Imagine a perfume. The strongest, most intense perfume you’ve ever tried on–that’s what perfume enthusiasts like to call a “beast mode fragrance”. In online circles, the term “beast mode” has gained popularity to describe fragrances that are exceptionally powerful and long-lasting. Although it’s usually men looking for these superpowered fragrances, women can wear them too–and, indeed, there are some extraordinarily intense feminine perfumes out there, those real “smell me before you see me” fragrances. Today, we’re going through our perfume cabinet to bring you eight of these “beast mode” fragrances for women: from the most vintage to the most modern!
What it means for a fragrance to be “beast mode”
When we talk about “beast mode” fragrances, we’re not just talking about strong or intense perfumes–mostly because these terms are difficult to define. Different people react differently to specific notes; for example, there are people who think that any perfume with white flowers is “strong” and others who think that any perfume with a touch of patchouli is “intense”. This isn’t what we’re talking about. When we talk about beast mode fragrances, we’re talking about perfumes that combine two particular characteristics: longevity and sillage.
In the world of perfumes, the word longevity refers to the time that the perfume lasts on your skin after application. Can you still feel it two hours later? How about eight hours later? A true “beast mode” perfume, in our opinion, should still be with you at the end of the day.
As for “sillage”, this French term refers to the trail of fragrance that you leave behind you as you walk past. Have you ever wandered into an empty elevator and smelled the perfume of the person standing there earlier? That’s sillage. If you’re looking for a real “beast mode” fragrance, we believe it should have proper sillage.
Most intense fragrances for women: Our top 8
To help you on your quest for a dizzyingly intense perfume, we’ve rounded up eight options we love. Some are vintage, some are modern. Which one will you pick?
Clinique Aromatics Elixir Eau de Parfum
Strong and earthy
For those looking for a classic perfume, the Clinique Aromatics Elixir Eau de Parfum is a great option. Created in 1975, this fragrance has a sharp and strong identity, with a certain bitterness that fits perfectly into the category of chypre perfumes from older times.
This strong scent opens with herbal notes of verbena, sage and chamomile, which then make way for a floral heart of geranium, rose, and white flowers (think those intoxicating notes of ylang-ylang, jasmine and tuberose). The base is traditional and mossy, as expected of this iconic vintage creation.
Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum For Women
Warm and sweet
Feminine, seductive, empowering: that’s the best way to describe this Jimmy Choo scent.
The fragrance opens with notes of jammy pear and bubbly citrus, sweet and enticing, making way for the heart note of tiger orchid. The base is where the magic happens, with interwoven notes of tofee and patchouli that turn this perfume into a modern classic.
Parfums Grès Cabotine de Grès Eau de Toilette
Sharp, but floral
Cabotine may look a little funny in the bottle, but it’s far from funny on the skin. Created in 1990, this is a classic white floral fragrance that feels much sharper and more sophisticated than it appears.
Upon first impression, the fragrance opens with notes of blackcurrant buds, pear, plum and corriander. The magic, however, is in the heart, where a bouquet of flowers bursts into full bloom: rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, ginger lily, hyacinth, heliotrop, fresia, violet, and iris.
Jean Paul Gaultier La Belle Eau de Parfum
Vanilla-sweet and fruity
Lovers of vanilla will find their match in La Belle, an intoxicating fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier.
With its fruity opening, this fragrance may feel younger than others on this list, but it’s just as sophisticated. Indeed, with a note of smooth leather blending in with florals in the heart, this fragrance comes with a bit of an edge. As for the vanilla, you’ll find it in the base: melding with notes of amber, musk, and vetiver for a warm, softly spicy finish.
Estée Lauder Knowing Eau de Parfum
Spicy and earthy
Continuing our journey through superpowered vintage fragrances, here’s Estée Lauder Knowing Eau de Parfum. Depending on who you ask, this perfume may come off as either old lady-like or completely unisex–it’s complex like that!
Knowing is a big, overpowering perfume, but it can be approached in the right state of mind. It opens with notes of mimosa, rose, and coriander, but there’s a green, mossy undertone that is always present, which prevents the perfume from becoming too sweet. Even so, not for the faint of heart!
Calvin Klein Euphoria For Women Eau de Parfum
Woody and floral
First launched in 2005, Calvin Klein Euphoria is practically a vintage fragrance at this point–but it’s far from being old-fashioned.
Spicy and sweet in equal measure, this fragrance opens with two notes you don’t see very often: juicy pomegranate and tartt persimmon, with a little touch of greenery in-between. As it develops, the fragrance grows deeper and more floral, perhaps even sensual. At the very base, woody notes of mahogany blend with the warmth of amber to create a memorable impression.
Boucheron Femme Eau de Parfum
Ambery and sweet
Opinions about Boucheron Femme Eau de Parfum, another vintage fragrance, range from “old-fashioned” to “timeless”. For those who want a strong and intense perfume, however, it’s hard to find a better option.
This is a deep, expansive, larger than life fragrance that opens with a blend of bitter citrus fruits. Then the heart comes into its own in an explosion of white flores: think ylang-ylang, tuberose, daffodil, orange blossom, and jasmine.
Burberry Her Eau de Parfum
Berry-sweet and sensual
Burberry may not be the first house you think of when you think of “superpowered perfumes”, but Burberry Her can certainly hold its own among the greatest.
This is a beautiful, bold perfume, with a juicy opening of red and dark berry notes. Violet and jasmine bring out the floral heart of the fragrance, making way for a creamy, musky drydown that feels sensual and smooth.
If you’re looking for a fragrance that announces your arrival before you arrive, then these perfumes will be ideal for you. Intense, long-lasting, and with an almost magical ability to envelop you–and those around you–in a cloud of fragrance, these perfumes can be real game-changers. Make sure to explore our full selection of feminine fragrances in the shop, and find your perfect scent!
Beauty Writer & Editor