The 10 Best Perfume Oils of 2023

Byredo Mojave Ghost Roll-on Perfume Oil is an incredibly captivating and complex fragrance.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Best Perfume Oils

InStyle / Alli Waataja

You've probably heard of (and own) a few Eau de Parfums, but you may not be as familiar with Huile Parfumée. Also known as perfume oil, Huile Parfumée isn’t as widely talked about as its spritzable relatives, yet this member of the fragrance family is a classic. Made in an oil base rather than alcohol (hence the name), these highly concentrated scents ultimately have much more longevity than traditional sprays and can be worn alone or layered to add vibrancy to other perfumes.

Because perfume oils are so concentrated, it can be difficult to find ones that don't completely overwhelm the senses. That's where we come in: We’ve done our due diligence researching and testing the highest-rated and most beloved perfume oils, while also asking master perfumers for some of their top picks. Overall, we found Byredo Mojave Ghost Roll-on Perfumed Oil to be the most captivating. The complex oil encapsulates the essence of the desert — cold, mysterious, and wild — with over seven notes that blend seamlessly together. No matter your scent profile preference, find the best perfume oil picks, below.

Best Overall

Byredo Mojave Ghost Roll-on Perfumed Oil

Byredo Mojave Ghost Roll-on Perfumed Oil

Bloomingdale's

What We Love: The soulful perfume is warm, sensual, and fresh all at the same time. 

What We Don’t Love: This fragrance isn’t for everyone: The combination of woody and floral notes creates a very earthy scent that takes a certain type of nose to appreciate.

Byredo is one of those brands that consistently creates unique, complex scents that captivate from first whiff — and for us, Mojave Ghost is more than a fragrance: It acts as a time machine that simultaneously transports us back to core memories and also becomes the cornerstone for new ones to be built off of. 

The initial aroma features notes of deep, musky ambrette and spicy Jamaican Nesberry, but as it dries down, it softens as hints of delicate violet peer through before chantilly musk and cedar wood round out the scented oil. The result is a truly sensual fragrance that somehow manages to be warm and fresh at the same time. 

We appreciate that the scent is gender neutral so anyone can wear it, but just because everyone can doesn’t make it universally loved. The perfume oil is overall earthy because of the strong mix of woody and floral notes, so it may be best saved for sophisticated noses. If you do love the fragrance, it come in a full size 1.7 ounce bottle, but we love that the perfumed oil is 7.5 milliliters, making it perfect for travel. 

Price at time of publish: $78

Size: 7.5 ml | Type: L’Huile Parfum | Key notes: Deep ambrette, Magnolia, Violet, Sandalwood

Best Budget

Summer Fridays Fragrance Trio Roll On Perfume Oils

Summer Fridays Fragrance Trio Roll On Perfume Oils

Revolve

What We Love: The price point is hard to beat — each oil comes out to just $9. 

What We Don’t Love: These scents are fresh, fruity, and floral, so if you don’t like fragrances in those families, you may want to find something else. 

Though most known for skincare, Summer Fridays also creates delectable fragrance oils. Sold in a pack of three, you’re able to try a mix of fresh, fruity, and floral scents for less than $30. Coconut Wave features notes of coconut, eucalyptus, and sugarcane to form a fresh, tropical aroma that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. Meanwhile, Soft Vanilla combines hints of vanilla cream, almond blossom, and pistachio for scent that’s reminiscent of Paris streets where whiffs of fresh pastries can be found on every corner. Finally, frozen lemon and lime zest are notable in Crisp Citrus, an indulgent and refreshing fragrance that’s perfect for the warmer months. 

Price at time of publish: $27

Size: Three 9 ml bottles | Type: Huile Parfumée | Key notes: Coconut & Sugarcane, Vanilla Cream & Pistachio, Lemon & Lime

Best Splurge

Gucci The Alchemist's Garden A Kiss from Violet Perfumed Oil

Gucci The Alchemist's Garden A Kiss from Violet Perfumed Oil

Gucci

What We Love: A little goes a long way, so the bottle can (and should!) last for years. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s easy to apply too much, even with the pipette.

I know, I know — the price of this Gucci perfume oil may seem outrageous, but it earned our best splurge for a few reasons: One of Alessandro Michele’s lasting creations, the scent brings his ‘Alchemist’s Garden’ (a magical land far away where science and fantasy meet in the middle) to life. 

On its own, the musky, violet-based oil is complex yet delicate, leaving a powdery soft floral aroma on the skin. Gucci recommends layering it with any eau de parfum (though we recommend Gucci Tears of Iris) to craft a custom experience. Just like an alchemist would, you can experiment until you find a perfect scent that is uniquely your own. 

While fragrance layering, be sure to use the oil sparingly (it comes with a pipette so you can precisely place it on your pulse points) but use no more than a drop at a time, because the scent can become extremely overpowering. The good news is that because you only need to use such a small amount with each wear, the oil should last you for years.  

Price at time of publish: $438

Size: 20 ml | Type: Not listed | Key notes: Violet, Musk, Iris Petals

Best Woody

Malin + Goetz Leather Perfume Oil

Malin+Goetz Leather Perfume Oil

Nordstrom

What We Love: This perfumed oil is extremely long-lasting — the scent lingers for the entire day.

What We Don’t Love: This fragrance skews masculine, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re looking for a feminine fragrance you probably won’t like this. 

A real feast for the nose, this vegan and cruelty-free perfume oil reminds us of stepping foot into an artisan store known for its leather work: Strong base notes of leather, sandalwood, and cedarwood shine but are quickly softened with hints of fresh lotus flower and green violet. The overall effect is woody, complex, and nostalgic — one of those fragrances that makes people ask ‘what perfume are you wearing?’ 

A quick rollover on your pulse points will be enough to suffice throughout the day: The scent is strong, but not headache-inducing. And if you’re looking for a more unisex fragrance, this one fits the bill — which is something to keep in mind if you prefer more feminine perfumes. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: 9 ml | Type: Huile Perfumée | Key notes: Lotus Flower, Green Fiolet, Leather, Sandalwood, Cedarwood

Best Floral

Maison Louie Marie Perfume Oil No. 05 Kandilli

Maison Louie Marie Perfume Oil No. 05 Kandilli

Sephora

What We Love: On top of being a lovely, everyday fragrance, the minimalist packaging looks gorgeous on any vanity or nightstand. 

What We Don’t Love: While the floral notes shine, sandalwood becomes the prominent aroma as you wear this perfume, making for a more woody fragrance by the end of the day. 

Inspired by the perfumer’s mother, Kandilli from Maison Louie Marie embodies a memory her maternal figure cherishes — the aroma of tuberose flowers in her small village near Istanbul. The rich, tropical scent of the white flower layers beautifully with ylang jasmine, white lily, and sandalwood, for a fragrance oil that is sweet, warm, and comforting to the nose. 

Though the floral notes in this perfumed oil are strong, as it’s worn throughout the day sandalwood becomes more prominent, so if you’re not a fan of wood-forward fragrances you might not like how the scent evolves. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Size: 15 ml | Type: Huile parfumée | Key notes: Tropical tuberose, White lily, Ylang jasmine, Sandalwood

Best Fresh

Carter + Jane Beach House Roll-on Aroma

Carter+Jane Beach House Roll-on Aroma

Carter + Jane

What We Love: This fragrance skews unisex, giving it universal appeal. 

What We Don’t Love: The scent doesn’t linger as long as other perfume oils. 

Beach House from Carter+Jane is an olfactory experience, reminiscent of a weekend away next to the ocean. Think of the sand in your toes and the peace you feel when you listen closely to the gentle waves rushing beneath you — this fragrance encapsulates those feelings in a five milliliter bottle.

The oil is both fresh and tropical without being overwhelmingly sweet, making it the ideal unisex scent. Base notes of sandalwood and rosewood are brightened with tinges of vanilla, grapefruit, and lavender. Coconut and lemongrass round out the fragrance with a crisp zing that energizes your senses while also calming your mind. 

Carter+Jane is passionate about only using natural ingredients to prevent skin irritation. While we appreciate this, it's worth noting that you may need to reapply throughout the day because this natural perfume’s scent fades pretty quickly. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Size: 5 ml | Type: Not listed | Key notes: Coconut, Lemongrass, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Rockrose

Best Gourmand

NEST New York Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Oil

NEST New York Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Oil

Sephora

What We Love: This perfume oil comes in multiple sizes — including a 30 milliliter dropper bottle, and a six milliliter rollerball option. 

What We Don’t Love: Coconut quickly disappears as a top note so you’ll only be sporting a vanilla scent for the majority of the wear.

Sumptuous and masked in mystery, this fragrance oozes sensuality as a superpower. The process required to make a small bottle of the oil is nothing short of tedious: Madagascar vanilla is one of the most expensive perfume ingredients in the world to harvest because of the special monitoring it requires for a fruitful crop. The plant’s harvesters spend a year curing and drying each vanilla pod one by one before sending them to the perfumers — and once you get a whiff of the oil, you’ll understand why perfection takes time. 

Vanilla bean is the star note of this sweet fragrance, but hints of fresh vanilla orchid and coconut freshen it as it melts into skin. The scent comes in multiple sizes: A 30 milliliter dropper bottle as well as a six milliliter rollerball option, which is a rarity for perfumed oils. And, this should go without saying, but if you aren’t a fan of vanilla, you probably won’t enjoy this fragrance, especially since the coconut note fades pretty quickly. 

Price at time of publish: $98 for 30 mL; $35 for 6 mL

Size: 30 ml and 6 ml | Type: Huile Parfumée | Key notes: Madagascar vanilla bean, Vanilla orchid, Coconut

Best Fruity

The 7 Virtues Lotus Pear Perfume Oil

The 7 Virtues Lotus Pear Perfume Oil

Sephora

What We Love: The rollerball is made of jade, a stone said to boost happiness and create harmonious energy. 

What We Don’t Love: The bottle can leak if it’s not properly stored. 

Juicy, flirty, and effervescent are just a few words to describe this truly unique take on a fruity fragrance. Upcycled orange and Williams pear immediately tantalize the senses for a surprising burst of energy before gardenia, lotus flower, geranium, and just a tinge of vanilla mellow it out.

As it wears, it actually provides a slew of mental benefits: Lotus pear improves concentration, acts as a mood stabilizer, and can increase feelings of bliss. While the intermingling notes play a big role in these mental enhancements, another key feature that aids in those benefits is the jade rollerball. The stone is said to boost happiness and create harmonious energy.  

It’s difficult to find anything not to love about this fragrance, but after toting it around we realized it has a tendency to leak (a downside of the jade ball). As long as you store it upright, that shouldn’t be an issue, though. 

Price at time of publish: $69

Size: 20 ml | Type: Not listed | Key notes: Williams pear, Lotus flower, Gardenia, Orange flower, Geranium

Best Essential Oil

Kai Perfume Oil

Kai Perfume Oil

Amazon

What We Love: For a luxury, cult-favorite product, the price point is pretty affordable. 

What We Don’t Love: This scent can be too faint for some. 

Kai’s founder, Gaye Straza, spent so much of her youth surrounded by exotic white flowers that she created her own scent to embody the spirit of this innocent time. Made with a gorgeous blend of essential oils (including gardenia, jasmine, and lily), the resulting fragrance is equal parts light, airy, and floral.

Without failure, every time I wear this perfume oil, someone stops to ask what I’m wearing — and though it is a classic, it has not been tainted by TikTok virality. Keep this in your purse to dab along your wrists and neck throughout the day, as it can be pretty faint, so touch ups are welcome recentering moments. 

Price at time of publish: $52

Size: 30 ml | Type: Not listed | Key notes: Gardenia, Jasmine, Tuberose, Lily

Best for Everyday

By Rosie Jane Rosie Perfume Oil

By Rosie Jane Rosie Perfume Oil

By Rosie Jane

What We Love: It’s light and simple enough to layer.

What We Don’t Love: Though we love that it’s a light, everyday fragrance, you mind find yourself reapplying multiple times throughout the day to fully enjoy the scent.

If you’re searching for a scent that smells like your skin but better, look no further than the Rosie Perfume Oil from By Rosie Jane. Named after the brand’s founder and inspired by clean, naked skin, this delicate second skin fragrance combines notes of soft rose, nude musk, and vanilla to capture the feeling of stepping out of a rejuvenating shower.

Worn alone, the light fragrance melds with your body chemistry to smell like you, but when layered with other scents it adds vibrancy. This is one to keep stashed in your purse because it does fade faster than other fragrances, so you may want to reapply throughout the day. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Size: 7 ml | Type: Pure perfume oil | Key notes: Rose, Nude musk, Vanilla

What to Keep In Mind

Size and Container

Compared to Eau de Parfums and Eau de Toilettes, you may have noticed that most of the perfumes on this list come in very small bottles (with most under 20 milliliters). According to Tory Burch Fragrances perfumer, Ralf Schwieger, there’s a very specific reason for this. “Perfume oils are highly concentrated scents and in turn are more potent,” he explains, which constitutes the smaller containers. This is important to keep in mind, because even though perfume oils are much smaller than Eau de Parfums (and can be just as pricey), you won’t need to use as much product to get the longevity you want. 

That said, perfume oils typically come in one of two formats: The first and more common is a rollerball, which can be swiped along your pulse points. The other is in a slightly larger dropper format (which both Gucci The Alchemist's Garden A Kiss from Violet Perfumed Oil and NEST New York Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Oil come in). These bottles with pipettes allow you to precisely place the fragrance, but keep in mind that it is much easier to go overboard with these, so be sure to only use a drop at a time to not overwhelm your senses. 

Notes

The notes of a fragrance are extremely important when it comes to choosing a perfume oil. This composition plays a key role in the final product — the interaction between the different notes and your skin transforms a perfume oil into something that’s uniquely your own.

You’ll only smell top notes for about 15 minutes, heart notes for close to an hour, and base notes for six plus hours — because of this, it's best to choose a perfume oil with base notes that you'll want to wear all day. 

Your Questions, Answered 

What's the difference between Eau de Parfum and a perfume oil?

According to D.S. & Durga founders David Seth Moltz and Kavi Ahuja, the sole difference is the foundation of the perfume. “Perfume oil is a perfume that is used in an oil base, as opposed to alcohol which is the traditional base of Eau de Parfum.” The oil base ultimately makes the scent more potent and long-lasting.

How do you use perfume oil?

Many perfume oils are poured into a container that’s topped with an applicator (usually a pipette or rollerball) making it easy to carefully apply onto areas where fragrance should be placed — like the inner elbows, inside of your wrists, and behind your earlobes. If you have a product with a rollerball, a few swipes back and forth should do the trick, whereas if you have a product with a dropper, one small drop should suffice.

Schwieger recommends using perfume oils on pulse points and even suggests a method of layering to enhance the scent. “Dab [the oil] and allow it to melt into your skin — this method will increase longevity when paired with a perfume,” he says. “Pair your favorite perfume with a complimentary oil to create a scent that’s unique to you.”

Does Eau de Parfum or perfume oil last longer?

It really depends on your body chemistry, says Ahuja. “How long something lasts is up to the wearer’s skin and perception,” she explains. But typically, because perfume oils are more concentrated, their scent will linger for longer. In the case of both Eau de Parfums and perfume oils, you can spritz or roll on it in more areas — focusing on your pulse points — to have a longer-lasting effect. 

Why Shop With Us

Valeriya Chupinina is a full-time shopping and beauty freelance writer. Before freelancing, she wrote for Coveteur, HYPEBAE, Cosmopolitan, StyleCaster, Health, and Real Simple magazines. Now, she writes about beauty and fashion for multiple publications. In order to find the best perfume oils, Chupinina put top fragrances to the test, weighing the pros and cons of each product to make the most informed decision. In addition, she interviewed professional perfumers, including Ralf Schwieger and founders of D.S. & Durga, David Seth Moltz and Kavi Ahuja so they could provide more insight on perfume oils.

Related Articles