Modern Floral Scents

Want to exude luxury? Or smell like Columbia Road Flower Market on a balmy Sunday morning? Here are Stylist's 10 favourite modern floral fragrances and the reasons why they're so special...

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Words: Charlotte Jolly

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Suffolk Lavender, Shay & Blue


    Shake off preconceptions of dry, powdery, pastel-tinged lavender. This is lavender 2.0. Dark, aromatic, infused with smoky incense and flecks of musk and pine wood. It’s inspired.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Summer Limited Edition Eau De Toilette, Burberry

    £51 (100ml),

    An uplifting, not too sweet, fruity-floral. A refined heart of rose, freesia and lily of the valley is exalted by bursts of pomegranate and mandarin. Sheer enough to mist over your hair and summer dress (the latter is pretty much mandatory if you’re reaching for this scent).

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Valentina Acqua Floreale Eau De Toilette, Valentino

    £50 (50ml),

    An alluring layering of bergamot and neroli over mimosa, jasmine, orange blossom and tuberose. Completely intoxicating and the dry down has a fresh soapiness.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Botanical Essence No.100, Liz Earle

    £47 (50ml),

    Created in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society to celebrate the centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show, this scent is a profusion of florals (individual notes are hard to pick out, but the impression is of wild and lush, sun-baked gardens). Sandalwood and vanilla base notes give it gravitas. Very gift-worthy (green-fingered friends and family in mind).

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Eau Moheli, Diptyque

    £60 (100ml),

    Ylang ylang is the main story in this floral woody musk. Usually added to offset punchier notes, such as tuberose, it’s almost unrecognisable in its starkness; sweet and ethereal, couched in crisp greenery and pepped up with patchouli, pink pepper and ginger. Delectable.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Osmanthus Blossom Cologne, Jo Malone

    £38 (30ml),

    On first spray it’s all white flowers, juicy apricots and ‘watery’ (yep, ‘watery’) accents. But give it a minute and there’s a shot of earthy petitgrain and also a buttery leatheriness. It reminds us of Columbia Road Flower Market on balmy Sunday mornings.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Le Parfum, Carven

    £38 (30ml),

    Francis Kurkdjian, the perfumer behind this scent, has played around with sweet pea, jasmine and ylang ylang. It has gravitas and it’s definitely distinctive enough to be acquired as a signature scent.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Black Orchid, Tom Ford

    £45 (30ml),

    We’ve dubbed this a ‘gothic floral’; black truffle and black currant notes kindle around a noir gourmand heart. Pops of fresh bergamot and creamy vanilla temper it to an extent, but it’s still utterly decadent. Alternative, we know, but it works.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Inflorescence, Byredo Parfums

    £130 (100ml),

    Unashamedly floral (you can definitely sniff out lingering Lily of the Valley notes among a melange of dewy blooms), but thoroughly modern thanks to a drenching of fresh jasmine.

  • Modern Floral Fragrances

    Acqua Nobile Iris, Acqua Di Parma

    £85 (120ml),

    The powdery iris note in this blend holds its own among a brace of citrusy accents, shots of violet and neroli oil, and a faint waft of aniseed. It exudes luxury.