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summer fragrances

The Best Summer Fragrances That Can Transport You Anywhere

13 scents that are like a vacation in a bottle.

By: Hannah Baxter, Isabella Sarlija

Summer is tantalizingly close, which means that vacations are also just around the corner. True, this year’s R&R might look more like a picnic in the park rather than a luxurious jaunt to some far-off destination, but that doesn’t mean we’ll enjoy the break from emails and Zoom meetings any less. All we need is a bit of sunshine and a warm afternoon of blissful nothingness.

These leisurely days also call for a fragrance that captures all the best parts of summer—fresh flowers, salty beach air, and succulent fruits (seriously, Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar video is *all* of our goals). That means swapping out your more moody, smoky scents for something brighter, more citrusy, and altogether lighter. Because what goes better with that smell of sunshine than a breezy eau de toilette?

Ahead, 13 scents that will transport you to the South of France, a cross-country road trip, and a secret garden, among many others. Consider them the mental vacation you desperately need.

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Chloé Atelier des Fleurs Hibiscus Abelmoschus Eau de Parfum, $130

There are nine scents total in the Chloé Atelier des Fleurs collection, all designed by master perfumer Domitille Michalon Bertier, to mix and match to your heart’s content. This Polynesian hibiscus scent is equal parts bright and musky, with a vaguely fruity finish that will have you reminiscing about your recent beach vacation.

Byredo Lil Fleur Eau de Parfum, $265

Byredo’s much-anticipated new fragrance launches tomorrow, and we can attest it is the ideal scent for summer. Bright tangerine, damascus rose, and cassis (think pomegranate mixed with dark berries) form the top notes, while soothing saffron, warm blonde wood, and rich amber create a hypnotic dry-down. It’s playful, enticing, and perfect for your warm-weather adventures with your best friend.

Calvin Klein Euphoria Blush Eau de Parfum, $99

Crisp blackberry and raspberry top notes are balanced by lush chocolate and cashmere wood in this new Calvin Klein fragrance, which is meant to inspire the thrill of falling in love (summer romance, anyone?). A warm heart of florals—rose, orchid, and jasmine—bloom beautifully on the skin and only get better as the day wears on. Add a spritz before your next neighborhood walk—who knows what could happen?

Cartier Pur Magnolia Eau de Toilette, $270

Cartier’s master perfumer Mathilde Laurent created three new scents that are all perfect for dreamy summer days. This eau de toilette blend is a sparkling floral citrus, with notes of pure magnolia—one of the most classic florals in fragrance—that unfurl to a lush, aquatic, but never stuffy finish. We’re imagining a walk through the park with your closest girlfriends, maybe with a bottle of rosé in tow.

Ellis Brooklyn Salt Eau de Parfum, $105

Whether or not you can actually visit your closest beach is irrelevant with a few spritzes of this new Ellis Brooklyn fragrance. That salty tang of the ocean on your skin is all right here, along with heady ylang ylang, creamy ambergris, and a warm floral bouquet. This also happens to be one of the most luxe clean fragrances that money can buy.

Givenchy Irresistible Eau de Parfum, $93

If you love a warm, woody fragrance during the winter, then this Givenchy blend should be your new go-to for summer. Juicy pear and luscious rose compose the heart of this eau de toilette, while a touch of blonde wood and musk ground everything for a multifaceted scent. It’s essentially a picnic in the park with your loved ones, but bottled.

Coach Dreams Eau de Parfum, $62

This scent is designed to evoke a roadtrip across America, and to be honest, that sounds pretty ideal to us right now. Bitter orange, sensual gardenia, and tangy cactus flowers transport you directly to Joshua Tree (the destination’s signature blossoms form the heart of the fragrance) so that you can escape on a carefree vacation with ease.

Louis Vuitton Heures d’Absence, $265

A vacation to the South of France is everything we dream of for our summer plans, which is why we’re picking up master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud’s latest blend for Louis Vuitton. Inspired by the Grasse region, the green facets of mimosa from Tanneron mix with jasmine and rose de Mai for a vibrant floral scent that will have you feeling like you’re napping in a field of wildflowers. Sounds pretty great to us.

DedCool Rocco (Mint) Eau de Parfum, $130

With sweet and cooling top notes of Moroccan mint and jasmine, this eau de parfum takes us to the Mediterranean summer nights of our dreams. These notes are rounded out quite beautifully by the earthy and spicy yet still clean bottom notes of oak moss and clove. The perfect scent for dancing with friends or stargazing at night while listening to the sound of waves crashing.

Sigil Solutio Eau de Parfum, $120

A tranquilizing scent for letting go. The woody and earthy aromas of cypriol invite us to the transcendental scents of the desert, while notes of lime invigorate us with just the right balance of bright citrus and subdued sweetness. It reminds us that opposing forces can coexist, and coexist beautifully, for that matter. If the stinging yet satisfying sensation of an ice cube tracing its way over warm summer skin had a scent, it would smell like this.

Acqua di Parma Yuzu Eau de Parfum, $330

A perfect summer cannot exist without a little bit of Yuzu added in. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that reminds us of the perfect concoction of lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit. The sweet and citrusy scent of this fruit is balanced by the eau de parfum’s powdery and floral heart notes, which consist of lotus, mimosa, violet leaves, and jasmine. The added woody sandalwood revitalizes and grounds us all at once.

Jo Malone London Honeysuckle & Davana Cologne, $140

If you did not have a perfect scent to wear to a warm picnic overlooking the English countryside, consider this one by Jo Malone. The luscious scent of English honeysuckle invites us into a warm sweetness that is immediately counterpoised by the base notes of moss and fresh rain. A top note of davana provides a fruity tang that rounds out the floral and earthy notes, making it the perfect Venn diagram of a summer scent. Remember to wear a ribbon in your hair, and you are good to go.

Diptyque L’Eau de Neroli Eau de Toilette, $140

As we imagine ourselves in Italy, drinking wine out of a glass older than ourselves while eating fresh figs and oranges, we cannot help but think of the precious aromas of neroli that would surround us. The white flowers are both floral and delicately sweet, while still maintaining the citrus scents of a bitter orange tree. This eau de toilette does an exceptional job of capturing the beauty that is neroli while never being too overpowering.

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