The preppy style was first influenced back in the 1920s by Ivy League students. It has evolved over time but those traditional elements of clean bookishness can still be seen.
Through the decades, the 60s and 70s had a huge influence on the style with sweaters, cardigans, and layers combined with low-heeled shoes and tailored blouses really made an impact.
If you’re into this fashion then you may have wondered what scent to pair your latest look with.
There are lots of sporty perfumes, elegant scents and sexy fragrances but there aren’t as many obvious preppy perfumes. That is, until you look a little more closely.
12 Preppy Perfumes
1. Vera Wang Preppy Princess
For me, the tartan, pink, heart-shaped bottle is a little too in your face to be classed as preppy. However, it’s not all about appearance, is it? What’s inside the bottle is a reflection of what the name suggests; a clean, floral, fresh fragrance.
Preppy Princess feels incredibly breezy at the head but it dries down to something much sweeter and warmer. I love this as it reminds me of clothes drying outdoors in the summer.
I love the fact the Preppy Princess demands attention without going over the top; much like the fashion style. It lasts a good amount of time on the skin but you have to get quite close to appreciate it fully.
2. Jo Malone Blackberry And Bay
Speak to anyone with a passion for preppy and they’ll tell you that any Jo Malone fragrance fits the bill. But I personally believe that Blackberry and Bay just pips the rest to the post.
It feels very refreshing thanks to the grapefruit which also adds a certain tang to the sweetness of the blackberry. Imagine a summer cocktail and you’re along the right lines. But in addition to this, there’s a slight earthy tone that lends this to be a richer, evening perfume.
Since a lot of preppy fragrances are much more delicate, they’re generally only suited to daytime wear. But this facet of its character makes Blackberry and Bay a little more appropriate for those times when you want to remain true to your style but also make a statement.
3. Oriflame Preppy Chic
Floral scents are perfect for matching a bookish, seemingly innocent preppy aesthetic and this pink floral perfume is one of my favorites. It’s bursting with the fresh, spicy accord of rose so it feels beautiful and feminine.
However, Preppy Chic also has a very creamy and warm character that I imagine any prep school girl would smell like. What’s more, it’s a beautifully delicate scent because preppies wouldn’t want an offensive or loud fragrance. Rather one that shows off their neat and expensive appearance.
As a day-to-day perfume, this affordable perfume is ideal, especially in the summertime when the floral accords really come to life.
4. Issey Miyake Pleats Please
Pleats Please is a floral fruity fragrance that is described as being inspired by pleated fabrics that move with the body. What that translates to is a super feminine floral perfume that might easily become your summer go-to.
All preppy perfumes need that floral hit and Pleats Please does it in a way that’s not overpowering and takes me to a botanical garden, floral scents fluttering on the breeze.
Pleats Please is delicate and feels hugely romantic. I can imagine wearing this in a cute wrap dress and flats on a date with my Mr. Preppy. There’s almost a vulnerability about the scent that makes you feel like a princess ready to be swept off her feet.
5. Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Girl was the first perfume that sprung to my mind when I started thinking about preppy fragrances. Imagine transporting yourself back to a spring formal in the 60s and that is what this smells like. It’s very rosy and clean with an opening that has a very soapy character; almost fresh out of the shower.
I used to wear this in the 90s and always got a hint of tea. It appears I’m not the only one to think this but it’s not actually a note that features. In any case, this ‘silent’ accord adds to the freshness of the perfume which is gentle and delicate.
While I do agree that this is a preppy perfume, there’s also a real sportiness to it which makes it ideal if you want something more versatile.
6. Lauren by Ralph Lauren
Many would argue that Lauren by Ralph Lauren is one of the most classic preppy perfumes out there. It’s got all the right characteristics including floral and green notes. There’s also a warmth to the dry down that feels nothing short of exquisite.
With such a rich history within the preppy culture, it’s no wonder that Lauren is a go-to. There’s a sharpness to it that makes it instantly noticeable although it’s not in your face. Instead, the fragrance moderately projects around a space giving off a feminine and elegant vibe.
7. Eau De Prep by Tommy Hilfiger
The OG Tommy Girl was never intended to be a preppy fragrance but Tommy Hilfiger has those hardcore preppies covered. Eau de Prep Tommy Girl was launched sometime after Tommy Girl in 2011 and has a totally different character.
While there are still those floral and fresh notes, there’s a definite powdery feel to this fragrance which I feel matches the preppy style to a T.
Eau de Prep is incredibly versatile and combines freshness and sweetness to make this a perfume you could wear to any event. It is very intimate, however, and while this is an aspect I’d expect from a preppy perfume, this might be taking it a little too far. On the skin, it doesn’t last long and you’ll want to respray throughout the day.
8. S. Oliver Prime League Woman
The preppy appearance of the bottle instantly draws you in and the sheer pinkness tells you right off the bat how feminine this perfume is going to be.
For me, Prime League for women is the perfect perfume for wearing on a girl’s night out. It’s fruity, fresh, and smells almost good enough to eat. That’s probably the addition of the cosmo cocktail in the heart notes!
The preppy style is a very youthful fashion trend which is fitting because Prime League does suit a younger woman very well. Some perfumes, with their heavy floral notes, can feel a bit too mature but this one is ideal for the fun-loving young lady.
9. Tom Tailor College Sport Man
Don’t be fooled by the name; this is a women’s perfume. Although there is a guy’s version as well for all those preppy boys out there.
Inspired by 1960s college sport, Tom Tailor brings us a modern version of a traditional style. That clean character you want from a preppy perfume comes in the form of orange blossom and it feels like laundry fresh out of the dryer.
As one would expect from any preppy fragrance, College Sport Man isn’t over the top. Instead it boasts a delicate and girly fragrance that sits well on the skin without giving everyone around you a banging headache.
10. Chloe Eau De Parfum Chloé
Chloe Eau de Parfum is perfect for a preppy princess. Even the delicate bow around the top of the bottle is reminiscent of the scarf you may have tied around your neck.
This floral rosy perfume has an additional facet than many other preppy perfumes in that it is slightly more mature and seductive. If you find yourself crossing between the neat freshness of preppy style and something a little more sensual then I’d highly recommend Chloe. It feels a little richer and a little more daring but still with that girly confidence.
I also love that Chloe is a little more intense than some of the other preppy fragrances. This makes it perfect for date nights, meals in a nice restaurant and other, more versatile events.
11. Burberry Woman
Burberry Woman opens with a much more crisp start than anything else I’ve included on this list, bar perhaps Lauren by Ralph Lauren. This, for me, feels like a spring morning eating fresh fruit on the balcony of an English hotel.
But don’t worry, Burberry Woman still has those feminine floral bursts that preppy perfumes are all about. There’s a real sweetness to this fragrance and it’s very powdery which lends it to be a slightly more mature and elegant option.
If there’s one problem with Burberry Woman, though, it’s how weak it is. It doesn’t last all that long and while we are looking for something understated, we don’t want the scent to disappear after just a couple of hours. For this reason, I’d use this as a handbag spray for freshening up.
12. Calvin Klein Woman
I was so happy that this perfume fell into the preppy category because it’s the one I’m wearing whilst writing this list. Calvin Klein Woman is a stunning, clean scent that for me, defines that preppy style.
This is a really fresh and comforting fragrance that works so well as a signature scent, especially if you’re looking for something a little lighter. It’s certainly not in your face but when I wear it, I keep catching delicate whiffs throughout the day.
The orange blossom accords give Calvin Klein Woman a real soapy and feminine character but the black pepper and woods balance it perfectly. It’s almost like those iconic preppy layers that we see in the outfits. The perfect pair, in my opinion!
Preppy Perfumes: What Do They Really Mean?
One of the most iconic preppy perfumes is Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Anyone who was in the thick of the 80s preppy trend will tell you that this is what any preppy worth their salt would douse themselves in.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren is a green floral scent and many preppy perfumes that have followed have had the same character. There’s also a clean and fresh feel to any perfume that one might class as preppy; you certainly wouldn’t go for a rich, mysterious and dark scent.
Imagine a girl wearing a pleated tailored skirt, a cotton blouse, and a soft knit cardigan; it’s a neat and well-put-together style, right? And that’s exactly what your preppy perfume should reflect. Preppy perfumes should be feminine and confident, just like the style.