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GEMs of Beauty: Summer Fragrances

perfume bottle on the table

GEMs of Beauty:
Summer Fragrances

Scent junkies, unite. There is nothing more intoxicating for those of us who’re consumed by the deliciousness of fragrances than discovering a new perfume that perfectly suits our mood and sensibilities. Of course my mood changes about every five minutes, which gives me an ideal excuse to try out a new scent wardrobe that is strong enough to stand up to sultry weather.

I’m all for signature scents, of course—especially if you find one that you love (and especially if you love it as much as I love La Perla)—but try not to get stuck in a scent rut and don’t think that you need to wear one of those classics just because everyone else says they’re fab. These glorious fragrances will transport you when the air in the subway or your office is wilted as a day-old bouquet.

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1. Terveer Green


This is the greenest of all the green fragrances I have ever smelled, and I am completely addicted to this incredible roll-on fragrance in a sleek black container. Inspired by the farmland in Southern Minnesota where Terveer noses Annie and Therese Gibbons’ mother grew up, this perfume has top and middle notes of fresh green ivy and crushed fig leaves mixed with sweet pink pepper and wet oak moss. It’s like walking through a just-mowed lawn. I know I’ll be rubbing this on in the middle of winter too, to make me dream of languid days that are a distant memory.

Buy it for $185 at

2. Caudalié Divine


The bestselling French cosmetic company Caudalié has another winner with their new Divine Eau de Parfum. With a blend of rose with grapefruit, spicy pink peppercorn, vanilla, cedar, and musk, it smells as delicious as a field of blooming flowers, cut with a woody base that makes it unmistakably sexy rather than sweet.

Buy it for $64 at Caudalié.com

3. Tocca Simone


The essence of summer in a bottle, Simone makes you feel as if you’re sitting on a beach, eating a bowl of tropical fruit, with a glorious blossom tucked behind your ear as the warm, salty air swirls around you. With a top of apple, watermelon, and lemon, a middle of frangipani, freesia, and ylang-ylang, and a bottom of woods and musk, Simone is subtle, soft, and as yummy as a lingering breeze.

Buy it for $68 at

4. Tova Signature Summer


I love Tova. I was lucky enough to have written a book with her and I am lucky to still know her, as she is one of the kindest, loveliest, and sweetest women I have ever met. And she is also a fragrance genius—her delectably musky Tova Signature perfume was the first fragrance to become huge when she started selling it on QVC. Think about it—who buys perfume without sampling it first? Tova fans, that’s who. You can become one, too, with her Signature Summer, a floral/woody/musk scent with notes of bergamot, lime, grapefruit, jasmine, and lavender on a sandalwood and musky base. Ideal for keeping you from wilting in the summer heat, too, is the Body Mist and Body Lotion duo, as it’s lightweight and lighthearted.

Buy it for $48 at

5. Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance


The most “conventional” of all these fragrances on this list, Midnight Romance is an exhilarating floriental for those who like a hint of mystery in their floral bouquets. It melds top notes of raspberry, bergamot, and lychee with a middle of peony, sambac, and freesia, and a vanilla-drenched bottom. It’s ideal for those just venturing into perfume exploration.

Buy it for $94 at

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Tip: When you’re looking for a new scent, take it slow, as impulse purchases can be very disappointing. You must try it on your skin, as everyone reacts differently. One of my friend’s signature scent is Sisley’s Eau de Soie, and I love it like mad—but every time I’ve put it on, I don’t get that magical buzz (which is so disappointing!). Inhale the top note first, smell again in a minute or two for the middle, and then wait at least ten to twenty minutes for the bottom to blossom. A perfume you might have initially adored can turn into something altogether different over time.

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