Smells Like Summer: Fragrances You Might Like To Try!

Let’s just say that the summer of 2012 is going to be, against a few or all odds, the very best summer of your life. I hope it is! And let’s just say you want a certain scent that says, “Yayyy summer” to you now, and reminds you of the good times when you smell it later. I’ve tried out a bunch of fragrances for you, and here are some you may feel like checking out!

Acqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain. Lots of people love citrus scents for summer. This particular classy grapefruit fragrance is like the lady who comes into the office wearing a stylish outfit and smiles and says good morning to her co-workers nursing grudges and hangovers. If you’re planning on working your ass off this summer to get that job/degree/promotion/high score, this will keep you inspired. Fair warning: you may get hooked on it. Guerlain does a couple of these light Acqua Allegoria scents every year, and most of them get discontinued, though you can still find them. Pamplelune has been in production since the beginning of the line in 1999. Jasminora and Rosa Blanca from last year are worth a try, too.


Acqua di Parma Colonia. This cologne, formulated in 1916, starts out with a bam! of fresh-squeezed lemon and dries down quickly to a subtle lavender-soapy awesomeness. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn used to wear it. And consider this, señora: If you are part of a couple, maybe you can both wear it all summer, and it will be awesome. MR. DONOVAN AND I ARE GOING TO DO THIS. Any of you coupled people could do that with any fragrance you like! Packaging and marketing aside, scents don’t follow nearly as many gender rules as you might expect. Lots of men have found scents they love to wear at the women’s perfume counter, such as Chanel No. 19, Tom Ford Black Orchid, Opium, and Shalimar. When it’s a hundred degrees out, a woman might find she loves wearing Cool Water for Men or Aqua di Gio, which I bet no one will recognize on her (cognitive dissonance!)


Wet Garden by Demeter. I really wanted to review some Demeter scents for this article, and lo and behold, my wonderful friend J. showed up at the office with some for us to try! Wet Garden smells like cut grass, green plants, and if I’m not mistaken, just the barest hint of something like Miracle-Gro or Chem-Lawn. To me, that last note is not at all a bad thing, and I bet my sister would like it even more: she was into houseplants as a newlywed, and now when she smells plant food, it takes her back to a fresh, romantic time. Like all the Demeter fragrances, it’s available in shower gels, diffuser oils, room sprays, lotion, and so on, which is great if you’re someone who really likes everything to coordinate. Ever since Descarada commented the other week about layering one-note scents, I’ve been dying to try that with Demeter sprays.

Laundromat by Demeter. Just like it says on the bottle: a mix of Tide, Bounce, and bleached cotton scent. Not a perfume per se, but as J. said, “This would be great if I had to run an errand after going to the gym.” People can’t get enough of these smells for their homes, probably because they make you feel like everything is humming along the way it ought to be.

Daisy by Marc Jacob. A fruity floral, light and pleasant, probably just the thing for a first date – or a 107th date, for that matter. To be honest, it’s not my style, but I like smelling it on other people. It’s super-popular, so I feel like I can recommend it with just one caveat: it’s super-popular. I haven’t tried the 2011 flanker, Eau so Fresh. If you like Daisy but really want to spend more money, get Chanel’s Chance Eau Tendre.

Nina by Nica Ricci. I don’t know how you could be in a bad mood while wearing this, unless you hate fun. It starts out with crisp Granny Smith apples and lime and soon becomes more dessert-ish. I keep thinking there’s some kind of berry scent in it, though it doesn’t list one. Nina is playful and comfy, like my Nick and Nora pajamas. I’m not sure I could wear it to work – maybe on a Friday. It would make a lovely birthday gift, for teenagers or adults: how adorable is that bottle? I sampled the widely available 2007 formulation rather than the original 1987 Nina or the 2012 summer limited edition. So confusing!

At the Beach 1966 by CB I Hate Perfume. This features the smell of vintage Coppertone, and given the cloudiness of the juice in the sample vial and a just a trace of something that’s been in a plastic bottle, I wonder if they didn’t use the real thing. I’ve never smelled old Coppertone, I mistakenly expected the scent of cocoa butter, but this fragrance has transported some reviewers to happy childhood memories and even tears. At the Beach 1966 starts out with a light, greeny floral, soon joined by convincing beachy smells. Personally, I have no use for the beach: I can’t swim, jellyfish sting me, sand gets in the ass of my swimsuit, my swimsuit then gets up in my ass, and I get sunburned and/or a rash. Sad to say, this fragrance also gave me a rash, which has never happened to me with any other perfume, ever. Authentic! I couldn’t find any other online reviewers who experienced this, so it’s probably just me!

Sea and Sky No. 20. by Tokyo Milk. A lot of “marine” or “aquatic” scents smell, basically, like sport deodorant. I get a bit of that here, but it’s brighter and clearer, and the saltwater/chloride note is really convincing and appealing – I almost expected to taste salt when I licked my lips. This has plenty of lime and lasts a good long while. If you like this one, you can buy a candle to go with it. I find Tokyo Milk’s pricing and packaging pretty irresistible, and I’m going to be sampling more.

I still want to try Summer Rose by Stella, which just came out a few weeks ago. If you fall in love with a limited edition, just buy a second bottle and keep it in the box – it’ll last pretty much forever.

If your favorite is missing here, you should probably tell everybody about it below! Seriously, it’s going to be a fantastic summer, everyone.

By Bryn Donovan

Romance writer, poet, quilter, and dog cuddler.

13 replies on “Smells Like Summer: Fragrances You Might Like To Try!”

I love love love love loveeeeeeee Demeter fragrances. I’d been wanting to try Wet Garden, so it’s now next on my roster.

Currently have: paperback (my fave and how I fell in love with Demeter), thunderstorm (yuummm), and chrysanthum (which they sent me for free, party).

I’m also a non-perfumer, a barely deodorant-er, and often essential oils-er. So I love smells/fragrances, but NOT perfumery (it actually makes me really sick, light headed, and generally ill).

This post made me feel light and bright and summery. And filled with an urge to get more fragrances than my one (appropriately called The One). I just need to get rid of the idea that you can only wear something on a night out/special occasion, instead of (almost) daily.

Laundry used to be one of my regular perfumes, but I long ago ran out of it. I picked up Daisy a couple of weeks ago in the rollerball format — I love it. It’s not something I would have normally picked up, but it’s a really wonderful perfume. Not overpowering, really fresh. And the $20 rollerball might be a nice price point for people to give it a try.

I want to try all of these, though I’m not a big fragrance wearer due to allergies so I sort of have to decide if it’s worth the sneezes for whatever perfume I’m wearing. I have a Jo Malone one that I LOVE, but it’s much more wintery and I have a CB I Hate Perfume in Lavender Tea that is divine, but again, a little heavier and more wintery. I’ve always wanted to try Acqua di Parma because it’s one of those classics. Maybe this summer is the time to do it!


I’m not a big scent wearer, but I think I need a difuser of the Laundromat scent for my laundry room, which is cat box adjecent and frequently smells less than nice*. Plus then it will seem like I have just done laundry, even if I haven’t.

*I clean up after the cats regularly but one of them is freaking toxic.

I must find this Wet Garden perfume. OMG. It sounds perfect.

Also, just yesterday I was at the farmer’s market with my mom and bought a bunch of basil. I basically buried my face in it. I told her if there was a bottle of Basil perfume, I would wear it. She gave me a look. But still. OMG.

(And I’m happy to report, my basil plant has not died yet! It was touch and go for a while but it’s perking up! We’re gonna survive!)

ETA: I wear Daisy all the time and love it SO MUCH.

I can vouch for Wet Garden. It smells just like what you think it should which I love. So many perfumes that do scents like “Linen” or “Garden” actually smell like linen AND PERFUME, or garden AND PERFUME. Demeter tends to smell just like what it says it is.

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