If this is summer then I'll be the first to admit that, so far, it's been a bit of a wash out. However, my weather app is promising me highs of 31 degrees next week so I'm putting my pessimistic nature aside and getting ready to embrace some of the seasonal beauty switches that I make every year—without fail. When June rolls around, I put my heavy duty foundations to the back of my drawer and bring my tinted moisturisers to the front, get acquainted with a razor again after months of hiding my pins under leggings and jeans (although more power to you if you skip the hair removal altogether) and, finally, wave goodbye to my heady amber and leather perfumes and hello to my more lightweight scents.
Yes, summer is a time when fragrance really comes into its own. Just one spritz can transport you to a girls holiday by the beach, a best friend's wedding or the long, forgotten summers whiled away during university. But choosing a new scent can be tricky—perfumes are possibly the most personal beauty product of the bunch. Which is why I asked our editors which fragrances they come back to every summer, without fail.
Keep scrolling for your summer fragrance shopping list.
"I'll be totally honest and say I cheated here and picked the one fragrance I wear all year round. A hit among the fashion crowd, there's no denying that Le Labo's Santal 33 is the ultimate musky, addictive, hypnotic scent—which is exactly why I wear it all year round. I can't get enough whatever the month!"
"The overriding note in Guerlain's Terracotta Le Parfum is that of the tiaré flower—a gardenia that you'll find in places like Fiji or French Polynesia. I've never been to these tropical locations (boo) but I do visit Spain almost each and every year and I'm convinced that the heady evening mix of 'dama de noche' aka night jasmine and bourganvilea give off a similarly sweet fragrance that just screams HOLIDAY! from the very first spray. Even if I'm stuck in the city working during a heat wave, this super-summery smell transports me instantly. It's wears nicely throughout the day and never feels overpowering, both essential contributing factors as to why I come back to this time and again. Never stop making it please, Guerlain!"
"I'm a bit of a perfume hoarder so narrowing down my selection to just one perfect summer fragrance was a challenge. In the end though, I settled on Maison Margiela's Replica Lazy Sunday Morning which is more like clean skin in a bottle than a full-on fragrance. Inspired by soft skin and bed linen, it's a lightly floral scent that reminds me of clean cotton and soap and water. For me, I love it most in summer as it instantly leaves me feeling refreshed and uplifted—even when you're stuck like sardines on the tube during a heatwave—and it layers well with other fragrances."
"I didn't think I was a rose fragrance person—I'd pegged it as being far too old fashioned —but then I tried Miller Harris' Rose Silence and was immediately hooked. It's a pretty, romantic scent but manages to avoid being overly floral thanks to the notes of patchouli and cashmere musk in there too. Best worn after a day at the beach and with a slight glow to the skin."
"A beauty editor friend gave me a bottle of Gypsy Water about six years ago—and it quickly became my favourite fragrance. It is fresh and light, but not too sickly, floral or powerful—making it the perfect every day summer scent. Oblivious to the Byredo brand (and the price) at this point I wore it non-stop, but it has now become a perfume I use for more special occasions and holidays. I have the travel set of three mini Gypsy Waters, and so I will always associate this with holidays as it goes with me on every single trip."
"Out of my perfume collection, Penhaligon’s Elisabethan Rose is actually one of the newest additions. I had not been familiar with the brand’s offering before I was kindly sent this one. I had always written them off as too mature for my taste— never judge a perfume by its packaging. However, I was instantly won over by its subtle rose scent, that was far from the sickly sweet notes I had previously experienced in other rose-based perfumes. For me, it’s what I want to put on in summer to feel pulled together and polished, and is perfect for smart daytime 'dos such as work events and weddings."
This classic summer scent comes out in a new incarnation every year—and promptly sells out. It basically smells like holiday in a bottle with exotic tiare flower, creamy vanilla and sultry sandalwood. I love it and wish it was available all year round.
If you don't like a heavy fragrance during the summer months then this is a great option. It reacts to your skin's natural pheromones to create a personalised scent for everyone—making it impossible to describe. I'd say it smells both fresh and musky and makes a great, lightweight everyday perfume.
I'm a bit obsessed with this new summer launch from Byredo. It's a warm, sunny scent with fruity mandarin and lemon that gives way to more hypnotic notes of neroli and jasmine. Oh, and cotton candy to give it a little summertime sweetness. Dreamy.
I wore this perfume religiously throughout university so, for me, this scent evokes summers spent at festivals and on package beach holidays. It's a combination of fruity and floral and I still think it's pretty charming after all these years.
A collaboration between luxury perfume house Miller Harris and The Royal Opera House, this decadent scent contains top notes of fresh pink berries and rose absolute before giving way to patchouli and cashmere wood.