What makes a good summer perfume? And what makes it remarkable? In this article, I will try to give answers to those questions – first on a theoretical level, and then through practical examples where I will show what are the characteristics of a good women’s perfume during warmer days, as well as what, in my opinion, are the best summer perfumes for women. I do not doubt that I will fail gloriously, like everyone else who tried to bring the system into something bordering on philosophy and art (see Nietzsche’s critique of Kant), but at least the process will be fun and at least twice as short as Kafka’s. Because as the famous Oscar Wilde said: To err is human, but it feels divine.
The first thing that people associate with summer perfumes is a natural feeling, a light and fluttering cloud of scent that wraps around us and makes us feel more energetic as if we are walking on our toes on the sizzling hot asphalt. In those moments, the last thing we need is a perfume that will pull us down like gravity, make us thicker, heavier, slower. For this reason, women (and men) around the world love the so-called Saint-Bon perfumes, simple compositions, easy to wear, where every ingredient can shine. And that is why it is not surprising that the top lists, which include the best summer perfumes for women, always enlist fragrances from the Jo Malone edition of colognes and the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria collection of toiletries.
Of course, every rule has an exception, and the general guidelines and unwritten laws that light, simple perfumes should be worn during the summer are easily broken (like the illusion that we will have a perfect body for the beach this year) by the genius of individual perfumers. All canons are worthless when a perfume like Dior Dune shines in full glory and makes all our summer perfumes smell like drugstore releases. But the story has no sad ending, because, as Shakespeare says: The most a man can do is to mature. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do, year after year we’re making more mature, smarter choices, at least when it comes to perfumes.
And what are the best summer perfumes for women, at least in my opinion, find out in the next part:
Womanity by Thierry Mugler. First among equals. Although the first on this list does not necessarily mean that it is better than the second or the fifth. Again, there is something special about him, something that is not encountered every day. Just like a real woman. The one that is not ashamed of all her features, sometimes tame and endearing, sometimes wild and unbridled like the storm from which Aphrodite was born, but always magical, mysterious. And it exudes honesty, even though it offends many. Like Charles Bukowski said: She is crazy but magic, there is no lie in her fire. Womanity in its composition, infinitely simple, but wise and intoxicating, has only three notes: fig, a fig tree, and caviar. It describes all the sensuality, spirituality, and seductiveness of a female being—the essence of a woman in a perfume bottle. I hope that its creators did not use the same methods as the main character of the screened novel Perfume, The Story of a Murderer. You can read the full review HERE.
Stella by Stella McCartney. If I had two words to describe this perfume, it would be an icy rose—a gentle, romantic, and a bit nostalgic bouquet that leaves behind a subtle but mysterious scent. Stella is a perfume for those women who do not reveal the richness of their interior world to everyone. To casual passers-by, Stella usually looks, on average, like a nice girl from the neighborhood. No one would ever suspect that she hides the heights of imagination like Emily Bronte or a gift for science like Maria Curie. For them, she is an ordinary rose, one of many in the garden. Only a few stop and smell curiously. But those who do will discover a rose they have never encountered before. You can read the complete review HERE.
Pamplelune by Guerlain. They say that men perceive women who smell like grapefruit as five to ten years younger. I wonder how they perceive women who wear the juiciest, most perfect grapefruit among fragrances ever made. In the review for Pamplelune, I made a comparison with Plato’s ideal forms. Pamplelune is not an interpretation of grapefruit, one of many. It is the ideal form of grapefruit, after which all others were created. This is how a grapefruit would smell in the Garden of Eden, and wearing Pamplelune, you smell just like that, heavenly and divine. Just be careful not to overdo it; you don’t want to rejuvenate so much that it is illegal. How can a fragrance this magical not be on the list for the best summer perfumes for women? You can read the complete review HERE.
Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder. Things are already getting a bit kinky. This is the perfume of all those moments, when we run our hands over the body, our own, or someone else’s, warmed by the Sun on the beach—the air smells of sunscreen, cocktails, under-eyebrow looks, and sinful thoughts. Fortunately, Ray-Ban is always there to help, if only they came up with some elegant cover, not only for the eyes but also for the jaws that fall to the floor. Bronze Goddess is a flirtatious, confident perfume for those free to show off their beach body, whether they are on the beach or the main street of a big city.
Ever Bloom by Shiseido. The most gentle and delicate of all the perfumes on the list, like the soft kiss of a woman in love as she watches her man sleep soundly. The lotus flower that characterizes this perfume can dilute, like watercolors, every emotion, composition, to give a watery and silky feeling to every design. If you are looking for a fragrance that will hold on your neck like a gentle kiss from a loved one, Ever Bloom is the one for you.
Cristalle by Chanel. If there is one thing that is synonymous with summer, it is fruit. Sweetness, refreshment, the energy that springs from every fruit-fed cell, as if it was created for hot summer days and a double-edged sword that is the Sun. Cristalle is a perfect fruit of the tree, a fruit harvested at the right moment of maturity when it combines sugar sweetness, mild tartness that refreshes the palate, and seduces the senses and mind. In that moment of tasting it, everything seems to disappear, our worries, memories, plans, only the moment we are in remains and the enjoyment that has no end. Suppose the apple was the fruit of the Garden of Eden that made people aware of everything and feel ashamed. In that case, Cristalle is the fruit that grants you forgetfulness and the ecstasy of Dionysian enjoyment in which consciousness is not only non-existent but also undesirable. Only, apply carefully, the Meinades, in honor of the god Dionysus, tore their husbands to pieces. If you get such an impulse, better do it with his bank account. You can read the complete review HERE.
Aqua di Gioia by Armani. One of the most beautiful but also the most difficult scents to create is the scent of lily of the valley. Possibly because it is impossible to get it from a real flower, but ever since Diorissimo, perfumers worked hard to create the perfect replica of the natural scent of lily of the valley. There were many attempts, but only a few successes. One of the successful examples is Aqua di Gioia, a wonderful lily of the valley bathed in the sea waves’ freshness and fruity notes descending from the surrounding trees. At the same time, in the shade, you observe the open sea. Whether you are at sea or you want to take the ocean with you to the city, a couple of sprays of this perfume and all you need is a summer dress and a fan that will spread a fragrant cloud all around you, maybe even to some handsome and prominent eagle nose ( khm, Vincent Cassel, khm). Monica Bellucci is not so naive, after all.
Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. We all know that Carrie doesn’t do very well flying on the streets of New York. Heels fall in, fall apart, shoot, things fly in all directions, missed meetings, missed opportunities, but it’s all irrelevant because romance is what she’s looking for—romance with a loved one, but more importantly, romance with yourself. When we finally free ourselves from the clutches of the past and the burden of the future, when we realize that we are self-sufficient, then an infinitely exciting romance with ourselves begins. Romantic moments of discovering and loving ourselves pave the way in front of us, and we, like Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, follow the path with a song celebrating our personality, peculiarities, and the life ahead of us. Then it is not strange for us to treat ourselves to a Schwartzwald cake while sitting alone at the table of a pastry shop and watching passers-by and the life of the city. It is even less foreign to us to fulfill small and big wishes, something we have always wanted, but we denied ourselves because of the condemnation of the environment. Only when we truly fall in love with ourselves, not superficially and falsely like Narcissus, only then do we begin to love others, the world. And Lovely is always there to remind us of that. You can read the complete review HERE.
Eau de Sisley 1 by Sisley. It happens to all of us during the summer. We want to smell only fresh, clean, like freshly squeezed lemons. Unfortunately, most citrus perfumes that play on that card achieve an effect closer to that of Cilit Bang, which, apart from instantly clearing our sinuses and making us recite Holy Father in three seconds, has no perfume value. Usually, there is no depth of composition, an X factor in the form of a note that we do not expect. This is not the case with Eau de Sisley 1. A slightly retro, but infinitely refined perfume for sophisticated noses.
Dune by Dior. The only oriental perfume that deserves forgiveness for wearing it during the summer. The person wearing it is all forgiven. And how could it not, when the fragrance coming from the bottle is the culmination of perfumery and olfactory experience. Although it smells like a dune at times, the enjoyment that Dune offers is anything but desert. The abundance of notes and chords, which mix, collide and outplay in a whirlpool, will entertain you from the moment you apply it to your skin until it evaporates like a drop of salty seawater in the Sun. Similar to the quote from The Lord of the Rings: One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, so the Dune binds rosewood, fragrant resins, vanilla, tropical fruits, spices, moss, flowers completely dark, mysterious as a night in the Sahara. And just as the desert has always attracted man, but not many survived in it, so the Dune attracts many, but few can breathe with full lungs next to it. This desert perfume completes the list of TOP 10 best summer perfumes for women. A sequel will follow soon, and that is the top list of the best summer perfumes for men.
What are the best summer perfumes for women in your opinion?