Best Big White Floral Perfume – What are Yours?

Best big white floral perfumes was something a commenter suggested I do, and I keep rolling it around in my head as something I’d love to do, but the category is so big, it is daunting that I’m going to miss some ringers.

best big white floral perfumes

So here’s what I’d like to do.  Nominate however many big white floral perfumes you love. I’m not promising I’ll cover them all (may or may not have access to everything) in a comprehensive (OMG, I almost had a heart attack thinking about putting all these on, but it will be glorious!) big white florals post in a few weeks.  It will take that much time because I’ll have to space out my big white floral try-ons a few days apart and right before a long, long shower to keep my nose and my personal space from being overwhelmed.

Let’s think about the big white floral notes that go in singly or in combination to make a big white floral perfume – jasmine, narcissus/jonquil, ylang, gardenia, tuberose, frangipani, orange blossom, lily, tiare, magnolia, lemon blossom, linden, plumeria.  Am I missing any?  I’ve covered several of these in earlier posts (jasmine, gardeniaorange blossom), so I’ll likely just pull some of the great big ones from those and refer back, adding in a big section on tuberose and narcissus.  Any other white floral notes that fit?

What classifies as a big white floral perfume?  Think Fracas +/- 30%.  It can be bigger than Fracas by more than 30%, but I’m not sure how anything could be, or less than Fracas by about 30%, but not a genteel white floral perfume that is well-behaved. It has to be one that makes a statement when it enters the room before you and then surrounds you in an indolic cloud of tropical ferocity.  Get it?

Make your nominations in comments for your favorite big white floral, you can pick one or 100, don’t care, and make a brief argument for it.  You can include things that you know I’m going to include, like Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Piguet Fracas, Serge Lutes Tubereuse Criminelle and Un Lys and Sarrasins, JAR Jardenia, Tuvache Jungle Gardenia, Caron Narcisse Noir etc., but you don’t have to make an argument for the obvious things.  Just help me make sure not to forget one of the most obvious ones!

Here’s what I’ll do for a drawing for commenters for today’s post.  I’ll give away 2 sample sets of whatever best big white florals I wind up putting in the post, and everyone commenting here will be entered, as well as the people who comment on the post I finally write in a couple of weeks (well, 2 or 3).

I do have the winners picked for the Eric Buterbaugh sample sets – CBSutcliffe and Recovering Perfectionist. Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog, send me your name and address and remind me what you’ve won.  I’ll send you a quick “got it” e-mail so you know it didn’t drop into my spam filter and then get it sent to you.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    Gotta second DK Gold and Guerlain Mahora and add Tom Ford Black Orchid ,and Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. Sung is a pretty big floral and Amarige.

  • Still going with Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, but, ooooh….”Moon Bloom”! I must try this!!

  • I was shying away for many years from B W F -s, especially tuberose… then I felt instantly in love for Narcotic Venus (Nasomatto) – it is sooo… daring, intrusive, high-pitched… everything I’m not… I love it, but It is always a very hard decision to wear it in public. Other BWF-s that steel my heart: Songes, Anais Anais, Fracas, Yves Rocher Monoi de Tahiti, JOY (the EDT is more about jasmine than rose), Carnal Flower, Lys Mediteranee

  • Teresa says:

    What about 2 relative ‘cheapies’: Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘White Diamonds’ and Juicy Couture ‘Juicy Couture’.

  • thegoddessrena says:

    Songes, Haie Fleurie, Terracotta, Montale Intense Tiare and Chinatown (not quite sure it fits but it’s certainly big). Also my new love Lorenzo Villoresi Ylang Ylang

  • nicole says:

    Love this! I really like Child by Susan Owens,Amarige,and EL Tuberose Gardenia

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I love BWFs and the bigger the better. I second Nuda, Songes, EL Tuberose Gardenia, and Moon Bloom. Also TF Champaca Absolute if you’ll allow a pale-yellow flower, because it is a rich, warm, and long-lived beauty. Kalemat Floral oil is an unusual take on the BWF. I love many of the DSH florals and only wish that she would make them BIGGER. Un Lys is a gorgeous whiff of Stargazer. I haven’t smelled the Eric Buterbaughs; do any of them qualify as BWFs? Songes, of course. Montale’s new Orange Flowers which, on me, is a big narcotically sweet orange blossom. My beloved vintage Fracas.
    And please, En Voyage’s huge and beautiful Nectars des Iles. Oh, how I love that one.

  • samberg says:

    I love the smell of Jo Malone’s Vintage Gardenia but don’t know if it qualifies as a Great White.

    I also think By Kilian’s Beyond Love should be included for its big tuberose character.

  • Sherri M. says:

    Oh, this will be fun! I generally prefer the tamer variety myself, but I love Manoumalia and Nasomatto Narcotic Venus. Versace Blonde is one I despise, but anything that literally brings me to tears is worth a mention.

  • AnnieA says:

    The only white flower of any size that I have is Anais Anais. I don’t dislike BWFs, but I have never thought they were me. Wouldn’t mind being proven wrong.

  • Asali says:

    I’ll mention some of the -30% since they are more me; Fleur Nocturne, Lys Noir, Mahora, Rivage des Syrtes, Jardins de Bagatelle, Tempted Muse. All greats for those who are still afraid for the truly big bad White floral. Perhaps big cosy white florals?

  • PJ says:

    Farouche! Nina Ricci’s 1974 scent is a super favorite. It’s dreamy.

  • Neva says:

    My vote goes to California Reverie by Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s such a lovely jasmine and frangipani combination!

  • I don’t think anyone has mentioned these yet, but mine would be Les Nez Manoumalia, and Lust and Sikkim Girls from Lush.

    • aparatchick says:

      I’ll second both of those. Manoumalia may be my favorite in this category. It is so very much what I think of as “tropical white flower” with it’s tiare and ylang and faint whiff of rotting vegetation.

  • tiffanie says:


    Big enough or no cigar?

  • phanie1878 says:

    Ormonde Jayne Tiare and Woman .
    OJ has also a Frangipiani but I dont think it as a Big white floral
    Love them all!!

  • Glannys says:

    I find this category beautiful but challenging. Does linden really count as a white floral? For example, I love D’Orsay Tilleul but I do not think of it as of it as a BWF perfume. It is a fresh green floral perfume for me, far from Fracas.
    I suggest:
    Tubereuse Criminelle
    (Serge Lutens) Fleurs d’Oranger
    Black Ananda
    Carnal Flower
    (Houbigant) Orangers en Fleurs
    Dilmun (Why nobody writes about it? I tried it last week – a very pretty orange blossom.)
    Seville a l’Aube
    Baiser Vole
    Sweet Redemption

  • Sun Mi says:

    I dunno if about BIG (carnal flower wasn’t very mighty on my skin) but I love Do Son. I also like Tuberose Gardenia and am recently trying Jardin Blanc. Do any of those count???

  • Katrin says:

    Sissi by Marc de la Morandiere. I don’t know the vintage version, but the current one is such a happy, lush
    white floral, with a classic feel and lots of character. Addictive!

  • Caroline says:

    Most mentioned already, but Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs.

  • Annija says:

    This is not my favorite genre, but I really love Carnal Flower and Tom Ford’s Jasmin Rouge – it’s so sexy and confident I might actually save up for the ridiculously priced bottle!

  • Bastet says:

    Some of my favorite BWFs are AG Songes and Passion; EL Private Collection TG; SL A la Nuit, Fleur d’Oranger and Tub. Criminelle; and of course Fracas.

  • Heidi says:

    Definitely Songes for me — that and Datura Noir are my BWF faves. While I like SL A La Nuit, and it is a WF, I wouldn’t call it a BWF because it’s so fleeting. I don’t know if Seville L’Aube is too much retread, but I adore it.

  • tigerlily04 says:

    Chanel Beige. I love this one. It’s big and lasts forever and I find if very happy.

  • tigerlily04 says:

    AG Passion and Gardenia Passion!!!

  • CbSutcliffe says:

    I suggest Monyette Paris.

    I saw someone add Pavlova earlier. I’m thinking about Jontue from that era as well.

    I’m also going to suggest some vintage White Shoulders since it was a gateway white floral for me.

  • foxbins says:

    The biggest BWF flower I know is Montale Jasmin Full. Plus there is Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, and don’t forget Rodin Olio Lusso’s Rodin perfume.

  • angeline says:

    songes, elie saab and terracotta which i absolutely love !

  • Heidi says:

    Amouage Ubar

  • Sapphire says:

    Le Labo Lys 41 is a gorgeous lily, and on a related note, AA Lys Soleia. Training wheels would be the new Gucci Bamboo.

  • Diana says:

    Alien is my Jasmine room-filter, Songes is my romantic night out frag, and would JM Lotus blossom/Water Lily big enough? I know it’s not a room filter, but as far as that house goes, it’s seeming big.

  • Nancy says:

    Don’t leave out Songes by AG. Also, a big white blast from the past is Michelle by Balenciaga. Boy do I miss that one.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Tuvache Jungle Gardenia, which my mother sometimes wore. Madonna Truth or Dare, which I never thought I would even try much less like–but I do like it!

  • Connie says:

    My favorite, always Songes! But necessary to add the lovely Amoureuse into this list as well.

  • Maya says:

    A bit off the beaten track – OneSelf Hawaiian Flower Lei Perfume.I have a sample coming and has the potential to be beautiful. There is also Olivine Eau de Parfum and Oxley Eau de Parfum – both by Olivine.

  • Portia says:

    Woo Hoo! Blonde, Datura Noir, Sand & Sable, Elie Saab, Divine EdP, Nuit de Tubereuse, Songes, Une Matin d’Orage. SO FREAKING MANY!!
    Portia xx

  • Jennie says:

    How about Piguet’s Douglas Hannant?

  • Mariann says:

    Haven’t tried many florals yet as aside from orange blossoms, I seem to prefer them combined with incense, leather or woody notes. But I will put a word in for a favorite: Seville a l’aube. I’d also add Fleur de Cassie, which to me is big and a touch animalic, but it’s probably not really a BWF.

  • KimB says:

    oh my, one of my favourite categories! I’ve never been a fan of genteel florals but how I do love a big white floral
    others above and you have already all the obvious ones I can think of except for vintage Diorissimo – not tropical ferocity but goodness, that was one amazing white floral!

    Not so obvious / new since you did your previous posts

    1) Arquiste: I’m a huge fan of the line and in particular the big white florals – I love to come home, change into my “at home” clothes, add 4 or 5 sprays, and be surrounded by a “cloud of tropical ferocity.” If you want well-behaved, use just 2 sprays – you’ll be juuuust past genteel but still work-friendly
    Fleur de Louis: jasmine – veeeery indolic
    Boutonniere No 7: gardenia – not mushroomy but lovely, crisp, green and very gardenia
    Flor y Canto: mexican tuberose and plumeria – wonderful combination

    2) Hiram Green: Moon Bloom – hard core, straight up, tuberose deluxe

    3) Histoires de Parfums: Tubereuse 1, 2, & 3 – 3 Animale is my favourite, definitely NOT well behaved!

  • puhfume says:

    Love big white florals. I think my favorites have all been mentioned. My top two are Tubereuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower. Tuberose just seems to work well on my skin.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Nasomatto Nuda and Serge Lutens A La Nuit are two of my favorites, Sarrasins was mentioned and I adore that one as well.

  • Alica says:

    Carolina Herrera by C. Herrera, strong and indolic.
    Patou JOy

  • Claudia says:

    Chantecaille Tiare. Big!

  • Maria Kirkman says:

    Escada 2005 by Escada

  • Ncmyers says:

    Lys Mediterranee is one of my old faves and I recently tried Fleur de Louis by Arquiste and love it!

  • Artist says:

    Fleur d’Oranger by Serge Lutens…..always one of my favorite BWFs and Secrete Datura by MPG

  • carlene says:

    You know, I’m really not a white floral kinda girl, not gonna lie, sometimes they make me a little queasy. But in honor of this post, I decided to spritz some Chanel Gardinia and I’ll be damned if it isn’t perfect for this rainy midwestern summer night. On preview, I forgot I have some Amoureuse too, but it’s too late now, I’m soaking in it.

  • TheLunarWhale says:

    Of the ones I’ve tried, Vero Profumo Rubj, Datura Noir, Michael Michael Kors, and Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia. Looking forward to the post!

  • Diane says:

    Le Labo Lys 41 and Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia! Both, en par with Carnal Flower and Un Lys for summertime bloom!

  • Becky says:

    Amoureuse, for sure!

    Songes was too much white floral for me, but I know it’s much loved.

  • Maria B says:

    I nominate Divine EDP by Divine. It’s a modern fragrance with old Hollywood beauty and glamour.

    And does Narciso Rodriguez for Her need any explanation?

  • Ellen says:

    Donna Karan Gold is beautiful and can hang in with Un Lys pretty well. I really am lookinf forward to seeing what you have to say.

  • ElizaC says:

    Amoureuse. Definitely not a shy floral 🙂

  • Rina says:

    I would love to see a compare/contrast of Florist Fridge (Smell Bent) and Funeral Flower (Demeter)! I imagine they would be BWF scents but I can’t ever find decants of them at the same place/same time…. Looking forward to your reviews!!

    • Mals86 says:

      Haven’t tried the Demeter, but Florist’s Fridge is not a BWF at all – it’s a green floral with hyacinth. Very simple, and I find it restful and cheery.

    • I haven’t smelled Florist’s Fridge, but I have smelled the Demeter. It’s not really that white-floral-y, and it definitely isn’t big. Demeter doesn’t really do big, as far as I’ve smelled.