15 Best American Perfume Brands

While it is true that some of the most iconic fragrances houses of all-time are located in France, the best American perfume brands are matching French perfumers in skill and reputation. In fact, many of the most well-loved perfume houses on the planet are from our cousins in the Unites States!

Although perfumery is a global industry, cultural and geographical diversity ensures each house can add their own unique twist. We have decided to review the American perfume brands that ranges from the micro-niche of Le Labo all the way to the perfume giants of Tom Ford and Estée Lauder.

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The 15 Best American Perfume Brands

The best American perfume brands each bring a touch of style from their corner of the United States. We review 15 fragrance brands that deserve your attention.

1. Tom Ford

Tom Ford Black Orchid

Review

Tom Ford is perhaps the quintessential masculine American brand. Founded by Texas-born Tom Carlyle Ford after he left Gucci, this is a brand aimed at professional, sophisticated men and women who have bold yet simple tastes in both fashion and fragrance. 

Favouring clean, refreshing scents with classic ingredients, Tom Ford fragrances, both male and female, are timeless and versatile. The most notable Tom Ford fragrances are Velvet Orchid, Black Orchid, Tobacco Vanille, and Grey Vetiver.

Velvet Orchid and Black Orchid are feminine Tom Ford floral fragrances with complex notes which evoke rich, fragrant femininity with sweet and spicy undertones. 

Tobacco Vanille made it onto our list of The Best Tom Ford Fragrances For Men article. It is one of the most iconic Tom Ford fragrances. As a unisex cologne, it has sweet, earthy, and woody notes which are both warming and complex.

Grey Vetiver is unusual in that it is a male fragrance (Tom Ford favours unisex blends), but it is true to the spirit of the brand in its sharp, refreshing simplicity.

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2. Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Red Door

Review

Elizabeth Arden is undeniably an American heritage brand, synonymous with high-class femininity and sensual charm. Founded in 1910, this brand launched fragrances that fed the American appetite for glamour through the roaring twenties and still remains a cultural staple to this day.

Though Florence Arden herself is gone, her spirit lives in the classy and sensual fragrances this brand produces. 

The most iconic Elizabeth Arden fragrance is undeniably Red Door. Launched in 1989, it is also one of the newer perfumes in their range. A delicate and blooming oriental floral, it has a mix of woody, floral, fruity, and sweet notes with a base of musky notes.

Blue Grass was the very first Elizabeth Arden fragrance. Although it is somewhat under-appreciated, its invigorating blend has aged incredibly well. 

On Dit… is a somewhat more woody mix, but the same sophisticated spirit is there. 5th Avenue is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Red Door, sharing the same floral heart and invigorating base. 

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3. Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera 212

Review

Carolina Herrera is a New York City icon that captures the glamour and sophistication that the city is so widely known for. This is an unashamedly feminine brand which holds fast to the idea that every woman should feel sensual and beautiful. 

Of course, when you think of Carolina Herrera, the iconic Good Girl is the first scent which comes to mind, but 212, and CH also have somewhat of a cult following behind them.

Carolina Herrera Good Girl is most recognized for the unique, heel shaped bottle, but it’s the white floral, warm spicy, and edible sweet notes which make it so beloved. 

The eye-catching, pill-shaped bottle of 212 is immediately recognizable. While this blend of florals, citrus, and powdery notes is a little gentler, it has the same sensuality as Good Girl. CH, too, has that same mix of florals and sweet, with a touch of woods.

Don’t forget to check out out article on the 10 Best Carolina Herrera Perfumes For Women.

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4. Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez For Her

Review

Narciso Rodriguez is one of the foremost American designers of the last two decades. After making his name dressing Carolyn Bessette for her marriage to John F. Kennedy Jr, Narciso Rodriguez quickly became a household name in American fashion and perfumery. Today his brand is synonymous with glamour and feminine beauty.

Launched in 2003 and 2007, respectively, Narciso Rodriguez for Her and Narciso Rodriguez for Him are complimentary fragrances which use traditionally masculine and feminine notes. 

For Her has musky, floral, and fruity notes that are nicely underpinned with aromatic notes, while For Him is overwhelmingly ozonic and musky with warming spicy and amber notes. Narciso is a floral and woody fragrance with earthy undertones and the heart of a rose.

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5. Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder Youth Dew

Review

Another New York-based brand, Estée Lauder, was founded by its namesake in 1946. Estée Lauder remains the go-to cosmetics and fragrance brand for those who like to add a touch of luxury in their daily routine. Today this brand is a power-house, with interests in many luxury brands like MAC and La Mer.

Estée Lauder launched its first fragrance, Youth Dew in 1953 and it remains a firm favourite with mature women and retro-seekers alike. The warm and spicy blend has amber and balsamic undertones that make it almost masculine, but the result is timelessly feminine. 

Knowing and Pleasures are slightly more modern in both lineage and scent but retain that same classic, timelessness. Pleasures, however, is a little lighter and more girlish.

Check out our article on the 10 Best Estée Lauder Perfumes For Women for more inspiration.

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6. Donna Karan DKNY

Donna Karan DKNY Be Delicious

Review

The Donna Karan DKNY brand is somewhat frozen in time. They began life in 1984 and remain active in creating new clothing, accessories, and fragrances with a 1990s vibe. 

Their most iconic fragrance, Be Delicious, has not only maintained its popularity, but it is also almost indelibly connected to the icons of ’90s fashion. Think Sex in the city, camel raincoats, slingback heels, and the baguette bag and you won’t go wrong.

Of course, we can’t discuss DKNY without touching on Be Delicious. This iconic, fresh and juicy fragrance is light, sensual, and crisp in its sweetness, just as the apple-shaped bottle would have you believe.

DKNY Women and Stories are somewhat under-appreciated by the masses, but for die-hard fans of the brand, they remain firm favourites. DKNY Women is fresh, juicy, and bright, rather like Be Delicious, but Stories is rather more powdery, sweet, and floral.

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7. Michael Kors

Michael Kors Midnight Shimmer

Review

Michael Kors is undeniably best known for his handbags, but this fashion designer has been making luxury ready-to-wear fashion, accessories, watches, jewellery, and fragrances for both men and women for decades.

The understated yet opulent style that he favours is taking the world by storm right now, so you should consider getting to grips with his fragrances.

Michael for Men is a perfect embodiment of the clean-cut style that Michael Kors is known for. The fruity, woody and sweet notes that make it up are classic yet slightly androgynous, making it a modern fragrance.

Sexy amber is somewhat a female iteration of this scent, it has the same warming depth and slightly unisex feel, but is lightened with white florals. 

Midnight Shimmer, by contrast, is a much more effervescent fragrance which use powdery, sweet, and fruity notes to create a sensuous blend.

You may find the perfect MK fragrance for you in our article – 9 Best Michael Kors Perfumes For Women.

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8. Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Obsession

Review

Founded in 1968, Calvin Klein is a heritage brand which has managed to stay in tune with the times at every turn. This is a brand, synonymous with effortless masculinity and powerful femininity.

Obsession is one Calvin Klein fragrance which really embodies the ethos of Calvin Klein. Both, Obsession for Women and Obsession for Men are warming, spicy, and woody with amber notes. 

As we mention in the 12 Best Calvin Klein Women’s Perfumes, they have sweet notes at their heart. CK masculine scents on the other hand incorporates fresh and citrusy undertones. Euphoria is another iconic female fragrance from Calvin Klein; intense, woody, and powdery it is a little dated but is undeniably beautiful, too.

Don’t forget to check out our review of the 7 Best Calvin Klein Fragrances For Men.

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9. Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs Daisy

Review

New York City-born Marc Jacobs is one of the most iconic American designers in the world today. And while his fashion and accessory lines are stunning, it is the fragrances which truly shine.

It would be impossible to discuss Marc Jacobs without touching on Daisy. Perhaps the single, most popular ‘wedding’ perfume, Daisy is a light, white floral fragrance, which perfectly embodies its name and suits the iconic daisy-laden bottle. 

Decadence, once again, is aptly named; popular with sophisticated young women, this handbag shaped bottle holds an intense woody and amber perfume with iris notes. 

Finally, Lola is somewhat of a hidden gem; not as famous as Daisy, or even Dot, it is nonetheless a cult classic. Roses, florals, and soft spices blend to make a sophisticated and intense fragrance.

Our 10 Best Marc Jacobs Perfumes guide is a helpful resource.

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10. Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger Impact

Review

Despite being an American brand, Tommy Hilfiger is a British favourite. Especially popular amongst young men, their clothing is a staple in the UK, but their fragrances remain a little under-appreciated.

This is a shame because their perfumes and colognes are surprisingly complex and evocative. Nonetheless, they have the same sporty, preppy, clean-cut ’80s feel as the fashion lines.

Tommy for Men was launched in 1995 in a branded red, white, and blue box with a simple bottle that perfectly complements the overwhelmingly green, fresh, and spicy.

Tommy Girl was launched one year later in 1996 and was the teenage perfume for a generation of sporty women. Tangy, invigorating, and refreshing, Tommy Girl remains a firm favourite for younger women. 

The impact is a punchier, aromatic male cologne which blends sweetness and the zesty spice of citruses. Check out our 8 Best Tommy Hilfiger Fragrances For Men article.

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11. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Polo

Review

With links to the American south and its wealth, polo-playing sportsmen, Ralph Lauren has nonetheless become a global brand for those who want to mix preppy fashion with designer luxury. 

The first Ralph Lauren fragrances were launched in 1986 in American department store Bloomingdale’s. Since then they have remained firm, if somewhat underappreciated, favourites in more youthful consumer groups.

Polo is a male classicThe nature of the woody, aromatic, and earthy notes make it feel mature rather than “old-man”. This timelessness is typical to the best Ralph Lauren fragrances or men.

Woman, for example, is a bouquet of sweet, fresh, and white florals with a woody base. Romance, by contrast, is herbal, powdery, and infused with rose. But all are unforgettable.

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12. Le Labo

Le Labo Rose 31

Review

Still somewhat young, in terms of perfume houses, Le Labo was founded in New York City in 2006 with the ethos of being vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and devoid of parabens, preservatives, and colours. 

The result has been a product with a cult following and a quickly growing name. They were purchased by Estee Lauder in 2014, but remain a distinct brand which has stayed true to those original principles.

The Noir 29 is perhaps one of the best known Le Labo fragrances. The ultimate, clean-cut unisex perfume it mixes fresh spices and woody notes with hints of tobacco and citrus in an unforgettable blend. 

Rose 31 is a perfect example of feminine leaning unisex perfumery that will suit men. The rose and powdery notes are balanced by woody notes and musk to give balance. 

Iris 39 is a bit of a wild card, despite the femininity of the ingredients, the combination of florals and earthy notes with undertones of warm spice make it punchy and aggressive.

Check out our 10 favourite Le Labo fragrances.

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13. Coach

Review

Coach is an American luxury design house which was initially known for its leather goods, handbags, and luggage. These days, the brand produces ready-to-wear fashion, accessories, as well as fragrances. 

Still, their market remains the same – understated elegant individuals who want to exude class without trying too hard.

The three fragrances which really sum up Coach New York are Coach for Men, Coach Leatherware, and Coach Dreams. The first two really evoke the brands masculine, traditional origin with hints of leather, woods, moss, earthy notes, and musky bases. 

Coach Dreams, however, is a good representation of the brands present; more flexible, delicate, and feminine with fruity notes, white florals, woody undertones.

Take a look at our article on the 8 Best Coach Perfumes For Women.

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14. Bond No 9

Bond No9 Brooklyn

Review

Founded in 2003, Bond No 9 is a brand that really evokes the feel of New York City. When they opened their first boutique at number 9 Bond street, they launched with 16 ‘neighbourhood” fragrances, but today have over 60.

Brooklyn is one of the most well-known and loved. As an oriental spicy fragrance, it seeks to mimic the diverse and invigorating atmosphere of artistic expression. 

Central Park, by contrast, is more subtle and light. As you might expect, this is a fragrance filled with florals. 

Chinatown is one of the lesser-known Bond No 9 fragrances, but it is truly stunning. The mix of white floral, woody, and animalic notes makes it truly unique.

Our article 10 Best Bond No 9 Fragrances For Men is a really helpful guide if you cannot decide which fragrance to try first!

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15. Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

Review

Juicy Couture was a staple of early 2000s fashion. From their bedazzled accessories to the infamous velour tracksuit, the brand’s over the top comfort and glamour evokes the flair of the west coast.

The first fragrance from Juicy Couture was launched in 2006, predictably over the top in design; Juicy Couture and Juicy Girl were nonetheless surprisingly sophisticated and durable.

Juicy Couture is, unsurprisingly, the more mature of the two original fragrances. White florals and bitter caramel come together with hints of sweetness and green notes to make a complex and sensual fragrance.

Juicy Girl, by contrast, is incredibly fruity and aquatic with hints of tropical sweetness. It is Viva la Juicy, however, which takes the crown as the brands most iconic fragrance. The unashamedly sweet, fruity, and floral mix is, in fact, juicy and incredibly refreshing.

You will love our our article on the Best Juicy Couture Perfumes For Women.

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Which Is The Best American Perfume Brand Of All-Time?

We have voted Tom Ford as the best American perfume brand of all-time. His luxurious classics such as the decadent Black Orchid and Tuscan Leather and the crowd-pleasing Tobacco Vanille are quite simply a delight to wear. Every perfume lover should invest in at least one TF fragrance.

Black Orchid – Official Tom Ford Promo

Black Orchid – Official Tom Ford Promo on Youtube

Conclusion

The best American fragrance brands are as diverse as they are unique. From the decadence of Tom Ford to the dazzling bling of Juicy Couture, each American perfumer has its own ethos and approach to fragrance.

Why not take the more effortless-style brands such as Coach, Bond No 9 and Le Labo out for a spin? Alternatively, classics such as Elizabeth Arden, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein should never be overlooked.

Before you go, I have put together a review of the most elegant perfumes ranging from timeless classics to modern-day sophistication that I think you will enjoy.

Discover Your Perfect Fragrance

Please take a moment to browse through my hand-picked collection of exquisite perfumes.

There may just be the perfect fragrance waiting there for you!

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Further Reading

Below are some additional perfume related articles from Viora London’s blog. We write articles on a number of interesting lifestyle topics from Fragrance to Lingerie and everything in between.