Everyone should have a good floral perfume

Everyone should have a good floral perfume

Not into an old-school floral perfume? Don’t worry, there’s still a floral fragrance for you.

Florals are not my thing. I’ve mentioned it before. I find them, generally, too cloying, too old-fashioned, too obvious. But, being daily exposed to perfumes both new and old has made me search for florals I can get behind, because although I don’t like to spritz floral perfume, I do love a fresh bouquet. And I breathe deeply when walking around a flower garden. I’ve realized that, while florals on their own don’t appeal to me, when the notes mix and mingle with green, earthy elements I tend to warm up to them. Which is a great place to start if, like me, you wrinkle your nose at floral fragrances but tend to like flowers in their natural element.

Still not convinced? Try these tips for finding a floral perfume you love.

Demeter_WildflowersTip #1: Go for the wild, uncultivated flower

It first occurred to me that maybe I didn’t hate florals when I went to an event and left with a bouquet of wildflowers, which scented my walk home and my desk throughout the week in the most lovely way. Wildflowers are usually uncultivated, meaning they grow without human intervention. The term also doesn’t refer to a specific species of flower; it’s a bit of a catch-all term for flowers growing in nature that weren’t deliberately planted. That all adds up to the idea that wildflowers are different every time you encounter them because of the sheer amount of variation. They look different and they definitely smell different. The consistent? There’s always a touch of earthiness and you can never pick out a single species in the scent. It’s like Demeter’s Wildflowers perfume. Perhaps because I can’t put my finger on the exact wildflower in its mix is the reason why I like it so much.
Demeter Wildflowers, $40 (100 ml), www.demeterfragrances.com

Byredo_LaTulipeTip #2: Start with a flower you like

Chances are there’s at least one bloom you actually like. Fragrance is often dominated by recognizable floral notes: rose, jasmine, violet. Try identifying a perfume with florals in it that you do like, but that maybe aren’t as popular. Love tulips? There’s a scent for that. What about orange blossom? That one’s easy. Lavender? Gardenia? Lily? If there is a flower you do have affection for, chances are it’s been bottled in a perfume. And therefore, chances are solid that you might even like said fragrance. It might surprise you!
Byredo La Tulipe EDP, $150 (50 ml), www.net-a-porter.com

Balenciaga_FlorabotanicaTip #3: Look for fragrance combos that feature other notes you do like

As I mentioned, I tend to like a floral perfume when it’s paired with green and earthy elements. It follows that I enjoy a scent that combines flowers with a heavy dose of earth and wood in the form of vetiver, fir and patchouli. If you like dark, moody scents, look for blossoms in combination with oud, musks and leather; or if you prefer fruity scents looks for juicy red fruits or fresh bright citrus mixing with the flowers. I also recommend smelling perfumes before digging in too deep to all the notes. If you like it, you like it—you don’t always have to know all the flowers that are in it.
Balenciaga Florabotanica, $130 (100 ml), www.sephora.com

Diptyque_EauLavandeTip #4: Try a single-note floral

Another clue that helped me get over my no-florals stance was the realization that many beauty products I like have floral scents because of the essential oils used in them. So it’s rose, for example, in combination with many other floral essences. More bouquet than bloom. If that always seems too much, but you know you like roses or lavender or iris on their own, look for perfumes that celebrate the character of that individual, distinct flower.
Diptyque Eau Lavande, $98 (100 ml), www.diptyqueparis.com

Read our latest issue of the digital magazine for more news, trends and perfume suggestions.

Gardenia, the namesake bloom for Chanel's Gardenia Exclusif fragrance, brings spice and greenness to floral perfumes.

Read more:
Floral perfumes for non-floral types
The best floral perfumes for spring
Spring runway style and perfume pairings

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This article was written by

Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.