, but the scent is strikingly modern. With a discreet drydown of cedar and eucalyptus, it never gets too resinous. The House of Creed traditionally makes scents that are quite rare, and this is a prime example of the true art of perfuming.