As far back as I can remember I have always had a thing for perfumes, and I feel it’s an area where great things are really happening. Practically all the major beauty brands have been launching their exclusive lineups of scents with more granular palates to suit the increased demand for individualized products and modes of self expression. Lots of high-end perfumes are coming to market now, so finding your new fresh perfume for spring has never been easier.. or harder.
This means: gone are the days of horrors such as Lancome Miracle which somehow became my personal poster child for mainstream perfumes that everyone “liked” but no one really remembered. Like, zero charisma. I (perhaps arrogantly) group Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue in the same category. Hate me all you want. It did make me feel lightly blue indeed.
There’s a fine line between cheap and elegant in the world of perfumes. Scents evoke emotions that transcend our vocabularies, leave significant impressions, and imprints in our memory. I fully get why people go full-obsession over perfume. Too sweet feels cheap. Too floral can become soapy. It’s a legit art form.
If you’re looking for an elegant, fresh perfume for spring, check out my trialed and true favorites below, as well as a few of my fresh perfume wishlist items. Let me know what your favorite spring perfume is in the comments down below!
Acqua Di Parma, Colonia
The Classic, Fresh Unisex Fragrance
I was 17 and in high school when I discovered this after a full winter of going through the likes of Gucci Rush, YSL Cinema and Dior’s Addict (not to mention Escada’s Magnetism). This was the Spring I officially fell in love with the classic Acqua Di Parma Colonia scent.
This classic unisex fresh perfume has a long history dating back to 1916 when Acqua Di Parma first started out. In the 1930s it became popularized through legacy Hollywood stars like Cary Grant and Ava Gardner. And then it all sort of fell to pieces until the early 1990’s when the brand was resurrected, and leading up to its current place in the LVMH group. How’s that for a skim through history? Acqua Di Parma is an iconic perfume.
Look, this is a classic I keep coming back to. It is, more than anything, a fresh citrus- and bergamot scent, but it’s carried by floral undertones and a certain… subtle spiciness. It’s elegant. It’s timeless. It’s a must-have perfume.
Good For: Day and night, but for night time I would probably opt to layer it.
Vibes: Think early spring and summer mornings, heading to work, that first fresh morning dew, the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, eating lunch outside, the feeling of a silk scarf around your neck.
Hermés: Jour d'hermés
A Perfect Light Summer Scent
This is how I describe Jour d’Hermes: the scent of sunshine and sunscreen on your warm skin, your beach towel and carefree summer days. This, to me, is the winning fragrance of Hermés. It’s delicate, feminine and floral with initial top notes of grapefruit and citrus. This is an incredibly feminine perfume for spring and summer.
Good For: As the name would suggest, this for me is very much a day-time scent – not so much evenings.
Vibes: No, these are not officially scents, but Hermés somehow managed to bottle the experience of a perfect, sunny, summer day. It’s beach. It’s afternoon strolls for gelato. It’s “wear-your-bikini-under-your-dress”. It’s sandals. You get it.
Acqua Di Parma: Fico Di Amalfi
The exotic yet classic addition
I’m not saying I would grab this one if I could only have one scent. But I’m also saying… this is the reason I will never only have one scent. Because I’m not sure I could live without the Fico Di Amalfi. Every girl needs a fruity perfume that’s fun and feminine and this one fits the bill. It’s
Good For: Day and night.
Vibes: This scent has the signature perfume for summer vibe if you know what I mean. It puts me in a positive, playful – perhaps even cheeky – mood. Like I might just have cherries and rosé for dinner. Like I might just jump in the ocean in my sundress for fun. Like I might just get in my little, red convertible and zip up and down the Amalfi coastline while singing along to 80’s pop. Just for the fun of it.
Wishlist #1: Byredo, Palermo
A Modern alternative to Acqua Di Parma
This fragrance was created in 2010 which means it’s one of the earliest Byredo fragrances around (the brand launched in 2008). It has a lot in common with Acqua Di Parma – perhaps so much so that you would really have to love this particular type of scent to own both.
Byredo has really built their perfume brand around unisex perfumes with only a limited number of perfumes being earmarked for a specific gender. I have yet to make a purchase from them but I do feel it’s only a matter of time because they have great scents.
This scent is on my wishlist as it is just a tiny bit richer than to Acqua Di Parma, while preserving the same quality of being an elegant, fresh perfume. It’s still a day-time scent… but a bit heavier. It’s not a dupe for Acqua Di Parma, more like a long-lost half-sister.
More from the same brand: Bal D’Afrique has both warmth and spiciness underneath the citrus top-notes which makes it a really interesting day-time scent. Gypsy Water is a new classic in their lineup (I found it too light). La Tulipe is another runner up with its clean, fresh, green florals.
Wishlist #2: Gucci, Bloom
Floral and courageous
This fresh perfume is floral and surprisingly strong – strong enough to lean into nighttime if you ask me. Interestingly this scent introduces rangoon creeper – a plant/flower that changes colors as it blooms – to the world of perfume for the first time, adding in a powdery base note which in my opinion is exactly what makes it sufficiently heavy for evenings.
More from the same brand: If you’re wondering what the best Gucci perfumes for women are, you’ll find many contenders in my opinion. I find they have a good selection of scents that feel sufficiently high-end and signature without being overly special. Guilty and Flora are two that I’d personally consider.
On My radar: Aerin, Aegea Blossom
Alright, first things first: Aerin Lauder is the grandchild of Estee Lauder, who was basically just a kick-ass lady. Secondly, Cosmo called it rich. I like rich. Aegea Blossom supposedly has watery notes but it’s the Sicilian bergamot and crisp mandarin that draws me in.
On My radar: Tom Ford, Tubéreuse Nue
Finally a spring scent strong enough for evening wear: Peppercorn fires up this floral tuberose scent, and the suede notes add body.
On My radar: Kilian, Love Don't Be Shy Extreme
Adjectives like narcotic makes me think this could be a great fit for my obsessive personality. Noted by several magazines as one of the best scents for spring 2021, this floral-meets-marshmallow might just be mesmerizing.
Let me know what your favorite fresh perfume for spring is in the comments below.