When searching for a scent that’ll leave a lasting impression, it’s easy to reach for standout scents like Chanel No.5, Dior Sauvage or Alien by Mugler that rely on deep and decadent formulations. However, there’s something to be said about the soft, unspoken charm of subtle perfumes that make a statement in their own way. So, if you’re in the market for a signature scent with an effortless allure, we’ve lined up the best subtle perfumes just for you!
What does subtle perfume mean?
Subtle perfumes are soft, inobtrusive scents that are designed to enhance the wearer’s natural scent rather than covering it. Commonly featuring notes like musk, cotton, lily of the valley, vanilla and soft woods, subtle perfumes can range from ‘skin-like’ to light and airy, all the way to warm and sensual.
How potent are subtle perfumes?
It’s no secret that perfume is a great way to leave a lasting impression, which is why fragrances with a high concentration of oils (think Parfum and Eau de Parfum, as opposed to Eau de Toilette and Eau Fraiche) are often favoured for their potency and longevity. While you can find subtle perfumes available as a Parfum, Eau de Toilettes are considerably softer and lighter, making them the perfect option for everyday wear.
Top 10 best subtle perfumes at The Perfume Shop
Omnia Crystalline by BVLGARI
Making a subtle statement has never been easier thanks to the comforting charm of Omnia Crystalline by BVLGARI. With dreamy notes of lotus flower and Nashi pear drifting into a creamy balsa wood base, this scent delights the senses without overpowering them – a definite winner in our books.
Boss Femme by Hugo Boss
When you think of Hugo Boss scents, chances are the words ‘powerful’ and ‘potent’ spring to mind, however, Boss Femme defies expectations by serving up a fresh, and exciting take on a traditional floral fragrance. With juicy citrus top notes and soft florals melting into a musky base, there’s no wondering why Boss Femme has made it into our best subtle perfumes line-up.
212 by Carolina Herrera
Who said subtle perfumes can’t be packed with personality? Certainly not Carolina Herrera! The intriguing and oh-so-inviting formula of 212 bursts onto the scene with a blend of orange leaves, rum and white flowers. All it takes is one spritz, and you’ll be transported to a tropical oasis – no plane ticket necessary.
Valentina For Her by Valentino
For those looking to embrace their inner romantic, I think we’ve found your new love potion. Valentina For Her by Valentino is softly sensual thanks to the entrancing blend of amber, jasmine sambac and orange blossom. This is one of those subtle floral perfumes that will invite compliment after compliment – don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Signature by Chloé
When it comes to the best subtle perfume for ladies, it’s no surprise that a Chloé fragrance got the call-up. True to the Chloé brand, Signature offers a clean and fresh fragrance profile with notes of lychee, rose and freesia taking centre stage. However, it’s not long before an undercurrent of amber and cedarwood sweep in to give this scent an unexpected, earthy edge.
Infusion d’Iris by Prada
As far as subtle floral perfumes go, Infusion d’Iris by Prada is pretty much the crème de la crème. With light and airy notes of iris and Tunisian neroli mingling with a gentle hum of cedarwood, this sublime scent wouldn’t be out of place whether you spritzed before a countryside stroll or a candlelit dinner at the water’s edge.
Happy by Clinique
Happy by Clinique is a subtle perfume for ladies that are one click away from booking their next exotic escape. While boasting a bouquet of light and bright florals (think orange blossom, lily and mimosa blossoms) this scent still retains the sensual qualities you’d expect from a traditional floral scent. Don’t believe us? You’ll have to try it for yourself!
L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake
While some aquatic scents encapsulate the strength and ferocity of the ocean, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake embodies the tranquillity of a lake that’s been heated from a sunshine-soaked summer. You’ll find crisp notes of mandarin, clary sage and verbena tickle the senses before giving way to a musk and vetiver base. One of the best subtle perfumes? We think so!
Acqua di Gio by Armani
Are you spending (or dreaming of) summer in Sicily? Say hello to your new staple scent. Acqua dio Gio from Armani delivers a masterclass in subtle perfumery with its expert blend of citrus fruits, refreshing marine notes and a musky base. The best part? You’ll be getting compliments from sunrise to sunset.
Burberry Weekend For Men by Burberry
Burberry Weekend For Men bottles up blissful memories of summers gone by with its sparkling blend of lemon, tangerine and grapefruit coupled with the sunny radiance of an amber, honey and musk base. Trust us, you’ll be reaching for this scent every time the sun peaks out from behind the clouds – summer or not!
Brush up on your fragrance knowledge!
Read all about the best fresh-smelling scents at The Perfume Shop
ABOUT ROSA MORELL
Rosa is a creative copywriter who has been writing about luxury beauty, fragrance and her personal interest, sustainable fashion, for over two years. When she’s not hunting in her local charity shops for vintage homeware, she’s testing out the latest beauty trends. Her favourite perfume? Chance by CHANEL.