Subtle And Unexpected Florals Are The Perfume Trend For Fall 2023

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Floral perfumes have long been given a bit of a bad rap, most likely due to their antique roots. Before the classic and modern Chanel N°5 hit the market in the early 1920s, virtually all perfumes were floral. Most formulas were based on a single flower without any additional base notes for support, balance, or longevity.


Once more complex multi-note fragrances became popular, those who seemingly stuck to floral scents were typically older women who were already set in their ways. As a result, floral perfumes quickly became associated with an outdated "old lady" aesthetic and fell out of fashion. It appears, however, that florals are finally here for the comeback they deserve.

Don't worry; these are not your grandmother's floral fragrances — this fall's biggest perfume trend involves floral notes that are subtle and unexpected. We've done a deep dive into the floral perfumes of fall 2023, so you don't have to. 

Popular floral perfume notes

The floral notes in the fragrances trending for fall 2023 are different from their predecessors. They are subtle, understated, balanced, and fresh. They may even be married with fruitier notes. Rather than aiming to smell like a prom corsage, these formulas call upon lighter notes. "Think jasmine, peony, and a light rose that is not a heavy sweet or overly fragrant rose," Nordstrom's National Beauty Director Autumne West tells Marie Claire. When mixed with notes of sweet or tart fruit, spicy pepper or cinnamon, or anchoring smoke and wood base notes, the result is a whole new floral experience.


To stay on trend, you'll want to refrain from choosing heavy floral fragrances. When you think of the floral perfumes you associate with your mother or grandmother, for example, you probably recall the cloying scents of powdery florals mixed with sweet amber or musk base notes. While overwhelming classic floral-heavy fragrances — such as Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue — are a favorite among many, they don't fit the bill this season. This fall, we recommend reaching for perfumes with light, subtle floral notes like lilies and freesias for a modern and sophisticated approach. 

Modern floral-based perfumes to try

Convinced that an updated floral perfume might be worth a try but not sure where to start? We've got you covered. If you're unfamiliar with fragrance notes and just looking for a floral formula that is well-rounded and balanced, try Ellis Brooklyn Florist. This modern, ultra-balanced perfume combines floral notes like tuberose and jasmine with citrus to create the perfect floral arrangement on your skin.


If you're looking to incorporate some floral notes into a sweet, fruity, clean fragrance that skips the musk and woody notes, give Target's Fine'ry Magnetic Candy Perfume a try. The formula brings together scents of sweet cotton candy, pink pomelo fruit, and sugared violet. The result is an almost edible fragrance that dries down into a clean, fresh-out-of-the-bath finish throughout the day.

For those who prefer their signature fragrance to be a sophisticated blend of sweet notes, bitter citrus, and musky woods, Versace Dylan Purple may fit the bill. This bright and modern floral fragrance mixes sweet floral and fruit notes like freesia with bitter orange and cedarwood for a grown-up, classy floral fragrance that gives floral perfume a whole new meaning.