These are the 5 best fragrances for summer 2020

From an orange-tinged window onto the island of Capri to a marine Mediterranean...

27th July 2020

From an orange-tinged window onto the island of Capri to a marine Mediterranean scent, here are the best escapist aftershaves for a locked-down summer

It’s not been a five-star summer; we’ll be the first to admit that. But, amid the flight cancellations and quarantines, we’ve found a silver lining in lockdown. And we found it in our bathroom cabinet.

Our aftershave collection has swelled this summer — our cabinets are now brimming with bottles of eau de toilette and eau de parfum. And these scents have been our escape. While we never expected to spend the jet-setting summer of our dreams behind closed doors, aftershaves and aromas as evocative as these five fragrances have managed to whisk us away to far-flung escapes anyway. Here’s where they could take you…

From Floris, Neroli Voyage will take you to the Ligurian coast

Floris Neroli Voyage, £120,

What does it smell of? Floris aren’t ones to do things by halves. And the citrus explosion that opens this unisex fragrance is a statement of intent — bold, breezy and with a base of sensual oak. Elsewhere, you’ll nose notes of spicy ginger, fennel seed and jasmine flower. But the hearty aroma? The bitter orange Neroli from which the scent takes its name.

Where will it take you? To where those bitter orange trees grow — the panoramic Ligurian coastline of France and Italy. Spritz it on and you’ll be taking that promised voyage across the sparkling sea, with the salty wind in your hair and warm notes of musk and amber drifting across from the shrubland of Corsica.

Creed’s Erolfa is a window onto the warm Mediterranean

Creed Erolfa, £230,

What does it smell of? The sea. It may seem like you’re teasing yourself when stuck indoors, but no aftershave brings waves of seaside nostalgia more effectively than Creed’s incredible Erolfa. Bergamot, rosemary and melon swirl into eddies of coriander, amber and sandalwood to create the freshest scent you’ll spray this year. 

Where will it take you? Everywhere and nowhere. A fresh sea under cloudless skies — made comfortable by a fresh citrus breeze. Creed’s Erolfa is a nautical adventure in a handsome bottle; herbal and versatile. An aromatic window onto the finest yacht in the Med. 

Czech & Speake’s Villa Ausonia is a one-way ticket to South West France

Czech & Speake Villa Ausonia, £125,

What does it smell of? Deceptively deep, Czech & Speake’s layered summer scent introduces itself with top notes of apple, basil and lemon. But, on second sniff, you’ll recognise more musky aromas — trees from conifer to camphor and base notes of rich vanilla.

Where will it take you? There’s also a marine touch — which places Villa Ausonia in South West France. Apply this eau de parfum and you’ll slip into a daydream whipped up by an Atlantic breeze, lit by a hot European sun and coloured bright green with nature.

From Acqua di Parma, this Arancia di Capri will whisk you off to its namesake

Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri, £79,

What does it smell of? An Italian getaway. And that’s no surprise. Acqua di Parma’s summery best may have notes of caramel and cardamom hiding in its depths — but the top notes are those of Italian sweet orange, Italian mandarin and Italian lemon. Which make it as fresh as it sounds.

Where will it take you? Specifically? Capri, the rugged-yet-glamorous island just off the Sorrento Peninsula. It’s the retreat we all need at the moment — all late-night limoncello and electric blue waters — but one that’s still just out of reach. Go for a bottle of this evocative eau de toilette and it’ll seem that little bit closer.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis is Italy in a bottle

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis, £140,

What does it smell of? Lemons, light flowers and lily of the valley — could there be a more relaxing, soft and fresh fragrance on this list? We’d wager not. From Maison Francis Kurkdjian, this mysterious eau de toilette can be described better with nouns that notes; abstracts from serenity to sensuality. 

Where will it take you? Despite its universal name, just a little further down the Italian coast than Capri above. With lemons sourced from Sicily and bergamot from Calabria, one spritz and this is a hazy, heady trip to the light musky woods of Southern Europe.

Looking for some summer style inspiration? Take note from these French fashion icons…