There seems to be a belief that at a certain age you should stop wearing certain fragrances when really it’s your life and you should wear whatever you feel suits you and makes you happy.
What is the best perfume for older women?
The ideal perfume for older women is one that’s not too girly sweet and sugary. A fragrance with a sophisticated soapy or powdery smell absolutely suits the older generation but doesn’t have to be one that deserves the name ‘old ladies perfume’.
Perfumes seem to be marketed at the younger generations leaving older women unsure of what to wear. Ultimately, what makes a perfume best for an older woman is subjective and, of course, it doesn’t have to be one particular type – it just has to suit the wearer’s tastes and personality.
The ideal way to choose a perfume is to take a trip to your favorite store with a trusted friend to give you a second opinion on any you try.
For this article, we have selected popular and iconic perfumes with a range of profiles and prices that will definitely suit mature women.
At a glance: Our Top Perfume Recommendations for Older Women
Our recommended perfumes at a glance. Full reviews follow.
|Perfume||House||Scent family||Amazon Rating *|
|The One||Dolce & Gabanna||Floral Oriental||4.6|
|Mon Guerlain||Guerlain||Woody Oriental||4.4|
|La Vie Est Belle||Lancome||Oriental||4.7|
|L’Air du Temps||Nina Ricci||Floral||4.4|
|Rive Gauche||Yves Saint Laurent||Floral Aldehydic||4.4|
|Oscar||Oscar de la Renta||Floral||4.4|
|Youth Dew||Estee Lauder||Oriental||4.6|
|Opium||Yves Saint Laurent||Oriental||4.6|
* Amazon ratings are subject to change
The 10 best perfumes for older women in 2020
1. Dolce & Gabbana The One EDP
The One by Dolce & Gabbana is a modern take on a classic oriental floral, combining fruit and a classic white flower palette. It’s a beautiful perfume that can be worn day or night.
When you first apply it, you’ll notice a zesty and sweet fruity smell that comes from a combination of mandarin, bergamot, sweet peach, and lychee.
The heart of this fragrance is intense and feminine with a mix of Madonna Lily, plum, and jasmine.
Warm notes of vanilla, amber, and musk make up the beautiful and sensual base of this modern take of a classic floral scent.
There’s a powderiness in the base notes of this perfume that give it a grown-up and sophisticated feel. No woman should be afraid to wear Dolce & Gabbana The One no matter what age she is. It really can be worn by the young or old.
2. Giorgio Armani Code EDP
Armani Code for Women is a sophisticated scent that is versatile enough to wear from day to night and is appropriate for a woman of any age.
The initial aroma is of orange blossom and ginger, followed by jasmine and seringa flower. The long-lasting base is a mix of lavender, honey, sandalwood, and vanilla.
Though The One is classed as a floral perfume, it’s neither too feminine, too floral nor too sweet. The honey in the base, it’s apparent amongst the orange blossom scent as soon as you apply this fragrance.
This is a lovely feminine floral a mature woman can confidently wear without fear of feeling too girly.
3. Mon Guerlain EDP
Mon Guerlain is a wonderful infusion of French lavender, Sambac Jasmine, Sandalwood, and Vanilla. It comes in an iconic bottle that has been used by Guerlain since 1908.
It opens with a hint of bergamot and a beautiful fresh lavender aroma. This is underpinned by a warm, sensual sandalwood and vanilla base.
It’s a beautifully feminine sweet gourmand perfume that is truly delicious to wear. The lavender gives this fragrance a timeless, classic feel that’s grown-up and mature but in no way granny-ish.
4. Lancome La Vie Est Belle EDP
La Vie Est Belle translates to life is beautiful and just as this is true at any age, this perfume can be worn by a woman of any age.
This Lancome classic opens with a fruity note of blackcurrant and pear. The heart is a floral combination of iris, jasmine, and orange blossom. It dries down to a base of patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla, and praline.
La Vie Est Belle is a fruity oriental fragrance. The vanilla and sweet praline give it an almost edible aroma whilst the iris make it oh so elegant and classy. It’s a perfume any older woman can rightfully wear.
5. Guerlain Mitsouko EDP
I own this Guerlain classic, Mitsouko and my mother, who is in her 70s wears it too, so I’m happy to say it’s perfect for older women.
Mitsouko is a fruity chypre fragrance that debuted in the early 20th Century. It has undergone many reformulations and today is an alluring mix of peach and jasmine that dries down to a long-lasting base of cinnamon and vetiver.
The top note is fruity and is made up of peach, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, and neroli. The middle note is very flora, combining lilac, rose, yang ylang, and jasmine. The rich base is a complex combination of cinnamon, vetiver, amber, oakmoss, patchouli, and cedar.
Mitsouko is definitely a perfume that suits older rather than younger women. It creates a mature and grown-up, long-lasting impression. It is also surprisingly strong so use it sparingly!
6. Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps EDP
L’Air du Temps is a classic and possibly one of the world’s most recognizable perfumes. The name translates to ‘the air of time’ which basically means fashionable at the moment. This perfume is definitely timeless.
It was created post World War II and was designed to inject femininity and romance back into women’s lives which it does via its array of beautiful ingredients.
It’s classed as a floral fragrance and it’s obvious why when you see the fragrance notes:
- Top Notes: rose, peach, carnation, neroli.
- Middle notes: gardenia, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, orchid, lily, orris.
- Base notes: ambergris, musk, vetiver, benzoin, cedarwood, sandalwood, cardamom.
L’Air du Temps has a powdery scent that will forever remind me of my very glamorous grandmother and is a perfume any older woman can gracefully and confidently wear.
7. Yves Saint Laurent rive gauche EDT
I have a soft spot for Rive Gauche as it’s the first perfume I ever owned. An older, beautiful, sophisticated family friend used to wear it and I wanted to replicate her!
Rive Gauche means left bank of the river and alluded to the left bank of the River Seine in Paris, an area that was quite hip and boho in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It is a beautifully soapy, flowery fragrance with top notes of aldehydes, bergamot, and peach; middle notes of rose, jasmine, geranium, lily of the valley, orris, and ylang-ylang; base notes of vetiver, tonka bean, sandalwood, moss, musk, and amber.
For me, Rive Gauche is nostalgic and I can’t resist sampling it whenever I see it. Its floral, soapy note makes it very wearable for women of an older generation.
8. Oscar de la Renta
We’re on to another of my favorite perfumes of which I still own a bottle today: Oscar by Oscar de la Renta.
Oscar is a beautiful timeless classic floral perfume created in 1977. It has an abundance of ingredients that give it a strong, powdery floral aroma with a spicy edge.
There are so many fragrance notes and I honestly can’t single out any (I’m smelling it as I write this) but together they make Oscar a truly unique and expensive-smelling perfume.
In case you’re interested, apparently, Oscar contains:
- Top notes: Bergamot, Clove, Coriander, Cascarilla, Basil, Peach, Gardenia
- Middle notes: Iris, Jasmine, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang, May Rose, Lavender, Orchid, Broom, Lily of the valley, Galbanum, Honey
- Base notes: Clove, Sandalwood, Amber, Myrrh, Patchouli, Opopanox, Vetiver, Castoreum, Oakmoss, Cedarwood, Musk, Ambergris
I do feel Oscar is classy, powdery, and flowery, so for this reason, I say it would suit women in their later years rather than younger ladies.
9. Estee Lauder Youth Dew
Estée Lauder Youth Dew is a 1950s classic worn by several of my glamorous aunts in their senior years.
It has fragrance notes of orange, bergamot, peach, aldehydes, clove, cinnamon, mimosa, rose, ylang-ylang, orchid, jasmine, frankincense, amber, vanilla, tolu, benzoin, oakmoss, musk, patchouli, and vetiver.
The aldehydes give Youth Dew that classic soapy fragrance that really suits older perfume wearers. It’s a timeless classic that really has stood the test of time.
10. Yves Saint Laurent Opium EDT
Funnily enough, though I’m recommending this perfume for older women, it’s one I chose as an 18th birthday present! I haven’t worn it for quite a while but every time I smell it I’m catapulted back to that era.
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent is not a shy fragrance by any stretch. It’s a powerful oriental scent to be worn by someone who likes to make a statement. It’s definitely better for evening wear.
The fragrance notes of Opium are many:
- Top notes: Bergamot, Plum, Mandarin, Clove, Coriander, Pepper, Bay
- Middle notes: Lily of the Valley, Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Myrrh, Cinnamon, Peach
- Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Frankincense, Cedar, Musk, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Vetiver
The notes I love in Opium are plum, lily of the valley, and spicy cinnamon. This flowery spicy oriental perfume is voluptuous and decadent and would suit confident older women who know they still have the right to wear whatever they like and be noticed.
The best perfume for older women – Conclusion
There is absolutely no reason for older women to rule out any particular perfumes – age is, after all, just a number. If you love a particular perfume, it doesn’t matter if you’re age 60, over or under – just wear it! I hope you find one in this top 10 to love.