Is Cherry the Most Versatile Fruity Fragrance Note? Experts Think So

Is Cherry the Most Versatile Fruity Fragrance Note? Experts Think So featured image
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Summer is the best time of the year for a few reasons—the days are longer, the weather is better, and the most delectable fruits are in season. Once spring rolls around, I count down the weeks until I can pick up a bag of ripe cherries from my local market. I might only be able to enjoy the sweet, juicy fruit for a few months out of the year, but I manage to get my cherry fix all year round courtesy of the best cherry perfumes. 

Compared to other fruity accords, cherry possesses a chameleon-like quality that allows it to come off as light and bright or more sensual and sexy, making it one of today’s most versatile fragrance notes, explains Erwan Raguenes, perfumer at dsm-firmenich. “While many fruits lean toward a bright, citrusy, or tropical facet, cherry has the ability to be either playful or youthful with its red juicy note, or it can be more romantic when you focus on its velvety almond aroma.”

  • Erwan Raguenes is a perfumer at dsm-firmenich
  • Daphné Bugey is a perfumer
  • Carlos Huber is a fragrance developer and founder of Arquiste
  • Bettina O’Neill is the SVP of Business Development and Merchandising at ScentBird

What Does Cherry Perfume Smell Like? 

The short answer: The scent of cherry perfumes varies greatly—it all depends on their composition and what other notes they’re paired with, says Daphné Bugey, the perfumer who developed Dolce & Gabbana Beauty’s cherry-infused Q Eau de Parfum. “Cherry perfumes often evoke a mix of fresh, sweet, and sometimes seductive qualities. Some fragrances recall the juicy sweetness of the ripe fruit, while others take on an erotic or alluring character.”

These contrasting auras are made possible thanks to cherry’s complex flavor profile. Think about it, no two cherries taste exactly alike, so it makes sense that cherry perfumes differ so much. On one end of the cherry spectrum, perfumers are able to leverage the brighter, juicier facets of the fruit. Carlos Huber, fragrance developer and founder of Arquiste, describes the lighter aroma as “marzipan-like” with a sweet and tangy disposition that pairs well with other fruits, vanilla, amber and woods. 

On the flip side, deeper, richer cherries create a moodier quality that’s more intense and carnal. Think of it on the ripeness scale—the darker the cherry, the more robust the flavoring is. The dark cherry hints pair beautifully with electric notes like smoke, oud and tobacco. 

What Cherry Perfume Is Right for You?

Because of cherry’s adaptability, there is a cherry perfume that will appeal to every nose, even those who are extremely picky. Regardless of whether you find yourself leaning more towards the lusher dark cherry scents or the more nostalgic tangy options, the perfume you pick will be a head-turner. “Cherry is very distinctive—it will be the main event in any scent it’s in!” says Bettina O’Neill, SVP of business development and merchandising at ScentBird

Ready to find a cherry perfume that speaks to you? Keep reading for the most succulent options that are perfect for every season. 

The Best Cherry Perfumes to Try

1 / 10

Tom Ford Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum ($250)

This very scent arguably put cherry perfumes on the map, and it may just be the most famous cherry scent of all time. The complex potion plays into all the facets of cherry—it’s a little sweet, a tad tart, and very warm due to a mix of woody and floral base notes. The evolutionary layers help it appeal to a wide range of noses, which is probably why it constantly goes viral on TikTok and has maintained best-seller status since its debut in 2018. 



2 / 10

Snif Tart Deco ($65)

Where many cherry scents veer sensual and steamy, this nostalgic perfume keeps things flirty and spirited—I’d say it’s more like a wink in a bottle than a full-on cherry pop. Tart black cherries and raspberries give the scent an initial candy-like sweetness, though it quickly develops a delicate freshness as hints of rose and mimosa emerge. The longer Tart Deco wears, the warmer it gets, thanks to the comforting vanilla and woods-tinged base. 



3 / 10

YSL Beauty Black Opium Eau de Parfum Over Red ($95)

For those who adore the original Black Opium, the Over Red flanker adds an unexpected yet welcoming vibrancy to the sultry perfume. Vanilla, coffee and white flowers still play a major role in this scent (and help it maintain its signature lurid aura), but the bright, ripe cherry accord brings forth an attention-grabbing playfulness that will leave others wanting more…and more…and more.  



4 / 10

Guerlain Cherry Oud Eau de Parfum ($395)

Despite the name of this luxury fragrance, cherry plays a subtle supporting role rather than claiming its stake as the shining star. This is quite interesting, considering oud and cherry on their own are bold, enveloping notes. However, when entwined in this perfume, they soften and form a mysteriously romantic scent. The succulence of the cherry beautifully balances out the depth of oud. Plus, Turkish and Bulgarian roses add an elegance that helps reinvent the stereotypical ‘date night perfume.’ Cherry Oud is somehow fresh, deep and sensual all at the same time. I recommend saving it for special occasions.


5 / 10

Juliette Has a Gun Juliette Eau de Parfum ($150)

If you gravitate towards floral perfumes but are looking for something with a bit of kick, Juliette will surely satisfy. Dark cherry and pink pepper create a thrilling, rich opening that melds into something softer as jasmine and cashmere take center stage. This is one of those fragrances that was made for the blistering summer days—the sillage is ever so slight that it won’t suffocate you or those around you as the temperatures rise, yet it still leaves a lasting impression and will have others convinced that you naturally smell like cherries and flowers.


6 / 10

Fragrance du Bois Sirène Eau de Parfum ($355)

Some people have an inherent commanding presence when they walk into a room. Others rely on this striking scent to help them turn heads. Take it from me: you’ll feel like the most powerful person in the vicinity when you spritz on Sirène. This plays up both the fresh and seductive tinges of the fruit. The ripe, juicy cherry note is laced with spicy pepper and incense—these unique aromatics tantalize the nose before the perfume mellows with lactonic hints and benzoin (a honey-like vanilla accord).  


7 / 10

Kayali Lovefest Burning Cherry Eau de Parfum ($100)

Cherry doesn’t just deserve a spot in the gourmand fragrance chat, it has truly proven it can hold its own and shine when combined with other mouth-watering notes. In Lovefest Burning Cherry, the tangy tartness of cherry is enriched by raspberries. Then, the sweet facets are pulled to the forefront as the succulent fruit intertwines with hints of caramelized praline. The scent takes a heady turn once the smoky, earthy base notes, including palo santo and patchouli, manifest. 


8 / 10

Dolce & Gabbana Q Eau de Parfum ($148)

According to Bugey, Q is not your typical sweet cherry scent. Rather, it has a darker, more mysterious quality. Starting off bright and crisp with Sicilian lemon, the perfume morphs into something more sultry as cherry and cedarwood come to the forefront. “The dark cherry note in Q adds depth and richness to the fragrance,” she says. “This darker aspect pairs beautifully with cooler temperatures and the cozy atmosphere of fall and winter.”



9 / 10

Bianco Profumo Cherry Leather ($125)

Reading the notes on Cherry Leather might make you do a double take. Along with cherry, you’ll find pine tar, suede and black pepper, amongst other surprising elements. This interesting makeup results in one of the most eclectic, polarizing, and frankly, memorable cherry fragrances ever created. One sniff will transport you to a grungy ‘80s biker bar. “The almond and nutty facet of cherry makes this warmer, and in a way, ashier than other fruity scents,” says Huber, who helped develop this. 


10 / 10

Fine’ry Not Another Cherry ($29)

What’s life without a bit of dessert? Affordable fragrance brand Fine’ry captures cherry’s marzipan-like aura, douses it with boozy almond amaretto, and adds just a touch of Turkish rose. Every time you spritz you’ll feel like you’re having a nightcap at the ritziest Italian spot in town…and the best part is no one would ever guess this perfume cost you under $30. 



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