If there’s one occasion you want to smell really special for, it’s your wedding. Not only do you want to smell great on the day of your marriage, you also want to maximize the powerful associations of memory that only fragrance can create.
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Without stating the obvious, it’s all about romance. And the good news is that there are so many different ways to interpret that idea, from the statement-making to the subtle.
Our Top Wedding Day Perfumes Picks for Women
We’ve compiled a mix of designer and niche options. A bride doesn’t need to spend a fortune to feel and smell special.
Where known, the name of the perfumer is included after the name of the perfume.
Our Top Pick: Creed Aventus For Women EDP
We’re going to start this round-up by being a little controversial. We all know the original Creed Aventus – probably one of the most successful niche fragrances of the last decade. But we love Creed Aventus For Her even more.
Its opening is deliciously fruity-citrus, with big notes of juicy apple and zesty Italian bergamot making a suitably expensive statement. The earthy Indonesian patchouli note just adds to the extravagant ambiance.
Fruit-filled Bulgarian and Turkish roses mingle with the creaminess of Indian sandalwood in the heart, while musk amplifies the sensuality of the composition.
There’s more fruit in the dry down, with sophisticated contrasts between sweet peach and sour black currant.
If this 2016 release doesn’t make you feel powerful and confident with this wedding day perfume, nothing will.
Pure Romance: Elie Saab Le Parfum In White EDP
Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian & Jerome Di Marino
Lebanese designer Elie Saab is revered for his gorgeous couture bridal wear. So it was just a matter of time before the luxury fashion brand produced a wedding-perfect fruity-floral-chypre fragrance.
Released in 2018, it’s a flanker to the phenomenally successful Le Parfum, which was originally launched in 2011.
Vibrant orange blossom and jasmine take center stage in this EDP, with black currant buds providing a slightly sour counterpoint.
The dry down sees patchouli, amber, and musk working together to create a thoroughly contemporary and chic scent.
It has a lovely creamy and dreamy quality throughout.
Best Light Scent: Floris Cherry Blossom EDP
After the opulent theatrics of Aventus Creed For Her, Floris Cherry Blossom goes the soft route. It’s a 2013 release from the London-based niche fragrance house that’s been in the biz for almost three centuries.
It begins in citrus mode with notes of orange and bergamot providing freshness, and pink pepper adding rosy spiciness.
Cherry blossom brings powdery sweetness to the mix, with semi-sweet cherry in support. Cherry can sometimes be a loud guest, but here it knows its place. A bouquet of peony, rose, and osmanthus notes keep it achingly feminine.
The base of sandalwood and musk concludes what is a very pretty fruity-floral package. It may be gentle, but it’s still full of character.
Best for an Outdoor Wedding: Oscar De La Renta Bella Rosa EDP
Perfumer: Harry Fremont
Like its predecessor, Oscar de la Renta Bella Blanca, Bella Rosa comes in one of the prettiest bottles in the biz. This 2018 release from the American luxury fashion brand is a beauty inside and out.
Where the original was all about white florals, the first flanker has a pink rose focus.
It begins with a fresh touch of mandarin orange and freesia. That freshness flows through to the soft and powdery pink rose heart, with jasmine in support.
Amber stands out in the dry down and is kept on the right side of sweetness by a note of patchouli.
It’s charming and very well crafted, which should come as no surprise, as it’s created by master perfumer Harry Fremont, who also produced the original.
Most Sexy: Nasomatto Narcotic V. Extrait De Parfum
Perfumer: Alessandro Gualtieri
From the cannabis-infused Black Afgano to the whiskey-licious Baraonda, maverick Italian perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri is renowned (some might say infamous) for his bold and uncompromising creations. Released in 2008, Narcotic V. is no exception.
Gualtieri describes it “as the result of a quest for the overwhelming addictive intensity of female sexual power”. He’s not indulging in hype.
Focusing on three white florals – jasmine, water lily and, in particular, tuberose – he makes the most of their intensity to create a scent that oozes animalic sexiness.
It’s sweet and intoxicating from start to finish and will ensure everyone remembers you on your special day.
Best for big, out-there personalities, you will only need a very light spray of this extrait de parfum to achieve the desired effect.
Best Minimalist: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Apom Pour Femme EDP
Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian
There’s a good reason why Maison Francis Kurkdjian epitomises the niche fragrance boom of the 2010s. The multi-talented perfumer has maintained a succession of top-quality releases since the house’s founding.
Launched in 2009, APOM (“a part of me”) is inspired by the idea of leaving a bit of yourself with others. It does exactly that with a deceptive simplicity that explores three key notes.
Orange flower from Tunisia sets the sunny scene with its fresh and sweet attributes.
A lavish, sophisticated and sweet treatment of ylang-ylang is the star of the show.
What could be floral sweetness overload is kept in check in the woody drydown, which features the freshness of cedar.
Best Woody: Hermetica Sandalsun EDP
Perfumer: Alienor Massenet
When a niche fragrance company is founded by the same people (John and Clara Molloy) who brought you Memo Paris, it deserves your attention.
Hermetica fragrances are noteworthy for being alcohol-free and making use of a patented technology called Innoscent. This hybrid combines synthetic molecules and natural ingredients. Interesting stuff, but what does Sandalsun smell like?
Launched in 2018, there’s no mistaking the almost gourmand-ish and woody character of the hazelnut molecule in the intro.
A big helping of vanilla affirms the EDP’s oriental profile, while sandalwood ups the creamy quotient.
It’s a sweet woody affair that’s both cozy and chic.
Best Eastern Influenced: Widian Black III
Perfumers: Ali Aljaberi & Jean Claude Astier
Founded by Ali Aljaberi in 2014, Abu Dhabi-based niche house Widian specializes in fragrances that fuse the best of the Middle Eastern and Western perfume traditions.
From the brand’s Black Collection, III typifies this approach with aplomb.
This 2015 release opens with the refreshing tones of citrus bergamot and green spearmint.
Things warm up within the heart of the EDP with the appearance of rich leather and wood notes.
The woody vibe continues through to the dry down, which balances the creamy aspects of sandalwood and vanilla with earthy oakmoss and patchouli.
It’s a luxurious fragrance that seamlessly blends contrasts into a cohesive whole that makes it perfect for your wedding day perfume.
Best Floral: Boucheron La Collection Iris De Syracuse EDP
Perfumer: Nathalie Lorson
High-end French jewelry brand Boucheron has capitalized on the private fragrance trend later than other companies. However, it has made up for lost time with La Collection, a range of unisex fragrances that epitomize quality, refinement, and luxury.
Unfortunately, it’s not available in the U.S. through Boucheron’s official channels, so do whatever you need to do to get your hands on this EDP.
Launched in 2017, Iris de Syracuse opens with delicate hints of mandarin, pear, and black pepper notes.
The iris concrete that follows is a superbly authentic and elegant interpretation, with sniff-me-again powderiness, that’s rounded off by notes of white musk and vanilla.
Best Unisex: Acqua Di Parma Note Di Colonia IV Eau De Cologne
Have we told you how much we love Acqua di Parma Note Colonia IV? Okay, we’re telling you now then. From one of the Italian niche brand’s lesser-known ranges, it’s a tribute to Puccini’s opera, Manon Lescaut.
The familiar Acqua di Parma citrus intro (notes of bergamot and mandarin) is toned down in this composition, making way for a fresh floral combo of orange blossom and Turkish rose notes.
Sweet myrrh and labdanum in the dry down give it a seductive oriental profile.
It nails elegance and smoothness in the way that Acqua di Parma excels at. It’s so beautiful you’ll want to wear it on your wedding day and night.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.