The 7 Most Popular Fragrance Notes in Women’s Perfumes

The sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses – it evokes memories, can help with health ailments from physical to mental health, boost your mood and attractiveness levels, and, of course, makes you smell great. We may not give much thought to our sense of smell or how important it is and even less to the complex layers and notes in fragrances that draw us to them.

But countless studies have been done on the different notes in the world’s most popular perfumes and colognes and their impact on us. If you’re curious about what your favorite perfume or cologne says about you, keep reading to learn more about the most popular fragrance notes in women’s perfumes. 


When studied, researchers found the top women’s fragrance notes to be powdery. Over 80% of women studied tended to favor powdery notes over other notes surveyed. A powdery scent can best be described as a baby or talcum powder scent, and it can positively impact our moods. Perfumes have long been known to be powerful mood boosters, so it makes sense that powdery notes ranked the highest in favor. 

Warm Spicy 

Warm and spicy scents ranked second in a study of the most popular fragrance notes, whether in perfumes or cologne. With so many unisex fragrances, it makes sense that this note category was so highly favored – it smells phenomenal on everyone. When you think of spicy notes, clove, ginger, and anything peppery come to mind. These exotic notes have a seductive quality that’s hard to resist for the wearer and those around them. 


When shopping for a new fragrance, many people are quickly drawn to Bergamot perfume because of its distinctive scent. Citrus notes are found in virtually all cologne or perfume formulations, and with over half of them, citrus is the keynote. Bergamot is favored for its uniqueness of being not only citrusy but also with a hint of spiciness. Bergamot notes in your perfume or cologne are a must if you consider yourself both naughty and nice. 


Lavender has long been known and beloved for its ability to calm nerves and ease anxiety. With over thirty percent of American adults dealing with anxiety disorders, it’s no wonder the note of lavender in fragrances is well-liked. Lavender is a soft scent, so unless it’s a primary note, it may not stand out, but its distinctiveness works in great harmony with over heavier notes bringing a sweet, calming sense to the wearer. Feeling nervous before a big meeting or date? Opt for a fragrance with high notes of lavender. 


Floral scents are beloved by perfume wearers worldwide, with some opting to wear one exclusive essential oil as their perfume. Popular floral notes you’ll find in many perfume blends are rose, lily of the valley, honeysuckle, and lavender mentioned above. Florals are not restricted to women’s perfumes alone; they are also essential note elements to men’s cologne. Floral scents are refreshing and uplifting, so if you’re feeling down or sluggish, spritz some of your favorite floral fragrances to get an instant mood boost!


Many people want a musky quality to their colognes and perfumes, something sensual and deep, making amber one of the most favored fragrance notes. Amber notes incorporate smells like patchouli, vanilla and styrax, and more. Any fragrance with amber notes is a great addition to wear in the winter or on a date night when you want to exude confidence and sensuality. Amber notes are perfect for boosting your confidence and self-esteem – who doesn’t want that?


Balsamic notes in perfume are soothing and warm. Balsamic scents that are popular are licorice, woodsy, and sometimes fruity in character. Balsamic notes pair perfectly with the most popular note, vanilla, so while you may not recognize this note, it’s a key player in your favorite colognes and one of the great orchestrators of popular scents. Balsamic notes are great at easing tension and have been shown to help with depression and anxiety. 

Other popular notes are worth mentioning, like earthy, aromatic, white floral, and fruity, but the above are the top fragrance notes in perfumes and colognes. The next time you’re shopping for a new fragrance, take time to distinguish the notes as you sample and remember the benefits of each note. Fragrances are a symphony, and it’s important to acknowledge each talented member. 

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