Best of Boston

BEST Fragrances

2015 BEST Fragrances

Colonial Drug


What’s your scent? Woodsy? Spicy? Floral? Citrusy? Let the fragrance specialists at this 70-year-old institution help you discover your olfactory predilections as you sample their collection of 1,000-plus perfumes and colognes. Once a Harvard Square mainstay, the Newton boutique stocks… read more»

2014 BEST Fragrances
Photograph by Toan Trinh



No offense to the department-store counters we’ve frequented in the past, but our new fragrance go-to is a little less—how shall we say—in your face. Fresh skips the dizzying array of scents for a dozen or so intriguing, beautifully blended… read more»

2013 BEST Fragrances

Neil Morris Fragrances


Having had way too many perfume bottles misted in our direction over the years, we relish fragrance designer Neil Morris’s sanctuary of a studio, the very antithesis of department-store counters. Choose from his signature collection, or relax while he blends… read more»

2012 BEST Fragrances

Barneys New York


While other department-store counters seem to hawk the same 10 perfumers, Barneys focuses on rich, exotic scents from lines like Frédéric Malle, Serge Lutens, Acqua di Parma, and Rodin. With all the variety, you’ll breathe easy knowing that the scent… read more»

2011 BEST Fragrances

Neiman Marcus

Boston, Natick

The biggest names in the perfume biz (Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel) are fully represented on these gleaming counters, as are scores of cult lines (Creed, Jo Malone). But the fun of buying here is chatting with the helpful salespeople, who… read more»

2002 BEST Fragrances



Normally, we don’t pay much attention to celebrity endorsements, but this time we’ll take Madonna, J.Lo, and Donatella Versace’s word for it. They, like all self-respecting fragrance freaks, adore Diptyque’s intensely scented candles (rarefied variations like black currant and Bulgarian… read more»

1997 BEST Fragrances

Colonial Drug


Still rubbing your wrist on that magazine fragrance strip? Quelle catastrophe! It’s all too easy—and only civilized—to spend hours in this tiny wonder shop, sampling the world’s most exclusive fragrances (including matching soaps, spray deodorants, and body creams). Experts behind… read more»

1995 BEST Fragrances

Colonial Drug


Nearly a thousand fragrances from cutting edge to classic, Arpege to Zibeline. Plus a huge selection of bath soaps. Make sure you bring cash or a checkbook—no plastic accepted. read more»

1992 BEST Fragrances

Colonial Drug


A no-nonscents approach to fragrance. Just the best selection in town, if not the atmosphere, maybe the universe—you get the idea. Lipsticks and sniffing instructions are part of the bargain. read more»

1990 BEST Fragrances



An enthusiastic perfumer will custom-blend your scent for your skin, and not charge an arm and a leg. read more»