Your Summer 2023 Fragrance Guide

By Adriana Ermter

Each year, on the first of June, we prescribe to a ritual that begins with tearing the paper page, that is the month of May, off the small calendar tacked to the side of our fridge. Next, we move our raincoat and boots to the back of the closet and swap our Marc Jacobs black cross-body purse for the cute canvas tote we picked up in Paris. Then, we carefully evaluate and select a handful (or two, three or seven…) of the summer season’s newest scents and start spritzing.

We can’t help ourselves; we love trying and applying the liquids swirling inside the latest batch of bottles to our wrists and decolletage and misting them through our hair. They transform how we smell and feel. But there’s more to it than that. Summer scents waft over us but once a year. They are meant to be enjoyed right now and for more reasons than our love affair with perfume.

Technically speaking, summer fragrances are specifically and purposefully crafted by chemists specializing in perfumery (known in beauty circles as the “noses”), to work with and accommodate the season’s heat once the sun starts shining, the humidity kicks in and temperatures soar. Their formulations ensure slower evaporation time on the skin for a longer lingering scent. They incorporate notes that can uphold their integrity, so that, for example, a bouquet of tuberose and jasmine notes will still smell heady and sweet three hours into the day as opposed to other blooms which may turn swampy and wilted. And last, but certainly not least, they complement the flurry of seasonal outdoor festivities that define summertime. Which explains why we (and maybe you, too) can never settle on just one parfum.

With so many festive and stylish moments ahead of us, we’ve curated seven seasonal scents to enhance our every summer event. After all, as the French fashion designer Christian Dior famously once said, “Perfume is a mark of female identity and the final touch of her style.” Keep reading to discover which scents suit your style and when and where to wear them.

Wear Carolina Herrera Good Girl Blush at a Wedding
($104 for 30 ml, $142 for 50 ml, $178 for 80 ml, available at and at

In our opinion, summer and weddings are practically synonymous, so it’s smart to have a suitable scent on hand. And because flowers say romance, Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl Blush is this season’s ideal and most glamorous bouquet for every glass-stomping, I-do saying occasion. A delicate reinterpretation of the Spanish brand’s iconic Good Girl fragrance, Blush is soft and dreamy with a romantic sensuality. A chypre floral (a perfumer’s definition of citrus-meets-woody fragrance with a backdrop of flowers), the eau opens with fresh and sweet citrus notes of bergamot and mandarin orange. Soft and pretty notes of peony, rose water and ylang ylang then waft in, adding a light amorous touch before being grounded in the warmth and intimacy of vanilla and tonka bean. The overall effect inspires emotion, heartfelt stirrings and the ultimate sentiment: love.

Wear Oscar de la Renta Bella Tropicale EDP at a Pool Party
($128.26 for 50 ml and $159.61 for 100 ml, available online at and at

What is it about tropical flowers, the ocean’s spray, sunny days and smell of coconuts that instantly soothes our body and mind, putting us into an instantly upbeat and relaxed mood? No wonder we gravitate towards Oscar de la Renta’s Bella Tropicale Eau de Parfum. Its solar splash of sunshine and refreshing burst of pineapple agua fresca instantly transport us to a very colourful paradise that keeps us both vivacious and cool while poolside. On first spritz, we dive into luminous and vibrant notes of pineapple and tropical ylang ylang blooms before roasted tonka bean, creamy sandalwood and breezy ocean-mist musk notes offer their cheerful and sunny presence. The overall effect is playful and fun and easy to reapply post swim.

Wear AllSaints Flora Mortis EDP at Pride
($108 for 100 ml, available at and at Shoppers Drug Mart)

More than just a parade filled with fanciful floats, glittering costumes, pumping music and rainbow-coloured décor, Pride is an entire month (June!) dedicated to LGBTQ+ celebratory events and programs, complete with cultural awareness, insight and acceptance. It’s when all people can come together in love, respect and friendship to support equality, inclusion and the right to be exactly who you are. Which explains why we’ll be spritzing AllSaint’s gender-fluid Flora Mortis Eau de Parfum. Simultaneously complex and harmonious, the woody floral eau mixes feminine orchid notes with masculine amberwood ones before creating a neutral balance courtesy of spicy black pepper and warm coumarin notes. The overall sensation is universal, the perfect juxtaposition that feels both light and right. A grounded, yet energetic calm that is so very suitable for 30 days of pride-filled fun.

Wear Elie Saab Elixir EDP at an evening barbeque
($134 for 50 ml, $165 for 100 ml, available at and at Hudson’s Bay)

Hazy, warm summer nights are super sexy, which is why Elie Saab’s Elixir Eau de Parfum is our new go-to for an evening barbeque with old friends and new acquaintances. Best described as an opus of femininity, this amber floral love potion is as sensual as it is magnetic. With top notes of sparkling Mandarin orange essence and delicate neroli blooms, Elixir has an uplifting start that sets a positive tone. Earthy and powdery iris notes soon mix in alongside a seductive love accord before being absorbed into a warm and enticing composition of amberwoods, myrrh and benzoin. All combined, the overall effect is mesmerizing. It’s also powerful enough to overcome the fumes from a smoky grill, while remaining smooth enough to capture a few hearts with its subtle sensuality and relaxed attitude.

Wear Guess Seductive Blue for Women EDT in the Outdoors
($75 for 30 ml, available online at

Embrace a walk in the concrete jungle, a hike in nature, a bike ride along the waterfront or even a tennis match beneath the sun with Guess’s invigorating fruity floral Seductive Blue for Women Eau de Toilette. Stimulating and fresh, the eau opens with crisp pear and tart bergamot notes to spark the senses, wetting our appetite for activities spent in the great outdoors. Next, a dew-covered garden of peony petals, blue freesia and rosewater waft forward providing a soft and sweet earthy vibe, before notes of plum, silky musk, amber and patchouli emphasize the fruity floral trail. The overall effect is like a journey to a haven of tranquility, complete with sun-kissed memories, wide open blue skies and everything Mother Nature has to offer.

Wear Nuxe Prodigieux Neroli le Parfum EDP at a Wine Tasting
($75 for 50 ml, available at Nuxe and Hudson’s Bay)

We know that our nose and our taste buds are connected. Its why we indulge in good foods and fine wines as much as we savour superb scents. So when wine tasting, we’ll be spritzing a dash of Nuxe’s Prodigieux Neroli le Parfum Eau de Parfum on our neck and old-school style behind our ears to let it’s aromatic and citrus blend waft forward. This way, we can happily breathe it in, yet it won’t interfere with each chardonnay, pinot grigio and rosé we’re sipping. Clean and delicate like a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, Prodigieux Neroli opens with the herbal, citrus and green notes of verbena, petitgrain and bergamot. Subtle and sweet orange blossoms then ease their way forward, intertwining with calming lavender before merging with intimate and airy musk to create a wondrous, almost elusive and oh-so very pretty scent.

Wear Zazen EDP at a Music Concert or Festival
($225 for 100 ml, available online at and at

When the groove is in our heart and we’re dancing the night away under the stars—all to the beat of a live band at a music concert or festival, we feel free. Mirroring this sentiment is Robert Piguet’s Zazen Eau de Parfum. A French legend in the world of fragrance, the house of Piguet has mix-mastered some of the most creative, artistic and ground-breaking elixirs since 1933, making it the perfect choice to wear while appreciating a little music. Fresh and tranquil, the unisex scent opens with tart apple, juicy mandarin and heady saffron. A smooth and silent explosion of green rice and sweet orange blossom soon come forward. They are then transported into a seductive mélange of intimate musk with warm tonka and amber notes. Captivating from its first spritz, Zazen evokes an inner contentment that never fails to leave a lasting impression—one that can be sprayed and played all day and night long.

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