The sweet smell of burning butter and Sunday pancakes with Mom, Purell’s acidic stench and those vodka shots you did Saturday night… Some scents just take you back. The places you grew up and the people you love have a massive impact on your favorite (and least favorite) smells.
Still, we’re all more alike than you might think. Everyone’s got a nose, and cultures worldwide seem to gravitate towards the same few smells.
If you’re looking for a new signature scent, these fan favorite fragrances from around the world might just be the perfect map for finding your fit.
What Are the Most Popular Scents?
Vanilla may be the world’s most popular scent, but you’ll find these five scent categories anywhere you run off to. We’re not here to follow trends — but if you’re stuck in a fragrance rut, sometimes it helps to go back to basics.
Smell how flannel looks with woodsy scents like cedarwood, sandalwood, eucalyptus, and musks.
If you want to trick people into thinking you know how to chop down a tree or pitch a camping tent, a dark resin-based fragrance like Show Pony is a great place to start. Sandalwood and vetiver do the heavy lifting — so you don’t have to. Sit back, relax, and let the compliments roll in.
We took our Sweet Ash time creating this next fragrance with moss, woods, patchouli, and fir balsam. It’s giving Bavarian Forest. It’s giving Pacific Northwest. We’re talking a fragrance more addictive than whatever Canadians put in their maple syrup. Instead of getting lost in a literal forest, get lost in this compelling scent.
Finally, we couldn’t talk about woodsy scents without throwing it back to a fan favorite: Way with Woods. It’s The Avengers of earthy, woodsy fragrances. Sandalwood, amber woods, vetiver, and musk team up to save the world (or at least save you from smelling like post-workout B.O.)
Geranium, orchid, freesia, gardenia — yeah, you know what flowers are. We won’t bother listing all of the bloom-based smells that make us feel like extras on Bridgerton, but uplifting floral fragrances are global fan favorites for a reason. Still, these aren’t your grandma’s florals.
The sweet scents of ylang-ylang, jasmine, and peony come together in Ex on the Beach for a floral power hour. It’s the type of flirty scent that will make your favorite ex un-block you. Thankfully, you’ll be too busy sunbathing to notice.
Finally, Strawberry Moon is the best of both worlds. Earthy saffron, leather, and amber woods meet up with floral iris and jasmine to prove that opposites really do attract. If you’re having FOMO watching your friends’ IG stories at Miami Beach (or the South of France, IYKYK), this floral fragrance brings the beach to you year-round.
Eat your veggies, and wear your fruits. No, not those watermelon and green apple scents you used to find at the mall. Fruity smells like cassis, grapefruit, or bergamot bring zest to smoky bottles without feeling like you’re at a middle school dance.
They always come back, so obviously, Ex on the Beach needed another moment in the spotlight. Fig and citrusy orange blossom round out this fragrance with an addictive quality that will make you want to answer that “U Up?” text. What is it they say about forbidden fruit?
Natural Talent puts apricot and clementine center stage next to cashmere and suede. This juicy contradiction is confidence in a bottle. Maybe they’re born with it, maybe it’s 30ml of pure charisma.
Finally, peach is more than just an Honorable Mention — it’s the second-most popular scent in the world. (You can’t argue with science.) Don’t be surprised if your mouth starts watering when it teams up with spiced black walnut in our zesty fan-favorite bottle.
Spice up your life with fragrances like cinnamon, pepper, ginger, and sea salt.
Burning Bridges is a smoky scent that’s chemically engineered to make you ten percent hotter. Okay, not really. But mixing up fresh spices and tobacco with rose, oakmoss, and vanilla is almost unbelievably bold. Spicy scents aren’t for the faint of heart, and Burning Bridges doesn’t shy away from the drama.
Candles, skincare, lotions, and essential oils can get in on the fragrance game, too. Cozy cardamom and cinnamon set the mood in Instant Karma, a dark and dreamy candle scent that can spice up any night, anywhere — just don’t blame us if you wake up married in Vegas.
These may be some of the world’s most popular scents, but you know you best. Trust your own damn nose, and use Snif’s try before you buy kit to find what you love. Whether it’s gold medal holder vanilla or something experimental like pink peppercorn, there’s no wrong way to Snif.
Scientists reveal the world’s most popular smell | The Week
This Could Be The World's Favorite Scent, No Matter Where You Are From | Science Alert