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Want To Smell Like Summer? There’s A Perfume For That.

May 25, 2023May 25, 2023

Want to smell like summer?

Ah, late summer. Sun-dappled waters. Intoxicating salty air. A languid afternoon ​with the sand under your feet. This August — no matter where you find yourself — channel the essence of summer with a personalized fragrance. But first, how best to figure out if a scent is right for you? David Moltz, co-founder and perfumer of the New-York based perfume house D.S. & Durga offers simple advice: “Spray it on your skin. Walk around. Say: Do I like this? If so, add it to your collection and have many aromatic landscapes you can enter anytime.”

To Moltz, there’s also a rule of thumb for applying perfume in the heat: “I find it can evaporate; the dry down comes quicker.” In fact, in the summer months, Moltz likes spraying generously on his wrists and neck. “If you’re wearing sunblock, make sure it’s not one that smells like bananas or coconuts,” he quips.

Fanned out from the East Coast to the West Coast — and across the Atlantic for a pop of Corsican and Caprian nostalgia — below, a crop of sultry, musky and floral unisex fragrances that conjure up a sun-soaked holiday.

Sure smells like summer. D.S. & Durga Rockaway Beach is a unisex marine perfume with a 1970s vibe.

Rockaway, Queens has always been on the map, and these days, is undergoing quite the renaissance. Back in the 70s though, it smacked of raw, edgy, rock-n-roll-like character. Channeling the spirit of times — and the Ramones — D.S. & Durga’s limited-edition Rockaway Beach perfume is back. A meld of musky, hedgy, ozone notes and light oceanic, salt-on-skin, sunscreen essence — the scent is refreshing like a summer breeze. And Moltz, who grew up at the beach, is fond of August: “The tomatoes. The peace that travel is —almost — over. Long days of light. Working on perfumes in my summer office (i.e. my garage). Quick beach swims.”

L’Objet’s Côté Maquis channels the Mediterranean.

In late April, design brand L’Objet’s launched a foursome of nature-inspired scents in collaboration with master perfumer Yann Vasnier. Using biodegradable and fair trade ingredients, the lineup includes Côté Maquis; a nod an the earthy sun-speckled Mediterranean holiday (think rocky Corsican shores, golden labdanum and salty air). Oh Mon Dieu! conjures Paris in the late 60s; Bois Sauvage calls to mind a wet forest; and Rose Noire recalls a pleasant stroll through, yes, a blooming rose garden.

19-69 Capri conjures up a Brigitte Bardot movie.

A citrus-forward perfume that recalls the spirit of Italy’s Villa Malaparte (built in 1938) and Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 movie Le Mépris, filmed on the Isle of Capri (and starring Brigitte Bardot). 19-69 perfume founder and creative director Johan Bergelin's Capri conjures blossoming orange trees, you'll find top notes of mandora, spicy sichuan pepper and juniper berries dovetail with jasmine alcoolat and ylang ylang; alongside base notes of orris and white musk.


Floral, spicy, seductive. Eauso Vert — a female, Latinx-founded brand tapped perfurmer Pascal Gaurin to help launch their debut 5-piece fragrance collection. Sintra — a crisp-meets spicy-meets-floral fragrance calls to mind a bright bouquet thanks to sparkling Italian lemon, creamy sandalwood and herby-organic Lavandin Enfleurage (handpicked from Provence). A spritz might — as the brand attests — make you feel you’re “getting lost under the open sky.”

Warm recalls the boardwalks of Malibu or a great Montauk surf day.

Launched in 2013, this small-batch California-made fragrance by Warm will remind you of a mellow beach day — you know, one of those faded sand-meets-sea memories of when you used to slather on Bain de Soleil. A boho mix of bergamot, musk, lemon, lily and patchouli — coupled with almond oil — will keep you grounded when your skin heats up. Channel the wooden-planked boardwalks of Malibu or maybe the perfect Montauk surf day.

Byredo's summer bliss in a bottle

Like it’s name suggests, this solar-inspired, citrus-flared fragrance taps into the feeling of summer bliss compliments of a “sunny” top notes mix of Californian lemon and mandarin; and then mellowing out with neroli and Arabian jasmine sambac. As for the grand finale? A sweet (but don’t worry, not too sweet) cotton candy and skin musk base. You know, just like those endless summer days in the California sun.

Côté Maquis Eau de Parfum $160Vert Sintra, $185Byredo Sundazed, $205