Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2014

daffodil on yellow

Where I live, it’s as if we fell off a cliff from frosty mornings and rain-slicked trees into yellow tufts of daffodils. Chives spring up in clumps in the vegetable garden, and my plum tree is puffed with blossoms. Heck, that guy in accounting even shaved off his beard. No question about it: It’s spring.

For my top 10 of spring, I’m going to be perfectly frank about the perfume I’ll be wearing. I’m not going to force-fit recent releases to show you how on top of it I am or sprinkle in variety for the sake of a well-rounded post. No, I’m going to tell you exactly what favorites I’ll be dragging from the back of the perfume closet. Judge me as you may.

Guerlain Chamade: As soon as I smell daphne in the neighborhood, I go straight for my atomizer of Chamade Eau de Toilette or my precious decant of Parfum — or sometimes both. After all the leather, vanilla, wood, and incense of winter, I crave a thick floral. Roses and white or vaporous florals feel better when the weather is hot, so — as the next three fragrances on this list show — in spring I tend to go for velvet-weight yellow or pink florals, sometimes with a shot of fruit. Chamade is at the top of the list for its narcotic hyacinth with a mouthwatering touch of cassis.

Cartier Baiser Volé Parfum: I know lilies are summer flowers, but the depth and texture of Baiser Volé Parfum bring spring to mind. Plus, it’s so romantic, and you know what they say about spring fever and all.

Parfum de Nicolaï Le Temps d’Une Fête: I bought this one in Paris a few Aprils ago. The fragrance reminds me of a particular spring with good company, rain in the Luxembourg Gardens, and all those memories that by now I’ve whipped into a dreamy froth. Everyone should have a few fragrances like that, which is why I think perfume makes such a great souvenir.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville à l’Aube: A spring must-wear for me. First, after reading Denyse’s story of Holy Week in The Perfume Lover, I can’t think of the stretch leading up to Easter without smelling orange blossoms. Also, I first wore it in May in the Black Mountains in France, so the storms of spring interspersed with sun — the smells of dirt, old stone, ozone — come back with Seville à l’Aube (even though the fragrance doesn’t smell of any of these). 

Vintage Lanvin Eau Arpège: Since I’ve discovered this one, I keep a decant in an opaque atomizer on my dresser and spray it on at least once a day, it seems. It’s easy and warm and suits business meetings as well as putting in the garden’s peas and potatoes, and it’s quiet enough to layer over.

Chloé L'Eau de Chloé: Spring will bring a few hot days, and on those days I’ll preview summer with L'Eau de Chloé. It’s green, slightly retro vibes will be the perfect foil for the old cotton sundresses I'll be eager to wear but will have to pair with boots and thick cardigans.

Christian Dior Diorissimo: What would May Day be without Diorissimo? My lilies of the valley never seem to bloom by May Day, but I can count on Diorissimo to step in for them. The only question is, why don’t I wear this one more often?

Serge Lutens Chêne: I try to squeeze in one last fire in spring. (A pile of oak and alder wait next to the fireplace as I write.) But when I want the idea of fire but don’t want to feed one all evening, I’ll turn to Chêne.

Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse / Champagne: Yvresse is perfect for Easter dinner or any drizzly evening that could use an infusion of elegance. Really, though, I’ll be wearing Yvresse because I found a bottle at Goodwill, and I haven’t yet had enough of its delicious moss and nectarines. At night, a drop of Rochas Femme Extrait sets it off nicely.

My birthday perfume: My birthday falls in late April, and I’ll want to wear something special — probably a few different fragrances — throughout the day. What will they be? If Hermès Jour d’Hermès shows us at my house somehow (hmm) I’ll spray it on my pillows the night before and start the day with it. I might wear my last few drops of Jean Patou Joy Parfum then top it off in the afternoon with a waft of Xerjoff Ibitira if I’m feeling girly. Or I might wake up moodier and go with my beloved Xerjoff Irisss and give it an edge with dabs of Vero Profumo Onda in the evening. If I’m feeling outgoing and up to attempting “fascinating,” I’ll try some Pucci Zadig parfum. Amouage Jubilation 25 is always a contender.

What are some of your spring favorites? Tell us the fragrances you really wear in spring, and not just the spring-like fragrances you admire.

For more spring top 10 lists, see Bois de Jasmin :: Grain de Musc :: Perfume Posse :: The Non-Blonde

Note: top image is Home 329-5 [cropped] by D. Sharon Pruitt at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. bastet says:

    Angela, I love your list! I have also replaced my winter fragrances with a spring collection, including Vent Vert, Paris, Baiser Vole, No. 5 EP, PC Tuberose Gardenia, Violet Blonde, and the new Ivoire.

    I also want to thank you for reminding me of Arpege in your recent review. I have never tried the vintage, but after reading your review came across a beautiful black bottle of the new formulation for a very good price. It arrived in the mail yesterday and is fabulous! I can’t believe it is so inexpensive, it smells like a million bucks.

    • Angela says:

      Your list of spring fragrances sounds like May in a bottle! And congratulations on your new Arpege.

  2. Lucy says:

    Chamade is one of your favorite spring fragrances? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

    My spring favorites are Après L’Ondee and Jo Malone French Lime Blossom. Both are light and floral, yet so different. One for cheerful spring days and the other for the dreary ones.

    I’m hoping to wear one today. It’s not yet 9:00 am here in Chicago and its already 50 degrees and sunny! Of course there’s an outside chance of snow early Monday morning. Grrrr!

    • Angela says:

      Yes, Chamade! Keep ’em guessing, I always say….(yeah, right).

      One of the things I like most about spring is how unpredictable it is. It sounds like it might get up to 70 today for you–but snow on Monday? That’s wild.

  3. scentfromabove says:

    Nice article, Angela. This got me to thinking that I need to start differentiating my fragrances as well for Spring.
    What would my Spring Collection consist of:
    I will probably add to my collection “Jasmin Rouge” from Tom Ford and “Orange Blossom” from Jo Malone.

    • Angela says:

      Orange blossom is so wonderful for spring!

  4. Hey Angie! Chamade is definitely on my permanent spring list, or would be if I had the fresh batch of extrait I’ve been coveting… Thank you for giving some love to Séville à l’aube. My own spring favorites skew heavily to the new-or-not-even-out-yet end of the spectrum since that *is* basically what I’m wearing. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a few loves there (thinking of Vero Kern’s new Rosy or Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale in particular).

    • Angela says:

      I’m wearing Seville a l’aube right now, in fact! I always think of you when I wear it (which means I think of you a lot, by the way).

      I’m going to hop over to see your spring list. I have a feeling I’ll be adding quite a few new scents to my “must try” list.

  5. Suzy Q says:

    I love reading seasonal top ten lists! Here’s mine:

    Chamade pdt sprayed and extrait dabbed
    No. 5 edt
    No. 5 Eau Premiere
    Cruel Gardenia on cooler days
    Cristalle edp sprayed on bare arms so that it wafts in the breeze

    I love Seville a l’Aube best in the heat of summer!

    • Angela says:

      I could happily wear your list! I forgot about No. 5 Eau Premiere–what a good one for spring, and I adore Calandre, too.

  6. Bronyraur says:

    Great list, Angela! What is Spring without Chamade?

    Here are the ones I’ve pulled out the last few weeks –
    Guerlain AA Flora Nymphea for it’s unforgettable Honey and Orange Blossom
    Parfum de Nicolaï Le Temps d’Une Fête
    Commes des Garcons Luxe Champaca
    DSH Vert Pour Madame & Bancha
    Keiko Mecheri Osmanthus
    Carner Barcelona Rima XI (for my unsatiable craving for spice and wood..)

    Enjoy the seasons, everyone!

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes–Luxe Champaca! If I had a bottle of that one, I’d be wearing it a lot, too, these days.

  7. egabbert says:

    I only just recently, FINALLY tried Chamade. It’s so pretty!!!

    Spring is not my favorite fragrance season so I usually just wear whatever I want, but at this time of year I often crave violets (SSS Voile de Violette or even something vulgar like Insolence) or chypres (wore RL Safari for the first time in a long time yesterday and it was great!)

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, violets would be terrific in spring! I bet CdG Stephen Jones would really sing right now. RL Safari is a great choice, too–it’s so green.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Insolence! I need to go to Macy’s tomorrow and look for the tester. Sounds perfect!

      • Angela says:

        Such a good weight for spring, too–just meaty enough to stand up to cool mornings.

    • MikasMinion says:

      Safari! I must go dig it out. Thanks for the reminder.

      • Angela says:

        I admit that I’d forgotten about it, too! I’ll definitely finish off my decant before summer.

    • platinum14 says:

      Years ago, I used to buy magazines just to be able to smell the Safari sample strip. Safari and Pure Turquoise too.

      • Angela says:

        But you never bought any of your own?

        • platinum14 says:

          Yet… I haven’t bought any yet. It’s on the to-buy list! Lol

      • egabbert says:

        Those ads are burned in my brain! I got my bottle very cheaply a few years ago and it still smells great. Tons of galbanum.

        • Angela says:

          I remember that at one point you could pick it up at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for a steal.

    • mals86 says:

      I first tried Safari from a mini parfum bottle 3-4 years ago, and was disappointed at how SWEET it got in the drydown… but it seems that the parfum is particularly prone to that. I loved it up to that point, so just recently I bought a partial bottle of the EdC on ebay for cheapish (<$15). I hear that's a little drier, not as sweet.

      Chamade does that twisty-turny thing from Green to Floral to Woody-vanilla, such a morpher.

      • Angela says:

        It really does morph, and that’s one of the things I love about it!

    • bookwyrmsmith says:

      If you love RL Safari try getting some Pecksniff’s Orange Blossom and Tuberose . I smelled the hand soap at Tj Maxx recently and finally remembered what it reminded me of – Safari. Only problem is that the OB& T is one of the limited edition scents .

      • Angela says:

        Thanks for the tip!

  8. platinum14 says:

    Nice list Angela!
    I love spring fragrances! I have an entire shelf of fragrances dedicated to spring/early summer. It’s the perfect time between the deep freeze and the revolting heat of summer (I’m not a summer person).
    I am not usually a fan of vetiver but, come spring, some vetiver enters my rotation. Be it Coeur de Vetiver Sacré, Infusion de Vetiver, or my frennemy Guerlain’s Vetiver they have a plave of choice.
    Perles de Lalique, Balmain de Balmain, L’Artisan Black, Krizia Uomo and Parfum d’Homme de Montana are usually also involved

    • platinum14 says:

      … and this year I’ve added Vent Vert to my collection.

      • Angela says:

        Such a good one for summer, too. I have a few ml of Vent Vert parfum, and I cherish it.

        • platinum14 says:

          In spring it still reads as a unisex frag. In the heat of summer, I’m not sure that I could get away with it. I’ll see…

          • Angela says:

            Oh yes, it definitely needs a try!

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, vetiver! Thanks to these comments, I could probably add another 20 fragrances to my spring list. Vetiver, violet, champaca, osmanthus–how could I forget these?

  9. trixiesweet says:

    Where you live sounds wonderful!
    Where I live (Greece), spring last around two weeks – ok, I am exaggerating slightly, but it does get hot very quickly.
    I will be wearing:
    Le Temps d’une Fete
    L’Ombre dand l’Eau
    Molinard de Molinard (wearing this now) and
    Diorissimo, of course.
    Oh, and La Chasse of Papillons, maybe.

    • trixiesweet says:

      That would be La Chasse *aux* Papillons! Sorry!

      • Angela says:

        No apologies necessary!

    • Angela says:

      Only two weeks! You’ll have to wear a couple different fragrances a day, then.

  10. thegoddessrena says:

    I will continue wearing Santal Exotique until it is no longer cool in the mornings. Pretty Machine is my favorite spring perfume, but Opardu, After My Own Heart, Lilas et Narcisse, Or et Noir and Green will all get some skin time

    • Angela says:

      Thank you for suggesting new fragrances for me to try! (As if I needed more of them! But I love the sound of them. Pretty Machine? Irresistible name.)

  11. jirish says:

    Spring is very precarious in Chicago, and doesn’t seem to last very long. As a result, other than Chamade, I don’t really have scents that I strongly associate with the season. But others I think work well with these brief days include Fleurs de Sel (which I wear today), Osmanthus Interdite, Zeta, and Cuir Ottoman. I love that you continue to wear Chene. Such a wonderful scent, and I think you’ve inspired me to light a fire this weekend.

    • Angela says:

      There’s something luxurious about a fire in spring, I think. Sure, a fire makes sense in winter and fall, but in spring when there’s a nip in the air, it’s extra special.

  12. MikasMinion says:

    I am making the rounds of spring fragrances blog comments today and each time I post I think of something to add.
    Mentioned in other posts: CBIHP Under the Arbor, No. 19, various moderately uninteresting fruity florals.
    Also: Narcisso Rodriguez body cream (I can’t rock the EDP or EDT but the lotion works for me), Do Son, Balmy Days and Sundays, Stella, some of the long discontinued Fresh soliflores.

    • Angela says:

      Scented body cream can be such a great way to wear fragrance. Plus, it’s a lot easier sometimes than finding an unscented lotion to go with your perfume!

      Stella is such a classic.

  13. nozknoz says:

    Seville a l’Aube – I wear it all year, and more often lately; it took me a while to remember that this is the time of year that inspired it. Have also been wearing Jacomo Silences and deciding this is the best time for it. Testing old vintage perfumes on cooler days. Still wearing Amouage Beloved often – have worn it more than any other single perfume since I got it. I’ve been wearing several of the others you mention, too, and will try to sample the new Volé and Chloe when I get a chance. I think I have a mini of Zadig somewhere, too. Thanks for a great spring list!

    • Angela says:

      Beloved is such a tender fragrance. Not tender as in “shrinking violet,” but emotionally tender. It would be wonderful in spring, I bet.

      Silences is another one I forget about, but it’s so nice.

  14. happy888cat says:

    Spring is a lovely time of year and I tend to go for something that is still sweet and gourmand but not too “warm” for the weather.
    – L’artisan : Bois Farine, Jour de Fete
    – Elie Saab : L’eau Couture
    – Tom Ford : Fleur de Chine
    – Estee Lauder : Pure White Linen, Pleasures Intense
    – Hermes : Vetiver Tonka, Osmanthus Yunnan
    – Sergu Lutens : Rahat Loukoum
    To name a few! :)

    • Angela says:

      There’s a good range of fragrances on your list–I can practically smell them as I read their names!

  15. sweetgrass says:

    I start wanting greener scents in spring, like Chanel No.19, Silences, Bas de Soie, Paco Rabanne Metal, Niki de Saint Phalle.

    I also sometimes get a craving for gardenias too, since I’ll be smelling them blooming every time I go to the grocery store. I haven’t started seeing them in front of the stores much yet, but I’m sure it will happen soon. I’m wearing Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia today, so there you go.

    • sweetgrass says:

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention the lindens. I just got a decant of Tauer Zeta that is perfect for right now, and I have a decant of Pretty Machine on the way.

      • Angela says:

        Yes! Linden! I do love that smell, too.

    • Angela says:

      Bas de Soie is so nice in spring. I’m glad you brought it up!

    • platinum14 says:

      Nikki de Saint Phalle is great. K de Krizia is also great

      • sweetgrass says:

        I haven’t tried K de Krizia. Need to look it up.

    • irisfreak says:

      I know what you mean about the gardenia craving right now. It just get too heavy and cloying in summer for me. The other day I found a bottle I forgot of Yves Rocher Gardenia – just the straight no-frills soliflore scent that comes as close to anything I’ve ever smelled to a really fresh gardenia from the florist’s fridge.

      • Angela says:

        Yves Rocher has some great fragrances. Maybe they’re not always wildly imaginative, but often they’re solid–and relatively inexpensive. I bet that gardenia is wonderful.

  16. mals86 says:

    I have all my greenies out (Chamade, Crown Bouquet, Silences, No. 19, Le Temps d’une Fete), as well as my violets (Penhaligon’s) and my lilac (DSH White Lilac, and a tiny bit of Vacances), as well as Smell Bent Florist’s Fridge (lots of hyacinth).

    Cuir de Lancome and Jolie Madame for those gray, windy, rainy spring days, as well.

    Am anxiously awaiting my decant of DelRae Wit. It is GORGEOUS.

    • Angela says:

      You’re killing me on the DelRae Wit! I haven’t even heard of it, but the line has a lot of winners for me, so this one is a must-sample.

      • mals86 says:

        Based on daphne, which I’m not entirely sure I’ve smelled. Gorgeous anyway.

        • Angela says:

          We have lots of daphne around here, and it’s divine–a real harbinger of better weather.

    • bookwyrmsmith says:

      Somehow I just don’t seem to get on board with the Cuir de Lancôme love . I smell it ,it’s nice, good quality …..but somehow it feels like its half a fragrance . CK Obsession ( f) to be exact. Sorta like how the Stella fragrance did that Stella in Two : Peony, and Amber? It feels like CK Obsession has four main elements : herbal,spice,amber,and vanilla . Cuir de Lancôme smells to me as if it had the herbal and amber aspects of Obsession . Personally it’s name also makes me think of wanting a leather and I don’t get any from Cuir,or from Kelly Caleche ( though I really like it as a floral) I guess I prefer my leather a bit more hardcore: Aramis or Cabochard or Azuree .
      Cuir de Lancôme is a nice choice for a springtime herbal amber ,but as it doesn’t move me I’m considering moving it along .

      • Angela says:

        There really are so many different feels of leather out there. For those who love a good, oily saddle leather, Cuir de Lancome won’t cut it.

      • mals86 says:

        Yes, move it along! If you’re a Cabochard/Azuree fan CdL is not your kind of thing. (Whereas to me, Azuree smells like urine. Heh. :) )

        Must object to the “half of CK Obsession,” though, because I absolutely despise that stuff. Avoid it like the freakin PLAGUE. Cuir de Lancome is quite floral, comparatively.

  17. zara says:

    Temps d’une Fete? definitely! I love the crispy hyacinth smell. I’d also add F. Malle En Passant (lilac) & A. Goutal Chevrefeuille (honeysuckle).

    • Angela says:

      Great additions to the list!

  18. annemarie says:

    I’ve just bought 30mls of YSL’s classic Y, and although it’s autumn here, as a green floral chypre I think Y would work well in spring. With notes of peach and plum as well, perhaps Y is a more reserved older sister to Yvresse?

    The Y lady is not as haughty as, say, the Caleche lady though. Or as daring as the Miss Dior lady. Great company though. Imagine sitting down to lunch with this lot!

    • Angela says:

      I adore Y and have a bottle of the EdT as well as a decant of the extrait. When I wear it, it never calls attention to itself, but it’s a mood bolsterer all the same.

    • bookwyrmsmith says:

      I sometimes layer Y or Miss Dior with BBW JC Blossom body mist to sweeten it just a bit . The oak moss and sandalwood tie the pairing fairly well. Probably something like my pairing would have made a nice Miss Dior eau Premiere type thing rather than the Cherie name takeover.

      • Angela says:

        Oh Miss Dior Eau Premiere is a good idea! Why didn’t they go greener instead of sweeter?

  19. Cybele says:

    Favorites for spring are Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle, OJ Frangipani, Gucci Envy, Stella McCartney Lily, Rose Comme des Garcons and Hermessence Rose Ikebana

    • Angela says:

      I think you just assembled a fabulous garden of fragrance!

  20. platinum14 says:

    Years ago, I bought Hermes’ Amazone for my mom. She still wears it. That too is a great possible spring scent.

  21. bookgirl says:

    MDCI Parfums Un Coeur en Mai is a knockout spring fragrance. Practically perfect in every way.

    So you’re a Taurus! Happy early birthday, my fellow earth sign! :-)

    • Angela says:

      Un Coeur en Mai really is terrific for spring. It’s always reminded me a bit of Chamade, in fact.

      I’m an Aries, but less than two hours from being a Taurus. I hope I have some of Taurus’s earthy good sense and appreciation of beauty, though!

      • bookgirl says:

        Naturally you do, my dear! To me, you have Taurus written all over you. :-)

        You’re just like little Prince George who was born in the final hours of Cancer. Who knew? Astrology can be fascinating, no?

        • Angela says:

          It is fascinating–for lots of reasons.

  22. Dawn says:

    I keep meaning to get a decant of Chamade to try but it keeps falling off my radar because looking at all the notes, it sounds like it would smell exactly like Deneuve. Deneuve is one of my spring/summer scents along with Chanel no. 19 in EDP form. I’m just happy that I can now bust out the Giulietta and start wearing it. Mitsouko is a great spring scent for me along with L’Heure Bleue and Une Rose Vermille.

    • Angela says:

      Where the heck did you get some Deneuve? Treasure it!

      It looks like you lean toward classically beautiful fragrances. If you get the chance to try Chamade, you might really like it.

      • Dawn says:

        I managed to score a mini EDT through a swap and then finally decided to swallow my fear and get two reasonably priced bottles of Deneuve on E-bay. I do kind of lean to the classics because they are classics for a reason. But I’ve recently started to really like Andy Tauer’s work and Amouage Dia for women is great for spring even though I love to wear Amouage Lyric in 90 degree heat!

        • Angela says:

          Great scores on the Deneuve, and to me, Dia is a classic!

        • mals86 says:

          Deneuve is GORGEOUS, isn’t it? Chamade is not much like it, except for maybe 20 minutes up top… I’m guessing you might enjoy Chamade.

  23. irisfreak says:

    I’ll be anticipating May with lilacs and wearing Ineke’s After My Own Heart. Also Osmanthus Interdite and Gucci Envy. Chanel No. 19 Poudre – maybe because the juice is that pretty green – is my fave for this season.

    • Angela says:

      Lilacs are blooming early here this year, and I just cut some for the house–heaven!

      • irisfreak says:

        Oo and I forgot – Balenciaga Paris is a divine spring scent.
        And…of course…anything iris.

        • Angela says:

          As a spring iris, I love Mythique! Other people have mention Chanel No. 19, too. I bet you have lots of favorites, with an internet handle like yours…

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