Whether you change your fragrance by the season or have one signature scent all year round, you must admit: There’s nothing more fun than a summer scent. What defines a summer scent? They usually include fresh, sweet, green, or beachy notes. Still, there are no rules to fragrance, and the ideal summer scent can also be whatever you choose to apply during the warmer months.
While I change my fragrance almost every day and rarely let the time of year dictate my decision, summer is the period where I give in to seasonality. We wait for these warmer months all year, and there’s nothing I love more than a sweet, milky fragrance with a hint of salt or earth to complete the summer fantasy. Ahead, I rounded up some of my favorite summer fragrance picks that are so good, you’ll want to wear them all year.
Calvin Klein CK1 Summer Daze
If you buy one fragrance this summer, make it this. It’s amazing, and I go back to it regularly. The scent opens with bright, juicy kumquat, a heart note of mint tea, and a base of white musk and vetiver. It also has a nectary, dewy sweetness you can’t pin down. Overall, it smells like a hot afternoon and warm summer air and deserves a permanent place in the Calvin Klein catalog.
PHLUR Apricot Privée Eau de Parfum
Speaking of juicy summer scents, if you want something that’s an overdose of nectar, you have to try Apricot Prive. PHLUR has been doing a lot lately, but they’ve got something with this one. It blends juicy apricot, plum (so good in perfume), and cardamom with a few florals and woods for a tangy, surprisingly spicy summer scent.
Think: Tom Ford Bitter Peach but more fun and a lot less expensive. It captures every part of a peach—the fuzzy skin, the meat, the juice—and finishes with some spice.
Hermès Eau De Basilic Pourpre Eau De Cologne
From the bottles to the scents, Hermès does fragrance unbelievably well. Sometimes luxury brands create a collection of scents that leave something to be desired, but with Hermès, desire runs through the collection like a crush you can’t get out of your head.
This fragrance is bright, fresh, and green, perfect for summer. Notes of purple basil, bergamot, and geranium come together for a scent for long summer days, whether hanging out ocean-side, hitting up patio brunches, or hanging in the park. The scent feels faceted, jewel-toned, and emerald green, just like the bottle that houses it.
Jennifer Fisher My Scent
Jennifer Fisher has been my favorite jewelry designer for nearly ten years. When she announced her debut scent, I was eager to see how she would translate her designs and brand into fine fragrance.
Lucky for me, it’s precisely the type of fragrance that I love. It’s warm, beachy, sweet, and a little fuzzy, like your skin after a day spent in the ocean. Fisher mixed different scents and products for years to achieve this same warm, summery scent, and now, she has recreated it into a perfume oil. With notes of vanilla, coconut, sandalwood, pear, and tonka bean, it’s gorgeous, perfect for summer, and feels like a day at the beach no matter where you find yourself.
D.S. & Durga Bistro Waters
This fragrance was inspired by the founder’s time in the service industry, which speaks to me as a former bartender. It’s a fresh, green—almost vegetal scent—with notes of lime flower water, pear, bell pepper, basil, moss water, and more.
It’s familiar, unique, sweet, spicy, and aquatic. It smells different on everyone’s skin—which I know all fragrances do—but it’s especially true for this one. I’ve gone back to this a few times, and I like it more with each wear.
Liis Floating Eau de Parfum
This fragrance is perfectly named because it feels like floating. It’s a light, airy scent that reminds you of sunlight through gauzy curtains and a cool nighttime breeze. Orchids, woods, peach, and bergamot all work together to lift the hero note: crisp linen. It smells like fresh laundry that wafts through the air as you first make your bed with linens just out of the dryer. It wears closely to the skin but not so close that you can’t smell it a few hours later.
It’s a fragrance that feels like it should be light, but the wear is consistent, never fading like many scents like this can. It paints a picture that’s calm, bright, and clean. If you like a white floral that’s a little sudsy, this one will win you.
Armani My Way Floral
When Armani gets something right, they double down. Or, triple down, in this case. This is the second flanker of My Way, taking an already floral scent and making it lighter. Mandarin, tuberose, and neroli sit on top of vanilla and musk for a bright take on a classic floral scent. If you like flowers and classic, nostalgic scents, My Way is a crowd pleaser, and the new interpretation will get you through summer garden parties and help you smell the part.
Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Ruby Orchid
Let’s get one thing straight: Nothing is better than Flowerbomb. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and I get so excited when they put out a flanker, which is rare (because why mess with perfection?).
What I like about Ruby Orchid is that it’s familiar enough to be in the Flowerbomb family but not so similar that you can’t distinguish it from the original. What pulls it apart from its predecessor is the prominent note of peach right up top. I always want to see more peach in fragrance, and this is an excellent example of why it works so well. Vines, orchids, and vanilla give the sweet, sticky scent something to ground it to and adds longevity, so it wears beautifully for hours.
Amethyst Royalty by Maluma
Say what you want, but celebrity scents can be great, and this is a good example of what happens when they get it right. Amethyst blends citrus and orchid at the top, florals in the middle, with amber, vanilla, and patchouli at the base for another spicy floral reminiscent of Flowerbomb, but with more room to breathe.
I didn’t know what to expect from Maluma’s scents, but this was the first one I tried, and it’s my favorite from his collection. At $45, it’s a gorgeous fragrance at a price point you can’t beat.
Elorea Heaven Eau de Parfum
Elorea is a newer brand with a collection of four scents inspired by the elements. They’re all great, but Heaven is breathtaking. With notes of pepper, citrus, green tea, passionfruit, florals, and vanilla, it’s equally bright, green, spicy, and sweet. It’s mysterious but engaging and almost hypnotizing. Every time I wear it, I spend a good chunk of the day smelling myself.
Like all of my favorite fragrances, it’s hard to pin down. If Heaven symbolizes air, then there’s a good bit of fire from the spiciness of the pepper, earth from the green notes, water from the florals, and tea which can sometimes feel aquatic. This has been one of the most surprising fragrance launches of the year so far. If Elorea’s initial launch is this good, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the brand.
Replica When The Rain Stops
I love any fragrance that emulates rain. This one perfectly captures how the earth smells so alive after the rain—not so much in the city—but in a rural backyard where you can smell the grass, trees, and crisp air, purified by the storm.
An aquatic note is a front and center, expanded with pine, rose, patchouli, and moss notes. Those notes can sometimes wear heavily, but in this fragrance, they sit on top of the beads from the aquatic note for a sleek, slightly sporty scent that feels fresh like air after a storm.
Régime des Fleurs Tears
A scent called Tears, can you stand it? It’s inspired by the phrase “beauty moves the soul to tears.” In this case, we’re talking about tears of joy.
Tears is blisteringly green and strikingly spicy, with notes of lilac, frankincense, green cognac oil, rosewater, pink pepper, and ambergris, to name a few. It’s as interesting as it is unexpected. It’s not floral, per se, but it is earthy and beautifully executed.
Costa Brazil Aroma
This is right up your alley if you like patchouli, musk, and wood. Aroma is a strong fragrance that you can’t miss. The Brazilian rainforest inspires it, but to me, it’s more like the rainforest at its most humid.
Of all the fragrances in this list, it has the most linear wear, so instead of evolving on your skin throughout the day, it smells the same the entire time. While I typically avoid scents like this in the hotter months, I find that this one is accentuated by the heat and smells better in climates similar to the one that inspired it.
Sol de Janeiro Cheirosa Tan Lines Hair & Body Fragrance Mist
Do not sleep on this because it’s a body mist instead of a fine fragrance. Sol de Janiero consistently finds new ways to bottle the scents of summer, and the limited edition Tan Lines is another home run. Tuberose, coconut cream, and vanilla come together for this sweet, beachy mist that’s like spraying on summer wherever you are. While not an eau de parfum, the wear is noticeably better than many of the mists I’ve tried, and I’d apply again and again no matter what form it came in.
Hermes Terre D’Hermès Eau Givrée
One of everyone’s favorite fragrances gets a summery twist. The concept around this is fire and ice, and it’s cold from a base of metallic notes and fiery from the pepper and wood. The note that takes center stage is citron, similar to yuzu (which we see a lot in fragrances lately). The citron makes the hot and cold aspects of this scent come to life on your skin, making it bright but not taking away from the duality of the notes. It’s not my usual choice, but this one is truly timeless and ageless.