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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Woodsy perfumes have a loyal following in the fragrance world. They have a reputation for being mostly for men, but this is far from the truth. There are many explicitly feminine woodsy scents and many others that are suitable for anyone to wear.

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The Woodsy fragrance family comprises of the Mossy Woods sub-family – with rainy and earthy forest aromas, and the Dry Woods sub-family – with more smoky and smouldering aromas. Since woodsy fragrances are tremendously varied, you are likely to find one that suits your tastes and body chemistry.

Our Top 9 Woodsy Fragrances Picks

Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Fruit-forward Fragrance

Fruity notes pair deliciously with woodsy ones, especially in high-quality fragrances like Dsquared2 Red Wood – one of the best woody perfumes for her. 

Juicy cranberry dances with feisty pink pepper before giving way to a wash of magnolia, rose, and litchi. Cedar, amberwood, and musk form the woodsy base.

Fragrance fans agree that this is one of the best woody spicy perfumes for her with a fruit-forward scent.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

PROS: Versatile; can be worn in spring, summer, and fall

CONS: Some find fruity scents childlike

  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Average
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Daytime, everyday wear
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Woody Fragrance With Floral Notes

Launched in 2014, Narcisco Rodriguez for Her is one of our favorite woodsy fragrances due to its complex blend of delicate white florals and musky undertones. Compared to other woody floral perfumes for her, this is a heady, attention-grabbing scent – much better suited to special occasions than office wear.

PROS: Elegant and memorable, great value for the price

CONS: Too strong for close quarters

  • Sillage: Outstanding
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Date night, special occasions
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best for the Speakeasy

If your guy sports a roaring 20s fashion aesthetic and you want to find the perfect woody perfumes for him, give Sweet Tobacco Spirits by 18.21 Man Made a try. 

This Prohibition-inspired fragrance combines notes of warm woods and exotic fruits with musk, tonka, and red wine to create an intoxicating blend fit for a night at the jazz club. It is best for cold weather.

PROS: Sexy scent that is sure to garner compliments

CONS: Some find it too sweet; the sprayer nozzle may be faulty

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Date night, special occasions in fall or winter
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best for Daytime

Enduringly popular among woody floral perfumes for her, Aromatics Elixir by Clinique was first launched in 1971. It is a timeless and elegant blend of sage, coriander, jasmine, and patchouli, and last but not least, oakmoss of course.

Beautiful oakmoss belongs to the Mossy Woods fragrance sub-family. Unfortunately, it was shown to be an allergen, and so the industry’s international trade association severely restricted its use.

If your lady prefers exotic or dramatic scents for nighttime wear, this may not be one of the best woody spicy perfumes for her.

PROS: High-quality and arresting scent

CONS: May smell dated or old-fashioned to some

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Outstanding
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Daytime, especially in fall and winter
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best for an Adventurous Spirit

Caswell-Massey’s Yellowstone Living Florals collection is inspired by the unique landscapes and florals of one of America’s most beloved national parks, and Tower Fall is one of our favorite woodsy, musky perfumes in the lineup.

Launched in 2019, this unisex fragrance blends rich pine and cedar with sage, violet, and phlox to create one of the best woody perfumes for her, him, or them.

PROS: Aromatic, complex, great value for the money

CONS: Some prefer a more feminine or masculine scent

  • Sillage: Moderate
  • Longevity: Good
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Daytime wear, day-to-evening
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Musky Woody Perfume for Her

Pierre Montale created and launched Montale Roses Musk by Montale in 2009. Rose and musk are the dominant players here, with the barest whisper of white florals floating in the background.

Fernweh Editions Candles

Compared to other woody floral perfumes for her, Roses Musk is strong on musk and light on powder, giving it a masculine edge.

PROS: Elegant and versatile

CONS: Some find it overpowering or aggressive

  • Sillage: Outstanding
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Outdoor brunch, day-to-evening, date night
  • Price: $$$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Women’s for Summer

As our only citrus contender, 2007’s Clean Shower Fresh by Clean is basically summer in a bottle. Top notes of orange, mandarin orange, and lemon dance across floral middles anchored by a musky, woody base.

Its sparkling citrus and soft florals make this a great choice for daytime; it is not likely to impress for special occasions.

PROS: Perfect for weekdays and warm weather

CONS: Not very versatile; might smell synthetic

  • Sillage: Average
  • Longevity: Good
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Daytime and office wear
  • Price: $$

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Men’s for Summer

Cremo released Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne Spray, their take on aftershave-inspired woody perfumes for him, in 2017. This scent is a simple marriage of lemon leaf, cypress, and cedar, a light yet masculine blend that wears like a dream in hot weather.

PROS: Almost universally liked

CONS: Very simple

  • Sillage: Moderate
  • Longevity: Average
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Daytime and warm weather
  • Price: $

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Woodsy Fragrances: Will You Like Them?

Best Cold-weather Fragrance

Highly complex and evocative, Raw Spirit Winter Oak was released in 2014 by Nomad Two Worlds. Dense, rich scents like clary sage, clove, musk, oakmoss, and Haitian vetiver make it one of the best woodsy, musky perfumes for winter wear.

If you are looking for a gift for someone who loves the great outdoors and eschews conventional scents, this is one of the best woody spicy perfumes for her or him.

PROS: Truly memorable and unique

CONS: Polarizing – people either love it or hate it

  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Scent potency/Appropriate for: Day-to-evening, date night
  • Price: $$$

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What Are the Most Common Notes in Woodsy Fragrances?

White florals like jasmine and magnolia are the most common top notes in a musky woody perfume for her. Rose is another popular floral note for woody scents since it pairs especially well with musk.

Oud-Perfume

The best woody spicy perfumes for her usually contain zingy herbs like sage, pepper, coriander, and clove. Frankincense and myrrh are rich and exotic Amber Woody aromas you will also find in this fragrance group.

Pine, cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli are the most common base notes in woodsy scents.

Final Thoughts

Woodsy, musky perfumes hold tremendous appeal for fragrance wearers of all genders. The scent profiles run the gamut from delicate, feminine florals to intense, masculine blends of dark wood and tobacco.

Whether you are looking to dominate the boardroom, impress a date, or unleash your inner flower child, woodsy fragrances are a great place to start.

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Writer

Selena Marc is a fragrance enthusiast, freelance writer, and dog mom living in Houston, Texas. When she's not writing about her favorite new perfumes, you can find her enjoying yoga or a morning hike.