A Fragrance Study Reveals the Most Popular Perfume Notes
A Fragrance Study Reveals the Most Popular Perfume Notes

Fragrances and their physiological powers have regularly been a topic for debate and scientific research. Curious to find out more about the perfume choices we make, experts at OnBuy.com investigated what are the most popular notes in female and unisex perfumes.

OnBuy.com used the perfume website Fragantica to find the top 10 female and unisex perfumes. They then individually broke down each perfume’s scents to find which notes appear the most.

Powdery Scent is the Most Popular for Women

Stealing first place as the female’s favoured note is powdery, appearing in 80% of the top ten perfumes, such as Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Intense Gurlain and Libre by Yves Saint Laurent.

Typically described as a baby or talcum powder scent, academic research has shown that powdery scents have a positive effect on our mood.

In second place is woody and sweet notes, appearing in 70% of the top ten perfumes. Woody notes are popular because they are not just characterized by being cool, warm, aromatic or soft, there are many different types. Popular woody perfumes in OnBuy.com’s research include Pure Musc for Her by Narciso Rodriguez, and La Belle by Jean Paul Gaultier.

A Fragrance Study Reveals the Most Popular Perfume Notes
A Fragrance Study Reveals the Most Popular Perfume Notes

Interestingly, citrus notes appear in half of the most popular female perfumes placing it as the 6th favorite note. Citrus is one of the most iconic and noticeable scents, appearing in more products than just perfume and demonstrating its versatility.

Warm, Spicy Scent is the Most Popular in Unisex Perfumes

Warm spicy is the note preferred in unisex perfumes, appearing in 80% of the most popular scents. Warm spicy notes include hints of cloves, ginger and pepper, or anything else that you might find in the spice cupboard at home! Featuring in perfumes such as Black Orchid by Tom Ford, and Angels’ Share by Killian, it proves its popularity by reminding us of comfort foods.

Woody, vanilla and powdery (70%) all tie in the top four, proving that these notes are not just preferred by women, they are preferred by all. These scents are said to typically bring a sense of warmth and calmness, proving their popularity.

The Psychology Behind Scent

Wanting to understand more about why our preferences change between genders, OnBuy.com spoke to Dennis Relojo-Howell, the founder of Psychreg. He says:

“The way we associate (and prefer) scents is down to culture and our experiences. The perfume industry is hinged on cultural convention whereby powdery and sweet scents are intended for women; aromatic and woody scents for men.

“When growing up, we also smelled these scents from our parents; thereby reinforcing why a particular gender should wear them. According to research, we are attracted to some natural scents more than others due to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which is tied to our immune system - a detection system which has evolved to let us choose the best partners for genetic advantage in reproduction.”

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