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Fragrance and I have this thing going on, and we've been going strong for some time now. This is how it goes: I'll date my favorites for a while, then break up with them when a hot new fragrance comes along with a scent that instantly steals my heart—it's complicated, I know, and probably a bit unhealthy, but it works.
The onset of 2019 brought along a fresh new crop of fragrances I've been courting all year, and I need to talk about them. Even after a year, it's quite impossible to choose one favorite, so I plan on keeping all of the below in rotation during the new decade. Whether you're attracted to fresh florals or strong and woody musk scents, one of the below will grab your attention. I'm apologizing in advance for making you splurge, but I promise once your nose catches a whiff you won't have one regret. Plus, "you smell so good" is one of the highest compliments, and who doesn't love compliments? Thought so.
Sexy and Fresh
Although the look of this champagne-colored bottle entangled in its decadent logo is hard to rival, what's inside is equally pleasing. Boasted to be the brand's "fragrance of freedom," the combination of orange blossoms, lavender, neroli, mandarin, vanilla, and amber make for a reimagined take on florals (that doesn't smell like your grandma's garden).
Warm and Spicy
The obvious: This fragrance will make you feel like a hot librarian, hence the name. The not-so-obvious: It's infused with contrasting notes of vanilla absolute, pepper, orange flower petals, and tonka bean, which creates an aroma that smells timeless, like an antique you'll never tire of.
Happy and Bright
Not only is this bottle an artistic masterpiece, but its burst of fresh florals is masterfully created by Dior perfumer François Demachy. Bergamot, mandarin, Rose Grasse absolute, jasmine, sandalwood, and musk work together for this scent that evokes pure joy.
Strong and Woodsy
The strength of a tall aquilaria tree coupled with the richness of agarwood is what holds this full-body fragrance together. The dense black bottle carries notes of bergamot, orange, Russian coriander and Haitian amyris wood, and it'll make you want to curl up to a cozy fireplace.
Fruity and Spicy
Back in 1918, Albert Krigler created the first iteration of this fragrance as an extension of Dadaism, which is a modern art movement in the early 1900s that led to pop art and punk rock. This genderless scent has a fortuitous lineup of spicy black pepper, nutmeg, orange, patchouli, musk, and more.
Spicy and Bold
When it's cold outside, there's nothing like spritzing your skin with a scent that'll warm you up. Per Hermès' description: "The vibrant and abundant heat of pink peppercorn, the teenage freshness of tender rose, and the captivating enchantment of patchouli" is merged to color all of your senses.
Intoxicating and Warm
All we need in the world is love...and Kilian's "Rolling in Love." As the brand states, this scent is meant to express the feeling of being "so high on love that it seems to almost get under the skin.” The romantic red bottle is pared-down, and includes scents of almond milk and iris; it also includes musk to exemplify the all-encompassing emotion of love.
Androgynous and Atypical
Nobody but Tom Ford could take lavender to the next level and remix its classic roots to make it smell brand-new. Loved by Marie Claire's associate beauty editor, Taylore Glynn, a fellow fragrance extraordinaire, you can trust that this sparkling bottle will not do you wrong.
Earthly and Airy
If this scent had a song, it'd be the age-old English rhyme: "Rain, rain, go away." Notes of juniper berry, patchouli, and green leaves capture the moist and dewy aftermath of the air after a long rain spell.
Warm and Musky
To set the record straight: This isn't a scent your middle school dreams were made of. Its captivating blend of dark berries, midnight jasmine, and rich amber have "grown-ass woman" written all over it. Plus, it's made with a concentrated amount of oil to prolong its staying power throughout the night.
Soft and Sunny
If you could singlehandedly choose one flower as the focus of a fragrance, and a pretty white jasmine sambac from Bangkok feels right, you've met your match. This single-note scent, dreamed up by master perfumer Louise Turner, can stand alone or be layered into your ideal scent wardrobe.
Sweet and Fresh
As if the iconic and award-winning Daisy by Marc Jacobs needed a new little sister. But here she is! And trust, she'll steal your heart with charming scents of apricot, osmanthus, and golden amber.
Sensual and Musky
Let's take it back to Parisian nightclubs in the nostalgic eras of the '60s and '70s, which are evoked by this scent crafted by Celine's creative director Hedi Slimane. Notes of white orris butter, patchouli, tree moss, vanilla, and musk work off of its top note, galbanum, to capture an "electric atmosphere," as the description reads. In other words, spritz this on and then grab your dancing shoes.
Radiant and Floral
This "feline fragrance," made of musk and gardenia by Cartier's in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent, is reimagined in a top shelf-worthy, limited-edition bottle that'll make you feel fancy and is practically calling your vanity's name.
Light and Airy
Trust, this fresh fragrance is a sensual embodiment of the sweet Italian air and lush rolling hills of Tuscany. The invigorating notes of orange, sage, and lavender evoke a breath of fresh air on a picturesque summer day.
Lush and Bright
If your love language sounds like sun-bathing on a yacht in the middle of the Almafi coast, a whiff of this will win your heart. The green, citrus floral is made with Italian bergamot, petigrain bigarade, lemon, and mandarin to transport you to paradise.
Sweet and Tangy
"Fresh, sunny, with a crispness reminiscent of the early morning air," is how a reviewer described Chanel's newest summer scent on their website, and I couldn't agree more. It's equal parts tangy and flowery thanks to Neroli and Sicilian Orange, and will make you want a book a trip to Paris (*looks up flights to Paris*).
Fresh and Woodsy
A healthy dose of sun soothes the soul, and this sweet scent will wash away your worries with the help of coconut water, Italian bergamot, and frozen grapefruit. The bright burst of citrus is energizing and balanced beautifully by its heavy notes of woods.
Sunshiney and Radiant
This scent will help you manifest many perfect beach days to come. The sunshiney notes of mandarin, Arabian jasmine, California lemon, and Neroli smell like summer in a bottle. Plus, how appetizing does a cotton candy and musk-infused fragrance sound? Gimme.
Fresh and Oceanic
Once you get over this gorgeous sea-colored scent's packaging, you'll appreciate how implicative it is of clear skies and the calming splash of waves. Nothing makes up a more perfect "Sailing Day" scent than aquatic accord, coriander, and red seaweed essence.
Mossy and Rosey
Once you gift yourself this, you'll never need anyone to buy you roses. This scent will mentally paint the picture of a rose garden full of greenery because of its top notes of roses and green notes of blackcurrant leaves. A bouquet could never.
Light and Flowery
If you're a die-hard Gucci Bloom lover, your senses are going to marvel at this latest rendition. The brand describes the upgrade the best: "soundtracked with the melody of a new season." Floral remains at the core with jasmine bud, tuberose, and rangoon creeper, but it's lighter and just different.
Warm and Floral
You may not have the luxury of being on a private island in the Mediterranean, but you can treat yourself to a sensorial trip with this decadent scent. The sun-kissed bottle represents golden hour using notes of jasmine, gardenia, and warm woods.
Sweet and Pungent
It's no secret this stunning bottle doubles as decor, but what lives inside of it is also up to par. You can't help but be delighted by its uplifting blend of clementine flower, white lilac, and orriswood.
Fresh and Floral
Your favorite haircare-inspired fragrance is back and it's better. This fresh floral scent thoughtfully combines bergamot, Italian lemon, rose de mai, violet, and white musk to invigorate your senses. It won't hurt if you spritz a little in your hair, too.
Sweet and Spicy
Share this unisex scent with someone special in your life so you both can enjoy the sweet and spicy fusion of this fragrance, which blends the best of both worlds: citrus fruits and refined woods.
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Maya Allen is the former Digital Beauty Editor at MarieClaire.com where she covered makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it! She has a 15-step skincare routine, owns over 200 red lipsticks, and enjoys testing the latest and greatest in beauty. On most weekends, you can find her at her happy place, which is her makeup vanity. There, she’s usually blasting her speakers while singing along to lyrics at the top of her lungs, and making sure her highlighter is on point.
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