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I'm Usually Not A Fan Of Floral Perfumes, Unless It Has This One Note

woman spraying perfume
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
September 27, 2022

This may be a beauty editor thing, but I find it fascinating (and a little hilarious) how my fragrance preferences have matured over the years. Like many other tweens attempting to discover their signature scent, I once bathed myself in gourmand, syrupy body sprays until I smelled like spun sugar; then there were years when I longed to smell like a freshly picked daisy. Now? I much prefer a heady, woodsy aroma over a classic gardenia or rose.

I'm not against florals by any means—and who knows how my tastes will evolve within the next couple of years? Still, I tend to float toward fragrances that offer a bit of mystery, that don't just smell floral but include notes of citrus, honey, and spice. So anytime a perfume features neroli, I fall in love—it transforms the potion into something truly exquisite.

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How neroli elevates floral fragrances.

Neroli essential oil comes from the flowers of the bitter orange (you may also see "orange blossom" on the perfume bottle). As its name suggests, it contains hints of both floral and citrus—but it's also a bit spicy (thanks to that bitter orange), meaning it's a bit more sophisticated than your average floral note. It's still quite delicate, which is why it mingles well in lighter floral formulas, but it offers a little something more complex. If you're looking for a juice that has some extra oomph, chances are you'll adore this bright, zesty scent.

As someone who favors a spicier perfume (I typically gravitate toward sandalwood), I've noticed myself leaning toward neroli-laced florals. It morphs the fragrance into an even dreamier aroma; plus, neroli is a very potent essential oil, so a little goes a long way—if a perfume includes even just a hint of orange blossom, you'll know it.

Because neroli fuses so well with other scents, it's also a great option for fragrance layering. Meaning, you can grab a neroli-scented body oil or lotion and layer it underneath a neroli-infused perfume—the two scents will complement each other well and enhance your fragrance experience. Not to mention, keeping your skin hydrated à la body lotion makes perfume last longer since fragrance clings onto well-moisturized skin.

mindbodygreen's postbiotic body lotion does just the trick; the warm, bright scent complements just about any subsequent spritz. Not to mention, neroli itself may boast some skin care benefits: In a review1 of the biological activities of citrus oils published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, researchers said neroli is a "strong antioxidant." All the more reason to slather on and spritz your favorite neroli-infused formulas.

Best neroli scented products

postbiotic body lotion

$ 30
mbg’s ultra-hydrating body lotion offers the freshest, most subtle aroma. (I consider it the skin scent of body lotions.) For top notes, you'll smell bergamot, ylang-ylang, and petitgrain. In the middle, neroli is the predominant note, and the base is warm cedarwood.
postbiotic body lotion

DedCool

DedCool Smiley Face Garden Fragrance

$ 90
This is not your grandmother’s rose. Rather, this complex floral garners “​​fresh cut rose stems with earthy complexities,” thanks to the addition of cedarwood, amber, and musk. If the “cottagecore” trend had a fragrance, this would be it.
DedCool Smiley Face Garden Fragrance

Ellis Brooklyn

Ellis Brooklyn RIVES Eau De Parfum

$ 105
This clean scent transports you to the 1920s French Riviera—neroli, petitgrain, and lavender provide a fresh aroma reminiscent of a midnight breeze, while cashmere woods and white suede offer a subtly soapy finish.
Ellis Brooklyn RIVES Eau De Parfum

The 7 Virtues

The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum

$ 85
If you love citrus notes, you’ll adore this refreshing, juicy blend. It’s equally warm and bright, with top notes of tangerine, mandarin, and grapefruit; neroli and jasmine at the heart; and steadied by vetiver and amber.
The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum

The takeaway. 

Neroli-infused perfumes provide the most intriguing scent. With notes of citrus, honey, and greenery, it makes floral fragrances even more divine. It's perfect for those who want to dabble in florals but don't want to smell like a garden of lilies—neroli offers just the right amount of mystery.

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