Our Sexiest Scents

Features that include the term ‘Sexiest Scents’ tend to focus on fragrances you should wear to attract a partner (or entice the one you have), but here at The Perfume Society we believe that’s rather dated and – let’s face it – a rather crass and belittling view of how fragrance should be used and enjoyed.

Instead, we set out to discover which fragrances some of our favourite fragrance writers and social media scent stars like to wear to feel strong, confident, and sexy in their own skin. Think of wearing these as the olfactory equivalent of looking in the mirror and really, truly loving what you see there. And it’s a well known fact that inner confidence can radiate along with the trail of your fragrance. So if that happens to garner a collection of admirers, well so be it. Who can blame them?

But what, we wonder, do you wear to feel your most fragrantly fabulous self…?

Jo Fairley, Co-Founder The Perfume Society: ‘My liberal, laid-back, ex-hippy, utterly (and rightly) trusting husband thinks that Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur is basically going to make other men kidnap me. It certainly is seriously animalic (it’s not a gazillion miles from Shalimar, actually), with lashings of warm vanilla, woven with bergamot and lavender. (It also smells divine on the men I know who wear it.)’

Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur £175 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at Les Senteurs

Suzy Nightingale, Senior Writer The Perfume Society: ‘I had the pleasure of meeting the creator of Histoire de Parfums, Gérald Ghislain, on a trip to Paris, and he told me he was inspired by the red lipstick of the dancers for 1889 Moulin Rouge, and this comes through in the iris. I get wafts of face powder, a hint of French soap and something dirtier beneath… it drifts from a flurry of femininity – layers of frilly petticoats and a Carmine smile – to swirls of sugar melting in Absinthe, a sprinkle of cinnamon amidst a plumptious booziness. Later still this calms to a warm-skin snuggle of soft musk and something vaguely pain-au-chocolat-ish in the base. It’s divine. I’m hooked. And wearing this on New Year’s Eve, though I may in reality be slumped on a sofa in front of yet another plate of cheese, in my mind I will be high-kicking my way into 2020!’

Histoire de parfums 1889 Moulin Rouge £132 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at Jovoy Mayfair

Amanda Carr, Co-Founder We Wear Perfume: ‘I’m not a great party girl when it comes to New Year’s Eve, all that expectation to have a jolly time weighs heavy on the night for me and I much prefer an evening spent at home with friends, fuelled with some great food and wine. My pick of perfumes will also reflect that less formal, going-out-by-staying-in vibe, which is about comfort and confidence rather than showing off. I’ll reach for my current obsession, Fleur de Peau by Diptyque, one of the close-to-skin powdery musk fragrances that are having a bit of a moment. It has a luscious, textural warmth, a bit like an amplified version of your own skin, only with added magical ingredients (it could be the smooth sandalwood). It’s the sartorial equivalent of a silk velvet dress with a hidden elastic waist – instantly stylish but comfortable enough to have a great time in.’

Diptyque Fleur de Peau £120 for 75ml eau de parfum
Try it at Diptyque

Nicola, The Sniff website: ‘When I want to feel sexy I wear Desert Suave by Liquides Imaginaires. Sexiness needs to have a playful element and I pick up a playfulness from the sweet and fruity notes this fragrance opens with. It feels alive and energetic. Sexiness is also about empowerment, and Desert Suave has a strong backbone of spices and woods which I respond to. It makes me think of classical romantic films but also the hedonistic days of a first attraction to a lover. Wearing Desert Suave makes me feel unique and more like my real self, and nothing is sexier than feeling at home in your own skin. This is one of those scents that really does that for me.’

Liquides Imaginaires Desert Suave £160 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at Jovoy Mayfair

Viola Levy, Freelance Fragrance and Beauty Writer: ‘Nothing makes me feel more sexy and cheerful as a fresh trim and blow dry. I’ve taken to misting a bit of Kayali Vanilla through my strands as it adds a little something extra to my ‘90s music video’ hair swoosh while I wait for the bus.’

Huda Beauty Kayali Vanilla £84 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at Cult Beauty

The Scentinel: ‘The one scent that always makes me feel sexy is 1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums. It smells like hours of lost inhibitions, and not giving a single damn who smells it on you.’

Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade £80 for 60ml eau de parfum
Try it at Harvey Nichols

Samantha Scriven, I Scent You a Day: ‘New Year’s Eve means excess all areas: lots of sequins, lots of sparkle and a perfume that makes you feel like a Goddess. For me, it has to be 4160 Tuesdays Sex Goddess. I feel draped in mouth watering vanilla, garlanded by flowers and warmed by amber. Add a glossy scarlet pout and a wiggle. You’re all set! Prepare to get looks.’

4160 Tuesdays Sex Goddess £60 for 50ml eau de parfum
Try it at 4160 Tuesdays

The Scented Gent: ‘To be sexy, is to be confident. A fragrance that matches your personality traits and emphasises the qualities you want to portray to the world is key. A fragrance that is understated and elegant is what makes me feel sexy, and that is currently Invasion Barbare by Parfums MDCI.’

Parfums MDCI Invasion Barbare £220 for 75ml eau de parfum
Try it at Jovoy Mayfair

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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