8 Perfumes That Smell Even Better In The Heat

Illustrated by by Sydney Hass.
We're near the end of summer, but we all know that heat and humidity don't disappear the moment our calendars read "fall solstice." For some, it's a blessing (More summer!). For others, it's a curse (More heat!). But the reality is, we have at least another month or so of sweating our butts off. So why not smell especially fantastic while doing it?

If you've ever dabbed on your favorite scent on a very hot day only to find it either disappeared immediately, or felt way too heavy, then you know that the final days of summer call for special scent selection. Here's why:

A perfume is made of “volatile raw materials,” says Frederic Malle, Perfume Publisher at Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Because of this, “some evaporate faster than others.” That is: Top notes disappear the fastest, the middle notes last a bit longer, and the base notes take around four hours to fade, he says. They're the “slow burners” of the bunch, Malle explains. “These are what makes perfume last,” he continues.

What exactly does that have to do with summer? Your scents are likely burning off faster, thanks to heat, making the middle and base notes of the scent you select of paramount importance. These base notes should also play well with heat and sweat (i.e., not heavy). What's more, the top notes should be fresh (to avoid a heavy feeling in the morning), so picking something that feels summery, but will still last, is key. Sound like chemistry class? Making a perfume isn't too far from that. Luckily, we've taken Malle's advice to heart and done a little shopping for you. Because honestly, it's too hot to think about all that right now.

Ahead, you'll find eight scents that all pack light-and-fresh opening notes, complex middle notes, and base notes that will smell substantial, but not heavy — which means they'll be just right when it starts warming up.
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Looking for something light and fresh — but still complex? This scent feels weightless and captures the essence of a Hawaiian paradise. From the top to the base notes, you're wrapped in exotic white flowers, while the lingering middle note of gardenia adds depth.

Kai Eau De Parfum, $76, available at Anthropologie.
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The smell of rain is probably one of the most difficult scents to capture. It’s something so ethereal and fresh. But when done right, it's perfection. Strawberry and clementine zest are the first couple of notes you’ll recognize, but as the day goes on, you’ll smell teakwood, tree moss, and orchid notes lingering on your skin.

Marc Jacobs Fragrances Splash: Rain, $62, available at Sephora.
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Green tea, Turkish delight, and lemon surround you when you first spray. A little goes a long way, because as the fragrance notes fade, the aroma of nag champa — a blend of amber and Indian sandalwood — begin to surface.

Gourmand EDP Fragrance in Ocean, $18, available at Anthropologie.
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Meant to take you to the Mediterranean with just a few breaths, this fragrance is solely composed of floral and citrus scents, like lily of the valley, gardenia, honeysuckle, and grapefruit. It’s fruity without being overbearing or smelling like something you wore in middle school, but alluring all at once.

Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle, $110, available at Sephora.
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With notes of gardenia and tea leaves, this fragrance smells like a freshly brewed cup of green tea. It’s sweet upon application, but fades to a soft, fresh aroma by the end of the day.

Pacifica Spray Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia, $22, available at Ulta Beauty.
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The basil top notes cannot be missed in this fragrance and it immediately smell like a botanical garden on your body — in a good way. As the scent melts throughout the day, the neroli surfaces and is as smooth and sultry as you'd want it to be when walking out of work and heading out to drinks.

Jo Malone London Basil & Neroli Cologne, $120, available at Nordstrom.
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The top notes of this scent are incredibly sweet — with green apple and pink berries — but quickly fade to a unique combination of peach, lilac, and amber. Middle notes include musk and sandalwood, which wonderfully balance the fruity opening.

Creed Aventus For Her, $405, available at Creed Boutique.
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Upon first spritz, you’re engulfed with puffs of mandarin and lemon. By the end of the day, you’ll begin to pick up on the muskier base notes that result in the perfect day-to-night fragrance.

Tocca Bianca, $68, available at Sephora.
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