The sun is strong and the weather is hot. People are gathering in cities and on the beaches. Time to smell good! In this article we’ll help you find the best summer perfume for you.
Let’s be honest. Summer time is the best time to smell good.
Sure, a good winter fragrance has its place. But we are most social during the summer time. This is the time you meet friends, go on holidays and create new friendships.
If you are looking for a fragrance specifically for the beach, you can read our big guide to beach perfumes – in this test we’ll be going through summer fragrances for all places and occasions.
Best Summer perfumes for women
To make this the best summer of your life – we will help you find the best summer perfume for you.
We have gone through the most popular scents, filtered out the bad ones – and reviewed and categorized the top fragrances.
Time to find your new favorite scent for the summer!
1. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia
Season: Spring, summer
Signatures: Fruity, sweet, white floral, lactonic
Keywords: Innocent, gorgeous, feminine, fragile
Gucci Flora is a collection of fragrances which are obviously floral. With this particular scent, the centre of the show is gardenia, and hence the name. There are four other scents in the collection.
The aim for this fragrance was to show off the beautiful and gorgeous side of femininity.
The flacon for this is tall and hexagonal, with a black cap and a black ribbon around the neck. It is a beautiful yet simple design.
The top notes here are pear and red berries, for a distinctively fruity opening. The middle is where the titular gardenia comes in, paired with the yellow floral note of frangipani. The base is patchouli alone, for some earth.
As expected from how the notes are organized, this starts off fruity, with the pear the more prominent of the two fruits. Giving it time to dry down, the flowers come in, particularly the gardenia. The patchouli is not dominant.
This is easily a very feminine fragrance, and true the intention of Gucci, it feels beautiful and gorgeous. We wouldn’t say this is a sexy scent as it seems more innocent than that. Regardless, it is amazing.
This is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple scent that will make them feel gorgeous. This is an amazing scent for the warmer months.
2. Burberry Her
Season: Spring, fall, summer
Signatures: Fruity, sweet, woody, musky
Keywords: Pretty, innocent, feminine, desirable
The flacon here doesn’t go for some kind of wild shape, yet it sticks out simply because of the offset cover. It goes for a very pale pink.
Burberry hopes to capture the youthful energy of London with this fragrance. Something brave and adventurous.
The top notes here are unapologetically gourmand and fruity throughout. There’s strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, sour cherry, black currant, and for a little bit of citrus, mandarin and lemon.
While red berries are a great way to have a juicy fruit flavor, notes like blackberry, sour cherry, and black currant add a bit of darkness to their flavor.
The middle notes are floral, made up of violet and jasmine. Then the base is a rawer slate, with musk, oakmoss, woody notes, and some others. Vanilla and amber are notable outliers there.
For a summer fragrance that will make you smell like a sweet fruit candy, Her is a great choice. It is perfect for the summer as it does not have that cloying sweetness that many perfumes fall for.
When it comes to performance, there is little more to desire. This projects confidently and longevity is amazing. You’ll easily get through a whole day out with this.
3. Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk
Signatures: Sweet, coconut, yellow floral, musky
Keywords: Unique, nostalgic, memorable, relaxing
The Replica series by Maison Martin Margiela is a series which aims to provide an imitation of the scent of a particular moment or memory that most people have.
Clearly, this one is going for the scent of a beach walk.
The top notes have some kick, thanks to the citrus elements of lemon and bergamot, paired with pink pepper. The middle is made up of coconut milk for that tropical energy, and ylang-ylang, and heliotrope.
The base uses musk, benzoin, and cedar.
If you could package the scent of the beach in a perfume bottle, it’d be this perfume bottle. This smells like a sea breeze, with that saltiness and drying into a creamier, tropical fragrance.
This is a great feminine scent for the summer, and it sets itself apart quite distinctly from those that rival it. This makes for a different take on summer fragrances, by smelling like something everyone loves during the season.
Unfortunately, the weak point of this is its performance. It is just decent with how long it lasts, and we would have loved if it went just a few hours more than four.
4. Juliette Has a Gun Vanilla Vibes
Signatures: Vanilla, salty, powdery, sweet
Keywords: Fun, casual, nostalgic, relaxing
Clearly an eye-catching name for a house, Vanilla Vibes by Juliette Has A Gun is a relatively new scent, having launched in 2019.
It is a unisex fragrance, coming in a flacon that moves in a gradient from blue at the top to a turquoise in the middle, and a tan color at the base. Come to think of it, we think the colors align with a beach, sea, and sky.
This isn’t too complex a fragrance. The top note is salt, which captures a beachy scent. The middle is vanilla absolute paired with orchid, for a comforting sweet scent.
The base uses tonka bean, sandalwood, musk, and benzoin. These add some balance to the overall fragrance.
This fragrance shares a similar vibe to Maison Margiela Beach Walk, which we just talked about above. It has to do with how they both capture that salty breeze from the sea and that smell of lotion.
This is a casual scent that will go down amazing in the summer. It is marketed unisex and it works well as that, though we do feel that it leans slightly towards the feminine side.
Projection is weak with this fragrance as it hugs close to the skin. The longevity is better yet not anywhere above average. It will last about five hours.
5. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc
Signatures: Coconut, white floral, sweet, amber
Keywords: Elegant, expensive, soothing, sophisticated
Soleil Blanc means white sun, like the kind of sun you envision seeing when lounging on white sands with clear waters all around. This is a tropical fragrance with a luxurious twist.
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc comes in a mostly white bottle, using gold accents for the space where the labelling is printed, and for the tie around the neck. It is a minimalist, modern, and classy look.
The price tag on this is no surprise, as it is the usual trend for Tom Ford scents. In this case, the fragrance smells equally expensive thanks to the balance in the notes.
Aromatic fragrances open the scent, with pistachio, bergamot, cardamom, and pink pepper playing their part. The middle is floral, with ylang-ylang, and the white floral notes from tuberose and jasmine joining.
The base has coconut, which is the most prominent note in the perfume, paired with amber, tonka, and benzoin.
This smells luxurious and expensive. It is not particularly unique, but it feels so well-blended. It is doing new things with relatively common notes.
The fragrance is calming, soothing, and summery. Performance is moderate, which is a shame for the price. But besides that, there’s little to regret.
6. Yves Rocher Monoi Eau des Vahines
Signatures: White floral, sweet, vanilla, coconut
Keywords: Simple, fun, casual, exotic
The bottle that Monoi Eau des Vahines comes in is relatively modest. The flower painted on the front, along with the beautifully toned and long brown cap, give hints to the possible tropical scent this might have.
The formula behind this is uncomplicated, with tiare being the prominent note, and providing a white floral strength to the entire fragrance.
There is also coconut, vanilla, and ylang-ylang in the mix here. This fragrance is a balance between florals and the creamy tropical scents of coconut and vanilla.
The nose behind this is the same one that gave us Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford. This, however, is lighter but also sweeter. Being much cheaper, it also lacks the quality that the other has.
However, for the price, this makes for a very good beach scent. It is a very sweet coconut flavor, so some people may not like it for that reason. It’s not the best option for a blind purchase. But those who like it will love it.
Its performance isn’t exceptional, but at about three to four hours for longevity, it should suffice for an afternoon out at the beach.
7. Intense Tiare Montale
Signatures: White floral, sweet, vanilla, coconut
Keywords: Familiar, comfortable, tropical, intense
Shiny like chrome, the bottle that Montale Intense Tiare comes in is quite a modern one. Paired with the pendant hanging from the next, this is a good-looking bottle.
We only get insight into the notes in the fragrance and not how they are divided in their perfume pyramid. Still, we see a lot of notes which are winners in summer fragrances.
The main note here, seen in the name of the scent, is tiare flower. Coconut and vanilla are also potent contributors, and ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine are also present. This is quite a floral fragrance.
On your first application of Intense Tiare, the tiare is clear. The white floral scent is prominent and sweet. It was teetering on the edge of being cloying, so many people might steer clear of it because of that.
If you’re really into sweet scents, you’ll find this one to be a treasure. The flowers in this, mixed with the vanilla, make for a sweet, though slightly generic scent. It is still an excellent flavor.
Longevity is very good, as this will last about 10 hours when on skin, and longer if you apply it to your clothes. Its sillage is also good, and it’ll be easy to smell about an arm’s length or more away.
8. Mancera Coco Vanille
Signatures: Vanilla, sweet, coconut, white floral
Keywords: Youthful, casual, cozy, modern
It might just be us, but there is something that seems masculine about the bottle for Coco Vanille, despite the fact it is a women’s perfume. We like how it looks anyway. It is a modern look.
Similar to Intense Tiare above, Coco Vanille was also developed by Pierre Montale. As you should be able to tell from the name, coconut and vanilla are the mainstays in this scent.
Coconut and white peach are the opening notes for this fragrance, coconut being more prominent. Tiare, ylang-ylang, and jasmine make up the floral middle notes.
Madagascar vanilla is also prominent at the base, with woody notes and white musk applying some balance to the perfume.
This is a perfect summer scent, with a creamy vanilla sitting on top of a coconut scent. There is the freshness of flowers lingering about, all coming together for a nice fragrance for a hot day.
Performance is exceptional with this scent, as is expected from Mancera perfumes. You should expect nothing less than six hours with this on your skin, and it should probably do much more than that.
9. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Blackberry
Season: Summer, spring
Signatures: Fruity, vanilla, citrus, sweet
Keywords: Delectable, youthful, elegant, feminine
We once said that the bottling for Comptoir Sud Pacifique fragrances look expensive, like what you’d expect from a high-priced luxury hotel or resort. We still stick to that assessment.
Vanille Blackberry opens up with bergamot and lemon, keeping the titular notes for later and letting citrus lead instead.
As the fragrance opens up, blackberry prominently appears, with some of that characteristic dark fruitiness to it, flanked by pink pepper and the floral notes of rose and jasmine.
It is in the base that vanilla also comes through, quite prominently. The sweet nature of the perfume is dialled back with cashmere wood and white musk also showing.
This is a delectable summer fragrance for a woman who is young or feels young. It is not inherently sexy, but it is dark and delicious and that brings elegance and sensuality with it.
This is a classy, uncomplicated fragrance, and it is hard to hate on it. This is a delicious choice which performs moderately.
10. Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto di Liguria
Season: Spring, summer
Signatures: Aromatic, citrus, fresh spicy, warm spicy
Keywords: Light, clean, foreign, unique
Owning this fragrance is fun, because saying the name with perfect Italian intonations sounds amazing. This is something of a newer fragrance, having launched in 2018.
A relative uncommon fruit, chinotto, as in the name of the perfume, is a bitter citrus fruit which finds itself essential in the making of amari, a type of liqueur.
This is the prominent note in the fragrance, joined by mandarin among the top notes. This gives the fragrance an overall citrus leaning.
In the middle, spices like rosemary and cardamom integrate with floral notes in geranium and jasmine. At the base, the earthy nature of patchouli joins with musk to counteract the lighter tones.
This is a unisex fragrance though we find it a bit more male-oriented, though we’re sure women could pull it off without much fuss at all.
It is fresh, with a pleasant citrus kick to it. The spices and flowers add the image of a homely garden to the profile of this perfume.
The longevity is about six hours, which is just about average. It doesn’t project powerfully, though this makes it a good choice for those who like lighter, less domineering perfumes.
11. Jo Malone Lavender & Coriander
Season: Summer, spring
Signatures: Aromatic, lavender, herbal, soft spicy
Keywords: Casual, light, safe, intimate
What to expect from a Jo Malone cologne is never a mystery. The names always give away the most prominent notes, and in this case, it is lavender and coriander.
This is a fragrance in its infancy, as it launched for the first time in 2020. However, we are fans of Jo Malone scents and their simple yet confident chemistry, so that didn’t mean much to us.
The top note here is sage, allowing for an aromatic and soft spicy opening, before the heart notes come in bearing lavender and coriander, the two prominent fragrances. Tonka bean is the sole note at the base.
This unisex cologne is fresh with a light spiciness to it, which makes it a great perfume for regular use. It works well for spring and summer.
Jo Malone fragrances work well for layering or for just intimate application seeing as they don’t have the most dominating presence. For people who aren’t into layering, this scent may be too poor-performing.
12. Lancome La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal Eau de Parfum
Season: Summer, spring
Signatures: Vanilla, coconut, sweet, citrus
Keywords: Intense, summery, feminine, delicious
The iridescence of the glass bottle of La Vie Est belle Soleil Cristal will literally draw your gaze towards it. It is a wonderful, clearly feminine look which is sealed by the rose pink ‘scarf’ around the neck of the bottle.
Fruits, flowers, and summer scent standards show up in this Lancome fragrance. Pink pepper, and the citrus elements of mandarin and bergamot give kick to the opening.
The middle is all flowers, with jasmine, orange blossom, iris and ylang-ylang. The base uses coconut and vanilla, a common pairing in summer scents for that lotion smell, and patchouli to earthen it.
The name is intimidating, but this is a lovely take on the beachy summer fragrance that many have come to know and love. There is a lot of sweetness to this, giving it the fragrance of a dessert mixed with that suntan lotion scent.
As much as we love the bottle, it feels a bit inappropriate for such a warm, tasty perfume. We expected something a bit more refreshing.
This lasts close to eight hours on the skin, and in terms of sillage, it performs well, more than an arm’s length away all around.
13. Marc Jacobs Daisy Love
Season: Spring, summer
Signatures: Fruity, musky, aromatic, floral
Keywords: Soft, girly, pretty, light
Marc Jacobs Daisy fragrances comes in fun bottles. The huge daisy that makes up part of the cap is a playful touch that we are huge fans of.
This is a flanker of the original Daisy fragrance that came out in 2007, over 10 years before this scent did. As a newer take, it is formulated to be suitable for a newer audience.
This scent utilizes cloudberry as the single top note. This is something of a rare fruit as it doesn’t have wild cultivation, so this may be one of the few times you see it used as a note in a perfume. If you’re curious, it is similar to the raspberry.
The single middle note is daisy, true to the name, and cashmere musk and driftwood make up the base.
This is one of the most summery scents that you will find. The cloudberry provides a light sweetness, with the daisy giving an equally light floral accent.
This is a weak performer, and you’ll almost definitely need to reapply after a couple of hours.
14. Ralph Lauren Romance Rosé
Season: Spring, summer
Signatures: Fruity, rose, floral, fresh
Keywords: Innocent, mature, feminine, unique
The name. The pink gradient to the flacon. We sense a summery yet intimate fragrance here, and going into it, we hoped we’d be right.
Romance Rosé brings an exotic fruity top, with litchi, red apple, bergamot and black currant, and settles into a middle full of flowers: may rose, rose, jasmine, and white violet.
Only at the base does the formula change, as is typical for many perfumes. Musk, patchouli, and benzoin provide a foundation to the fragrance.
As it opens, you feel the youthful energy from the sweet fruity tones. It is feminine and energetic, a very pretty flavor.
As it settles, the flowers come through, with some musk. This is the mature, more experienced part of the woman.
We like to think of it as a romance developing through its youth into maturity.
We want our romances to last long though, which this one doesn’t manage to imitate. Despite that, it is a unique, evolving fragrance.