Best Perfume: The 2023 List Beauty Awards

"Wow, you smell great!" is definitely on our list of favorite compliments. From first dates to job interviews, finding your signature perfume can help you make that great first impression. According to the fragrance wheel, there are four main fragrance families that the majority of scents fall under: floral, fresh, woody, and amber. The different "notes" in a scent combine to create a unique perfume that keeps you smelling good all day long.

But finding a perfume isn't as easy as discovering what smells good. When hunting for a scent to add to your collection, you may fall in love with the aroma of a perfume, only to turn over the price tag and reluctantly set it back on the shelf. It's true that many high-end and designer fragrances cost a pretty penny — luckily, we have found ways to try out different perfumes without breaking the bank.

If you find an expensive scent you can't stop thinking about, spring for the travel size or mini version. Most perfumes come in smaller bottles at a fraction of the price. Fragrance enthusiasts have found that this is the best way to invest in perfumes: large bottles are not only pricey, but you aren't likely to finish the bottle before its expiration date. Buying small bottles of perfume also allows you to experiment with different fragrances without going over budget. For those looking to find their signature scent, we tested ten different trending perfumes to decide which ones are absolutely worth your money.

Read more about the 2023 List Beauty Awards methodology and all the top picks here.

Best overall: Ouai Mini Melrose Place Eau De Parfum

There was some serious competition for our overall favorite scent. Ultimately, our choice came down to which perfume would be enjoyed by a majority of people with various scent preferences. It couldn't be too strong or off-putting, but it still had to be potent enough to withstand a full day of wear without fading. After much deliberation, the Ouai Mini Melrose Place Eau De Parfum won our hearts.

Don't be fooled by its size: this little bottle packs a vibrant fragrance perfect for practically every occasion. With notes of champagne, bergamot, and rose, this Ouai perfume transports us to a luxury spa. According to its product description, "This velvety-rich rose fragrance has hints of bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk." After testing, we determined that this scent is extremely long-lasting: after a full day of activity, we continued to enjoy whiffs of the fresh, floral scent.

Reviewers rave about this fragrance, calling it a "great everyday scent" and "a must-have on my routine." They even encourage people to invest in the full-size bottle, which is definitely high praise for a perfume.

Purchase the Ouai Mini Melrose Place Eau De Parfum at Sephora for $26. (50mL also available for $64.)

Best cool & spicy scent: NEST New York Indigo Eau de Parfum Travel Spray

NEST New York has an incredible lineup of perfumes. The brand may lure consumers in with its gorgeous bottle designs made up of detailed florals and vibrant colors, but the high quality and uniqueness of its scents keep perfume lovers coming back for more. Our favorite scent of theirs is, without a doubt, the Indigo Eau de Parfum. With notes of lemon, orange, and bergamot, the fragrance description calls this perfume "an exploration of the Mediterranean." There are floral elements like Moroccan tea and wild figs that significantly cool down the scent profile, reminding us of a vacation to a European coast on a sunny day.

This fragrance is definitely on the more potent side, so we do not recommend layering with other perfumes. However, it perfectly compliments a floral-smelling body wash and brings out extra levels of complexity to other scented hygiene products. During testing, this perfume was amongst the strongest when sprayed on clothes and skin, with very little fading after a full day of wear. You can find the 8mL travel spray for only $30.

Purchase the NEST New York Indigo Eau de Parfum at Sephora for $30.

Best citrus scent: Dossier Ambery Vanilla

For those who love fresh, aromatic scents with a touch of sweetness, the Dossier Ambery Vanilla perfume is for you. Don't let the name fool you: this incredibly complex scent made the list not because of its subtle vanilla fragrance, but because of its long-lasting notes of citrus that linger long after your final spritz.

This 50 mL Dossier perfume is only $26, complete with a chic bottle design and minimalist label. The label clearly displays the many-layered notes that subtly unfold as you continue to smell it, beginning with a sweet base of vanilla, cedarwood, and even coffee. The middle notes of jasmine and orange blossom overwhelm your senses in the best way, with a touch of pink pepper, pear, and mandarin to top it off. According to Dossier's website, this perfume is "inspired by YSL's Black Opium," a designer fragrance that costs over $104. Talk about a perfume dupe! For a high-end smelling perfume at a fraction of the designer price, there was no question that this sweet and citrusy scent would make our favorites list.

Purchase the Dossier Ambery Vanilla perfume at Dossier for $26.

Best floral scent: Carolina Herrera Good Girl Rollerball

Many worthy contenders were fighting for our favorite floral scent, but after much deliberation, the Carolina Herrera Good Girl perfume emerged victorious. This scent is unlike any other floral perfume we have ever encountered, with notes of tuberose, jasmine, and tonka bean. If you are looking for a fragrance that will instantly transport you to a flowering field in the springtime, run to add this delightful perfume to your cart.

The Carolina Herrera Good Girl scent comes in many different forms, including an adorable bottle shaped like a bright blue heel, but our favorite way to wear it is the rollerball. For only $32, you get 10 mL of perfume that you can apply directly to your favorite spots. Rollerball perfumes can be hit or miss depending on the type and strength of the scent, but the Good Girl rollerball is definitely worth your time. The fragrance is subtle enough that applying it directly to your skin won't overwhelm your senses, but it is still fragrant enough to be noticeable and enjoyed as you wear it.

Purchase the Carolina Herrera Good Girl rollerball at Sephora for $32.

Best warm & sweet scent: Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa '62 Bum Bum Hair & Body Fragrance Mist

If you prefer warm and sweet perfumes, the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa '62 Bum Bum Hair & Body Fragrance Mist is a no-brainer. This deliciously scented perfume is heaven in a bottle, with notes of salted caramel, pistachio, and vanilla. You'll smell good enough to eat when you cover yourself with this fragrance. Unlike our other favorite picks, this perfume is a hair and body mist meant for a wider range of applications. The scent is slightly milder and intended to be spritzed all over your hair and body, acting as a great base scent for those who like to layer their fragrances. Because of the rich, velvety aroma this body mist has, it pairs perfectly with other scents in the sweet gourmand family. It also complements fresh, citrus scents well — we layered this product with the Dossier Ambery Vanilla scent and absolutely fell in love with the combination. Looking for a signature scent, anyone?

For only $38, this fragrance mist is an absolute must. The Sol De Janeiro mist is also vegan, cruelty-free, and made without phthalates, so you can wear it without worry. As if we needed another reason to love this scent!

Purchase the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa '62 Bum Bum Hair & Body Fragrance Mist at Sephora for $38.