Decoder :: The Best End of Summer Scents

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

August can leave us ladies in quite a pickle: on one hand, fragrance can be a lovely reprieve from inevitable ripeness of our sweatier, stickier state. On the other, the last thing we need is to overwhelm our senses even more with a too-strong fragrance. As someone who has a love-hate relationship with summer (I love beach days and cool breezes at night; I hate the daily battle with city humidity and rabid mosquitoes), I’ve made it my mission to seek out fresh fragrances that last and won’t add to my state of warm-weather distress. Click through my list of hot weather picks — whether you’re a perfume lover or hater, I bet you’ll find a scent you love right this way.

featured image from british vogue

Givenchy Dahlia Noir Eau de Toilette

I was pleasantly surprised by this scent — as a “perfume skeptic,” I find many serious designer fragrances to be far too much for my sensitive nose to handle on a day-to-day basis. But, this eau de toilette has just enough spicy body for summer date night or a big meeting; I’ve found myself addicted to the sexy-yet-subtle notes of pink pepper, rose, amber, and sandalwood.

Nest Paradise Rollerball

Many citrus-based scents disappear all of ten minutes after they hit your skin — but, this complex scent (a mix of bittersweet blood orange, ginger, and cedar wood) pleasantly lingers for hours.

Le Labo Neroli 36

Le Labo’s scent have had a special place in my heart ever since my husband gifted me a bottle of Jasmin 17 (my now-signature scent in the cooler months) for Christmas eight years ago. Since every bottle of perfume is mixed to order, the company is able to use fewer preservatives in their scents, which allows for a purer, cleaner scent experience. Neroli 36 is one of my favorite Le Labo picks for warm weather — smelling it is like being hit with a fresh, orange-blossom-laced breeze.

Prada Infusion D’Iris Absolue

This perfume gained a major following for its clean, sophisticated scent (think fresh laundry with a pedigree); this newest version balances the clean orange blossom and Italian iris notes of the original scent with Venezuelan tonka bean and vanilla from Madagascar.

Bobbi Brown Beach

If you’re a true beach lover who lives for that first whiff of Coppertone over Memorial Day weekend, you’ll adore Bobbi Brown’s iconic Beach fragrance, which mixes the nostalgic scent of sunscreen with salty marine notes and fresh whiffs of summer flowers. (Bonus: when you fall into a post-Labor Day state of distress, a quick sniff of this intoxicating scent is sure to bring back all of those warm summer memories.)

MCMC Fragrances Maine

One of my more recent scent discoveries, this perfume is the perfect fit for anyone who loves rose scents in theory, but hates how overpowering they usually are in execution. This subtle scent blends feminine beach plum rose with herbal, green notes of clary sage and pine, and then finishes it all of with a dose of salty marine air. Totally unexpected and tomboy-sexy.

Fresh Life

This not-too-sweet eau de parfum is a unique mix of magnolia, lilac, bergamot, and watery moss — if you’re a fan of Fresh’s other iconic scents, this is not one to be missed. To say that it’s transporting is an understatement!

Estéee Lauder Modern Muse

This is another designer fragrance that I was pleasantly surprised by. This fresh take on jasmine and wood is the perfect summer-workday scent (read: it will actually survive your sweaty commute and make you feel put together even when you’re melting in the heat).