I love a good fragrance, especially if it brings back a happy memory, creates a memory, or inspires “what are you wearing?” comments. But what about when the hot and sweaty summer rolls around? Do we find citrus-y or lighter versions of scents we already love, or just stop spritzing altogether? After trolling for info online I still wasn’t sure where to start.
I already have a collection of fragrances that I love. I just want to know how and when to wear them since fragrances can get bigger and bolder in the heat. So, over breakfast for the new Atelier Cologne Citron d’Erable premiere (launching this July exclusively at Sephora Canada), I quizzed Sylvie Ganter, Founder and creator of Atelier Cologne on her summer-scent rules.
A true romantic when it comes to fragrance, Sylvie believes in making your own rules (hmm..). For her, fragrance is putting a moment in a bottle, meaning that there is no wrong time to wear it. “The creation process is having the right raw material to get that emotion or feeling come to life.” (FYI: All Atelier Cologne’s are made with natural, essential oils which allows the formula to be concentrated as a pure perfume). Essentially, she’s saying try to keep cool and enjoy where your fragrance takes you which means I don’t have to sacrifice any of my faves no matter how hot it gets. Yippee.
Sylvie’s Summer Scent Tips
1. Make your own rules
“We don’t believe in rules…if you like it you should wear it! That being said, there are definitely scents that may feel too heavy on you in hot, humid weather. But this is different for everyone…it really depends on the person and on the fragrance.” For example, at Atelier Cologne Ganter plays with raw materials that traditionally seem heavy such as vanilla, and finds a way to make them lighter. One of her tricks is adding citrus base notes like grapefruit, orange or bergamot. “We created our own recipe and turned something sticky and heavy into something light and transparent and wearable, no matter the season.” NOTE: Some scents like heady, spicy notes may become overwhelming in the heat at first spritz, but that doesn’t mean you have to relegate them to the back of the cupboard. Just save them for cool, summer evenings instead.
2. Fragrances should be gender neutral
“There is no reason why a man can’t wear a beautiful floral, which often times, is considered ‘feminine’. For example, we offer Rose Anonyme which features Turkish roses but has a base of exotic woods such as oud, papyrus, incense and patchouli…and men love it!”
Other pretty awesome gender-neutral scents are Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Toilette which combines black truffle with fresh bergamot and vanilla to create a sensual, opulent aroma. Also try Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne and Byredo Parfums Black Saffron Eau de Parfum.
3. Know what you’re spritzing
“Eau de cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum and pure perfume (all Atelier Colognes are in this category) refers to the concentration of essential oils to alcohol. Eau de cologne contains the lowest concentration which means you can wear more without feeling overwhelmed. But these will also fade the quickest no matter how much you apply (think 3-4 hours). Next is eau de toilette, then eau de parfum and the highest concentration is pure perfume. You only need to apply a little because it lasts the longest”
4. And know your colognes
“Cologne, eau de parfum—this is such a confusing aspect for most people. Cologne in olfactive terms simply means shear, transparent, fresh or citrusy…it’s a style. When you say ‘eau de cologne’, you are referring to the concentration of essential oil to alcohol. These types of scents generally appeal to men. Somewhere along the way, men’s fragrances were referred to as cologne. But to a true perfume fanatic, cologne is understood for its olfactive meaning. Eau de cologne is concentrated, at about 5%, Cologne Absolue is concentrated as a pure perfume, 15% or higher. But unlike most pure perfumes, a Cologne Absolue has the freshness, elegance and transparency of an eau de cologne and the lasting power of a pure perfume.” Translation? Experiment and mist on more of any cologne since it’s made to make a fresh impression.
5. Don’t be afraid to reapply
“Scents tend to amplify with heat that’s often found at pulse points such as the inside of the wrists and elbows, behind the knees and the décolleté. So if you want a prominent scent trail, this is where you apply. Also try spritzing all over…even on your clothes or tips of your hair…you’ll be reminded of your scent more often as you move throughout the day. As for reapplying, again this is a personal preference. If you like to smell your perfume all day long, you’ll want to refresh later in the day. We encourage it as perfume adds to your emotional state—sort of makes you dream!”
My Must-Have Fragrances
Eau De Toilette: In my opinion, Hermés makes some of the best fragrances out there. I especially love Hermessence, a collection of four scents (Amber Narguile, Rose Ikebana, Poivre Samarcande and Vetiver Tonka–which is not shown here because I gave it away to a co-worker) in convenient travel-size atomizers. I’m also a fan girl for Hermés Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, and Korres Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood.
Eau de Parfum: These are my headier scents that last longer than eau de toilettes. Faves (sadly, some of these bottles aren’t in stores anymore) include Stella Stella McCartney, Prada Amber by Prada, Gucci Eau de Parfum and Perles de Lalique by Lalique.Eau de Cologne and Cologne Absolute: My arsenol of Jo Malone eau de cologne faves in Pomegranate Noir and Lime Basil & Mandarin, and my one and only cologne absolute, Atelier Cologne Citron d’Erable, which encompasses notes of maple woods, maple syrup (for realz), pure balsam, cedar and lemon and mandarin for freshness. If you look closely, my atomizer is customized with my name, which you can also have engraved at any Sephora counter that sells Atelier Cologne.