We are suckers for scents. From classic to modern or sweet to spicy, fragrances can be transportive. Though hundreds of perfumes hit the market each year, only a few rise above the rest. We love new scents, but there’s just something so nostalgically special about a carefully crafted fragrance that has stood the test of time. What’s even better is when it comes with a little backing from some of the most iconic celebrity women in history.
Marilyn Monroe’s very public confession that all she wore to bed was a few drops of Chanel No. 5 has naturally cemented the scent firmly in the fragrance history books. But what about the gorgeous perfumes worn by our other favorite icons? And what perfumes have ensnared the noses of modern-day stars like Rihanna or Salma Hayek?
If you’ve ever wondered about the signature scents of your favorite A-list stars, look no further than our roundup below. We’ve done some digging and have discovered the beloved scents of some of the most famous celebrities to ever grace the red carpet. Our list is perfect if you adore a classic fragrance, and it's even better if you're looking for something new for your collection.
Hermès 24 Faubourg Eau de Parfum
If a Birkin bag isn’t even on the radar of your budget, consider a scent by the status brand instead. Worn by the Princess Diana on her wedding day, this beautiful blend of white flowers, iris, vanilla, sandalwood, and amber is fit for royalty. Add it to your fragrance wardrobe if you like light and fresh florals with a woody heart.
Price at time of publish: $197
Size: 3.3 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: White Flowers, Irises, Woods, Vanilla, and Ambergris
Yves Saint Laurent Opium
Since its launch in 1977, Yves Saint Laurent's Opium has been a celebrity mainstay. Not just one, but four stars are known to wear this as their signature. Nowadays, stars like Salma Hayek, Heidi Klum, Emily Blunt, and Gisele Bündchen call this their signature. The spicy scent includes notes of cloves, coriander, tangerine, and sandalwood, with a touch of rose and Lily of the Valley.
Price at time of publish: $77
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Toilette Notes: Tangerine, Plum, Cloves, Coriander, Carnation, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Myrrh, Opoponax, Castoreum, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood
KILIAN Paris Love, Don't Be Shy
It is a long standing internet rumor that Rihanna smells amazing. Since then, everyone has been clammering to find out her signature scent. Luckily, we have the scoop: It's said that Rihanna's favorite perfume is Kilian's Love Don't Be Shy. It has notes of orange absolute blossom, rose, honeysuckle, and a touch of marshmallow to round out the sweetness. It is warm and inviting while still being sexy and alluring - much like Queen RiRi herself.
Price at time of publish: $265
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Orange Blossom, Vanilla Absolute, Luscious Marshmallow
Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum Spray
Perhaps the most iconic scent on our list, Chanel No. 5, is practically synonymous with perfume. Much of its success is due to one of its biggest fans. An inimitable scent for an inimitable icon, Marilyn Monroe became the unofficial face of Chanel’s classic fragrance after famously confessing her bedtime rituals (Chanel No. 5 and nothing else!) during an interview. No fragrance collection is complete without a spritz of the great Chanel No. 5.
Price at time of publish: $156
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Aldehydes, Jasmine, Neroli, and Sandalwood
Henry Rose Jake’s House Eau De Parfum
Michelle Pfieffer founded Henry Rose, because she loves fragrance. However, she discovered that many of her favorite scents were filled with ingredients that she was uncomfortable wearing. She decided to create a line of scents made from high quality, safe ingredients that felt sophisticated to wear. Named after both her son and daughter, Henry Rose is ushering a new era of transparent fragrance. Their bestseller “Jake’s House” is Pfieffer’s “wear with everything” scent according to a conversation she had with Byrdie. Spiked with fresh marine and subtle notes of jasmine, this scent is reminiscent of Pfieffer’s grandfather’s home.
Price at time of publish: $130
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Fresh Marine, Neroli, Jasmine, Ambroxan, Musk
Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne
Though the royal family keeps personal details private, every so often a few secrets get out. In the case of Meghan Markle, her former blog The Tig revealed her favorite scents. This salty yet sophisticated spritz made the list. "Fragrance is my favorite thing," she wrote. "So much so that if I leave the house and I don’t put any on, I’ll turn around and go back home.” Reminiscent of a saltwater shore, this everyday scent works great on its own but also plays nicely with others.
Price at time of publish: $155
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Cologne Notes: Ambrette Seeds, Sea Salt, and Sage
Aerin Amber Musk Eau de Parfum
You may know Aerin fragrances for their sophisticated smells or vanity friendly bottles, but did you know that Reese Witherspoon is also a fan? If Reese hadn’t already won us over with her impressive acting chops, must read book club, or her signature blonde strands, her taste in perfume put us over the edge. In an interview, she revealed this as one of her go-tos. This feminine fragrance features hints of rose, but don’t let that fool you, notes of coconut water and musk help keep it fresh.
Price at time of publish: $145
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Coconut Water, Rose Centifolia, Benzoin, Musk, and Ambrox
Le Labo Santal 33 Eau De Parfum
We’d be hard-pressed to find a modern perfume more iconic than Santal 33. Long before this fragrance gained clout on TikTok, it was a celebrity staple. Adored by Alexa Chung, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Bieber, and more, this versatile scent attracts all genders. Inspired by the American west and liberty, the unisex notes include leather, musk, amber, cardamom, and, of course, sandalwood.
Price at time of publish: $215
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Violet, Cardamom, Iris, Ambrox, Cedarwood, Leather, and Sandalwood
Kai Perfume Oil
A longtime favorite of Khloe Kardashian, this simple oil is the perfect base scent. In 2016, she told People, “I've worn it forever! I put it on every day. Everyone’s like, 'That’s your scent!’ So now I can’t wear anything else.” This lightweight oil lasts longer than your average spritz, and the subtle sweet scent is bound to garner compliments from strangers.
Price at time of publish: $52
Size: .12 oz. Type of Perfume: Fragrance Oil Notes: Gardenia, Jasmine, and Citronelle
Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower Parfum Spray
It took perfumer Dominic Ropion 18 months to create this simultaneously sweet and spicy scent. Carnal Flower is loved by Mila Kunis, Adrienne Bailon Houghton, and the legendary icon herself, Catherine Deneuve. This sensual yet elegant fragrance's main accord is tuberose absolute (and more of it than any other fragrance, we might add), with jasmine, coconut, and orange blossom to round things out.
Price at time of publish: $290
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Green Aquatic, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine Absolute, Orange Blossom Absolute, Tuberose Absolute, Coconut, White Musks Cocktail
R&C The Fragrance Duo
Ciara’s favorite naturally is one from her collection with her husband, Russell Wilson. “It has a sexy, signature, irresistible smell that your lover will remember,” Ciara told Byrdie when asked about her go-to date night fragrance. The two 50 millimeter bottles are connected magnetically and snap off depending on which one you need. The Ciara scent smells fruity yet sexy and the Russell scent smells smoky yet soft - we agree with Ciara—perfect for date night.
Price at time of publish: $90
Size: 2 x 50 ml Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Russell For Him: Bergamot, Black Tea, Ambrosian, Lavender, Juicy Pear, Waterlily, Patchouli, Musk, and Vetiver - Ciara For Her: Red berry, Freesia, Pink Peppercorn, Peony, Musk, and Sandalwood
Bond No. 9 New York Nights Eau de Parfum
Hailey Bieber is a certified internet (and real-life) “It” girl. Her beauty routine is highly sought after, and her signature scent is no exception. In a previous interview, she said she likes this pick because “it is not super girly.” This unisex fragrance is laced with notes of coffee and caramel and dipped in jasmine for a touch of sweetness. Not to mention their one-of-a-kind bottles are bound to stick out on your vanity.
Price at time of publish: $295
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Jasmine, Patchouli, Coffee, and Caramel
Chanel Allure Eau de Parfum Spray
Gina Torres has two signature scents. She reserves the cozy Chanel Allure for fall and winter, and switches to the Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche during spring and summer. “They check all the boxes, and I hope Channel doesn't get the bright idea to discontinue any of them. It’s been so long since I discovered them,” she told Byrdie. “I couldn’t tell you when I fell in love with them. I feel completely myself, confident, and sexy when I’m walking around with these scents on my skin.” Infused with hints of peony and passionfruit, this scent is ground in a rich vanilla.
Price at time of publish: $146
Size: 3.4 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Peony Accord, Passionfruit, Vanilla
Chloé Eau de Parfum
Ashley Graham has us lusting after her skin, nails, hair, curves, and while we can’t guarantee you those things, we can point out her signature scent. For years, Graham has told interviewers Chloe Eau de Parfum is a “can’t live without” scent. This powdery floral is light and airy enough to wear to the office yet flirty enough (thanks to honey and cedarwood) to wear to drinks. Plus the delicate bottle is totally shelfie worthy.
Price at time of publish: $155
Size: 1.6 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Peony, Rose, Honey, and Cedarwood
Armani Code Parfum
Rene-Jean Page is one of those people who looks like he would smell amazing, and we are thrilled to report he does—thanks to Armani Code. “It's a masculine scent, so you're really rewriting a take on masculinity. I had the most amazing conversation with the perfumier,” Page told Byrdie, “You compose this thing—I've learned to kind of call it 'composing' because that's how I best understood the process on an artistic and personal term. Kind of getting all those things to harmonize with each other—the top note: the modern, dark mystery underneath the tonka bean, the musk, the flowery sophistication in the iris, the vanilla, and the softness.” Sounds like they composed a winner to us.
Price at time of publish: $135
Size: 2.5 oz. Type of Perfume: Parfum Notes: Mandarin Essence, Bergamot Essence, Rosemary Essence, Vanilla Extract, Cedar Wood Essence
Byredo Gypsy Water Eau De Parfum
Founded in 2006, Byredo is relatively new on the fragrance scene, but don’t mistake their novelty for immaturity, their full-bodied scents aim to capture memories or emotions through fragrance and their cult-like community swears by each spritz. Actress Kate Bosworth is loyal to her signature scent, Byredo's Gypsy Water. It's a gorgeous take on woody and aromatic notes, with juniper, lemon, bergamot, and pepper as the top notes, pine needles and incense as middle notes, and a sandalwood and amber base.
Price at time of publish: $200
Size: 1.7 oz. Type of Perfume: Eau de Parfum Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Pepper, Juniper Berries, Pine Needles, Incense, Orris, Amber, Vanilla, and Sandalwood
Much like perfume wearers around the world, celebrity tastes span the spectrum of notes from spicy to sweet, citrus to floral. If you’re looking for a classic, you can’t go wrong with Chanel No. 5, whereas Byredo Gypsy Water is more modern and fresh. And if you want to be part of the “in” crowd, Le Labo Santal 33 and Yves Saint Laurent Opium have a loyal celebrity following.
What to Look For in Perfume
Fragrances are available in six different categories: Perfume, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, Eau Fraîche, and Perfume Oil. The main way to distinguish between them is what is in the base.
- Perfume: Perfume is usually the most expensive of all the categories due to its high concentration of essential oils or perfume extract. There’s less alcohol, has a heavier texture, and it usually lasts longer on the skin.
- Eau de Parfum: This category has the second-highest concentration of essential oils, and it is supposed to last from six to eight hours. It also has slightly higher alcohol and water content.
- Eau de Toilette: This has a lower concentration of essential oils and fragrance blends. It has a lighter feel, and it is usually more affordable than perfumes or Eau de Parfum.
- Eau de Cologne: This one has a light concentration of essential oils. Because this category does not last as long on the skin as the others, it is usually in larger bottles for easy reapplication.
- Eau Fraîche: This category has the lowest concentration of essential oils, therefore, it lasts the shortest amount of time on the skin. Usually, these are the most inexpensive fragrances on the market.
- Perfume Oil: As the name suggests, perfume oils have an oil base. They have a fairly high concentration of essential oils.
Perfume notes are ingredients that create the aroma. There are top notes (which are usually lighter and dissipate quicker), heart notes (which are the truest sense of the perfume and make up about 70% of its scent), and base notes (which support the other notes and have the strongest, longest lasting scent). This carefully selected blend of ingredients forms the perfume accord, the basic character of a fragrance.
What celebrities wear Le Labo Santal 33?
As we listed above, Justin Bieber, Ryan Reynolds, and Alexa Chung are fans of the scent, but Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, and Ellie Goulding are also known admirers.
Do celebrities wear Jo Malone?
Yes! Jo Malone is a popular scent among celebs with Megan Markle being one of their most loyal supporters. Other stars who are fond of the line include Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Kat Dennings, and Cynthia Erivo.
Why Trust Byrdie
Anneke Knot is a freelance writer and content creator specializing in beauty and fashion. Before freelancing, she was on staff at Real Simple and Health magazines. She has since written for publications like InStyle, PopSugar, Well+Good, Forbes, and many more. She is on a mission to un-complicate the beauty conversation through approachable how-tos and slipping in a joke or two. If you are interested in more of her beauty advice or checking out her chaotic OOTDs, visit her TikTok.