rue21 Perfumes and Colognes Reviews, My 7 Favorite Fragrances


rue21 is known for their trendy apparel and accessories that are highly affordable, but are inexpensive rue21 perfumes and colognes any good?

Although these are not top of the line fragrances, rue21 signature scents offer a unique fragrance experience. As affordable scents, they’re surprisingly pleasant-smelling and last longer than you’d expect.

Let’s go over seven of the best rue21 perfumes and colognes that are available right now.

rue21 Fragrance Review

Reviewing the Top 7 rue21 Perfumes & Colognes

On this list you’ll find both bestsellers and hidden gems. Remember that all bottle sizes are the same, 50 mL (1.7 fl oz).

One highlight about these bottles being so small is that they’re highly portable. You can take them with you to the gym, a sleepover, or when traveling.

1. Blush Eau de Parfum by rue21

Rue 21 Blush Eau De Parfum Women's Perfume Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Sweet and Dreamy Perfume: Turn heads and embrace your inner soft girl with this flirty and enticing fragrance. Go ahead and make 'em blush.
  • Floral Gourmand Scent: Featuring bright notes of Passion Fruit, Red Berry, and Carmelized Apples in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Pouty glossed lips, flower-shaped freckles, and pink glitter pens.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From floral and fruity to fresh and fun, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Girls' Perfume.

Bottled in a light pink cylinder container with a hot pink spherical top with gold accent, Blush will display well wherever you store your perfumes.

This is one of those hidden gems that I was referring to. Playfully fruity, Blush’s scent accords are soft and sweet.

Although it’s considered a floral gourmand, you’ll mostly smell passionfruit, caramelized apple, and frosted red currant berries.

Blush is simply a fun scent that would make an ideal gift for tweens. It gives them an opportunity to learn about fragrances and how scents unfold throughout the day. Therefore, Blush makes for an inexpensive lesson on exploring fragrances in order to find your signature scent.

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2. Pink Ice Eau de Parfum by rue21

Rue 21 Pink Ice Eau De Parfum Women's Perfume Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Carefree and Optimistic Perfume: A perfectly feminine fragrance for the girl who's always pulled together and perfectly polished.
  • Fruity Floral Scent: Featuring a signature blend of Apple, Vanilla, and Creamy Woods in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Off duty model, self-care as a lifestyle, and homemade matcha lattes.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From floral and fruity to fresh and fun, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Girls' Perfume.

This is one of rue21’s best selling feminine fragrances.

Another floral fruity gourmand, Pink Ice was released in 2009. Its bottling is a little more grown-up. The base looks like an oversized, crystal clear, melting ice cube. Its cap is also clear with a rectangular shape. I can see this fragrance best fitting a young teen’s fragrance collection.

Pink Ice is an explosion of sweet, fruity, and floral notes. You’ll primarily smell fresh oranges and apples, and creamy vanilla, with hints of wood notes.

The floral notes aren’t as noticeable and the scent can last on the skin up to six hours, which is exceptional for a low-priced perfume. It’s a highly feminine fragrance for spring and summer days.

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3. 21 Black Eau de Parfum by rue21

Rue 21 21 Black Eau De Parfum Women's Perfume Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Tropical and Beachy Perfume: Sail away to your perfect island escape with every spritz of this delicious summer-inspired fragrance.
  • Amber Gourmand Scent: Featuring coastal notes of Orange, Tiger Lily and Creamy Coconut in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Paradise in a bottle, sun-kissed skin, and making your own mischief.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From floral and fruity to fresh and fun, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Girls' Perfume.

Another bestseller, 21 Black offers more complex fragrance layers. It has even more longevity than Pink Ice, so you can expect it to last on your skin for about 8 hours. Its sillage is like a soft coconut breeze.

The most dominant fragrances are coconut, orange, tiger lily, and pineapple. It’s a tropical fragrance that’s perfect for summer days into early nights. But warmer days in other seasons can work as well.

More specifically, right off the top, you’ll smell the juicy pineapple and oranges combined with fresh green notes.

At the heart of this scent you’ll experience spicy tiger lily and soapy lily-of-the-valley. As 21 Black dries down, you’re overcome (in a good way) by coconut, musk, amber, and wood notes.

Far more complex, and thus for the more mature young person. But even older women really enjoy wearing 21 Black.

Some coconut fragrances can smell too sweet but this one is very well balanced.

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4. True Eau de Parfum by rue21

Sale
Rue 21 True Eau De Parfum Women's Perfume Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Soft and Warm Perfume: Find your zen and always stay True to yourself with this delightfully serene fragrance, perfect for everyday use.
  • Fruit Floral Scent: Featuring a dreamy mix of Grapefruit, Clementine, and White Lily in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Self-care in a bottle, fluffly white clouds, and a hug from your favorite person.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From floral and fruity to fresh and fun, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Girls' Perfume.

For those more drawn to floral fragrances, True would be the ideal choice. This fresh floral fragrance comes in a small clear bottle with rounded shoulders and a pink cap. It’s a warm, but subtle scent.

Most dominant scent notes include freshly peeled grapefruit, juicy clementines, and sweet and slightly spicy white lily.

This is also more of a day fragrance to be worn during spring and summer. It might last about 4 hours or more on the skin.

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5. CJ Black Men’s Cologne Spray by rue21

Rue 21 CJ Black Men's Cologne Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Clean and Classic Cologne: The perfect head-turning accessory for any time or occasion, this highly-complimented, masculine fragrance will effortlessly take you from day to night.
  • Woody Citrus Scent: Featuring masculine top notes of Citrus, Grapefruit, Tart Bergamot, and Mandarin that deepen into an irresistible Musk in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Bottled confidence, firm handshakes, and timeless over trendy.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From clean and classic to spicy and bold, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Guys' Cologne.

As the best selling rue21 men’s fragrance since 2007, CJ Black comes in a sleek matte black square bottle with a black cylindrical cap.

This is a very straightforward citrus fragrance but something about it simply works. Its citrus notes include grapefruit, bergamot, and mandarin. Grapefruit is one of the freshest and distinctive citrus notes that exists. Bergamot also has hints of floral notes, and mandarin is the sweetest of them all.

As CJ Black dries down, your nose is carried into a musk lullaby. It can last 6 to 8 hours on the skin with noticeable sillage.

This confidently masculine scent has stood the test of time as it’s still a customer favorite. More versatile than some of the other rue21 colognes, this one lasts all day into the evening and can be worn during most seasons. Although colder winter months might be less appropriate for this fragrance.

This is a classic men’s fragrance that’s marketed to younger guys but middle-aged men like it just as much. If you want to wear a scent that attracts compliments without digging too deep into your pockets, then CJ Black is definitely worth a try.

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6. #rue Men’s Cologne Spray by rue21

Rue 21#rue Men's Cologne Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Sweet and Adventurous Cologne: A deliciously fresh fragrance for the chic and adventurous soul, perfect for everyday use.
  • Fruity and Bold Scent: Features a magnetic blend with notes of grapefruit, cinnamon, and tonka bean.
  • Smells Like: Grabbing their attention by making your own rules.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From floral and fruity to fresh and fun, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Girls' Perfume.

Released in 2007, this is another one of those hidden gems that I was referring to. Although #rue for men isn’t one of the more popular rue21 colognes, it’s fragrance is impactful.

More of a day fragrance for spring and summer, #rue is a citrus-forward fragrance with spicy and creamy surprises along the way.

I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled true cinnamon, but it’s quite different from the cinnamon bark that’s stocked on most store shelves. And I think that that true Ceylon cinnamon is what helps this fragrance offer a twist.

Combined with apple, jasmine leaves, and mandarin blossoms, you wouldn’t initially assume this to be a masculine scent when reading its fragrance notes, but au contraire.

This fragrance gets even more complex with hints of tonka bean, which releases fragrance notes from about three different scent groups all on its own.

Its longevity is stellar – at 6 to 8 hours along with a lasting trail. Fresh, sweet, and spicy, this is a men’s cologne that will garner attention, but in a respectful manner.

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7. CJ Red Men’s Cologne Spray by rue21

Rue 21 CJ Red Men's Cologne Spray - 1.7 fl oz (50 ml)
  • Bold and Sexy Cologne: Add a little bit of spice with this one-of-a-kind luxe fragrance for the adventurous guy who's not afraid to turn on the heat.
  • Woody Spicy Scent: Featuring notes of Cinnamon, Tonka Beans, and Cardamom in a travel-friendly bottle.
  • Smells Like: Making the first move, a crackling fireplace, and the friend who gets the aux.
  • Always Cruelty-Free: Never tested on animals, because we would rather love our furry friends than test products on them.
  • Find Your New Favorite: From clean and classic to spicy and bold, your next signature scent is waiting to be discovered in rue21's collection of Guys' Cologne.

Last but not least, we have CJ Red cologne. Warmer and bolder than #rue, CJ Red not only has more zest but stronger sillage as well. This scent is definitely for those who want to be noticed.

Also lasting 6 to 8 hours, this scent can be worn during the day into the night in winter, spring, and fall. Avoid wearing CJ Red during summer months, as it would be too offensive.

Tonka bean and cardamom are the most noticeable scent notes but CJ Red is even more complex than that.

When you first encounter this scent, spicy black pepper, zesty lemon peel, and sweet cinnamon offer a spicy fresh start.

Cardamom, lavender, and orange blossom heart notes offer a nice herbal, floral, and spicy experience. As CJ Red dries down, you’ll smell the delightfully complex tonka bean, sister scent coumarin, and creamy vanilla.

Your olfactory senses are taken on a joyous rollercoaster ride infused with spicy warmth.

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All About the rue21 Brand

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA, rue21 has quietly, yet consistently been expanding their brand since 1976. Currently, they have over 600 physical stores across forty-five states.

rue21 is known for its casual apparel and accessories primarily catered to teen guys and girls, but generally for anyone who wants to feel like a trendy 21-year-old. Their range of styles, sizes, and relatively low price point, makes this brand accessible and fun to experiment with.

This company rapidly releases new designs to their website and stores, making them one of the leading fast fashion retailers.

rue21 Product Lines

With an ear to the ground, this company truly responds to customer interest and feedback. New designs reflect social movements, the runway, street fashion, and constantly trying the next best thing.

Daily arrivals keep customers who wear rue21 designs relevant but without breaking the bank. Fearless and fun, this American retailer carries everything from apparel to beauty products.

rue21 focuses on three main customer groups: guys, girls, and plus size. For each group, there are apparel and accessory items that cater to them. You’ll find graphic tees, tops, bottoms (like cargo pants and joggers), hoodies, jeans, shorts, jackets, activewear, loungewear, and shoes.

More specifically for girls and plus-sized girls, you’ll also find dresses and intimates. Beauty and accessory items include underwear, pasties, lip gloss, lip plumper, lip oil, hand cream, temporary body tattoos, nail tattoos, eye masks, body scrubbers, eyelashes, nail kits, facial toners, bath fizzies, hand sanitizer, bags, belts, wallets, sunglasses, hats, hair accessories, socks, and even jewelry.

One downfall is that when ordering directly from rue21, you can only have products shipped to you if you live within the 48 contiguous United States. So, if you live off the mainland in Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico, or if you have an international address, you can’t shop in-store or receive rue21 items at your home.

If you’re able to find rue21 products online through ecommerce sites like Amazon, there might be a workaround. But this depends on the laws within your state or country.

But the biggest benefit of being a rue21 customer is that you can purchase a complete outfit, personal fragrance included, all from one place.

Unique Company Feature: Nostalgic Fast Fashion

Something unique about this fast fashion brand is that although they’re current and trendy, they also keep a hand in the past.

But technically, rue21 is still following a trend by incorporating vintage designs into their collections since retro designs have been trending for a number of years now.

Not only is this happening in the fashion industry, but across the board, even in the restaurant industry. This is one way that brands that’ve been around for a while connect with younger generations.

For instance, rue21 graphic tees are printed with music greats from the past, like Bob Marley, Tupac, Pink Floyd, Mary J Blige, Nirvana, and more. There are even Betty Boop, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Barbie, and Winnie the Pooh vintage designs. But more modern entertainment via HER and Stranger Things have also been added to the mix.

Another form of personal identification within a brand comes in the form of state-centric designs. Tees and jerseys with names of major cities printed across them are a popular find.

This company has done an excellent job of knowing their customer base and creating relevant designs that makes customers feel connected and vocal, even if solely through design.

Unique Company Feature: rue21 x Social Movements

Another unique approach this company takes is through releasing socially-relevant collections.

For instance, for Women’s History Month in March, they released graphic tees with phrases like, “Support Your Local Girl Gang,” “Shatter the Glass Ceiling,” and “Strong Women Empower Women.”

During Black History Month in February, their release included phrases like, “Embrace Your Roots,” and “Melanin Magic,” along with tees donning diaspora-related imagery. There’s even a Marley Family Collection, after the legendary clan.

Fragrance Products by rue21

In 2007, rue21 released its first fragrance. They offer a number of scents for girls and guys, still at a reasonable price.

All of their perfumes and colognes come in small, 50 mL (1.7 fl oz) bottles, with the exception of Icon, which contains 55 mL (1.8 fl oz) of perfume. So, in terms of value, this brand would be equal to others in a similar category.

Bottles at this price point are usually at least twice as large and cost the same as what you’d pay for two of the smaller bottles of rue21 perfume or cologne.

Because younger customers are their primary target market, rue21 perfumes are mostly floral, fresh, and fruity. You won’t find sophisticated Lancôme-esque fragrances here. But if you like sweet floral scents, regardless of your age, then you might want to give these a try.

Some rue21 perfumes have been discontinued, but of the ones that remain, you have:

  • Botanic Everlasting Emerald Bloom Perfume
  • Botanic Everlasting Sugar Petal Perfume
  • Botanic Everlasting Fresh Orchid Perfume
  • Botanic Everlasting Wildberry Perfume
  • Pink Heart Perfume
  • Light Pink Heart Perfume
  • Sweetie Perfume
  • Spoiled Perfume
  • Daydream Perfume
  • Pink Ice Perfume
  • 21 Gold Fragrance
  • Blush Perfume
  • True by Rue21 Perfume
  • Icon Perfume
  • 21 Black Perfume

As you can tell from a number of these names like, Spoiled, Blush, and Daydream, adolescents and teens are most likely to be attracted to these fragrances.

For the more masculine scents, there are a little more than a handful of colognes to choose from. Affordable men’s rue21 fragrances include:

  • Disrupt Cologne Spray
  • #rue Cologne
  • CJ Black Cologne
  • CJ Chrome Cologne
  • CJ Red Cologne
  • Illusion Cologne
  • rueSport Cologne

Many of these are your typical highly masculine woody and fresh fragrances, but there are some surprises here as well. Some of these formulas incorporate fruity, spicy, and floral notes that you might not typically find in lower quality colognes.

Customer Opinions Regarding rue21

As with any product, there are those who have positive experiences with rue21 fragrances and others who don’t. For the most part, though, customers enjoy either gifting or wearing rue21 perfumes and colognes.

What Customers Love about rue21 Perfume & Cologne

Whether the reactions were from teen boys or middle-aged men and their wives, customers really enjoy wearing rue21’s entire CJ collection.

  • These colognes don’t suffocate you or give you a headache.
  • Many customers report that they’ve gotten a lot of compliments while wearing rue21 fragrances.
  • The fact that these scents are offered at an affordable price act as a huge bonus since they smell so nice and can last as long as designer fragrances.
  • Some fragrances, like 21 Black are not the typical perfumy kid scents. They’re surprisingly complex and tolerable for young professionals and some older women as well.

What Customers Dislike about rue21 Perfume & Cologne

While some older adults wear rue21 fragrances, there’s a larger group of them who wouldn’t get caught wearing these scents themselves, although they will buy them for their teen children.

Even though the perfumes have eau de parfum concentration levels, the average wear that you’ll get out of rue21 perfumes is 4 hours. Ones that last 6 to 8 hours are the exception.

Final Thoughts

Beyond decent, rue21 perfumes and colognes are some of the best within their price range. Many of them last significantly long for a low-priced fragrance. Based on price and performance alone, rue21 perfumes and colognes are worth the try.

One of the best feminine scents that you can try is 21 Black perfume; it’s their more complex girly scent, but it’s also balanced well, not sickly sweet.

If you’re in the market or a masculine scent, then you have to try the uncomplicated, yet memorable CJ Black cologne.

Grace

Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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