Beat the Heat with Seasonal Scents
Wearing perfume during the smoldering days of summer can be a sticky situation.
Your favorite fragrance could make you feel fresh but the last thing you want to do is make others feel faint in a cloud of musk.
READ: How to Create a Signature Scent
So, once the flowers are in bloom, it’s time to toss aside the comforting, romantic perfumes of winter for lighter and equally decadent scents of spring and summer.
In time for the steamy season, fragrance experts reveal how:
Be Mindful of Temperature
There’s a reason why applying your favorite perfume could be a recipe for disaster during the smoldering summer months. "Scent molecules travel more in warm air, so with regard to spritzing during the summer, less is more,” explains New York City-based perfumer Julia Zangrilli. Also, the heat doesn’t just apply to outdoors. “Be sure to store your fragrance in a dark place, which is at least room temperature,” she says. “Prolonged exposure to heat and direct sunlight lead to oxidation and breakdown of fragrance molecules.”
Know Your Notes
No two fragrances are created equal. When it comes to summer scents, look for cooling notes in eau de toilettes or body splashes that are lighter in aroma concentration. Perfume blogger Victoria Jent suggests keeping an eye out for mint, spicy shiso or camphoric patchouli. "Look for a more ‘gauze’-like in feel than a heavy floriental. Go for notes you’ll find refreshing, including citrus, herbs, fruits and aquatics.”
Not a fan of Citrus? Not a Problem
Fragrances made for summer weather often feature zesty scents of ripe oranges and lime. But what if you’re just not a fan of fruity scents? Patrice Kapla, resident scent expert of online retailer FragranceNet.com suggests looking for more unique aromas that cater to your personal taste. “You can also opt for ones that use berries or honey,” says Kapla. For summer, she says her favorites are 24 Faubourg Perfume by Hermes, which features orange blossom instead of the actual fruit, Burberry Brit Sheer, a medley of pineapple leaves, grapes and sweet pea, as well as the self-explanatory Escada Cherry In The Air.
Skip the Alcohol
“Since summer skin can get parched, some people may want to switch to perfumes that do not contain alcohol,” says Jent. “Choose an oil-based fragrance to wear on pulse points or water-based ‘eau legere’ formulas to spray lavishly on the body, hair and clothes.” Water-inspired fragrances are naturally lighter, so you don’t need to worry about spritzing more than once. However, be careful of spraying directly on clothes as some formulas could stain.
To avoid offending others with a headache-inducing aroma indoors, be mindful where you apply on your body. “Interesting locations for perfume application are the tips of your hair and the nape of the neck at the back of the hairline,” suggests aroma therapist Mary Ellen Dorey. Hair can hold your fragrance longer, which will cut down on spraying and the amount of fragrance you use.
Feel Cool with Cologne
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t just for men. Eau de cologne ideally has between three and eight percent of fragrance oil, making it a lighter option than eau de toilette (5-15%), but a bit stronger than a body splash (1-3%). And if you’re really feeling the heat, make the fridge your friend. “For an added cooling sensation, keep your cologne in the refrigerator and then spritz or splash,” says Dorey. Remember, parfum has the highest concentration of fragrance oil (between 15-40%), so save these for winter when you'll need something stronger for colder temperatures.
Make SPF Your Signature Scent
Sun-soaked days at the beach may tempt you to spritz away the scent of saltwater, but you may want to think twice about hitting the bottle in broad daylight. “Don’t wear perfume to the beach or pool!” warns Zangrilli. “Direct sunlight with certain perfume materials has the potential to cause irritation. Instead, opt for a delicious smelling sunscreen.” This trick keeps your sensitive skin smooth, protects you from harmful sunrays, and your fragrance will last for hours.