Best of Summer: Hot vs. Cold

Elisa on summer favorites

Here in the US, we tend to fight the heat with cold – in the South, that means the AC is always blasting and there’s as much ice in your glass as there is tea. When I lived in Houston, I’d routinely leave a restaurant with goose bumps all over my body, and for a moment, the 100-degree heat outside would feel delicious.

Elsewhere, though – in India, along the equator – people often fight fire with fire, drinking hot tea and eating foods so spicy your scalp prickles with sweat, thus tripping the body’s internal cooling mechanisms.


I prefer the American method when it comes to food and beverage (I’ll be drinking iced coffee until the first snow). But when it comes to perfume, both strategies appeal. Some days I reach for crisp, refreshing colognes, but other days, I crave notes like musk, incense, and narcotic flowers that bloom and billow in the heat.

Cold Perfumes for Summer

Diptyque Philosykos

Wearing Philosykos, the quintessential fig fragrance, you naturally get all the suggestions of lying under a shade tree – green leaves, sweet wood, milky sap. But there’s something in the fig materials that also reminds me of air conditioning chemicals, so a spray of this on a hot day is like a subliminal stroll past the vents of a swamp cooler.

Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser

With both coconut and aloe vera, St. Tropez Dispenser is practically hydrating. This fun sunscreen scent transports you poolside; it smells perhaps a little cheaper than Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess, but is no less charming for its cheapness. (Also pretty great layered with Philosykos.)

Diptyque Oyedo

Another wonder from Diptyque, Oyedo is the strangest citrus scent I know, focused on a piercing, acid-green lime note. There’s enough mint in the formula that it actually feels tingly on skin.

Paco Rabanne Metal

Powdery, dry iris has a cooling effect similar to pressing your hand against marble. This beautiful green chypre mixes iris with hyacinth, rose, and peppery lily of the valley to form a kind of unofficial flanker to Chanel No. 19 – but I prefer Metal. Will make you feel like a rich woman who never sweats.

Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle

Real tuberose stems have a menthol facet, which is usually represented as a subtle, cool-green thread in soliflores. Tubéreuse Criminelle puts this facet front and center: the sinus-clearing top notes smell like IcyHot muscle cream. If you can get through this aggressive stage, it morphs into a gorgeous tropical floral with the clove note of Juicy Fruit gum.

Hot Perfumes for Summer

Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Morocain

In the desert Southwest where I grew up, it’s not unusual for the extreme heat to play tricks on your eyes, the highway ahead in the distance appearing to wave and shimmer. L’Air du Desert Morocain reminds me of those road-trip mirages: heat, dust, and sweetly toxic petroleum fumes.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her eau de toilette

My appreciation for Narciso Rodriguez for Her grows every year, perhaps because it keeps smelling better compared to new mainstream launches. You’d think it’s a bit heavy for summer, but to me it just glows: the orange blossom smells caramelized and the musky patchouli smolders like hot coals.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black

The darker half of a duet launched in 2013, Nirvana Black is simple but sophisticated and not at all tween (Elizabeth & James is a fashion line designed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen). Just three notes are listed: violet, sandalwood, and vanilla. It’s as effortlessly sexy as smudged eyeliner, and feels more expensive than it is.

By Kilian Sweet Redemption

Sweet Redemption is a drop-dead stunning floriental that holds bitter orange flower and sweet resins including benzoin and myrrh in perfect balance for hours. It’s the color of an island sunset, my ultimate fantasy beach vacation scent.

Lush Lust

Clearly, white florals with an oriental touch–incense, vanilla, sweet woods–are a summer go-to for me. The appropriately named Lust is full of oily jasmine absolute and a sexy suggestion of melted honey, like Annick Goutal Songess trashy cousin. As hot, loud, and metallic as amp feedback.

What are your favorite scents for summer, and do you prefer to battle the weather or go with it? And if you’re in the Southern hemisphere, what are your scent strategies for warming up?

Please also see lists made by Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: Perfume Posse :: The Non-Blonde.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, a nap with a view, Jaisalmer, India



  • rosarita: Thanks for the list, you’ve made me want to revisit Narciso Rodriguez edt. I lived in Houston years ago and could never get over the cotton wool gauze of heat in the middle of the night! I have always felt that if possible, the Houston population would happily air condition the strip of sidewalk between the front door and the driveway. Now that I’m back in my native northern climate, I like cool stone fragrances like Etro Messe di Minuit for summer. June 27, 2014 at 8:03am Reply

    • Elisa: Ha! I think you are right on about the air conditioning in Houston…I actually spent less time feeling hot during Houston summers than I did during Boston summers. Boston is perpetually under-air-conditioned. June 27, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

  • Caroline: I prefer to battle summer with cool scents–Silences, Safari, Bas de Soie and AG Neroli spring to mind. Oh, and to tick the expensive niche category, Mito edp. June 27, 2014 at 8:11am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m glad you mentioned Safari; I love that one! I actually think of it as a warm, golden scent, but galbanum usually does have a cool side. June 27, 2014 at 10:04am Reply

    • Aisha: Safari is a beautiful fragrance and it’s actually the one I favor when transitioning from summer, to fall. June 28, 2014 at 11:59am Reply

  • Judith: I have both Metal but I always leave it for winter! Sitting on the bus in Metal, it just feels to heavy. I love Oyedo but haven’t bought it yet. My milky cold summer fragrances include Bas de Soie and Florabella, and for citrus notes I have Peace, Love & Juicy Couture and Cristalle. The Cristalle lotions is a minty blue. Calyx would be perfect but I wore it in the 80s/90s and don’t want to go back there.
    Is there a fragrance that smells like iced coffee? I’d wear it in a flash! June 27, 2014 at 9:10am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, an iced coffee scent! Wish I could think of one.

      I love the opening notes of Calyx so much but the base doesn’t agree with me. I used to have a bottle but ended up swapping it away. Wish I could just smell the top notes from time to time. June 27, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

      • Patricia: Me too! But the drydown is a scrubber on me. June 27, 2014 at 10:44am Reply

  • Judith: Sorry about the typos all over the place. Meant to say I had Metal and Oyedo but then realised I didn’t. I just spray it every time I’m in John Lewis. June 27, 2014 at 9:11am Reply

    • Elisa: I just recently got a second decant of Oyedo in a swap. Need to wear it up this summer! June 27, 2014 at 10:07am Reply

  • silverdust: Elisa, now you’ve done it! I’ve got a lemming for Metal. Question: is this another one that has been reformulated over the years? Should I look for a vintage version or is the latest version one that fits your description above? I absolutely loved the original No. 19, but it is a pale, pale copy of its former glory. No sillage and gone in five minutes. How’s metal for sillage and tenacity?

    Thanks! June 27, 2014 at 9:30am Reply

    • Elisa: I have no idea about the differences between versions for Metal — it might even have been discontinued? I’d look for an older bottle. Mine is older and the sillage and lasting power are superb! June 27, 2014 at 10:08am Reply

    • Malmaison: Re Metal, I have just ordered one off Beauty Encounter because I have a half bottle left of the vintage and it’s very special to me. The year it was launched my parents took me to Europe for the first time (a big deal for a New Zealander!) and in Paris my mother and I both went perfume shopping, because in NZ back then our opportunities were so limited. She bought Metal, I bought Opium (a tiny bottle in a beautiful red lacquered pendant, which I still have. It was, of course, completely inappropriate for a girl in her early teens, but it made me so happy!)
      Anyway, Mum wore Metal for most of the first half of the eighties and I am still very sentimental about the smell as well as appreciating it for its own sake. I thought it was the most beautiful and sophisticated green scent I could imagine, and used to steal sprays all the time.
      I look forward to comparing the new version with the treasured vintage that dear Mum has kept all these years (she now tends to prefer scented lotion which stays on her dry skin better).
      Sorry for the lengthy anecdote! But Metal is special. June 27, 2014 at 5:10pm Reply

      • Elisa: Beautiful story!! Please come back and let us know how the two versions compare when it arrives. June 27, 2014 at 5:11pm Reply

  • briony: I tend to prefer cooler scents in summer – Ormonde Jayne Tiare and Osmanthus immediately spring to mind. I also like Chanel Beige for really hot days, although we don’t get many of them here in the UK. June 27, 2014 at 9:31am Reply

    • Elisa: I haven’t tried those two Ormonde Jaynes; in fact there are quite a few from the line that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. I do love white flowers in summer though! June 27, 2014 at 10:09am Reply

  • CheninBlanc: I usually prefer to battle the heat. I typically find no-spice lightweight florals refreshing like La Chasse Aux Papillions or Parfum DelRae’s Debut. But on thunderstorm days, I love Apres l’Ondee. It adds just a little spice to cut through the ick.

    If I’m going to embrace the heat, I’ve found that Mohur or Ashoka are really nice. I also like your heavy jasmine approach. I’ve been reaching for A la Nuit or Wit, but I love the Lust idea.

    If anyone has suggestions for florals that have some lemon, I’d love to hear them! I don’t want a citrus-focused perfume, but love a little brightness with my flowers in the summer. June 27, 2014 at 9:37am Reply

    • Alicia: You might enjoy the new fragrance from Frederic Malle — Eau de Magnolia. It has a very nice citrus freshness. June 27, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

    • Lynley: By night, white might be good 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, a lemony floral sounds great! Maybe B Scent or Cristalle au Verte? I have a conditioner right now that smells like lemon and coconut and it’s divine — keep wishing I had that smell in a perfume. June 27, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

    • Patricia: A simple but good lemon and rose is Bianca by Tocca. So refreshing, and in my opinion underrated. June 27, 2014 at 10:42am Reply

      • Elisa: Thanks for the rec! I will try that next time I’m at Sephora. June 27, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I totally agree! 🙂 I still remember that we talked about it last summer. The bad news is that Tocca perfumes are overpriced here. June 27, 2014 at 11:06am Reply

    • SophieC: I recall that Rose D’Ete seems a lemony or certianly very bright rose. Crisp and pretty. June 27, 2014 at 11:38am Reply

      • Elisa: Definitely bright and crisp! It’s got a crisp green apple note. June 27, 2014 at 11:40am Reply

        • Patricia: That sounds good, too! June 27, 2014 at 4:44pm Reply

    • solanace: I love citrousy roses, and can think of a few right now: Un Zest de Rose, from Les Parfums de Rosine, Hermessence Rose Ikebana, Stella. June 28, 2014 at 5:52am Reply

      • Elisa: That reminds me of another one — Incense Rose from Tauer. June 28, 2014 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Figuier: Great list – I would always endorse Philosykos as a choice, whatever the weather, and it does indeed pair beautifully with coconut/suntan lotion scents. For which reason I’m dying to try the new Guerlain Terracotta.

    I don’t really have a summer programme other than avoiding heavy orientals or chypres like Coromandel, PG Indochine, Mon Parfum Cheri. At the moment I’m wearing a lot of Philtre d’Amour by Guerlain, which is a lovely, borderline edible citrus with a sweet/savoury balance, Songes in edt and edp, Bombay Bling, and The pour un Ete. June 27, 2014 at 9:52am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m dying to try that too, after the great review at Another Perfume Blog!

      Songes is fantastic in summer. June 27, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

  • Lynley: I’ve found that over the past few summers I’ve preferred different styles; one summer vetiver and green, one citrussy and fresh, one white florals and so on. Not sure why that’s been the case.
    Some that have been given lots of summer love:
    Nassomatto Absinth- green yet slightly nutty
    Profumi del Forte By Night, White- I see this as pastel pink and yellow. Great for summer nights it’s a bit sweet but with a bit of citrus to lighten it. Very sexy
    Profumi del Forte Roma Imperiale- I find it hard to describe this. It’s fresh and sun-warmed and green all at once. A summer staple
    By Kilian A Taste of Heaven- absinthy lavendery deliciousness
    and so ridiculously many more :-/ June 27, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

    • Elisa: A Taste of Heaven is to die for. I’ve wanted some for years. June 27, 2014 at 10:15am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I do both. I go with the heat, with rich, flowery perfumes, Tubéreuse MPG, Fracas, Carnal Flower, First, Boucheron, Nahema, Mille, Joy.

    Sometimes I fresh up with Eau de Rochas, Guerlain Homme, Eau du Coq. This summer I will buy also Ô de Lancôme.

    Lovely list. I thought Métal was gone, I did not see it for years! I like that kind of perfumes, also Bas de Soie. June 27, 2014 at 10:07am Reply

    • Elisa: I pretty much only see Paco Rabanne perfumes in those little dedicated perfume stores you can sometimes find, which often have old stock. Or online.

      Another great cologne for summer is L’Eau Dynamisante. June 27, 2014 at 10:16am Reply

  • Claire: I’ve discovered that I have two distinct perfume seasons (winter and the rest). It must be connected to living in a temperate climate country. I tried wearing Herba Fresca in January and it felt all wrong to me, but I really enjoy it during hot weather. I also really like Penhaligon’s Malabah. It smells like tea and citrus fruits to me as well as spices and as Lady Grey is my favourite tea, it just seems to fit well. So two scents I would class as cool. June 27, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

    • Elisa: Lady Grey is my favorite tea too! June 27, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

  • Katy McReynolds: I think many of us crave the same summer flavors! I wear Womanity in the summer to assuage the fig craving! My heart belongs to Lonestar Memories, which is great in the summer! Who put my Wintergreen Lifesaver in the campfire? Really the best way to describe the opening, but then the beautiful jasmine that is hiding in Lonestar comes drifting off the skin. All summer I crave jasmine and coconut. I wear Lust frequently, but also adore Esprit de Oscar. Layering any white floral with Manoi oil is heavenly. My life might be complete if some brewer would make a jasmine and coconut saison! There was an excellent coconut and curry Hefeweizen but it was a limited edition. I could write a book about the olfactive pleasures of beer…… June 27, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

    • Elisa: I totally get that minty thread in Lonestar Memories, too!

      Mmm, you have me wanting to get my hands on some Manoi oil… June 27, 2014 at 10:17am Reply

      • Katy McReynolds: I am totally enabling you to get some! Not expensive and lasts forever, get the original Tahitian or Yves Rocher….. June 27, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

        • Elisa: I’m on spending freeze until after I move, but if there’s still some summer left after that, I will!! Thank you for the recs! June 27, 2014 at 10:52am Reply

  • Savita: Great list Elisa, thanks! I live in a tropical country so its summer all year round with very hot days. I literally have a fan blowing on me all day at work. There are beautiful days though when it becomes overcast with gray clouds or rain (which can cause flooding). Anyway, for those really hot days I am currently wearing Prada Infusion d’iris. Other than that, I really haven’t got much of a choice so I just wear what I feel like. If it’s a heavy scent, I just spray less. June 27, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

    • Elisa: Sounds challenging! Sometimes I enjoy the way perfume evaporates faster in hot weather, so I can wear three different perfumes in one day. June 27, 2014 at 10:29am Reply

      • Savita: That’s so true….I change my fragrance sometimes 3 times daily 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 2:28pm Reply

        • Elisa: Goes through the collection faster! June 27, 2014 at 2:44pm Reply

    • solanace: Sounds like my life! During the 11 months Summer lasts here, I just spray a bit less of Shalimar or Chegui. 🙂 June 28, 2014 at 6:00am Reply

  • Patricia: Great list, Elisa!

    For summer I love citrus, and my favorites include Eau de Guerlain, Acqua di Parma Colonia, Ninfeo Mio, PdN Eau d’Ete, AG Eau d’Hadrien, 06130 Yuzu Rouge, and Carthusia Mediterraneo.

    I recently bought a bottle of Demeter Gin and Tonic but haven’t given it a test drive yet 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 10:35am Reply

    • Elisa: Great list for citrus! I love PdN’s summer scents. I’ve got samples of Eau d’Ete and Juste Une Reve from last summer, and a bottle of L’Eau Mixte that is about to go into heavy rotation… June 27, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

  • Michaela: I love the article and the idea.

    This summer I plan sometimes to go cool with the green teas of Elizabeth Arden and Bulgari, and sometimes to go hot with some rich Arabian attars (and hot tea).

    I will also go with the summer flowers reaching for First or the roses of White Linen, Cabaret, Stella. I’ll try Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT again, thank you. I want to try Tocade on summer nights. Not to mention a lot of more or less successful sampling 🙂

    I tried hot tea in the heat and I like it. I haven’t tried very spicy food. I’m not sure about hot spicy perfumes during summer, I may even like Kenzo Jungle on a cool summer night. Have to try. June 27, 2014 at 10:46am Reply

    • Elisa: I wish I had some Bulgari Green Tea for summer! Along similar lines, I’d love to have a bit of Acqua di Gio … blast from the ’90s past. June 27, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

      • Patricia: Elisa, I have plenty of Bulgari Green Tea to send you a decant if you’d like. Oddly enough I just pulled it out and sprayed liberally after my post-riding shower, and it is so refreshing! June 27, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

        • Elisa: emailing you! 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 4:55pm Reply

    • Katy McReynolds: I love Tocade and Cabaret and roses sound great for warm weather…. June 27, 2014 at 10:52am Reply

      • Elisa: Rose Splendide is awesome in summer. I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, as part of my project to finish near-empties. June 27, 2014 at 10:54am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Nice article, Elisa! With food and beverage, I try both hot and cold methods but for perfumes, I tend to stick to cooling/light perfumes. Some of the perfumes I’m planning on using this summer are Hermessence Rose Ikebana, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, AG Ninfeo Mio. If I want something spicy yet light, I would turn to Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche. This perfume actually has both cooling and warming effect which I find fascinating. BTW, I know what you mean about the fig smelling a little like air conditioning. I actually happen to like that smell! 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

    • Elisa: Lumiere Blanche would be lovely in summer, I think! I also really like the sharp green opening of L’Ombre dans l’Eau in summer. June 27, 2014 at 11:10am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I also like L’Ombre dans l’Eau although I still haven’t got around to gettine some. I also think vetiver perfumes like Guerlain Vetiver or Lalique Encre Noir would be wonderful in the summer against the heat. June 27, 2014 at 11:24am Reply

      • rainboweyes: LB is great in dry heat! I’d tried it many times in Germany and hadn’t found it very appealing. Then I took it for summer holiday in southern Spain and I immediately fell in love! June 27, 2014 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Danaki: Several tricks. If I’m spending hot summer days back home in Lebanon, then citrus scents do it. Top of my list this year is Clarins Eau Resourssante. It’s bascially like diving into a pool of lemonade. The cedarwood dry down in calming and cooling in the scorching heat.

    Jour d’Hermes has a lemon twist too if something more floral is desired. I find that if I’m hotter the gardenia is highlighted, but when I’m cooler it is mainly white floral/orange blossom. Very interesting perfume. I second Lush, though I restrict it to summer evenings.

    However, if I’m stuck in the UK (right here in Manchester it is raining as a type), then Apres l’ondee for day and the irony. For night, thank God for SL ‘A la nuit’, otherwise I would need to see a therapist. June 27, 2014 at 11:31am Reply

    • Elisa: I agree on Lust — definitely a nighttime perfume and not an office scent!

      Love the idea of wearing a perfume for the irony. This is probably tasteless beyond all belief, but once I wore L’Heure Bleue to a funeral because I don’t like it and didn’t care about the negative association. June 27, 2014 at 11:45am Reply

      • polite cannibal: but we all know what you mean about taking care not to develop negative associations for favorite scents 🙂
        great article – love your writing. June 29, 2014 at 7:25pm Reply

        • Elisa: Thank you! 🙂 June 30, 2014 at 10:40am Reply

  • Candace: I love two Guerlain fragrances for summer months: Sous le Vent and Derby. June 27, 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Elisa: Sous le Vent is one I haven’t tried, but I see that it has a tarragon note — interesting! June 27, 2014 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Robin: Great list, and love “Will make you feel like a rich woman who never sweats.” June 27, 2014 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Robin! Metal always makes me feel like I should be wearing a silk blouse and a pencil skirt. June 27, 2014 at 12:22pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I have a difficult relationship with summer scents, probably because the weather is so unpredictable here in Germany. We often have rain in the summer and I haven’t found the perfect scent for this type of weather yet. I mostly wear Hiris but I actually prefer it in spring. Today I read about DelRae Mythique as a summer rain scent, I think I’ll try it out.
    On sunny days with moderate temperatures I love Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris or Osmanthe Yunnan. Hot sunny days are the easiest – Ananas Fizz, MP&G Bahiana, Laurent Mazzone Vol d’Hirondelle and Carthusia Mediterraneo are my favourite citrus scents but I also like cooling incense (as in Passage d’Enfer, Eau de Gentiane Blanche or Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel) or light spices (Lumiere Blanche – with a spritz of Dzongkha for the evening – or Marni).
    I need to try Bas de Soie in warm weather. I have a bottle but it gets most wearing in early spring. And you’ve inspired me to try out some spicy scents in the heat! June 27, 2014 at 12:45pm Reply

    • Elisa: Summer rain can be tricky — in the cooler months I usually like licorice or lavender when it rains, but I don’t really have a go-to rainy day scent for summer. In Denver, there are few rainy days — usually just quick afternoon storms.

      I have been wearing Marni lately too! Love the spice with the sheer rose. June 27, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Isis: Hi Rainboweyes! You are The One Who Knows About Iris, right? I was thinking of you since, if I remember correctly, we share a love for Hiris. And for years I tought that Hiris and no. 19 were all I’d ever need in terms of iris. Now I accidently came across samples of OJ Orris Noir and Equistrius, and I am completely confused. They are lovely! So now, my whole world turned upside down and I’ll have to find samples of Iris Silver Mist (which is almost impossible in Holland) and 31 rue Gambon and 28 La Pausa and rethink what makes the perfect iris for me. If you know Orris Noir and Equistruis I’d reallty like to know where you stand on those. June 29, 2014 at 1:18pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Hi Isis! It’s nice to hear from a fellow iris lover 🙂
        I actually don’t consider myself an iris expert but I’m always happy to share my passion for this wonderful note! You’re right about Hiris – it was my first iris-themed scent back in 1999 and I have been wearing it since then. But my iris collection has grown over the years and it includes 18 full bottles now (plus many decants and 6 scents on my to-buy list). So there is definitely more for you to explore! I love the different facets that orris shows in all these scents. When you like Hiris and no. 19 you should try Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. It is similar to no. 19 but the iris note is even more prominent on my skin. And 28 La Pausa is such an elegant iris scent too!
        As to Orris Noir and Equistrius, I have – and love – both of them. Equistrius is one of my autumn staples, the violet and cocoa notes are so comforting on cool, rainy days. Orris Noir joined my collection last winter and I wore it a lot (in rotation with Dzongkha), too. It’s actually more about spices than orris but it’s a lovely scent!
        ISM samples are hard to get, I know. It was the second iris scent I ever bought and it was a blind buy. I found the reviews so fascinating that I simply knew I would love it (normally I never blind-buy scents). And I do!!! As it is one of the cooler irises, I think you would like it too. Keep us posted about your choice! June 30, 2014 at 2:50pm Reply

        • Isis: I am not a risk taker with my money, but I can actually see myself blind-buying ISM aswel… from what I’ve read it must be phenomenal! I enjoy the more rooty and austere aspects of iris very much, so maybe I should just go for it. I tried Iris Blue Gris hoping to find an ultra-though-love-iris, but that one didn’t quite work for me. Heure Exquise was not it for me either, because its so close to no. 19 but to me no. 19 is so much better… I have a small sample of Iris Poudré here, which I though I wouldn’t like… but then I did! It was Iris Poudré that made me realise that maybe there could be warmer, more feminine irisses out there for me…I find the sandalwood dry-down pure magic, warm and cool at the same time…. July 1, 2014 at 2:46pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: I normally don’t blind-buy either but it was the only chance to get hold of ISM. And I don’t regret it but I admit it can go wrong. Often I thought I would love a scent but it was an absolute scrubber on me (Le Labo Iris 39) and I was glad I only got a sample. My ISM bottle is empty now and I will surely get replacement in the autumn, otherwise I could have sent you a sample…
            So what was wrong with Iris Blue Gris? I haven’t tried it yet but it mostly has good reviews…
            Iris Poudre is a quite recent love of mine. I got a sample a few years ago and found it too feminine, just like you. But I tried it again last winter and now it’s on my to-buy list! July 1, 2014 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Lilly: My staple this summer has been Guerlain Sous le Vent – those dry herbs cut every once in a while with a floral note – really as though carried by the wind. I also like lovely florals like Mimosa pour Moi and Aimez-moi. I leave all my orientals for the autumn except for one: Sacrebleu by Parfum de Nicolai. Its heady sweetness is fabulous in the heat. June 27, 2014 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Elisa: There’s actually a part of Sweet Redemption that reminds me of Sacrebleu! I’ve got through a couple of samples of that — wish I had more. June 27, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Hannah: For summer I like Hinoki and Eau des Merveilles.
    I don’t intentionally chose a cold or hot fragrance to combat the heat, but a lot of my warm favorites (such as M7, Muscs Koublai Khan) smell really stale in the summer, at least they do on me, so they get packed away until autumn. June 27, 2014 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Elisa: It’s interesting how much the weather can make a difference in how the fragrance works (or doesn’t work). June 27, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Lucas: I definitely prefer to go with the weather and match my fragrance with the scenery I see outside the window when I wake up.

    My favourite summer fragrances include Eau d’Italie Acqua Decima, Parfum d’Empire Azemour, Atelier Cologne Cedrat Enivrant – these three are in my collection.

    There are also many other scents from the samples drawer that I wear in the summer. June 27, 2014 at 1:09pm Reply

    • Elisa: Azemour is such a nice crisp citrus chypre. Along the same lines, I enjoy Monsieur Balmain, though it doesn’t last very long on me. June 27, 2014 at 2:00pm Reply

  • Dominique: I love L’agent and Shalimar in warm summer nights. For the day i enjoy eau de cartier, voyage and apres l’onde. I like the idea of songes buf find it rather ‘old’. Any ideas on how to layer it? June 27, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Elisa: If you like Songes but find it a little old-fashioned I’d recommend trying Lust! It’s a similar structure but more contemporary and flirty. June 27, 2014 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Jo: Definitely the cool and crisp scents for me when the weather gets hot. Last summer my staples were Chanel Chance and Diptyque Tam Dao. This summer Jo Malone’s Rain & Angelica, Yves Rocher’s Neroli and Diptyque’s L’eau de Hesperides will join them 🙂 June 27, 2014 at 5:06pm Reply

    • Elisa: Love neroli in the summer! One of my faves is the sadly DC’ed Frederic Fekkai perfume, which I snagged a bottle of for under $10. June 27, 2014 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Cybele: For summer I like Brin de Reglisse, Lime Basil Mandarin, Outrageous, 28 La Pausa, and Love By Kilian June 27, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’ve wanted to try Outrageous for the longest time! Sophia Grojsman, right? June 27, 2014 at 7:07pm Reply

      • Cybele: yes, its really good in hot humid weather and I used to wear it on one wrist and on the other Fleur de Cassis. June 28, 2014 at 5:36pm Reply

        • Cybele: Cassie June 28, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

        • Henry: I agree with Cybele, Outrageous has awesome fragrance and you should try. I hope you also like it. July 7, 2014 at 7:33am Reply

  • Michaela Ro: I hate citruses in summer, in 15 minutes after spraying they smell on me like boiled lemonade. Each summer I go for light florals like Nina Ricci Premier Jour or Armani Code Luna Eau Sensuelle. I also have a soft spot for Lady Million, I love the way honey blooms in heat. Shalimar edt is fine when it’s not over hot. And when I feel I need something fresher I always chose either Bvlgari the rouge or Prada Infusion d’Homme. The latter is utterly unisex, better in projection and longevity than the pour elle version and it smells clean like a luxurious rich shower. As for food and drinks, hot espresso at least twice a day – a very small and extra strong one, green tea without sugar, and, of course, occasionally ( like in once a week) a cold freezing beer. We never use ice cubs, but we keep water in the refrigerator for guests. I prefer drinking it at room temperature, which we keep at 22-24 Celsius. And lots of jalapenos to enrich the summer salads. This is my Romanian summer recipe. We use the AC to mentain a sound 22_24 Celsius environment and we switch hot soups for cold ones, mainly with veggies. June 27, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

    • Elisa: Boiled lemonade?! Ha, that does not sound good.

      I’m with you on honey — love the honey note in Lust. Have you tried the Honeymania products from the Body Shop? I’m quite fond of the body butter. June 28, 2014 at 12:44pm Reply

  • AndreaR: Summer favorites:
    Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud, ELDO’s Jasmin et Cigarette, L’Artisan Premier Figuer, Patricia de Nicolai Eau d’Ete and Juste un Reve, Hermes Osmanthe Yunan and Jour d’Hermes and my new fav, Frederic Malles’ Eau de Magnolia. June 27, 2014 at 6:59pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’m glad to see so many people naming PdN scents. June 27, 2014 at 7:08pm Reply

  • Bela: Heat? What heat? I live in London; don’t know from heat. LOL!

    When it’s really hot – like once in a blue moon, I use a lovely spray from M&S (long discontinued, obviously) that smells a bit like Eau Sauvage. I can’t remember what it was called, and there is no label on the bottle. I’ve had for over ten years, which shows how often I get to use it. June 27, 2014 at 7:18pm Reply

    • Elisa: I have scents like that — even if I only wear them once a year, I can’t get rid of them. June 27, 2014 at 7:25pm Reply

  • Jacqui: As a Brit wintering for the first time in Sydney – which is sunnier and lovelier, if more windy, than many an English summer – I am wearing Bulgari Black. I was delighted to find it in my local chemist because it had become damn near impossible to get in the UK. June 27, 2014 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Elisa: A classic! I will have to try that one on the next hot day. June 28, 2014 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Christy: My favorites for summer heat are:
    – Ormonde Jayne Frangipani (frangipani & lime)
    – Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (blood orange)
    – Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier (lemon blossom)
    – Neela Vermiere Bombay Bling (mango, spices)

    Two absolute favorites of mine are also great in the heat, but I also reach for them in the spring and fall:
    – Frederic Malle Lys Mediterrannee (ginger lily & seawater)
    – Vero Profumo Mito (intense green, green citrus, magnolia, cool stone) June 27, 2014 at 9:15pm Reply

    • Elisa: I like fruit in summer too! It’s like wearing sangria. And Lys Mediterranee is great…wish I owned some! June 27, 2014 at 9:27pm Reply

  • Mel: When it’s SO hot I can’t stand it, I either grab a cold can of Fresca and roll it across my torso or I spray myself with Herba Fresca! June 27, 2014 at 11:36pm Reply

    • Elisa: Ha! We haven’t had a day that hot in Denver yet this year. Rainstorms keep rolling in and cooling things off, which is good for my sleep. When it gets really crazy I take to cold showers. June 27, 2014 at 11:44pm Reply

  • nemo: I never thought about my perfume choices in summer as hot or cold, but it makes perfect sense. In Korea, in the summer we have lots of cold noodle dishes, where cold means you actually add ice cubes to your bowl! I didn’t realize that might be weird to some people until my Vietnamese friend told me that they don’t do “COLD noodles, like Korean people,” just “lukewarm” ones 🙂

    As for perfume, I have been wearing a fair amount of the warm LDDM (yay!), interspersed with the cool Mugler cologne and occasionally some Eau des Merveilles, which I find to be a nice mix of both! Unfortunately my officemates don’t like LDDM or Eau des Merveilles, so I might need to find other perfumes to fit in my rotation but I am glad that I have no shortage of wonderful suggestions! June 28, 2014 at 11:48am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh wow! That reminds me of putting ice cubes in my soup as a kid because I didn’t like it too hot.

      Your officemates don’t know what they’re missing 🙂 June 28, 2014 at 12:46pm Reply

    • Hannah: I don’t know about cold Korean noodle dishes, but when I know I have to walk home from work (and I get out sometime between 12:00-2:00, so the hottest time), I prepare a broth and then refrigerate it. Then when I get home, I make soba noodles and rinse with cold water, and then add it to the broth. The recipe I based it on is actually cold soba with a dipping sauce, but I like drinking the cold broth. June 28, 2014 at 6:36pm Reply

      • nemo: I love cold soba noodles with cold broth! It is one of my staples 🙂 and it is so easy to make, too. June 28, 2014 at 10:52pm Reply

  • Aisha: I love citrusy/herby scents on casual summer days, and am usually wearing Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic and Atelier’s Orange Sanguine. I also enjoy PdN’s Weekend à Deauville and Safari when the heat of summer arrives (usually late August), as well as Jo Malone’s Blackberry & Bay.

    For summer evenings out, though, I’m usually reaching for a white floral fragrance like Anais Anais, EL’s Jasmine White Moss, or the no-name plumeria fragrance I picked up from a souvenir shop in Hawaii a few years ago. 🙂 June 28, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

    • Elisa: I love Weekend a Deauville too! It’s got some similarities to Metal, actually. June 28, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

  • Isis: Un jardin en Meditterannee. Its my all time favorite go to summer scent and it always will be. June 29, 2014 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Elisa: I haven’t smelled that one in a long time! But I think Ellena’s aesthetic really fits summer. June 29, 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

      • Isis: Yes, it does! Vanille Galante is also lovely in warm weather. June 30, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

  • Natalie: I was interested to see Nirvana Black on your list. I think Elizabeth & James and The Row are well done, and have been curious about these fragrances. Must try them when next I am somewhere that sells them! June 30, 2014 at 10:43pm Reply

    • Elisa: The white one didn’t strike me, but I think the black one is surprisingly compelling. I got a little 5ml roll-on as a free gift at Sephora. It’s nice! Really simple but it smells good. June 30, 2014 at 10:51pm Reply

      • Elisa: Also! I have a half-sleeve, stretchy blazer from E&J that is awesome! June 30, 2014 at 10:51pm Reply

        • Natalie: I think I might have that same blazer. 🙂 July 1, 2014 at 7:32am Reply

          • Elisa: No way!!! How cool July 1, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

  • Sherry Roberts: Trying to order a jasmine scent I fell in love with, called Lust. Anyone know how I can order it? November 27, 2014 at 6:25pm Reply

    • Elisa: You can order that online from Lush! November 28, 2014 at 11:25am Reply

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