From the beach to the pool, from barbecues to firework shows, summer is one of the most exciting times of year. The cold and gloom of winter is long gone, and there’s no end to the possibilities that the summertime holds. This season is one of the most exciting times of year for many reasons, with one of those being the ability to break out the best summer perfumes.
There’s a long list of scents we associate with the summer: sunscreen at the beach, steamy sidewalks after a thunderstorm, coconut in frozen drinks. Summer is one of the most carefree, easy-going times of the year, and your choice in perfume should reflect that. It’s time to embrace the fruits, florals and citruses that perfumes have to offer, and leave the heavier scents to the fall and winter.
Luckily, we’re here to set you up with the 25 best summer perfumes of 2020, so you have a scent to match any and every activity for the warmer months. From summer weddings to days at the lake, you’ll have a fun, carefree fragrance for everything!
Best Throwback Summer Perfumes
Best Nighttime Summer Perfumes
Best Overall Summer Perfumes
1. Eternity Summer by Calvin Klein
Price: $50.99 for 3.4oz
This warm and romantic perfume perfectly blends floral, citrus and musky accords for a sparkling fragrance that acts as the perfect accessory for your playful and bright summer wardrobe.
Top notes: African orange flower, bergamot, Japanese pear martini
Heart notes: Peony, hyacinth, gardenia
Base notes: Purple heliotrope, tonka bean, white musk
Best occasion: A romantic stroll through a winery followed by an intimate dinner.
2. Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent
Price: $65.68 for 3oz
This freshly floral and citrus perfume is light, refreshing and crisp enough to liven up a day at the office when you would rather be outside, but still intense enough that you will stand out in the crowd at any number of events.
Top notes: Almond blossom, cyclamen, clementine
Heart notes: Jasmine, peony, amaryllis
Base notes: Amber, benzoin, vanilla, white musk
Best occasion: Fri-yay rooftop happy hour with your work besties, followed by a night out on the town.
3. Acqua Di Gioia by Giorgio Armani
Price: $85.67 for 3.4oz
An undeniably feminine perfume that combines the best aspects of floral and fresh fragrances, this classic perfume is the definition of a light summer perfume that is practically begging to be paired with your favorite sundress.
Top notes: Lemon, mint
Heart notes: Jasmine, peony, pink peppercorn
Base notes: Sugary florals, forest woods
Best occasion: An all-day outdoor rosé wine tasting with a special someone, or your best friends.
4. Happy by Clinique
Price: $35.69 for 3.4oz
This lighthearted, bubbly perfume mixes fruity and floral accords to make for a truly sparkling fragrance, designed to help you dance your way through joyful days (or days where you need an extra pep in your step).
Top notes: Plum, bergamot, apple
Heart notes: Lily, rose, freesia, morning orchid
Base notes: Amber, musk
Best occasion: Any summer day (especially one spent at work) that needs an extra dash of excitement.
5. Armani Si
Price: $89.24 for 3.4oz
A modern take on a chypre perfume, this fan-favorite scent elegantly combines citrus, florals and musk to create a truly unique and feminine wearing experience, perfect to spritz on for any exciting evening activity.
Top notes: White cedar, Italian blackberries
Heart notes: Nectar, freesia, May rose, cassis
Base notes: Blond wood
Best occasion: A romantic evening spent with a charcuterie board, bottle of Bordeaux and view of the sunset.
Best New Summer Perfumes
New years and new seasons mean new collections of everything, from clothing to accessories to perfumes. Navigating between what’s new and what’s good can be tricky, so we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the five best new summertime perfumes for you to choose from.
6. Flowerbomb Midnight by Viktor & Rolf
Price: $135.99 for 3.4oz
This fragrance, released in early 2019, combines fruity, floral and musky accords that end up as a truly enticing, romantic perfume — equal parts delightfully feminine and dangerously intoxicating.
Top notes: Pomegranate, blackcurrant
Heart notes: Pink peony, jasmine
Base notes: Vanilla, white musk
Best occasion: A late night spent in the middle of the dance floor.
7. Idôle by Lancôme
Price: $109.64 for 2.5oz
Released in 2019, this unmistakably feminine fragrance mixes delicate florals, tart fruits and warm animalistic notes to create a truly unique, elegant experience, long-lasting enough to take you from days at the office to warm nights with your friends.
Top notes: Green pear, bergamot
Heart notes: Indian jasmine, Turkish rose, rose de mai
Base notes: Vanilla, musk
Best occasion: A late afternoon and evening spent relaxing on a blanket at an outdoor concert.
8. Gucci Bloom
Price: $92.81 for 3.3oz
Launched in 2017, this fragrance was created to unfold on the skin like its name suggests, creating a silky smooth, ultra-feminine experience for the wearer with a slightly powdery finish reminiscent of floral perfumes of the past.
Top notes: Rangoon creeper
Heart notes: Jasmine bud
Base notes: Natural tuberose
Best occasion: An elegant evening spent taking in a live performance.
9. Chloe Nomade
Price: $82.10 for 2.5oz
This warm wood and floral fragrance, released in 2018, invites the wearer to “embrace a spirit of adventurous femininity” with an intensely romantic and wearable scent that is suitable for any number of summertime adventures, day or night.
Top notes: Mirabelle plum
Heart notes: Freesia
Base notes: Warm oakmoss
Best occasion: A warm afternoon and evening spent snacking on cotton candy and riding the Ferris wheel at a local fair.
10. Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose
Price: $67.99 for 3.3oz
Inspired by Angelina Jolie and released in 2019, this fresh floral and citrus perfume was created as a tribute to the femininity of today, combining the best aspects of the original Mon Guerlain with a surprise twist of neroli and rose.
Top notes: Sambac jasmine
Heart notes: Carla lavender, Bulgarian rose
Base notes: Neroli, sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla
Best occasion: A weekend girls’ trip to a big city to celebrate each other and friendship.
Best Throwback Summer Perfumes
As exciting as new things can be, some are classics for a reason. The following five summertime fragrances define why you shouldn’t fix what’s not broken — they’re summer go-tos that could become your summertime signature.
11. Burberry Summer
Price: $50.99 for 3.4oz
Released in 2009, this bright, sparkling floral and fruity scent is counterbalanced by exotic, seductive musk, tailor-made to last all day and all night so you’re always surrounded by the best scents of the summer.
Top notes: Orange, red currant, grape, lychee
Heart notes: Red rose, jasmine blossom, cyclamen, freesia
Base notes: Sandalwood, cedar
Best occasion: A casual outdoor afternoon wedding that will last long into the nighttime.
12. Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills
Price: $19.98 for 3oz
This iconic fragrance, released in 1981, expertly blends sweet, fragrant florals with pure creaminess, creating a truly unforgettable fragrance that will pair perfectly with your favorite bathing suit.
Top notes: Apricot, peach, orange blossom, bergamot
Heart notes: Orchid, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, gardenia, tuberose
Base notes: Sandalwood, cedar, amber, chamomile, patchouli, oakmoss, vanilla, musk
Best occasion: A day spent poolside while trying to catch the attention of a special someone.
13. Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
Price: $131.74 for 3.4oz
Released in 2002 as the lighter, sweeter sister to the original perfume, this citrusy fragrance is remarkably feminine and light, with a long-lasting scent that will stay all day during your warm weather activities.
Top notes: Orange, bergamot, grapefruit
Heart notes: Jasmine, rose, lychee
Base notes: Patchouli, Bourbon vanilla, vetiver, white musk
Best occasion: A day of shopping and eating with your besties in the city.
14. Cool Water by Davidoff
Price: $20.70 for 3.4oz
Released in 1996, this floral aquatic fragrance combines fruity, ozonic, fresh and sweet main accords to create a truly unforgettable fragrance that will get you noticed, but won’t be overwhelming.
Top notes: Honeydew melon, pineapple, lemon, lily, blackcurrant, quince, lotus, calone
Heart notes: Water lily, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, honey, rose, hawthorne
Base notes: Musk, vetiver, blackberry, raspberry, sandalwood, violet root, vanilla, peach
Best occasion: A cruise and tropical vacation that calls for a special occasion scent.
Price: $22.13 for 2.5oz
Launched in 2005, this soft, feminine fragrance masterfully blends juicy, ripe fruits with breezy, fragrant flowers, ending with a perfume that is perfectly light, summery and fresh, perfect for any number of summertime adventures.
Top notes: Green apple, bergamot citrus, tangerine
Heart notes: Freesia, peony, muguet, magnolia, peach
Base notes: Cedarwood, oakmoss, amber
Best occasion: A hot morning spent wandering around a local farmer’s market for fresh produce and a freshly picked bouquet.
Best Daytime Summer Perfumes
There’s no end to the amount of daytime summer activities: carnivals, road trips, boat days, mini golf or days spent lounging by the air conditioning. For every activity, you should have a fragrance that excites you and matches your enthusiasm for the day ahead—which these five scents master.
16. Versace Versense
Price: $44.44 for 3.4oz
This exciting fragrance mixes green and floral accords with natural components to create a remarkably unique, unforgettable spray reminiscent of the beauty and lushness of the Mediterranean.
Top notes: Green mandarin, bergamot, fig zest
Heart notes: Sea lily, jasmine petals, cardamom
Base notes: Cedarwood, olive wood, sandalwood, musk
Best occasion: A Mediterranean vacation on the islands that calls for a special fragrance.
17. Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs
Price: $48.54 for 2.5oz
An expert blend of fruity, green, floral and powdery accords, this fragrance combines all the best aspects of summer perfumes into one bottle: lighthearted, fun and uplifting without being disruptive.
Top notes: Grapefruit, raspberry, pear, green notes
Heart notes: Jasmine, rose, violet, apple blossom, lychee
Base notes: Musk, Virginia cedar, plum
Best occasion: A beach getaway that needs a light, reliable perfume for everyday wear.
18. Downtown by Calvin Klein
Price: $24.27 for 3oz
This lighthearted, youthful fragrance combines zesty citruses, delicate florals and warm woods to create a scent that celebrates the best parts of summer: fun, spontaneity, warmth and happiness.
Top notes: Italian lemon
Heart notes: Gardenia, florals
Base notes: Cedar
Best occasion: A spontaneous summertime party for no reason other than celebrating life.
19. Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker
Price: $22.13 for 3.4oz
This feminine, sparkling fragrance that expertly blends fruity, woody and floral accords shows that subtlety can be best, as this provides a deliciously understated yet still sexy scent to the wearer.
Top notes: Nectarine, bergamot, rosewood, green lavender
Heart notes: Apple martini, white daffodil, orchid
Base notes: Cedar, amber, white musk, woods
Best occasion: Boozy, all-day brunch at a new hot spot with plenty of mimosas to go around.
20. Eclat D’arpege by Lanvin
Price: $29.98 for 3.4oz
This scent offers up floral, fresh, green, musky and fruity main accords to provide a perfume that is light and carefree enough for long summer days, but is reliable enough to become your new summertime favorite.
Top notes: Sicilian lemon, green lilac
Heart notes: Wisteria blossom, red peony, peach blossom
Base notes: Musk, amber, cedar
Best occasion: A rainy summer day spent exploring, from museums to historical sites to boutiques.
Best Nighttime Summer Perfumes
Just like the daytime, there’s no end to the amount of nighttime activities to look forward to during the summer. From happy hour to outdoor dinners, evening weddings to bonfires, there’s always a fragrance to match. Check out these five options to choose your new nighttime go-to.
21. Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden
Price: $14.27 for 3.4oz
This citrusy, green perfume shows that evening fragrances don’t need to be overpowering, with a light, refreshing, feminine spray that is reminiscent of warm breezes and sunshine no matter the time of year—but pairs best with the summertime.
Top notes: Lemon, orange peel, rhubarb
Heart notes: Jasmine, carnation, oakmoss
Base notes: Green tea, clove, celery seed
Best occasion: A warm, nostalgic evening spent watching old movies at the local drive-in.
22. Moschino Funny
Price: $32.84 for 3.4oz
An equal parts spicy, floral and citrusy perfume, this fragrance bottles what it means to be sugar and spice to create an uplifting, energizing scent, where one spray will prepare you for all the possibilities a summer night holds.
Top notes: Redcurrant, pink peppercorn, bitter orange
Heart notes: Green tea, jasmine, peony, violet
Base notes: Musk, cedar, amber, oakmoss
Best occasion: A late night out on the town with your besties to celebrate each other being young (or young at heart).
23. L’Instant by Guerlain
Price: $45.69 for 2.7oz
This summery but powerful fragrance combines fruity, citrus, floral and wood accords to make for a truly indulgent, feminine perfume that will become your new go-to for any warm weather evening activity.
Top notes: Red apple, mandarin, bergamot
Heart notes: Iris, jasmine, Chinese magnolia blossom
Base notes: Vanilla, amber, musk, white honey
Best occasion: A romantic candlelit dinner, followed by a picnic of dessert and wine under the stars.
24. Gucci (new)
Price: $59.97 for 2.5oz
This fragrance mixes fragrant floral, woody musk and juicy fruits to create a subtle while still complex perfume with a luxury feel that will feel easy to spritz on for a day at the office, night on the town or any other number of events.
Top notes: Haitian Tiare flower
Heart notes: Guava
Base notes: Honey, patchouli, musk
Best occasion: A garden party and barbecue under twinkling lights and the stars.
25. Cartier La Panthère
Price: $60.68 for 2.5oz
Perfect for any woman wanting to embrace the panther within, this uniquely feminine fruity and floral perfume was designed as a complement to the original Panthère released in 1986, with a long-lasting wearability that will make it a signature for the summertime.
Top notes: Strawberry, rhubarb, anise, bergamot, dried fruits
Heart notes: Rose, ylang-ylang, gardenia, orange blossom, pear
Base notes: Oakmoss, leather, patchouli, musk
Best occasion: A bonfire and s’mores on the beach after a long day spent in the sun and surf.