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Picking a Perfume in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

Picking a Perfume in 2021: The Ultimate Guide
Fragrance Direct Blog
Writer and expert3 years ago
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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.

Discover Valentino Voce Viva here.

2. GIVENCHY L’Interdit Intense

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.

Discover Giorgio Armani My Way here.

5. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

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.

Discover Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male here.

6. Chloé Signature Rose Tangerine

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!


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.

Discover HUGO BOSS ALIVE here.

8. Yves Saint Laurent Libre Intense

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.

Discover YSL Libre Intense here.

9. Issey Miyake Fusion D’Issey

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
  • Mugler Angel
  • DKNY Original
  • 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
  • Creed Aventus
  • Calvin Klein CK One
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
  • Calvin Klein Obsession
  • Davidoff Cool Water
  • Dior Sauvage
  • Burberry Brit

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!

Thank you for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Come and take a look at the incredible fragrance and beauty brands we stock!

Fragrance Direct Blog
Writer and expert
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