Top 10: Best French Perfumes for Women

best french perfumes for women

When you think of the most iconic perfumes of all time, you will most probably be talking about a French perfume.

Am I right? After all, as you know, perfume is such a huge part of French beauty.

I’m quite the perfume buff, I’ve tested many over the years and at the end of it, I think the French do some of the world’s best perfumes. And so today I thought it would be fun to share my picks of the top 10 best French perfumes for women, in no particular order.

Best French Perfumes for Women

1. Lolita Lempicka Parfum

A very sharp floral, almost spellbinding scent – very unique and quite frankly, super weird (in a good way). Think Tim Burton, but in a slightly more feminine fresh way. So, so good, and if you wear this, you’re sure to get comments.

2. Dior Poison

Poison is sophisticated, dark, mysterious… and slightly dangerous – what else with a name like Poison? There is something slightly 80’s about this scent (and was released in 1985, before most of us, including myself was born), so there’s a chance it might be too “deep” for you. But it’s definitely one you need to try at least once in your life.

(If you’re looking for a more sweet, modern version of this perfume, try Hypnotic Poison, or check out Top 16 Sweet Perfumes for more of my picks.)

3. Cacharel Anais Anais

This scent perfectly captures the nostalgic of our childhood and being a little girl. They say it’s the French girl’s first perfume, too. If you’re looking for something feminine, fresh and slightly vintage, try this one. Dare I say, there’s a little Lolita vibe to it too, if that’s your thing. Very innocent and carefree.

4. Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

I think this is the perfect evening scent for the sophisticated, classy woman – it smells like expensive champagne in perfume form, and for the strong, independent. Enough said! When I get a whiff of this, I am instantly transported to my early 20s, out and about, but it also has a scent of youthful sophistication, if the makes sense.

5. Balenciaga Florabotanica

Florabotanica is definitely one of favorite perfumes of all time – (update: this was my wedding day scent!) and one of the best modern perfumes on the market right now. It has a mix of rose and mint, it is a green, fresh fragrance with excellent staying power. There is something so feminine, classic yet edgy about this scent, and can we please talk about the bottle? Stunning!

6. Balmain Ivoire

Want to smell like expensive soap from the most expensive hotel in the most expensive area of Paris? This is it. Exactly. Fresh, soapy, light, non-offensive. An absolute joy to wear, though probably a bit for the mature woman.

7. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire

One of the most popular fragrances (and oldest) in the world, La Petite Robe Noire, which means the little black dress in French, is the ultimate party scent. It is fun, sparkly, flirty and full of life. It’s also quite sweet. (If you’re into sweet scents, check out Best Sweet Perfumes.)

8. Thierry Mugler Angel

A true classic in perfumery, this was the perfume that started “gourmand” (meaning delicious, food-like yummy smelling scents). It’s also one of the best sweet perfumes out there, and is a classic. Many celebrities have said to have worn this in at one point in their lives!

9. Givenchy Very Irresistible

With 5 different types of roses, this scent is the perfect date night scent. It is very feminine, floral and youthful, and I think any women would love this. Liv Tyler is the spokesmodel and appears in the ad campaign for this fragrance (and their various flankers, but the original, this one, is the best in my opinion) and I can’t think of a better model. She perfectly embodies the femininity and softness of the scent. Absolutely stunning.

10. See by Chloe

I know that Chloe’s main scents – in their iconic, beautiful bottles – are more popular, but See by Chloe, their sister brand, and their debut fragrance of the same name is so much more interesting. This scent is so unique in that it’s a floral, yet there is a bitterness, nutty feel to it that is gorgeous – and gives a little bit of a rebellious feel to it. Very youthful and unique, one of the best fragrances released in a while.

Do Perfume Like the French

french girl perfume rules

Well, my friends… if you’re gonna get yourself an amazing French perfume, I reckon you should take advantage and make it a whole experience! The French really know how to do perfume, making it as a way of art in our everyday lives, and I love it.

Check out Do Perfume… Like A French Girl for French perfume application tips and secrets – you’ll love it, and I can guarantee that you’ll have a new appreciation for personal fragrance.

What do you think? Do you have any other French perfumes for women to recommend?

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  1. I purchased a bottle of perfume in France in 1985 for my wife. The name of the perfume was INTREPID, and I haven’t been able to find it since. I was in Toulon, France. She made that little bottle last for over a year, by wearing it only on very special occasions. Any chance of getting another one, (or samples) of Intrepid for women.

    1. Hi Thomas, you may want to Google search the brand, however there may be a chance it was discontinued if you can’t find it. I have not heard of the brand itself. Good luck!

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