ummer is the ideal time to experiment with scent. The season ushers in lots of new releases in fragrance that are perfectly in tune with the weather. As temperatures rise, light florals and aquatic scents are launched; in colder weather, more intense fragrances appear with stronger florals and notes of spice.
So, why is this? Partly it’s consumer demand. Women in generations gone by tended to have a signature scent for everyday use or special occasions, whereas these days we wear scent based on mood and own a number of fragrances. Among these scents, most women will have one or two absolute favourites. If you’re shopping for a new scent, start with these in mind but go and see if there is a new version for summer. When a scent has a seasonal offering, usually the essence of the original is maintained, but with some alterations made to the opening or finish of the fragrance to suit the time of year.
At the start of any fragrance are the top notes — these are light, airy and designed to attract you to the scent. They generally last just 10 minutes or so before revealing the middle, or ‘heart’ of the fragrance. These middle notes react with your skin’s chemistry — and this point is when you will either love or loathe the scent! The finish, or base notes, of the fragrance are the lingering scent left on the skin; these are commonly woods or spices. In a summer fragrances, the top notes might be more zesty with citrus elements, or lifted by a new floral note, but the heart may stay much the same for fans of the original scent. Heavier woods might have a less obvious presence in the base notes of summer scents.
There are good reasons for choosing the lighter summer version of a perfume. Wearers can enjoy their favourite scent without being invasive to others — higher body temperatures project fragrance more, especially in stronger formulations like eau de parfum, which can last four hours on the skin. When winter rolls around, our lack of body heat limits the throw of spicier scents so they remain within our own personal space. Summer fragrances are usually released as eau de toilettes that last just an hour or two on the skin: long enough for you to enjoy them, but short enough not to annoy anyone around you!