It’s been hot like Summer lately, and while we wish most of the accompanying humidity would go away, nothing beats the invigorating feel of sunshine on your skin and fresh breeze in your hair. Too cliché? Nah, we’ll still take it. So what happens when we want to distill our best sunny memories into a bottle? Perhaps these fragrances can tell us. From the maritime notes of Mediterranean coasts and sparkling citruses, to solar scents that play with light and warmth, here’s a roundup of summer scents we’d love to take to the beach.
1. Jo Malone Marmalade Collection
Warm, zesty, and fruity summer scents make up Jo Malone London‘s Marmalade Collection, inspired by backyard parties amidst sunshine and homemade jams on gingham tabletops. It may be a little hard for us city folk to relate, but if Taylor Swift’s folklore is anything to go by, cottagecore and prairie-style dresses are clearly a thing this season. Here, the fan-favourite Blackberry & Bay fragrance makes a glorious comeback, accompanied by other scents such the Elderflower Cordial, a delicate powdery scent, Rose Blush, Tangy Rhuburb, and a particularly zingy Orange Peel. All of them are crafted with natural fruit extracts to capture the vibrant nature of say, the tart rhubarb or juicy blackberry.
$115 (30ml) each. The full collection consists of the Tangy Rhubarb, Rose Blush, Orange Peel, Elderflower Cordial, and Blackberry & Bay Cologne. Available at all JO MALONE LONDON boutiques, selected Sephora outlets, and via the Jo Malone Concierge Service.
2. Bvlgari Parfums Omnia by Mary Katranzou
What’s this wondrous kaleidoscope of a vessel, you ask? Well, the familiar Bvlgari Parfums Omnia bottle is given a fresh makeover in a new collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, for a vibrant, optimistic, and dream-like interpretation. The floral EDP captures the designer’s maximalist style, with a bottle that gleams like a kaleidoscope thanks to a unique bi-colour effect. Even the scent itself feels uplifting, as it combines gardenia and orange blossom with luminous mandarin notes and fresh fig leaves for a multi-faceted fragrance that leaves the most scintillating impression.
$189 (65ml). available at Zalora, Sephora, all department stores, and online at bulgari.com.
3. Penhaligon’s Racquets
Plenty of fashion brands look back at their archives for modern inspiration, so you bet a luxury fragrance brand as storied as Penhaligon’s ought to do the same. The Racquets scent veers away from the old favourite though, opting for an uplifting summer scent that captures the moment just before you step into a tennis court. Combining old world charm with sparkling citrus, the Racquets EDP sports bright lemons, elegant woods, and soft leather for a playful new take that’s just as refined.
$300 (100ml). available at PENHALIGON’S boutiques and online at ESCENTIALS.COM.
4. Maison Christian Dior Eden-Roc
For the feel of a Dior Summer, we’ve got perfumer François Demachy’s expert take on the Mediterranean paradise of Hotel du Cap-Eden–Roc, a luxury hotel perched on the tip of the French Riveria. The resulting jovial scent tells the story of marine air, flowers, citrus fruits, and maritime pine trees — where we can expect the notes of the sea, brought in by a powerful salty marine, the sunshine wafts of jasmine combined with a touch of coconut, as well as the glorious green base notes of amber and mastic. Sea, sun, and breezy pine trees, it looks like we’ve got all we need for the ultimate Summer indulgence.
$155 (40ml), $350 (125ml), $500 (250ml). AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT THE MAISON CHRISTIAN DIOR BOUTIQUE AT ION ORCHARd.
5. Byredo Open Sky
“While being stuck in one place, what I remember most often is travel. That idea of movement — of being on your way somewhere — is something I truly miss,” says Byredo founder Ben Gorham on the inspiration behind the latest Open Sky EDP. Oh boy, can we relate! The limited edition spicy-woody scent is their homage to travel, as it distillates the experience of the journey, not the destination, with notes of pomelo, black pepper, hemp leaves, which create an electrifying sense of anticipation. The romance of palo santo, alluring vetiver, and a refreshing citrus are then incorporated to lift the senses — and awaken our boundless wanderlust while at it.
$372 (100ml). available at the BYREDO boutique, escentials Paragon, and online at ESCENTIALS.COM.
6. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Cologne forte
Housed in glass bottles that let in the light spectacularly so, the latest series by French fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian sees gender-neutral fragrances inspired by light. Unlike traditional colognes though, these are fresh, breezy interpretations that feature bergamot at the centre of the three scents. Aqua Vitae captures the feeling of “freshness in hot weather” with the addition of luminous Italian mandarin and Indian sandalwood for a stunning solar scent; Aqua Universalis aims to be quite the universally-appealing scent with the sweetness of white musk and white flowers; while Aqua Celestia’s radiant fruity notes of blackcurrant, jasmine, and mimosa invites us to admire the calming hues of both sea and sky.
$290 (70ml). available at escentials boutiques and online at escentials.com.
7. diptyque Ilio
Coming in hot, diptyque is about to launch a summer-ready collection that consists of a new citrusy Ilio Eau de Toilette, as well as a hair mist, candles, and body sprays. At the centre of the collection is, of course, the Ilio, inspired by Mediterranean Summers and with illustrations by artist Luke Edward Hall on the bottle to capture the mood, just as notes of prickly pear, bergamot, iris and jasmine fill the air. In the same vein, lemongrass-scented Citronelle candles, a body spray of lemongrass, geranium and lemon eucalyptus that helpfully wards off mosquitoes, along with a herby Vinaigre de Toilette complete the series.
Available from 4 June 2021 at DIPTYQUE counters and online at escentials.com.
8. Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Édimbourg
The Les Eaux de Chanel line of fragrances are inspired by the Mademoiselle’s favourite places, whether it’s the seaside resort of Deauville or the coasts of the French Riveria, so this fifth scent is no different. The PARIS-ÉDIMBOURG, created by perfumer Olivier Polge, embodies the calming refuge of the Scottish countryside, as the woody aromatic scent contrasts lively juniper berries and soft peaty wood, brought out by a slightly smokey vetiver. Along the way, as one would encounter during a stroll though the great outdoors, notes of cypress, lavender, cedar, vanilla, musk envelope the scent so we get to experience the comfort of “a tweed jacket borrowed from the men’s wardrobe” within this androgynous scent.
$220 (125ml). Available at CHANEL Fragrance and Beauty boutiques from 28 May, and counters from 4 June 2021.