When you are purchasing a perfume for yourself or your loved ones, you will likely spend a lot of time considering the scent. Floral scents are the most popular among perfumes for females, but even male perfumes will make heavy use of certain floral fragrance notes.
On this page, we will take a look at the most popular floral scents. The chances are that if you are looking at perfume, it is going to include at least one or two of these scents.
As we go through the floral fragrance notes, we will give you a rough idea of what they smell like. Although, of course, there is only so much we can do on that front. We can’t tell you how the scent will work on you, nor how it will interact with other floral scents. Your best bet is to try them out yourself.
Most Popular Floral Scents:
When you think of roses, you can’t help but think of the most romantic of floral scents. It is no surprise that rose is among the most popular of flowers to include in a perfume.
Rose is very much a female-focused floral scent. You will rarely find these notes in a male perfume. It is meant to show off romance.
Rose boasts a beautiful combination of wood and fruity notes. While each rose may have a slightly different scent, it tends to be indistinguishable when it comes to perfume.
2. Jasmine (White Flowers)
Like a rose, jasmine can be found in a whole host of different perfumes. In fact, if a female perfume isn’t trying to work rose in there somehow, the chances are that it is trying to squeak a bit of jasmine in there.
Both of them give off a beautiful romantic fragrance, and they tend to be the sole domain of female perfumes. While jasmine still has a very flowery scent to it, some would describe jasmine as slightly muskier. It is much more alluring than many other flowery scents.
3. Water Lily
One of the interesting things about the water lily is that the fragrance can change based upon when it was picked. This means that perfumes that use water lily as one of the floral notes can smell drastically different from one another.
Most perfumes that use water lily will have an almost lemony scent to them. However, the water lily can cover the whole fruity spectrum. For example, later on in the water lily’s bloom, the scent can be closer to cherries.
It is rare that daisy will be the main floral fragrance in a perfume. This is because there isn’t really much going on with the daisy, even if the floral note is captured at the height of its bloom.
Daisy is a flower that is often used when a fragrance manufacturer wants to make their fragrance have a slightly fresher scent.
Perhaps the best way to describe the fragrance of daisy is that of a flowery herb, albeit without massive flowery notes.
The orchid is another flower that has different notes. Most of them are very fruity. Some may even have a slight hint of ginger.
When an orchid is used in a fragrance, it tends to be used to give the fragrance a more exotic scent. After all, an orchid is not really something people encounter all that often.
In our opinion, orchid also adds a hint of spiciness into the mix. When it is heavily used in a fragrance, the orchid can take on more of a ‘woodsy’ scent.
Everybody knows this beautiful purple flower. The chances are that you already have a good idea of what lavender smells like.
Perfumes that include lavender often have some of the most complicated floral notes. Lavender is heavy on the floral scent. When lavender drifts up your nose, you can’t help but imagine beautiful fields laced with flowers.
On top of this, lavender has some herby and woody notes. These are not as pronounced as the floral notes, but they help to give lavender a bit more of a unique flair.
7. Cherry Blossom
Despite the name, the cherry blossom does not smell like cherries at all. In fact, it doesn’t really have any fruity notes to it. The scent is similar to that of rose, albeit slightly milder.
There is a very flowery smell to it, but this is very mild. When people sniff a cherry blossom, they often liken the scent to that of creamy honey. It isn’t overpowering in the slightest.
Because of this, cherry blossom is often used in perfumes where you want to smell great, but you don’t really want to overwhelm everybody in that room.
8. Violet Perfume
The violet flower is another of those flowers that are reserved for female perfumes. It has a very reserved romantic scent to it.
The violet flower smells incredibly sweet and has often been likened to that of candy. Violet perfume has a powdery tone to it. It smells incredibly fresh.
When you are wearing a violet perfume, it is going to overwhelm any other floral notes in there. Although, we like this. Violet really does smell stunning.
9. Tuberose (White Flower)
Tuberose is often used sparingly in perfumes. This is because the scent can be quite overpowering…albeit in a good way. Tuberose is one of the rare flowers that can maintain its scent for days after being picked.
The smell of tuberose is vibrant and full. What is interesting about the tuberose flower is the fact that it doesn’t really have any typical flowery notes to it.
Some people have likened the tuberose to having a saltier scent. It is more a flower that you use to accent other flowers rather than one used on its own.
The peony flower is another one of the more varied plants. Each variety of peony can boast completely different notes.
This means that one fragrance that has peony at the forefront may not necessarily have the same notes as another fragrance that uses peony.
The scent can vary from being very citrus-like, powdery, or sweet. Some peony flower varieties have a muskier smell, although those are rarely used in perfumes.
11. Lily Of The Valley
If you love the smell of jasmine, you will love the smell of Lily of the Valley. It has all of the notes of jasmine, albeit not as pronounced.
Because of this, you may find that Lily Of The Valley can work a little bit better in perfumes aimed at men. The notes of this flower are very light.
Some may say that this is a flower with a very spring-like quality. Just a beautiful scent that can bring out feelings of sitting in a flower-covered meadow.
12. Honeysuckle (White Flower)
Honeysuckle is one of those rare flowers that live up to the name. This is a flower that really does have a honey-like tone to it.
It works incredibly well in fragrances that have a dash of hone in them. It really does complement that tone. Behind the honey tones, you will be able to catch a whiff of something a bit more floral.
Behind that, honeysuckle has citrusy tones. It almost smells as if you are sniffing a honey-covered lemon. There isn’t anything quite like it.
We have another flower that has very rose-like notes to it. Lilac has a heavy floral scent, and for that reason, it tends to be prominent in female perfumes but very rarely becomes part of male perfumes.
Lilac has a very romantic scent to it. A lot of people have likened the lilac to be very similar to vanilla. It is not overpowering, but you certainly will be able to detect some vanilla notes in it, which is beautiful.
The scent of lilac is intense, so only pick up a lilac perfume if you love stronger scents.
In perfumes, both Magnolia flowers and the branches of the flower will be used. The scent can be slightly different depending on the plant that you find used in the fragrance.
However, at the end of the day, magnolia also has a lemony note to it. The scent can be pretty intense too. When the branches of the plant are used, the citrusy tones remain.
However, the magnolia takes on more of a woody scent too.
ThiFreesia is a flower used in fragrances that are opting for that classic summer scent. Freesia has a ton of summer-like fruity notes to it.
It is almost as if you are sticking your nose into a bowl full of fruit. On top of this, there will be sweet tones, coupled with a powdery tone too. It is a really complicated plant.
It isn’t used as often as some of the other flowers on the market. However, when it is used, it is almost always used to good effect.
16. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang is another plant that has a complex fragrance to it. When you sniff ylang ylang, you may get hints of banana or custard. You may notice some herbal tones.
In other cases, you may just see the overwhelming floweriness of the plant. Ylang Ylang has a very similar fragrance to that of jasmine. You may even be able to detect some honey notes in it.
17. Gardenia (White Flowers)
If you managed to catch the scent of gardenia as you walk through a garden, then you will likely notice that the scent changes throughout the day.
Sadly, this is something that is incredibly tough to replicate in a fragrance. When gardenia is used in a bouquet, you tend to have creamier, flowery notes.
In some cases, you may be able to catch a bit of spiciness or citrus in the Gardenia fragrance, but these notes will be background notes.
18. Orange Blossom (White Flower)
Orange blossom doesn’t smell like orange, neither is it an orange flower. The name is probably the least-descriptive name in flower history.
The orange blossom flower smells fresh. It has notes of greenness, but it is never overpowering. The orange blossom is very rarely used in fragrances, and this is because it can be incredibly tough to use correctly.
This is because unless the fragrance has been formulated well, the orange blossom will have a scent of soap. This is why it smells so fresh and clean.
Most iris flowers have a very similar fragrance to that of violet. So, if you love the scent of violet, then you will almost certainly love Iris too. Although, of course, the notes can vary from species to species.
The scent of iris can range from dry to woody. In some cases, you may even be able to catch a hint of spiciness. It really can vaIMAGE SOURCEry from fragrance to fragrance.
20. White Flowers
White flowers are not really a specific flower. Instead, it is a group of flowers. When white flowers are listed on the fragrance label, then the chances are that the following flowers will have been used in the blend:
- Orange Blossom
This means that the fragrance can vary drastically from product to product. In almost all cases, there will be a heavy floral tone, with notes of freshness or green. There may even be a bit of spice added to the mix.
Geranium still has floral notes to it, but they are nowhere near as overpowering as some of the other flowers that we have discussed on this page.
The floral notes that you get with geranium will be more along the lines of earthy flowers. You can almost catch a hint of the soil that they grew in.
There is a sort of murkiness to the flower. However, among this murkiness are notes that are ever so slightly sweet in their nature, which makes the geranium unique.
22. Tiare Flower
The tiare flower has a fragrance similar to that of tuberose. Tiare has very summary notes to it. Think along the lines of flower-covered meadows.
There is almost a sweetness to the floral scent of tiare. If you want a rich and creamy fragrance, then anything that includes tiare will be perfect for you.
The narcissus is a complicated flower. Some have compared the scent of narcissus to that of jasmine and hyacinth.
However, it is going to be completely dependent on the variety of narcissus that has been used to make your perfume. For example, some may not quite have the floweriness of jasmine.
Instead, they have an almost honey-like note to them. There may even be a bit of a musky scent. Others can even be slightly spicy.
The lotus, like many water plants, has a very rich fruity scent to it. There are some sweet notes thrown in for good measure.
The lotus, not matter the variety that is used, is always going to have an overwhelming strong fragrance to it. This means that the lotus is one of the rare plants that can stand on its own when it is used in a fragrance.
Osmanthus has a fruity note to it. However, unlike some of the other flowers that we have mentioned on this list, the fruity tones are not citrus.
Instead, the Osmanthus has hints of apricot and peach in it. Some people have even said that the Osmanthus plant has a very ‘fuzzy’ scent, which is similar to the skins on these two fruits.
This basically means that the fragrance on the Osmanthus can be pretty complex in nature. You may even be able to catch a few honey-like notes.
When it comes to perfumes, the mimosa is one of the unique fragrances. While there are floral hints to the mimosa, the notes here are very powdery, with a hint of slight dustiness.
In the background, you may even be able to catch a whiff of greenness, but we must stress that these hints are very, very subtle.
Mimosa is indeed a plant that is used to complement other fragrances, although there are fragrances that use mimosa purely. Perfect for a bit of subtleness.
27. Orris Root
The orris root is not a flower. Instead, it is the roots of the orris plant. As a result, you can’t expect the orris root to have flowery notes.
Instead, the notes here are going to be much earthier in nature. It is a very soft scent, almost smooth like butter. Some people have even likened the scent of orris root to that of bread.
What we can tell you is that orris root has a very powdery note to it. It is also rarely used in a fragrance. Not because people don’t want to use it in a fragrance, but because it takes several years after it has been picked to be ‘ready.’
Hibiscus, when used incorrectly, is not a good component in a fragrance. It has a very acrid scent to it, and many people find it repulsive.
When it is used correctly, then the scent is beautiful. It has a fruity kick to it. We suppose the best way to describe the fruit is pomegranate.
Although, once again, the scent can vary depending on the hibiscus that is used. Some of the plants come much closer to having an earthy, woody note to them. Some may be pure sweetness and almost citric.
Surprisingly, belladonna is very rarely used in fragrances. If you see belladonna used in a bouquet, it is much more likely to be a synthetic scent. This is because the belladonna itself is hard to harvest.
Belladonna fragrances use the berries of this deadly nightshade plant. The notes in a belladonna fragrance are going to be very dark.
There may be a hint of sweetness and floral tones, but these are very much going to be in the background. Belladonna is a very alluring scent. It is deep, rich and unlike anything you have seen before.
The lily changes its scent throughout its lifecycle, so the notes that you detect in fragrances that utilize lily can vary wildly. For example, with early blooming lily, there may be a clove-like fragrance to the flower.
As the flower gets older and gets into the full swing of its bloom, some of the floweriness is lost. Instead, the lily has an almost salt-like scent to it. Some have labeled it as a very meaty fragrance.
We have even seen some people compare it to that of a hot dog, although the latter scent almost certainly wouldn’t be included in your typical fragrance.
Cyclamen is a combination of jasmine and Lily of the Valley. Well, at least on the scent front. This means that you will get a herby, floral scent to the cyclamen.
However, the notes are going to be much more subtle. They are not going to overpower the perfume. The notes are very light, almost air-like in quality. You may also notice a touch of sweetness in the fragrance.
If you smelled wisteria while it was growing, then you would loathe the smell. It is very similar to that of ‘cat pee.’ Not exactly the sort of thing that you want to be spraying all over yourself, right?
When wisteria is used in a perfume, it starts to take on a sweeter note. It smells very similar to that of lilacs. You have a very powdery tone here, and you may even be able to catch hints of freshness and green.
33. Lemon Blossom
Lemon blossom has overwhelming hints of lemon and lime. This means that the tones are very citrus in nature. There is a heavy sharpness there.
However, in the background, you may be able to catch more herbal tones. These are going to be quite subtle, but they are there.
What you don’t get with the lemon blossom is an overly flowery tone. Anything that is there is overwhelmed by the citrus notes.
Heliotrope has heavy powdery notes. You can really smell the freshness and the cleanliness of this plant. In the mixture, you will be able to find delicate hints of vanilla.
However, perhaps the most unique thing about this particular flower is the heavy licorice notes that it has. These may not be hugely apparent when used in a perfume, but they are there.
We find that it gives any perfume that features heliotrope a little bit of a darker tone and feel. If you can’t spot the licorice, then you will undoubtedly spot the spiciness.
35. Cotton Flower
The cotton flower has a light, powdery feel to it. Some people have likened the cotton flower to having a very soapy scent. The thing with the cotton flower is that any scent that it does have is not overpowering.
It is very rarely used on its own in a fragrance because of this. It is actually very rare that the cotton flower is used in a perfume.
When a perfume is said to have a cotton scent, it normally has a variety of other plants in there e.g. jasmine, which doesn’t really smell like cotton at all.
36. Frangipani (White Flower)
Frangipani is complex. The notes can vary from plant to plant. Some of them may have a very citrus scent to them. Others have peaches and plums for more sweetness.
There are some frangipani plants that go down a completely different root too. In them, you may be able to spot notes of coconut or spice.
If you see a perfume with frangipani in, it is worth trying out. All of them smell completely different, even if the frangipani is the main feature.
37. Tangerine Blossom
As the name suggests, the tangerine blossom is very heavy on the citrus tones, especially oranges. There is a lot of sweetness to tangerine blossom. You may even be able to find subtle hints of fruitiness.
Tangerine blossom is rarely used on its own with perfumes. Instead, it is used to give an extra kick to other citrus-scented flowers in the mix.
38. Silk Tree Blossom
Remember the mimosa from earlier? The tones of that are unique, and you will often find a hint of mimosa in the scent of the silk tree blossom.
You may also be able to catch hints of woodiness and a dash of honey. The Silk Tree Blossom isn’t really a huge flowery scented plant. This means none of those tones are passed into perfumes that feature it.
Datura (sometimes known as Devil’s Weed) has apricot and peachy notes. So, you get something that is incredibly fruity here. The flower is incredibly rich and deep scented.
However, this is another flower that is rarely used on its own in perfumes. It is mainly to enhance the scent of other peachy notes. Datura is often used when you want a lighter, more magical feel.