The Coolest Summer Fragrances


Is your go-to fragrance feeling a bit heavy for the hotter months? Switch it up for something fresh and different. From Italian classics to modern British masterpieces, these elite summer scents will keep you cool through the warmer weather…


British perfume prodigy Tom Daxon only released Fuyu last year, so this is its first full summer season. Fresh, light, woody and fruity (fuyu is a variety of persimmon) it’s acquitting itself exceptionally well. Produced by a father and daughter in the French fragrance capital of Grasse, this eau de parfum is the culmination of their classical dedication to the best ingredients and Daxon’s determination to innovate.
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Remember the 90s? The Berlin Wall had come down, the dotcom bubble was expanding and life was good – no wonder everyone wants a piece of them right now. Launched in 1992, Creed’s Erolfa captures the carefree, upbeat spirit of the age. This fresh daytime eau de parfum opens with a hit of citrus that slowly gives way to sea-air saltiness and just enough woody spice notes to see through into a lazy al fresco evening.
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David Moltz (aka DS) is a self-taught perfumer who’s either a brilliant teacher or a brilliant pupil, possibly both. With crisp notes of just about every zesty fruit you can think of (blood orange, lemon, chinotto, green mandarin) his Italian Citrus takes you straight to the Mediterranean coast. You’ll want to stay all day as this one slowly reveals a musky edge. DS’s wife Kavi (aka Durga) is responsible for the handsome top-hatted bottle itself.
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This lightweight cologne is one of four to come out of fragrance house Jo Malone’s recent collaboration with Savile Row tailor Huntsman. As ever with Malone, the aim is to radiate two main ingredients in perfect harmony. Here, the cool spiciness of the pepper (and some supplementary cardamom) dovetails elegantly with the smoky birch and an accord of ink.
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When word got around in the Noughties that George Clooney was partial to Acqua Di Parma, this quintessentially Italian fragrance went global. The house’s original Colonia is versatile enough to be worn year round, but nothing says summer quite like its sunny yellow hat-box packaging. Inside, the scent is a complex classic. Fresh, citrus and woody, it was daringly light and modern when Cary Grant used to wear it, and endures to this day for a reason.
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Scents in Maison Margiela’s Replica line don’t just give you an event (as well as Sailing Day, look out for At The Barbers, Coffee Break and others). They give you a time and a place for that event. Sailing Day is pinpointed to the Greek island of Paros in 2001. The fragrance takes you right back there with an invigorating marine freshness that includes notes of red seaweed and salty ambergris.
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Earlier this year, Rōzu became luxury Aussie skincare brand Aesop’s fourth fragrance. It’s inspired by French modernist designer Charlotte Perriand, who habitually wore men’s colognes. Manly base notes of vetiver, patchouli and myrrh are all here in what is officially a unisex scent. On top, there’s citrus, wood and some complex florals that all speak to warmer months. Looking to experiment this season? This one’s thrillingly new and unusual.
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So many summer fragrances look to old Europe for inspiration. This one sets a course for the new world and takes you straight out to the West Coast. Travel-sized bottles come in a leather sleeve that speaks to mid-century Hollywood. What’s inside will lift the spirits with star anise, vetiver and some of that headline Cali citrus.
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This electric 90s throwback from Italian house Jusbox has a very specific source of inspiration: U2’s ground-breaking Zooropa stadium tour, which blurred fiction and reality, man and machine. For Micro Love, master perfumer Dominique Ropion blurs soaring ‘ozonic’ top notes with a cedarwood and amber bassline to create something coolly retro-futuristic. Zingy but not zesty, it attracts the right sort of attention.
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Eau de Minthé stands apart from the citrusy scents on this list. It belongs to the fougère (fern) family of fragrances. Fresh and woody, they are traditionally popular for male scents. Here, an aromatic freshness brings floral geranium notes to life – all underpinned by a suitably masculine patchouli. Diptyque’s modern twist is to put mint front and centre. And it really works.
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Laboratory Perfumes gives itself an even tighter brief than Jo Malone. Each of this exciting London house’s five scents spring from a single aroma. Maker Aaron Firth says Samphire started with a “lazy Sunday lunch in Hammersmith”. Rather than Zone 2, its fresh, zesty feel takes us straight to the British coast – perfect for this year’s staycation.
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For its newest scent, cool Swedish house Byredo takes an old-fashioned centrepiece – violet – and turns it into something masculine, modern and just a little bit seductive. Racy top notes of saffron and bergamot redefine the violet before relaxing into a leather accord. This is one that comes into its own as the sun goes down and its smoky, incense-y base hints at something exotic.

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The SLMAN Edit: Your Guide To A More Stylish Life.