Whenever I think of fruity perfumes, my mind immediately goes to my 13-year-old self's "beauty stash." I was 13 in 2002, so you bet my makeup inventory consisted of glitter eye shadow, glitter powder, the shiniest lip gloss (like MAC's Lipglass or a good ol' Lancôme Juicy Tube), drugstore mascara (still can't go wrong with Maybelline's Great Lash), and of course the sweetest fragrance I could find.
I had a large collection of perfumes and body sprays that smelled like mango, watermelon, strawberry, apple, orange—you name it. I put them in rotation based on my mood or where I was going. Watermelon was to be worn at school dances and parties. Mango and citrus, for pool parties. Apples and strawberries? Good for everyday wear, honestly. I guess the trend back then was to smell good enough to eat?
I'm not here to knock the very sweet fragrances of the early aughts. One whiff of a fruity perfume can send anyone down a nostalgic trip. And listen, those things really did smell good. But in the years since, as I've gone from my teens to 20s to now my 30s, I've noticed a trend toward more complex scents that can still be sweet but not exactly saccharine. When choosing fragrances for myself, I gravitate more toward fresh floral scents than anything remotely fruity. If fruity was cool when I was a teen, how can it possibly still be cool in my 30s? And how would I even pull it off?
But recently, I've given fruity perfumes a second thought, mostly because they are so different from those early aughts fragrances. Some of them blend fruits with more grounding scents. Others are so light, which is perfect for warmer months. And there are some that are playful iterations of past fragrances. In short, you're not going to be smelling like a fruit salad. I'm sold on them now.
Ready to get back on the fruity-perfume train? Take a look at some noteworthy scents below.
It might come with a hefty price tag, but Tom Ford's Bitter Peach perfume smells so good you'll want to drench yourself in it. Filled with tantalizing notes like peach, blood orange, and patchouli, this fragrance is basically a late-summer day in a bottle.
With fresh grapefruit, Italian bergamot, and honeysuckle, this fragrance might transport you to summer on an Italian beach. And isn't that just perfect when you're far from the ocean but experiencing wanderlust?
This fragrance is as close as you're going to get to those fruity perfumes of yesteryear, in the best way possible. It has fruit notes of watermelon and strawberry plus cassis leaves, pink water lily, jasmine, frangipani, vanilla, sandalwood, praline, and driftwood.