What better way to lodge the joy of summer ’23 in your mind than with a new fragrance that’ll help you remember it forever?
The fastest ways to mentally transport you to the best days of your life? Music and fragrance. Scientifically proven to awaken memories and all the feelings associated with them, the tunes and scents that surrounded you during heady, happy times will have the power take you back there for the rest of your life. Summer candles are a great way to infuse the smell of the season into your home but there's nothing quite like a brand new summer perfume. So which will become the beacon to remember this summer by? We have some sweet-smelling suggestions.
The British summer perfume: Barbour Coastal For Her EDP, £56 for 50ml
Inspired by the Northumberland coast this is a refreshing citrus scent that makes you think of perfect days spent on a British beach with the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and inevitably your Barbour wrapped round you. There are surprising mossy and balsamic base notes that linger on the skin with mandarin and lemon at the top. It comes housed in a gorgeous matte sky blue bottle topped with a leather lid and a strip of the brand’s classic and iconic print wrapped round.
The unisex summer perfume: Le Labo Thé Matcha 26 EDP, £157 for 50ml
You don’t have to be a fan of matcha tea to love this fragrance (thank goodness) because while it takes it’s inspiration from the green drink it’s also inspired by the ritual associated with creating and enjoying it. A moment of stillness and to focus on the ‘in’. And the scent does have that same ability to induce calm and make you stop and enjoy it on your skin. The juice has notes of matcha paired with alluring fig, citrus notes and a soft woody undertone that makes it far more appealing to everyone.
The limited edition summer perfume: Beauty Pie Le Smash Santal EDP, £33 for members, £120 for non-members
This is already proving such a hit on social media that we predict Beauty Pie will keep it in their abundant fragrance collection as a staple rather than as a limited edition, but just in case - it’s worth grabbing one as quickly as you can. It’s a gorgeous summer inspired scent marrying the notes of sandalwood and musk at the base but with spicy cardamon and floral lavender cutting through.
The slightly woo woo summer perfume: Vyrao Free 00 EDP, £135 for 50ml
If you like your fragrance to come with a side of tapping into your spiritual energy then Vyrao is for you. All of the perfumes contains a supercharged crystal energised by the brand’s healer to help clear and raise energy levels. This specific scent is a gorgeous zesty summer scent that contains notes of lemon, mandarin, jasmine and sandalwood. And every ingredient has been chosen not only for their olfactory prowess but for their emotional connection too. Sandalwood is grounding whereas lemon is uplifting. Mandarin is elevating and jasmine taps into sensuality. This is a fragrance of liberation and it’s wonderful.
The budget summer perfume: M&S White Coconut EDT, £10
The fragrance revolution continues apace, with lovely expensive-smelling scents available for under two tenners if you know where to look. This is one of six distinctly summery steals that you can mist all over like a body spray if you like. Coconutty like your favourite suntan lotion, it also has sultry jasmine and vanilla musk alongside a little bit of sea salt. Summer, summer, summertime…
The Scottish Highland summer perfume: Jo Malone Melancholy Thistle Cologne, £58
Bracing and fresh (like summer up North), this calls to mind ivy-covered castle ruins and tramps over the moors with notes of, indeed, sappy green ivy and aromatic thistle on a base of rain-drenched woods. Mykonos it’s not, but it has its own melancholic memories to forge.
The breeziest summer perfume: Whind Neroli Bronzé EDP, £180
A classic, in-full-bloom orange blossom scent, it’s equal parts bitter, tangy orange and soft, dreamy baby powder. It’s impossible, when you smell it, not to be transported to the south of France or a Marrakech garden: both are places where Neroli trees thrive. There are hints of spice and pomelo as well for a perfect balance of heat and freshness.
The White Isle summer perfume special: Loewe Paula’s Ibiza EDT, £52.90
Girl, boy, whatever – true fragrance fans wear what they like and have to intention of conforming to ‘rules’. This is an Ibiza-inspired unisex scent that teams tropical and Mediterranean flowers and fruits (frangipani, coconut, tangerine) with light woods, all floating about in an ‘aquatic’ water note. Refreshing and gentle.
The edible summer perfume: Akro Bake EDP, £80
A scent inspired by Madeleines, the fan-shaped cakes you can savour in any patisserie on a sunny weekend in Paris. Lemon zest, praline, vanilla, rum, whipped cream and brown sugar – it’s all here and it makes for a comfort fragrance that last and lasts.
The fruitiest summer perfume: Zara Peach Glow EDP, £11.99
Juicy, velvety peach sap with added praline and cut by grapefruit for balance. She’s a peach indeed.
The fashion-forward summer perfume: Jimmy Choo Rose Passion EDP, £50
This smells quite different from all the other Jimmy Choo original spin-offs - which is nice. Not overly sweet, its first impression is mainly tangily fruity – green apple springs to mind. Which is odd as there is none is this fragrance, a blend of coconut water, frangipani, jasmine and sandalwood. All of that exotic-ness does come through as the scent dries down, but it remains fresh, not sticky.
The summer nights perfume: L'Artisan Parfumeur Soleil de Provence EDP, £155
I thought this was another neroli perfume, this one concentrating on the ‘bitter’ in the bitter orange flower. But it’s actually an ode to the dry, fluffy mimosa flower, blending its powdery, honeyed scent with sweet ylang ylang, resiny benzoin and bracing bergamot and lemon peel. It’s summer-evening soft but with a tangy freshness that’ll be welcome after a boiling hot day baking in the Provençal sun.
The organic summer perfume: Ffern Summer 2023 organic EDP, £79
Encased in simple but lovely eco-conscious packaging, this all-organic juice has set out to capture the summer of ’23 in all its glory – and may the season live up to it. Bottled in Devon and ‘twice aged’ (are we supposed to drink it?) it’s fresh but seems to have a soft waft of cinnamon at the base – very surprising and hard to describe. Its notes are listed on the box: some of them are rose, vetiver, mandarin, geranium, basil, key lime and oh, nutmeg (similar to cinnamon, no?). It smells like a hand-picked and dried bouquet of wildflowers and herbs and is truly original.
The cool-splash summer perfume: Miller Harris Hydra Figue EDP, £95
Based on sweet-but-earthy fig with freshwater overtones (you can smell the wet earth and dark green leaves alongside the not-quite ripe fruit), this scent is totally cooling, like sitting in the shade of a massive fig tree and almost feeling too cold despite the summer heat. Yes, smell can do all that!
The classic summer perfume: Roger & Gallet Cédrat Wellbeing Fragrant Water, £16.55
A classic French body mist, this is all lemon juice and lemon rind with a cheeky aromatic base of basil, thyme and cardamon. Perfect for summer and very easy to wear.
The earthy summer perfume: Perfumer H Rhubarb EDP, £130
Peacefully digging away in the garden with your hands in the dirt on a summer’s day: that’s what this scent conveys. There’s only the slightest hint of actual rhubarb but the tangy red fruits, rosewater, lemon, orange flower, rosemary and bright woods make for an earthy, relaxing scent with a hint of sweetness.
The summer-of-glamour perfume: Roja Parfums Isola Blu Parfum, £75
This is the flashy side of the Med, bottled. Loads of citrus (lemon, lime, bergamot) is balanced with sappy and earthy notes of grass, thyme, patchouli and oak moss, then softened with sun-on-skin coconut, vanilla, jasmine, iris and fruits. The result is sumptuous and luxurious - perfect for prancing about in a sea-front villa on Formentera, or Santorini, or Capri, or… you get the picture.