It’s mid-summer and getting from one air-conditioned building to another without stepping outside has become my own personal parkour. When I do venture out to confront that shimmering wall of heat, the best protection is an eau de cologne force-field to repel all that humidity and airborne grime. (I swear humidity is a delivery system for pollution.)
Fragrances starring clean citrus notes of lemon, grapefruit, neroli (bitter orange flower), or bergamot (an herbal, orange-y grapefruit scent) work best. And if you are not Team Citrus because you think it smells like floor cleaner or bathroom ‘poo masker’ (as London Times columnist India Knight puts it) just look for eaux de cologne with added floral or woody notes.
givenchy eau de givenchy
With a fizzy quartet of citrus – bergamot, lemon, orange and mandarin – surrounded by the green surprise of bitter almond, 2018's Givenchy Eau de Givenchy is as bright as freshly laundered linens. Added hedione (a synthetic reproduction of jasmine oil which is included in men’s fragrances because it allegedly drives women wild) adds warmth along with neroli for that languorous feeling of lounging on a transat (did you know that’s French for deck chair?) whether you’re on holiday or not.
Just look at Hubert de Givenchy with his dear friend and muse Audrey Hepburn. Can’t you picture him presenting her with this beautiful bottle of Eau de Givenchy when she’d visit him at his villa, Le Clos Fiorentina in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat?
chanel nº 5 l'eau all-over spray
Even if Chanel Nº5 L'Eau All-Over Spray smelled awful, I would bossily insist that you buy it for the packaging alone so you could gaze on its loveliness daily. But it’s fantastic.
Inspired by Nº 5 L’Eau – this one has less alcohol – this mix of lemon, orange, mandarin and green notes wrapped around legendary Chanel jasmine and rose should be sprayed liberally (think: teenage-boy-dousing-himself–in-Axe liberally) whenever you need protection against the world’s harsh realities. The glamour of having this with you at all times for emergency spraying will improve your life immeasurably.
Chanel No 5 L’Eau All-Over Spray, 150 ml, $75 CAD at thebay.com (non-affiliate link) and $60 USD at sephora.com.
gucci bloom acqua di fiori
Playing off the tuberose-rich swoon of white flowers from the original Gucci Bloom, new Acqua di Fiori is a riot of fresh cassis buds and green galbanum layered over that crazy overdose of white flowers. It will make you smell as if you snuck out of a boring party with your true love (or someone new – no judging here) to go make out furiously in a sodden garden after a heavy rain.
atelier colognes iris rebelle
Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle is a stealth summer fragrance. Sure, it opens with opens with hot weather favourites bergamot and orange, but its rose, lavender and iris heart (iris smells like violet) with woods and even some patchouli rumbling around quietly at the bottom makes it so much more. Iris Rebelle will help you maintain the illusion that you’re confident and perfectly put together, even when the heat is making you feel wrung out and wilted.
dolce & gabbanna light blue italian zest
Light Blue fans are a viciously devoted bunch, so D&G’s Light Blue flankers don’t deviate too much from the original, just amplify certain notes. Italian Zest keeps the quixotic signature Light Blue granny smith and cedar mix, but expands it with a eye-opening blast of fresh lemons that lingers while the familiar Light Blue signature scent blooms on your skin.
calvin klein eternity air
An all-white beach house overlooking an empty expanse of beach would smell like Eternity Air: ozonic notes for the endless blue sky, a fizzy pop of grapefruit for the scent of sunshine, and underneath it all, warm musk smelling like sun-warmed skin, all wrapped in peony and lily of the valley, because if you owned this house, you would obviously have only fresh, white flowers all the time, right?
7 virtues vetiver elemi
A Sephora exclusive from the Canadian brand that sources essential oils from countries in urgent need of fair trade, Vetiver Elemi is from their new Peace Perfume collection. The fragrance blends resinous vetiver from Haiti, (devastated in the 2010 earthquake) with grassy elemi for freshness, and geranium with its bright rose-ishness, creating something bright and summery that’s also earthy, but not too earthy.
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Now you: What scent's getting you through the heat right now? Have you tried any of these? Anything here pique your interest?