How to choose a perfume for summer

When the days start warming up and the nights get balmy, it’s a sign to review your beauty regime. It’s time to switch to lighter makeup, embrace tousled beach hair and choose a fresh, fruity and light scent to match the relaxed vibe of the season.

Selecting a summer scent
Woman spraying perfume

Here are our tips for choosing a scent that can handle the heat this summer.

One of the many golden rules of beauty is that your regime should change as the seasons do and this applies especially to perfume. Fragrances are very seasonal and, in this country, summer calls for much lighter, fresher scents. Why? Heat intensifies the notes in a perfume, meaning that the deep, sensual fragrance that’s gotten you through winter will be way too powerful in the warmer months. So, when spring comes around, go for subtle, crisp notes. As a general guide, zesty, grassy and woody notes are great, but experimenting is half the fun when you’re trying to find your new signature scent!

Get fruity

If you’re a fan of super light, fresh fragrances, you can’t go wrong with one that has citrus notes. Perfumes that contain notes such as mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and lime are always incredibly crisp and airy, and you’ll barely feel as though you’re wearing anything at all. However, citrus notes evaporate after 10 to 15 minutes — longevity isn’t their strong suit — which is why it’s a good idea to go for a perfume that combines zesty notes with floral ones. You’ll still get that freshness, but you won’t need to spritz yourself all day long.

Try: Radiance by Britney Spears, Coach Signature, or Jo Malone Orange Blossom.

Seaside dreaming

Since humans have a fantastic sense of smell, fragrance has the power to trigger memories of a great place or experience. It’s safe to say that most people have summer memories that are sparked by a scent of some sort and the ocean is a very common one. If you’re a water baby or someone who feels most at home at the beach, choose a perfume that has oceanic notes. Frangrances that are evocative of the sea are both fresh and sensual and they really can have an uplifting effect on your mood. Spritz these concoctions on when you’re stuck in the office on a gorgeous summer day and you’ll feel a little better.

Try: Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia, Elizabeth Arden Meditteranean, or Calvin Klein Light Blue.

Get exotic

If you prefer deeper, more mysterious fragrances, there are plenty on the market that will satisfy your tastes and still smell fabulous when the temperature heats up. The key is to look for woody bases and milky undertones, such as coconut or pineapple. These have a long-lasting power and are great choices for day or night. If you want something a little stronger for a night out, go for darker notes such as sandalwood or blond woods. While those bases are quite sensual, if you prefer scents that remind you of nature and freshly mowed lawns, opt for grassy bases instead.

Try: Ralph Lauren Hot, CK One, and Issey Miyake’s Le Feu d’Issy.

Last minute check…

Before you take your new scent to the counter, keep these tips in mind:

  • Get the eau de toilette version rather than the eau de parfum — it’s less concentrated, lighter, and much fresher, which is exactly what you want in a summer scent.
  • Wear it outside the store — air conditioning blasts perfume into place and it doesn’t give you an indication of how the fragrance will develop over the day. If you want to get a sense of how your perfume will really smell, spritz some on, head outside and do what you would normally do. If you still like it after a day of running around, you’ve found your new scent!

What’s your favourite summer perfume?

More about summer beauty

Fresh summer fragrances we love this year
5 Oils for beautiful skin
Makeup bag essentials


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