15 Beauty Editors’ Favorite Summer Scents
The perfumes that go best with sangria, salt water and sweat.
Whether you’re one of those obsessed with perfumes, who hoards various glass and crystal bottle on your vanity, or you can’t handle even a whiff of scent when passing someone on the street without turning green or dissolving into a fit of sneezes, we’re pretty sure we can all agree that figuring out the perfume that is exactly right for you is essentially an art. That said, we’re not really the types that believe there is only one perfect anything (shoes, men, cocktail) for us and when it comes to fragrance we like to think seasonally. We mean, it’s not like you’re going to wear the same light floral scent that you spritz in the heat of the summer, that you do sitting by a fire while sipping merlot in January, right? That would be like wearing your leather festival boots as winter boots and we just don’t go there. As it turns out, all of our favorite beauty editors agreed with us, and when we started the discussion, they didn’t hesitate to tell us what exactly smells best in the summer heat. And don’t worry, we’ll totally get back to you with all of their favorites for fireside merlot time, too.
“[My favorite summer scents are] Annick Goutal Vétiver—it’s as crisp and clean-smelling as a man’s shirt. I swoon every time I spray some on. Yes, I swoon over myself… Frederic Malle En Passant: it’s like a walking florist; and Hampton Sun Privet Bloom: this breezy white floral is my version of going to the Hamptons.”
“I gravitate towards things that smell like they naturally occur outside... or upstate: green, grassy, woody. I've been more into oils-as-fragrance lately. Jiva Apoha has a body oil that's infused with palo santo, sandalwood and neroli. I light a lot of palo santo wood at home—I love the warm scent, and I feel it really clears the space. This oil has the same effect.”
“Typically, I gravitate to more nature-y scents in the warmer months: figs (Malin + Goetz Moroccan Fig is amazing), gingers (Serge Lutens Five O'Clock au Gingembre is a staple), patchoulis (people have stopped me on the street when I wear Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu), and the occasional coconut (Comptoir Sud Pacific's Coco Extreme smells like the world's fanciest sunscreen). Right now, all I want to wear is DS & Durga's Debaser, which contains notes of the aforementioned (minus ginger), making it my ideal summer 2k15 scent in every way.”
“My favorite summer scents are Do Son by Diptyque, Original by Anja Rubik and Aqua Vitae Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. The first is kind of like laying down in a bed of white flowers, the second is more like a great bouquet caught by a breeze, and the third is a really beautiful mix of vanilla and freshness that’s just right for the heat. I also think Tom Ford Neroli Portofino is the ultimate fairweather scent… just really clean and crisp and sophisticated.”
“I love anything that’s fresh with a hint of floral and citrus during warmer months. My go-to has always been, and will always be, Chloé Eau de Parfum, but this summer I’ve also been wearing a lot of the new CHANEL Chance Eau Vive and Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Toilette.”
“Technically Olivine Love + Salt is a hair and body salt spray, but it's perfumed with this gorgeous scent from a brand called Amongst The Waves. Because I spray it in my hair it diffuses ever so gently and every time I walk around, people get a whiff of it and demand to know what it is.
Creed Asian Green Tea is crisp, cool, invigorating—everything I need on a muggy, sticky summer day.
I am viscerally opposed to most rose-based scents, but A Dozen Roses Electron Rose is such a unique interpretation that I've made an exception. It's like a rose garden that's been struck by lightning and electrified—without all the burning and sizzling.
The brand says Tata Harper Love Potion is an aphrodisiac scent, but I can neither confirm or deny that claim. I can however vouch for how wonderful it smells—like a beautiful English garden rolled around in an old-fashioned powder room and then laid down on a bed of soft grass. Or, at least, that's what I imagine whenever I dab it on.”
“I'm fragrance obsessed and have a wardrobe of 36 scents—I tend to stay consistent to one fragrance for awhile, then jump to another. I'm back in a relationship with Margiela Untitled (the brand's first-ever fragrance). It's been awhile since I've worn it, but I'm calling it my summer '15 love. The contrast of fresh green notes with the sexy musk and frankincense is total perfection.”
“Every year, I count down to when it’s seasonally appropriate enough for me to bring Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess back into my fragrance rotation. It’s like inhaling a tropical vacation thanks to its coconut milk, mandarin and tiare flower notes. You can almost close your eyes and forget you’re in midtown Manhattan for a second. I also don’t hate that whenever I’m wearing it, someone will tell me how delicious it smells. In the warm weather, in addition to a few spritzes on my neck, I like to wear the body lotion or body oil version of it, too. This year they launched a delicious body crème and I’m still holding onto the last drops of a body oil they launched a couple years ago. Since you’re exposing so much more skin—I like the idea of smelling yummy all over.”
“This summer, I am obsessed with Aedes des Venustas Copal Azur. It’s inspired by Tulum, which is my absolute favorite destination in the world, and has notes of Mayan incense, cardamom and patchouli with a touch of salty air. It’s like a vacation in a bottle, and looks gorgeous on my vanity.”
“For summer I love Jour D'Hermes and Armani Prive Pivoine Suzhou—both full-bodied, but also somehow delicate, breezy florals.”
“I often associate scents with different times of day, and different seasons, so I have a whole bunch that get pulled out of the closet this time of year. On the super light, morning end of things, I adore orange blossom, especially Bottega Veneta Knot and Eau de Bonpoint (It was actually created by the perfumer Annick Goutal for the Parisian children’s brand, which was started by her sister Marie-France Cohen). The tropical floral scent that feels right in June and July, usually on the weekends, is Nuxe Prodigieux. The French pharmacy brand is known for its multipurpose oil; this uses some of the same notes in a much longer-lasting perfume. And for marine, end-of-summer options, there’s Diptyque Florabellio (it has sea salt and coffee notes, what’s not to love?), Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu and Hermès Epice Marine.”
“My absolute favorite summer spritz is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. But sometimes traditional fragrance is just too much in the heat, in which case I go for a body lotion that smells like coconuts, which is a scent that makes me (perhaps unreasonably) happy. One Love Organics Coconut & Salt Mineral Body Lotion is heaven.”
"Right now, I can’t get enough of Maison Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk. Every time I mist it on, it makes me happy because you smell like you’ve just come off the world’s most heavenly beach. It’s the perfect blend of crisp and slightly sweet, with notes of lemon, coconut milk, bergamot, and pink pepper. As the label says, it’s the scent of sun-kissed salty skin. For summer nights—and really any night of the year—I’ve been wearing Kai perfume oil for over a decade. It’s gardenia-based but it’s balanced with some green notes so it’s not too sweet. It’s sexy in a low-key way—men definitely notice it! Plus the little rollerball bottle is so easy to tuck into your bag for travel."
“My go-to summer fragrance is still Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. One spritz instantly transports you to the Italian coast. I’ve also recently become obsessed with Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning, which smells likes clean laundry.”
"Over the last few steamy weeks I’ve been rotating between Fresh Life, & Other Stories Moroccan Tea, D.S. & Durga Debaser and Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino. They’re all refreshing and sparkly and make me feel like I’m sitting near a large body of clear blue water (not a large conference room)."