Is there such a thing as a summer scent?

Jeffrey Hamilton/Photodisc/Getty Images

Are some perfumes seasonal?

Much like putting on a sweater during the winter and then shedding those heavy clothes for a sundress in summer, you can also think of perfume as a seasonal part of your beauty routine. Some accords work better in different types of climates, and it's best to adjust the amount of scent you wear based on the temperature outside.

Warm weather brings out the best in fragrances, and not just in perfumes. We're attuned to so many scents when the weather heats up. From flowers blooming to fruits ripening, we're bombarded by scents. With this in mind, it's a good idea to ease up on your perfume usage. Don't be afraid to wear a fragrance, but be more aware of its impact. Because the heat will intensify a scent, it's a good idea to go lighter on your application of perfume and choose a lighter scent. Citrus and floral accords are perfect for this time of year, because they're light, refreshing and blend well with other scents that occur naturally in the environment.

On the other hand, cold weather is great for perfumes from the amber accord. When it's cold outside, rich and spicy exotic scents almost give you the feeling of warmth. Lower temperatures can lessen the impact of a scent, so layering on various forms of a complex perfume make a better impression.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons, so as the weather gets cooler or warmer, your scent should also ramp up or tone down accordingly. Bring out floral notes during spring, and splash on warmer scents as summer turns into fall.

Whether you stick with one signature scent, or you choose your perfume based on your mood or the seasons, always be aware of how the fragrance interacts with your body chemistry and the temperature. Adjust it accordingly, and no matter what perfume you choose, you're bound to make a sweet impact.

Seasonal Specialists

Some manufacturers bring out perfumes only at certain times of year. Here are a few producers that focus on the seasons:

  • Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
  • Bond No. 9
  • BuckJohn Seasonal Fragrances
  • Calvin Klein
  • ESCADA
  • Four Seasons Fragrance
  • Jean Paul Gaultier
  • Victoria's Secret

Choosing a Perfume: Heavy or Light?

Sure, choosing a perfume can be a little tricky. Once you find a scent you like, you have to wade through all the forms it comes in. So what's the difference between perfume and parfum? Let's take a look:

  • Perfume. Think of this as the big time. This is the strongest scent available on the market, so it usually comes in tiny bottles and is very expensive. That's because hundreds of ingredients have gone into making this one blend of scent, and its high concentration makes it more valuable. Apply perfume to your pulse points.
  • Eau de parfum. This isn't as concentrated as perfume, but it's kind of like a perfume prep. Spray it all over your body before adding perfume, or wear it on its own. There's also eau de toilette -- this product is a little lighter than eau de parfum, and you can use it as a base before putting on perfume.
  • Cologne. Cologne is a light, refreshing fragrance that you can splash all over your body. Since it's so light, don't expect it to linger.
  • Body spray. Even lighter than cologne, spritz a body spray all over to add just a touch of fragrance.

Some people find a signature scent and prefer to stick with it. It's perfectly fine to wear one scent year-round, but you should be aware of how your perfume reacts with the season. If it's cooler, you'll want to layer it on in many forms so it's noticable. In warmer weather, you may want to back off on the perfume so that you're not competing with so many other scents. Some manufacturers even make variations of signature scents to match the season.

Lots More Information

Sources

  • Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association. "How do fragrances work?" (June 4, 2010) http://www.thefactsabout.co.uk/content.asp?menuid=26&submenuid=104&pageid=104&menuname=How+do+fragrances+work%3F&menu=sub
  • International Fragrance Association. "Why we use fragrances." (June 4, 2010) http://www.ifraorg.org/public/index_ps/parentid/1/childid/15/leafid/18