When it comes to the best perfumes for teens, it can be tricky because so many of the fragrances marketed towards teenagers are candy sweet, super fruity and overpowering. It’s hard to find something that doesn’t smell, well, for a lack of a better word: cheap. And teens are usually just entering the world of perfume and makeup, and so it can be easy for them to go overboard. But there are actually a lot of really lovely, understated perfumes that are perfect for teens that don’t smell like a Jolly Rancher factory (not a hyperbole!).
We all remember the very first perfume we ever had. Graduating from drugstore body sprays and wearing “real” perfume for the first time felt like our whole world was about to change. It’s a rite of passage. So all the more reason to find the perfect fragrance for the teen you’re buying for. We’ve pulled together the best perfumes for teens that are age-appropriate, non-tacky and she’s guaranteed to love.
Best Perfumes for Teens
When it comes to celebrity fragrances, Ariana Grande has some of the best. And any Ariana fan will obsess over her “Cloud” perfume. Bright and playful, it comes in a cloud-shaped bottle and has top notes of lavender.
Speaking of celebrity perfumes, Katy Perry also has a great one. With notes of dark berries and bergamot, her “Killer Queen” perfume is perfect for the teen who wants something a bit edgier.
Daisy by Marc Jacobs is one of the most popular teen and young adult fragrances, and it has been since its launch in 2007. It’s a more complex scent than, say, a Victoria’s Secret spray, but it’s still light and playful. Daisy has top notes of green tea that make it ethereal and fresh, and set it apart from the typical “teen fragrance.” Popular, yes. Unique? Always.
Ellis Brooklyn’s “Library Discovery Set” is perfect for the teen with a literary soul. This set of eight different mini sample perfumes is great for gifting, because teenagers are in that phase where they’re figuring out their personal taste. So this way they can test drive each scent to discover their favorite.
True to its name, “Flowerbomb” is a bright floral burst, but it’s also very sophisticated. If the teen you’re buying for reads Vogue and always has her thumb on the pulse of fashion trends, she’ll love this scent from Viktor&Rolf.
Rachel Zoe’s vanilla musk perfume smells gorgeous, but it also gives your teen a strong message: “exude strength and grace no matter the challenge life presents.” That is the ultimate empowered woman.
Unsure what perfume to get your teen? Get them a perfume monthly subscription box that’s curated with different scents every month! It’s personalized too — you take a quiz explaining your preferences, and then you get to select from all kinds of luxury perfumes (Gucci, Prada, Philosophy, Rebecca Minkoff, and tons more). This is perfect for the teen who’s really just not sure what their signature scent is and want’s to try ’em all (without breaking the bank).
If the teen you’re buying for loves anything vintage inspired or binge-watches period dramas like “The Crown,” she’ll likely love this classic floral fragrance from Tocca.
If you’re buying for a very special occasion like a graduation or a sweet 16, then a designer perfume, like Gucci’s “Gorgeous Gardenia” makes a thoughtful gift. Also fragrances are typically the lesser expensive items from designer brands, and so it’s a great way to give a designer label without breaking the bank.
If the teenager you’re buying for likes things more understated, she’ll love this crisp and clean fragrance from Fresh. The travel-friendly rollerball is particularly great if she’s an athlete, so she can toss it in her gym bag before practice.
At just $12 each, these perfume oils are super affordable and perfect for the teen who loves anything sparkly. Available in three scents, we’re partial to “Boy Tears,” a soft spicy fragrance. *Note that the glitter is purely decorative and does not transfer to the skin.
You may associate Bath & Body Works with body sprays, lotions or hand sanitizer, but they have some really lovely, higher-end perfumes as well. This “Perfect Peony” scent is ideal for any teen who wants something floral, but not overly sweet.
If her favorite activity is trying on clothes at Abercrombie and going to the food court for a pretzel afterwards, give her A&F’s signature perfume, “Naturally Fierce.” It’s light and airy without being overbearing.
Clinique Happy is a cult classic for a reason. You may remember begging your parents for a bottle when you were a teen, and it’s still a hit. It’s a great entrance into fragrance if your teen is graduating from drugstore body sprays to real, actual perfumes.
Philosophy describes its “Amazing Grace” perfume as the little black dress of fragrances. And everyone needs a LBD in their closet, and everyone needs a great perfume on their vanity table.