Elisa on some of her favorite summer perfumes.
Earlier this week, Victoria wondered if summer perfumes are necessary, or if the “summery” designation is just marketing spin. In past years, I’ve mostly ignored the supposed seasonality of my perfumes, often most enjoying smoky ambers or patchouli gourmands when amplified in the heat. (Perverse, I know.) But this year, I’ve been in more of a relaxed, hammock-lounging mood, and traditionally “summery” perfumes like citrus scents and light florals are just what I want. So here are some of the easy, almost humble perfumes I’ve been reaching for at home and packing with me when I travel.
Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus
Far from the most renowned perfume in the Ormonde Jayne line, for good reason; Osmanthus is not as opulent or distinctive as some. But it’s an incredibly pretty rendition of the apricot-tea scent of osmanthus, mixed half and half with pomelo juice like a spa version of an Arnold Palmer.
Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia
Eau de Magnolia is exactly the sort of floral that would have bored me in years past, but now feels perfect for easygoing mornings with a book or the Sunday crossword. Almost a cologne, it’s lemony and creamy and light as petals.
Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu
Basmati rice, coconut milk and lime zest – I’m addicted to the way this semi-savory perfume seems to rise like steam off skin in the heat.
Yves Rocher Neroli
I’ve been all about orange blossom lately, and this one’s pretty perfect: simple, clean and natural-smelling with a toasty-warm vanilla base.
Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie
One of my favorite releases from last year, this citrusy jasmine and frangipani floral has become a go-to for outdoor weddings and parties, next to my personal summer classics like Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and by Kilian Sweet Redemption.
I can’t stop being surprised by how much I like Arlesienne, a powdery, “papery” rose with violet and honey, possibly inspired by Chanel Beige and in some ways better.
Atelier Cologne Figuier Ardent
Most new figs are variations on earlier figs, and fig lovers are generally fine with that. The new one from Atelier Cologne is in the woody, green Diptyque Philosykos mold, but with more citrus and pepper, and more saturated – if Philosykos is sage green, Figuier Ardent goes on almost teal.
Stella MacCartney Eau de Toilette
I love a big, dark, dramatic rose as much as the next girl, but sometimes a delicate pink rose is all that I want. The new EDT version of Stella is completely successful in this regard, sheer and fresh and Paris-esque with plenty of watery violet leaf.
Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Praline
Same fresh pink rose, gourmand-ified – Rose Praline is about as candied as you can get while still being summer-weight, thanks more to its hue than its strength. I love the balance between the fruity, almost chewy geranium-rose accord and the oriental base.
Madonna Truth or Dare Naked
Sexy name, sexy bottle, sexy scent: This alternative to Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess–style beach scents is a tangy summer amber with a soft accord of bubblegum-like white florals. At first you think it’s going to be too sweet, but it soon mellows out and the drydown is just lovely.
What fragrances are you wearing the most this summer?
Photography by Bois de Jasmin