Curious about the collective scent of Gen Zs? It’s all about appearances and for the creative, mirthful, and boundary-breaking bunch, scents are parked at the top of their list of “how to emanate my personality”.
Gen Z is obsessed and more concerned about smelling good than ever before… sound familiar? Well, if you’re on the lookout for a fresh new fragrance or are still searching for that perfect bottle that is telling of your character, we got you covered.
We combed the internet, including #PerfumeTok, to find out just what Gen Z fragrances are like and the favourite scents of this wild, nonconformist generation.
Before you flock to the shops for your olfactory fix, take a look at this exciting list of highly sought-after fragrances to adorn your body and vanity!
- What Do “Gen Z Fragrances” Entail?
- What Gen Z Beauty Lovers Look Out for in a Fragrance
- Top “Gen Z Fragrances” by Celebrities
- Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Demure, Sweetie Pies
- Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Free-Spirited Souls
- Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Bold and Unapologetic
- Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Independent Boss Babes
What Do “Gen Z Fragrances” Entail?
No Labels for Gen Z and Their Fragrances
The younger generation, who have grown up with inclusivity as a core value, are not only reshaping societal norms but also expressing it through their preferences.
Gen Zs, in particular, believe that perfume should not be limited by gender; instead, it is a reflection of one’s awareness and open-mindedness.
Unisex fragrances have moved beyond being a niche market and have become a thriving trend, mirroring the cultural transformation led by a generation actively challenging traditional gender boundaries.
Brands that embrace this evolving landscape, with products and messaging that resonate with diverse identities, stand to win over the hearts (and noses) of Gen Z consumers.
Smaller Fragrance Brands Are Also Celebrated
If you were to ask any Gen Z person, “popular” isn’t limited to just major brands. According to Business of Fashion, Gen Z is driving mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for fragrance and investors have taken note.
All sorts of brands, especially in the beauty sphere, are gaining views and awareness through TikTok (also known as Gen Z’s favourite social media platform).
Smaller fragrance lines like Juliette Has a Gun and Parfums de Marly are being discovered by TikTok users and businesses are switching their focus to influencer marketing, user-generated content, and TikTok Shop.
Related read: 15 Best Fragrances to Try in 2023, According to TikTok
A Fragrant Playground: The More, the Better!
Replying to @✧༺ josephine ༻∞ what your perfume says about you part 5! #perfumetiktok #fragrance #fragrancetips Fragrances mentioned: Alien goddess, chanel chance eau tendre, daisy, daisy love, coco mademoiselle, ysl mon paris, marc jacobs perfect, lancome idole, bright crystal versace
The bold and fearless Gen Z flourish in the face of numerous options, while others may crumble or retreat.
They revel in the art of self-expression, breaking boundaries and embracing the ever-changing nature of their identities.
No longer bound by societal expectations, this generation thrives on the exhilarating freedom to explore, transform, and grow. This extends to all aspects of their lives, including fashion, hobbies, and even the scents they choose to wear.
So, instead of sticking to a single signature scent, they crave a personal scent library. Think of it as a curated collection that mirrors their ever-changing moods and aesthetics.
Just like their makeup palettes, these olfactory collections allow them to create unique scent landscapes that complement their day, their vibe, and their overall self-presentation.
Case in point: I’VRE, Asia’s top perfume subscription service, allows consumers to receive trial bottles or sample-sized fragrances from over 200 designer fragrance brands.
This lets you “own” multiple fragrances at a time, no matter how expensive, and also helps consumers test them out before committing to a full-sized bottle that may or may not have a hefty price tag!
What Gen Z Beauty Lovers Look Out for in a Fragrance
Sweet and Floral Scents Are a Bonus
If we’re going into the specifics, the top three scents and fragrance profiles of Gen Zs are rose, vanilla, and fruity accords, according to Kyra’s 2022 State of Beauty report and The Business of Fashion.
This makes total sense since Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540, the original viral TikTok perfume back in 2020, is an incredibly sweet fragrance with a woody gourmand floral accompaniment.
For vanilla, it could be an ode to the revival of early aughts in everything and Y2K taking over beauty trends.
As “basic” as the note may sound, vanilla is one of the most expensive and versatile ingredients in perfumery, according to Kayali’s Mona Kattan on Glossy. Vanilla scents are just beautiful, sensual, and very easy to love.
It Has to Match Their Values and Ethics
Gen Z’s approach to fragrance surpasses a simple change in preference; it reflects their values and unique perspective on life. By embracing the idea of a personalized and ever-evolving collection of scents, they are fundamentally redefining the very nature of perfume.
Therefore, brands must do more than just offer delightful fragrances. Gen Z actively seeks out independent brands that align with their own ethics and values, going the extra mile to find them.
The bold and curious Gen Z generation demands transparency. They want to know what happens behind closed doors!
One crucial requirement, in case it wasn’t already clear, is sustainability. It goes without saying that brands must prioritize environmental responsibility to thrive in this fiercely competitive industry. This includes using organic, natural ingredients, sourcing materials sustainably, and utilising recyclable packaging.
Mood and Wellness Matter Too
Perfume masters are also realising the power of scent as a wellness tool. With Gen Z putting self-care and mental health at the forefront of everything, it’s pretty much imperative that brands have to follow suit sooner or later.
Let’s just say that aromatherapy exists and works for a reason, and fragrance businesses are catching on. This seismic shift marks a departure from the traditional selling points of the fragrance industry which often centred around themes of sex, love, power, and manliness.
Today, the younger consumer demographic is steering the fragrance market towards scents crafted from ingredients known for their relaxing and comforting properties.
Acknowledging the influential role of smell, these fragrances aim to leverage the power of scent as a tool to combat daily stressors.
Top “Gen Z Fragrances” by Celebrities
Eilish No. 2 Eau de Parfum
It’s quite possible that nobody knows or represents Gen Z better than this 22-year-old creative phenom.
Grammy Award-winning pop star Billie Eilish’s fragrance line has a second act that derived from her childhood of “damp, rained-on concrete”, according to an interview with Vogue.
Developed more into a “woodsy world”, this “Gen Z fragrance” opens with fresh Italian bergamot and apple blossom. It also features papyrus and black pepper, which brings a woody, earthy spiciness into the mix.
The sensual perfume is complete with a metallic veil of ebony, palo santo, and skin musk.
Eilish No. 2 Eau de Parfum retails for RM250 (30ml), RM290 (50ml), and RM340 (100ml) at Sephora.
Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum
Expectedly so, Ariana Grande’s fragrances have proven to be quite the star in Gen Z’s eyes, coming in fourth in the race of leading fragrance brands among Gen Z.
Produced in 2018, the iconic pop star’s Cloud perfume garnered a lot of attention due to its unique scent and affordability. Just like its creator, this “Gen Z fragrance” is playful, dreamy, and inspiring.
This uplifting perfume imbues a thoughtful, artistic expression of happiness and positivity from Ariana Grande herself to her fans.
The addictive fragrance opens with an alluring blend of lavender blossom, forbidden juicy pear, and mouthwatering bergamot.
Its heart features a whipped touch of crème de coconut, indulgent praline, and exotic vanilla orchid. Lastly, it ends with sensual musks and creamy woods likened to cashmere.
Kayali Citrus | 08 Eau De Parfum
Ideated by entrepreneur and beauty mogul Mona Kattan, who is also the Global President of Huda Beauty, Kayali fragrances are fun and flirty.
The Citrus 08 perfume is inspired by the rich heritage and sophistication of the Middle East and imagined alongside sister Huda Kattan to reflect the limitless possibilities of one’s desires.
It calls upon sparkling notes of pink grapefruit blended with rhubarb, blackcurrant, and pink pepper. The floral chords are presented by rose centifolia and rose damascena from Bulgaria, while the base has a veil of musk, tonka, and mystical oakmoss.
Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Demure, Sweetie Pies
Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist
In case you missed it, this underdog brand is actually wildly popular amongst Gen Zs. Sure, fragrances from luxury brands are coveted, but don’t be fooled by drowning in steep prices!
According to statista, the leading fragrance brand for Gen Z consumers in the United States last year was Bath & Body Works.
As for the nostalgic vanilla fragrance, think of yourself enjoying an irresistibly sweet and creamy treat while wrapped up in a cosy cashmere. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?
It has a blend of vanilla, white orchid, and sparkling sugar that comes together well on its own or even better when layered with other scents.
Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist (236ml) retails for RM29 instead of RM100 at Bath & Body Works. A discount is offered at the time of writing.
Bath & Body Works Strawberry Pound Cake Body Mist
With a fragrance that sounds as delicious as it smells, it’s hard to resist. After all, who doesn’t want to smell like desserts and sugary confections? We wouldn’t be surprised if this is what the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake smells like.
Perfect for sweet Springs and Summers, this body mist contains scents of strawberries, shortcakes, and whipped cream.
It’s fun, flirty, and managed to send TikTok users into a frenzy, some of whom said they’re “obsessed with this body mist”. One user even boldly asserted that the Strawberry Pound Cake Body Mist is the only scent they care about!
P.S. Better grab this one fast, as it’s almost always sold out everywhere!
Bath & Body Works Strawberry Pound Cake Body Mist (236ml) retails for RM10 instead of RM45 at Lazada. A discount is offered at the time of writing.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62
Coming in third for Gen Z’s most favoured fragrance brands, Sol de Janeiro has whipped up irresistible scents that get sold every seven seconds or so.
Their original perfume mist, Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62, is the one that started it all and claimed its way to the top of many favourite perfume lists. It’s full of warm notes like pistachio and salted caramel paired with vanilla, sandalwood, heliotrope, jasmine petals, and more.
Sol de Janeiro describes the scent as “a blend of the best summer you ever had and the best summer you’re about to have”. Surely, this one’s a keeper for those of us in tropical countries, right?
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 retails for RM170 (90ml) and RM245 (240ml) at Shopee.
Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Free-Spirited Souls
Victoria’s Secret Bare Eau de Parfum
Known as Victoria’s Secret’s most personal fragrance yet, Bare Eau de Parfum responds and adapts to your body chemistry to reveal your ideal signature scent.
The woody floral fragrance starts with an effervescent freshness of Madagascar mandarins softened with dewy Egyptian violet petals. It then ends with a cocooning base of Australian sandalwood.
Authentic, you’ll never have to worry about using the same scent as someone else and playing “who wore it better”.
KIERIN NYC Sunday Brunch Eau de Parfum
If you’re a fan of New York, cafe-hopping, and savouring life’s moments, you’ll love this “Gen Z fragrance”.
Inspired by everyday micro-moments associated with living in New York City, Kierin NYC has created four fragrances with their own story to tell. Sunday Brunch personifies a celebratory mood and the notion of making memories of a life well lived.
This cheerful and luminous perfume has a citrus and floral blend of lemon, jasmine, Italian bergamot, and Earl Grey tea. As a bonus, its bottle is easy to bring around and decorated in graffiti-style artwork.
Floral Street Arizona Bloom Eau de Parfum
Touted as “freedom in a bottle”, this uplifting floral-amber and vegan perfume channels desert wilderness and sunny skies.
The “Gen Z fragrance” starts with Madagascan black pepper paired with hints of Balinese coconut. Nomadic and euphoric in its nature, Arizona Bloom then flows into fig leaves, jasmine petals, oakmoss, salted musks, and cashmere woods.
Floral Street Arizona Bloom Eau de Parfum retails for RM170.75 (10ml) and RM446.97 (50ml) at Nordstrom.
Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Bold and Unapologetic
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum
The Chanel N°5 Parfum may be the most iconic Chanel perfume of all time, but there’s another captivating bottle that’ll bring your admirers to their knees.
Chanel noted this perfume as “the essence of a bold and free woman”, so if you regard yourself as a feminine person with a strong personality and surprising freshness, this Gen Z fragrance is for you!
This sophisticated eau de parfum is bold and sensual yet clean and dainty at the same time — a beautiful contrast (or, rather, fusion) that attracts an abundance of compliments.
It features notes of orange, patchouli, and Turkish rose to unveil a scent that can be described as the “clean girl aesthetic”.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum retails for RM1,050 insted of RM1,102 at Luxury Perfume. A discount is offered at the time of writing. It’s also available for RM420 (35ml), RM660 (50ml), and RM920 (100ml) at Your Scent Station.
Boy Smells Tantrum Eau de Parfum
This award-winning scent is said to shatter expectations. Boy Smells’ Tantrum “Gen Z fragrance” is an explosive green cocktail of peppercorn and bright bergamot.
Made to demand attention and challenge the status quo, this exquisitely crafted perfume lives up to its moniker and is for the Gen Z who is not afraid to be heard.
Other notes that support its spicy, botanical mixture are mint and galbanum, infused with orris, vetiver, and cedarwood.
Boy Smells Tantrum Eau de Parfum (65ml) retails for about RM618.45 (USD 133) at August. Contact them for shipping to Malaysia or use a shipping service like easyship and shop & ship. It’s also available for about RM511.50 (USD 110) at SSENSE.
Bon Parfumeur 003 Yuzu, Violet Leaves And Vetiver Eau de Parfum
Described as “a first springtime getaway to the Amalfi Coast”, this “Gen Z fragrance” will have you wanting to dive into a pool when the sun is at its highest.
Opening on sparkling zesty and botanical notes, you’ll be welcomed with yuzu, violet leaves, and bergamot.
Meanwhile, powdery scents of white flowers lend softness and elegance to the fragrance. Adding a touch of a mischievous sense is the musk and vetiver base.
Bon Parfumeur 003 Yuzu, Violet Leaves And Vetiver Eau de Parfum is currently out of stock at Amaris, but retails for RM268.15 (30ml) at Nordstrom. It’s also available for about RM237.57 (30ml, S$68) and RM471.64 (100ml, S$135) at NICHE-BEAUTY.COM. You may use a shipping service to deliver the bottle from Singapore as NICHE-BEAUTY.COM doesn’t ship to Malaysia.
Top “Gen Z Fragrances” for the Independent Boss Babes
Marc Jacobs Fragrance Perfect Eau de Parfum
A “Gen Z fragrance” that honours optimism, originality, and self-acceptance, the Perfect perfume (pun intended) is a comforting floral fragrance.
Manifested by what Marc Jacobs likes to say, “I’m perfect as I am”, this perfume opens with tangy rhubarb and solar daffodil.
It is then tempered with smooth, creamy almond milk at the heart before finishing with a mellow dry-down of cedarwood and Cashmeran skin scent.
narciso rodriguez For Her Musc Noir Eau De Parfum
If you’re not already familiar with narciso rodriguez, it’s high time you start learning! This name resonates with luxury, sophistication, and timeless elegance in the fragrance realm.
They have gifted us all with a myriad of aromatic masterpieces over the years and are known for crafting fragrances that touch the senses deeply.
This Gen Z fragrance heightens the addictive nature of the original for her fragrance with a dark, seductive, and mysterious quality. It illustrates the ever-fascinating enigma of modern femininity and lets you wonder about a woman’s sensuality.
A darker musc with a rich olfactory depth is paired with rich leather suede accords, emboldened with heliotrope, enhanced by rose and white cedar, and made even better with a hint of luscious plum.
narciso rodriguez For Her Musc Noir Eau De Parfum retails for RM580 (100ml) at Zalora. It’s also available for RM319 instead of RM410 (30ml), RM449 instead of RM540 (50ml), and RM539 instead of RM630 (100ml) at PerfumeStore.my. A discount is offered at the time of writing.
Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum
Perfect for any confident girl boss out there, Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl Eau de Parfum has proven to be a favourite amongst Gen Zs.
Made for the modern woman, this sultry and confidence-boosting fragrance celebrates the different sides of one’s personality.
Its notes of jasmine highlight brightness and femininity, while the rich cocoa and intoxicating tonka bean capture a deeper, more daring side.
Feature image credit: @jolanibeauty/TikTok, @ashalw/TikTok, @madisonortizz/TikTok