There’s something new wafting on the wind. This season’s trending scent signals the start of summer, a blast of citrus that’s here to refresh your smoky fragrance cabinet. But while fruitier notes always arrive with warmer weather, there’s a new kid nudging up alongside bergamot and lime. Grapefruit is inescapable in this year’s biggest releases and – unlike most citrus scents – this one’s built to last.
“New molecules like paradisamade have been discovered in recent years, which can extend grapefruit notes right into the dry-down,” says Pascale Cumming-Benson, from specialist fragrance retailer Les Senteurs. But grapefruit’s sudden ubiquity is also a sign of changing tastes. After years of ouds, noses want something airier.
“We’re seeing a return to fresher notes and a trend towards exploring lighter, brighter fragrances,” says Clorinda Di Tommaso, from Avery Perfume Gallery. “They’re uplifting and filled with energy.” They’re also less intrusive now the weather’s warming up. Your co-workers will thank you.
Inspired by Sweden’s never-setting summer sun, Solaris is a salad of citrus notes that evolve into tonka bean and amber.
“The first spray is reminiscent of freshly squeezed juice,” says Di Tommaso. “Then it settles beautifully with gentle woody notes.” Remember: it goes on your neck, not down your neck.
Available at Avery Perfume Gallery, priced £98 for 50ml.
Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis
Pomelo Paradis is so fruity the bottle may as well come with a tropical umbrella in the top. It opens with pink grapefruit, mandarin and cassis, before mellowing out through orange blossom, lavender, and eventually vetiver.
“Grapefruit is a natural partner of vetiver,” says Cumming-Benson. “It makes it sparkle and gives it a contemporary feel.” Spray liberally.
Available at Les Senteurs, priced £90 for 100ml.
Barbour For Him
You might expect Barbour’s scents to go big on tobacco, leather and wet Labrador. But the male version of For Her is all about fresh grapefruit, with black peppercorn, sandalwood and vetiver repping its Y chromosome moniker.
Available at Selfridges, priced £40 for 50ml.
Burberry Mr Burberry
Burberry went all out for the launch of its new fragrance, tapping Oscar and Turner Prize-winning director Steve McQueen to shoot its rather sultry campaign.
The scent is no less luxe, with top notes of grapefruit and tarragon that blend beautifully with vetiver and guaiac wood. Although we can’t guarantee you’ll get as lucky as the chap in the ad.
Available at Burberry, priced £40 for 30ml.
Get a G&T’s refreshment without risking your boss’ ire. “This scent is sharp and accompanied by gin notes,” says Di Tommaso.
“It’s brilliant for summer, because the sharpness will cut through a sticky heat. Supernova is a great alternative to wearing a traditional cologne.”
Available at Avery Perfume Gallery, priced £80 for 50ml.
Paul Smith Sunshine
Like the version in Britain’s skies, Paul Smith’s Sunshine only appears for a limited period every year. But if you make the most of that window, you’re rewarded with a grapefruit and starfruit opening, which evolves through nutmeg, coriander and cedarwood.
Use it as a burst of brightness whenever the weather won’t deliver.
Available at Boots, priced £26 for 100ml.
Mont Blanc Legend Spirit
The latest version of Mont Blanc’s excellent Legend lightens up the original’s woody notes, adding grapefruit (of course) alongside bergamot, lavender and oakmoss.
It’s extremely light, ideal for spritzing on after a lunchtime gym session.
Available at Mont Blanc, priced £39 for 50ml.
Les Eaux Primordiales Abstraction Raisonnee
French perfumer Les Eaux Primordiales specialises in modern scents made from forgotten ingredients. Which translates as fragrances that never seem to date.
Abstraction Raisonnee is a case in point, its on-trend grapefruit coupled with old-school leather and tobacco notes. But this isn’t something your granddad would wear – rhubarb and passionfruit keep things fresh and modern.
Available at Les Senteurs, priced £124 for 100ml.