How To Smell Like Summer: DIY Perfume Recipes for a Perfect Summer Scent

How To Smell Like Summer: DIY Perfume Recipes for a Perfect Summer Scent

Sweaters have been swapped for sundresses, and on the shoe rack, strappy sandals rest where tall boots once stood. Summer has arrived, and everything is becoming luxuriously lighter.

A fuzzy scarf that’s cozy in January is stifling in July. By the same token, a warm winter fragrance can smell oppressively heavy under the summer sun.

Let your perfume follow your wardrobe’s lead – the best summer perfumes are light, airy, and uncomplicated.

Choosing the Best Summer Perfume Formula

There’s a delicate balance to deciding which kind of summer perfume suits you best. You’ll want to consider how much time you spend in the heat and how often you’re willing to spritz on your scent.

At 10 percent fragrance, eau de toilette is less concentrated than eau de parfum, which can contain up to 15 percent fragrance. So, in high temperatures, which can make perfume smell stronger, an eau de toilette is less likely to become overpowering.

If your days are relatively climate-controlled, you may prefer an eau de parfum. The more potent formula has greater staying power – lasting about six hours to eau de toilette’s four.

Your fragrance carrier also plays a role. Perfumer’s alcohol evaporates from your skin, carrying fragrance with it. So an alcohol-based perfume won’t last as long and will be more easily enjoyed by the people around you.

Oils, such as fractionated coconut oil, are absorbed by your skin and keep the fragrance close. An oil-based fragrance may last all day and will only be detected by people near to you.

Of course, if you wish to spray your perfume, you’ll need to use alcohol.

Bottling the Scents of Summer

Scent is the sense most closely tied to memory. Nostalgic aromas can evoke the magic of summers past – the green aroma of fresh-cut grass, the tangy pucker of lemonade, the sweetness of a juicy watermelon.

Summer perfumes can smell sweet, refreshing, or exotic. Keep your scent palette minimal and the notes complementary so, whatever the mood, your summer fragrance remains as airy and relaxed as the season.

Cold-weather perfumes gain coziness from smoky, musky notes that can feel too heavy for summer.

Anchor fresh-scented summer perfumes with fragrances reminiscent of a walk in the forest – cool, woodsy notes like oakmoss or cedarwood.

For a more classic, complex fragrance, try time-honored scents used by perfumiers for centuries, like amber and frankincense.

Build on your base with a complementary heart note. Fragrances like rose and strawberry add a soft sweetness, while herbal notes like lavender or basil lend a deeper, more earthy aroma.

Bright top notes like apple, green tea, or fresh water are refreshing and energizing, like a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day. Sweet, floral notes like lilac and orange blossom create a delicate, feminine aura that puts one in mind of a garden party.

Summer Perfume Recipes You Can Make At Home

Below are recipes for three of our favorite warm-weather fragrances. To find your personal recipe for summer in a bottle, drop fragrances onto strips marked with the scent’s name and let them dry.

Fan the strips under your nose in various combinations until you find the perfect blend.

Learn more about creating your own perfume in our free Beginner’s Guide to Perfumery.

Vibrant - A Fresh, Crisp Summer Scent

  Ratio/Drops 9ml Bottle 30ml Bottle


24 2.16ml 7.2ml
Herbaceous 20 1.8ml 6.0ml
Cedarwood 14 1.26ml 4.2ml
Amber 2 .18ml .6ml
Carrier (FCO or PA) 50 4.5ml 15ml

Water Sprite - A Fun, Floral Scent

  Ratio/Drops 9ml Bottle 30ml Bottle

Fresh Water

10 .9ml 3.0ml
Lilac 10 .9ml 3.0ml
Herbaceous 8 .72ml 2.4ml
Ginger Essential Oil
4 .36ml 1.2ml
White Musk 8 .72ml 2.4ml
Carrier (FCO or PA) 60 5.4ml 18ml

Freshly-picked Flowers - A Scent from Mother Earth

Ratio/Drops 9ml Bottle 30ml Bottle
 Fresh Dirt 10 6.0ml 3.0ml
Jasmine 7 .6ml 2.1ml
Gardenia 6 .5ml 1.8ml
Rose 5 .5ml 1.5ml
Vanilla 2 .2ml .6ml
Carrier (FCO or PA) 60 5.4ml 9ml


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