Once upon a time, perfumes were considered luxury items. But today, it’s something we all buy by the bucketload, so we have lots of options.
While I’ve been discovering unexpectedly beautiful niche fragrances and bargain buys, there will always be designer fragrances that don’t wane in popularity. Dior and Chanel are among the top sellers, which isn’t surprising. But what other perfumes make up the all-time best-selling perfume list?
If you want to keep up with the latest perfume trends and get your hands on the hottest fragrances, you have to check out this list. I’ll count down the top 10 best-selling perfumes in the world. Will your favorite scent be on there? It’s time to find out. Let’s dive in!
1. Chanel No 5
And oldie but a goldie
Chanel No 5 is a perfume that’s stood the test of time for a century. Despite being the oldest perfume on this list, it stands firm in the top spot. It just goes to show that classics never fail.
I mean, let’s be honest, No 5 isn’t to everyone’s taste and some would even call it a ‘granny perfume.’ But I personally think this floral, aldehydic fragrance is elegant and super feminine. After all, it was designed to smell like a woman.
Chanel’s biggest beauty customer base is in China, closely followed by France but this scent is globally popular. So popular in fact, that up to 10 million bottles are sold each year. The perfume has proven to be so well loved that Chanel even launched a limited edition called Grand Extrait which is No 5 ‘in its rarest form.’ But if you want a luxurious bottle of that, you need to be willing to fork out $2,225.
I can’t see Chanel No 5 ever going out of fashion. People are calling it an iconic staple, fascinating and beautiful.
2. Dior Sauvage
Masculinity in a bottle
Dior Sauvage was originally launched in 1966 and is a classic scent. However, it’s the modern reformulation that’s taken the world by storm and it’s probably got a lot to do with Johnny Depp. The sexy, mysterious advertising campaign threw Sauvage directly into the spotlight and it was impossible to ignore.
Guys have been sold the idea that, by wearing Sauvage, they’ll be manly and irresistible. It’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination. Sauvage may be an instantly recognizable scent due to its popularity but there’s no denying how intoxicating it is. I’ve seen reviews calling it spectacular and I think one of the reasons it’s so well loved, apart from the scent, is how well it performs.
And I’m not the only one to think so since Dior flogs a bottle of this beauty every three seconds. That’s a daily turnover of more than $4.5 million for Sauvage alone.
3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Beautifully soft and floral, a true feminine fragrance
Coco Mademoiselle is one of the best selling perfumes in the US along with other modern floral classics like Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf. However, it’s also the second biggest-selling Chanel perfume in France, topped only by No 5.
I think one of the reasons it’s been so popular is that it’s something that the younger generation can get on board with. No 5 may be the best selling from this brand, but it is very mature. I’ve seen lots of younger women praising Coco Mademoiselle, calling it their favorite scent and raving about its longevity.
Performance is always something that’ll make a perfume sell and the proof is in the pudding. In 2019, the perfume was estimated to make more than £26 million in the UK alone; that’s around $32 million.
4. Dior J’Adore
A sparkling, elegant fragrance for women of all ages
Dior is the leading perfume brand alongside Chanel, so it is no surprise that yet another of their perfumes features on the best-sellers list.
But it’s not just the fact that people love Dior. It’s the very essence of this perfume that makes it so popular. Launched in 1999, J’Adore is a white floral fragrance that doesn’t feel as though it’s just come out of your granny’s vanity cupboard. Instead, it’s bright and opulent, yet remains classy. It’s done so well because it appeals to the masses.
This is a hugely popular scent in Europe, with France being one of the top lovers of J’Adore. However, it’s also massive in the UK, with more than 1.77 million owners of the fragrance every year.
5. Dolce And Gabbana Light Blue
A 00’s classic that isn’t going anywhere
I remember wearing Light Blue in my late teens and early 20s. It felt unlike anything else and I think that’s one of the reasons it sells so well. If I were to pick out a perfume that was immediately recognizable and couldn’t possibly be mistaken for anything else, it’s this one!
Just like Dior Sauvage, D&G used the power of sexuality in its marketing campaign for Light Blue. The fragrance was advertised by world-renowned (and gorgeous) male model David Gandy and the stunning Marija Vujovic, entwined on a raft, the sun beating down on their bronzed skin as they sailed over the beautiful blue water.
With marketing like this, it’s no wonder that the perfume sells around 5.8 million bottles every year around the world.
6. CK One by Calvin Klein
90s nostalgia that remains a best seller more than 25 years on
If you were around in the 90s then you would have no doubt owned, or at the very least smelled a bottle of CK One. This is perhaps one of the most iconic fragrances ever launched and there’s something about it that keeps the buyers coming even today. While it’s popular around the world, it seems the Italians are most in love with this classic scent.
CK One is a citrusy unisex fragrance that’s so easy to wear. Personally, I believe that this is why it sells so well. You can wear it anytime and anywhere, so it’s considered a staple fragrance. Moreover, it’s one of the more affordable fragrances and people are always keen to bag a bargain.
That said, Calvin Klein is still making a killing from this scent. In its heyday, in the 90s, the perfume made more than $90 million yearly. While it’s not selling as well today, CK One still brings the brand more than $30 million in sales annually. That’s definitely nothing to turn your nose up at.
7. Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani
The benchmark for all other citrus aromatic fragrances
It’s said that Acqua di Gio is the best selling men’s perfume of all time. Launched in 1996, Acqua Di Gio is the holy grail of citrus aromatic perfumes. While similar fragrances were launched before this one, Acqua Di Gio is the perfect balance between classic and modern, so it appeals to men of all ages.
And that’s not the only selling point. It was created by master perfumer Alberto Morillas, and the advertising campaign, featuring German model Lars Burmeister, screamed sensual masculinity, which, of course, encourages people to buy.
Since the perfume’s launch, Armani has released several flankers and a women’s version. All of these have been just as popular, especially Acqua Di Gio Profumo, launched in 2015.
8. Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
A dark and mysterious scent that’s quickly become a modern classic
If you head out on the town on a Friday or Saturday evening, you will surely catch several whiffs of YSL’s Black Opium. This is a hugely popular scent with the under 30s crowd but it’s diverse enough to be worn regardless of age.
This fragrance has been said to sell up to 36 bottles every hour – that’s around 887 per day and it’s popular all around the world. In fact, over in the UK, as many as 1.88 million users wear this fragrance.
The perfume creator claims that her vision was ‘addiction’, and once you try this scent, it’s true that it’s hard to walk away. For this reason, I know of many women who use it as their signature, buying bottle after bottle. This all adds up to make Black Opium one of the top sellers on the perfume market.
9. Miss Dior by Dior
Youthful, feminine, and the perfect signature scent
We’re back with perfume powerhouse Dior again and this time, it’s their super girly and vibrant Miss Dior. I purchased this for my teenage daughter and I know a lot of younger girls and women that love this scent. I think that’s one of the leading reasons it’s been such a hit.
On top of that, Miss Dior is such an easy fragrance to wear so it works well as an everyday scent. People are keen to replace their empty bottles and that keeps the sales coming. So much so that Miss Dior is the female equivalent of Sauvage in terms of how well it sells.
Miss Dior is one of the most popular scents in Europe with more than 1.33 million bottles being sold in the UK each year alone. The brand makes more than $6.61 billion in sales globally every year and I’m under no illusion that Miss Dior plays a significant role in this.
10. Lancome La Vie Est Belle
French elegance captured in a feminine flacon
I wore la Vie Est Belle as my signature scent for quite some years. It’s sweet, girly, and versatile and I think that’s definitely one of the major selling points. Lancome also managed to sell it to me because of the advertising campaign with the beautiful Julia Roberts whose iconic status certainly helped move things along in the sales department.
La Vie Est Belle is one of Lancome’s most popular scents alongside Tresor. It’s one of the best selling Lancome fragrances in its home country of France. In fact, since 2014, this scent has become the top selling in France for Lancome, ever!
It’s also popular in other European countries including the UK where around 1.1 million users currently wear the scent. That said, it’s fast becoming one of the hottest perfumes worldwide.
Best Selling Perfumes: Conclusive Findings
While there are many beautiful scents in the world, Chanel No 5 seems to be the one that people keep coming back to. It has held the record for best selling perfume for a long time, and I don’t see sales declining anytime soon.
With brands like Dior, Armani, and YSL all making their way into the top 10, it’s easy to forget about some of the other most popular perfumes at the moment.
Tom Ford’s Black Orchid is doing really well lately, and there are plenty of other niche brands that are selling more and more perfumes. Le Labo Santal 33 is one of the upcoming best sellers in the USA while the Byredo perfume range is giving some serious clout Down Under.
And one final perfume deserves a mention as sales seem to be soaring right now. That’s MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 which has social media to thank for its newfound popularity. At the time of writing, there have been as many as 100 million views on TikTok related to this perfume.
But the question at the end of all of this is why would you want to buy one of the best seller perfumes? It’s simple: these are tried and tested fragrances that have rave reviews and that give you confidence when making a purchase.