Six Sensational Scents That Smell Just Like Summer

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Six Sensational Scents That Smell Just Like Summer

Words by Mr Ashley Clarke | Photography by Mr Paul Hempstead

20 July 2020

Now that we are making our way back into the world, the need for a considered spritz of fragrance is making a welcome return. It is still wise to exercise restraint, however. If someone can smell you from a socially distanced 2m away, you’re probably overdoing it.

As any man who appreciates fragrance will attest, a good scent can be a grounding, mood-lifting thing, an invisible layer of olfactory confidence with which to envelope oneself, even if the only one appreciating it is you.

In any event, now is the perfect time to switch things up. Fresher, lighter scents generally get the most air time in the summer months and there are plenty to try that will delight you and anyone lucky enough to get close to you.

It’s tough to know where to start when choosing a scent, especially a seasonal one, so we’ve curated a small selection to help you out. The following fragrances are some of the most innovative and memorable out there. They’re also practically made for summer.

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Warm and floral, Diptyque’s L’Ombre Dans L’Eau is inspired by a walk through an English garden and is something this fragrance-hoarding editor uses in bulk throughout the summer. If you’re not into sweet fragrances, then this probably isn’t for you, but its richly layered wafts of Bulgarian rose and petitgrain make it one of the most intoxicatingly summery scents on the market. Fair warning: one spritz is plenty.

Oud might not be an obvious choice for summer, but if you prefer your fragrances on the rich, full-bodied side, you can’t do much better than TOM FORD’s Oud Wood Intense. The brand describes this one as “UNRESTRAINED” in capital letters. A heady trip of smoky oud and castoreum tempered by a fresh hit of juniper, this is potently masculine yet retains a sense of sophistication.

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19-69, as you may have guessed from the name, makes fragrances that conjure up the charm and headiness of the 1960s. This particular blend, named Purple Haze, is a light yet intoxicating mix of Indian balsam and geranium with a touch of white musk and black pepper. It’s an undeniably vintage and summery scent inspired by Mr John Lennon and Ms Yoko Ono’s Bed-Ins for Peace in 1969. There’s a hint of cannabis accord in there that fits well with the mood of this scent, but it’s subtle in a way that’s fresh and piney – an unsmoked joint lost in the sheets – rather than anything skunky.

Aqua Universalis is a clean fragrance that sits lightly on the skin and that many liken to the scent of fresh laundry. Yes, it’s ever so slightly soapy, but it’s more expensive-smelling than anything you’d put in the washing machine. The opening notes of citrus may seem tangy at first, but once they dry down, they soften into mildly white florals that make this a brilliant everyday scent for summer.

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Byredo Velvet Haze smells like a holiday to a place and time you’ve never been but is nonetheless familiar. Hitting just the right note of contemporary and vintage, it mixes coconut water and hibiscus with a hint of ambrette (a musky plant native to India), all bound together by patchouli, which lends it an undeniably 1960s vibe, like sunning yourself on a beach in bygone Hollywood.

Floris Bergamotto di Positano has a rather romantic backstory. It was made in homage to Mr Charles Joseph Pagliano, who in the early 19th century left the small fishing village of Positano on the Italian Amalfi Coast to travel to England to marry his sweetheart, Ms Mary Floris. The citrus-marine mix of bergamot, orange blossom, vanilla and sea salt makes for a breezy, fresh scent that works brilliantly well in warmer weather, especially for voyages across the world to find the love of your life.

Scent Appeal