As you build your base-layer tan and plan your weekend getaways, you ought to add one more thing to the seasonal checklist: Get a summer scent. (As if you aren’t over your favorite fragrances from spring yet.)
A summer scent sets the tone for the months ahead, evoking things like the open waters, hot days by the pool or fields of fresh-cut grass. Whether or not your agenda reflects the essence — sailing on the Cape, for instance — or if it complements the occasion — a family reunion BBQ with the kids in tow — a summer scent is a conversation starter, an impression setter and base layer for the nostalgia you’ll feel for the rest of your life.
You already know that much of our memory is attached to scent, and these seven fragrances will ensure nothing but positive memories this summer, and onward. Some are new, some are six decades strong, but all of them are certifiably classic.
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sun Pour Homme
D&G’s latest scent sends you to a private island, sipping grapefruit juice and cracking coconuts (but oh-so-subtle ones at that) as the fresh winds sift through your hair. What lingers is a woody, musky, vanilla base — a savor-able sensation that Dolce & Gabbana has fortuitously bottled.
Arquiste Parfumeur Sydney Rock Pool
Nobody summers better than the Aussies, and specifically the Sydneysiders. And few scents do summer better than Arquiste, with Sydney Rock Pool. Go figure, it’s inspired by Sydney’s sandstone pools, evoking the fresh-from-the-pool feeling as the sun hits your skin. And, it smells like the summer sea breeze, too, with notes of sandalwood, driftwood, coconut and sea salt.
Heeley Parfums Sel Marin
We’ve found a theme with our favorite summer scents: life by the sea. Sel Marin, which is French for ‘Sea Salt,’ has notes of bergamot, lemon, sea salt, algae, driftwood and vetiver. Together, it’s the essence of sunbathing in Corsica or Sicily, even if you’re lakeside in Iowa.
Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade
Evoking a summer in Provence, the fresh and crisp Cologne Bigarade pulls notes of bitter orange, cardamom, pink pepper, hay and cedar. The best part is that initial impression — exactly like cracking into an orange as its aroma permeates the air. J’aime!
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Cipresso di Toscana
Another summer fragrance theme: European bliss. Combine that with our seaside obsession, and it’s obvious why Acqua di Parma’s re-release of Cipresso di Toscana makes this list. It’s uplifting with notes of orange, lavender, clary sage, cypress (that’s what cipresso means) and pine; together they are an equation for a full breath of air, the type that clears the head and heart. No Mediterranean expanse necessary.
Vétiver was born in the Baby Boom and has logged more summers than most of these fragrances combined. It’s no surprise that it also endures the whole day long, carrying notes of vetiver, tobacco, pepper and nutmeg through the golden hour. It opens with a crisp citrus blend of bergamot, lemon and mandarin, and is the prime candidate on this list for year-round wear. And lifelong wear, given its impressive run.
Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme
Yuzu lemon, lotus, cinnamon nutmeg, musk, and sandalwood are the roundings of L’Eau d’Issey, a scent that many have selected as their signature. It can be L’Eau d’You, too, if you value longevity and strength in a scent. (So that’s a yes.) It should be noted that Issey’s tall, slender bottle is a statement all its own, and from a design perspective, a favorite in the industry for a boldness that matches an excellently constructed perfume.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.