Summer Fragrances for People Who Hate Summer & Also Summer Fragrances
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23rd June, 2017

Credit: Adobe

I don’t know about you, but traditional summer fragrances bore the living daylights out of me. Summer is bad enough without having to deal with subpar fragrances. If I’m going to be dealing with the hell of chafing thighs, make-up that won’t stay on my face for more than five minutes, and sand in every crack, then you had better believe I am at least going to be wearing something interesting in consolation.

Citrusy colognes and straight-up vetiver – yes, they provide a cooling function in summer, it’s true. Splashed on straight from the fridge, they make you feel fresh. But using cologne as a replacement for a shower is always going to be a poor second to actual running water. Plus, it’s vaguely insulting to perfume. If all we demand of perfume in the summer is that it makes us feel clean, aren’t we just reducing it to the status of soap? Something about that chafes, and for once it’s not just my sweaty inner thighs.

Another problem I have with summer colognes is their simplicity. Compared to the gouty complexity of winter perfumes, they are the Basic Bitches of the perfume world. Content to run through a few tried and tested tropes in an infinitive number of minute variations – orange, lemon, vetiver, white musk, and de-weaponized oakmoss – they reach the end of my rope in no time at all.

Are you with me? Then let this be our battle cry. Issue a bold manifesto to the sky Gods of perfume companies, beating your chest and crying out: I don’t particularly want to smell like a lemon. Or if I do want to smell like a lemon, let it at least be an interesting lemon and make it so it lasts more than 20 minutes on the skin. Close your eyes and whisper to yourself, “I am a strong, confident woman*. I deserve better in summer. Perfume deserves better in summer.”

*This is a Friends reference, so if you’re under 30, I may have lost you.

Without further ado, let me unveil the top 12 strategies for choosing perfumes that work brilliantly for hot summer weather but that won’t bore you to death.

About the author: Claire Vukcevic

Claire Vukcevic is an Irish freelance writer, contributor at Basenotes,, and author of the blog



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      • hednic | 19th June 2017 12:57

        Enjoyed very much reading this article and the suggestions.

      • Grant | 24th June 2017 13:26

        Comments were broken previously, but you should be able to comment on this article now should you wish :)

      • StellaDiverFlynn | 24th June 2017 13:41

        When it's 30°C+ hot outside, strangely I crave sweet spices and ripe white floral. I find them more pleasant than a few clean white musk under hot weather, kind of like fight fire with fire. :)

      • freewheelingvagabond | 24th June 2017 14:45

        What a fun article! I hate summers (well, hot summers). In particular, I can't stand the combination of heat and deathly brightness.

        Gin & Tonic sounds interesting, as do a few others that I haven't tried.

        I always thought Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is a great summery fruity-black tea fragrance, but unfortunately discontinued. Philtre Ceylan does have a very good black tea accord.

        Great idea for an article and excellent work as always - and I am sure this would be a nose opener for many including myself. :)

      • Ken_Russell | 24th June 2017 15:24

        My thanks Claire for posting.

        A very well documented article about numerous fascinating and great quality scent options worth considering.

      • scentwaves | 24th June 2017 16:09

        Oh my goodness what a fun ride that was! Thanks for the article, Claire! I love basking in the brilliance of your writing, and every single time I swear to not buy any more perfume here you come along making me want each and every one of them! Great work, my love x x

      • MrsDalloway | 24th June 2017 16:16

        Great article. I deplore temperatures above 25oC and 20oC is better. Agree with Whip and Osmanthe Yunnan in the heat, and I love Eau Noble too. Also love Cuir X and Cuir d'Ange, though more when it's a little cooler.

        Other good heat scents: original L'artisan Jour de Fête - the warmth makes it bloom and it's lovely if short-lived. Also Cristalle - my vintage bottle has lost some top notes but the rest is beautiful.

      • Starblind | 24th June 2017 17:20

        Claire is an absolute writing-treasure, and this is a fascinating and extensive look at some fragrances I have never heard of, but will now be sampling.

        Thank you, ClaireV!!

      • ClaireV (article author) | 24th June 2017 19:30

        Thank you very much, all of you, for your comments! I truly dislike summer, but it is only partly to do with paucity of fragrance choice - sand in the beds, a yawning stretch of 60 days with no school or creche, and the sight of bluebottle Irish skin on its annual exposure....all enough for a quiet swelling of desperation in one's breast.

      • IsoESuperman | 24th June 2017 19:37

        I just finished reading it - excellent article and great suggestions, Claire! I'm keen to try Supercell, partly because it sounds nice but mainly because I've been a weather nerd for a long time and love supercell storms...a close second to mesoscale convective complexes :)

        I noticed you wear Dark Horse quite a bit and had been meaning to ask you if you've tried Micallef's Gaiac. I bought a bottle over the winter and do like it, but have to be in the mood for it. Supposedly J. Dame created Gaiac and Dark Horse is said to be very close in scent and character.

        I also agree with the suggestion for Philtre Ceylan. It is my favorite release from the house and probably the best black tea accord I've smelled, although I'm not well versed in the genre. Still waiting for the prices to come down, as a career cheapskate.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 24th June 2017 20:00

        I will send you a sample of the Supercell, as well as a sample of Death & Decay if you like, when I send you your bottle! I've been following your lily quest, as you know, and I noticed you have yet to track D&D down. It's been recently discontinued, so I'd hurry if I were you! I grabbed the last bottle in Dublin, and they had already sold out of the solids.

        Everybody says that the Micallef Gaiac is almost identical to Dark Horse, but a sample I had from years ago has gone astray....I am very curious myself! The difference in cost is rather amazing, too. They'd have to be VERY different for me to shell out for the difference. Another career cheapskate here *raises hand* :-)

      • Ebenas | 25th June 2017 01:44

        Great article!

        I have to try some of these. I've spent years driving sales assistants round the bend asking for something 'flinty' or 'cool like stone', and had sort of come to the conclusion that what I was after was something that couldn't be evoked by a smell. I am a big fan of the cool silence of churches, or places like the marbles room in the British Museum - these places have a quiet coolness that did wonders for me in my partying days on mornings after and nowadays provide headspace and calm in all sorts of situations. I also used to long for cool wet earth to soothe away heat and bother. And I'm a major fan of thunderstorms, so Supercell sounds great!

        It's great to see a clear exposition of what i've been trying to describe for so long, and even better to know that there are perfumes which produce this effect!

        I also found myself enjoying spicy scents in summer - there is a sort of airiness that comes from L'Air du Désert or Piper Nigrum which is great in hot weather. And the ash nominees sound good too.

        Of course, these will all be tried in Summer '18 as I'm still working my way through the resident pile...

      • HouseOfPhlegethon | 25th June 2017 01:44

        Very good, informative read! Thank you!

        Now my test list is even longer...

      • purecaramel | 25th June 2017 02:18

        As always, a wonderful read. First days of hotness happening here. My big bottle of Chanel No.18 will get lot's of use this year.

      • | 25th June 2017 02:43

        When am I ever going to learn that when I see ClaireV's name on the byline, I might as well just whip out my credit card before I even start reading?

        Jeez, all those perfumes and I've only even sniffed eight of them. I need to pick up the pace.

      • techt | 25th June 2017 04:00

        Great article as usual!

      • furrypine | 25th June 2017 11:38

        Fils de Dieu (du Riz et des Agrumes) is my favourite from Etat Libre d'Orange. Quirky enough to be interesting but not so eccentric that you get tired of wearing it.

        That was a fantastically evocative description of Manoumalia! I think of it more as wearable art than just a fragrance, and therefore find few occasions to actually wear it. Wear it on the wrong day and it's like being trapped in a dank, rotting florist shop.

        One oriental that I find good for summer is Shalimar Light. The dollop of lime that they've added aerates the fragrance enough to make it a great summer scent.

      • Wild Gardener | 25th June 2017 21:19

        Me, I must be an old fashioned kind of guy, 'cos the only thing I can bear when enduring the inside of a packed commuter train where its going up into the forties is a misting of crisp lemony Bien Être Naturelle 70° eau de cologne. Cool and fresh and its largely gone by the time I get home; no musks or moss or anything like that. And its dirt cheap...

      • Cevenol | 26th June 2017 03:53

        What a fantastic piece!

        Thank you

      • ClaireV (article author) | 26th June 2017 10:39

        Thank you very much everyone for commenting!

        Ebenas, I would be happy to send you a sample of the Supercell if you just PM me your address. I know that you're currently wading through a mountain of samples, but sure one more won't make that much of a difference :-) The one thing I'd keep in mind is that perfume oils are rarely up to the construction standards of the commercial and niche perfume sectors, or at least that's been my experience. But these indie oils are really great at creating atmospheric, imagination-driven smells, and I find the whole exercise to be a lot of fun.

        Wild Gardener! I remember your lovely note to me before I went to France in early June, thanks so much. I didn't get up to Paris this time because of the Notre Dame incident (and thought it safer, because of the kids, not to go), but it was very hot and I remember thinking that if I would use a cooling cologne anywhere, then it would be here, in France. We traveled a lot through the Sologne region, and found myself thinking of buying either Tiare by Ormonde Jayne or Cologne Sologne by Parfums de Nicolai. I can imagine that, if confronted with a sweaty commuter train in 40 degree heat I would turn (and quite gladly) to a crisp cologne and the functional, cooling side of perfumery. Back home in cool and drizzling Ireland, that type of perfume just doesn't ring my bell. But I am seriously planning to make a permanent move to France sometime over the next 2-3 years, so who knows....I hear those Bien Etre colognes are excellent.

        Furrypine, in a fit of downsizing, I briefly put my Fils de Dieu up for sale.....but quickly took it back down again when I realized what a big idiot I am. It's perhaps not a masterpiece but it makes me smile, and what better reason to keep a perfume than that? I think of it as a sort of compromise in the direction of a fresh, limey EdC but with just enough creamy rice to keep my interest. Manoumalia is definitely a quixotic perfume, but never less than meaningful and soulful. I am surprised by the number of people who think it is discontinued or hard to get, because as far as I know, one can still buy it directly from the Les Nez website. I doubt I will ever run out of it, but still.....nice to know that it is there, just in case. Shalimar Light! I remember Mike Perez recommending that one to me when I first joined Basenotes. But by the time I got around to searching for a bottle, it had disappeared from the market altogether., I have to order in a few more sample vials, but I'd be happy to send you samples of anything on this list of which I own a bottle or decant!

      • | 26th June 2017 15:17

        Talk about burying the lede! Now THIS is news.

        You are such a peach. I'll re-scan the article for any irresistibles and PM you later. Merci!

      • Ebenas | 26th June 2017 20:43

        Thanks a million! I had of course forgotten all my good intentions and looked Supercell up only to find it was limited! Anyway, you inspired me to wear an oil today. My only gripe with the oils I have (a grand total of two) is that I cannot for the life of me work out how to dose them!

      • ClaireV (article author) | 26th June 2017 21:49

        Padded envelope all taped up and ready to go out to you tomorrow! Ha, yes, indie perfumers have really figured out that the word "limited" pushes a secret trap door open in our wallet, haven't they! The indie perfume oil sector has that particular piece of psychology down flat - even better than the niche sector. Half the oils they release are "special edition" or "annual specials" or "rare". It's all BS, of course, but boy, does it work.

        I test perfume oils and attars every day because I'm writing a book about them, and some of the really strong ones (like the Sultan Pasha attars, Rising Phoenix, Amouage, the pure ouds, etc.) I apply in a tiny swipe using a rubber paper clip. For any oil that has a super high content load of naturals, or pure oils like oud or sandalwood, I use that method. Indie perfume oils tend to be mixed media, so a mix of synthetics and naturals in a carrier oil, and can be applied more generously - I'd tip the sample vial against the pad of my fingertip (making sure that the vial opening never leaves my skin until I tip the vial upright again) and then dab the spot of oil left onto the base of my thumb on the other hand. Small quantities of oil used that way, but if you find it quiet after a few minutes, apply one more dab to the same spot.*

        *Edited to add: I test oils on the base of my thumb, but obviously, being a normal person, you'd probably dab your wrists or something! I don't know if I'll ever go back to applying perfume on my wrists, I am so used to applying it to the backs of my hands and base of thumb. I never wear anything on my neck now, either. That is weird, isn't it! Sorry....

      • cazaubon | 26th June 2017 23:56

        Great article, I own several of those and have been particularly enjoying Le Parfum de Thérèse this summer.

      • mr. reasonable | 27th June 2017 07:15

        Great article, Claire - really enjoyed it and a few there I would love to check out.

        FWIW - I'll throw in a few personal faves, given the long hot summers we enjoy here in HK (and Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and the rest of my stamping ground!).

        Noir Epices (Frederic Malle).

        At its heart there is a solid geranium (?) floral thing that just keeps on keeping on but the star of the show is the cloves. I remember wearing this on a ferry ride to Macau and standing amongst a throng of gamblers at immigration waiting to rush off to the casinos and I just felt totally insulated, unperturbed by the heat, noise and crowd. It's mosquito repellant for humans :)

        Yohji Homme.

        The re-issue is superb and this one is perfect for city life. It IS a fougere (of sorts) but the liquorice / anise thing with the cool lavender undertow provides a crisp white shirt no matter how much you might feel you're melting in the humidity.

        Tiffany for Men & New York (Nicolai).

        Both are, essentially, chyprientals - but the mossy grounding inherent in both provides a wonderful, 'grown up' cooling vibe. Sorta counter-intuitive but they both work wonderfully.

        Granville (Dior) & Fou d'Absinthe (L'Artisan)

        Piney garrigue that takes you to a hilltop on the coast with lotsa pines and gorse and green stuff . . . which Fou d'Absinthe also does beautifully. Granville feels like a house in France overlooking the Atlantic, Fou (for me) is West Coast of the South Island in NZ (where I spent a bit of tme in my youth).

        Opus II (Amouage), Idole (Lubin), Corso Como, Costes.

        All 'spicy' fougeres (kinda) with other nice stuff happening and incredibly uplifting yet calming - two of them by Olivia Giacobetti . . . one of my heroes :)

      • ClaireV (article author) | 27th June 2017 11:59

        Thank you, Cazaubon! I never regret putting Le Parfum de Therese on, ever - which isn't something I can say about every perfume I put on. It is special to me partly because a friend of mine sent me a decant of it from a bottle his husband had bought him to mark their marriage, and so it seemed to me to be a message of love. Reading the back story to how the perfume was created cements that impression, of course. The topper on the cake is the review by Offscenter, who said he would follow any woman who wore this to the ends of the earth. That kind of endorsement is, of course, irresistible to my imagination.

        Thank you, Mr. Reasonable! What can I say, I would recognize you by your perfume choices alone, and they are elegant choices for the elegant man that you are. You have influenced my own perfume choices over the years, especially in the case of L'Heure Bleue, which I now love (after a deep aversion to it) in the vintage EdC form after a shower. The leathery, crisp orange blossom and carnation in the EdC is responsible for unlocking my understanding of other perfumes such as Cuir Cannage, Cuir Mauresque, and the PG one, whose name I now forget. There is the same bitter, doughy iris note running through each of them. I don't know how I'd survive in the humidity and heat you have to deal with over there! I imagine you'd have no choice but to fight it with crisp, cooling aromatics and pine/licorice notes. I was a bit shocked to see Noir Epices on your summer list, but thinking about it, it makes sense - there is nothing sweet or ambery at all about it. A perfect summer spice oriental, therefore, and yes, I completely agree about the antiseptic, cleansing properties of its metallic clove/geranium. I think Luca Turin made reference to it having the power to clean up a petri dish.

      • IsoESuperman | 27th June 2017 12:48

        Thanks, Claire! I still owe you some Apoteker Tepe, PPCo. and friends, I haven't forgot :)

        Well I could drive 25 minutes to sample Death & Decay...but it would probably be easier to get it via transatlantic post from Ireland. At the very least, it would save this career cheapskate gas money :D Thanks for the heads up about the disco, maybe I should get my ass up there sooner than later. The lily quest just got a little bigger, cestrum was kind enough to send me some of the super hard-to-find (and I think disco'd?) Goutal Des Lys and a few others we haven't tried yet.

        Supercell sounds fun. I'm discovering there are a bunch of small indie places doing oils in the US (out west, especially), and a number seem to be outdoor-themed in one form or another. I've been meaning to dive into Juniper Ridge.

        BTW I read your comment about Gaiac as " sample has gone ashtray..." and thought that actually sounds like it might be nice!

      • Ebenas | 27th June 2017 23:46


        Took me a few minutes to realise you probably mean a straightened out paperclip!

        If by base of thumb you mean the part that's like a little hollow on the outside (side of wrist under thumb) you're not alone - that's my optimal spot as it cuts out the totally redundant swivel of the wrist needed to smell your own pulse points. If you mean the pad part, then you're on your own!

      • Cevenol | 28th June 2017 03:41

        Haha, glad you came to your senses, I couldn't believe it.

      • Bretto66 | 28th June 2017 08:42

        I cant help getting the feeling that I am reading 13 pages amounting to nothing more than "niche" snobbery.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 28th June 2017 10:22

        I know! I can only put it down to the ignorance of a beginner - I expected the beauty of L'Heure Bleue to come to me immediately, and when it didn't, I just gave up on it. I bought and sold probably the same bottle of LHB 4 times over before the vintage EDC clicked with me, and allowed me to understand the scent. I will eventually replace that review, though. I feel awful about it now.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 28th June 2017 10:36

        Yes, exactly there! I also swipe oil on the part of the back of my hand leading up to the pointing finger, because there is a smooth expanse of skin there between that and the thumb pad area. As for paperclips, yes, straightened out or else very difficult to get it into the vial, hah! I buy those rubber-covered paper clips because I don't want the metal of the regular ones reacting with whatever naturals are in the oils. Apologies everyone for the extreme nerdiness happening on this thread!

      • Bretto66 | 28th June 2017 23:14

        As they say in the classics "everyone is entitled to their opinion" and thankyou for welcoming me to Basenotes.

      • RHM | 29th June 2017 00:20

        Really enjoyed this perspective, made me think outside the proverbial box.

        Thanks, ClaireV

      • Cevenol | 29th June 2017 03:00

        Can't wait t read it ClaireV!

      • Scarce | 29th June 2017 13:29

        A fun and cheeky article. Good to know that there are others who share a disdain for aquatics and citrusy fragrances as required smells for summer.

        I did smile when I saw Zoologist recommended, "Ok, this will be a fun article."

        And it's nice to see that there is at least one other crazy person out there who thinks Black Pepper by Comme des Garcons or Liquorice Vetiver by SP Parfums or Oud Assam by Rania J are entirely summer appropriate.

      • joeribt | 29th June 2017 13:41

        Loved the article, thanks so much! To be honest, I'd love any article that praises L'air du desert marocain and Taklamakan... Can't wait to try Dryad and MEM (the ever kind Antonio would send a sample he said!).

      • lauermar | 30th June 2017 04:19

        Great suggestions in this article. l second Dune and Dark Horse! I had both and used them up very quickly. And speaking of violettes---I really miss L'Artisan Verte Violette.

      • joeribt | 30th June 2017 08:45

        ClaireV mentions two very interesting ouds, Mukhallat Dahn al Oudh Moattaq by Ajmal and Dehnal Oudh Kalimantan. I have contacted the houses but they don't ship to Europe. Would anyone know if these are available somewhere in Europe to buy or sample?

      • ClaireV (article author) | 30th June 2017 10:12

        Hi Joeribt, yeah, sourcing attars can be a real pain in the neck, especially if you're in Europe. The Ajmal one is expensive: the first sample I had was in a 80-attar sample pack that used to be sold by Sultan Pasha containing all the Amouage attars, ASAQ, Ajmal ones including this, etc. - maybe you can PM him or send an inquiry through his eBay store (Scents_rarity) to see will he sell you a sample of it. After my sample of the attar version was finished, I went to the souk section of and bought a 5ml decant of the EDP version, which is exactly the same scent but with alcohol (I personally prefer the oil). You can sometimes find Dahn al Oudh Moattaq for sale on eBay, and if you really love it and are willing to invest the 309 euros it costs for 18ml, you can order it from Neroli perfumery here:[curr]=EUR (Neroli is an excellent place, by the way, and they also sell samples, but not of this one because they have only one bottle in stock - I already asked!). Is it worth the money? In my opinion, yes, but keep in mind that I am answering hypothetically here because I have no intention of spending that much on a single bottle of attar.

        Dehnal Oudh Kalimantan is cheap on eBay - about 3 euros for a 1ml sample (which is all you'll need really). I got mine here:

      • ClaireV (article author) | 30th June 2017 10:17

        Thanks so much, Lauermar. Another thing I love about Dame Perfumery is how affordable everything is. If you are in the United States and want to sample something of his, you can send Jeffrey Dame a postcard bearing the name of your state and your return address, and he will mail you out a sample for free. He is also friendly, approachable, and doesn't price his perfumes at exorbitant prices. I was able to order Dark Horse as a rollerball of concentrated perfume oil and have it sent to Ireland for $35, including international shipping, which I think is a great deal. I'd love his Black Flower Mexican Vanilla too, and Osmanthus, but those I'd prefer to spray instead of dab, and unfortunately he can't send his EDPs out of CONUS.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 30th June 2017 10:20

        Yes, but then I suppose you and I are lucky (?) enough to live in regions of the world where temperatures rarely soar above a certain mark and allow us to wear what we want. It is currently 11 degrees Celsius here in Ireland, pouring rain, and so cold that I have two sweaters on. I am almost - almost - thinking about wearing Ambre Russe today....

      • ClaireV (article author) | 30th June 2017 10:22

        Thank you, RHM! High praise indeed. And I see that you are wearing the beautiful No. 18 today. I am just waiting for some heat to re-enter this rain-battered island before I wear that one again. Something about No. 18 in the cold does not seem right.

      • Scarce | 30th June 2017 14:08

        True. It's a balmy 15c here and raining. A good day for wood smoke.

      • Kaern | 30th June 2017 14:45

        'Niche snobbery '

        A tautology surely?

      • epapsiou | 30th June 2017 15:15

        Great read Claire. As usual.

        After reading I could not resist and had find my old Kannauj attars. Took a while as they had been relegated to the vile depths of my collection hell.

        The cap of Ruh Khus was stuck. had to use wrench to open it. It is very viscous.

        Rooty and wet earth.

        Mitti on the other hand is dry and dusty earth. Like Dune, it evokes memories of old forgotton city in a desert left to vagaries of sand and time.

        Had Shelley been a perfumer this would be his Ozymandias

      • joeribt | 30th June 2017 19:27

        ClaireV Many thanks for this extremely helpful information. eBay stuff ordered and now looking at the wonderful Hungarian niche site. Thank you for making me feel so welcome here!

      • sobejjj | 30th June 2017 23:13

        Brilliant article! Thank you for this ClaireV :-) I must have been some kind of cave-dweller in the previous life cause I dig the Bat and the geosmin. Any more recommendations on the wet cold cave/cellar scents?

      • danny1967 | 1st July 2017 10:17

        In the green, sappy, galbanum soaked chapter I would happily add Maison Martin Margiela Untitled EDP and Pierre's criminally overlooked Papyrus de Ciane. I'd also recommend that one must try the worthy, stand proudly on its own flanker, Diptyque L'eau du Trent Quatre under green, fresh, bitter floral, and I should have probably started with the floral for men masterpiece that is Givenchy Insensé. Perfect summer choices in my humble opinion.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 1st July 2017 23:26

        Epapsiou, what a beautiful and poetic way to describe the smell of mitti. It sounds to me like you were moved, despite yourself. But it must surely be the fact that these attars form part of your own cultural heritage.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 1st July 2017 23:35

        Thank you, sobejjj! I sometimes think that cashmeran has a putty-like, wet cement sort of smell to it, and I notice this element most strongly in Dans Tes Bras and Kerbside Violet, but since these are both kind of fresh, green violet scents, I am not so sure that it gets the cave thing down. Bat is really a great representation of a cave - something mushroomy and damp like Bruno Acampora's Iranzol could also give that damp, cave smell. Also consider Andrea Maack's Coven, Demeter's Dirt and Thunderstorm, and CB I Hate Perfume Black March for that wet black soil feel. Do try mitti, though!

      • ClaireV (article author) | 1st July 2017 23:37

        Wonderful choices, thanks for adding those to the discussion, Danny. Out of your selections, I am only familiar with the MMM and like that a lot. As you know, I'm not really into very green perfumes, but I will try to track down samples of the others to try on your recommendation :-)

      • Vmaster | 2nd July 2017 00:29

        Thank you for the wonderful, well written article Clair!

        I am not a big Summer guy myself, which is evident by the mostly darker scented fragrances in my wardrobe.

        I look forward to trying out your suggested fragrances, especially Bat.

      • Ebenas | 2nd July 2017 21:06

        Today I tried a Supercell sample kindly provided by Claire - Thanks again, Claire!

        It starts with a smell of grass - specifically the damp rolls of wet lawn grass recently cut on hot days where the weather has turned 'heavy'. It has exactly that feeling of grass and sun getting a little shaky and going slightly over the edge into thundery weather. Then comes a nose-tingling ozonic note. It reminds me of lying on the grass during Irish summers, a little sunburnt, waiting for the thunderstorm to clean everything up. It's oddly specific because of the grass - I lived in Madrid long ago where thunderstorms in early summer were a nightly event but this is not that feeling. It's a country or just maybe a coastal storm - not a city one -- and it's that peculiarly prickly afternoon heat you get in temperate zones.

        This one is definitely a summer scent (even for those of us who do like citrus!). The green note reminds me of Corsica Furiosa, which is also great on summer days.

        +1 for Granville too

      • ClaireV (article author) | 4th July 2017 20:56

        Thanks, Vmaster! You are a lover of attars yourself, I see!

        Ebenas, I can't tell you how pleased I am that you found Supercell to be atmospheric, but I think your description of it is far, far better than mine! Now that you mention the similarity between Corsica Furiosa and Supercell, I can see it, something of a frondy, green grassy smell like fennel and grass cuttings mixed together. Hope you have recovered from your summer bug.

      • Ebenas | 5th July 2017 15:55

        Getting there! I know what you mean about Corsica Furiosa - I was on a green hunt when I got it, but later I've been getting very fond of the fresh touch of sweetness which turns out to be lime and the florally bit in the later stages. I'm just so happy to see lime actually getting a look in rather than being overwhelmed by coconut or somesuch!

      • Vmaster | 5th July 2017 16:28

        Indeed I am! It is wonderful that you mentioned the Sultan Pasha attars, I am lucky enough to own two of his offerings.

      • pluran | 9th July 2017 20:55

        Must try a few of those. Thanks.

      • Juxtapozbliss | 12th July 2017 22:21


        This article was epic and beautifully written. Quite a lot of work you put into it. Wonderful!

        - David

      • ClaireV (article author) | 12th July 2017 22:26

        Thank you, David - your words are very much appreciated. And hi Pluran! Forgive me, I didn't see that you had left a comment until I saw David's comment just now. I switched off all my BN thread notifications early this year. It's always good to see you.

      • farang | 15th July 2017 16:31

        Excellent! Thank you, Claire. I need to try more of these, living in a summer climate all year.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 16th July 2017 23:01

        Thanks Farang! Not sure I could do even winter in your part of the on earth do you manage!

      • camorr | 17th July 2017 11:17

        Thank you for yet another great article Claire! Vetiver Blanc is really great in hot weather. Not something I'd normally expect from an attar. Will check out rest of your suggestions.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 21st July 2017 19:37

        Thank you, Camorr!

      • Egoiste77 | 26th July 2017 19:33

        Completely agree with you on Fils de Dieu (du Riz et des Agrumes) by Etat Libre d'Orange. I just bought it to wear this summer!

      • michailG | 20th April 2018 08:04

        Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Indeed loving citrus perfumes that have depth I have been having troubles finding any ... though most of your suggestions are rare to find and try and for rich perfume lovers. Any more affordable suggestions? Anyway, nice article!

      • ClaireV (article author) | 21st April 2018 13:03

        Thanks, MichailG! Although it's true that budget wasn't my first thought while writing the article, plenty of the perfumes on my list are affordable. I myself mostly buy travel sprays and minis of the fragrances I want to own. For example, Zoologist Bat is available in an 11ml travel spray for $35 here, Supercell costs $14, Fragonard's Santal Cardamom was $35 for 50ml, Dark Horse was $35 for a 10ml rollerball, the attars cost between $5 and $25 on eBay, and even a travel spray of the high end stuff like TF Orchid Soleil and Malle's Lys Mediterraneee can be bought for $38 (at Sephora) and $45 respectively. You might be interested in an article I recently wrote about building a fragrance wardrobe using only travel sizes and minis averaging out at $26 per perfume, here:

        Happy hunting! For a deep citrus scent, may I suggest Azemour les Orangers by Parfum d'Empire? It's not cheap, but you can maybe get a sample to see if you like it. It is a very dry, mossy orange, like a much deeper, dirtier Concentree d'Orange Vert.

      • teardrop | 21st April 2018 17:11

        Claire, that's a great article! l must say l agree; if l was starting a collection now, l would definitely stick with decants of the more expensive fragrances. Very often by the time l finish a decant, the "love affair" is over. And l love finishing bottles/decants, as it makes room for new loves! :)

      • ClaireV (article author) | 22nd April 2018 19:58

        Thanks, Teardrop! I made some excruciating mistakes early on, things like buying full bottles of stuff blind on the basis of reviews or on the presumption that I'd like it, even when I didn't know my own taste yet. It makes me cringe now, of course. But if someone had given me that advice when I was starting out, I'm not sure I would have listened because I am as stubborn as a mule. Now, I'm trying to limit it to LOTS of samples, and then, if I can find it, a mini or travel size of the perfume. Decants I'm still not hot on, because I ended up with far too much perfume I don't like that much that way too. But I have about 5-6 (10ml) decants of perfumes that I really treasure, namely ones that I can't find or afford easily, like Vega, Attrape-Coeur, and Iris 39, and some ones that I don't consider full bottle worthy but still like to have a few mls of, like Tonka Imperiale and so on.

        The pleasure of finishing a bottle or mini or decant is really something, isn't it. I've started keeping my empties or at least writing it down somewhere so that I can bask in my accomplishment. And yes, I feel pathetic for viewing that as a sort of "accomplishment".

      • mammakay | 24th April 2018 03:34

        Thank you, Claire! What a fun read! And lots to think about.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 24th April 2018 11:25

        Vmaster, thank you!

      • N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer | 24th April 2018 16:57

        Claire, I think if I was still searching for fragrances for the summer some of these could've made it into my collection. So far, I've only read through half of it, so far, a very satisfying and thorough article! Many thanks!

      • ClaireV (article author) | 25th April 2018 10:17

        Thanks, N.Cal, glad you enjoyed it. And may I say, it's a pleasure to see you back on Basenotes!

      • Diamondflame | 26th April 2018 11:04

        How the heck did I miss this fantastic piece from ClaireV?? Busy feeding the trolls in the forums would be my guess. Anyway, I too am sick of the fresh citrus/ Vetiver recommendations typically dished out for hot weather. Where I live it’s summer 24/7 ,365 days a year. I could certainly do with a fresh black tea scent, a refreshing gin & tonic that lasts or one of those Batman-approved geosmin recommendations.

        My heartiest congratulations again, Claire! How do I subscribe so I won’t miss any more of your articles?

      • Hazel5 | 26th April 2018 16:20

        Someone told me a while back I was in the "acquisition" phase and I purchased a bunch of full bottles. It must be evolution because now I'm down with small decants and samples. If I had unlimited resources I would absolutely enjoy the "I have this bottle in my collection" feeling, even if I sprayed it once or twice a decade. Or never. But I don't, so small amounts will do just fine. And I too feel accomplished when I finish a sample or decant! Lately I've been finishing a lot, because I've decided to be more liberal in the application. Go big (with tiny samples) or go home.....

      • mammakay | 27th April 2018 03:52

        Claire - We just noticed in today's news that you've just won a Jasmin Award for this article! Congratulations!

      • Ronish Baxter | 27th April 2018 13:22

        A Quiet Morning by Miller et Bertaux might be my choice of fragrance since it promises and end result that is smoky, rugged, and pleasantly soapy. I love such types of smells that are not too strong and not too mild.

      • michailG | 1st May 2018 09:33

        Congratulations on your award!

        Thank you for your suggestions. Keep up the good work!

      • ekoeko | 7th May 2018 15:28

        Very interesting article and options.

        I was just surprised Cuir Ottoman was considered a heavy option.. I own quite a few leathers (my favorite note) and live in hot humid subtropical climate, and Ottoman is smells the lightest and is nothing else but bright slightly powdery leather, at least on me. Mem is a complete "no" as it feels like heavy medieval armor.. So I'd suggest everybody to try first without the preconception, as your skin may play a nice joke :)

        Pohadka from Ys Uzac could also be a good option for green bright leather.

        Dover Street Market from Comme des Garcons is a great cool vetyver.

        Caballero from Hove feels super fresh and even though they list citruses, I personally do not detect much of them, on me it smells more vetyver-amyris-sandalwood and cooling.

        Marinis from Santa Eulalia smells like lazy vacation day by the Mediterranean sea, a gorgeous fresh scent that does not remind tanning creams, window cleaners or car shampoos, like most "fresh" do.

        Rose Anonyme from Atelier Cologne is probably the freshest smelling rose I've ever sniffed, smells like roses after a heavy rain.