How would you describe the scent of summer? For me, it’s a multitude of things – a cacophony of solar-soaked elements that come together to say “summer”. Summer is the smell of slices of lemon, all zesty and fizzy, dropped in a drink with ice. It’s the smell of cotton drying in the breeze, blinding us with starchy freshness, and the scent of salty skin slathered with coconut-scented SPF. There really is nothing like summer days, where time seems to stop, and the world moves slowly, all under the nourishing warmth of the sun.
But what fragrance notes evoke summer? Well, the answer to that question is probably as long as the summer solstice, but there are certainly a few materials to look for that scream sunshine more than others. So, in preparation for next season, whenever it decides to arrive (she shan’t be rushed), this guide seeks to outline some of the most summery of summer notes with some beautifully fresh and buoyant fragrances to make your summer days halcyon.
#1 Tiare Flower
The tiare flower, also known as “Tahitian gardenia” is a topical white bloom that makes one thing of floral leis and exotic, sunny islands. In Nuxe’s Sun Delicious Fragrant Water, tiare joins coconut and vanilla to create a sweet, heady blend that is evocative of white sandy beaches, sapphire blue seas and bronzed skin. It’s the perfect thing to pack for a holiday, or if you’re staying home this summer, it makes for a transportive fragrance that’ll be almost as good as jetting over to the Maldives (almost).
It’s hard to picture coconut and not think of cocktails drenched with Malibu and days spent on exotic islands. It’s a smell we associate with SPF so often in fragrance; it has a milky, ‘lactonic’ character that is evocative of sensible skin protection. But for GUERLAIN and their Aqua Allegoria Coconut Fizz, the note of coconut is something much fresher and more vibrant. Using coconut water against a backdrop of watermelon and freesia, GUERLAIN has crafted a transparent fruity-floral with a tropical twist, giving coconut an entirely new guise. It’s fresh, fancy and oh so much fun.
What could be more refreshing in summer than a big splash of water? Nothing, that’s what iconic Japanese beauty brand Shiseido think and their latest fragrance, Rising Sun, boasts just that. Its mineral marine accord is bracing and salty, while its sparkling lemon top note adds a solar gleam. Florals in the heart make for something a little bit more full-bodied, and a base of white musk gives the whole thing lift, evoking a summer downpour trickling gently down from a sky of white clouds. Beautiful.
You’d be a fool not to smell like rhubarb this summer… (See what I did there?). Rhubarb is a fun note that shares a tart, acidic quality with grapefruit. In fragrance, it tends to add a sour, fizzy and neon-like character, giving the impression of something fun. One of my favourite rhubarb-centric scents is the bewitching Aura from Mugler. In Aura, the botanical meets the animal, with juicy rhubarb energised by the succulent blooms of orange blossom and contrasted by smoky, mysterious tiger liana. There is nothing quite like Aura out there, so if you’re looking to stand out this summer, well, Aura has got your back, my friend.
And now for the sexiest scent of this summer… That’s right, I’m calling it: Cipresso di Toscana by Aqua di Parma is the most “oomph” scent you’ll come across this season, and if you’re a man you should be wearing it, and if you’re not, you should be buying it for a handsome man in your life. Please add it to your basket now. The cypress tree is abundant in Italy and has a spicy, fern-like and woody aroma. In Cipresso di Toscana, this note is added to lavender, star anise and pine to create a classic masculine scent that is evocative of Italian suits and sunshine. It is chic, handsome and sexy. Did I mention that it was sexy?
Now, you may be thinking “Mint? In perfume? I do not wish to smell like toothpaste, thank you very much!”, but you would be very wrong. Mint is a wonderful material that adds a coolness to scents, as well as sweet and herbal facets, and it doesn’t often smell like toothpaste. In L’Homme Menthe by Roger & Gallet, mint is paired with geranium to create a barbershop fougere that moves with waves of freshness. This is not going to give you “brush your teeth” vibes, instead, it’ll create “cool summer morning” feels, all served in a dapper package.