How to Choose the Perfect Summer Fragrance

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Couple shopping for perfume

Summer’s here, and the sun is beaming down on us more than ever. You want to feel fresh by spritzing on your favorite fragrance, but are you sure it’s suitable for the summer?

While you may want to use the same fragrance all-year-round, your fragrance might release an unpleasant aroma, especially when exposed to the sun’s heat. Luckily, there are fragrances formulated for the summer season.  

To save you the trouble of looking all over the Internet for tips on how to choose the perfect summer fragrance, we already did the work for you! Here are some tips to help you get started.

Choose EDT Over EDP

You don’t want to go around the beach with a strong, heavy scent. Many recommend using EDT (eau de toilette) instead of EDP (eau de parfum) during the summer. 

EDP and EDT: What’s the Difference?

Eau de parfum (EDP) has the second-highest concentration of fragrance, the highest being the parfum or pure perfume. EDP has a fragrance concentration of 15–20%. On average, the scent of EDP lasts for 10 hours on skin and 16 hours on clothing. The strength of EDP makes it quite ideal for date nights.

Eau de toilette (EDT) is a lightly scented fragrance, and it stands as the predecessor of all perfume types. Toilette in French means the “process of washing oneself, dressing, and attending to one’s appearance.” EDT has 5–15% concentrated perfume oil, and it lasts from 8 to 12 hours on clothes. EDT is also more affordable than the EDP.

EDT as Your Go-To Summer Fragrance

Spraying perfume on wrist

While more people may rave about EDPs, EDTs are still your go-to for daily use because of its light scent. EDPs are not always ideal, especially in closed areas, because of their strong smell. The smell of the EDP will be even stronger when exposed to summer heat, and you don’t want that. It’s summer, which means lighter and fresher scents take the scent-er stage, so opt for an EDT instead!

Solid Perfumes: Perfect Alternative

If you don’t want to spritz on your perfume every now and then, you may consider using solid perfume instead. As the name implies, they are perfumes in their solid-state. They are more subtle than alcohol-based formulas, but they still have the same lasting effect as an EDP. They are also convenient because it doesn’t take too much space in your travel bag. 

Plus, using solid perfumes means less waste because its materials and packaging are made from reusable or recyclable glass jars with aluminum lids. However, they may be more expensive than sprays or oils because they take a lot of fragrance to make. 

Opt for Citrus, Woody, and Floral Notes

Citrus fruits do a lot of wonders for our body, but did you know they are also perfect for your summer fragrance? If you’re heading out during this season but still want to smell good, it’s almost a rule of thumb to opt for citrus, woody, and floral notes as they tend to last longer. They also don’t smell as strong as other scents!

Woody or Musky Notes

Woody or musky notes last longer than other notes because it enhances the base notes’ scent and provides long-lasting richness up to 12 hours. These notes are more common with male fragrances, but you can also smell them in some feminine fragrances.

Floral Scents

Flowers in test tubes

Floral notes are also known as “middle notes” or “heart notes.” They do not last long as base notes, but six to eight hours of scent longevity is already good enough to give a romantic and feminine feel while on vacation. Perfect floral scents for the summer include jasmine, ylang-ylang, freesia, lavender, and rose.

Citrus Notes

Citrus notes, also known as fresh notes, are easily identified with food and beverages. Citrus essential oils are made from citrus fruit peel, producing a crisp and slightly acidic note. Citrus tones are popular as top notes because of its fresh and light scent.

The best citrus notes are as follows:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot

Scents to Avoid

Not all floral scents are suitable for summer, as some can give you a headache when exposed to the sun’s heat. When choosing the perfect summer fragrance, you may want to avoid the following:

  • Heavy floral blends
  • Sugary aromas
  • Rich orientals
  • Patchouli

Save Intense Scents for Evenings

Just because citrusy scents are suitable for summer, that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to them! You can also spray on some sultry or spicy scents after sunset, but be sure these fragrances have a balance between the heavy base notes with the fresher and lighter ones.

Wear It Outside

Woman spraying perfume outdoors

Different temperatures affect the smell of your fragrance on your body. If you are in a closed area, like an airconditioned place, you won’t get the scent that you want because the air conditioning holds it in place. Perfume oils react to heat to release aroma, so it’s better to spritz fragrance on your body and take a leisurely walk outside for 10 to 30 minutes, then for a few hours.

If you like the scent of your fragrance at the end of the day, then it’s time to grab it! There’s no need to rush to decide which summer fragrance you want. 

Want Your Fragrance Last Longer While Outside?

Now that you have chosen your perfect summer fragrance, you might be worried that it won’t last and you need to spray your bodies with fragrance from time to time. Is it possible for the scent to last longer despite the summer heat? The answer is yes!

Spray your fragrance on your pulse points. Pulse points are parts of your body that reacts when there is a change in temperature quickly. These pulse points include the neck, elbow, insides of your wrist and elbow, and behind the knees. The heat of our body activates the fragrance, so spraying them on these parts of your body is perfect if you want your fragrance to last longer. 

Moreover, you can make your fragrance last longer by applying oil or lotion on your body before spraying, but be sure not to overdo it. Some types of lubricants or lotions include petroleum jelly and moisturizers.

You can also spray the fragrance on your hair. However, do remember to be careful as some fragrance formulations may cause damage to your hair. You can spritz it on your hairbrush to lessen the risk of hair damage.

To ensure your fragrance will be absorbed by your body, spray it right after you take a bath! The heat from a bath will open your pores—dry your body quickly once you step out of the shower and spritz some of your fragrance to lock in your summer scent!

Pick a Summer Fragrance With Only One to Two Notes

During summer, most perfumes evaporate faster because of the summer heat. If a fragrance has multiple notes and is exposed to the sun, they can mix with your sweat and smell unpleasant. As much as possible, opt for simpler fragrances that only have one to two notes. 

Everything You Need to Know About Notes

Woman sniffing perfume tester strip

First things first, we need to know the different perfume notes. Perfume notes are the ingredients that make up a fragrance. There are three types of notes: Top, Heart, and Base.

Top notes or head notes are the top layers of the fragrance. We immediately smell this scent after spraying our perfume, giving us the first impression of the fragrance. Top notes evaporate quickly because of its light molecular structure. It only stays on the body for five to fifteen minutes. Typical top notes are citrus scents.

Some examples of top notes are the following:

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Anise
  • Basil

Heart notes, as the term explains, make up the “heart” of the fragrance. Also known as middle notes, you can smell heart notes after 20 minutes or once the top notes fade. Since they make up 70% of the fragrance, they last longer than the top notes. Heart notes serve as a buffer for the base notes. 

Heart notes are typically fruit and floral tones, such as:

  • Jasmine
  • Lemongrass
  • Rose
  • Ylang-ylang
  • Nutmeg

Base notes form the foundation of the fragrance, and they linger the longest on the skin. They are the underlying aroma throughout the wear of your fragrance—rich, heavy, and long-lasting. Base notes appear after 30 minutes and work with the middle notes to create the fragrance’s scent. They linger for six hours or more.

Some famous base notes are cedarwood, amber, and musk.

Single-Note Scents Taking the Spotlight

As several fragrance companies continue to produce different perfume variations with different notes, single-note scents are having their moment in the fragrance industry today.

According to Mark Behnke, founder of the fragrance blog Colognoisseur, single-note scents give people more freedom of interpretation. They want scents to heighten their moods and represent them and their experiences. They are not looking for one fragrance to use for every occasion or season.

The single-note scent trend gives the fragrance companies a chance to make the formulation of the fragrance more concentrated by using advanced methods. And guess what? Most single-note scents produced have citrus and floral scents. Talk about coincidence!

Choose Your Perfect Summer Fragrance Based on What You Love

Spraying perfume on wrist

How do you want to remember your summer? What kind of summer vacation do you want to have? How do you want people you meet at beach parties to remember you?

Like how you usually look for your typical fragrance, choose a summer fragrance based on your personality.

Are you overwhelmed by the endless list of summer fragrances? Take a moment to write down your plans for the summer, and list down the fragrances you think will be suitable for your itinerary.

If you want to go on vacation by the beach, go for marine notes and sandalwood. If you prefer spending time in the garden, you can opt for floral scents like rose. There are many options you can choose from, so select the scents that will make you feel good.  

Narrow Down Your Choices

Many fragrances are packaged so beautifully that you just can’t help but admire them (and feel the temptation to buy them!). However, remember that it’s not the packaging that matters the most. Even the perfume with the prettiest packaging you’ve ever seen may not be suitable for your body chemistry. The trick to narrowing down your fragrance choices is to try and test up to four scents. Otherwise, you may not be able to decipher the scents.

Writer and blogger Caroline Topperman tries to be selective by only spritzing two scents at a time on each arm and leaving the store for at least two hours. This method helps her choose what scent blends well with and lasts on her body.

To trim down more your choices, it is also essential to know your notes. We already mentioned the different types of fragrance notes in tip #4. Likewise, remember the fragrances more suitable for the winter season—they don’t really smell pleasant during the summer. You can look at the box of the fragrance bottle for hints of summer.

Ask a Friend for Their Opinion

Friends sniffing perfume

Have you ever picked out a fragrance you really like and thought it fits your body chemistry… Only for someone to point out that it doesn’t smell pleasant or it gives them a headache when they’re near you?

Here’s one tip: Walk around with your chosen scent and ask a friend to smell your fragrance and give you their honest opinion. This tip will help your narrow down, even more, your choice of summer perfume. Also, asking a friend about your perfume can save people you interact with from a lot of headaches!

Your Perfect Summer Fragrance

Now that you have chosen your summer fragrance, it’s time to give it a go! But since the summer heat will evaporate the fragrance more quickly, your scent will inevitably fade throughout the day. You might need to reapply your preferred fragrance more often in this case. However, do not spray too much as it might get too strong when you’re out in public.

That’s it! We hope these tips will help you decide which summer fragrance will be perfect for you to wear as you make new memories. Enjoy your summer!

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