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10 best women's spring fragrances to see you into the new season

It's time to update your perfume wardrobe – think fresh florals, the prettiest musks and a smattering of violets

Isabel Dexter
Thursday 28 March 2019 12:30 GMT
"Florals for spring? Groundbreaking"
"Florals for spring? Groundbreaking" (The Independent)

April may be the cruellest month according to T.S Eliot in The Wasteland, thanks to its propensity for mixing memory and desire.

But when it comes to the more frivolous matter of picking a new perfume, this is the ideal month to indulge your olfactory impulses.

There’s a whole host of creamy vanillas and heady saffrons, rose-scented beauties, fresh lemons and bergamots, and delicious peach and violet notes to content with when it comes to the pick of the crop for this spring.

If you’re hoping to update your perfume wardrobe this season, here’s our selection of the best.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Chanel Les Exclusifs De Chanel 1957 eau de parfum: From £155, Harrods

Think notes of bergamot, iris, neroli and white musk but with a fresh, sophisticated twist. This elegant fragrance is a modern classic that evokes faded fifties beaches and the era of swanning into ballrooms, chin tilted and eyes blazing. Don’t be put off by the white musk either, in this combo, it’s positively dreamy.

Buy now

Flower by Kenzo eau de vie: From £41, Debenhams

"Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." Seriously though, Devil Wears Prada quotes aside, this little floral number from Kenzo actually is groundbreaking. Taking the brand’s well-loved legendary flower scent and giving it a punchy new season twist has been a stroke of genius. Think notes of tonka bean, neroli, ginger and white musk for a youthful, uplifting fragrance.

Buy now

Chloé Nomade eau de toilette: From £37.40, John Lewis & Partners

Playing on the image of the free-spirited, bohemian Chloé woman with her swathes of printed seventies-style chiffon, macrame bag and rich hippy air, Chloé Nomade is a sunny, enchantingly sweet fragrance with notes of litchi, freesia and oak moss created by the perfumer Quentin Bisch. It’s floral, but more modern and delicate than you’d expect. If you like feminine scents with a bright, happy undertone then this is for you.

Buy now

Floris Bespoke perfume: £450, Floris

This beautifully chic British heritage brand is renowned for its unique take on the most English of scents; think apple blossom mixed with snowdrops. If you’re tired of smelling the same as every other woman in your office lift, then a bespoke fragrance is the ideal gift to yourself or from a loved one.

Beginning with an appointment with a Floris perfumer on Jermyn street in London, you can discuss your tastes, fragrance memories and any special scents that are important to you or your family. Floris’ private perfume ledgers date back nearly 300 years and your bespoke fragrance recipe will be stored there for future generations to re-order.

Buy now

Byredo Rose Noir eau du parfum: £105, Harrods

If fresher, lighter spring florals turn you off, then Byredo Rose Noir has a distinctly animalic quality that’s decadent enough for any self-respecting femme fatale. Thought roses were all innocent love and youthful blossoming? Think again. Byredo Rose Noir has been described as more of a "dirty rose", giving it a darker, contemporary quality. Top notes of grapefruit and freesia, plus base notes of moss and musk balance out the damascene rose in this unique, truly alluring fragrance.

Buy now

Tom Ford Vanille Fatale eau de parfum: £162, John Lewis & Partners

A refined yet still somehow raw scent. Teetering on the balance between polished and primal, Tom Ford Vanille Fatale is a fragrance for men or women – and unlike some of the perfume industry’s unisex forerunners, it’s neither clean-smelling nor clinical. Blame the roasted barley notes, its heart of narcissus and frangipani, or the Madagascan vanilla blended with mahogany for a fragrance with genuinely smoky glamour.

Buy now

Aerin Amber Musk eau de parfum: From £98, Estee Lauder

Who says spring fragrances need forgo the warmth and mystery of a classic earthy, winter scent? Aerin Amber Musk strikes the perfect balance of elegantly floral (thanks to the rose, jasmine and coconut notes) combined with a soft sensuality. The amber draws you in and creates an alluring warmth that lasts and lasts. Plus the powdery afterglow gives this spring fragrance a more sophisticated edge than some of its contemporaries.

Buy now

Gucci Bloom Gocce Di Fiori eau de toilette: £88, John Lewis & Partners

A new twist on the modern classic Gucci Bloom, Gocce di Fiori opens with a heady combination of jasmine bud, tuberose and the label’s iconic flower: the rangoon creeper; which changes colour from white, gradually darkens to pink, and then finally to red when it blooms. Joyful and radiant as a fragrance, it also has an ethereal vibe that’s slightly lighter and fresher than the original scent. Extra marks for the prettier-than-thou box too.

Buy now

Dolce & Gabbana The Only One eau de parfum: From £45.85, Feel Unique

A sexier take on more classic spring/summer scents, this is a deliciously almost-edible combo of tonka and coffee beans with lashings of blackberry and violet – and some patchouli thrown in for good measure. The takeaway? It’s quirky and unusual without being too out-there, plus it settles beautifully, leaving a long-lasting, universally appealing scent.

Buy now

Jo Malone Frangipani Flower cologne: £49, Jo Malone

Housed in a yellow glass bottle that looks like pure sunshine, Jo Malone’s latest limited edition fragrance in their Blossoms collection is super lightweight for easy breezy spring and summer days. The frangipani flower gives a tropical twist, while jasmine and ylang-ylang add a warm sweetness, which is underpinned by creamy sandalwood and topped with a dash of lemon. An unassuming, innocently joyful scent.

Available from 29 March

The verdict: Women's fragrances for spring

Hands down Chanel Les Exclusifs De Chanel 1957 has to be our favourite for this spring, thanks to the complicated and complementary notes of bergamot, iris and neroli, delicately stitched with honey and powdery undertones. It is truly luminous. A close second is Gucci Bloom Gocce di Fiori, which smells simply delightful on everyone and makes the perfect gift. Top marks too for Tom Ford Vanille Fatale if you’re looking for a non-binary scent that is as primal and pure as it is polished.

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