Hey girl! Welcome to my review of the best perfumes for 20-year-old women in 2023.
I spent hours on end researching and testing perfumes, resulting in five of the most age-appropriate fragrances for young women. Then I ranked them based on fragrance category, scent strength, quality, and longevity.
These are by far the best perfumes of the group.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to find the perfect fragrance. Choose one of these perfumes, and you’ll get a lovely, high-quality scent that’s guaranteed to help you feel more mature, grow into who you are, and transition out of short-lived scents.
Ready to find the best fragrance for this next phase in your life?
Let’s get to it!
The 5 Best Perfumes for 20-Year-Old Women
When choosing a new fragrance as a 20-year-old, you want to present yourself as more mature, but not too old. The scents listed here are layered but light. They’re floral, but soft and fresh without being pungent. Here are my top five selections.
1. Best Floral Fruity Gourmand: Vera Wang Glam Princess Eau de Toilette
- Brand New
- Original Item
- Factory Sealed
- Never Used
A flanker of the Vera Wang Princess collection, Glam Princess is fruity and sweet but balanced and tasteful.
More of a day fragrance during spring and summer, its woody notes can also carry you into early evening. You might also get some projection during early fall and winter, but don’t set your expectations too high during colder months.
Its gold, star-printed, 100 mL (3.4 fl oz) bottle is molded in the shape of a heart, topped with a multicolored jeweled crown. A portion of the top can also be worn as a ring. It’s an attractive bottle design that toes the line between teen and women’s fragrances.
As a floral fruity gourmand, Glam Princess opens up with guava, red currant, and pear notes. This top layer doesn’t sit on everyone’s skin well, but I’d suggest allowing this perfume to settle on your skin before rejecting it altogether.
The heart layer blends golden honey with vanilla orchid and African orange flower notes. It’s creamy, subdued, and slightly spicy due to the orchid notes. Orange blossom also brings a hint of freshness.
As it dries down, Glam Princess releases cashmere wood, marshmallow, cedarwood, and musk mallow notes – giving it a pillowy sweet finish, balanced with earthy wood notes.
- Lightly sweet floral fragrance
- Surprisingly affordable asking price
- Good longevity and sillage
- Offers high value
- Limited seasonal use
- Not sweet as expected for some people
2. Best Light Rose Perfume: Amazing Grace Ballet Rose Eau de Toilette by Philosophy
- A floral woody fragrance for contemporary women
- Soft, sweet, fresh, tropical, delicate & intriguing
- Top note is litchi
- Middle notes are rose & peony
- Base notes are woodsy accord & white musk
Some rose perfumes have a reputation for having a heaviness, also described as a “grandma” scent. This turns off a lot of younger women from wearing any perfume that incorporates rose notes.
But not all rose fragrances are the same. Amazing Grace Ballet Rose is also best used during spring and summer days. Its minimal clear glass bottle design with shiny silver rectangular cap reflects the simple delicacy of this fragrance. There’s 60 mL (2 fl oz) of fragrance.
This scent begins to unfold with delicate rose as its top note. It then transitions into juicy lychee before drying down with slightly woody musk notes. The fact that it’s an eau de toilette contributes to the less intense rose notes than you’d experience with a rose eau de parfum.
Text printed on the bottle reads: “Grace gives you the quiet strength to move to your own rhythm.” I think that this is a fitting message for a young woman coming into her own, familiarizing herself with her inner strength and how she wants to project that strength in the world.
- Lovely, soft rose fragrance
- Not headache-inducing
- Leaves a wonderful sillage trail
- Nice transition fragrance
- Amount doesn’t offer much value for the price
- Longevity slightly less than expected
3. Best Fresh Fragrance: Aqua Celestia Eau de Toilette by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
- Aqua Celestia by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a fragrance for Women and Men.
- Fragrance Style: Fresh.
- Notes: Mexican lime, cool mint, blackcurrant bud absolute from Burgundy, mimosa absolute from Provence, musk accord.
- Suitable for Daily wear.
- Aqua Celestia was launched in 2017.
A fresh, green, unisex fragrance, Aqua Celestia is still a sought-after fragrance more than five years after its release. It’s a light and airy aquatic that reminds you of a clear sky as much as it would remind you of a glistening sea.
Although this bottle size is small, 70 mL (2.4 fl oz), for some wearers, the cost is absolutely worth it. The bottle is a sculpted clear glass square with a chiseled silver cap. Both are fitting for the fragrance that awaits inside.
Aqua Celestia opens with fresh mint, Mexican lime, black currant and neroli. Black currant brings tanginess that compliments the lime and mint notes. Neroli brings aromatic orange and fresh green notes.
Rose, fresh green accords, and mimosa make up the heart layer of this fragrance. Together, they’re powdery, clean, romantic, and slightly woody. White musk is the sole dry down note.
Aqua Celestia is solely a spring and summer day fragrance. There’s no budging here unless you live in an area that has a warm climate for all or most of the year.
- Melodically fresh fragrance
- Appeals to women and men
- Wonderful projection and decent trail
- Calming scent that isn’t off-putting
- Some people find the citrus notes to be too sharp
- Longevity is low for the asking price
4. Best Floral Gourmand: Viva La Juicy Gold Couture Eau de Parfum by Juicy Couture
- Mood: Decadent. Indulgent. Intoxicating.
- Fragrance Family: Amber Gourmand Fruity
- Top Notes: Wild Berries, Gardenia & Muguet
- Middle Notes: Vanilla Orchid, Honeysuckle & Jasmine Sambac
- Base Notes: Melted Caramel, Vanilla Cream, Praline & Sandalwood
A flanker of the ever so popular Viva La Juicy, this Couture version is its indulgent older cousin. Due to its lusciousness, Viva La Juicy Couture can be worn day or night during fall and winter. This makes it ideal for date night, or a nice dinner out with friends.
You can see the light amber colored perfume through its clear glass bottle with a high cap. There’s a lacy black bow tied around the neck. At 30 mL (1 fl oz) the price point might be considered high for some people. Others feel that it’s a good value for the fragrance.
Mixed wild berries are combined with lily-of-the-valley and gardenia as your opening notes. The berries are the most dominant.
As the heart layer unfolds, you’ll smell jasmine sambac, honeysuckle, and vanilla orchid – honeyed and creamy. Caramel, vanilla cream, sandalwood, and praline close out this scent experience.
It’s a warm gourmand floral that may not be appealing to everyone. Due to its more nuanced notes, this is a fragrance that you’ll likely either love or hate.
- Interesting scent that’s not too sweet
- Projects well without being overbearing
- Long lasting fragrance
- Playful “adult” perfume
- More of a specialty scent that everyone may not like
- Pricing might be high for some
5. Best Amber White Floral: Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori Eau de Parfum
- Top Note: Green Nashi, Bergamot, Kumquat
- This is a amber Floral fragrance for women
- Middle Notes: Cardamom, Coriander, Geranium
- The nose behind this fragrance is Alberto Morillas
- English (Publication Language)
Part of the ever-growing Gucci Bloom collection, their Profumo di Fiori installment is an intense floral bouquet in liquid form. Its fresh greens and lush florals are mellowed out with a woodsy, resinous base.
At 100 mL (3.3 fl oz), its imposing sunny yellow lacquered glass bottle has a square base and sharp shoulders, but a short cylindrical cap. Its seasonal versatility extends its wear, increasing the value of the bottle. This fragrance is suitable to wear in most environments.
Many wearers enjoy Profumo di Fiori more than the original Gucci Bloom. It opens up with the singular note of the fresh, sweet, and aromatic, jasmine sambac.
Jasmine in bud form is carried onto the heart layer and combined with ylang ylang and tuberose. For an interesting finish, base layer notes are composed of benzoin, musk, sandalwood, sun drenched wood, and orris concrete for a powdery, earthy finish.
This is another distinctive fragrance that may not appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking for a signature scent, its uniqueness makes this a good candidate.
- Decent price considering the brand name
- Glorious and warm floral fragrance
- Seasonal versatility
- Unique base layer
- May not last as long as you’d expect
- More intense than some people prefer
How to Choose the Best Perfume for a 20-Year-Old Woman
Early twenties are an exciting age to begin to experiment with new perfumes. You’re gaining more independence and learning more about yourself – your likes and dislikes. There’ve no doubt been shifts in your wardrobe, hair styles, and accessories. Selecting new fragrances to wear is an extension of these new ways of being.
Which Fragrance Categories are Best for 20-Somethings?
As you begin to consider which perfumes to add to your collection, there are some suggestions that I’d like to offer with regards to fragrance categories.
You may have read that there are five main scent categories: floral, woody, fresh, oriental, and gourmand. And within each of these categories are subcategories along with a spectrum of fragrance intensity within each.
Floral Fragrance Notes
For instance, floral fragrances can be heady, soft, and a range of scents in between. Woody notes can be aromatic or pungent, moist, or piney.
I would suggest soft floral scents for women who are 20 years old. Heady florals would be too strong and sometimes cloying. Oriental florals can be too imposing. But soft florals are lighter, more joyful. You might smell like one-quarter or one-half of a bouquet instead of a full bouquet of flowers.
At this age, you want to enter a room and be noticed without drawing too much attention to yourself. Allow your floral perfume to add cheerfulness or a touch of romance to the room.
Fresh Fragrance Notes
I think that almost any fresh note would work well for 20-year-old women, so long as it isn’t combined with an overpowering woody, spicy, or floral note.
Fresh green and/or aquatic notes that are paired with soft florals or powdery woods would project well from a young woman in her twenties.
Aqua Celestia incorporates a variety of fresh notes: mint, bergamot, and greens. Each one has its own subtle nuances. And they’re all balanced with fruit and floral accords on their respective layers.
Fruity Fragrance Notes
This is where you have to be cautious. Tween and teen scents are heavily fruit focused. And you want to avoid smelling like strawberry syrup.
Interestingly, fruity fragrances are a subcategory of both floral and fresh notes. So, you might find fruit notes to be on the top or middle layer of your perfume.
Depending on how the perfume is formulated, this tip may not apply. But I would suggest fragrances with fruit notes on the top layer, like Vera Wang’s Glam Princess. When combined with other scents, one or two fruit notes can work on the middle layer as well, as with Amazing Grace Ballet Rose.
As you enter into your twenties, you want fewer and fewer fruit notes on the middle layer of your fragrance because perfumes that lean heavily towards the fruity category can too easily smell juvenile.
Oriental Fragrance Notes
I would suggest avoiding fragrances that lean heavily towards oriental notes. A perfume that’s primarily comprised of oriental scent notes would be too mature for a young lady in her twenties.
If there’s one spice note on the middle or base layer, that would be tolerable, but I’d avoid a perfume made with multiple spice notes on any of the fragrance layers. That would be too imposing.
But as with floral and fresh scents, oriental notes vary in intensity. Some are soft, others are punchy.
Woody Fragrance Notes
It’s possible but difficult to avoid buying a perfume that incorporates wood notes. These notes offer the most longevity, which is what helps your perfume last well into the evening hours.
But you don’t want to overdo it when wearing woody fragrances as a 20-year-old. Similar to oriental notes, woody ones can be too imposing.
So, when looking for a new perfume, pay attention to the other scents that are combined with the wood notes. For instance, Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori places three different types of wood notes on the base layer.
But there are three additional notes that lessen the force of those wood notes. They chose benzoin, musk, and orris concrete. Benzoin smells like vanilla-flavored balsamic vinegar. Both musk and orris concrete are soft and powdery. Even sandalwood isn’t a heavily earthy wood. It’s sweeter and creamier than most other woods.
So, in this case, there are a number of wood notes, but they aren’t sharp or stifling. They’re well balanced with softer scents.
Gourmand Fragrance Notes
Thierry Mugler launched the first gourmand fragrance, Angel, back in 1992. This was a groundbreaking release that shook up the fragrance industry. Edible scents had never been sold as a personal fragrance.
But what causes Angel to work well is that its sweetness is balanced by earthy patchouli notes. And this is what you want to look for if you’re buying perfume as a 20-year-old. You want to avoid fragrances that are too sweet because you don’t want to smell like a candy store.
Instead, choose a balanced gourmand, like Viva La Juicy Gold Couture. The top two layers are comprised of berries and floral notes. And although the base layer boasts sweets like vanilla cream, caramel, and praline, sandalwood balances the sweetness with earthiness.
Overall, balance is the key.
How Do You Determine the Value of a Perfume Bottle as a 20-Year-Old?
Another dilemma you might face when narrowing down your choices is whether or not a particular bottle of perfume is worth the price.
It might be easy to assume that a small bottle with a high price tag should be smartly avoided, but this might not always be the case.
When determining value for price, bottle size is definitely a factor, but it’s not the only consideration.
The length of time the scent lasts also helps determine its value. Time and place are additional contributing factors. In which seasons can you wear the scent? Can it be worn morning and evening or just one or the other? Can you wear this scent to work, or should it be reserved for special events?
Only you can determine whether the amount of potential use you’ll get out of that bottle of perfume would be worth the asking price.
But you also want to avoid overextending yourself financially. So, if you’re drawn to what would be a more expensive bottle of perfume for you, consider ordering a sample of it first. Samples can help you gain an understanding of how a fragrance sits on your skin prior to making a high financial commitment.
It takes time to find the perfect perfume for your skin type and scent preferences. Don’t rush the process. Allow this list to help you get started on your journey towards finding a more mature scent for your age.
If I were buying perfume for a 20-year-old woman, I would choose Vera Wang Glam Princess. I think it’s a nice transition fragrance because it incorporates the fruity notes that teens are accustomed to but elevates them with the right balance of floral and woody notes.
As always, scent is subjective. If you enjoy wearing a fragrance note that I advised against, don’t let my suggestions stop you from choosing the perfume notes that you enjoy.