There’s no doubt about it, fragrance can be very personal and hard to shop for — especially for someone else. But, it also makes a really nice gift. So where does that leave you in terms of gifting fragrance? It’s great if you know what kind of scents someone is into. Even better if you know the exact brand and/or fragrance they wear. In case you don’t, though, we’ve got a little secret to let you in on: Each of the twelve signs of the zodiac have unique characteristics that can be super helpful in understanding their likes, dislikes, and yes, even fragrance preferences.
To help narrow down our selections, we turned to Maressa Brown, InStyle’s resident astrologer, and author of the forthcoming book Raising Baby by the Stars: A New Parent’s Guide to Astrology. Understanding the planets that rule each sign can tell you a lot about someone’s fragrance tastes and even the visual elements that are most pleasing to them (to help inform the type of perfume bottle they would find most attractive), Brown explains.
We’re not big on placing bets, but if we were, we might tell you that you’re not going to need to include a gift receipt with this present.
These are the best fragrances to buy for each astrological sign (or to shop for yourself).
Best for Aries (March 21-April 19)
Jennifer Fisher My Scent
What We Love: The oil formula really lasts on skin.
What We Don’t Love: The small size makes it very easy to go through quickly.
As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries “loves being trendsetters,” says Brown. So, automatically you know that you’re going to want to look for something new to market. Additionally, “they’re ruled by Mars, which is the planet of action and energy.” With their interest in trends and their on-the-go nature this rollerball oil from jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher is a dream for Aries.
Price at time of publish: $65
Size: 0.3 fl oz ｜Type: Perfume Oil｜Notes: Vanilla, Australian Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Pear and Coconut
Best for Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
What We Love: This completely over the top and decadent fragrance tends to be a real crowd pleaser.
What We Don’t Love: It’s an investment, to put it mildly.
According to Brown, Taurus is all about luxury and they’re not afraid to drop some serious dough. In terms of what scents appeal to them, they want something cozy and sensual. When you put these traits together, Baccarat just makes sense. Hefty price tag? Check. Warming notes of jasmine, saffron, cedar and amber? Check, check, check, and check!
Price at time of publish: $325
Size: 2.4 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Jasmine, Saffron, Cedar and Amber
Best for Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Maison Margiela REPLICA Springtime In A Park Eau de Toilette
What We Love: It’s a fruity floral that’s not overpowering in either direction.
What We Don’t Love: It’s a delicate scent that might not appeal to those who prefer something heavier.
Geminis tend to have a hard time making up their own minds, so light and simple is the way to go. “I really like light, effervescent florals for Gemini,” says Brown. And that’s exactly what you get in Springtime in the Park. It is meant to evoke the feeling of strolling outdoors and smelling fresh flowers, which appeals to a Gemini’s whimsical nature.
Price at time of publish: $144
Size: 3.4 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Toilette｜Notes: Pear Accord, Lily of the Valley Accord, Musks
Best for Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Vyrao Witchy Woo
What We Love: The brand incorporates plant and flower remedies along with a supercharged healing diamond in each fragrance. This one is meant to inspire courage and creativity.
What We Don’t Love: Its unique and powerful scent isn’t for everyone.
In one word, Brown described Cancer as “witchy,” so what more can we say? But really, this scent is so fitting for this water sign that’s ruled by the moon. This zodiac sign loves the idea of a romantic night spent under the stars or the feeling of being in or near the water — the imagery for this fragrance is literally a person on the beach under the moonlight. If that doesn’t give witchy vibes, we don’t know what does.
Price at time of publish: $144
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Moroccan Orris, Rose, Black Pepper, Mus
Best for Leo (July 23-August 22)
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Parfum Spray
What We Love: It’s a long-lasting scent that lingers all day in the best way.
What We Don’t Love: It’s pricey, even for the 1 oz. travel size.
For Leos, Brown recommends a fragrance that appeals to their love of summer — think coconut, but sexier. This Tom Ford scent completely fits the bill, smelling of upscale sunscreen courtesy of notes of Coco de Mer and Ylang Ylang Comores Islands. Additionally, Leo’s signature color is gold, making this fancy gold-accented bottle just perfection.
Price at time of publish: $175
Size: 1 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Coco De Mer, Ylang Ylang from Comores Island, and Bergamot Flower
Best for Virgo (August 23-September 22)
What We Love: Its notes of lavender and sandalwood keep it from being too earthy.
What We Don’t Love: It’s a unique and moodier blend, it wouldn’t be for noses that prefer sweeter, lighter scents.
This detail-oriented sign loves the feeling of having everything in perfect order and tends to live in their head, leaving them stressed out. To combat their overwhelm, they would enjoy a grounding scent of “anything that brings to mind grass or being in nature,” says Brown. Earth’s notes of oakmoss and cedar fit the bill. And have we mentioned that Virgo is an earth sign?
Price at time of publish: $125
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Cypress, Oakmoss, Lavender, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Cedarwood
Best for Libra (September 23-October 22)
Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Parfum
What We Love: The sweet brown sugar balances the floral notes for well-balanced harmony in this scent.
What We Don’t Love: If floral fragrances aren’t your thing, you won’t enjoy this one.
Because they’re ruled by Venus, Libras are a romantic sign, but they’re also all about balance, says Brown. To appeal to both of these qualities, a dreamy floral packaged in a charming pink bottle like Gucci Flora is sure to please them.
Price at time of publish: $113
Size: 1.6 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Pear, White Gardenia, Brown Sugar
Best for Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Malin + Goetz Leather eau de Parfum
What We Love: It’s unique and modern, you’ll definitely have people asking what you’re wearing.
What We Don’t Love: It’s definitely heavier and on the masculine side, so it could be too much for some who are drawn to lighter aromas.
Intense and sexy are two of the words that Brown used to describe Scorpio. To satisfy the water sign’s craving for intensity, she recommended a woody blend with notes of leather, tobacco or tonka bean. This juice pairs leather with muted florals and rustic woods for a scent that leaves as much of an impression as this sign does.
Price at time of publish: $95
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Pepper, Clove, Cedarwood and Sandalwood
Best for Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Kayali Invite Only Amber 23
What We Love: There are many distinct notes that reveal themselves over time, never allowing you to get bored by the scent.
What We Don’t Love: It’s a powerful scent that may be too much for wearing during the day.
When wanderlust calls, Sagittarius answers. They’re playful and adventurous and want something special that reminds them of their travels, says Brown. While those memories and specific smells will vary for each person, it’s more about a fragrance igniting their sense of adventure. Invite Only is a warming, sensual blend of amber resin, oud oil, honey de Provence, and vanilla, that may just seduce them into booking your next flight.
Price at time of publish: $100
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum Intense Spray｜Notes: Black Cherry, Honey de Provence, Rose Centifolia Absolute, Citrus leaf, Oud Oil, Amber Resin, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vanilla
Best for Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Elizabeth Arden White Tea Wild Rose Eau De Toilette Spray
What We Love: It’s more affordable than the other options, so no need to hold back on spritzing.
What We Don’t Love: EDTs don’t last as long as EDPs on skin.
“Straightforward and classic,” says Brown of Capricorns, who are “kind of no muss, no fuss.” The Wild Rose version of Arden’s White Tea captures a floral essence that appeals to their favor for tradition and memories.
Price at time of publish: $62
Size: 3.3 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Toilette｜Notes: White Tea, Pear Tree Blossom, Bulgarian Rose, Turkish Rose, Blush Peony, Radiant Musks, Sheer Amber
Best for Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum Nectar
What We Love: It’s unexpected, but really works.
What We Don’t Love: It can be a little too quirky of a combo for some.
Known for their quirkiness, the more eccentric, the better for Aquarians, says Brown. Because of that, they’d love that this fragrance not only has notes of a rose bouquet, but also popcorn and bourbon vanilla for a truly unique combination of floral, savory, and sweet.
Price at time of publish: $135
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Rose soufflé, Mouth-watering popcorn accord, and Irresistible bourbon vanilla
Best for Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Ellis Brooklyn Rives Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This fragrance actually smells easy-going and calming. Yes, please.
What We Don’t Love: The scent doesn’t last as long as some would like.
Pisces feel all the feelings and not just their own. Because they’re empaths, they take on the feelings of others, too. To help this spiritual water sign decompress, Brown says to look for a fragrance with lavender like this one, which would be really soothing for them.
Price at time of publish: $105
Size: 1.7 fl oz｜Type: Eau de Parfum｜Notes: Neroli, Orange Flower, Lavender, Cashmere Woods and White suede
Why Shop With Us
Lisa has worked in the beauty industry for 10+ years, and most recently, she worked as the Deputy Beauty Director for Health and Real Simple. Over her years of experience, Lisa has tested thousands of products and has worked with and learned from the best experts in the biz including cosmetic chemists, dermatologists, celebrity hair stylists, and more. For this story, she also interviewed Maressa Brown, InStyle’s resident astrologer, to dig deeper into the traits of each sign.