These Are, Hands Down, the Best Perfumes of 2015

All sniff-tested and editor-approved.

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Finding a good perfume isn't the easiest task—the scent can change on your skin, many smell the same, and after a while you're going to get a headache from sniff testing and ingesting so much fragrance. So we saved you the time and the (very real) headache of finding a new scent by taking a look back at the perfumes released in 2015. Many bottles came across our desks, and we smelled them all to bring you the best new comers of the year—read on for the winners. 

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The Most Unique Scents

This year some of the buzziest scents weren't anything like the sugary gourmands that we're used to. Oud, spices, and teas took over as the main notes in many fragrances, and we couldn't be happier about it. 

1. By now you've heard the story of first time perfumer Jan Ahlgren concocting this black-tea based scent as a love letter to his wife, but smelling it for yourself is a whole other love story. It somehow manages to be warm, musky, and a tad spicy while feeling light, a bit sweet, and oh-so-different than anything you've smelled before. 

Vilhelm Parfumerie Dear Polly 100ml, $245; barneys.com

2.  Ever since Santal 33, Le Labo has been the brand to watch for new fragrances—and Thé Noir 29 doesn't disappoint. The distinctive fig, black tea, bergamot, and bay leaf scent is spicy, intriguing, and perfect for a special event—spray it on to feel like the most alluring person in the room. 

Thé Noir 29, $160, lelabofragrances.com

3. It was difficult choosing between Maison Margiela's Lipstick On and By The Fireplace fragrances, but By The Fireplace was the scent that editors kept "testing" on their way out of the office to happy hours. While we never expected to fall so hard for a woody, chestnut scent, By The Fireplace has a hint of vanilla that is *just* sweet enough to keep us from shying away. 

Maison Margiela MMM Replica By the Fireplace, $125; barneys.com.

4. If there was an award for coolest perfume of the year, we'd put our money on this one. The main notes in this little beauty are Turkish rose petals and pink pepper, but it also somehow manages to smell fresh and just a tad unexpected. This scent also lasts longer than most other perfumes, which was perfect because we couldn't stop smelling our wrists while testing it out.

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Eau de Parfum, $145; barneys.com

The Prettiest Bottles

Yes, you buy perfume for the scent, but let's not pretend that how it looks on your vanity isn't a factor. These are the bottles we most wanted to show off on our shelves:

1. Miu Miu released their first self-named fragrance this year, and the beauty world went ape sh*t.  The bright, quilted bottles captures the young, fun energy of the brand, no? 

Miu Miu Eau de Parfum, $86, neimanmarcus.com

2. Yes, the bottles of Dolce Floral Drops is very similar to the packaging of it's predecessor Dolce, but the perfume is a lighter take on South African white amaryllis flowers. And honestly, we couldn't resist this bottle the first time around either. 

Dolce & Gabbana Floral Drops, $103; sephora.com

3. There is no mistaking this bottle for any other brand but Tom Ford. The packaging (and scent!) are as bold and sexy as the brand itself. The art deco-style bottle holds a spicy, floral scent not for the weak of heart. 

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Eau de Parfum, $85; tomford.com

4. It's hard not to immediately fall for this playful–and just a bit mischievous–limited edition bottle designed with an original sketch by Lanvin Artistic Director Alber Elbaz. The storied design house also added two silver rings and a pink jewel to the cap, just to ensure that we would immediately want to snatch one up. 

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Éclat d'Arpège Eyes on You Eau de Parfum, $82, nordstrom.com

The Best Flirty and Femme Fragrances

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Other perfumers looked to switch up sweet scents in a more subtle way, by veering away from the classic fruity floral and putting innovative spins on flowery base notes. Here, our favorite feminine fragrances with a twist. 

1. This clean floral scent was inspired by Gucci's signature bamboo bag, which is reflected in the bottle rather than the perfume itself. Spray this on for a sweet (but not too sweet) whiff of bergamot an casablanca lily—no bamboo in sight—that will have you lusting for spring. 

Bamboo Eau de Parfum, $115, gucci.com

2. Ilha Do Mel (which translates to "honey island") is an homage to a little known island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that inspires daydreams. Spritzing on this fragrance really does feel like going on an island vacation: Honey gives this perfume a feminine feel, but notes of juniper (taken from the oil of the seed) and hints of mandarin keep it crisp and whimsical. 

Ilha do Mel, $250; us.memoparis.com.

3. The first descriptors that come to mind when smelling this perfume are "sweetly seductive," but after the initial spray, you might start to think that the scent it more confident than saccharine, which is likely why Sky Ferreira was tapped to be the face of the fragrance. The floral perfume combines ginger, jasmine, honey-amber, and sandalwood that would pair perfectly with a low-cut dress. 

Illicit Eau de Parfum, $85; us.jimmychoo.com

4. Yes, we would buy this perfume for the bottle alone, but the scent is just as alluring. It's sophisticated, sexy, and seductive—AKA the scent you want to be wearing on your next date. And the name doesn't lie; notes of Italian plum, jasmine, papyrus and amber are bold and decadent in the best way possible.

Marc Jacobs Decadence, $98; sephora.com

Also Notable

Whittling down this list was next to impossible, and we couldn't resist sharing a few of our other favorites—some classic, some remixed, and some with a tad extra sparkle.  

1. Wildfox's first fragrance feels like it's exactly what our winter sweaters were missing, and that shouldn't be too surprising—Wildfox is a knitwear brand after all. The scent is fun a youthful, with a dreamy combination of absinthe mist, incense, jasmine essence, and honeysuckle.

Wildfox Eau de Parfum, $70; shop.nordstrom.com.

2. We already loved the classic My Burberry scent, inspired by the smell of a London garden after a rainfall, which is why we were so pleased to hear that the My Burberry Festive Eau de Parfume is the same scent, but with glitter in the bottle. We repeat: GLITTER in the bottle. 

My Burberry Festive Eau de Parfum, $95, us.burberry.com

3. Live Irrésistible is a standout addition to Givenchy's Irrésistible line of perfumes. The image on the packaging is a woman tossing rose petals into the Parisian city skyline, and the fragrance embodies the romantic and carefree sentiment with notes of pineapple, rose, and amber. 

Givenchy Live Irrésistible Eau de Parfum, $99; macys.com.

4. Jo Malone's latest reminds us of how we feel when we step out of the shower; clean, fresh, and smelling delicious. The key scents are exactly what the name would suggest—mimosa and cardamom, but tonka bean and smooth notes of sandalwood also make an appearance. 

Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne, $125, jomalone.com

Photographs styled by Cristina Ferreri 

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