By Kim Taylor

Like clothing, fragrance has its appropriate seasons, and for hot weather and sunny skies, fragrances that are subtle and breezy are most suitable. Mints, citrus scents such as lemon, lemon verbena and grapefruit, orange blossom, water lily and other aromas that evoke the lighter side of nature are ideal — and will keep things crisp when the sun is melting your makeup.

Santa Maria Novella is one of New York City’s crown jewels for quality fragrance, and the Santa Maria Novella Hay Cologne for women or men is the very essence of summer, bottled with as much elegance as humanly possible. Wild rose, myrtle and the scent of freshly cut hay will truly make you swoon. A trip to this store in Soho is a treat in itself, but if it’s too humid outside, purchase it at

The Clarins Paris Eau Dynamisante Spray is a favorite of French women for good reason: it’s both a light fragrance and body treatment, promoting skin tone and suppleness while moisturizing. Why not deploy double duty? The fragrance is a composition of lemon, thyme, caraway, orange, patchouli, rosemary, ginseng, ginger, aloe, ispaghul, and horsetail. Find it at and fine department stores.

The Caudalie Paris Fleur De Vigne spritzer is a vitamin-rich fragrance and energizing splash all bottled as homage to the grape flower. Combining grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, grape, lemon and orange, this summery splash is great for sensitive skin, and contains no parabens, mineral oils, colorings or harsh ingredients. Find it at the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Plaza Hotel, Sephora stores, or at

Thymes Naia is an uplifting, botanical fusion of water lily, cyclamen aromas, lychee and sweet lemon, and is formulated without parabens and SLS/SLES, so you can spritz with abandon. The full Naia collection includes bath salts, body lotion and wash, hand cream and lotion, cologne, triple milled soap and home fragrance. Peruse the complete collection, along with other Thymes products, at

Lauded perfumer Susanne Lang offers a new collection of six, sweetly-scented summer fragrances with Sula Parfums. Blackberry Blush melds anjou pear, freesia, rose, vanilla and cassis with blackberry. Butterfly Kiss is a fusion of sweet pea, peony, gardenia and musk. Champagne Sugar is a delicious mix of grapefruit, pomegranate, cotton candy, woods, pink champagne, rose, and sugarcane. Sun-Kissed Citrus blends blondewood, sandalwood, green apple, melon, and citron, while Vanilla Blossom is an enticing concoction of coconut milk, orchid, cherry blossom, vanilla and almond. Musk lovers will appreciate Stiletto Musk, rife with vanilla, musk, mandarin, and amber. Find these scents at Anthropologie stores and

Whether you prefer the smell of freshly-cut hay, cotton candy, water lily or grapes, there’s something in this lineup for everyone to celebrate, and inhale, summer’s fragrant largesse.

Originally published July 2009
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