As the mercury rises, a new spectrum of scents starts to delight our senses. The moody, cocooning perfumes that comfort us in the cold months suddenly seem a bit too heavy, while fragrances with lighter, brighter, more transparent notes feel just right. Now that you’ve swapped out cashmere for silk, find your perfect summer sillage with one of these warm-weather-worthy spritzes. Whether you fancy a fruity citrus spritz, or a warm beachy eau de toilette to transport you to somewhere far away, these are the 15 best perfumes to wear in summer for 2021.
Not your typical beachy spritz. Ellis Brooklyn’s take on ocean air and salt-dusted skin opens with ylang ylang and violet leaves, warms into Tahitian tiare blossom and magnolia, and dries down into a cocoon of musk, ambergris, and sandalwood.
2. Diptyque Eau de Parfum Eau Capitale – $180.00
Hankering for a sunny stroll by the Seine? Here’s the next best thing: an airy, unusually floral and bright chypre with luminous rose, bergamot, and pink berries at its heart.
3. Sundazed Eau de Parfum – $260.00
First, a hit of lemon, then you get the twist. As heart notes of neroli and mandarin melt into a base of sugar-sweet cotton candy, Sundazed radiates a nostalgic, fun-fair vibe. Something like remembering the joy of a childhood beach excursion during a very sophisticated, grown-up happy hour.
4. Atelier des Fleurs Lavanda Eau de Parfum – $250.00
Each scent in the collection was hand-picked by a master perfumers—literally. Inspired the delicate and light flower lavender, this scent smells as fresh as a new bouquet entering your home.
5. Flora – Gorgeous Gardenia – $65.00
Flora – Gorgeous gardenia is one of the best perfumes you should choose for your summer. Like sticky cotton candy at a local fair, this playful scent is built on a fruity cocktail of gardenia, red berries, and pear.
6. Her Blossom Eau de Toilette – $63.00
Picture yourself walking through London’s Green Park, the smell of peonies and plum blossoms unfolding right under your nose. Burberry’s Her Blossom allows you to relive that dream with each spray.
7. ’REPLICA’ Beach Walk – $30.00
This summery scent can be summed up in one comment from a customer: “It’s the perfect blend of beachy air, with a hint of sunscreen (in a good way), and a hint of clean laundry.”
8. Malin and Goetz – $95.00
Most floral fragrances focus on the flower itself. But this classic from Malin and Goetz is built on the lingering scent of the stem, plus a little hint of mandarin leaves, freesia greens, rose stems, and jasmine buds for added oomph.
9. Queens & Monsters – $50.00
This genderless fragrance was created by actress Michelle Pfieffer, inspired by the cologne she used to steal from her father’s collection. It’s woody and fresh, and can carry you from the summer months to the dead of winter.
10. Loewe Paula’s Ibiza Eau de Toilette – $88
The packaging of Paula’s Ibiza is aptly colorful, conveying the truly vibrant fragrance within. Its galbanum could only be described as bright green, while its frangipani and Madagascan mandarin ensure tropical vibes that makes wearing it feel like a summer vacation long after the season has passed.
11. Byredo Lil Fleur Eau de Parfum – $180
Lil Fleur’s name suggests that this Byredo fragrance is floral — and it is — but just a little (hence “lil”). Its heart of Damascena rose is made infinitely more interesting with notes of saffron, cassis, tangerine, leather, amber, blonde woods, and vanilla. Inspired by youthful emotion and ambition, it perfectly captures the bittersweetness of summer’s temporariness.
13. Ralph Lauren Polo Red Eau de Parfum – $77
Although Ralph Lauren categorizes the new Polo Red Eau de Parfum as a men’s fragrance, no one can resist the woodsy sage and ginger that make it rich — but not too rich for summer. You can thank red grapefruit, cranberry, and lavender for that year-round wearability.
14. St. Rose Grand Larceny Eau de Parfum – $165
Grand Larceny may not sound like the most romantic fragrance, but for anyone who loves rose with a twist, this St. Rose creation is basically passion in a bottle. The twist, in this case, is lemon, with hints of clary sage and Australian sandalwood. The latter is a nod to the founder’s ancestor who, after being convicted of — you guessed it — grand larceny in 1802, was sent away to Australia.
15. Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Eau Fraîche – $210
Tuberose, orange blossom, and jasmine sambac immediately indicate that Kilian’s Good Girl Gone Bad is sensual as hell. That said, the nature of an eau fraîche gives it a freshness and lightness that makes it so very wearable throughout the summer, especially for stay-at-home date nights.