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The Best Summer Fragrances for 2024

The Best Summer Fragrances for 2024

Whether you love or loathe the heat, the summer weather is an opportunity to wear some of our most refreshing fragrances. Certain perfumes become restorative salves – cooling fluids – that are generously applied with instant effects.

Nothing perfectly defines a summer fragrance. Which is to say, there are no rules, only principles that serve to guide you accordingly. "Wear what you like" may not be the best way to start this article, but it is fundamental to ensure your wearing enjoyment. And so, this article is filled with suggestions, highlighting the fragrances that will impact your relationship with summer: scents that sing in the heat and cool the body, formulas that coat and lighten the wearer, and perfumes that evoke our favourite images of summer.

Our earlier guide, Best Fragrances for Summer still applies - and details the faultless principles behind choosing and wearing a summer fragrance. Here, we've updated our selections for 2024, and have added some new principles into the mix.

Sparkling and Spicy Tonics

Certain spice notes seem to be better suited in the heat than the cold, which rise, sizzle, and circulate - coursing in and around the body of the wearer. Their unmistakably sharp freshness pierce through even the most oppressive heat, both restoring and protecting. And synergistically, the heat wakes up these spices.

Zeste de Gingembre (Heeley Parfums) is a godsend on sweltering days. Its central ginger feature is tempered of its abrasive burn and bite in a svelte cordial of lime and orange, punctuated with the aromatic breath of cardamom and pink pepper, redoubling the effect of a cool fire. And it is just that - like fighting fire with fire - that in this difference of temperatures emerges a flush of flowing cooling sensation.

L'Humaniste (Frapin) cools first with its stunning spice blend of juniper berry, pink and black pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg, bound together with a gloss of bright lemon and bergamot citrus fruits, the aerial freshness of peony, and even oakmoss, which feels like cooling shade from the sun. And then, the association takes hold: L'Humaniste is a memory of not only gin, but a 'G&T', as bracing spicy, herbal, and citric flavours cross with a rousing and refreshing bitterness. Spray as much as you desire - L'Humaniste never takes over: it sinks into the skin, and never takes over it.

Evoking Elsewhere

It's always context, right? Summer heat miraculously becomes bearable when you're elsewhere. These fragrance have places in mind, crafting in scent impressive and vibrant scenescapes.

Fils de Dieu from Etat Libre d'Orange evokes a pleasant tropical heat, it is the scent of warmth and sunshine and pleasure, with a dreamy other-worldly sensation. It achieves this by overtly playing upon our associative memory, via a culinary syphon where notes of zesty lime, ginger, coriander, coconut milk, shiso, and rice give the fragrance evocative power. Fils is a gourmand of the best sort - tempting but ultimately more of a perfume than an edible substance. This is ensured with notes of May rose, leathery castoreum, and vetiver - it is surprisingly classical.

Anywhere but the heat? Penguin from Zoologist becomes an escapist fantasy of glacial chill and frosty air. And although ice and salt have no smell, they offer a tingling sensation, with a smooth yet sharp texture redolent of our iciest memories. Penguin is a foaming, frothy composite of frost – an aromatic slush made up of seawater and marine material. Its texture is fuzzy, shivering, sweet and spicy, and primarily lead with the pine-like and aromatic snap of juniper berry and the mellow fruity sharpness of pink peppercorn. These are berries frozen in ice, amongst a fluff of white musks as soft as powdered snow. Not only is it an evocation, but a salve - might it trick the body into feeling a cooling sensation?

Abundant Application

A rule of thumb I abide by: if you can imagine spritzing this fragrance with absolute abundance, and then even more - its (fresh) qualities never stifling - it'll likely make for an excellent summer fragrance. Like an asymptote, it approaches a limit, but never reaches it! Keep these fragrances close at all times, and apply when the mood (or weather) so calls for it.

Many of Heeley's fragrances welcome this, but none more profoundly than Verveine d'Eugene. It central note, lemon verbena, exists at the nexus of green, citrus, and floral - and starts a beautiful dream of colour, texture, and freshness. It mixes sharp citruses, rhubarb, blackcurrant, and jasmine together to become as bright as a star. It is simple yet exceeding, but it does not overwhelm. As a perfume, it accompanies the wearer, like a weightless and colourful wrapping.

Make positive of ephemerality, and counteract it with abundance and repetition. Virtually any true cologne will welcome this, whether its the spectacular burst of blood orange in Etat Libre d'Orange's Cologne - a very nice cologne, as they say, to be splashed everywhere. Or, the sturdy charm of St. Clement's (Heeley) blends a most traditional orange and lemon cologne accord with Earl Grey tea, tied together with their shared bergamot note. The note adds a malty and warm quality unique to this scent. St. Clement's wears like a sparkling cloud. It is ambient and balanced, diffusing into the atmosphere and supplanting heat with subtlety and zing. It rewards with layers of application, where more is more.