The link between India and fragrances is one that runs back thousands of years.
With a history rich with the use of spices, flowers, and other beautiful scents, it’s no surprise that India is the place that many people think of when they smell some of the world’s most recognizable fragrances.
What are some traditional Indian scents that are still popular today?
You’ll find many perfumes today use scents like jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, oud, and rose, all of which are deeply rooted in Indian culture. It’s easy to find a modern perfume that has many recognizable smells mixed with a range of newer notes that seem to work so well together.
The world of perfume manufacturing in India may have changed in modern times, but local fragrance designers understand the importance that these classic scents have today.
It’s not uncommon to see most of our beloved aromas being used by today’s luxury perfume brands, and we’ve got a list of the most popular Indian scents you can expect to find.
- 1 #1: Jasmine
- 2 #2: Patchouli
- 3 #3: Oud
- 4 #4: Sandalwood
- 5 #5: Rose
- 6 #6: Pepper
- 7 #7: Chai
- 8 #8: Guggul
- 9 Related Questions
By far the most popular Indian scent that is used in designer perfumes today, with reports claiming it’s a key ingredient in around 83% of women’s fragrances.
Jasmine has a beautifully soft, flowery, and woody aroma about it, and in India, it’s common to be worn on its own without any other fragrances blended.
Not only does it smell beautiful, but a study found that jasmine calmed down the body and mind completely, so it can have an enjoyable impact on your and those you encounter when you wear it.
Jasmine in perfumery
Many fragrances use jasmine to highlight the sweet, exquisite flowery scent that has earned the hearts of many Indians. So, here are some of the most popular fragrances that contain jasmine
Titan Skinn is one of the most versatile brands in India, and Celeste is one of the most lively, fresh fragrances you could find. With white floral notes that include a subtle touch of peach, pear, sandalwood, and patchouli, combined with jasmine, orange flower, tuberose, waterlily, ginger, apricot, and musk, to create a charming and playful fragrance that feels irresistible.
It was made thinking of the relaxed, sweet women who enjoy the simple things in life, and the mere simplicity of this fragrance is exactly what makes it so delicious and so unique. If you like soft, delicate scents, you will definitely love any jasmine fragrance, and this one is not an exception.
We might have said that jasmine is perfect for delicate fragrances, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t explore your most playful and seductive side, and that is exactly what Be Naughty helps you to do. It has an exquisite combination and balance between the soft and the exotic, letting all your wildest dreams come to the surface.
The most romantic women will love this delicious, tropical fragrance that contains Moroccan jasmine, narcissus flower, vetiver, Indian tuberose, Coconut water, cedarwood, rose de mai, and Japanese osmanthus. This exquisite fragrance was conceived as a tribute to modern and sophisticated women who aren’t afraid of trying new things and exploring their sexuality.
If your favorite types of perfumes are those with oriental notes, you probably have patchouli to thank for it.
This beloved Indian scent has been in and out of fashion since it was discovered and is used today by most of the world’s most famous luxury brands in their perfumes, including Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana.
Patchouli’s scent is velvety, heady, and earthy, and it has a long-lasting aroma that makes it ideal for wearing, if you prefer to use just a little to get a lot of impact.
Some consider patchouli to be a more masculine scent but by adding it with other floral notes like bergamot, you can get something beautifully feminine.
Patchouli in perfumery
The charming patchouli is really popular amongst perfumeries all around the world, and it’s its spicy, woody aroma that has earned it a place in Indians’ heart, and here are some perfumes that contain this exquisite scent
This fragrance could perfectly be the definition of freshness, and it’s all about giving you a sense of inspiration and rejuvenation, as if you’re living your first summer love all over again, in the most beautiful, pure way. The freshness of clear water and orange juice is just a few splashes away with this citrus, sweet fragrance.
It contains notes of bergamot, lemon, and violet that, combined with geranium, gaiac wood, and patchouli, create a subtle fragrance that mixes the watery with the citrus and the flowery, so it can give you the relaxed vibe you’re looking for. It is aimed at men who are always looking for something fun to do and that seem to always be the life of the party. This fragrance is playful, but it’s surely not one to play around with, and its delicious aroma will probably make you fall in love and rediscover your masculinity with a perfect balance between boldness and freshness.
Have you ever thought about how would luxury and seduction smell like in the Wild West? Well, this fragrance is capable of giving you the closest hint. Oriental Leather is a sophisticated fragrance that makes you feel like you’re getting into a fancy bar in the west and find yourself surrounded with beauty and elegance.
The exquisite scents of patchouli and sandalwood get blended in with some high-quality white leather, as an undertone of jasmine leads the fragrance to an explosion of musk and woods. This refined and opulent fragrance represents everything you could think of when you think of luxury and will transport you to a world of elegance and distinction, where life is summed up in exquisiteness and opulence.
Oud can be summed up with the quintessential description for Indian fragrances: intoxicating and musky.
You can find oud in most men’s perfumes today including top sellers from Versace and Lancome.
This deep and intense perfume is known by all in India and sometimes called agarwood, after the tree it originates from.
Extracting oud is no easy feat however, as it requires a specific type of mold to grow on this specific type of tree, which then creates a dark and fragrant resin where the oud is made.
For rich and oriental perfume lovers, oud is an Indian scent that you’ll definitely want to try.
Oud in perfumery
The exotic and exquisite oud is surely one of the most fantastic scents in India, and many perfumeries add it to their creations, thanks to the spicy, mysterious vibe it gives to any fragrance.
If fragrances could have a middle name, this one’s middle name would definitely be “seduction”. Just a splash of this scent takes you to a sensual, interesting cloud where you can get absolutely anything you want, and gives you the confidence needed to face even the riskiest of tasks.
With the help of a little musk, rose, and amber this perfume creates an irresistible scent that comes along with the mystical, exquisite touch that only oud could give it, making it an unforgettable perfume that stays imprinted in your head and in your heart. This is definitely a majestic combination that gives you the exotic, oriental touch you’re looking for.
The elegant bottle of this perfume is just the presentation card of what is one of the most classy, opulent fragrances by Bvlgari. This fragrance is inspired by the elegance of tea, and it contains notes of black tea, Damascus rose, leather, tobacco, oud, patchouli, and wood bark, to remind you that there is nothing as exquisite as what we feel ours, what makes us feel comfortable and what represents our personality.
The reminiscence of the deep, elegant and oriental notes it has makes it a perfect fragrance to be the best version of yourself. Aimed at the fun, sweet, and intelligent people who know what they want and know how to get it, while having fun in the meantime, this fragrance has that sweet touch that makes everyone in a room turn around so they can see who smells so incredible. So, if you love being the center of attention, this fragrance might be just perfect for you.
Sandalwood is one of those special scents that works just as well on its own or used as a carrier for other perfumes and aromas.
Many popular perfumes use a hint of sandalwood, whatever the reason, and it has an incomparable earthy yet exotic scent.
When sandalwood comes together with traditional Indian scents like oud or jasmine, it gets even more impressive, so this is one to try as a blend.
Naturally grown sandalwood is prevalent across India and the country has strong ties to this tree and its perfume, although there are restrictions on farming it.
Sandalwood in perfumery
You might have heard of the wonderful properties sandalwood has to offer, but it is definitely an excellent ingredient in many exquisite perfumes, and there is no doubt why, thanks to its delicious and intoxicating aroma
The exquisiteness of the citrus notes, combined with the exotic and woody notes this fragrance has, turns it into a very unique and delicious fragrance. Created for those women who enjoy the simple things in life and have an elegant, curious personality.
Red Ruby has top notes of mandarin orange, lily of the valley, and bergamot, that go along with delicious middle notes of litchi and tuberose, and that end with irresistible base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, and musk. This Oriental Floral fragrance is perfect for autumns and will bring the cool, relaxed side of you to the surface.
We’ve already said that Titan Skinn is one of the big masters in perfumery in India, and Sheer is proof of the excellence this brand has to offer. Masterfully balanced, this sweet, yet vibrant fragrance could give you a whole new feeling of risky elegance you’ll surely love.
This one is a sensual fragrance, that contains a dash of floral notes to give the best first impression, as some say the smell is the presentation card of your soul. It has notes of clementine oil, pink pepper, peony, jasmine, heliotrope, vanilla, magnolia, musk, and of course, sandal, to give it the oriental, spicy touch that will blow your mind.
If you want a fresh and floral fragrance, rose is by far India’s most popular scent and one that’s loved by perfume brands around the world.
This light and flowery smell comes from the rose flower, and it’s no surprise either, as you can smell it in all its glory just by sniffing its petals.
Rose perfumes are timeless and always manage to stay on-trend, which is why they’re a common ingredient in most women’s perfumes.
Rose perfume was the preferred choice of the Mughal Queen’s thanks to its soft romantic scents, and it’s an all-time favorite in India.
Rose in perfumery
The most romantic of them all, roses have a delicious fragrance that has been used in perfumery for a long time. Its sweet aroma is one of the most valuable for a great number of perfumers, and rose fragrances are amongst the most popular ones in the international market.
Passionate and daring women will love Rose Oud, by Body Cupid. This exquisite fragrance is truly deep and intense, made for women that love to take risks and that do everything with the biggest enthusiasm. With a perfect balance between oriental and sweet, Rose Oud is probably going to become one of your favorites.
As you probably imagined, this fragrance has top notes of rose, that combined with exquisite, sweet middle notes of cinnamon and ginger, go to end on an explosion of patchouli, oud, and cedarwood. It is a romantic fragrance by nature, and it gives you the perfect touch of mystery and femininity to show the world how amazing you are, enchanting everything and everyone at your pace.
This one is more for daring and adventurous women who love a good fun risk. It is a sweet, flowery fragrance that represents the love and the uniqueness every woman hides inside and is defined as a hypnotic, enchanting perfume. This fragrance feels the joy of life, the joy of being in love, and the feeling of being free to take all the risks you want.
Champagne Du Roses contains Turkish and Damask roses that go along with amber, musk, and other mild spices to give you a sweet and delicate fragrance that feels irresistible. It is a vibrant fragrance that is versatile and allows you to be yourself in the most delightful and fun way.
Pepper might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking of traditional Indian scents used for perfumes, but it’s more prevalent than you realize.
Pepper is fresh and dry, and when added to other scents, it can be everything from bright and citrusy to sweet and grassy.
The rich tones of pepper are classically Indian and the flowering vine was first discovered in South India, and used traditionally for Ayurvedic medicine.
If you want something to give your favorite scent a new twist, consider looking for a men’s or women’s perfume where pepper is a key note.
Pepper in perfumery
The spiciness and exoticness that the pepper has to offer have not gone under the blanket, and you can see why it is so appreciated since it gives any fragrance a refined and delicious scent that is almost unforgettable.
If you’re looking for something different that makes you stand out, then Radical Brown is the perfect fragrance for you. This fragrance is a spicy, manly fragrance that is reminiscent of the good days of summer, where everything is uncomplicated and fun.
Radical Brown belongs to the Oriental Spicy olfactory family and contains top notes of cinnamon, lemon, and pepper, which go along some middle notes of incense, tobacco, lavender, and geranium, to end on the exquisite base notes of amber, cedar, vetiver, and labdanum. This is one of the most popular fragrances by Armaf, and it’s its exotic aroma that will make you fall in love.
The magnetism, charisma, and confidence that allow you to have success in anything you desire all come together in a bottle and Steele is just the result of this magical combination. It is a sweet, citrus fragrance that makes you feel like you’re the most powerful person in the world, and it is the spiciness hidden within that makes it feel so unique.
This explosive fragrance is all charming and prepares you to seduction with exquisite notes of pepper, wood, and vanilla, that blend in with bergamot, pink grapefruit, and green rhubarb. All of this finishes in the delicious notes of pink pepper, pimento, nutmeg, tonka beans, and geranium, creating a delicious, fresh, and exotic fragrance you won’t forget.
When you first think of chai, you probably imagine yourself sipping on a hot tea, but its intoxicating scent is also a popular choice for perfumes in India.
Chai has a distinct warm aroma that works well with floral notes, and it smells the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.
You might even notice some hints of vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and honey in there, so it’s a multifaceted fragrance that works beautifully as a perfume, whether it’s for men or women.
Close your eyes when you smell chai perfume and you could easily think you’re driving into a local Indian marketplace thanks to its exotic and intoxicating aroma.
Chai in perfumery
You must remember the good taste of a real warm chai tea, and these scents all come together in perfumery, so you can enjoy the delicious aroma and have it just a few splashes away.
Bombay Perfumery is proud to always present the world the best of Indian heritage, and Chai Musk is a delicious fragrance that emulates the nostalgic aroma of chai and allows you to carry its scent wherever you go.
It contains top notes of lemongrass, ginger, and green tea that blend in with the middle notes of mate, osmanthus, and hazelnut, and just on the bottom, the fragrance finishes with notes of juniper, sandalwood, and milk, to give you that exquisite chai scent you’ve always wanted.
Now, going to the most oriental side of the road, we have this Oriental Spicy fragrance for women. It is perfectly reminiscent of the chai scent and contains a fruity, spicy touch that makes it unique among the rest, and converts a simple fragrance into a fun, playful, and exotic one.
Kenzo’s Jungle L’Elephant contains top notes of cloves, mandarin orange, and cumin, that get along splendidly with the middle notes of cardamom, licorice, caraway, mango, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, and gardenia, only to finish the whole olfactory experience with vanilla, amber, and patchouli. Even though it doesn’t contain tea, the whole mixture of exotic, sweet, and mild ingredients recreates almost perfectly the aroma of chai and allows you to fall in love again with its scent.
One of the lesser-known scents in the western world, guggul is a treasured traditional aroma of India.
Guggul is instantly recognizable for its warm, sweet, vanilla aromas, as well as being earthy and balsamic at the same time.
This unique resin comes from the C wightii gum Guggulu tree, and upon first smell, you might compare it to myrrh.
For Indians, this is a smell that reminds them of home as it’s often burned as incense in the evenings to relax.
Some might choose to wear a scent with guggul in it as perfume oil, and it has proposed benefits such as reducing stress and brightening up your mood.
Guggul in perfumery
Even though guggul is one of the most popular scents in India, its aroma is widely known thanks to the incense sticks and other ayurvedic applications guggul has, and it is not a popular ingredient in perfumery. That’s so, there are many different combinations with guggul incense sticks and cones that have earned it so much recognition, yet it is not included in perfumery like many others.
There’s a lot to learn about perfume, and knowing some of the most popular scents favored in India is just one part of it.
The perfumery business has been around for centuries and it’s a fascinating industry to dive into, with a lot to learn about how it’s made.
We’ve answered some FAQs about perfume and its scents, to show you how they’re created and which ones are most popular.
What Kind of Oil is Used in Perfume?
Perfume oil is made with either synthetic or natural sources, depending on the scent and its availability.
These oils are sometimes referred to as aromatic oil, aroma oils, or flavor oils.
As a concentrated oil, they have to be mixed with a carrier like mineral oil or propylene glycol to dilute them and make them safe for applying to the skin.
What Perfumes Are Popular in India?
India has popular perfumes in both mid and high-end price brackets, including perfumes like Wild Stone, Yardley, and Fogg, or luxury brands like Hugo Boss, Bvlgari, and Guess.
Both men and women’s perfume are popular products in India, and due to a decline in the number of local perfumeries, most of their market is saturated with overseas brands.