To adequately test perfumes, I decided to ask my fellow editors to give all 24 fragrances a smell test with me. I wanted to ensure brand loyalty wouldn’t get in the way, so I covered the bottles and numbered each perfume to allow unbiased testing. In a questionnaire, I put numbers one through 10 under every fragrance so people could circle the number they think a fragrance deserves, with 10 being the highest option.
From there, we all got together and sprayed some fragrances, sniffing coffee beans between each scent to refresh our senses. After every scent, I gave each editor time to figure out their thoughts on each fragrance, tell me what they thought it smelled like, and rate it before I revealed the fragrance name. With so many iconic fragrances in our midsts, a lot of people were shocked by the outcomes. I won’t name names, but one of the most consistently popular fragrances on nearly every best-of list got a one out of 10, while some of our highest rankers were fairly unknown.
After testing in a group, I assigned each editor fragrances to take on a test run. I asked them if they could wear each fragrance for at least a day and report back to me on longevity, skin scent, compliments received, and how they would describe each fragrance after wearing it.
Keep in mind when looking at these numbers that these fragrances were tested by nine extremely picky editors who have very high standards when it comes to fragrance—and different tastes. The average score of the 24 fragrances we tested was a 5.8. With that in mind, the following fragrances soared above the rest.