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Beauty

7 Best Summer Perfumes That Boost Your Mood and Can Be Worn All Year Round

Plus, expert-backed ways to make your fragrance last longer!

A non-greasy sunscreen that won’t break you out, a vibrant nail polish for a fresh pedicure, a waterproof mascara that won’t run in the heat — it’s likely products like these that you most associate with summer. But it’s absolutely worth adding a new perfume to that list, too. Choosing a specific fragrance to wear for the summer is a great way to help capture the unique memories of this special season (more on exactly why that is in a moment). Not to mention that there are more fabulous summer perfumes to pick from than ever before. Ahead, seven of the best summer perfumes to try, along with expert-backed tips and tricks for making your new fragrance last longer.

The benefits of having a summer perfume

1. It can enhance your mood

For starters, they’re an instant mood booster. “Summer scents are refreshing, invigorating, and uplifting,” says fragrance expert Leila Zagwolsky, CEO and co-founder of Luxury Scent Box. They’re happy, cheerful scents that can help enhance your mood, she says. They’re also surprisingly timeless.

2. It can be worn beyond the summer months

While historically it’s been suggested to wear warmer, more comforting-type fragrances for winter, there really are no rules, Zagwolsky adds. You can sport a summer perfume all summer, then pull it back out in the middle of winter to combat those February doldrums.

3. It can capture and evoke summer memories

It’s also well-known that our sense of smell is directly tied to our memories. “In the summer, a time filled with holidays, barbecues, adventures, and weddings, fragrance plays an even more significant role. It’s like an olfactory soundtrack to our lives,” says fragrance expert Walter Johnsen, Vice President of Product Development at InterParfums Inc. Wearing a specific scent while you enjoy all of these seasonal festivities creates memories directly tied to that fragrance.

And anytime you wear it after the fact, you’ll be fondly reminded of all those special times, he explains, adding that he personally always chooses a new fragrance anytime he’s going somewhere new or special as a way to connect to that memory later on. Point being, it totally makes scents to pick up a new summer perfume. (See what we did there?!)

What perfumes are best for summer?

Perfume bottles with leaves, flowers and citrus fruits
Getty

Again, there really are no rules: “If you like a fragrance you should wear it whenever,” says Johnsen. That being said, in the warm summer months, people usually gravitate toward bright, airy, energetic fragrances; more opulent scents can feel like you’re wrapping yourself in a warm blanket, the last thing you want on a hot summer day, he says. Zagwolsky agrees, calling out the below notes as a few to consider:

  • Citrus: Zagwolsky likens citrus notes to the equivalent of sipping an ice cold lemonade — crisp, refreshing and energizing. Look for notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and/or lime, she says.
  • Green aromatics: Herbal notes such as sage, rosemary and lavender are great choices for summer, especially when paired with other green notes like grass or leaves, says Zagwolsky.
  • Aquatic: “These notes are breezy and cooling,” explains Zagwolsky, citing sea salt as one good choice to look for.
  • Fruity: Juicy summer fruit notes—think apricot, berry, cherry, peach—elevate the freshness of a fragrance, says Zagwolsky. They also pair nicely with gourmand notes such as vanilla, creating a combination that’s great for a summer date night, she points out.

How to make perfume scents last longer in the summer

All of the aforementioned seasonal scents tend to not last quite as long as their heavier counterparts. “Most fragrances associated with summer are light and airy. These types of notes naturally evaporate quicker than richer, deeper ones such as woods, ambers, and patchouli,” explains Johnsen. Happily, there are few quick (and easy) tips and tricks that can help up the longevity of your favorite summer perfume.

1. Layer products

Johnsen advises purchasing the shower gel and body lotion formats of your favorite fragrance. Wash with the shower gel, apply the moisturizer, then finish with a sprits of the perfume itself. Layering and using several forms of the fragrance compounds the scent and subsequently ensures it lasts longer, he explains.

2. Moisturize well

If these ancillary products aren’t available (or you just don’t want to buy them), simply moisturizing your skin thoroughly before spraying on perfume can help. Fragrance adheres better to these moisturizing ingredients than it does on dry skin, points out Johnsen.

3. Spray your pulse points

Woman spraying one of the best summer perfumes onto her wrist
Getty

Spritz your neck, inner wrists, inside the elbows, and/or behind your ears, advises Zagwolsky. The extra heat in these areas intensifies the scent. Also worth noting: If you’re spraying your wrists, resist the urge to then rub them together. This ends up “crushing” the middle and bottom notes of a fragrance, so you don’t get the full, intended effect, she says. You want to let the fragrance dry down on its own for the truest end result.

The best summer perfumes

Remember, perfume is totally personal. So, the best summer perfume is the one that you like. But, if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are some of our favorites.

Best fresh summer perfume

Juliette Has a Gun, Pear Inc, one of the best summer perfumes
Juliette Has a Gun/Sephora

Juliette Has a Gun, Pear Inc

As the name suggests, the star of the show here is juicy pear. Still, it’s fresher rather than super sweet, and is very sophisticated, thanks to the addition of a touch of musk, says Zagwolsky of one of her top picks.

Best floral summer perfume

Oscar de La Renta La Tropicale
Oscar de La Renta/Macy's

Oscar de la Renta Bella Tropicale

This is one of Johnsen’s favorite summer fragrances, inspired by lush tropical gardens. Floral notes are combined with tropical staples — think coconut water and ocean mist musk —for an intoxicating end result.

Best citrus + splurge summer perfume

Michel Germain Michel Orange Blossom Garden & French Vanilla Parfum, one of the best summer perfumes
Michel Germain

Michel Germain Michel Orange Blossom Garden & French Vanilla Parfum

Orange blossom and lemon tree zest combine with violet leaf and indulgent French vanilla in this choice, which will appeal both to those who like citrus fragrances and gourmand options. It’s a favorite of Zagwolsky’s who also lauds how long it lasts, as well as the fact that it can be easily layered with any of the brand’s other fragrances.

Best aquatic summer perfume

Andrea Maack Solstice
Andrea Maack

Andrea Maack Solstice

Not only is this option aptly-named for the season, Zagwolsky says the fragrance is reminiscent of summer vacations spent at the beach or pool. Fresh aqua notes mix with juicy watermelon and a touch of floral lily of the valley.

Best citrus floral perfume

Ferragamo Signorina Unica, one of the best summer perfumes
Ferragamo

Ferragamo Signorina Unica

Johnsen says it was his time spent in Florence and exploring the Tuscan countryside that inspired the creation of this fragrance. (Talk about a dream summer vacation!) Bergamot and mandarin blend beautifully with white azalea and violet.

Best fruity summer perfume

DKNY Be Delicious Orchard Street
DKNY

DKNY Be Delicious Orchard Street

Those who like sweet scents will appreciate this vibrant and juicy one, with notes of pink lady apple and pink grapefruit. It’s another one of Johnsen’s recommendations, who says it’s a happy fragrance great for summer.

Best evening summer perfume

Ormonde Jayne Damask, one of the best summer perfumes
Ormonde

Ormonde Jayne Damask

Theoretically, lighter summer fragrances tend to be more associated with daytime than nights out. But Zagwolsky says this is the perfect pick for summer evenings. “It’s an ultra-femenine, luxe, sophisticated fragrance with gourmand floral fruity notes of rose, pear, lemon, pink berries, and a dry down of amber and musk that makes a statement,” she says. And while it might seem silly to have a scent specifically for evening events, it’s similar to having a certain dress or lipstick that you save for nighttime occasions.


See more expert-backed beauty buys:

7 Best Neck Creams for Women Over 50, Plus Why Dermatologists Say You Should Use One

9 Best Sunscreen Makeup Products for Women Over 50 That Ward Off Sun Damage, Prevent Wrinkles, and More

8 Best Lash Growth Serums That Volumize Thin, Sparse Lashes

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