During the summer months, a fresh and delicate scent is one of the easiest ways to lift one’s spirits and be transported to another dimension. In Singapore (read: 365 days of summer) and at a time when travel remains restricted, they can become a true indulgence.
Ahead, we discover nine new fragrances that are like joie de vivre in a bottle.
This trio features some of the lightest and most luminous fragrances from the storied French luxury jeweller, each composed as an ode to the smells that water picks up as it courses through a river.
Allegresse is a cheerful bouquet of tuberose, bergamot and blackcurrant; Insouciance – a languorous blend of creamy iris and violet; and in Luxuriance, a lush verdancy of ferns, rosemary and geranium.
The latest creation from Dior’s high-end range of perfumes is a Mediterranean treat inspired by the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. The iconic resort on the French Riviera led house perfumer Francois Demachy to compose this scent as a triptych of scenes as if arriving at the hotel to vacation by boat.
To open: salty marine notes that hit one like sea spray. Hints of coconut and jasmine follow to evoke the summer heat while herbaceous green notes of mastic, pine and labdanum bring to mind lazing languidly in the shade.
An uplifting and playful new perfume by the British heritage house that used to make perfumes for royalty, it’s actually based on Racquets Formula – a discontinued scent from 1989 that had the classic barbershop profile of men’s cologne.
The present-day Racquets is much zestier with a strong and invigorating lemon essence, and elegant wood and leather notes that bring to mind British clubhouses and crisp tennis whites.
(Read also “Unisex Fragrances You Can Share With Your Boyfriend“)
The British pastime of making fruit jams inspired this charming five-piece collection from the London-based perfumer. Celine Roux – the brand’s global head of fragrance – worked with master perfumers Marie Salamagne and Nicolas Bonneville to capture the fidelity of raw ingredients such as rhubarb, orange peel and elderflower.
Throw in a collaboration with a Scottish supplier of natural food flavourings, which saw them parlay food industry techniques to perfumery, and the results smell exactly like how they’re described: Tangy Rhubarb, Rose Blush, Elderflower Cordial, Blackberry & Bay, and Orange Peel. In classic Jo Malone fashion, they’re also great when layered.
This scent by the cult Swedish label possesses a quality of expansiveness that sends the mind travelling.
The opening notes of pomelo and black pepper conjure crisp morning air before settling into a rich smokiness of vetiver and palo santo.
This combination of smoke and citrus has a coolness and mystery to it that makes one feel as if one’s standing in the clearing of a very still, boundless (and perhaps Nordic) forest.
Paris-Edimbourg is the fifth and latest addition to Chanel’s Les Eaux collection of fresh, locale-inspired scents. The idea, according to house perfumer Olivier Polge, is the way “gripping and icy” juniper berries and peaty woods recall the Scottish countryside where Gabrielle Chanel once had a romantic affair with the Duke of Westminster.
Although it’s got enveloping lavender and vetiver notes that feel like a warm hug of a man’s tweed jacket, this scent is composed so lightly and effervescently that it works beautifully as a smoky scent for warmer days.
When the original eau de cologne was invented in the 1700s, it was nicknamed “miracle water” because it broke from a tradition of heavy, ornamental perfumes. That same spirit inspired this evolution of the brand’s water-inspired Aqua line of fragrances, now formulated to last longer and with notes that bring to mind sunlight.
Bergamot and white flowers such as mock orange and sweet pea commingle in Aqua Universalis (the one in the silver bottle) to embody radiance; the blend of musky sandalwood and sprightly mandarin in the gold-bottled Aqua Vitae is meant to conjure a balmy, sun-soaked mid-day; while Aqua Celestia contains notes of juicy blackcurrant and mimosas to evoke the cool, crystal-clear light of dawn.
So legendary a perfumer is Lutens that even the simplest of his creations is worth paying attention to.
This latest scent is straightforwardly about white florals and, in its composition, resists the typical opening-heart-and-base-notes structure. Instead, what you get is an achingly tender and romantic blend of frangipani blossoms, creamy almonds and downy ylang-ylang – indolic notes that reveal themselves in sensuous waves as you wear it through the day.
The eau de toilette edition of Libre – introduced two years ago – offers a simple proposition: Take a sexy and feminine perfume perfect for a night out and give it a fresh daytime twist.
That’s what master perfumers Anne Flipo and Carlos Benaim did, remastering it by introducing a light and delicate accord of white tea and luminous bergamot and stripping away the heavier wood notes from the base.
The result: The original scent’s key notes of lavender and orange blossom now feel much lighter and flirtier.
This article was first published in Female.