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:
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 50.85 billion in 2022 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.”
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.
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, 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 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 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.
The least expensive of the types of fragrances to purchase, Eau de Cologne, is the most accessible and contains about 3% to 5% oils.
Perfumes normally fall into fragrance categories, and we obviously all have our favorite smells. Some perfumes combine fragrances exquisitely to create unique scents.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Here are a few more fragrance suggestions that came from our Sixty & Me readers.
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.
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.
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.
Clinique did a refit of their classic Aromatics a few years ago and came up with Aromatics in Black. The new scent is bold with an undercurrent of precious myrrh and carries fruit and floral notes.
Burberry fragrances are always feminine and modern. HER is a gourmand fragrance that balances fruity notes, blooming peony, juicy green pear top notes, strawberry, blackcurrant, and pink peppercorn. The perfume is enhanced with a honeysuckle heart, lily of the valley, and rose. It is softened by a musk and cedarwood base.
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:
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.