The Best Chanel Perfumes of All Time

You can't get better than the classics.

Chanel perfumes
(Image credit: Chanel)

Like many people, I began my love affair with luxury beauty by indulging in designer fragrances that boosted my mood and lent me an elevated signature scent. There are countless fashion houses with popular options that consistently rank high on lists of the best all-time perfumes, including Tom Ford, Maison Margiela, Chloé, and Dior. Chanel, however, holds a special place in my heart, with its wide range of fragrances spanning traditional, heritage scents in addition to new, daring options. With this brand, there's truly a scent for everyone, from fragrance ingénues to perfume veterans who haven't left home without their favorite scent in decades.

But with around a century of fragrance innovation, Chanel offers so many options that it's difficult to know which one to choose. Therefore, we've combed their collection to bring you the best, most popular scents the brand has available, from timeless favorites to brand new breakthroughs.

What Distinguishes a Luxury Fragrance

Another reason to love Chanel? Their fragrances scream luxury from the very first sniff, and wearing them is a premium experience. Below, the qualities that distinguish luxury perfumes like Chanel from their competitors.

Lasting Power

"Lasting power and outstanding performance are definitely things you want in your luxury fragrance as well as wanting it to be something that is different than anything you’ve ever smelled before," explains professional perfumer Alexandra Monet, who works with fragrance and flavor brand Firmenrich. She also adds that luxury perfumes allow their wearers "to have a signature."


As with any product you apply to your body, fragrances' levels of quality are defined, in large part, by the quality of their formulas. Monet agrees, saying, "Another quality [of a premium fragrance] is, of course, beautiful raw materials." These include "luxurious flowers such as jasmine or orris, for example, or sophisticated woods and Amber notes"—all of which are prominent in a number of fragrances by Chanel. She also highlights sandalwood, rose, patchouli, and vetiver as notes that "really help a luxury fragrance stand out."

Best Chanel Perfumes

Meet the Expert

Alexandra Monet
Alexandra Monet

Alexandra Monet is a professional perfumer with Firmenich, a fragrance and flavor company. An urban globe-trotter, she is currently based in Paris, France.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at