Rest assured that for every summery event—from lounging on the beach to hitting up the summer music fest scene—there’s a fragrance for that. The trick is selecting a match from the array of just-launched summer scents and your trusty favourite bottles sitting on your dressing room table. “Everyone loves change and there’s so much assortment in the marketplace when it comes to fragrances that changing up for the season is a nice reason to do it,” says Deborah Fulsang, a beauty writer and founder of the digital magazine,
The Whale & The Rose. We asked Fulsang to lend us expert (and extra!) sense for selecting the best fragrances this summer. Here are her best beauty tips.
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #1: Lighten up
Expert beauty tip: “When it comes to wearing fragrances in the summer, there’s all these new, what they’re calling ‘eau fresh’ or colognes—lighter version of fragrances that we love that are easier to wear when its super hot out.”
Seasonal switch-up: Yves Saint Laurent Opium Vapeurs de Parfum, “It’s the essence of what the original Opium was, but it’s lighter and breezier but still has that richness and spiciness, but not in an overpowering way,” says Fulsang.
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #2: Go to your happy place
Expert beauty tip: “If you’re looking to find something— and there are hundreds and hundreds of fragrances launched every year— it’s a bit daunting. One thing I think is an interesting way to take it is to think about what makes you really happy— what do you love to do in the summer? Do you love to be in your garden, do you love to be on the patio having cocktails, do you love going to the beach? And if you think about what makes you happy and what you’re tasting and smelling and experiencing in those places, it’s a good way to start when choosing a fragrance.”
Sniff test: “If you love the garden, and your roses and irises and all of those beautiful, sweet smells, you probably like floral scents.” Her
flowery picks? “From a trend point of view, there’s Madonna’s new Truth or Dare and Viktor and Rolf’s La Vie En Rose, which is roses but done in a more modern way than what we think of as old-school roses.”
“If you love going out for cocktails, there are quite a few fragrances that have notes of martini and lychee, so everything from Calvin Klein to Marc Jacobs, which has a little collection of Splash fragrances for summer that are based on fruit and cocktails and that feeling.”
“Then there are fragrances that are inspired by the beach—which I love the idea of combining aquatic, marine notes with saltiness and sandalwoods and skin-like notes. It’s a wonderful fragrance, it’s that whole experience of being at the beach, that freshness and that sun bottled.” One of her personal summer faves is Bobbi Brown Beach.
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #3: Spend some time with it
Expert beauty tip: “The only real way to tell if a fragrance is right for you is to wear it! One way you can do it is to ask for testers and take them home and try them for a little while, because I think having it on your skin is really the best gauge of whether you’re going to be able to live with it and like it and feel good in it.”
Scent appeal: “If you’re shopping for a day and you want to try a couple out, try one scent on one wrist and one scent on the other. Go shopping, spend some time and keep smelling it, because the top notes are going to be gone after 15 minutes, then you’re left with the middle heart of the fragrance, and that’s going to last a while; and then the dry down after three to four hours, what that fragrance is going to smell like at the end of the day. And the heart and the base notes, you want to love those. And if you love the fragrance, go back and buy it because I think it’s really instinctual and intuitive if you’re drawn to a fragrance.”
For more beauty tips on how to select a signature summer fragrance, read on…
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #4: Take your scent from day to night
Expert beauty tip: “I think some of these fragrances that are the colognes, eau fresh and lighter ones are maybe more in keeping with what you’re wearing at the office. You don’t want to overpower everybody at the office, so I think lighter is a good way to go. Whether you’re a floral, oriental or aquatic person, stick to what you love but you can lighten it up too."
Layered scent: “A friend of mine spritzes her fragrance in her hair because they’re not supposed to wear fragrance at the office, so there are all these discreet ways to wear it because it is part of our whole style and how we define ourselves. You can also layer your scent: If you don’t want to wear a floral perfume, you could wear the scented lotion, use the body wash, and that is a bit more subtle. And if you have that as your morning routine and at the end of your office day put on the eau de toilette, you’ve actually got a base from earlier on, and you add that richer layer to go out at night.”
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #5: Trust your senses
Expert beauty tip: Can’t decide which fragrance to mist on before date night? “You have to choose fragrances that you love. If you choose a fragrance that you love and makes you feel good in your skin, and that person likes you when you’re wearing it, then it’s probably a good match. If they don’t, and you’re wearing something you adore and they can’t stand it, well I have to think that maybe it’s not good chemistry anyway.
True love test: “When you meet someone and you cant stand the way they smell, I mean I’m sorry but that’s the end of it all. You can’t date them!”
How to choose your summer fragrance tip #6: Know where to wear it
Expert beauty tip: “Different people have different approaches to wearing it, some use the classic application—on pulse points. Some people spray into the air and walk through it. For me, I want it on my skin its part of who I am. I actually spoke with [fragrance expert] Danny Ventura, International Training Manager at Beauté Prestige Internationale and the idea of if you spray on your lower body, you’re chest your tummy, thighs, the warmth of your body through the day will move that scent upward. So rather than applying fragrance on your neck and delicate areas— and often there’s alcohol in an eau de toilette or eau de parfum, as opposed to straight oil, which can be drying too—you might not want to put anything drying.”
Best fragrance real estate: “I like the idea of applying fragrance lower on your body—not only does your scent flow up through the day, it’s kind of a sexy thing to do. It makes you feel beautiful and it’s a nice way when you’re getting dressed: you spray your fragrance, put on lingerie or something pretty underneath and then you get dressed—it just seems like a really womanly, beautiful thing to do.”
How to choose a summer fragrance tip #7: Keep your fragrances where you can’t see them
Expert beauty tip: Where to stash those beautiful bottles? “You don’t want to keep them in the bathroom, that’s an absolute no—the heat, the humidity, it’s not good for your fragrance.”
Hiding spot: “Definitely out of the sunshine and ideally in a closet that’s kind of cool is probably the best place to store them.”
Deborah Fulsang, founder of The Whale & The Rose.