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19 Best Perfumes for Mature Women That Smell Fantastic

If cupcake accords and marshmallow notes aren't your thing, you'll love these sophisticated mature scents.


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If you love fragrance but struggle finding one that suits your taste, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered the best perfumes for older women — think subtle and sophisticated — and included their price, top nights, staying power, and other important info. From woodsy florals to unisex options, there are fragrances for all styles and preferences. One of them just may be your new signature scent.

Of all the beauty products in the world, perfume is my favorite. I could spend hours — and have — at Sephora, Ulta, the beauty counter at Macy’s, and every other place that has colognes and body sprays. Apart from fashion, it’s an easy way to show off your style and personality.

The right perfume can recall a fond memory, elevate your mood, or boost your confidence. Honestly, when you consider all this, it makes sense that most of us have a few favorites. If you’re ready to add one more, keep reading. I’m sure there are several worthy of joining your perfume tray.

What are the best perfumes for older women?

What is a mature fragrance?

Like our taste in fashion, fragrance preferences can change with age. If you take a look at the perfumes available today, it isn’t hard to spot the ones made for teens and twenty-somethings. Often featuring notes that smell like the inside of a bakery, they feature sweeter, fruitier chords, and are always attention grabbing.

As someone who loves fragrances in the gourmand family, I don’t mind a sweet perfume. However, I’ve come to appreciate scents with a more complex profile. Like the ladies who wear them, the best perfumes for older women reveal themselves slowly and leave a lasting impression.

As skin becomes dryer with age, woody scents and warm and spicy perfumes suit older women well. That said, there are plenty in the fresh and floral family that also work.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Women is a personal favorite and one of the most popular scents in the “best perfumes for older women” category. It’s opening chord has pear, bergamot, and star anise, which has a licorice undertone. At first whiff it’s sweet but not cloying. A little later, notes of ylang ylang and ginger shine through, giving it a voluptuous quality. And the amber base? Warm and inviting.

Knowing what type of scents work well with your chemistry increases the likelihood you’ll find a new favorite when blind buying a perfume. Paying attention to specific ingredients or notes, as they’re called, also helps. If you’re not ready to splurge on a big bottle until you know how something melds, go with a smaller size, like a perfume oil or roller ball.

What women’s perfume is most seductive?

When in comes to seduction, certain scents are more arousing than others. According to the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons, vanilla, lavendar, pumpkin spice, and oriental spice are a few of the notes men physically respond to. If arousal’s your aim, there are several fragrances containing these notes to choose from.

One of the best perfumes for older women comes from Tom Ford. Although I’d encourage you to sample a variety of the designer’s scents, Oud Wood is exceptional. It has tonka bean, cardamon, spicy Sichuan pepper, and oud. It’s sexy and powerful.

Other sexy perfumes:

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.

The Best Perfumes For Older Women

Tom Ford Oud Wood

Best overall perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from QVC, $270

Why we like it:

  • Woody oriental fragrance family
  • Mysterious
  • Great reviews

With notes of agarwood (oud), cardamom, Sichuan pepper, vetiver, and tonka bean, Tom Ford Oud is undeniably sexy and sophisticated. It’s warm, spicy and a little sweet, thanks to the vanilla and amber base. Although unisex, this is a go-to pick for when you want to embrace your inner femme fetale and pull that special someone closer. Spritz a little behind the ears and knees, slip into your slinkiest black dress, and prepare for a memorable evening!

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Jasmine Eau de Parfume

Best perfume for older women with jasmine
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Sephora, $123

Why we like it;

  • Delicate floral scent
  • Gorgeous bottle art

Jasmine is a popular note in perfumery and a personal favorite of mine. However, too much of it can really overpower the wearer, which is why I prefer fragrances that use it sparingly. If you feel similarly you’ll like how this scent from Gucci sits delicately on the skin, whispering the presence of the floral instead of yelling it. It has grandiflorum, magnolia accord, and sandalwood, and is light and slightly fruity (thanks to its mandarin note). It’s a feel-good scent, and the vintage-style art on the bottle makes it a lovely decoration for your vanity.

Estee Lauder Beautiful Belle

Best floral perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from QVC, $82

Why we like it:

  • Classic floral
  • Romantic

Does walking through a lush garden on a spring day bring your heart joy? Estee Lauder Beautiful Belle is for you. Like its vintage predecessor, it’s for the lady who loves white florals above all else. Top notes of lychee, mimosa, and rose petals pull you in, and bloom into orange flower, tuberose, and gardenia. A base of marzipan musk and orris root give the scent gorgeous staying power. With happy customers across the internet calling it “rich,” “long lasting” and “amazing,” it’s one of the best perfumes for older women who love a soft, feminine scent.

Henry Rose Queens & Monsters

Best unisex perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women
Henry Rose

Buy from Henry Rose, starting at $35

Why we like it:

  • EWG Verified
  • Layerable

If you’re looking to clean up your beauty act, then Henry Rose needs to be on your radar. Founded by Michelle Pfeiffer, all the brand’s perfumes are hypoallergenic, free of parabens and phthalates, verified by the EWG, and cruelty-free. (TK DEFINE THE EWG in A PARENTHETICAL HERE SINCE IT’S THE FIRST MENTION.) But how do they smell, you ask. Fantastic, especially Queens & Monsters with its notes of petitgrain, jasmine, neroli, coco musk, and sandalwood. This sultry wood fragrance is definitely for the grown and sexy, and it’s perfect to wear on days you want to feel a little more confident. The scents from Henry Rose are layerable too, so don’t be shy about pairing with another fragrance from the line to create something truly unique.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique for Women

Best oriental perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women
19% off!

Buy from Amazon, $64.83 (was $80.47)

Why we like it:

  • Perfect for day and night
  • Iconic bottle
  • Includes ylang-ylang, rose, and amber

If you’ve never smelled Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, you’re missing out. The floral-oriental is a little sweet, a little floral, and a little spicy, which is perfect for women who prefer warmer scents but like the playfulness of a fruity floral. Consider it a metaphor for the complexities of womanhood — multifaceted and enticing. The first impression is sparkling and sweet, thanks to notes of orange blossom, star anise, and mandarin orange. As you walk through your day, wafts of ylang-ylang, ginger, and tuberose come through. A base of vanilla, amber, sandalwood, cinnamon, and musk smooth everything out for a harmonious olfactory experience. This fragrance is long lasting, so don’t expect to have to do a lot of touch ups during the day. A spritz or two behind the ears is all you need to turn heads.

Promising review: “I loooove this scent! It lasts all day and there is no need to reapply. Wearing it gives me a boost of confidence. I receive compliments all the time when I walk pass people. Love it!”

Maison Margiela REPLICA u0022Jazz Clubu0022

Best perfume for older women with pink peppercorn
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Saks Fifth Avenue, $85

Why we like it:

  • Rich and dark
  • Unisex
  • Made in France

Does sitting in a dimly lit club with a glass of cognac and your best heels float your boat? If you answered “yes,” Jazz Club is for you — and maybe your hubby, too. A far cry from your typical zesty unisex perfume, this fragrance captured our hearts with its sumptuous darkness. It’s sweet and smoky with notes of tobacco leaf and vanilla; and pink peppercorn, rum, and neroli oil make it sing like Lady Day herself! As soon as you spray it on you’ll want to relax in the softest leather armchair you can find, close your eyes, and let the rhythm of the night take you away.

Tocca Cleopatra

Best floral perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Sephora, starting at $46

Why we like it:

  • Musky floral
  • Made without parabens

Although a warm floral, Tocca’s Cleopatra has always had a beachy undertone I’ve gravitated towards. When I say beachy I don’t mean coconuts and tropical fruit but salty sea skin and sun. It’s similar to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely or Narcisco Rodriguez’s For Her, but more alluring. (Our former shopping editor wore this and always smelled amazing!) Cleopatra has notes of exhilarating grapefruit and jasmine, with a sprinkling of musk and vanilla. It’s exactly what you need to heat things up in the cold winter months.

Carolina Herrera Carolina Herrera Fragrance For Women

Best Carolina Herrera perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Amazon, $56.25

Why we like it:

  • Intoxicating
  • Complex
  • Hard to find

I thought about recommending Good Girl by Carolina Herrera, but wanted something with a less twenty-something vibe. (If you’re a woman of a certain age, sophistication matters.) You may remember this vintage perfume, which is not easy to find these days. Notes of jasmine sambac, cedar, labdanum, pink pepper, limone primo fiore, and apricot made Carolina Herrera a scent to remember, and it’s just as arresting today as it was when it came out 35 years ago. Happy customers on Amazon tell stories of strangers asking what they’re wearing whenever they leave the house with the fragrance on, so brace yourself for some inquiring minds. The aroma of the perfume is rich and enticing, making it one of the best perfumes for older women.

Le Labo The Matcha 26 Eau de Parfum

Best Le Labo perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Nordstrom, starting at $97

Why we like it:

  • Unique
  • Great every day scent

If you want to hop on the Le Labo bandwagon but desire something less well-known than Santal 33, we suggest The Matcha 26. It has an uplifting blend of green tea with creamy fig, cedar wood, bitter orange, and vetiver. The opposite of loud, the fragrance wears close to the skin, offering quiet wafts of goodness as you move. It’s calming, like laying back on a freshly cut lawn, and totally addictive.

Promising review: “I’ve been on the hunt for a signature fragrance forever and just couldn’t seem to find one until I spritzed this on my wrist today. It’s unexpected how complex it is. At first you think it’s not very strong but then it’s a low enveloping scent that only someone close to you would really appreciate.”

Yvest Saint Laurent Opium

Best vintage perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women
29% off!

Buy from Amazon, $89.50

Why we like it:

  • Sexy
  • Classic fragrance
  • Staying power

No perfume wardrobe is complete without a bottle of Opium. Its intoxicating blend of amber and spices envelop the senses, leaving anyone who’s fortunate enough to cross your path weak in the knees. Made with an exotic blend of clove, mandarin orange, jasmine, and labdanum — and that’s only a few ingredients — a single whiff will take you to the exotic destinations of your dreams. A spritz goes a long way, so tread lightly with this beauty. Save for special occasions, like an anniversary or a special date.

Promising review: “The perfume has a beautiful scent. It’s soft, sexy, smooth [and] woodsy, spicy and sweet. The combination is perfectly balanced to create a unique scent. [It] doesn’t smell like any other fragrance.”

Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Best aquatic perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Nordstrom, starting at $80

Why we like it:

  • 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Nordstrom
  • Light

There are many wonderful perfumes from Jo Malone, but Wood Sage & Sea Salt is exceedingly popular with Nordstrom shoppers. “It’s subtle and refreshing,” says one, describing the fragrance’s woodsy aquatic scent. The ambrette seeds in the top note give a musky quality, while the sea salt makes the scent profile ethereal. The sage isn’t overpowering; rather, it adds a subtle hint of green, which you’ll appreciate on days your nose needs a pick-me-up. Layer with other scents in the line or solo. You’ll smile every time.

Promising review: “This was my first purchase of a Jo Malone fragrance, and it won’t be my last… The best way to describe this is to imagine yourself at sunset, late October, watching the waves crash onto the beach. This scent is the cashmere shawl that you would want to wrap around your shoulders to softly warm you. It doesn’t get any better than this. Perfection.”

Dolce & Gabbana The One

Best perfume for older women with vanilla
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from QVC, $94

Why we like it:

  • Subtly sweet
  • Delicious dry down

A lot of people think Light Blue when they think of Dolce & Gabanna, but to be honest, I’ve never been impressed with the fruity floral, which has always smelled overly citrusy to me. Also, when I was in my twenties, every girl I knew wore it. Fine, but not a ringing endorsement for the best perfumes for older women list. In my opinion, Dolce Gabanna’s The One is a far better pick, especially for the 40-plus crowd. Its bright bergamot and Madonna lily are energizing, and lychee and peach give just the right dose of sweetness without smelling too teeny-bopperish. The base notes of amber, vanilla, and musk make it feel polished but approachable. It’s light enough for day, transitions to night well, and can be worn year round. I like to think of it as the blazer of perfumes — perfect for any occasions and a must for every ladies’ perfume wardrobe.

Clean Reserve Skin

Best clean perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Sephora, starting at $29

Why we like it:

  • Warm and fresh scent
  • Cruelty-free, vegan, and phthalate-free

Maybe you’re not into florals or cupcakes or heady vetiver. Maybe you’re more about smelling like your cleanest self with something extra. If so, you’ll love the entire Clean Reserve fragrance line but especially the perfume Skin. It’s mouthwatering — not in that baked apple pie sort of way, but in the fresh from the shower, I just did my laundry way. It’s soft, comforting, and a tad alluring, making it an ideal signature fragrance. Categorized as a floral musk, it’s a little spicy-sweet with notes of Copaiba oil and salted praline. It has musk within the chord, as well, but it’s not overpowering. This perfume is also marked clean by Sephora, which means that it doesn’t have phtalates or formaldehyde.

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum

Best gourmand perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Macy’s, starting at $130

Why we like it:

  • Sophisticated gourmand
  • Intense

For those who like Opium but find it a tad too mature, Black Opium is a welcome alternative. It’s sweeter with a note of vanilla, but also has white flowers and black coffee to round it out. The fragrance presents itself as light but watch out for the dry down — it’s powerful and yummy.

Clinique Happy Heart

Best affordable perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Macy’s, $69.60

Why we like it:

  • Long lasting
  • Playful but still grown-up
  • Light

There are a number of lovely, fresh fragrances that I enjoy, but I always come back to Clinique Happy Heart. Its first impression is juicy and tart with a sunny dry down. It’s not floral in the traditional sense, nor is it ultra sexy. What it is, however, is inviting — in a cottage-in-a-garden kind of way. Top notes of mandarin and cucumber give the perfume a youthful quality, but the water hyacinth, blondewood, and sandalwood add a sophisticated finish. One happy customer on Ulta who says they’re “super picky” about their scents has been wearing Clinique Happy Heart for 20 years, and still receives “a ton of compliments” on it.

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Vetiver Eau de Toilette

Best fresh perfume for women over 50
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Nordstrom, $155

Why we like it:

  • Refreshing
  • Wonderful for day

For the woman who loves an invigorating fragrance, the Nerolia Vetiver from Guerlain is sure to please. Its top notes of basil, petitgrain lemon, and bergamot are a treat for the senses — sort of like being teleported to an Italian beach. A blend of fig accord, orange blossom, and rose come forth, eventually giving way to base notes of neroli, white musks, and vetiver. Light and green, we see this perfume on a woman who loves travel, knows the art of not taking things too seriously, and is frequently found outdoors.

N°5 Eau de Parfum

Best classic perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Sephora, $140

Why we like it:

  • Iconic
  • Elegant

Is there a fragrance more iconic than Chanel No. 5? Probably not. Famously worn by Marilyn Monroe — who claimed to wear it in the buff at bedtime — the scent is the epitome of glamour. It’s powdery with splashes of jasmine, rose, and sandalwood for good measure. While I won’t say it’s for everyone, it will definitely spark nostalgia in more than a few people. The right woman for this scent is one wears pearls, kitten heels, and a classic Chanel jacket.

Dior J’adore Eau de Parfum

Best long-lasting perfume for women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Saks Fifth Avenue, starting at $100

Why we like it:

  • Warm floral
  • Sensual
  • Long-lasting

You’ve probably seen the commercials for this fragrance featuring Charlize Theron, and trust us — you’ll tap into your own golden goddess with a spritz of this. Dior J’adore Eau de Parfum is warm like an oriental fragrance, but filled with voluptuous florals like jasmine, Damascus rose, and ylang ylang. Although lots of happy customers on Sephora like it for day, it’s also wonderful for date night. A little goes a long way. Prepare for compliments.

Skylar Honeysuckle Dream Eau de Perfume

Best fruity floral perfume for older women
Best Perfumes For Older Women

Buy from Amazon, $90

Why we like it:

  • Eco-conscious
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fruity floral

Most of us go for warmer scents in winter. However, there is something to be said for the transportive nature of perfume and how wearing something fruity can take you to sunnier places when it’s grey out. Case in point, Honeysuckle Dream from Skylar. With its delicious pear leaves and bergamot scents, It’s exactly what you want to wear on an overcast day. Middle notes of honeysuckle and lily blend well with base notes of cashmere woods and amber, making a sensually playful scent that’s mature enough for sophisticated women.

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