I was never
a fruity-fragrance person until I tried one deliciously juicy launch (Tom Ford Bitter Peach, if you must know) a few years back, which essentially had a fruitifying snowball effect on my entire perfume collection. All of a sudden, I couldn’t get enough, and it’s pretty much been the same story ever since. Of course, I’m not talking about the saccharine, completely obvious fruity numbers of our youth. (Please don’t make me name them.) I’m talking about incredibly refreshing, innovative takes on the category that can easily appeal to any type of scent wearer—whether you typically tread fresh, floral, sweet, or even spicy.
In addition to peach, tangerine, and cherry, perfumes with
apple as a starring note represent some of my all-time favorite fragrances. Below, I’m taking you for a little tour. Keep scrolling for my number one apple perfume pick, plus nine more I love and recommend.
Key fragrance notes: juicy red apple, wild berries, jasmine. If you’re on TikTok, you’re more than likely already familiar with this gone-viral perfume. Folks, I am not above admitting that I was totally influenced. It’s interesting that our fragrance preferences are so unique and personal, yet some formulas just hit. And this one from Kayali is one such example. What can I say—I’m obsessed! While I do historically like sweeter perfumes, I don’t want to be hit in the face with vanilla, marshmallow, or cotton candy at first whiff. I want it to unfold and feel complicated, and Eden Juicy Apple achieves that. Yes, it’s rounded out with vanilla, amber crystals, sugared moss, and musk, but the ripe combination of ruby red apples, sweet berries, jasmine, and rose creates a well-orchestrated chaos that is all I want in a ride-or-die perfume. Warning: It will send anyone in your vicinity into the best kind of frenzy whenever you wear it.
Key fragrance notes: citrus, apple, bamboo. Not many perfumes can maintain their cult-loved status 22 years after their initial launch, but that’s exactly what Dolce & Gabbana’s award-winning scent has done. Known for its fresh and fruity crispiness, it’s probably one of the easiest-to-wear apple perfumes on my list. It’s wildly popular and fairly recognizable, but you’ll still attract loads of compliments. There’s also the part where you’ll feel like a celeb out on a Mediterranean yacht every single time you spritz.
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, apple brandy, cardamon. Kilian makes so many dynamite perfumes, and Apple Brandy is one of my favorites. It somehow flies stealthily under the radar compared to other well-known scents. It’s zingy and fresh and cosplays as a special-occasions-only perfume that you can actually wear on the daily. Plus, can we talk about the bottle? As a member of the brand’s Liquors collection, it takes inspiration from the art deco sparkle of an old-time speakeasy. Once it’s on your vanity, it almost feels too pretty to use.
Key fragrance notes: Granny Smith apple, watery notes, melon-pineapple sorbet, apricot nectar, star jasmine, white tea, sheer white woods, sandalwood, layered musks, amber. Smyth is a “can’t checkout without it” essential within Henry Rose’s wardrobe of olfactory genius. (The brand is the first-ever EWG-Verified and Cradle to Cradle–Certified fine fragrance label.) It smells like water-laden fruits, dew-dappled flowers, and sunshine-draped mornings during the first few drowsy days of summer.
Key fragrance notes: bergamot, blackcurrant, cardamom, fig, red apple, tiare, cedarwood, peach flower, praline. Leave it to Byredo to do “fruit”—particularly apple—like no other. This is one of those “I can’t get enough because it’s so good” hits that are unique and completely untethered from the categories we so desperately want to place our favorite perfumes in. It’s a little sweet, it’s a little spicy, it’s a little woodsy, and it’s a little juicy. The brand describes it as a “compilation of exotic and Swedish influences” that create “an international fruit basket.” It’s hard to describe but delicious all the same.
Key fragrance notes: crisp apple, lavender, cedar. Despite its popularity, lavender is a pretty polarizing scent. You either love it or hate it, but this perfume, which balances apple, lavender, and cedarwood, is so comforting and mood boosting that it’s hard to imagine anyone not liking it. Plus, the pretty shade of aquatic blue—inspired by the ocean—acts like an instant hit of dopamine. If you’ve been feeling stressed or anxious, give this one a go.
Key fragrance notes: Italian lemon, jasmine, bergamot. I love Ouai for many reasons, but the signature scent of a handful of the brand’s products (the conditioner, wave spray, leave-in conditioner, dry shampoo… I could go on) has to be at the top of the list. North Bondi is that same luscious scent bottled as a whenever, wherever perfume. This isn’t the most recognizably apple-dominated fragrance of the bunch, but a stealthy note of apple blossom is still a key player in the aroma’s intoxicating secret sauce.
Key fragrance notes: apple, cedar wood, cognac, oak, patchouli. If you assumed all apple perfumes were inherently “fruity,” this one (which has been around since 1966) will be a cool, very much unexpected wake-up call. To me, it’s exactly what I imagine an oak-paneled, candlelit, and leather-outfitted London smoking room to smell like (or Annie’s grandfather in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap). If you’re someone who likes a scent that’s strong, unforgettable, and more unisex, you’ve met your match.
Key fragrance notes: pink pepper, rosemary oil, apple accord, Bulgarian rose oil, Turkish rose absolute, clove oil, patchouli heart, ambroxan, labdanum, cypriol heart, castoreum. In the same vein as Established Cognac 66 (above), this special fragrance from legendary perfumer Dominique Ropion is the antithesis of any predictability pertaining to apple. (Psst—Ropion also formulated other Malle icons like Portrait of a Lady and Carnal Flower.) It’s warm and spicy, and despite the middle notes of apple, the crux of this perfume is its two very precious varieties of rose—rose essence from Bulgaria and rose absolute from Turkey. Sophistication, bottled.
Key fragrance notes: peach, raspberry, red fruits (apple, plum, grapes), lily of the valley, rose, cyclamen, coconut water, cotton candy, vanilla sugar, woody, sheer musks, amber. If you’re looking for an option that’s in the under-$50 range, I think you’ll love this number by Dime Beauty. Not only does it smell intoxicatingly good (more like gardenia and sandalwood and less like apple), but it’s also cruelty-free and vegan and formulated with organic-only ingredients. For instance, the brand uses organic sugarcane alcohol in lieu of the industry’s standard alcohol SD 40.
Key fragrance notes: lemon, ginger, apple, sweet jasmine, tangerine, amber, green moss
Key fragrance notes: ambrette seeds, pear nectar, liquid musk
Key fragrance notes: dark cherry, osmanthus, smoked woods
Key fragrance notes: pêche de vigne, blood orange, patchouli
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