COSMO asked a group of guys to sniff out the women’s fragrances they love and loathe. The results surprised us.


Clean Scents

You’re not the only one who likes that just-out-of-the-shower feeling. Our man testers said “yes” to Christian Dior’s orchid-infused J’adore, claiming it smelled natural. Of the Estée Lauder fragrance Pure White Linen, one guy said, “It smells fresh—in a sexy way that makes me want to jump into bed and mess up the sheets.” He can thank the combination of gardenia petals, white freesia and dewy greens for that.

Woody and Floral

Don’t be put off if a perfume says musky, spicy or woody on the label. The notes may sound masculine, but these multilayered scents smell great on you. “It smells like pure sex. It really does. I’m giving it to my girlfriend the first chance I get,” one guy said about Victoria’s Secret’s Very Sexy perfume, which boasts pepper, vanilla orchid and soft wood scents, among others. “If I smelled this on a girl,” another guy said of the white pepper, patchouli and amber blend of Christian Lacroix Rouge, “I’d think she was pretty outgoing—which is a good thing.”

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The smell our testers got the most excited about came from a street vendor selling meat outside a local perfumerie. But don’t douse yourself in that just yet. “I don’t think women should smell like food—nor should men for that matter,” quipped one guy. Vanilla, however, was the exception. The men thought Laura Mercier’s French Vanilla Soufflé Body Crème was lickably good.

Super Fruity

According to our scent testers, sugary-smelling, fruity perfumes make guys think of the candy store or the kitchen, not the bedroom. “It smells like Jolly Ranchers, and I like Jolly Ranchers, but I’m not sure I’d want a girl to smell like one,” one tester said after inhaling an apple-scented spray. Pear, honeydew and lemon scents all fared the same: “Citrusy and desserty smells make me hungry, not turned on,” another guy said. Case closed.

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And…The One Scent ALL Guys DON’T Want You to Wear

This one is tricky because it varies from guy to guy, but every dude we talked to could recall the fragrances his ex-girlfriends had worn. Of one well-known perfume, a tester said: “That’s crazy. It reminds me of the way my girlfriend smelled junior year of high school. It would freak me out if a new girlfriend wore it.” But would it be a dating deal-breaker for him? “Well, I might ask her not to wear it,” he said.