Monday, June 03, 2013

Top Ten Light Summer Perfumes

Regular readers of this blog know that fresh and light perfumes are not my thing. I dislike aquatic scents, mostly indifferent to citrus and rarely see the point of sheer airy florals. Dry scorching weather makes me bring out incense and amber fragrances, while hazy muggy summer days call for the headiest and biggest white blossoms: tuberose and gardenia, mostly. Thus, I spent most of this humid 91 degrees day testing a lovely gardenia fragrance, but when I got back home to the safety of the a/c I switched to vintage Fendi (though in the less dense EDT and not the blow-to-the-head EDP). But back to fresh and light: sometimes one  really needs these fragrances, and I do turn to them on certain days. I already covered the Citrus, Green and Fruity categories, so let's try to go even lighter and airier than that. In no particular order:

  • Heeley Ververeine is a beautiful lemon verbena scent with a side of an English dandy. I love the elegance of James Heeley's work, and this is a great example, as is his Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements, which has one of the best names in perfumery
  • Fig Tea by Parfums de Nicolai didn't make it to my Best Fig Perfumes list because it's an Eau Fraiche, way too light for most days. But I can't deny its beauty-- fig and osmanthus are wonderful together.
  • Jo Malone Grapefruit. An after shower treat; the body cream is in a league of its own.
  • Ayala Moriel Etrog and Arquiste L'Etrog. Etrog is citron fruit, a less tart and slightly more complex citrus. Both fragrances are works of art that have more depth than I ever expected.
  • Aftelier-Lumiere. Green tea, flowers and a soul.
  • L'Artisan- Navegar. Perhaps the lightest oriental(ish) perfume on the market. Peppery lemon, a hint of wood and Olivia Giacobetti's magic touch. Speaking of L'artisan, Thé Pour Un Été is a gorgeous jasmine tea that was meant for this weather. Spray lavishly before bed and leave the windows open.
  • M.Micallef- Pomelos. I admit to being somewhat obsessed with this one lately, probably because it hits the spot for me- super light but never boring and incredibly put together.

Honorable mention goes to the limited edition (and utterly impossible to find) L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme (green leaves, more green leaves with a side of green leaves. Even an anti-Issey like me could not find a fault with this one). Then there are several Tocca perfumes, especially Liliana and Graciella-- flowers in a big vase. And from the king of all that is light and airy- Hermes colognes: all of them, actually, but I have a special soft spot for Eau de Gentiane Blanche.

Photo: Cars on Daytona Beach, Florida, 1954 via


  1. Thank you Gaia for choosing Lumiere! I appreciate your own work so much – I adore you and your blog.
    xo Mandy

  2. Pink ProvocateurJune 03, 2013 2:46 PM

    Hello, Gaia. I'm in San Antonio; it's 95 degrees so far today. I've been wearing Chanel Sycomore and Tom Ford Sahara Noir. Ocean/citrus/barely-there fragrances don't interest me any time of year.

  3. Hi Gaia,
    San Francisco doesn't get much heat/humitity, I do have a few light summer scents I enjoy.
    Pre de Provence Tilleul-white flowers and Linden over a musk base, their soaps are wonderful, and I use the edt as a linen spray.
    O' de Lancome-Vintage, tons of zippy citrus and crisp greens.
    Speziali Fiorentini's Poppy and Fig, crisp greens, zippy fig and more greens.
    Roger and Gallet's Bouquet Imperiale, citrus and geraniums over a spicy tonka/oakmoss base. An all time summer favorite.

  4. Thanks for some lovely ideas for summer, when my big bold favorites become just way too much. Today I'm wearing Coer de Vetiver Sacre, which seems quite nice for 80 degree weather.

  5. Epic fail! No other summer scent can compare to Blue Grass.


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