THE DOG DAYS of August call for a lighter and fresher vibe for perfume. Forget the heavy musks and the ouds, and go for citrus, fruity-floral and body mists of perfume classics. You probably already know that when it comes to fragrance there are different levels of intensity. But, in case it slipped your mind, a brief review: Extrait de parfums have the highest concentration of perfume oils—between 15 and 30 percent. Eau de parfums have the next-highest concentration, between 15 and 20 percent. They last on the skin all day. Eau de toilettes have a lower concentration of perfume oils, usually 5 to 15 percent, and are made for lighter wear on the skin, not necessarily lasting until the end of the evening. Eau de colognes have a light concentration of perfume oils, usually 2 to 4 percent, great to spritz on and freshen up, but not lasting wear. With that in mind, we rounded up 10 scents we think are worth trying.
ABOVE, FROM FAR LEFT, ACQUA DI PARMA: I first discovered Acqua di Parma in Portofino and fell hard. Since then, the company has come up with many tweaks of the original colonia fragrance, infused with notes of bergamot, citrus, lemon, bitter orange, sweet orange, rosemary, sandalwood and vetiver. I’m still a fan of the classic, but this summer I’ve been spritzing with Essenza, which is a slightly more intense eau de cologne. It’s available at Sephora for $115 (1.7 ounces).
EAU DE SOLEIL BLANC: Tom Ford’s Eau de Soleil Blanc is a refreshing update of the original Soleil Blanc, which launched two years ago. With a list of notes including neroli, orange blossom, jasmine nectar and bergamot, it’s a holiday in a bottle. The eau de toilette is $125 for 1.7 ounces at Sephora.
CRISTALLE: Created in the 1970s, Cristalle was the last fragrance Mlle. Chanel herself had a hand in. A little innocent and a little naughty. Top notes of Sicilian mandarin and lemon, a soupçon of peach along with hyacinth and grass jasmine, are fresh and invigorating, like early spring days. But when it mingles with your own body oils on a hot day at the beach, it’s intoxicating. The eau de parfum spray is $100. Saks Fifth Avenue.
CHANEL No. 5: If you love Chanel No. 5 but are looking for something lighter to wear in warm weather, try this new aerosol body spray. Its effects are more fleeting than those of the perfume, but the overall effect says summer. $60 for 5 ounces at Sephora.
ABOVE FROM FAR LEFT, REPLICA MUSIC FESTIVAL: Maison Margiela’s Replica Memories Collection is a family of scents designed to evoke personal memories. Each bottle has a label (similar to that found on the designers’s clothing collection) with text describing the scent, its provenance and style. When I saw “Woodstock 1969” on the label, I couldn’t help but want a whiff. Notes of cannabis and incense will take you back to the that summer. Replica Music Festival, an eau de toilette, is $126 for 3.4 ounces at Sephora.
L’EAU de L’EAU: I’d keep Diptyque’s spicy, fresh L’Eau de L’Eau cologne in the fridge and spritz it on during hot, steamy days for cool, great-smelling relief. For 3.4 ounces, $98 at Nordstrom.
JUST LIKE HEAVEN: An unexpected floral-plus-citrusy scent from Tory Burch, who usually favors the former. Just Like Heaven is an extrait de parfum with rhubarb, mandarin, hyacinth and some vanilla. Because of its high concentration of oils, expect it to last from dawn to dusk. $108 for 1.7 ounces at Nordstrom.
JICKY: One of my best pals told me that when she lived in Paris, she had discovered Guerlain’s Jicky. Proust was said to have worn it, along with Brigitte Bardot, Colette and Empress Eugénie. “Summery, sophisticated, uncommon and very French,” was my friend’s assessment. It didn’t have the same transformative effect on me, but that’s the thing about fragrance—it smells different on everyone. One ounce of the eau de parfum is $350 at Neiman Marcus.