7 summer-friendly fragrances for all budgets

We all know that summer in the Philippines hits hard. With temperatures rising and the humidity making it worse for everyone, it’s even more important for us to smell good, y’know, not like sweat and body odor.

Apart from showering every day and keeping good hygiene habits, it doesn’t hurt to spritz on a nice fragrance for that extra oomph. Whether you’re new to perfumes or want to explore something new for the season, we’ve come up with a list of summer-friendly fragrances that match every type of budget. 

Here, we explore scents that are light and refreshing, perfect for beating the heat and humidity. Think invigorating citrus, cool florals, and juicy fruits—discover your ideal summer perfume for those long, sizzling days. 

High budget (P6,000 and above)

La Tulipe by Byredo
P10,000 for 50ml

Photo from Byredo

Scent profile: Floral, fresh, clean
Performance: Moderate projection, five to six hours of wear
Notes: Pink tulip, freesia, green notes, vetiver

When it comes to the niche house of Byredo, popular scents such as Gypsy Water, Mojave Ghost, and Bal D’Afrique get all the hype. But it has a number of hidden gems that are severely overlooked, such as La Tulipe, a soft floral fragrance that is as clean as it is comforting. Think of a beautiful young girl holding the biggest bouquet in her arms—specifically tulips, a note that’s actually pretty uncommon in floral fragrances. What I love about La Tulipe is that it isn’t a heady floral but a gentle and green scent where you can also sniff out the dewy leaves. A simple and common scent profile yet beautifully nuanced and amazing for the summer.

Eau des Sens by Diptyque
P6,850 for 50ml

Photo from Rustan’s

Scent profile: Citrus, fresh, clean
Performance: Moderate projection, six to eight hours of wear
Notes: Orange blossom, bitter orange, juniper berries, angelica seed

My nose (and many others, too) is quite sensitive to citrus scents, but this one from Diptyque is stunning and oh-so-natural. Eau des Sens is an homage to the orange tree, with notes of bitter orange, juniper berries, and angelica seed, resulting in a delicate concoction reminiscent of elevated baby cologne. It’s soft and innocent but sophisticated. Despite it not being in the notes, there’s also a hint of neroli that freshens it up even further—really just summer in a bottle. Oh, and it’s also one of IU’s signature scents. Who doesn’t want to smell like a K-pop idol?

Q by Dolce & Gabbana
P7,600 for 50ml

Photo from Rustan’s

Scent profile: Fruity, musky, powdery
Performance: Moderate projection, four to five hours of wear
Notes: Sicilian lemon, blood orange, cherry, heliotrope, white musk, cedarwood

Cherry scents can be a little jarring for some, especially heavier, syrupy ones like Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry. But Q by Dolce & Gabbana is the cherry fragrance for cherry haters. Because it has Sicilian lemon and blood orange as top notes, this perfume is fresh and ultra wearable in the heat of the Philippines, with the heliotrope, white musk, and jasmine still keeping it soft. The cherry in here is gorgeous and gives a playful touch, making it great for the beach or a casual get-together with friends. Q, like its namesake, is for the queens and the girls who just want to have fun. 

Mid budget (P2,000 to P5,000)

Eclat D’Arpege by Lanvin
P3,400 for 30ml

Photo from Rustan’s

Scent profile: Floral, woody, fresh
Performance: Moderate projection, four to five hours of wear
Notes: Green lilac, tea leaf, peony, cedar, amber

This is a classic for a reason, and loved by so many prominent Filipino celebrities. Sparkling, green, and very pretty, Eclat D’Arpege has stood the test of time, still smelling so modern 22 years after its launch. This tea scent has purple flowers such as lilac in its notes, something many associate with more mature-smelling (read: grandma) fragrances, but this is an exception. It’s a great everyday perfume that’s super versatile, working in both casual occasions or dressed up events. 

Cerveza Rosa by Wren Atelier
P3,500 for 50ml

Photo from Wren Atelier

Scent profile: Floral, boozy
Performance: Strong projection, six to eight hours of wear
Notes: Pink pepper, rose, apple, lychee, beer

Rose lovers, rejoice. Cerveza Rosa is a step up from your typical rose fragrances, giving its wearer a unique experience that mixes in a bit of fun—alcohol. Inspired by Oktoberfest in the Philippines, this is a realistic rose-beer perfume that projects with a capital P. Not only will you smell unique, but you’ll also be able to make your presence known before you even walk into a room. Fun fact: The nose behind this perfume is Filipino and was trained in the field of perfumery in France.

Low budget (P1,000 and below)

Matcha Mochi by Ilum Studios
P475 for 30ml

Photo from Ilum Studios

Scent profile: Tea-like, fresh, soothing
Performance: Moderate projection, four hours of wear
Notes: Brewed matcha, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, frothed cream, benzoin

This one’s for the matcha fans out there. I’m not kidding when I say that Matcha Mochi by Ilum Studios was love at first sniff for me—the citruses in this perfume make it fresh enough to wear in this weather yet the frothed cream gives it a playful depth and a subtle sweetness that is nothing short of mouthwatering. 

Inspired by Maison Margiela’s Matcha Meditation, the two noses behind this local brand wanted to craft their own interpretation of the iconic scent, making it less earthy and a little more refreshing. Matcha Mochi will definitely please both fans and non-fans (e.g. me) of the original, giving its wearer a magical sillage smelling of a crisp yet delicious and creamy matcha latte. 

Fields at Nightfall by Zara
P695 for 30ml

Photo from Zara

Scent profile: Woody, milky, sweet
Performance: Mild projection, four hours of wear
Notes: Sandalwood, praline, jasmine

Are you getting bored of the typical citrusy, floral fragrances for hot weather? Smell unique but still very clean instead with Zara’s Fields at Nightfall, a dupe for the TikTok-famous This is Her by Zadig & Voltaire. Before you get all skeptical (because milky and sweet in this heat, really?), the woodiness and nuttiness in this perfume gives it a fresh-out-of-the-shower vibe, almost like your skin but better. Some folks have even said this smells like men’s shaving cream or shampoo. While I don’t get the latter, for me, this is sandalwood perfection that both men and women could rock at any time of the year, hot or cold. 

Photos from brands and art by Ella Lambio

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Eric Nicole Gonzales Salta: