Alert Your Nose: 2023’s Biggest Perfume Trends Are Here

Alert Your Nose: 2023’s Biggest Perfume Trends Are Here

Fragrance has always seemed to be the one category in the beauty industry that’s impervious to change. Makeup trends and skincare fads come and go, and new nail designs and haircut and color ideas pop up almost weekly, but perfume tends to warrant more loyalty, and as a result, the category largely stayed the same. Until now that is.

The world is changing, and the fragrance market is evolving with it, says Azzi Glasser, an award-winning perfume designer. “After the pandemic, the fragrance category shifted toward realness and originality, with a focus on creating scents that bring joy and happiness, revive the senses, and boost confidence.”

As a result, we’re seeing an influx of new perfume trends and fragrance concepts, including a nod to nostalgia, complex, multi-faceted scents, perfumes crafted with sustainability in mind, a focus on personalization, and more. Read on to learn about the seven biggest perfume trends of 2023, according to fragrance experts. There’s truly something for every kind of perfume-wearer on the list.

1. Nostalgic summer scents

      It’s no secret that the fragrance world has a history of feeling stuffy and serious, but in 2023 perfumers are channeling light-hearted, feel-good vibes inspired by summer fun. Driven by TikTok trends (hello, Y2K and Barbiecore)—and, let’s face it, a longing for simpler times—Gen Z and millennial consumers are looking to perfume to capture happy moments from their youth, like ice cream on the boardwalk, swiping on a cherry-scented lip balm, or spending long, sunny days on the beach.

      Boardwalk Delight

      Skylar Boardwalk Delight
      Credit: Courtesy of Skylar

      Vacation Eau de Toilette

      Vacation Vacation Eau de Toilette
      Credit: Courtesy of Vacation

      On The Beach

      Louis Vuitton On The Beach

      Now 22% Off

      Credit: Courtesy Image

      Tart Deco

      Snif Tart Deco
      Credit: Courtesy of Snif

      2. Modern floral perfumes

      The floral fragrances trending for 2023 aren’t you grandma’s florals. The usual floral families—fresh florals, green florals, classic florals—are definitely out of trend,” Glasser says, adding that “now, it’s all about making a cool difference and adding an unexpected twist to floral notes.” Think damask rose with cassis and matcha, iris paired with fig, and tuberose alongside pepper and suede. These unique combination of notes take florals from feeling same-old to super fresh and modern.

      Gris Dior

      Christian Dior Paris Gris Dior
      Credit: Courtesy of Dior

      Love, Don't Be Shy Eau Fraiche

      Kilian Paris Love, Don’t Be Shy Eau Fraiche
      Credit: Courtesy of By Kilian

      Good Girl Blush Eau de Parfum

      Carolina Herrera Good Girl Blush Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Carolina Herrera

      Dolce Violet Eau de Toilette

      Dolce&Gabbana Dolce Violet Eau de Toilette
      Credit: Courtesy of Dolce&Gabbana

      3. Genderless fragrances for all

      For far too long, fragrances have been labeled as either ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ with little to no room for flexibility. But recently, we’ve seen these lines increasingly blurred. No longer are there just perfumes for women and colognes for men; instead, there’s fragrance for all.

      This shift is reflected in fragrance marketing and perfume packaging, but also in the notes that perfumers are using too. The gender-neutral fragrance trend is all about richer and juicier blends, especially woody notes, that make a scent more universally sensual and captivating—no matter how you identify, says Glasser.

      Unnamed Eau de Parfum

      Byredo Unnamed Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Byredo

      Eau de Campagne Eau de Toilette

      Sisley Paris Eau de Campagne Eau de Toilette
      Credit: Courtesy of Sisley

      Libertine Eau de Parfum

      The Maker Libertine Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of The Maker

      Harlem Nights Eau de Parfum

      World of Chris Collins Harlem Nights Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Chris Collins

      4. Sheer “staple” scents

      Light, fresh, and airy scents are always trending for spring and summer, but this year, an exciting upgrade to the category is making them a year-round favorite. We’re seeing more complex airy fragrances with powdery, soft, creamy nuances to deliver a skin-like feeling, says Steve Guo, a fine fragrance perfumer at Firmenich. These “second-skin scents” are soft, sheer, and subtle and can be worn year-round, either by themselves or layered with a bolder eau de parfum, depending on your mood or the situation. Think of them as the white t-shirts (versatiles staples) of your fragrance wardrobe.

      L'Eau Papier Eau de Toilette

      Diptyque L’Eau Papier Eau de Toilette
      Credit: Courtesy of Diptyque

      Do Not Disturb Perfume Mist

      Sol de Janeiro Do Not Disturb Perfume Mist
      Credit: Courtesy of Sol de Janeiro

      Jake's House Eau de Parfum

      Henry Rose Jake’s House Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Henry Rose

      Star Magnolia Blossom

      Jo Malone London Star Magnolia Blossom
      Credit: Courtesy of Jo Malone

      5. Sophisticated fruity fragrances

      Fruity fragrances tend to get a bad rap for being cloying and childish, but we’re happy to report that the vibe is changing in 2023. These days, fruity scents feel decidedly more grown-up—like something you could pair with a LBD or floor-length gown for a big night out. “Fruit notes are still front and center in the fragrance world, but we’re seeing them being used in new, unique ways that make the fragrance family feel more elevated,” says Bee Shapiro, beauty writer and founder of Ellis Brooklyn.

      Tangerine Boy Eau de Parfum

      Phlur Tangerine Boy Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Phlur

      Sun Fruit Eau de Parfum

      Ellis Brooklyn Sun Fruit Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Ellis Brooklyn

      Roman Fruit Sellers

      D.S. & Durga Roman Fruit Sellers
      Credit: Courtesy of D.S. & Durga

      Mango Skin Eau de Parfum

      Vilhelm Parfumerie Mango Skin Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Vilhelm Parfumerie

      6. Clean, sustainable formulas and packaging

      There are no bigger buzzwords in the beauty industry than clean and sustainable, so it only makes sense that the eco-conscious trend has made its way into the fragrance world. “Consumers are looking for brands to not only formulate products with a stronger focus on sustainability but also to ensure each claim is backed by data,” says Guo.

      And while many heritage fragrance houses have made this a priority for 2023 and beyond, there are a handful of new perfume brands, like the four below, that have made clean ingredients and sustainable production their moda operandi.

      Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum

      The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of The 7 Virtues

      Crescent Beach Eau de Parfum

      Abbott Crescent Beach Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Abbott

      Lake Eau de Parfum

      by Rosie Jane Lake Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of by Rosie Jane

      Nostalgia Eau De Parfum

      Ourside Nostalgia Eau De Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Ourside

      7. Custom perfumes

      Bespoke and custom fragrances use to be reserved for Hollywood A-listers, but everyday consumers are now intrigued by the concept of crafting your own signature scent, says Glasser. And while custom can certainly mean a custom creation (to make your own blend, try Olfactory NYC’s custom fragrance process), it can also mean building a custom blend with existing perfumes by topping one on top of another in what’s known as fragrance layering (try it with DedCool’s layering fragrance, below).

      Or, if you want to stick to just one perfume and still have a one-of-a-kind scent experience, opt for a fragrance that’s formulated with pheromones and notes that work with skin’s temperature to peak at different times of the day (like Glossier You or Juliette has a Gun’s Not a Perfume Superdose). These are sure to smell different on each and every person, even if they do come out of the same perfume bottle.

      You Eau de Parfum

      Glossier You Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of Glossier

      Layering Fragrance Milk Eau de Parfum

      DedCool Layering Fragrance Milk Eau de Parfum
      Credit: Courtesy of DedCool

      Not A Perfume Superdose

      Juliette Has a Gun Not A Perfume Superdose
      Credit: Courtesy of Juliette has a Gun

      Explorer Box

      Olfactory NYC Explorer Box
      Credit: Courtesy of Olfactory

      Meet the experts:

      • Azzi Glasser is an award-winning perfume designer and the founder of The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi. During Glasser’s 25 career in the fragrance industry, she has worked with Hollywood A-listers and celebrities to develop personal scents as well as fashion designers to scent shows and collections.
      • Steve Guo is the fine fragrance perfumer at Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company. Born and raised in Beijing and educated in France, he has a deep understanding of Eastern and Western cultures and habits and insights on the global perfumery market.
      • Bee Shapiro is the founder of Ellis Brooklyn, a clean luxury fragrance and body care brand. She is also a longtime beauty columnist for The New York Times and the author of “Skin Deep: Women on Skin Care, Makeup, and Looking Their Best”.

      Why trust Cosmopolitan?

      Gabby Shacknai is a New York City-based journalist with years of experience researching, writing, and editing beauty and wellness stories. Gabby is an authority in all beauty categories, but is an expert when it fragrance and perfume trends. She works with the industry’s top perfumers to assess new scents and fragrance brands.

      Headshot of Gabby Shacknai

      Gabby Shacknai is a New York-based journalist and editor who produces high-quality content for a wide variety of outlets and brands across various industries.

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