10 best perfumes, candles and scents of 2021 | Allure Best of Beauty Awards


Do you feel that? Long green plumes of clary sage sprawling across the hallways of an upscale wellness retreat? Sparkling cognac, sprinkled on a bed of velvety tonka bean? How about a small assortment of handheld rollerblading essential oils, specifically intended for gastrointestinal relief, that you rub on your stomach after a big meal? You are only picking up traces of this year Best of Beauty winners in the Perfume category: Seven scents that define the genre, five oils, a candle and a diffuser that resembles the Guggenheim.

If this sounds like a headache, it’s because it is sort of. The perfume industry has reached dizzying new heights. The scent you loved in high school has had several generations of kids since then – bright, moody kids, edgy and beautifully bottled. There are new refillable packaging methods. They make patchouli in a way that has never been done before.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of perfume, but here’s a shot: A pandemic boom in perfume sales, coupled with pandemic mask mandates, has led some to wonder if perfume has not replaced the “lipstick index” which explains, in times of crisis, why people buy beauty.

But it can ask more questions than it answers. Is a perfume a feeling? Is this a place to get away from it all? We don’t know – we just love it. Well, we like some more than others. For the rest of SeduceBest of Beauty Winners, Click here. —Brennan Kilbane

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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