Your perfume is one of the most personal things you wear. The scent you choose can help represent your personality, whether sweet, aromatic, powerful, soft, or sexy, and we think that’s a beautiful thing!
But finding your new signature scent can be challenging, particularly if you’re looking for a perfume that you can wear every day. Plus, we’re faced with a real task with the need to shop online (thanks, Coronavirus). How do you choose a fragrance without smelling it first?
In this guide, we’re going to help you choose your ideal perfumes for 2021. We’ll talk you through some of the different scent types out there, so you can start out by picking your perfect fragrance family. Then, we’ll share some of our favourite tried-and-tested options as well as exciting new releases. All you need to do it sit back, relax, and explore our guide to picking a perfume in 2021.
Understanding the different types of perfume
Ever heard of the fragrance wheel? Every perfume fits onto the wheel somewhere, into one of the four main categories, and then into one of lots more subcategories. It might sound a little scientific, but it couldn’t be simpler. The four main types of fragrance are:
In each of these fragrance families, you can find many more descriptive areas, like fruity, water, citrus, and aromatic. You might also prefer wearing eau de toilette, or parfum, the latter of which is usually more intense and long-lasting.
The fragrance family you go for will depend on your preference and personality. And there’s no reason you can’t switch it up, wearing a different type of perfume every day. There are no rules! Your scent is a choice that only you can make. So have fun experimenting until you find your favourite. Then spritz on and feel great!
The best perfumes and aftershaves for 2021
Let’s get into it. These are some of the best perfumes and aftershaves for 2021. We’ve included lots of forever-favourite scents further down; the formulas which top the charts again and again, and don’t seem to ever get old. But first, here are some new releases to wrap your nose around this year. Exciting!
1. Valentino Voce Viva
Valentino makes some of our favourite luxury perfumes, and Voce Viva, the latest addition, is no exception. Lady Gaga is the face of the fragrance, winning us over before we opened up the box. Designed around colour, couture, and coolness. Wearers can enjoy notes of bergamot, mandarin, and ginger in this fresh yet indulgent fragrance. White flowers sit at heart, while vanilla and moss notes bring Voce Viva back down to earth.
Released towards the end of 2020, GIVENCHY’s new addition to the L’Interdit family, L’Interdit Intense, takes you even deeper into the fragrance notes. Expect powerful tuberose, leather, and vanilla from this punchy yet sophisticated perfume. Orange blossom and toasted sesame make this scent ultra-unique. It’s oriental at its heart, both intense and subtle, and perfect for special occasions and making an impression.
3. Lancôme Idôle L’Intense
Brand-new for 2021, Lancôme’s Idôle L’Intense has been created to empower strong, outspoken, empowered women. What better way to start the year? Carve out a new path for yourself with this beautiful perfume, helping build confidence each time you wear it. Just like the original, Idôle L’Intense has a bright, clean fragrance at its core. There are floral notes in there too, and delicious vanilla bringing subtle sweetness. Jasmine is one of our favourites, and it’s right there in the mix of this newest Lancôme perfume.
4. Giorgio Armani My Way
Giorgio Armani My Way was new in 2020, and perfume fans are falling in love with it one spritz at a time. This addictive perfume is both modern and floral, with a bouquet of white flowers at its heart. Enjoy notes of responsibly sourced Madagascan vanilla, Indian tuberose, and Egyptian orange blossom. And, there’s a refill bottle available, so you can keep your footprint at a minimum whenever you’re running low of this beautiful Armani scent.
The latest men’s fragrance by Jean Paul Gaultier has arrived, and it’s safe to say we’re here for it. The iconic body bottle is dressed in black and gold this time, representing leadership, style, and strength. The fragrance itself is elegant, woody, and oriental. Ideal for standout days or special occasions. Notes of cardamom, lavender, iris, and vanilla blend to create a perfect signature scent.
You’ve probably tried the Chloé signature perfume by now. And if you haven’t, we recommend giving it a go. The signature Chloé fragrance is a forever-favourite, perfect for every day and special occasions alike.
But what’s this? A new addition to the timeless family? Chloé’s new Rose Tangerine perfume is an exciting newcomer and an absolute must-try if you’re a fan of the original. Rose Tangerine remains true to its predecessor but adds a bright, fruity twist of its own. Tangerine, blackcurrant, cedar, and amber headline the mix. Yummy!
7. HUGO BOSS ALIVE
Looking for an uplifting perfume for 2021? HUGO BOSS’ newest fragrance, ALIVE, could be just the thing. Find joy in every moment when you spritz on ALIVE, whether it’s a special occasion or a regular old Tuesday. This captivating perfume brings together woody and floral notes, including vanilla, cedar and sandalwood, and vanilla.
Jaw-dropping bottle? Check. Fiery, sensual fragrance? Check. Approved by Dua Lipa? You know it! Yves Saint Laurent’s new perfume, Libre Intense, is one we’ll be wearing any time something exciting happens in 2021. With notes of tangerine, lavender, jasmine, and vanilla, this intense, heady perfume will have you feeling confident every time you wear it. The amber-coloured liquid is encased in a stunning YSL branded bottle, making this new perfume an attractive addition to your dressing table, too.
Issey Miyake nails men’s fragrance time and time again. And Fusion D’Issey, a new addition in late 2020, is no exception. Enhance your year when you choose this energetic aftershave for 2021. Fusion D’Issey is inspired by cold water meeting molten lava, the elements combining heat and freshness to create something new. Notes of lemon, coconut water, ambergris, rosemary, and cardamom combine in this refreshing yet warm Issey fragrance. New signature scent? It could be!
Forever-favourite fragrances to add to your collection in 2021
We’ve shared some of the new releases we’re most excited about, so you can find something different if that’s what you fancy. But there are some longstanding perfumes and aftershaves out there that can always fit into your collection. We’re talking about the scents that have been around for years. These remain just as popular today as when they were released.
You might already have a few of these fragrances lined up. Whether you know them or not, these are the perfumes we couldn’t live without.
Bestselling ladies’ perfumes to try in 2021
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
Calvin Klein Euphoria
Calvin Klein CK One
HUGO BOSS Orange
Roberto Cavalli Signature
Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy
Elie Saab Le Parfum
Giorgio Armani Si
Best selling men’s fragrances to try in 2021
Bvlgari Pour Homme
Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme
Paco Rabanne 1 Million
Calvin Klein CK One
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
Calvin Klein Obsession
Davidoff Cool Water
These ever-popular favourites always go down a treat, whether you’re choosing as a gift or adding to your own collection. Don’t forget, you don’t need to commit to a full-size bottle right away. At Fragrance Direct, we offer smaller sizes, so you can test out your choice before snapping up 100ml or more.
Whatever way you decide to go with your 2021 fragrances, be sure to choose an option (or two) that makes you feel great every time you wear it. We could all do with a little lift in our lives this year, and your perfume or aftershave is a perfect place to start!
You might be spending Valentine’s Day alone this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself! If you’re after a few pick-me-ups this February then read on to find out the ultimate self-gifting ideas you need right now…
Featuring Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Eau de Parfum, Bonbon Shower Gel and Bonbon Body Lotion, this set is the ultimate gift to spoil yourself with this February! This floriental perfume is distinguished by its caramel heart, for a unique and signature scent. Completely irresistible, this sweet treat blends fruity top notes of mandarin, a heart of sumptuous caramel and an intense woody base of cedarwood and amber. Go on, why not indulge yourself this season?
Spirit Of The Brave renwes and echoes the original creation from which the fragrance draws its inspiration. A new name to embody a new kind of masculinity and bravery in co-creation with Neymar. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day and your longing for that bargain buy that provides a little pick-me-up then this bundle is the one for you. Priced at £24.75, this fragrance for men features energizing notes of bergamot, elemi oil and green galbanum, along with this it features a black and gold bottle, perfect for any dresser!
Transform yourself to a place that is beautiful, optimistic and pure with Marc Jacobs Daisy Gift Set. This floral favourite is the ultimate lavish gift to see you through Valentine’s Day. This scent embodies the essence of the daisy girl who wears it: timeless, yet young-at-heart. Bursting with succulent wild berries, soft white violets and white daisies, this fragrance will leave your skin feeling irresistibly fresh and radiant scent on the skin. The bottle is an embodiment of sophistication and vintage charm, inspired by its name, the daisy flower is turned into a whimsical bottle shape, making the perfect new addition to your fragrance collection.
Inspired by the moisture-retaining properties of the aloe plant and passion fruit, the Biolage HydraSource Dry Hair Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry Hair ensures your hair’s hydration levels are optimised through absorption and retention of moisture. Give yourself the ultimate Valentine’s Day pamper night in with this luxurious hair duo, leave your hair feeling soft, manageable and healthy looking with three gorgeous hair products. If you’re taking some alone time this February then sit back, relax and pop on a hair mask!
Nowhere to go? Then get your glow on this Valentine’s Day with Dermalogica’s Best and Brightest Gift Set! Featuring a Daily Microfoliant, Biolumin-C Serum and a Skin Soothing Cream, this set is sure to lift your spirits this February. Achieve a youthful and bright complexion three iconic anti-ageing products from Dermalogica. Why not have a bubble bath, stick on your favourite love ballad and try out your new gift set today!
Men need a little TLC too, that’s why BARBER PRO’s Skin Revival Mask Set has everything you could need and more this February! Featuring a Gentlemen’s Sheet Mask, an Under Eye Mask, a Foaming Mask and a Face Putty Peel-off Mask, this bundle is packed with the ultimate skin essentials for him! Brighten and rehydrate your skin today with activated charcoal and collagen, you won’t regret it…
Whether you’re of the water, air, fire, or earth family, choosing a fragrance to wear this Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be complicated. Sit back, relax and see what the stars have in store for you this February…
If you’re an Aries then you know that you’re a bold and motivated leader in life. You love to take charge and won’t let anyone stand in your way! This Valentine’s Day we think you should be wearing a rich, strong fragrance scent to match your powerful personality. BOSS The Scent For Him Private Accord features irresistible notes of coffee, amberwood and bergamot so why not give it a try today!
Taurus’ tend to lean towards rich, luxe scents that can be noticed by everyone they pass, more than any other sign, they’re associated with luxurious scents that carry a higher price tag so it’s probably best they give Montblanc Explorer EDP Natural Spray a spritz this February.
Gemini love to keep their scents light, airy and sweet, but their indecisiveness means they need a fragrance that they can carry through morning and night. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Men Eau de Toilette Spray is a timeless classic that can be worn all through the day. With notes of bergamot, jasmine and rose, it’s the ultimate Gemini scent!
Cancers sometimes can be a little more on the sensitive side but with this comes a soft and sweet side to their personality. If you’re zoom-dating this Valentines Day then pop your favourite outfit on and spray on DKNY’s Be Delicious Fresh Blossom Eau De Parfum, this sweet blend is made up of sunkissed apricot, blooming florals and juicy apples…
Like a crackling fire, Leos tend to be warm, passionate, and dynamic! To accompany their fiery personalities this February, they should have a spritz of Paco Rabanne 1 Million For Men Eau de Toilette! With warmth notes of amber, leather and blood mandarin, this scent has everything you would need and more!
Known for just going with the flow, Virgos should probably opt for a popular scent this Valentine’s Day. Jean Paul Gaultier Classique For Women EDT Spray is a signature favourite that provides you with a hint of temptation to help you conquer in life, I think we could all do with a spritz of this right now, don’t you?
Libras have two distinct different personalities, on one side they’re bubbly and bold and the other, they’re shy and somber. Because of this, they should go for a scent that perfectly balances they’re complex character. This Valentine’s Day, go for Jimmy Choo Illicit Eau de Parfum Spray, this modern floral scent has the perfect blend of fruity and floral notes to see you through the day!
Scorpios are mysterious and sensual, they long for deep connections with everyone who they pass through life… Their vulnerable side needs a strong scent to protect them in life, why not try Giorgio Armani Si Eau de Parfum Spray? Featuring strong notes of mandarin oil, amber and vanilla, this fragrance is sure to shield your woes and worries this Valentine’s Day.
Sagittarius are the ultimate optimists who love to roam, with their curious minds and wandering thoughts it’s only right for them to be wearing MUGLER Angel Eau de Parfum this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re spending it alone or with company, transform your senses to another galaxy with this fresh star scent now!
If you’re a Capricorn then you’ll know that status and authority is what you live for, as well as this, you’re big on family and tradition – your fragrance should be strong and uplifting to represent your bold character. Valentino Uomo Eau de Toilette Spray 100ml features rich notes of white leather, coffee and bergamot which makes the ultimate blend for leadership this February.
Aquarius’ like to keep their scents sweet and comforting. If you’re an Aquarius and you want to spritz a sweet scent this Valentine’s Day then give BOSS Alive For Her Eau de Parfum Spray a try! Featuring powerful notes of sparkling apple, warm vanillas and sweet plum, it’s almost too good not to buy…
Pisces are big believers in love and all things kindness and they’re normally attracted to a lighter scent that isn’t too overpowering. We think that Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Parfum Spray is the perfect floral scent for a Pisces this Valentines Day. Bursting with fresh notes of orange blossom, jasmine and honey rose, it’s so irresistible!
When it comes to the world of vegan beauty, here at FD we’re expanding our range by the day. There is so much to be excited about if you’re thinking of spicing up your beauty stash and having a refresh switching out old favourites for new animal-friendly products. Trending formulas with a luxe feel are just a few clicks away, so take a browse of our vegan, cruelty-free brands!
COLAB is a multi award-winning dry shampoo brand that’s suitable for all hair types, colours and textures. Their incredible formulas effectively absorb oil and instantly refresh roots with an invisible, lightweight finish. If you’re hoping to incorporate more vegan beauty brands to your routine, Colab are a must-have in the haircare department with gorgeous products that leave hair feeling clean, soft and beautifully fragrances too!
Urban Veda is a multi-award winning Ayurvedic (an alternative medicine system with historical roots in India) skincare brand, designed for tackling 21st century skin concerns. The brand is home to four incredible ranges (Purifying, Radiance, Soothing and Reviving) all of which are naturally formulated to leave skin less vulnerable to the environment. Bursting with antioxidants, this is an incredible vegan brand to dive into to cure dehydrated and dull skin.
Alya Skin, founded in 2018 by best friends, Manny Barbas & James Hachem, is a vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand revolutionising the world of A-Beauty. With an aim to create the world’s must-have beauty mask, the Australian duo set out with the goal to produce the highest quality skincare at the most affordable price. Insta-famous and an internet sensation, Alya Skin’s Pink Clay Mask has fast become a cult-favourite. From masks and cleansers to scrubs and moisturisers, your new favourite products are just a click away.
If you’re looking for a deep, bronze tan, b.tan is the brand for you. Their vegan range of tanning products are for everyone who believes tanning should be simple. This fun brand’s products are all a little bit quirky and they make they’d make the perfect addition to your cabinet of tanning faves.
This iconic makeup tool brand were one of the first to bring quality, award-winning, and innovative tools at a great value to the beauty obsessed around the world. Since 2011, this vegan brand have been inspiring, educating and empowering makeup fanatics on a global scale to make the most of their favourite cosmetics with the perfect items to apply them. If you’re after some synthetic makeup brushes and sponges that feel just as luxurious as the high-end brands, Real Techniques is a go-to!
Sustainability-led hair and skincare brand, Love Beauty and Planet, create products that are packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles and jars, helping you to give a little bit of love back to our planet without compromising on beauty-boosting results. They believe in the power of small acts of love to make you and the planet a little more beautiful every day with ethically sourced ingredients and PETA-accredited, cruelty-free, and vegan formulas.
Ayumi is another natural skincare brand inspired by the ancient principles of Ayurveda. This holistic brand is all about maintaining balance in new surroundings. Ayumi is committed to making natural and mindful living available to everyone, bringing back the natural environment even to the busiest of cities. With beautiful ingredients including neem, coconut, sandalwood and many more, Ayumi is definitely up there as one of our favourite vegan brands.
Clean beauty without compromise. Organic Works offers some of the most natural and organic ingredients on the market that are genuinely effective and kind to our skin. Clean, green, vegan and cruelty-free, this brand has set high standards with not only their ethics but the quality of their skincare products. From cleansing face washes to invigorating shower gels and renewing night treats, this stunning vegan brand is get for sourcing your next TLC treats!
There’s nothing quite like a spritz of your favourite scent and during these turbulent times I think we could all do with the perfect pick me up. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best pocket sized scents to boost your mood! From Hugo Boss to Valentino, we’ve got small sized scents that pack a punch…
Combining notes of sparkling apple, powerful florals and warm vanilla, this femenine fragrance is a must-have this season! Live life to the fullest with BOSS ALIVE, this small sized scent has everything you need to feel empowered and on your path to success. So, whether you’re on the go, or you just want to know more about this irresistible scent, then shop today at Fragrance Direct.
Inspired by the woman who truly values what’s essential, Le Parfum Essentiel combines the effervescence of madarin and evokes a beautiful escape, I think we can all agree we could do with a beautiful escape from these turbulent times, that’s why this fragrance is ultimate pocket friendly perfume this month! Discover notes of orange flower, patchouli, sparkling mandarin and cedarwood today and grab it at a bargain price of £22.95!
A personal FD fave, Valentino Voce Viva represents the sound of your voice and scent of your fragrance, like a voice, a fragrance is personal, intimate and leaves a trace. This unique blend of radiant florals, addictive crystal moss accord embodies the strength and intimacy of your voice. If you’re feeling a little down and you’re in desperate need of a small sized pick me up this month then Voce Viva is perfect for you!
If you’re not a lover of this cold, frosty weather and instead, you dream of summer nights and all things warmth then this fragrance reflects just that! Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette combines succulent wild berries, soft white violets and fresh jasmine, creating a fresh blend perfect for everyday wear. Small enough for your handbag when you’re on the go, Daisy’s bottle embodies sophistication and vintage charm, inspired by its name, the daisy flower has been transformed into a whimsical bottle shape!
A signature classic that we know and love, YSL’s Black Opium is a small sized scent that we all need in our life! Right now, most of us are turning to all things comfort and cosyness, with notes of vanilla, jasmine and orange blossom, this super scent embodies everything you need to feel warmth and solace. Spritz a little TLC today, you won’t regret it…
Winner of the Stella Smart Beauty Award 2020, My Way is a small sized scent that packs a punch! With so much time spent indoors, you might be struggling with establishing who you are, but fear not, My Way is here to save the day. Inspired by the genuine search for meaning and authenticity that lies outside oneself, My Way features notes of tuberose, vibrant cedarwood and sensual vanilla from Madagascar. So why not give this marvelous mini scent a try?