Georgia Day’s Summer Fragrance Guide

Warmer weather calls for fresher fragrances. If you’re in the market for something new, SL’s beauty contributor Georgia Day is on hand to run you through the latest brands and what you need to know.
By GEORGIA DAY /

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Go For A Skin Scent

I’m a huge fan of musk-based fragrances but they really come into their own in the summer. Something about the natural warmth of your skin mingled with sunshine and the soft, suede-like scent of musk… it’s a combination I can’t get enough of. This summer I’ve discovered Altra, a brand whose 100% natural fragrances are genderless, refillable and use only responsibly sourced ingredients. Its Skin EDP uses an ‘ultra-skin’ accord of soft musks and the result is soft, inviting and delicious. Byredo rarely gets it wrong and its latest De Los Santos EDP is quickly working its way into my fragrance hall of fame. A smooth cocktail of musk, amber and incense, it’s a lovely option for sultry summer nights.

Scent Your Strands

Hair mists can be a great way to introduce new fragrances without committing to the expense or volume of a big bottle. Because hair is porous, it holds scent well, but hair mists tend to be specially formulated with less alcohol, so they’re less drying. Current favourites on rotation include Jo Loves’ Fig Hair Mist (is there a more summery scent than juicy ripe figs?) and Fable & Mane’s HoliRoots Hydrating Hair Oil Mist which combines the brand’s signature jasmine sambac scent with red hibiscus extra and amla oil for improved shine and hydration.

Play With Formulas

Choosing a new fragrance always seems like a serious purchase but there’s no reason you can’t have a bit of fun. Although I love an eau de parfum, there are so many interesting formulas that allow you to be a bit more playful at this time of year. Case in point, the excellent Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrushes which contain gel formulations of some of the brand’s signature scents. Mango Thai Lime is the latest incarnation for summer. You simply daub it on to wrists, the neck and pulse points as you wish. Solid perfumes like Glossier’s You also melt effortlessly into skin, while a cologne is a lighter, crisper way of wearing fragrance in the summer; I like Acqua di Parma’s Colonia C.L.U.B with its notes of lemon, shiso and rosemary. Finally, anything that doubles as a bug repellent gets my vote: Diptyque’s Lemongrass and Geranium Summer Body Spray uses essential oils to deter mozzies but manages to combine practicality with pleasure.

Match With The Location

Looking for a new summer scent but don’t know where to start? I’ve discovered a slew of lovely fragrances inspired by holiday destinations. Loewe’s Paula’s Ibiza ECLECTIC is the Balearics bottled (orange flower, jasmine and frankincense) while Diptyque’s Olio EDT features prickly pear, jasmine and bergamot in homage to the Mediterranean. M&S’s ode to the ocean, Sea Salt & Neroli EDT is an aquatic burst of freshness. Although it’s not new, haircare brand Ouai’s fragrance North Bondi EDP is worth a mention. Inspired by the Sydney hotspot, it has zingy notes of lemon, violet and rose de mai.

Try A Stater Set

Some may turn their noses up at sample size perfumes, but I think they’re a great option for summer when you’ve got to consider the practicality of schlepping full-sized bottles away on holiday with you. Ostens is a brand whose ethos I admire, bringing together five celebrated perfumers with an invitation to create a fragrance without budget or brief. The result is exquisite and although each one is special, I love the enveloping warmth of Cashmeran Velvet for long summer nights. If you don’t want to choose, then try the beautiful library-like Discovery Set.

Don’t Forget Your Body Care

Layering different types of fragrance can be a lovely way of creating something a bit more long lasting because moisturised skin holds on to fragrance better. The way I like to do this is by using scented body care as well, usually featuring complimentary or matching notes. I love STORIES No.1 Hand & Body Lotion with its notes of grapefruit, cedarwood and jasmine. If I want to dial up the intensity, then a little spritz of EDP of the same name does the job. Sometimes though, the formulas are intense enough on their own. Jo Malone London is about to launch a collaboration with Rodin Olio Lusso, a brand that was discontinued in the UK a few years ago. The Jasmine & Neroli Body Oil will deliver glossy limbs in a flash and is scented enough to allow you to forgo other fragrances altogether.

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