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7 Best Perfumes for Older Women

By Sandra Roussy October 07, 2022 Makeup and Fashion

Do you remember hearing the term “old lady perfume”? Most likely, when hearing that, a memory stirs and you can actually sense a familiar scent of your late grandma or aunt from years ago. It seems that older women all smelled the same decades ago. For me, the smell of lavender will bring up images of my mimi (my French grandmother).

Here are our top perfumes for older women:

  1. Lancôme La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Parfum – fruity classic eau de parfum from LANCÔME has a blend of black currant, praline, vanilla, and patchouli.
  2. Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé – soft powdery florals that are delicate and perfect for an everyday fragrance.
  3. CHANEL N°5 Eau de Parfum – timeless and iconic perfume from CHANEL that has been a favorite for elegant and sophisticated women worldwide.
  4. Libre Eau De Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent – warm floral fragrance with hints of lavender and Moroccan orange blossoms.
  5. Soleil Neige by TOM FORD – young and modern scent, yet elegant and mesmerizing.
  6. Sì Eau de Parfum by Giorgio Armani – fruity and floral fragrance that opens with luminous notes of blackcurrant nectar and mandarin.
  7. Romance by Ralph Lauren – starts with the fresh scent of rose and jasmine, then settles into a woody perfume base resembling the comfort of a warm embrace.

The perfume industry has been around for centuries, and it is an easily adaptable industry that caters to a very wide demographic, including men and women. The industry is constantly changing, and we certainly don’t have to smell like “old ladies” anymore.

According to Grand View Research, “The global perfume market size was valued at USD 31.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2019 to 2025.”

Perfume Evolution

I remember as a teenage girl being gifted my first bottle of perfume at Christmas. It came from an older family member who lived in the big city, and I remember thinking that this was an expensive gift that I had to take good care of. That being said, I limited my sprays to special occasions and safeguarded that bottle of perfume for many years.

Our tastes in scents naturally change through the years. The sweet scents that we used to wear as young women may not suit us anymore. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable smelling like a cupcake in my 50s.

Perfumes created with older women in mind are a huge percentage of the market, and perfume makers know this. Perfumes for older women tend to have more sophisticated and elegant aromas without falling into the “old lady smells.”

Perfumes have been and continue to be a notoriously easy gift idea, to give and to receive. Famous actors, singers, and artists have branded their own perfumes and that is a big chunk of the perfume industry today. Most fashion design houses also have their own line of perfumes.

Different Types of Perfumes

Not all perfumes on the market are actually perfumes, or parfum. The percentage concentration of the scent determines what type it is. The higher priced perfumes typically hold the higher concentrations of the fragrance oils.

Parfum

Parfum, or perfume, is the highest concentration of a scent that you can purchase and is generally the most expensive. Higher concentration of fragrance oils (20% to 40%) means that the scent will be more pronounced and will also last longer than the other types.

Eau de Parfum

Eau de parfum is the most popular fragrance on the market because it is significantly less expensive than perfume but still offers the wearer a long-lasting scent. It has less concentration (15% to 20%) of fragrance oils.

Eau de Toilette

Eau de Toilette is sold at a lesser price point than Eau de Parfum, but still provides several hours of scent to the wearer. Typically, Eau de Toilette contains about 5% to 15% fragrance oils.

Eau de Cologne

The least expensive of the types of fragrances to purchase, Eau de Cologne, is the most accessible and contains about 3% to 5% oils.

Know Your Fragrance

Perfumes normally fall into fragrance categories, and we obviously all have our favorite smells. Some perfumes combine fragrances exquisitely to create unique scents.

  • Floral – romantic, feminine, and flirty.
  • Woody – think rosewoods, campfires, and the great outdoors.
  • Citrus – clean and refreshing scents of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.
  • Gourmand – sweet vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and the smells that evoke food and deserts.
  • Aquatic – fresh and salty ocean mist.
  • Fruity – cherries, apples, watermelon, etc. They are not as sweet as Gourmand.
  • Spicy – warm and sensuous. Incense, peppers, and cardamon.

Best Perfumes for Mature Women

I’ve put together a list of some favorite perfumes that older women love. Of course, there are no rules when it comes to perfumes for mature women. You simply have to choose what suits your personality, personal taste, and lifestyle.

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Parfum

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle L'Eau de Parfum

I simply love the name of this fragrance! La Vie est Belle translates to Life is Beautiful in English. This fruity classic eau de parfum from LANCÔME has a blend of black currant, praline, vanilla, and patchouli. It’s a sweet and feminine scent that older women can wear confidently.

Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé

Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé

The Chloé Eau de Parfum has soft powdery florals that is delicate and perfect for an everyday fragrance. It is elegant and classy and evokes a romantic vintage feeling.

CHANEL N°5 Eau de Parfum

CHANEL N°5 Eau de Parfum

No list of perfumes for older women would be complete without the addition of the ultra classic CHANEL Nº5. This timeless and iconic perfume from CHANEL was first launched in 1921 and has been a favorite for elegant and sophisticated women worldwide ever since.

It has an intense fragrance that may be too strong for some women to wear every day, but it is perfect to wear with your little black dress at cocktail hour.

Libre Eau De Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

Libre Eau De Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

Libre from Yves Saint Laurent offers a warm floral fragrance with hints of lavender and Moroccan orange blossoms. It’s a feminine and modern scent that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent.

Soleil Neige by TOM FORD

Soleil Neige by TOM FORD

“Soleil Neige is the bright side of Soleil, a polar expression to Soleil Blanc’s solar floral. Radiant with winter light, the scent mimics the shimmer of sun on snow.”—Tom Ford

Young and modern scent, yet elegant and mesmerizing. Soleil Neige is an Allure Best of Beauty winner.

Sì Eau de Parfum by Giorgio Armani

Sì Eau de Parfum by Giorgio Armani

Sì by Giorgio Armani is a fruity and floral fragrance that opens with luminous notes of blackcurrant nectar and mandarin. Orange blossom forms the heart of the fragrance while warm vanilla anchors the irresistible blend for a lasting scent.

Romance by Ralph Lauren

Romance by Ralph Lauren

This classic floral eau de parfum by Ralph Lauren is a very feminine fragrance that suits young and old alike. It’s playful yet mature. The fragrance starts with the fresh scent of rose and jasmine, then settles into a woody perfume base resembling the comfort of a warm embrace.

Readers’ Favorites

Here are a few more fragrance suggestions that came from our Sixty & Me readers. 

Aromatics Elixir™ Perfume Spray

Aromatics Elixir™ Perfume Spray

Clinique’s Elixir Spray is another classic that is quite unique and has a strong following from women who enjoy authentic fragrances that stand out. This fragrance spray has notes of rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and vetiver. 

Beautiful Eau de Parfum Spray by Estée Lauder

Beautiful Eau de Parfum Spray by Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder’s Beautiful is as romantic as fragrances get. It’s a favorite for ultra feminine women of all ages. Rose, lily, tuberose and orange flowers make up this scent. It is softly brightened with citrus, and evenly warmed by sandalwood.

Burberry Body Eau De Parfum

Burberry Body Eau De Parfum

Body by Burberry  is a sensual and very feminine fragrance that is a combination of eclectic ingredients like fresh green absinthe, illuminating peach and delicate freesia. The fragrance has a floral heart with notes of natural rose absolute, iris and warm sandalwood.

COCO Mademoiselle by Chanel

COCO Mademoiselle by Chanel

Chanel’s COCO Mademoiselle is another classic fragrance that combines ambery and citrus scents. Softer than its sister fragrance Chanel N°5 it is loved by strong women who enjoy expressing themselves in a unique way.

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Where to Buy Your Perfume

There are several places that sell fragrances – from drugstores to luxury retailers and designer upscale shops. It comes down to your budget where you purchase your favorite fragrance. 

Perfumes are not cheap. Of course, the lower concentrate fragrances (like Eau de Cologne) will be less expensive and the higher (Eau de Parfum) will be the most expensive. 

I personally like to wait until the holiday season to make my purchase when fragrances are often promoted with sales and discounts or have special gifts that come with each purchase. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for samples when you are searching for a new scent. Most have small vials of the scent that you can try for free or at a small price tag. Try it on for a few days to see how the fragrance suits you over time. 

Best places to buy perfumes:

  • Sephora – Beauty giant Sephora stocks some of the most popular and trending perfumes. Shop in store or online.
  • Ulta – Ulta is another specialized beauty store where you can buy in store or online. 
  • Nordstrom – One of the best department stores to purchase perfumes. Shop in store or online. 
  • FragranceX – Search for discontinued perfumes on this website at great prices. 
  • FragranceNet – This website offers the best online discounts.
  • ScentBird – A monthly subscription gets you new perfumes delivered to your door every month. Great way to try out perfumes before deciding to buy a big bottle. 
  • LUXSB – Luxury Scent Box is another online monthly subscription based perfume service where you can get a “Perfume of the Month” shipped to your door.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What was your favorite perfume when you were young? Has your taste changed? What is your favorite fragrance today? Is it on my list? Do you normally buy your own perfume or do you first go through gifts you have received? Please leave your comments below.

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Peggy Walker

Xia Xiang, when I was young, then opium- still love opium- now aromatics elixir black. I choose my own … I have a lot of nice scents and wear whichever one suits my mood…at 66, I’ve earned it.

Barbie

My favorite is LaVie Este Bell

Gail

I have just discovered HER by Burberry, and I adore it! It is soft and feminine. Fresh and seductive.

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website: www.sandraroussy.com

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