Eau For Summer

Summer might be the time to shop for shades, shorts and sunscreen but it’s also the perfect time to grab yourself a new fragrance. And I’m not just saying that to make you buy another bottle of the smelly stuff: there are some very good reasons for switching to a different, lighter scent as the mercury rises.

Fragrance reacts quite differently in heat (it intensifies and disperses faster for starters) meaning that some heavier scents tend to become a little overpowering. What’s more, when it’s hot outside we generally want to smell – and feel – clean and fresh, which is hard to do when you’re reeking of musk, vanilla or amber but much easier if you smell like a Sicilian lemon grove.

Question is: what to wear? Well, here are ten fragrances worthy of your hard-earned cash. Some are summer variants of established classics, others just happen to be perfectly suited to warm weather – all are fantastic.

4711 Cologne

It may not have the greatest staying power in the world once on the skin but it beats almost every other scent on the market in terms of longevity as an actual fragrance.

Created back in 1792, it’s a superbly fresh blend of citrus fruits and aromatic herbs like rosemary and lavender. Buy the dinky 25ml bottle if you can find it, keep with you at all times and reapply often:

4711 Cologne

Atkinson’s ’24 Old Bond St’ Eau De Cologne

The signature fragrance of London’s famous perfumer, this fragrance is 100 per cent sexier than most traditional colognes.

Light and aromatic to begin with, it develops into something infinitely more sensual thanks to notes of juniper, rose, black tea and a delightfully leathery finish. Ideal for sultry summer nights:

Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street

Comme des Garçons Odeur 53

Not a fan of citrusy fragrances? Why not try this barely-there scent from Comme des Garçons, which creates a totally different kind of ‘lightness of being’ with synthetic notes capturing everything from the “essence of mountain air” to “sand dunes”.

Discreet, unique and delightfully crisp, it sits beautifully on the skin when temperatures soar:

Comme Des Garcons Fragrance Odeur 53 Eau de Toilette

Eau Sauvage By Christian Dior

Launched in 1966, Christian Dior’s wonderfully fresh Eau Sauvage, bursting with zingy citrus notes and rounded out with warm woody ones, is a great fragrance whatever the time of year – but it’s especially good in summer when the heat intensifies both its crispness and sensuality.

“It’s a fragrance that’s refreshing, chic and always impresses – without even having to try,” says British perfumer Roja Dove:

 DIOR Eau Sauvage eau de toilette

Monsieur Balmain

A classic lemon zinger from the sixties, a bottle of this delightfully fresh amalgam of lemon, mint and ginger is never off my desk in the summer.

With studies showing that the smell of citrus fruits can energise the senses and help focus the mind, a quick spritz may well be the perfect tonic for those days when it’s too muggy to concentrate:

Balmain Monsieur Balmain Eau de Toilette 100ml

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau Fraîche Body Splash

People salivate over Tom Ford’s acclaimed unisex fragrance, and with good reason: beautifully balanced (and bottled) this delightful blend of lemon, mandarin, myrtle and Egyptian jasmine perfectly captures the essence of summer.

The eau de parfum spray is great but this lighter splash is the perfect all-over tonic:

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau Fraîche Body Splash

Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche

Greeted with almost universal praise by the British grooming press when it was previewed earlier in the year, this lighter, altogether fresher version of the now-classic Terre d’Hermes fragrance has a citrusy and bracing ‘aquatic’ feel and is almost as good as the original.

A summer essential:

Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche

Molton Brown Cool Buchu

Infused with tangerine, water mint and Buchu plant extract (which has echoes of blackcurrant) this Molton Brown fragrance is ideal when you need to keep cool.

Avoiding fragrance clichés, it’s a lovely, crisp, clean scent, made all the more refreshing by a stint in the fridge:

Molton Brown Cool Buchu

Gaultier Le Male Stimulating Summer Fragrance

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male has become that rarest of things in fragrance: a true modern classic. So much so, in fact, that it’s a permanent fixture in best-seller lists across the globe.

It’s pretty potent stuff for summer, though, so if you’re fan think of switching to this fresher, icier and altogether less heady version. Check out the cool octopus print bottle too:

Gaultier Le Male Stimulating Summer Fragrance

Acqua di Parma Colonia

An exquisite blend of zingy citrus fruits coupled with lavender, rosemary, sandalwood and patchouli, Colonia remains Acqua di Parma’s best and most versatile fragrance.

It’s never dated and is fantastically versatile, being just as appropriate for a warm July night in New York as it is for a daytime trek around a Greek island:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne Spray

Clinique Happy For Men Cologne

There’s a reason Clinique called their enduring men’s fragrance Happy: it’s a delightfully bouncy mix of juicy summer fruits (including Japanese Yuzu) and is most at home on the skin during the summer when it exudes a fresh, joyous and uplifting vibe – whatever the weather might be doing:

Clinique Happy For Men Cologne

Get Involved

Do you have a favourite summer fragrance? Tell us why you love it using the comments box below…