Who does NOT love to smell great? I hope no one.
To smell good has been a major human concern for many centuries and has always played a vital role in beauty and attraction.
Today, from cheap perfumes to expensive ones, finding the perfect combination of scents is now no problem at all.
Speaking of Europe, it is one of the strongest fragrance markets in the world, with a revenue amount of more than USD 17 billion in 2021. (Source)
Not only that, but Europe is also the world’s largest cosmetics and personal care market.
France is the leader of the Perfume industry, owning some of the greatest names in the industry like Christian Dior, Chanel, Estée Lauder, YSL, and many more.
Germany, Italy, and Spain also have notorious perfume brands like Hugo Boss, Adidas, Bvlgari, Georgio Armani, and Paco Rabanne.
Without further redo, let me introduce you to Europe’s most popular perfume brands whose fragrances will make you smell irresistible.
I love exploring fashion trends. Click to check my other fashion guides. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
1. Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent is a well-known French fashion house founded by Yves Henri Donat Matthieu-Saint-Lauren, commonly abbreviated as YSL.
Besides YSL’s exquisite tailoring of women’s suits, marvelous couture lines, and ready-to-wear lines, the French mega-brand also has a presence in the beauty and fragrance market under the name Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.
Since its first-ever fragrance “Y for women” launched in 1964, Yves Saint Laurent kept introducing one stunning perfume after another.
Official website of Yves Saint Laurent
Click to check Yves Saint Laurent fragrances on Amazon
Brace yourself for lavish fragrances from Givenchy that will blow your mind.
At Givenchy, you will discover captivating fragrances for men and women that will enliven your senses.
Since its creation in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy, Givenchy perfumes have been inspired by a universal vision of beauty.
Givenchy’s signature fragrances include Irrésistible, Gentleman, and L’Interdit.
Official website of Givenchy
Click to check Givenchy fragrances on Amazon
The Lancome brand began in 1935 when business partners Guillaume d’Ornano and Armand Petitjean set the base of their original fragrance house.
Lancôme’s first fragrances Tendre Nuit, Bocages, Conquete, Kypre, and Tropiques were successfully introduced at the World’s Fair in Brussels in the same year of its founding in 1935.
Only 1 year later, Guillaume’s business partner dived into the skincare market, expanding the brand’s portfolio, and launched his first “all-purpose-repair-cream” in 1936.
This ultimately resulted in Lancôme’s highly successful expansion in cosmetics and other skincare products, making it one of the world’s most luxurious make-up, skincare, and perfume makers.
Since 2014, Lancôme’s feminine perfume La vie est belle has been its absolute top seller.
Official website of Lancôme
Click to check Lancôme fragrances on Amazon
Who is not familiar with Chanel? But did you know that the French luxury brand also has some iconic fragrances up its sleeve?
Chanel is best known for its perfume called No. 5 which was made in 1921 and introduced to the market in 1922.
No. 5 is a complex blend of 80 ingredients, including a warm woody base of sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, patchouli, and amber topped off with floral notes including rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, and ylang-ylang.
No. 5 is meant to smell like a whole composition of florals rather than one single flower.
Official website of Chanel
Click to check Chanel fragrances on Amazon
5. Christian Dior
World-famous luxury brand Christian Dior is not an exception when it comes to divine-smelling fragrances.
Christian Dior’s perfumery and cosmetics line became a reality in 1947 with the launch of its first fragrance for women, Miss Dior.
The French visionary brand created many timeless fragrances, of which J’adore, Miss Dior, Hypnotic Poison, Dior Addict, and Diorissimo are some of the most popular perfumes of Dior.
Christian Dior has a huge selection of heavenly-smelling fragrances for men and women full of lovely blends and compositions to suit your specific taste.
Official website of Christian Dior
Click to check Christian Dior fragrances on Amazon
If you are looking for international fashion brands that you can find everywhere. Click here to read my list of the Most Popular International Fashion Brands. In this article, I compiled 32 fashion brands that are the best of the best.
6. Hugo Boss
Increase your perfume collection with the distinctive perfume collection of Hugo Boss.
The German luxury fashion house is not only prominent for its high-end clothing, footwear, and accessories but is also celebrated worldwide for its remarkable assortment of quality fragrances.
The brand fragrance line in 1988. Ever since Hugo Boss perfumes have been the favorite of men and women from around the globe.
Hugo Boss offers a wide range of appealing perfumes for men and women, of which The Scent Private Accord, Hugo Woman, Femme, Bottled, Man, and The Scent are some of the best.
Official website of Hugo Boss
Click to check Hugo Boss fragrances on Amazon
Read my guide about German Perfumes to explore more German perfumes like Hugo Boss.
If you’re interested in classic yet irresistibly good fragrances, take a look at Italian luxury brand Bvlgari (pronounced Bulgari).
Presently part of the LVMH Group, the journey of Bvlgari began 137 years ago in 1884 with its founder Sotirios Voulgaris.
Bvlgari’s most popular perfumes include Perfume Le Gemme, Goldia, Splendida, and Omnia for women and Bvlgari Man, Aqua, the Classics, Bvlgari Pour Homme for men.
Official website of Bvlgari
Click to check Bvlgari fragrances on Amazon
World-famous Italian fashion house Prada has been drowning in success with its luxury leather handbags, fabulous clothing, shoes, and other fashion accessories.
Prada Candy, Les Infusion Iris, and Prada Candy Kiss are only a few of Prada’s impressive collections of timeless fragrances.
Official website of Prada
Click to check Prada fragrances on Amazon
Versace is another Italian perfume brand that was launched in 1978 by Gianni Versace. Besides a mesmerizing perfume line, Versace is also known for its high-end clothing and accessories.
Have you ever noticed Versace’s logo? It’s the head of Medusa. According to Greek mythology, Medusa made people fall in love with her, who then had no way back.
Gianni Versace hoped for the exact same effect with his brand’s products.
And let me tell you, he wasn’t quite wrong. Versace’s perfumes embody luxury, elegance, and sophistication.
Versace’s fragrances often comprise fresh notes with woody undertones as well as geranium and rose.
Versace perfumes also often consist of unusual notes like tobacco that give them a distinctive yet well-balanced fragrance.
Official website of Versace
Click to check Versace fragrances on Amazon
10. Yves Rocher
This list wouldn’t be complete without Yves Rocher.
Since 1965 French cosmetics and beauty brand Yves Rocher has been ruling the hearts of its loyal customers.
Besides Yves Rocher’s colossal range of natural yet high-quality products for skincare, haircare, body & bath, and make-up, the botanical brand’s perfume line is not less than perfect.
Yves Rocher offers fresh, floral, and sensual fragrances for women as well as crisp, aromatic, and well-balanced scents for men.
Also, what I notice is that Yves Rocher’s perfumes provide exceptional quality at affordable rates.
Official website of Yves Rocher
Click to check Yves Rocher fragrances on Amazon
11. Dolce and Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana offers an amazing selection of seductive and long-lasting fragrances catapulting you in a dimension of invigorating scents.
The Italian brand launched its first-ever perfume for women in 1992 called “Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme”.
The floral, fruity, yet sensual scent made the fragrance win the Perfume Academy’s 1993 Award for the best feminine fragrance of the year.
D&G’s first male fragrance, called “Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme” was introduced later in 1995 and also won the award for the best male fragrance from the same academy.
Official website of Dolce & Gabbana
Click to check Dolce & Gabbana fragrances on Amazon
12. Georgio Armani
Undoubtedly, Georgio Armani is another Italian brand and frontrunner in the perfume market.
The brand’s versatile range of iconic fragrances helped it to create a strong reputation for quality and brilliance.
With Georgio Armani perfumes, you can experience everything from fresh, floral, citrusy, and fruity notes to vanilla, musk, and spicy scents suitable for regular wear.
Official website of Georgio Armani
Click to check Georgio Armani fragrances on Amazon
In addition to its widely admired fashion line and famous leather goods, Gucci offers an elite selection of high-class perfumes.
The Italian designer brand has been making fashion waves since 1921.
Its first 3 perfumes include Gucci No 1, Gucci Pour Homme, and Eau de Gucci followed by numerous other fragrances like Gucci No 3 and L’Arte di Gucci which earned a special status among perfume collectors.
Being one of the best-known perfume brands, Gucci is recognized for its unique compositions of different scents with the purpose to amplify your style and personality.
Official website of Gucci
Click to check Gucci fragrances on Amazon
Burberry is one of the brands that need no introduction.
The renowned British perfume brand and luxury fashion house is known for its minimalistic bottle designs and classy scents for men and women.
The lavish brand’s first perfume edition called Burberry for Men was launched in 1981.
Burberry for Men consists of an alluring blend of Mint, Lavender, Thyme, Bergamot, Artemisia, and Juniper along with middle notes of Rose, Sandalwood, Pepper, Jasmine, Carnation, Patchouli, Vetiver, Marjoram, Geranium, and Cedar.
The base notes of Burberry for Men are Leather, Musk, Amber, Civet, Myrrh, and Oakmoss.
With such a complex and one-of-a-kind fragrance, you can be sure that all Burberry fragrances, whether for men or women, are as unique as their first edition.
Official website of Burberry
Click to check Burberry fragrances on Amazon
What comes to your mind when you hear “Lacoste”? A crocodile maybe?
The company with its famous crocodile logo, which initially made its signature tennis wear, began to extend its line with the addition of perfumes and other goods in the 1980s.
The brand’s first creation was Lacoste for Men introduced in 1984 followed by a series of other fragrances for men and women ever since.
Many of them involve a sporty theme, yet Lacoste offers a diverse range of fragrances approachable for any style and occasion.
Lacoste has more than 60 perfumes, of which Lacoste Style and Play, Eau de Lacoste, Lacoste Pour Homme, and Lacoste Pour Femme are among the best.
Official website of Lacoste
Click to check Lacoste fragrances on Amazon
Adidas’ DNA is unmistakable and unique.
The German sportswear and sports accessories brand is truly a celebrity when it comes to brands in general. But the sporty vibe doesn’t end here but continues within its popular perfume line.
Adidas introduced its first cologne for men in 1990 called Adidas Active Bodies for men, followed by the feminine scent Adidas perfume for women.
If you’re looking for a decent men’s perfume make sure to check out Adidas fragrances of which Adidas Pure Game, Adidas Dynamic Pulse, and Adidas Moves Pulse are the best. Plus, their fragrances are extremely affordable too.
Official website of Adidas
Click to check Adidas fragrances on Amazon
17. Viktor & Rolf
Viktor & Rolf is a brand you definitely want to have on your radar if you’re looking for a new perfume.
The Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren introduced their first fragrance for women called “Flowerbomb” in 2004.
This Flowerbomb perfume is an addictive blend of rose, jasmine, and cattleya followed by a warm scent of vanilla grounds and patchouli. It’s fresh, yet with a sensual twist, and smells like a room full of rose petals.
Similar to the name, its bottle is designed as a hand grenade with gift-wrap packaging. Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb was and still is a smashing success.
Parallel to the women’s fragrance, a men’s fragrance called “Spicebomb” was introduced in 2012 and earned the creative pair another triumph.
The Viktor & Rolf perfume series consists of Spicebomb, Spicebomb Infrared, Spicebomb Night Vision, Spicebomb Fresh, and Spicebomb Extreme.
Official website of Viktor & Rolf
Click to check Viktor & Rolf fragrances on Amazon
German brand Montblanc (meaning “White Mountain” in French) has been bestowing us with one dazzling perfume after the other.
Even though their perfumes are high-end, hence on the pricey side, they are most definitely worth investing in.
Especially famous are the brand’s fragrances for men which combine various fruit extracts, and woody and sweet notes that all together maintain a pleasurable masculine fragrance.
The best Montblanc fragrances for men include Montblanc Legend Night, Montblanc Star Walker, and Montblanc Individuel, whereas the best scent for women includes Lady Emblem, Lady Emblem Elixir, and Signature.
Official website of Montblanc
Click to check Montblanc fragrances on Amazon
Davidoff maintains a legacy when it comes to captivating fragrances of supreme quality.
Founded in 1980, the Swiss family business named Zino Davidoff Group launched its first fragrance in 1984 and has ever since become one of the most iconic perfumes.
Davidoff’s most successful and popular fragrances are Davidoff Cool Water for Men (1988), Davidoff Cool Water for Women, Davidoff Cool Water Woman Sensual Essence, Davidoff Hot Water, and Davidoff Champion.
Official website of Davidoff
Click to check Davidoff fragrances on Amazon
20. Jean Paul Gaultier
French fashion and perfume brand Jean Paul Gaultier has been in the business since 1982 and expanded his self-named brand’s portfolio with a fragrance line in 1993.
Ever since its start, the brand has come up with divine fragrances that are hard to forget.
The perfumes 1993 Classique for women and the 1995 Le Male for men are considered the brand’s “flagship products” and embody all Jean Paul Gautier values.
The French brand’s perfume range offers everything, making you feel unique every day. Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances include amazing fragrances for men, women, and unisex fragrances.
Official website of Jean Paul Gaultier
Click to check Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances on Amazon
The eponymous French brand Chloé is best known for its strongly feminine and romantic fragrances and is now one of the most adorned perfume brands by women from around the world.
The brand’s first-ever perfume Chloé for women, which was introduced in 1975, immediately turned into a feminine classic.
A new version of the Chloé fragrance was launched in 2008 to cater to young women with modern tastes.
Chloé is best known for its floral scents with sweet and woody notes resulting in a well-made women’s fragrance without being repetitive to previous perfumes.
Official website of Chloé
Click to check Chloé fragrances on Amazon
22. Jil Sander
German brand Jil Sander is not only a huge name in the fashion industry, but its fragrances speak for themselves too.
The fashion house developed its first perfumes launched in 1979. These first editions, called Pure Woman and Pure Man were later relaunched as Scent 79 Woman and Scent 79 Man.
Jil Sander fragrances symbolize clear minimalistic style and timeless elegance.
Jil Sander offers an impressive variety of fragrances ranging from sensual, sweet, fresh, and floral scents to unique, spicy, woody, and cozy scents suitable for everyday wear.
Official website of Jil Sander
Click to check Jil Sander fragrances on Amazon
23. Paco Rabanne
Encounter undeniably good fragrances with Spanish fashion and perfume brand Paco Rabanne.
The Spanish perfume maker and designer is not only known for his innovative creations in fashion but in fragrances as well.
From its first perfume edition, Calandre was introduced in 1969.
Calandre means “automobile grille” in French, and it was designed for women with bold floral and metallic tones.
Since then, Paco Rabanne has kept coming up with enthralling unique scents challenging traditional perfumery.
Official website of Paco Rabanne
Click to check Paco Rabanne fragrances on Amazon
24. Swiss Guard
Swiss Guard is a perfume brand that is widely recognized for its distinct masculine scents for men.
Swiss Guard fragrances for men commonly combine spices and scents of wood with a slight sweetness forming a strong masculine fragrance perfect for everyday wear.
Although Swiss Guard perfumes might not last as long as others do, yet they still provide great quality at affordable prices.
Click to check Swiss Guard fragrances on Amazon
Quick Guide to Types of Perfumes
The word “perfume” is a combination of the Latin words “per” which means “thorough” and “fumus” meaning “smoke”. Later on, the French gave the name “parfum” to the smells that were produced by burning incense.
There are 7 types of perfumes which differentiate by their fragrance oil concentration.
These carry the highest concentration of perfume extracts/essential oils with around 20-30% and therefore, are the most expensive.
Parfums are usually oilier and heavier, can last up to 24 hours, and are suitable for people with sensitive skin due to the small amount of alcohol in the blend.
2. Eau de Parfum
Eau de Parfum has a concentration of 15-20% of perfume extracts/essential oils.
Hence, Eau de Parfum is less expensive than Parfum.
Eau de Parfum fragrances have a longevity of 6 to 8 hours and contain slightly more alcohol and water, yet still a high level of perfume oils.
3. Eau de Toilette
Eau de Toilette’s concentration lies at 5-15%, which means that it has a light formula and is usually sold in spray bottles.
Eau de Toilettes tend to dissipate quickly due to their low concentration and high percentage of alcohol. Eau de Toilette can last up to 2-4 hours and is really affordable.
4. Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne has a concentration of 2-4% and is often sold in larger bottles as you tend to need more applications due to its light fragrance.
Their scent can last up to 2 hours and are fairly cheap.
5. Eau de Fraiche
These are the lightest fragrances with a concentration of 1-3%. The key ingredient is water, as the name itself translates to “fresh water” in French.
Because the perfume blend is diluted, Eau de Fraiche lasts up to an hour and often requires reapplication.
6. Perfume Oils
Perfume oils rely on a pure oil base without the addition of alcohol or water. The concentration varies, but on average, it can be up to 20% plus a carrier oil that will make up the remainder of the blend.
Furthermore, there are also perfume oils called Attar, which is especially common in the Arab world and other Muslim countries.
Attar is a pure undiluted version of Eau de Parfum and is made with pure essential oils. These Attars neither contain any amount of alcohol nor do they contain carrier oil.
Hence, they are much more long-lasting than Eau de Parfums. Attar is applied with a small roll-on bottle or with the stick of the bottle.
My Fashion Guides
This article is
written by Asma Schleicher and edited by Efe Genit. Asma is a creative writer with German and Pakistani roots. She is an analytical writer with a degree in business administration.
She mostly writes about cultural, travel, and fashion-related topics reflecting her real-life experiences. You can also check Asma’s profile on Upwork.