Diwali is here: How to select the right perfume for every occasion

Diwali is more than a Festival in India. It is energy. It is synonymous with diyas and rangoli, joy, togetherness, reunions, colours, rejuvenation and happiness.

Diwali is an unapologetic quest for abundance in all forms of life, which starts by releasing all that is not working to make space for all on your vision board. This POV is my energetic interpretation of the festival of lights and colours. According to Hindu traditions, it is believed on the night of Diwali, which falls on Amavasya or the new moon, Lord Rama returned to his home after an exile of 14 years. The light of the new moon and no moon is weakest, so the people in the kingdom lit up diyas in every home, so their beloved King could find his path back home with ease, light and joy. 

However, this blog is about fragrances one should wear during the Diwali holidays. Let’s dive straight into occasions during this festive season and why some perfumes work better than others without much further ado.

1. Wear easy-going fragrances to Office Team Parties 

Look for a relaxed yet elegant perfume for team gatherings. The pre-Diwali office parties, though casual and festive, are also formal at the same time. To complement your balanced and energetic side, wear a perfume that’s a beautiful balance of refreshing citrus and aquatic notes blended on a woody base of cedarwood, amber, and patchouli with a heart of white florals. Avoid wearing overtly floral fragrances that fall in the romantic category or intense spicy-ambery fragrances that could overwhelm some noses around you. The idea is not to stand out but to blend in with the group and put everyone at ease, including their noses. If you are searching for one to add to your existing collection, this Diwali, sharing some recommendations. 

Try: Ajmal Neea, Ajmal Blu, Estee Lauder Pleasures, Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia, CK One.  

2. Go for compliment-fetching perfumes for Evening Card Parties

Diwali card parties are usually lively evening soirees with friends and sometimes family, with everyone dressed opulently in their glamorous best. This is the time to elevate your ‘Diwali Look’ with a dazzling, compliment-fetching perfume. Of course, I am not telling you to go for heavy florals if they give you a headache, but this is time to the push the boundaries and not play it safe. Card parties, which follow dinner, are, by design, an intimate gathering of close friends and are the perfect occasion to air the most intense fragrance in your closet. To be complimented for the perfume you are wearing is a lovely conversation starter. You don’t have to stop at the name. Instead, you can go on to share an anecdote about how you discovered it – during a trip or a recommendation from a friend. I haven’t come across one statement perfume that doesn’t have an emotional hook. 

I suggest looking for fragrances with leading notes of vanilla, amber, spicy, Oudh, and leather. A personal favourite is also floral-chypre, which has fresh greenness. I would always pick a robust rose scent over tuberose, but that’s my choice. Tuberose as an ingredient is lovely and leaves an addictive trail that nudges the listeners to lean in and be more engaged. 

Try: Ajmal Patchouli Wood, Ajmal Amber Musk, Bulgari Fiori D’amore, Miss Dior Rose n Roses, Chopard Love, Kayali Invite Only

3. Reach out for comforting scents for Lakshmi Puja

Lakshmi Puja is about setting intentions, releasing clutter in your mind and home, and welcoming abundance. I have grown up with a very religious and ritualistically articulate mother who would deck up our home temple with flowers, lights and incense. Every time I have tried to wear an already worn (though beautiful, in my opinion) festive outfit for Diwali, she has expressed disagreement. It’s not about the value but the sentiment of starting the year on a new note and welcoming Goddess Lakshmi in your ‘finest’ clothes, jewellery and fragrances. 

A fragrance is a piece of jewellery; although invisible to the naked eye, it makes a connection between memory and emotion. If you can, do wear a new perfume on Diwali to match the vibe of your clothes. If not unique, let it be one of the most-loved fragrances in your collection, one that makes you feel comfortable and rich, one which evokes childhood memories of being held and cared. 

To recommend a Diwali fragrance is tricky as everyone’s comfort zone is different. I wouldn’t take this as a time to experiment with new notes or make a loud statement. Wear what appeals most to your nose, naturally. Usually, a rich bouquet of roses, white florals and juicy fruits on a solid base of woody and earthy notes work well. You want a fragrance not to express or impress but be! Alternatively, bestsellers across your preferred fragrance family are ideal choices. 

Try: Ajmal Sacred Love, Guess Bella Vita, Naso Profumi Mint-infused Rose & Lemon, Ajmal Ethereal Dream, Armani Si 

Wear versatile, lively fragrances for meeting friends and family

When it comes to socializing, a fragrance is a tool to make your presence felt. Generally, wear versatile scents which have an excellent sillage and can be worn from morning to evening. What does it mean? It means they are not bursting with refreshing notes that work brilliantly in the mornings or decadent with edible tonka beans and vanilla notes which could become overwhelming in the mornings. Fougere aromatics, florientals, spicy aquatic, fruity florals, and floral woody are some fragrance families that can multitask. Be sure to go for an EDP instead of cologne, which stays much longer on the skin. And if you are out of Diwali meet and greets, where you know you will be hopping across different addresses throughout the day, keep your perfume uncomplicated yet strong.

Try: Ajmal Ethereal Dreamer, Ajmal Aristocrat, Hermes Twilly, Chloe Naturelle Signature, Perfect Marc Jacobs, Jo Malone London Rose Blush Cologne, Gucci Bloom, Burberry Her EDT 

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous Diwali!


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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