Viktor & Rolf

15 Cult-Favorite Perfumes At Sephora That Have 5-Star Reviews — & Smell Fantastic, Obviously

By
Share

Now's the time to set resolutions and plan for a fresh start, and your fragrance collection is no exception. With vast options of scents and dupes for the most popular fragrances, finding new options for your stock can be a chore in itself — unless you're going by the perfumes that have 5-star ratings at Sephora. Then you're thinking ahead.

Luckily, there are no rules or stipulations when looking for an individual scent. "Let your nose [guide] you by going and sampling the perfume offerings at your local stores," says Mark Behnke, fragrance expert and Editor-in-Chief at the blog Colognoisseur. "Just as your favorite color speaks to who you are, so will the right perfume, and only you can figure that out."

But don't think that you have to leave the comfort of your own home to hit the right note. "You do have to have an idea of a perfume or two that you like," Behnke continues. "Then you can use information from that perfume to help you find another one you might like online. [First, you can] choose another perfume by the same brand, because brands tend to develop a specific aesthetic. Second, you can go by the key note of the perfume that you like... if your favorite perfume has rose as its most dominant note, then you can search for other rose perfumes."

Either way, the "anatomy" of a fragrance is always of utmost importance, Behnke says. "A perfume is designed most often with a 'pyramid' in mind. The idea is it will have three different stages of development; top, heart, and base," he says. "The top of the pyramid will include ingredients which will evaporate the quickest citrus elements are the best examples of this." But often, it's not the top of the pyramid that you smell first. "The heart of the pyramid is the effect a perfumer usually wants to make the biggest impact. It is why floral perfumes are so popular because they last for a long time while allowing for variety," Behnke continues. "The base of the pyramid is where the woods and musks tend to be. They are there to provide depth throughout the life of the perfume on your skin."

If you're not exactly sure if it's time to replace your perfumes, be sure to know how to store them this will help guide you when looking to see if it's time to discard your current favorites or not. "Fragrances should be stored in cool, dark places and not exposed to direct sunlight, or very extreme temperatures, despite the myth that people should keep their fragrances in the fridge or near the window sill, close to air conditioners or heaters" Sue Sue Phillips, CEO of Scenterprises and founder of The Scentarium, tells The Zoe Report. "If properly cared for, fragrances can last for two to five years."

Ahead, 15 fragrances for all tastes from the spiciest vanillas, earthy tones, airy florals, fresh citrus, and seductive musks, even a leather scent.

Florals

"Typically feminine, this is the largest fragrance family," Phillips explains. "Ingredients such as rose, lilac, gardenia, and jasmine are typically sweet, ranging from light, fresh florals to heavier notes."

Good Girl

Carolina Herrera

Inspired by the modern woman, this floral scent is feminine and moody, thanks to the jasmine, almond and coffee blend.

J'adore Absolu

Dior

This fruity floral is light and adds just the right accents. The scent has notes of jasmine and honeyed orange blossom.

Bamboo Rose Eau de Cologne

Aerin

If airy and fresh fragrances are what you love, then this rose-based fragrance is an excellent addition to your collection. With touches of amber, Mandarin blossom, and musk, the scent is a perfect balance between fresh and seductive.

Spicy

"This is the Oriental family consisting of spicy, vanilla, and amber. Very sensual, sexy and sophisticated," Phillips describes.

Chance Eau de Parfum

Chanel

A fragrance collection has to include a classic scent such as Chance. The aroma is warm but spicy and has notes of vanilla, jasmine, and iris. A few spritzes will last you all throughout the day.

’REPLICA’ By The Fireplace

Maison Margiela

This eau de toilette is warm and sweet, with notes of chestnuts and vanilla that evoke cozy feelings.

Musky

"Musky derives from the original perfume ingredient from glands taken from the musk deer, and they typically have added notes called 'laundry musks.' These tend to have a fresh smell," Behnke says.

Myth Eau de Parfum

ELLIS Brooklyn

Beautifully packaged and beautifully created, this fragrance reads as airy and refreshing. The first scents that you notice are jasmine petals and tiger orchid, and then hints of white cedarwood radiate through. Ellis Brookyn founder Bee Shapiro wears it every day, according to the site description.

Tender Romance

Ralph Lauren

Hints of musk and ginger make the smell deep and seductive.

Reserve Skin

CLEAN

Vegan and cruelty-free, this fragrance holds notes of fresh musk, copabia oil, and salted praline. The ingredients create a musky and spicy scent that remains subtle.

Woodsy

"These are the natural ingredients consisting of smooth sandalwood, agar wood resinous notes, warm, and smooth," Phillips says.

Voyage d’Hermès

HERMÈS

This fragrance smells like amber and sandalwood, providing a balance between earthy and airy aromas.

Petite Nirvana

Elizabeth & James

Nirvana Amethyst and Nirvana French Grey give two different spectrums of scents: Amethyst has tobacco and honeysuckle with cedar notes, while French Grey's notes are focused on a bouquet of lavender, neroli, and musk.

Kenzo Amour

Kenzo

Inspired by wanderlust, the woody notes mixed with rice steam, vanilla, and musk evoke a scent reminiscent of the outdoors.

Leather

Obviously, leather scents are reminiscent of your favorite bomber. But most have added notes of thyme or saffron to make the smell less aggressive.

Tuscan Leather

Tom Ford

This fragrance (that just so happened to inspire a Drake song of the same name) has the distinctive smell of black suede and amberwood.

Fresh

"These can include citrus, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and can also mimic fresh air or sea spray," Behnke says.

Pacific Lime Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume

ATELIER COLOGNE

Citrus can make anyone's mood happy and bright... and the lime, coconut, and eucalyptus notes in this give a tropical vibe.

Magic Sparkling Secret

VIKTOR & ROLF

Citrus and ginger are the base for this fragrance. Added bonus: the packaging looks just like a fizzy glass of champagne.

Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum

THE 7 VIRTUES

This scent is one of my personal favorites. The orange blossom is calming, and the amber and jasmine notes provide a warm aura.