The 20 Best Perfumes of 2023, According to Marie Claire Editors

Phlur, Chanel, and Parfums de Marley have our hearts.

bottles of perfume on a vanity
(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you’re a fragrance collector with more eau de parfums than you care to admit or have been proudly spritzing the same signature scent for the better part of a decade, I have a sneaky suspicion your fragrance wardrobe is going to expand this year. We're a little over half way into 2023, and my mind (and my nose) are already blown away by the complex new scents hitting shelves. I’ve seen intense floral perfumes courtesy of brands like Ellis Brooklyn and Jo Malone, been mesmerized by intense warm scents such as my personal favorite, D.S. & Durga's Deep Dark Vanilla, and found myself charmed by unexpected blends (lookin’ at you Byredo Animalique). 

Regardless of your mood or occasion, I promise you there’s a new fragrance launch that’s bound to sweep you off your feet. To help you decide which is best for you, I tapped Abel Fragrance founder Frances Shoemack, along with the rest of the Marie Claire team, for their honest obsessions. From unisex fragrances to citrus blends, here are the best perfumes of 2023—so far. 

Deals on The Best Perfumes

DS and Durga Pistachio Eau De Parfum $210 $179 at Saks Fifth Avenue

DS and Durga Pistachio Eau De Parfum $210 $179 at Saks Fifth Avenue

"D.S. & Durga's Pistachio is a nuanced blend of vanilla, cardamom, and patchouli, with the top note being, of course, the titular little nut," says Fashion Features Editor Emma Childs who goes on to call this scent " untraditional and fresh yet simultaneously familiar and comforting." Shop it now for less than $200.

D.S. & Durga Deep Dark Vanilla Eau de Parfum,  $210 $179 at Saks Fifth Avenue

D.S. & Durga Deep Dark Vanilla Eau de Parfum, $210 $179 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Beauty Editor Samantha Holender loves this perfume from D.S and Durga because it's not like other vanilla scents on the market. "It's managed to distill the warmth of vanilla without any hint of sweetness," she says. "Instead, I feel comforted, mature, and mysterious when I spray this on my skin"

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Media Cologne Fort Eau de Parfum, $235 $200 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Media Cologne Fort Eau de Parfum, $235 $200 at Saks Fifth Avenue

“While *technically* a cologne, I find this fragrance to be perfectly unisex—in fact, I’ve been wearing it on repeat since it launched," says Holender of this on-sale fragrance from Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

Skylar Boardwalk Delight Eau de Parfum, $90 $68 at Nordstrom

Skylar Boardwalk Delight Eau de Parfum, $90 $68 at Nordstrom

Don’t be fooled by the cotton candy notes in this scent from Skylar. “It’s not a childish, carnival-esque scent, but rather an elevated and appropriately sweet blend that balanced by warm vanilla and a hint of coconut,” says Holender. Shop it now for less than $75.

Parfums de Marly Valaya Eau De Parfum, $355 $301 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Parfums de Marly Valaya Eau De Parfum, $355 $301 at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you like a sweet scent with something a little extra, consider this scent from Perfumes De Marly. “Inspired by 18th century French beauty, this scent features a number of sweet top notes including mandarin and white peach, which are balanced out by warmer, woodier base notes like vanilla and akigalawood,” says Gabrielle Ulubay, Marie Claire’s E-Commerce Writer. 

Ellis Brooklyn FLORIST Eau de Parfum, $108 $84 at Nordstrom

Ellis Brooklyn FLORIST Eau de Parfum, $108 $84 at Nordstrom

Holender thinks of this scent as “The bottle you want to reach for on a beautiful spring day spent in the sun.” It has notes of tuberose, honeysuckle, and bergamot. You can snag it now for just $86. 

Sisley-Paris L'Eau Rêvée d'Alma Eau de Toilette, $115 $98 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Sisley-Paris L'Eau Rêvée d'Alma Eau de Toilette, $115 $98 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Not only does this scent smell fantastic with notes of iris, jasmine, basil, and bergamot, but there’s an even better aspect to it. “ One of the best facets though boils down to the packaging. Both the box this little guy comes in, along with the bottle itself, are recyclable,” says Holender.

Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom Cologne, $112 $95 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom Cologne, $112 $95 at Saks Fifth Avenue

This limited-edition scent is on sale for less than $100 right now at Saks Fifth Avenue. Holender says that this scent is “light and airy and bears no resemblance to a field of roses, which in my humble opinion, sets it apart from the pack."

What to Look For

  • Concentration 

When you go perfume shopping, you might notice that some options end in eau de parfum, while others are an eau de toilette. The nomenclature isn’t just a preference—it’s a reflection of the alcohol content in the fragrance. “Alcohol really works as a carrier and disperser of scent, it's also a natural preservative, making it the ideal base for perfume whether it's eau de parfum (more perfume, less alcohol) or eau de toilette (less perfume concentrate, more alcohol),” explains Shoemack. That in mind, an eau de parfum is going to have a stronger, longer-lasting scent, whereas an eau de toilette is more fleeting. 

  • Natural Ingredients

You know how one scent can smell great on your friend and absolutely terrible on you? Or how you can hate a fragrance spritzed on paper, but love what it transforms into once it hits your wrist? That’s because fragrance, especially natural origin ingredients, oxidize. “There's a whole multitude of things that impact the way a perfume ‘wears’ on your skin—your ethnicity, diet, blood type, the weather, humidity and so much more. It's part of what makes perfume wearing so intimate and personal,” says Shoemack. “The more natural ingredients in a fragrance, typically the more it will evolve with your body chemistry too—no cookie cutter scents.” A more synthetic fragrance however will hold its profile and smell just about the same on everyone. 

  • Skin Type

Your skin type probably isn’t the first thing you think about when selecting a fragrance, but trust me—it plays a big role. “Dry skin tends to absorb the fragrance oils more quickly therefore appearing lighter and lasting shorter on skin,” says Shoemack. What does that mean exactly? Well, a super bold scent might actually be pretty subtle on your skin. “Alternatively if you have oily skin you may consider opting for a lighter scent (i.e. a citrus or floral) or a lighter concentration (i.e. and eau de toilette) so that the scent isn't too "loud" on you.” 

The Best Fragrances and Perfumes of 2023