I don’t know about you, but I’m trying find my summer kicks wherever I can right now. Following last week’s heatwave, I'm ready to start embracing all things summer. I ordered some new sandals, hooked out my shorts and rejigged my beauty cabinets so that my most-loved SPFs sit front and centre. I have slotted so easily back into the summer way of life, in fact, that I often have to remind myself that, unfortunately, this summer will probably look a little different than normal.
You see, usually at around this time of year, I am packing a suitcase with swimsuits and beach cover-ups, ready to hop on a plane to somewhere a bit more exotic than the puddle-filled streets of London. However, this year, the main event of so many people's summer has been put on hold with travel bans. Naturally, as a result of this, I’m trying to find some escapism in other ways. The most obvious of which being through my daily perfume choice.
For me, selecting scents that are reminiscent of summers gone by is the ultimate mood booster and form of escapism. The minute I spritz my perfume first thing in the morning, I’m reminded of all of the wonderful feelings that come hand in hand with summer holidays. I’ve been loving my new summer perfume routine so much that I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. I feel calmer, more chilled out and, most importantly, happier with every single spritz. So if you’re keen to give it a try yourself, keep scrolling for my pick of the most summery, spirit-lifting fragrances around.
Brand-new from Byredo, Lil Fleur is nostalgic and youthful in the most sophisticated of ways. Rose mixed with cassis and tangerine on a base of warming vanilla and amber make this perfume suitably fruity for the warmer months but with a depth that so many other summer perfumes lack.
The latest addition to Bulgari's Omnia collection, Golden Citrine, is striking, fresh and sun-filled. With top notes of Sicilian mandarin and white peach mixed with a heart of ylang-ylang, it's radiant and full of joy.
If you have ever had the joy of experiencing a Sol de Janeiro body product, you will know that everything it touches turns into sun-drenched gold. After so many requests, the brand has finally answered our prayers and released an actual perfume that combines salted caramel, pistachio, vanilla and jasmine. Trust me when I say this stuff is as close to summer in a bottle you can get.
An oldie but a goodie, Estée Lauder's Bronze Goddess is a summer classic. With bergamot, amber and coconut, the scent is almost tropical but with a hint of elegance and glamour that you'll struggle to find elsewhere.
This iconic unisex fragrance oozes summer glamour but not in the same way that others do. It's zesty and fresh but has an underlying base of masculinity that makes it the perfect option for those who don't usually go for fruity or floral perfumes. It's a total power scent that I can't be without.
While so many of the perfumes on this list centre on more exotic, fruity notes, this floral spritz from Malin+Goetz has notes of mandarin leaves, hyacinth florets and jasmine buds that make it smell like the British countryside on a fresh, sunny day.
This new Loewe x Paula's Ibiza EDT was basically made for summer. Not only is it a total treat for the eyes, but it also smells heavenly. Floral notes of sand lily and frangipani mix with coconut water, vanilla and patchouli for a fresh, warming scent.
No one does high-end summer fragrance quite like Tom Ford, and while there are many obvious choices, this underdog takes the top spot for me. Untraditionally masculine, it utilises the often overwhelming (and definitely more wintry) note of oud and blends it with oceanic scents that make it wonderfully fresh. I bought it first for my boyfriend, and now I have a bottle for myself too.
Since Jo Malone CBE launched Jo Loves, this is the fragrance that has totally stolen the show. Like zingy grapefruit but with a green, fresh base thanks to vetiver, one spritz sends me far, far away.
Bergamot, lemon, coconut milk and ylang-ylang come together to create this unbelievably delicious perfume. In true Replica style, it smells exactly as it's described—like "sun-kissed salty skin," while a base of musk and cedarwood give it fresh, beachy vibes.
This new addition to the Bronze Goddess collection utilises notes of lemon, neroli, orange flower and cedarwood to create a fresher, more seductive take on the original.
I am a big fan of Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria summery scents, and my love for the fragrances just seems to grow with every new addition. This particular spritz encompasses all things citrus with notes of blood orange and bergamot. It's lightweight and fresh, making it great for sunshine-filled days.
Very rarely do I come across an affordable fragrance that becomes a permanent feature in my perfume line-up. However, with Nuxe Sun Delicious, it was love at first sniff. With notes of orange, petitgrain and coconut, it smells like really expensive sun cream without the chemical undertone.
Remember when I said that Tom Ford is renowned for producing some of the best summery fragrances going? This one is iconic. It's citrusy but also fresh and coastal at the same time with an expensive-smelling edge that makes you want to keep it for best. But I'm warning you: If you're yet to try a Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance, Neroli Portofino will likely kick-start an eye-wateringly expensive obsession. Trust me. I'm walking, talking, living proof.
Okay, this one might surprise you, but hear me out. You know the really great scent of Nivea sun cream that all of your best holiday memories smell of? Well, Nivea has only gone and bottled it for us. I can't get enough.
I couldn't compile a list of summer scents without mentioning Byredo's Sundazed. Like creamy lemon mixed with sherbert and ice cream, this perfume very quickly becomes my most-used (and most-loved) as soon as June hits. I'd bathe in the stuff if my purse would allow.
Diptyque manages to achieve what so many other fragrance houses struggle to. The perfumers create fresh, feminine scents with serious lasting power. Eau des Sens is case in point. Focusing on orange blossom and patchouli, it's sweet and fruity but with a floral depth that creates a long-lasting aroma. Plus, this limited-edition bottle is basically a decorative ornament.
I have waxed lyrical about the Zara Emotions collection to anyone willing to listen since it launched late last year. While I love the creamy notes of mandarin, bergamot and orange blossom that the Amalfi Sunray candle kicks out, for me, the perfume itself has a depth that has it lingering on the skin all day long, much like a day spent horizontal on Italian sands.
If you ask me, neroli is the smell of summer. Fresh and orange-like but with a hint of floral that demands attention, neroli is without a doubt my favourite perfume note. This scent from Miller Harris champions neroli but blends it with bergamot and jasmine for extra intensity. It's absolutely divine.