Byrdie Editors Agree: These Fragrances Attract Mega Compliments

As far as Team Byrdie is concerned, a spritz of perfume is as crucial to our daily routine as moisturizer. It's the pièce de résistance, the final step of our morning regimen that makes us feel pulled together, no matter how little sleep we got the night before. It's a subtle and undeniably intimate ritual.

But that doesn't mean we don't appreciate it when other people notice. Some perfumes are personal favorites, while others are crowd-pleasers. (If you're lucky, you'll get a fragrance that can do both.) And we'll definitely admit to reaching for a scent in the latter category when we're in need of a little confidence boost.

Count that as yet another perk of the beauty editor gig: Once you've cycled through more than your fair share of fragrance testers, you start to get a pretty clear idea of which scents earn the most compliments. Keep scrolling to see the perfume that won the popular vote, according to Byrdie editors.

Tom Ford Santal Blush

The Best Fragrances That Earn Compliments - Best-Smelling Perfumes
Tom Ford Santal Blush $230

"This scent has become my signature purely because it earns me the most compliments. In fact, a woman I met for the first time last week told me I smelled better than anything she's ever smelled in her life hands down. This one is especially indulgent because it offers warm, woody notes like sandalwood as well as light, fresh florals. I'll take it." — Hallie Gould, senior editor

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

The Best Fragrances, According to Beauty Editors
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower $265

"Every time I wear this thing, people don't just compliment me—they gush. I once sat in a 30-minute-long Uber ride where the (lady) driver talked about nothing but the perfume. Somehow, the floral, almost beach-like tuberose scent pleases every nose. If it weren't so heart-stoppingly expensive, I'd bathe in it." — Amanda Montell, former features editor

Byredo Reine de Nuit

The Best-Smelling Fragrances That Earn Us Compliments Every Time
Byredo Reine de Nuit $550

"First of all, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Amanda that nothing draws compliments like Carnal Flower. It's like moths to a flame—I've literally had to put headphones in just to indicate that I'm busy at work in order to avoid being interrupted.

"That being said, I still have a handful of others I swear by for public validation. This one is my go-to date-night perfume—it is mind-blowingly sexy down to the black glass stopper you use to apply it. It has a very juicy feel to it thanks to a black currant top note, but the incense-y base of amber and patchouli keep it grounded and musky. It's the kind of fragrance that makes people lean closer.

"The price tag is steep, that's for sure, but I have no doubt that my little bottle will last me for years—you really only need a drop to last you all night long." — Victoria Hoff, former wellness editor

Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning

The Best Perfumes
Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning $126

"On the flip side, this daytime fragrance has a very different feel. It's so comforting—I actually first fell in love with it because it reminded me of my mom's signature perfume, and wearing it feels like giving her a warm hug. The lily of the valley note is pervasive but never in a cloying way. While Carnal Flower is a compliment machine, people always want to know where they can buy Lazy Sunday Morning. It's sophisticated, casual, and completely approachable all at once. (I have it in candle form too.)" — Victoria Hoff, former wellness editor

Odin New York Milieu Rosa Eau de Parfum

Women's Milieu Rosa Eau de Parfum - 100ml
Odin New York Milieu Rosa Eau de Parfum $195

"Women love it, men love it, and I love it. Just a couple weeks ago, I gave my guy friend a hug, and he immediately asked, 'What are you wearing?' Insisting he liked how it was 'spicy but not too spicy—just the right amount of spice.' For the record, this fragrance is hardly spicy (ah, the male nose), but to my friend's point, for a rose fragrance, it's not overly floral and it's not 'girly' at all. It's clean, simple, and leaves everyone intrigued and wanting more." — Deven Hopp, former beauty director

Thierry Mugler Alien

Thierry Mugler Alien $120

"There are only two fragrances I've ever worn that guarantee compliments every time. In college, it was Thierry Mugler's Alien, a woody-floral-amber hybrid that is truly unlike anything you've ever smelled and forever cemented its place in my heart when my crush complimented me on it one fateful night." — Faith Xue, editorial director

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black $41

"These days, I gravitate toward scents that are subtler, and there's only one of the bunch that gets consistent praise: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black. It's a creamy blend of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla that's totally intoxicating but manages to not be too in-your-face. It's actually ridiculous how many compliments I get when I wear it; I've developed a sort of vain Pavlovian response so that whenever I spritz it before going out, I expect someone to ask, 'What perfume are you wearing? It's amazing.' So far, I've yet to be proven otherwise." — Faith Xue, editorial director

Chloé Eau de Parfum

Chloé Eau de Parfum $105

"I'm not much of a floral perfume kind of girl (I love musky, spicy blends), but after spritzing Chloé's Eu de Parfum, I've gotten a ton of compliments. It's rosy, but it has notes of lychee and amber to counteract what could be an overpowering, old-lady aura (when I think of rose, my nose immediately goes to grandma). It's light, it's fresh, and I love it." — Lindsey Metrus, senior editor

Byredo Black Saffron Eau de Parfum

Byredo Black Saffron Eau De Parfum
Byredo Black Saffron Eau de Parfum $190

"I'm a sucker for bold scents that beg for compliments everywhere you go. Who doesn't like being told they smell good? In my book, that initial compliment on a date is an indicator of a good night. One whiff of this scent brings all the spice thanks to its heavy notes of leather accord, black violet, and blonde woods. It also has a kick of citrus from notes of pomelo and juniper berries floating around. So basically it's sweet, spice, and everything nice aka my ideal date-night aesthetic."
— Maya Allen, former assistant editor

Related Stories