Mint and Other Cooling Perfumes

Have you ever wondered why some perfumes feel cooling, giving you a refreshing sensation, and others produce little effect, despite being dosed with classical fresh ingredients like green leaves or citrus? In my recent piece for the FT magazine, Mint Scents for High Summer, I explain this phenomenon and suggest several fragrances that are cooling.

Citrus, green leaves, tart fruit and lily of the valley are all described as cool scents, but only a few aromas are actually cooling. The difference may seem subtle, but while a cool perfume merely evokes pleasant associations, a cooling one has an instantly refreshing effect. One of the most crucial cooling ingredients is mint. Menthol, the main component of mint essence, triggers the cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors found in the skin – a curious trick that is responsible for the icy burst one experiences when drinking a mint julep. To continue reading, please click here.

What about your favorite cool or cooling scents? And what perfumes have you been wearing lately?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Anne: I’ve been wanting to try Herba Fresca. Does it last well? August 16, 2019 at 12:51pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Anne,

      Herba Fresca is one of my favourite hot weather fragrances, and I find that, like most Guerlain fragrances, it does last well. Do try it! I hope you enjoy it.

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline August 16, 2019 at 9:19pm Reply

  • kat: Mint is a scent I’m really struggling with – probably because my late mother used peppermint oil whenever she wasn’t feeling well. When I came home from school and was greeted by a waft of peppermint I knew things were not good and I got all tense and worried. I haven’t been able to shake off that mental osmotic link. For a cooling effect I prefer shiso, tea and lemon notes, maybe some light lavender or some green notes. August 16, 2019 at 7:28pm Reply

  • Robert: Caron Pour un Homme + mint = TI pour Lui, by Ted Lapidus. Cheap, too. August 16, 2019 at 7:40pm Reply

    • Robert: A Maurice Roucel composition for chump change. August 16, 2019 at 8:03pm Reply

  • Anne: Hi from France !

    Clever idea to place fragrance in the fridge during summer to increase the fresh side !

    I like NUIT ETOILEE (starry night) by Annick GOUTAL.
    Mint and firs. She created this perfume and imagined a lake, an unicorn, firs at night.

    The mint is really fresh.
    Not a light fragrance anyway. Almost like sap mixed with mint. Aromatic, woody and spiced.

    I like to wear two others fragrances in summer : VOL DE NUIT GUERLAIN and EAU DU SOIR SISLEY. August 17, 2019 at 2:58am Reply

  • Nancy A.: I believe Eau de Guerlain always hit the mint spot. August 17, 2019 at 10:48am Reply

  • Madaris: My favorite mint fragrance is the refreshing Comme Des Garcons Peppermint Series 5 Sherbet which often elicits positive comments from passersby.

    Currently I am wearing Marc Jacobs Rain to cool down in the NC summer. August 17, 2019 at 7:15pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I find „You or Someone Like You“ (Etat libre d‘Orange) rather minty. I guess there‘s some grapefruit in there too, so it‘s safe to say this is a pretty cool scent! Another perfume which—at least to my nose!—has some mint in it is Serge Lutens “La fille de Berlin“! It isn‘t mentioned as a note but I always distinctively smell mint which I rather like combined with rose!
    A perfume I tested for the first time and which I really liked was Diptyque‘s „Tempo“: patchouli and maté. It had, I thought, a rather suave feel to it. As a matter of fact it too had a cooling feel to it, so it really fits into this post.
    I might get myself a bottle! August 18, 2019 at 11:15am Reply

  • Aurora: Lovely post, I should put some bottles in the fridge but the space is already claimed by some precious vintage bottles. It should be hot in London but we’re having weird weather with a lot of rain – I’m not complaining though, everything is so green.
    Paul Emilien Une Belle Journee is a favorite for its mint note. August 19, 2019 at 4:20am Reply

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