Summer scents: Inscentives for summer – and beyond

Fragrances are magical, because it’s like they leave invisible imprints on our brains. One day you sniff a certain scent again and boom! Suddenly you recall vague, long-forgotten memories from the depths of your unconsciousness – it’s crazy!

So signature scents are a thing. People can and will remember you by how you smell, but you can actually take influence on that.

It’s tricky, though, because fragrances are also unpredictable. You absolutely have to try them on first to see if they match your own inherent body fragrance. Some fragrances smell awfully nice in the bottle and on person A, but then just plain awful on person B – you can never know. That’s why I personally would also never gift a fragrance, unless I knew exactly what the recipient wants.

Personally, I have never been very interested in the kind of fragrances you can find at most duty free shops. You know what I mean. Too nice. Too generic. That’s why in Berlin, I go to KaDeWe or Galeries Lafayette if I’m looking for a new perfume. The variety is great – they carry anything from Chanel to J.F. Schwarzlose and the legendary Molecule 01 by Escentric – and sales staff is also refreshingly helpful.

One time, for example, a friend of mine was looking for a perfume people could remember him by. He wanted to wear it every hour of every day until all his clothes, bed sheets, and rooms would be soaked in the scent. And it had to smell like Big Red chewing gums. You know, cinnamon! So we ventured out to KaDeWe together, and asked around. Eventually, the sales assistants led us in the right direction and as it turned out there is a fragrance that smells almost like pure cinnamon: Diptyque L’Eau de L’Eau.

Diptyque L'eau de l'eau
Diptyque L’eau de l’eau

Since the cinnamon scent is so prominent and is accompanied by green mandarin as well as ginger, it does smell a leeettle Christmas-y. A soapy, cinnamon-y Christmas. And yet, it is a timeless scent that works as nicely in the winter as it does in the summer, since the scent is not too heavy, not too light. My friend is currently on his second bottle.

So yeah, if you love cinnamon, which I do, this is an option. It’s unisex, and a very interesting scent, in any case.

I do prefer unisex and men’s over women’s fragrances normally too, by the way.

I once read that people take you more seriously if you smell stereotypically male. That sounds terribly unfair, but I guess that left an impression on me, and until this day, I sniff through men’s and unisex fragrances first before I try the women’s section.

But I’m also just not particularly attracted to sweet, flowery or citrusy scents in general. Which is what makes the next pick all the more interesting.

Kiehl's Nashi Blossom, Pink Grapefruit, Eau de Toilette
Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends: Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit EdT

Since when does Kiehl’s make Eau de Toilettes? And such unexpectedly unique, long lasting and fairly priced ones at that? Their Aromatic Blends are definitely not the run-off-the-mill sort of scents I would have expected from a mainstream brand such as Kiehl’s. So whenever they started, they’re doing a great job!

To kind of demonstrate my point about the ingenuity of their scents, Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends: Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit sounds awfully feminine in name, yet it’s actually M’s, my husband’s, not my summer scent of this year – although I absolutely love it too.

Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit smells very summery, fresh, and yes, “joyful”. It does lift my mood whenever I catch a whiff. And although it smells undeniably fruity and sweet, it is unisex – as are supposedly all of Kiehl’s fragrances. So if you’re looking for a great summer scent, Kiehl’s is worth checking out!

Interestingly, my own summer scent is significantly more masculine leaning than M’s, although I have no idea why that is.

The Different Company's Un parfum de Charmes & Feuilles
The Different Company’s Un parfum de Charmes & Feuilles

There’s marjoram, but also jasmine and patchouli. So what gives The Different Company’s Un Parfum de Charmes & Feuilles that sharp, cool edge? The peppermint? The sage?

Whatever it is, I love it. Fresh, a little wild, and out of the usual – just the way I like it. But I also have a serious gripe about it.

For an Eau de Parfum, this has close to no lasting power. If I didn’t love the scent so much, I wouldn’t even bother. The bottle is also so sturdy, it doesn’t lend itself to easy travel. So you should consider Charmes & Feuilles only if you do not mind re-applying once every while. Or you could coat your hair with it – which is what I do.

Our hair preserves fragrances and smells much longer than our skin. So if you want your fragrance to stay on longer, spritz it on the back of your head from afar. Now you will also always get a fresh whiff whenever you flip your hair, which is lovely too.

Since we are speaking of signature scents, do let me introduce you to my winter fragrance as well, though, Tom Ford’s Jasmin Rouge.

Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge
Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge

Jasmin Rouge is spicy, warm, and oriental, with jasmine, Ylang Ylang, and white pepper. It’s also definitely a splurge. Sigh.

Although I think all of Tom Ford’s Private Blends are meant to be unisex, Jasmin Rouge stands out as decidedly feminine. It might depend on the wearer, but on me, it’s mainly sweet and lovely. It’s definitely a cold weather scent for me. But not everyone differentiates between summer/winter fragrance. And that is legit because I think it’s more important the perfume matches the wearer, not the season. So in case anyone is interested in something less light-hearted, but then again not too heavy, Jasmin Rouge could be just what you need.

Now that we’ve explored my favorites, let me hear yours! What’s your signature summer scent and what function has perfume for you? Subtle accessorizing? Luxury investment? Something to underscore your personality or style with?

All collages by me.

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