Is it just me, or is there a kind of weird dichotomy where shopping for perfume is concerned? On one hand, our consumer-trained brains crave a unique, signature scent. The more unlike everyone else we smell, the better. (Somewhere along the way, it was deemed “uncool” to smell like every other person at work, in your class, etc.) But, on the other hand, there’s a persistent fascination we hold with knowing, coveting, and owning what everyone else is talking about. (I blame social media.) Regardless, the end goal of perfume searching (if we choose to wear one at all) is to select a scent that resonates with who we are as human beings—whether our perfume is a nod to nostalgia, a comfort, or a memory; is tied to our fashion preferences or the makeup aesthetic we love; or just evokes a feeling like, say, happiness. Many of us want our perfume to make us feel a certain way, and the idea that it will also make us smell nice is just an added benefit.
If you’re someone who is seeking a truly rare perfume that no one else will know or recognize, you probably won’t care to read much further. That said, if you’re someone who is looking to own and wear a perfume cherished by fellow perfume lovers, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to pinpointing 20 of the most popular perfume brands in the marketplace, I’ve gone ahead and cross-checked best seller lists and the press releases sitting in my inbox and have relied on countless other beauty editor sleuthing tricks to narrow down each brand’s fragrance collection to its most-wanted perfume at the moment. Keep scrolling! Below, you’ll find 20 of the most popular perfumes in the world (for the time being, at least!).