You are my sunshine: why solar scents are soaring

What do we mean by calling a scent solar ? Although not an official fragrance family, it’s a word we’ve seen increasingly used to describe a whole range of recent launches.

Filled with sunshine, radiant and sparkling, we might once have called these fragrances ‘fresh-floral’ or, more prosaically, ‘citrus’. A new way of referencing scent taps into the zeitgeist, reflects how we’re feeling as a society and, therefore, how we want to project ourselves. In a world that for so long has seemed dark and scary, perhaps it’s only natural we’re being ever-more drawn to scents offering an olfactory ray of sunshine.

Actual solar flares are intense bursts of radiation emanating from the sun that can affect radio waves and send your Google Maps haywire. In a fragrance, yes ‘solar’ denotes a feeling of sunshine – but with it a physical feeling of being uplifted, of turning our faces toward the light source, a perfumed purr of warm cat contentedness.

Citrus notes are vital, but in this new genre they differ from Colognes because solar scents are more multi-layered: mellowed by breezy blossoms, dappled with cooler herbs or touched with a tingle of sheer spices and warm woods.

So, why is ‘solar’ trending? Quite simply, we need something that goes deeper than a quick, zesty pick-me-up; beyond merely feeling momentarily refreshed. As Louisa May Alcott puts it in Little Women, ‘Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.’ And quite frankly, with the state of the world at the moment, aren’t we all weary of shadows?

So, why not soak yourself in these solar scents, look towards the light, and let the sunshine in…?

 

Wear these solar scents for instant sunshine Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml eau de parfum
The KAPOW! of super-charged, fruity brightness  feels like clouds parting and ends with a hug of ‘your skin but better’ softness. Sophisticated freshness that keeps on going (and helps you hang on to hope).

 

 

Sunny solar scents for summer Floral Street Arizona Bloom 
Floral Street Arizona Bloom from £24 for 10ml eau de parfum
Capturing the heart-soaring feeling of freedom this wide-open vista evokes a desert oasis. Queen of the Night flower lush with Balinese coconut, grounded by woody oakmoss and salted musks.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte (2ml of all three new MFK eaux de parfum are in Eau So Fresh Discovery Box, £23
Sun-drenched mandarin mixes with a sunny floral accord and brings to mind the warmest, glowiest early afternoon light, underpinned by the sensuality of the fragrance.

  

ESTEE_LAUDER_BRONZE_GODDESS_AZUR.j
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Azur £44 for 50ml eau de toilette
Sicilian lemon, Italian bergamot and Calabrian mandarin are shot through with salty licks of luminescence – neroli and orange flower buoyed by shafts of sunlight, warming to blissfully body-warmed milkiness.

 


Shay & Blue Mermaid Kisses (2ml eau de toilette is part of The Scented Retreat Discovery Box, £23)
Think honeydew melon, holiday cocktails on the shoreline at sunset, looking out to an endless horizon. We’re dreaming of bare, bronzed shoulders kissed by the evening air, the excitement of tomorrow’s adventures.

By Suzy Nightingale

Fragrances for… a holiday in a bottle

Travel restrictions are lifting for some, but we’re still up for taking a holiday in a bottle at Perfume Society Towers. One of the most magical things about fragrance is its ability to transport us to far-flung climes, to give the feeling of sun-warmed limbs and that blissful mix of relaxation and excitement at exploring somewhere new. So if you can’t get away, get these…!

 

 

CALVIN KLEIN Eternity Summer
Another in the ever-evolving ‘solar floral’ fragrance trend we’ve previously noted, here gleaming bright sunlight glints through the zing of Italian bergamot and luminescent jasmine, while heat haze shimmers in the desert rose oil and tingling warmth of ginger. Echoing the sunset colours of the beautiful bottle, this ‘duality of summer days’ captures the watercolour-dipped radiance melting into evening, cool violet leaves, coconut water and vetiver whispering on still sun-warmed skin. Immediately evocative. £RRP TBC STOCKIST TBC

 

DIOR La Collection Privé Eden-Roc
We rather suspect that Dior’s resident perfumer, François Demachy, enjoyed even more than usual his ‘research’ for this fragrance, a hymn to one of the world’s most legendary hotels, on the rocky shore of the Côte d’Azur. Flooded with sunlight, it’s cooled and ruffled by a salty breeze, revealing an accord reminiscent of nothing so much as expensive suntan oil, suffused with jasmine and a touch of coconut. Truly the stuff of holiday dreams. From £99 for 40ml eau de parfum dior.com

 

GUERLAIN Aqua Allegoria Nettare di Sole
There is just so much anticipation, each year, for Guerlain’s fresh-in-every-way duo of Aqua Allegoria, always sophisticated, always breezy, always wonderfully escapist. The star of the show as ever is a central note of citrusy bergamot, this time wrapped in luminous white florals and aquatic notes and then drizzled tantalisingly in honey. Guerlain’s own description nails it: ‘A delicious icy floral honey.’ To which we can only respond: ‘More, please.’ £69 for 75ml eau de toilette guerlain.com

 

 
ACQUA DI PARMA Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura
This limited edition is offered in a real treasure of a collectible, hand-crafted porcelain bottle – refillable, too, in line with AdP’s focus on sustainability. Imagine a fresh breeze, lightly rippling through the air, sun sparkling on the water, imagined here via the citrus refreshment of bitter orange, mandarin and grapefruit alongside that signature bergamot, with green galbanum and geranium and offering lasting impression of cedarwood and vetiver. £124 for 100ml eau de toilette acquadiparma.com

 

HOLLISTER Canyon Escape For Him
Perfumer Linda Chinery took inspiration from ‘…the spirit of the Hollister guy who is energised by his love of the unknown and adventure that is made even better when shared with friends.’ Black pepper and cardamom provide a tingle of contradicting temperatures – imagine a heat wave relieved by jumping into a lake as blue as the juice. Soothing sage and a refreshingly piquant note of Californian juniper beckons the oakmoss, amber-rich base. Worth a detour! £16.50 for 100ml eau de toilette very.co.uk