Perfume is one of the most sacred and storied beauty products in the world, one that transcends both centuries and cultures.
It’s also one of the column topics I get the most positive feedback on.
If you know me, you know I love to change my signature fragrance with the season. This summer, consider switching up yours.
I know this scares some people, but I promise you that no matter your scent preference, there’s the perfect summertime scent for you. Also, scent profiles can be deceiving, and you might just surprise yourself with what notes you fall in love with.
Here are a few of my favorites for inspiration.
The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille
Warm, sweet and spicy, this scent envelopes you in creamy, dreamy notes of myrrh, sandalwood, coconut and vanilla. And I don’t mean vanilla like vanilla ice cream, but rather musky, woody vanilla. For fellow millennials, it’s reminiscent of Britney Spears’s Curious, though not quite as saccharinely sweet. This brand, which promotes the mantra “Make perfume, not war,” also walks the walks. The 7 Virtues perfumes are made with natural, organic and fair-trade essential oils and support families in nations rebuilding after war or strife. Santal Vanille is made with sustainably sourced sandalwood from Sri Lanka. $79; the7virtues.com or sephora.com
Ouai Dean Street
Citrus lovers, this is for you. This energy-boosting scent is fruity meets floral without any heavy, powdery scents. It has notes of citrus fruits, apricot, rose, magnolia, amber and linden blossom with a musk underneath. It’s super light, clean and fresh without being overpowering, and a totally intoxicating summertime scent. The best part of Ouai fragrances is that they match hair and body care counterparts. Take it from head to toe with fellow Dean Street-scented products including its Body Cleanser and Hand Lotion. $56; theouai.com
Aerin Beauty Lilac Path
Inspired by the lilac bush at her grandmother, Estée Lauder’s, summer cottage, Aerin Lauder crafted this gorgeous, airy fragrance’s notes of jasmine and orange flower to invoke sweet, summertime memories for anyone who wears it. While this isn’t for those with aversions to florals, it’s rather light — like smelling lilacs through the breeze by an open window. $185 (3.4 ounces); in store at Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and at aerin.com or sephora.com
Bath & Body Works Hibiscus Paradise
Don’t side-eye me. I have been on the hunt for a perfume with hibiscus, guava and coconut thanks to one of my favorite hair care products, IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, and its lush, beachy scent. Cruising B&BW for candles a few weeks ago, I was shocked to find this fragrance matched those notes. I purchased the eau de parfum, but the fragrance also comes in candles, body products, hand wash and more. While it doesn’t smell like my hair balm, this beautiful, light and creamy floral makes you feel like you’re out and about on a humid night on a tropical island. $39.50; in store and at bathandbodyworks.com
MIX:BAR Cloud Musk
Think of this like a light cashmere sweater over your shoulders on a chilly summer evening. It opens with pink pepper, cardamom and blue cypress before revealing iris, jasmine and cotton peony in its center and skin musk, benzoin, tonka beans and sheer woods in its dry-down. Similar to a skin scent — or the closest fragrance to a soft, skin-like smell — this is a great fragrance for people who don’t like fragrance because it’s light, airy, soft and a tiny bit sweet. Also, MIX:BAR scents are designed to be worn alone or layered and cocktailed together. Cloud Musk serves as both the perfect base or as a silky scent on its own. $19; in-store and at target.com
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT