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10 Summer Perfumes That Will Instantly Take You on Holiday

10 Summer Perfumes That Will Instantly Take You on Holiday

best french summer perfumes

Here are the best summer perfumes that are sure to transport you to the Côte d’Azur or wherever your next vacation lies. Summer is one season requiring the biggest shift in our beauty stash, from skincare and makeup to fragrances.

Summertime is a wonderful opportunity to embrace fragrances and scents that remind us of our favorite outdoor pastimes —days at the beach, vacationing in an exotic destination, or even just a quiet evening walk around the French Riviera. Think sparkling citrus, coconut, marine, light, breezy floral notes that instantly lighten the mood.

To help you choose your signature summer scent, I’ve rounded up the ten best French perfumes that perfectly emulate the aromas of summer. From ocean scents that lead your mind straight to Mediterranean breezes to tropical scents that capture that feeling of a French Riviera vacation, these summer perfumes bring an air of holidays and faraway places.

best perfumes for summer

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1. Guerlain Pamplelune

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune is a unisex citrus fragrance inspired by the citrus Spanish gardens. I absolutely love this fragrance for summer! This perfume invites you to a sensory escape to the region of Andalusia in Spain, where the sunsets are orange, and the air is sweet. This scent features notes of bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, blackcurrant bud, petitgrain, vanilla, and patchouli.

2. Trudon Médie

Trudon Médie is one of my favorite perfumes for summer! This unisex citrus fragrance is a very fresh scent, perfectly suited for warm weather. A wonderful grapefruit supported by soft white florals. There is almost a hint of vetiver coming through during the dry down. Notes are mandarin, grapefruit, cypress, sambac jasmine, frankincense, and vetiver.

3. Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès is a floral fruity fragrance launched in 2005 and created by Jean-Claude Ellena. A stroll in the garden islands of the Nile at Assouan is the starting point for this olfactory voyage. Fragrance notes are green mango, lotus, incense, calamus, and sycamore wood. It’s definitely my signature scent for the summer season!

4. Guerlain Terracotta

Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum is one of my favorite perfumes for summer. Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, interpreted the legendary powder Terracotta as a fragrance, which he describes as “the allure of the sun in a bottle.” The composition opens with accords of bergamot, coconut, and tiare flower. Its heart includes white florals such as jasmine, ylang-ylang, and orange blossom, laid on the sultry base of musk and vanilla. C’est divin!

5. Diptyque Ilio

To celebrate summer, Diptyque releases each year (around June or July) —and, in a limited edition, a floral fruity fragrance named Ilio (in Greek, “ilio” evokes the sun). Fragrance notes are iris, prickly pear, bergamot, and jasmine. This fragrance is a tribute to the Mediterranean land bathed in light and fragrance. I absolutely love this fragrance as it reminds me of my vacations in Mykonos.

6. Caudalie Fleur de Vigne

Caudalie Fleur de Vigne is a fresh, unisex, citrus aromatic fragrance with grapefruit, mandarin, and cedar notes. According to the brand, its trail “interprets the elusive scent of the vine flower that blooms in the vines in June.” It was created by the master perfumer Anne Flipo. I really love this fresh scent for summer, as well as the cult-favorite Thé des Vignes.

7. L’Artisan Parfumeur Soleil de Provence

Soleil de Provence by L’Artisan Parfumeur is a floral fragrance created by Daphné Bugey. Inspired by the sun-soaked landscapes of Provence, this fragrance is a love letter to the mimosa flower, mingling with lemon and benzoin for a result exactly as you’d imagine the color yellow to smell. A solar, bright, joyous, and very refined fragrance, perfect to wear in the summer.

8. Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose

Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès is a unisex citrus aromatic fragrance created by the master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. I love this eau de cologne for summer, especially the liveliness and freshness of citrus fruits, which take on new life when infused with the rose.

9. Diptyque Philosykos

Diptyque Philosykos evokes the memory of a Greek summer under the fig trees. This Diptyque fragrance is a woody aromatic fragrance launched in 1996 and created by Olivia Giacobetti. Philosykos is an ode to the entire fig tree: the green freshness of the leaves, and the milky flavor of the figs, underpinned by the woody density of the tree. A very refreshing scent, perfect for summer.

10. Chanel Eau de Cologne

Chanel Eau de Cologne is a citrus, light, and solar fragrance that evokes a bouquet of wildflowers. Composed by Jacques Polge—Creator of Chanel Fragrance from 1978 to 2014—this interpretation reveals the lively freshness of mandarin and bergamot, with airy notes of neroli. This fragrance is absolutely delicate, fresh, and beautiful! It reminds me of the scent of summer afternoons.

Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best French perfumes for summer will help you choose your signature scent. If you have any questions, let me know in the comment below.

View Comments (8)
  • Great selections and I’ve tried the Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil (liked it) but I love Nuxe Prodigieux le perfum for the summer. Love your blogs, keep up the good work 🙂

  • Good afternoon Leonce, your bulletins are just a joy both visually and to read. So, thank you and please keep them coming! In regards, to the fragrances in this post, I have both of the hermes scents (Jardin sur …) and, much as I do love them, they don’t last on my skin. I was wondering if you might have some hints and tips that you know of and use to lengthen the life of the scent on one’s skin. Thank you for any advice you might have to share!

    • Bonjour Katherine, thank you very much for your comment. I’m glad to hear that you love both Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil and Un Jardin sur la Lagune perfumes! Both are Eau de toilette. An Eau de toilette is generally lighter and fresher but less lasting, as it contains less fragrance oil than an Eau de parfum.

      Also, a fragrance reacts to heat, so in order to make your perfume last longer, I’ll recommend applying your perfume to your pulse points: the nape of your neck, and insides of your elbows, wrists (or even the back of your knees). Finally, you can spray fragrance onto your hairbrush and brush it through your hair, or you can use a hair mist.

      Voilà! I hope this will help you 🙂
      Have a lovely day, xo

  • Bonjour! I am so excited to visit France this summer with my husband. I have been learning a little Parisian french in preparation. I HAVE ENJOYED YOUR ARTICLES ABOUT SUMMER FASHION AS I BEGIN TO PACK, IT HAS BEEN SO HELPFUL. THANK YOU FOR WRITING YOUR BLOG.

  • Bonjour Leonce – what a little discovery this blog/site is, done with flair and elegance. I am looking forward to trying some new summer fragrances, I would not have known about them until you described them here. I have already tried Hermes Un Jardine sur la Nil, this is one of my favourite summer scents – to me it is very green and lovely but agree it doesn’t last very long – I put a small amount in my hair and for me this helps it last! I have also tried the Dior portofino and enjoy that one a lot. Thank you for this blog, it is a gem.

    • Bonjour Grace, Thank you so very much for your comment!
      Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil is one my ultimate favorite fragrance! If you like this fragrance, I recommend Diptyque Ilio (a floral and fruity fragrance that will transport you to sunny Greece), Diptyque Philosykos (an aromatic green fragrance all about the fig), and all others Hermès Jardins (de Monsieur Li, Après la Mousson, Sur la Lagune, Sur le Toit, en Méditerranée).

  • I just recently bought the Chanel Les Eaux Paris-Venise eau de toilette for the summer and am loving it! I’d seen that new range in a different post you’d made, so tried it out last time I was at Nordstrom (I’m in California) – a difficult choice between Venise and Paris, it is a great new line, with options I think for all seasons.

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