One of fragrance’s most beloved qualities is its ability to project a mood. Many of us choose our perfumes based on how we’re feeling—or would like to feel—for that specific moment. Opting for something bright and citrusy on days when you spring out of bed, a woody blend when you need a confidence boost, or a grassy spritz for grounding. When you want to feel bold, however, no other olfactory category does the trick like an oriental scent. Orientals are the statement-makers of the fragrance world, mixing ingredients like amber, vanilla, and frankincense for a blend that’s sensual, addicting, strong, and irresistible. It’s impossible to wear one without making an impression. Oriental fragrances typically fall into three categories. Rich oriental, which are complex and seductive, florientals, which balance warm notes with soft flowers, and oriental soft, a version for those who prefer their perfumes on the fresher side. Scroll down to learn about some of our favorites.
The Palace Pick:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a fragrance ingredient that is as treasured, precious and inherently regal as oud. Royal Oud, which is inspired by Persian palaces decked out in marble, leather, woods and gold, elevates the agarwood-derived resin to particularly princely heights. Not usually a fan of smoky, animalic eaux? You may find that it’s softer and more refined than many ouds, combining light top notes of bergamot, lemon, and pinkberries, a heart of bitter galbanum and fresh cedar, and a bold base of oud, Tonkin musk, and cozy sandalwood.
The Irresistible Floriental:
Love in Black is sweet, velvety, and ultra-feminine—a perfume for chic well-traveled women who like to preserve a veil of mystery. The first thing you’ll smell is violet, as soft and precious as the best cashmere, and it’s blended with equally smooth and plush iris, a touch of spice from clove and clean-smelling musk. As you wear it, you’ll also pick up sweet blackcurrant and rose—still wet with dew and totally addicting. Together, these notes make for an alluring blend that’s at home in its striking, matte black bottle and on its effortlessly sophisticated wearers.
Very few fragrance notes are as inherently warm and creamy as sandalwood, and Original Santal’s use of the ingredient doesn’t disappoint. The scent, inspired by India, has a bold base of Mysore sandalwood, vanilla, amber, cedar and musk, and it’s blended with fiery elements like orange tree absolute, zesty Sicilian lemon and spicy Jamaican ginger. Herbal ingredients like peppermint, lavender and rosemary lend a cool edge. (Did we mention its gorgeous blood-orange bottle?) Mist it on before you leave the house and don’t be surprised when you turn heads.