The Best Citrus Perfumes in 2023
A traditional citrus fragrance is like a juicy burst of sunshine in a bottle, perfect for adding a zesty kick to any attire or occasion. With notes of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and bergamot, these scents can make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation, with white sand beaches underfoot and crystal clear blue skies above.
However, while most citrus scents are clean, fresh, and summery, as you explore our list of the best citrus perfumes in 2023, you’ll discover options that challenge these traditional associations. Why not try a citrus scent that not only captures the essence of the fruit but also the earthy aroma of the soil in which the tree grows? Or, a Christmassy combination of citrus and spice that is perfect for those chilly winter months. The truth is, the citrus fragrance family is far more diverse than is often believed, and our list seeks to reflect this fact with a wide variety of recommendations.
No perfume collection is complete without at least one citrus-based scent, so, without further ado, let’s spritz up and find the citrus fragrance that’s right for you.
1. Atlantis by Blu Atlas
Blu Atlas’ Atlantis is a smooth and evocative fragrance that will please the crowd while also drawing the admiration of those who appreciate a more sophisticated and complex perfume. From the first spritz, a sense of adventure and discovery begins to unspool, drawing you ever deeper with layer after layer of sumptuous scents.
This innovative perfume opens with a harmonious blend of classic citrus notes, including bittersweet bergamot and fresh lemon, seamlessly infused with the dark and fruity aroma of blackcurrant. All of these fruits smell delightfully authentic—you can even detect a hint of green woodiness from the young branches they were plucked off. This blend of top notes forms a full-bodied and rich citrus aroma that could form a quality perfume in its own right, but, for Atlantis, it’s only the beginning.
Soon, delectable mid notes begin to peek into the picture, with syrupy peach and apricot being creatively balanced against herbaceous notes of lavender and clary sage. This collision of sweet fruit and savory herb doesn’t clash at all; instead, it carries forward the fruity theme of the perfume’s opening while using the herbal edge to bring a sense of maturity into the mix.
Finally, the base note blend of orris, oak-moss, violet, ambrette seed, and musk is a perfect combination of earthy, woody, and slightly floral scents. It creates the impression of a forest of knotted tree trunks covered in lichen, with the occasional wildflower patch hidden amongst them. This lingering base note is a striking and intoxicating finish to what we consider the citrus scent of the year.
2. Citrus 08 by Kayali
Kayali’s Citrus 08 is a light and refreshing fragrance that is packed with complex and vibrant notes. The top notes alone are a symphony of flavors, featuring a blend of pink grapefruit, bergamot, blackcurrant, rhubarb, and pink pepper. The sourness of the rhubarb and the spiciness of the pink pepper give the fragrance a lively, energetic quality, while the Bulgarian and Damask rose mid-notes add a touch of romance and soothing depth. The base notes of musk, oakmoss, and tonka bean provide a strong, dependable foundation that ties the whole fragrance together. Overall, Citrus 08 is a well-balanced and sophisticated fragrance that is perfect for those who love light, fresh scents with a hint of complexity.
3. Little Italy by Bond No. 9
Little Italy by Bond No. 9 is a scent inspired by authentic Italian citrus gelato, and it is oh-so-smooth! With punchy top notes of clementine, mandarin orange, and grapefruit, the citrus kick is far from subtle with this one. The mid note of neroli (orange leaves) keeps loyal to the citrus-heavy theme and adds a welcome bitterness to the otherwise sweet-as-pie formulation. The musk base note stays in the background, its earthier character suggesting the baking soil of the orchards in which Italian citrus fruit is grown.
Much like the gelato that inspired it, Little Italy is a treat and indulgence to be brought out at lighthearted special occasions rather than every day. As you would expect, this is a summer scent best worn outside in the bright, sparkling sunshine.
4. Tangerine Boy by Phlur
Tangerine Boy is a tantalizing perfume that is sure to turn heads with its irresistible blend of top notes including lemon, ginger, and black pepper. As the scent dries down, the mid notes of tangerine and apple give the fragrance a fruity and delectable twist. Amber and moss add subtle depth as base notes, helping the top and mid notes to last longer and shine brighter.
This bold fragrance is perfect for those who love being the center of attention and want to make a statement with their scent. And if you can’t get enough of Tangerine Boy’s mouthwatering aroma, you’ll be glad to know that Phlur has also released a body lotion and body wash in the same scent, so you can enjoy it all day long. Whether you’re looking to make a splash at your next event or simply want to treat yourself to a luxurious fragrance, Tangerine Boy is a must-have.
5. Citrus Riviera by BDK Parfums
Somehow, BDK Parfums’ Citrus Riviera perfume manages to successfully incorporate over 15 distinct scent notes. This seems like this should be a recipe for chaos, however, the resultant fragrance is self-assured with a tireless sense of adventure. In the top notes, various Italian citrus fruits are honeyed by sweet fig, making you feel as if you’ve been invited into the Garden of Eden. Highlights in the mid notes include mentholic eucalyptus and perhaps the most authentic smelling strawberry scent ever bottled. Prominent notes in the base include smoky Haitian vetiver, Indonesian patchouli leaf, and South American tonka bean.
As you draw in Citrus Riviera, each sniff seems to take you on a journey to 10 different destinations. If you have an adventurous spirit, then you’ll surely be keen to take this expedition every time!
6. Bohemian Lime by Goldfield & Banks
Get ready to experience the wild beauty of Down Under with Goldfield and Banks, the Aussie perfume house on a mission to share the unique scents of their native botanicals with the world! From the sun-ripened eucalyptus of the Outback to the salty sea breeze of the coast, each fragrance is a celebration of the rugged, natural charm of Australia.
This particular perfume is constructed using Australian finger lime as its core signature scent. Unlike regular limes, which are typically tart and acidic, finger limes have a more complex scent profile that is sweeter, slightly floral, and more overtly fruity. It’s a gentle and delicate aroma that breathes through all layers of this perfume without getting overpowered by the other scent notes. In a spritz of Bohemian Lime, you should also detect coriander, cedar, and Australian sandalwood. These notes come together with the finger lime to create something that is breezy, slightly tropical, and perfect for a sunny day outside.
7. Molecule 01 + Mandarin by Escentric Molecules
The original Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules was already a first-class perfume, wonderfully woody with some mischievous musk. But we actually think this new edition, which adds a heady dose of citrus to the mix, manages to improve upon the original. It takes something that was clean yet mysterious and adds a lightning zing of mandarin orange. The effect is a fragrance that maintains an enigmatic nature at its core, yet seems to sizzle in the air.
Aside from the aforementioned mandarin orange, the only other scent note in this bottle is ISO E Super, a technically synthetic aroma that nevertheless smells natural and pure. Imagine a sophisticated cedar chest filled with vanilla and spice. ISO E Super seems perfectly paired with sweet, tangy citrus, so much so that we’d be surprised if other perfume houses don’t take notice and try their own combination.
8. Flor de la Virgen by Boy Smells
While we’ve highlighted several other citrus fruits on this list of the best citrus perfumes in 2023, we’ve yet to mention the pomelo. This large, tropical fruit is known for its thick, inedible skin and fragrant, juicy flesh, which has a scent that blends rich grapefruit with sweet orange. Among the various pomelo-based fragrances we have encountered, Boy Smells’ Flor De La Virgen stands out as the most successful at showcasing the unique and distinct aroma of this fruit.
While the pomelo aroma can be detected all the way through this masterful perfume, it is most apparent in the top notes, where it is balanced against bitter fig leaf and soothing honey. The rest of the scent profile is filled out with ivy, frankincense, musk, and labdanum, but the pomelo is never lost beneath these carefully chosen and delicate layers. If you’re a fan of citrus scents and want to try something a little different, we highly recommend giving Flor De La Virgen a shot.
9. Yu Son by Altaia
Everyone appreciates a great love story and, with Yu Son, Altaia have endeavored to capture one in a bottle. The fragrance is inspired by an ancient Chinese poem about two lovers who meet in Italy, where the orange groves bloom. Appropriately, the top and mid notes of the perfume seek to conjure this locale with mandarin orange and orange blossom.
Yet, of course, there’s more to the story than that. Green tea and guaiac wood linger on the edges, hinting at the Eastern origin of the poem and giving the fragrance a much deeper character than its light and breezy citrus opening. The rest of the scent profile is filled out with dreamy white florals and engulfing amber. With its open heart, we think this scent really does capture the “spontaneity of newborn love,” just as designer Daphne Bugey intended.
10. Aro-Fac Vibes by Dhamma Perfumes
Aro-Fac Vibes is an astutely named perfume—it doesn’t just go for one vibe, it gives you a full palette of color and feeling. Playing off citrus, aromatic, spicy, woody, and fruity accords all at once, it’s a small miracle that this concoction is so cohesive and distinct in scent. It’s a fragrance that exudes confidence in itself and will lend this confidence to whoever is lucky enough to wear it.
The top notes blend bergamot with cranberry for a bright and tangy opening that isn’t shy about this cologne’s playfulness. Then comes a bouquet of earthy and floral notes; musk, with its deep warm purr, and lavender, gentle and sweet. Finally, fiery base notes wrap all of this together; the rich, warm essence of sandalwood and the exotic flair of cardamom. The overwhelming effect of this eclectic design is one of winking fun and enveloping fullness. This is a bold fragrance for a bold individual, but if you can pull it off then you’ll find people drawn to you like bees to honey.
11. Oyédo by Diptyque
Diptyque’s Oyedo is one of the purest citrus fragrances you’re likely to find. Based around lemon, lime, mandarin orange, and yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit similar to grapefruit), this perfume offers a choc-full basket of citrus treats to dig through. Diptyque seems determined to stick to the citrus palette as much as possible, only adding a sprig of thyme and some background woodsy notes to round out the scent.
Diptyque has always been dedicated to carefully selecting the finest raw ingredients and using traditional methods to extract their fragrance, and you can smell this authenticity in Oyedo. If you like your citrus perfume to be sparkling, youthful, and joyous, then this is a bottle for you.
12. Fragrance Number 05 by DedCool
As the brand name hints, DedCool is one of the trendiest fragrance houses in the business. Bursting onto the scene in 2016, DedCool was founded by Kilian Hennessy, the grandson of the founder of the Hennessy cognac company. This connection makes for quite the legacy to live up to, yet we think that DedCool’s delightful Fragrance Number 05 proves that they’ve got the mettle to do just that.
A spritz of Fragrance Number 05 begins with tingles of bergamot, cedar, and star anise in the top notes, making for a slightly tart yet enticing start. This opens out into a complex lemon-incense-geranium blend in the middle notes. The incense here provides a hint of mystery and magic, twisting the brighter notes of citrus and florals into something that seems to hold secrets. The base of Fragrance Number 05 is a more simple and time-tested affair, a reliable mix of oak moss and vetiver that is sure to please everyone. All of this comes together for a citrus-based fragrance that is utterly charming and perfect for a warm spring evening out.
On top of providing first-class perfumes, DedCool always uses recycled material to produce their packaging and even donates a portion of their profits to environmental causes. As if we needed more reasons to love this brilliant brand!
13. Under The Lemon Trees by Maison Martin Margiela
Under The Lemon Trees is a wonderful name for a citrus fragrance, but this little bottle takes its premise to some places you might not expect. Of course, there’s lots of fresh lemon through all layers of this perfume, plus a squeeze of lime and orange leaves to really sell the idea that you’re sitting in a serene citrus orchard. However, let the perfume sit for a minute or two and you’ll smell mid notes of green tea, coriander, and cardamom, the simple citrus opening evolving into something suaver and more sophisticated. This alluring mix of citrus and green spice sits on a gentle base of musk and rock rose.
As far as citrus perfumes go, you’ll find few as delightfully green, woody, and aromatic as this one. Maison Martin Margiela has managed to pull all of these accords into the picture without losing sight of the citrus center that this fragrance is built around. The result is a scent that works both as a crowd-pleaser and as a treat for those who truly know their perfumes.
14. Viking Cologne by Creed
Citrus perfumes tend to be bright and light, but what if you want that lemony zest in a darker, more mysterious alchemy? Creed’s Viking cologne provides just that, supplementing lemon, mandarin orange, and bergamot with scent notes intended to suggest rushing Norwegian fjords and secret passages carved through mountains.
In the top notes, pink pepper is used to grit up the heavy citrus opening accord, announcing this fragrance as having a more piquant character than citrus lovers may have come to expect. Mid notes balance windswept patches of lavender and geranium against fresh herbs of rosemary and sage, with a full pinch of spicy nutmeg to top it off. Most prominent in the base are sandalwood and cedar, setting an atmospheric scene of a dark forest for this adventurous scent to waft through.
Creed’s Viking Cologne takes its wearer, and whoever is lucky enough to be near them, on an expedition through a gorgeously dusky territory. Don’t hesitate to grab your ax and horned helmet and join the landing party onto the uncharted shores of this stunning scent.
15. Lake by Rosie Jane
With Lake, Rosie Jane brings us a truly daring combination of accords. Citrus and vanilla! Can it really work? One spritz will prove that it most certainly can! Part of what makes this unconventional combo click is a clever division between the layers of scent. Here, the citrus really lives in that first burst, in the top notes, while the vanilla, as a base note, emerges later.
This layered approach is impressive, a bit like two perfumes in one bottle, one following the other. After the fresh kick of lemon and bergamot has come and gone, you’ll be left with a classic vanilla and sandalwood blend. Each scent profile may not be reinventing the wheel, but they’re so robust and well-balanced that this hardly matters.
One of the greatest strengths of Lake by Rosie Jane is that, while most citrus perfumes are more geared toward spring and summer, this one can impress all year round. The warmth of the vanilla and the woody and powdery highlights come off as cozy as a knitted sweater in the fall and winter months.
16. Neroli Portofine by Tom Ford
Between designing elegant clothes and directing award-winning movies, it’s surprising that Tom Ford has the time to lend his genius to creating fragrances as well. Yet, based on the results so far, we consider ourselves extremely lucky that this multi-talented man has stepped into the world of signature scents. His perfumes are simply divine, and Neroli Portofino is among the best of them.
The top layer of this confident fragrance is a blast of four different citrus fruits, masterfully complimented by subtle hints of lavender, rosemary, and myrtle. Then comes a spray of white flowers in the mid-range, with jasmine, neroli, and pittosporum providing a stunning scent of distilled purity that wraps around you like an immaculate blanket. Finally, the base notes lean softly into the amber and musky accords, gently enough to let the aforementioned layers continue to breathe for many hours.
Neroli Portofino isn’t doing anything particularly new in its formulation (the combination of citrus and white florals is practically traditional at this point), but it struts its stuff with more verve than 99% of the competition.
17. Dean Street by OUAI
Dean Street is inspired by OUAI’s favorite street in London. Located in the snazzy Soho neighborhood, Dean Street is home to some of the best restaurants, bars, and clubs in Britain, not to mention the famous Prince Edward Theatre. Appropriately, the fragrance that this locale has inspired is delicious, spirited, and theatrical, putting on a show of fruit and flower that is matched by few other perfumes.
Immediately you’ll notice notes of grapefruit, lemon, and apricot; a gourmand entree before the big night out to come. This crisp and clean citrus opening gives out to a burst of yellow florals, bold magnolia, and honey-like lime blossom. Finally, musk and amber make for a sweet, resinous base. This joyful fragrance feels right to spritz on before a day or night out to somewhere exciting, perhaps a lively market or a trendy club.
18. Fizzy Mint by Valmont
Here we have the simplest formulation on this list of the best citrus perfumes, yet it proves that sometimes stripping things back to their basics can work best. Fizzy Mint has only one scent note per layer and is designed to mimic a classic mojito. It opens with oodles of fresh bergamot, filling the air with a zesty tang as if you yourself are crushing wedges of citrus into the bottom of a Collins glass. Then, of course, comes the mint, doubling down on the freshness of the fragrance and adding a pepperiness that provides the perfume’s signature fizz. Finally, the base note is pure verbena—lemon fresh and clean. Mmm!
Fizzy Mint is best worn as a daytime fragrance. Much like an iced mojito, its cool, refreshing character makes it ideal for enjoying under the summer sun. Launched only two years ago in 2021, Fizzy Mint is already one of our top-shelf favorites when it comes to citrus.
19. Fenty by Fenty
To create Fenty, superstar Rhianna teamed up with master perfumer Jacques Cavallier to craft a fragrance that represents the pop icon herself. The result is a little brown bottle that’s packed to the brim with charisma, style and passion. Beginning with a ripe blueberry-tangerine pop, it opens out into a bouquet of floral mid notes, including Bulgarian rose, geranium, and magnolia.
Here, the citrus and rose make the strongest impressions, the tangerine providing a refreshing fruitiness and the rose offering something more delicate and romantic. Base notes of musk and patchouli round out the fragrance for a green yet shaggy dry down that has impressive longevity.
This is a perfume that blooms with life from beginning to end. For all of its lighter and brighter notes, it’s actually surprisingly mature, perhaps due to the base note of musk that lends the whole experience an earthy, animalistic air. Though this fragrance can work all year round, it’s at its best in winter and fall, when its raw and sensual warmth stalks like a panther in the cool of the evening.
20. Orange Peel Cologne by Jo Malone
Inspired by pots of marmalade bubbling away on the stove, this novel take on citrus highlights every part of the orange fruit, with its zesty peel being featured most prominently. This focus on peel rather than flesh makes for a particularly invigorating and pleasingly bitey scent experience, one that is slightly more bitter than that of more traditional citrus-based perfumes. If you find the sweetness of certain citrus fragrances cloying or overbearing, then you may appreciate this tangier and spicier approach to orange instead.
Backing up the lip smacking orange at the center of this perfume is the tart and earthy aroma of rhubarb. This criminally underused scent note doubles down on the homemade feel of the fragrance, suggesting a humble backyard veggie patch. Add to this some warm and musky cashmere wood in the base notes, and have a perfume that practically snuggles you as you spray it on.