French women know that there’s something about fragrance that adds that extra bit of sultry confidence to your daily life.
Fragrance is a very personal choice for a woman.
You must reflect on your signature scent carefully and choose something that suits you well.
When Jane Birkin, the British model that came to symbolize Parisian 60s fashion, collaborated with Miller Harris on a scent, she created something that reminded her of her “mother’s hair, an old book, an old chest of drawers.” It was aptly called L’Air de Rien, or ‘the air of nothing’ to emphasize the effortlessness of wearing perfume.
The personal aspect of choosing a perfume means that you should almost never give this item as a gift to someone unless you know for sure they adore it.
Scent is something that is extremely personal.
If you are searching for your own personal scent, the perfume you can rely on for all occasions, we can help you out with a few suggestions on what a true French woman wears.
After all, no French beauty guide can be complete without a signature fragrance.
Here are our French perfume selections!
Best French Perfume Brands
Several French perfume brands have become household names in France and beyond. One of the most iconic and oldest perfume houses in France is Guerlain, known for its classic and luxurious fragrances such as Shalimar and Mitsouko.
Chanel, another French perfume giant, has produced some of the most recognizable and timeless scents, including Chanel No. 5 and Coco Mademoiselle.
Other notable French perfume brands include Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Hermès. Each of these brands offers a unique range of fragrances that appeal to different tastes and preferences, making them popular with perfume lovers worldwide.
Classic French Fragrances
If you’re looking for a timeless secret from a celebrated French perfume house, then these classic French fragrances will steer you in the right direction. These are the best French perfumes to shop for.
Chanel No. 5 is a classic floral-aldehydic fragrance that opens with top notes of neroli, ylang-ylang, and aldehydes, which give it a fresh, bright, and slightly powdery scent. The dreamy scent smells of jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley, which create a rich, floral bouquet.
The base notes of Chanel No. 5 include vanilla, vetiver, and musk, which give the fragrance a warm, sensual, and slightly sweet aroma. Chanel No. 5 is undoubtedly a timeless and sophisticated scent that has been loved by generations of women since its creation in 1921.
Guerlain Shalimar is an iconic oriental fragrance that has been described as a sensual, warm, and exotic scent. It features notes of bergamot, lemon, jasmine, iris, rose, vanilla, and tonka bean, which combine to create a complex and multi-layered aroma. The fragrance is known for its rich and velvety texture, with a powdery and slightly balsamic quality. Guerlain Shalimar is a sophisticated and timeless scent that has been popular with perfume lovers for decades.
Dior Miss Dior is a fresh and floral fragrance that opens with top notes of Italian mandarin, blood orange, and pink pepper. The heart of the fragrance is a combination of jasmine and rose, which gives it a romantic and feminine quality, while the base notes of patchouli and musk add a sensual and slightly earthy aroma.
Chloé Eau de Parfum is a fresh and floral fragrance that features notes of peony, rose, and lily of the valley. The fragrance also includes base notes of cedarwood and amber, which give it a warm and slightly woody aroma. Chloé Eau de Parfum is a light and feminine scent for women who appreciate understated elegance.
Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps is a classic floral fragrance that is composed of notes of carnation, gardenia, jasmine, and rose. The fragrance also includes a blend of spices and base notes of sandalwood and musk, which give it a warm and slightly spicy aroma. Nina Ricci Air du Temps is a timeless and elegant scent that has been popular with women since its creation in 1948.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is a modern and sophisticated floral fragrance that features top notes of orange, bergamot, and grapefruit. The aromas include jasmine and rose, which gives it a flirty and feminine quality. The base notes of patchouli and vetiver add a sensual and slightly woody aroma. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is a fresh and vibrant perfume from France.
Modern French Fragrances
For a more updated scent fit for a modern woman, we suggest these contemporary French perfumes that will have you smelling French and most importantly – are unique.
- Le Bon Parfumeur
- Maison Francis Kurkdjian
- Maison Margiela Replica
- Le Labo
Parfum vs. Eau de Parfum vs. Eau de Toilette
What is the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette when it comes to French fragrance?
Many French perfume brands offer different types of formulas for the same fragrance. Here are some key differences:
- Parfum: Parfum is the fragrance that is the most highly concentrated. It is often applied by dabbing it onto the skin. Parfum offers the longest-lasting scent to the wearer. Parfum can last up to 12 hours. For this reason, Parfum is the most expensive type of French fragrance.
- Eau de Parfum: This type of French fragrance is less concentrated than Parfum. It can last up to 8 hours.
- Eau de Toilette: This is the least concentrated French fragrance formula. It offers a light and fresh whiff of the perfume scent. It works great for last-minute use and should be worn when you know you’ll be in tight proximity with others. Eau de Toilette fragrances can last up to 6 hours.
Wearing Perfume Like a French Girl
Some French women wear perfume every day, though it’s not necessary. I personally like to wear a scent on a daily basis. It helps me feel more confident and I think it makes a great impression when I meet people.
That being said, French women have different fragrances for different occasions. They might wear a light, floral scent during the day and then switch to a dark, sultry scent for the evening. It all depends on their mood and what is going on that day or evening!