Buy it now: Hot summer, cool scents

Fragrances to wear for a hot summer

We’re in the throes of a proper 30-degree sunny and muggy city summer. I’m not complaining one bit though, because I’m not a commuter and frankly I’ll take whatever I can get. But I believe in the power of smell to help temper the heat.

I’m back on the Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche this summer, a really great cooling smell (earthy and green with a trail of musk) that’s like an olfactory glass of iced cordial. I think it’s one of Jean-Claude Ellena’s best, but actually all the Hermès colognes are excellent and I love the 15ml spray bottles for when I’m flanneuring about town.

I also love my Perfumer H Petit Grain, elegant and casual if you like plucked-from-the-garden-of-my-French-holiday-cottage type smells as opposed to beach babe effervescence. Its subtle orange blossom notes work well after sundown, even if you’re just going to the pub at the end of your road. In the daytime, I like combining it with Orange Leaf, an old citrus cologne from Perfumer H.

That said, I do also like a bit of original Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche SkinScent when it’s properly hot. This first came out thirteen years ago and surprisingly it’s just as wearable as when I first tried it. Utter beachy heaven! There’s an entire line-up of add-ons for this product, including a new eye palette of deep desert shades, a matte bronzer, and the shimmering hair & body oil, infused with the signature blend of amber, sandalwood and vanilla. These tend to sell fast but there’s definitely availability online and I know that it’s being sold in airports worldwide.

Another great summer ‘wake up’ fragrance is Lalique’s new Soleil Lalique eau de parfum, a gourmand concoction of juicy mandarin and bitter pear granita, offset with sandalwood, almond and caramelised sugar (the gourmand bit). I don’t know why pear isn’t more widely used in perfume, but I like it as a non-obvious fruity note.

Finally, if you want something unisex, I really like Gucci’s Ode on Melancholy, which is an oil that comes in those super-cute new apothecary-style bottles, applied with a dropper. The dominant notes are cedar wood and sandalwood (I’m definitely detecting a sandalwood theme here); it has a touch of the nose-clearing menthol coolness of Aesop’s Marrakech Intense – another cool-in-the-heat staple.


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Vanessa Jackman
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