The French have a word for when perfume mingles with heat, skin, and pheromones. They call the concoction a woman's cassolettes. In summer, the choice of perfume becomes especially important because SPF, sweat, and sunshine combine to create a completely different scent which can be spritely and enchanting if chosen well.
Scent memory is also a powerful tool for cultivating experiences and holding on to important moments in our lives. So much so that brides have started wearing specific perfumes in the lead-up to and on their wedding day so that their signature scent will forever be associated with that time in their lives.
These summer fragrances will transport you to an exotic sun-drenched shore and perfectly blend with your cassolettes.
Under the Lemon Trees, Maison Margiela
Let's get this one out of the way up front. This is the trending summer scent that everyone is talking about. Maison Margiela's Replica series takes niche memories or concepts like jazz clubs or bubble baths and translates them into fragrances. My personal favourite is the heady chestnut perfume By the Fireside and I wear it all year round but for a quintessential summer perfume, Under the Lemon Trees does the job of capturing the bright yet relaxing dolce vita of Palermo in 1987. Notes of kalamansi lime, green tea, citrus, and soft musk make this a fan favourite.
Blackberry Lily, 7 Virtues
Based in Nova Scotia, 7 Virtues was founded by author and activist Barb Stegemann as a clean, sustainable fragrance house that doubles as a social enterprise. She sourced orange blossom and rose essential oil crops from Afghani farmers to give them an opportunity to leave the illegal poppy trade and prevent their daughters from becoming opium brides. She has since applied the same approach to communities in Haiti, Rwanda, The Middle East, India, and Madagascar. The Blackberry Lily fragrance is comprised of fair trade ingredients like jammy blackberry and cassis, rose, lily of the valley, and magnolia for a warm breezy scent that has a hint of spice from caramel and amber.
Amyris Femme, Maison Francis Kurkdjian
The nose behind many famous fashion house perfumes, like Jean-Paul Gautier's Le Male, Francis Kurkdjian has his own fragrance, Maison, where he fashions uncompromising traditional-style scents. Many modern perfumes are watery and disappear on the skin within minutes but Maison Francis Kurkdjian creations are meant to be identifiers. He does not necessarily subscribe to the idea of a signature scent; instead, he creates scent wardrobes for people to dress themselves in like they would clothes. The Amyris collection which consists of four perfumes has two that are floral and fruity with notes of pear, sweet pea, lemon blossom, iris, and of course Amyris for a sophisticated summer scent.
Bite Me, Confessions of a Rebel
Confessions of a Rebel makes gender-neutral scents that celebrate being different and messy. Many of the fragrances have aggressive unapologetic names and this one is no different. Bite Me is a frisky mix of strawberry, red apple, vanilla orchid, and golden rum that encapsulates the energy of a wild summer. There are summers spent tripping about ancient ruins and growing as a person and then there are summers with late nights and cabana parties where you enjoy your youth, your friends, and your freedom. This is a perfume made for the latter.
Coconut Cove, Skylar
Please don't judge me but I was today years old when I learned that Bergamot was citrus. The fruit closely resembles a lime and is native to Italy and when it is paired with coconut in a hypoallergenic perfume, it creates the perfect summer scent. Skylar is an all-natural fragrance brand out of Los Angeles, that creates vegan perfumes that are safe to use on sensitive skin. The Coconut Cove perfume is creamy yet coastal as gourmand sweetness blends with fresh jasmine and gardenia florals and a burst of fruitiness for a sensual scent.