5 Things to Wear on a Hot Summer Day

I know it’s unseemly to complain when it’s likely not that hot here compared to the rest of the country. But that will not of course stop me. It’s hot and sticky and I want it to stop, please. I don’t have AC since every year it does this for a week or two in August or September and I keep telling myself it’s not worth the money. One year we had a day when it was 116?(at least that’s what it was before the official LA thermometer melted) I almost just went back to work to sleep. Luckily this isn’t nearly that bad..

But anyway.. What to wear in this heat? I’m going to name 5 I like to turn to when it’s warm. I’m not going into them in much detail since I think everyone pretty much knows them, but in no particular order:

Hermès Eau d’orange vert (or, the one in the green bottle): it’s orange and green and woody and light and as perfect as a crisp linen shirt.

Annick Goutal Eau de Sud: always living in the shadow of it’s more famous sibling, this is a fantastic citrus/chypre that as far as I can tell has survived the reformulation wars far better than any other.

Dior Eau Sauvage: a benchmark, a classic, a reference scent that’s so much better than it’s flankers I don’t know why they even bother. I never want to run out.

Andy Tauer Reverie au Jardin: a cool, slightly candied lavender that develops into so much more..

smell bent tok’yo mama: a chipper, crisp yuzu and tea scent that could only be better if it were served over shaved ice. Preferably with a nice slug of Gin.

I’m sure if I looked around I could choose about 12 more. So, please chime in with your choices.

Image: surface of the sun, wikipedia commons

  • Rowanhill says:

    For serious heat when any drop of sweetness turns to stickiness my one and only is Eau de Rochas. Citrusy and dry it has saved me from total melt downs, like recent +42C in Athens with no wind in the city. It has worked very well also during the current heatwave in Belgium.
    Jean-Louis Scherrer performed very well too.

  • Tom says:

    Those are good choices as well! The more famous sibling is Eau d’Hadrien.

  • annemariec says:

    What is the more famous sibling of Eau de Sud? Sorry for my ignorance.

    Good ol’ Eau de Givenchy is still my summer friend. I have just bought Un Jardin sur le Nil, in anticipation of summer. (I’m in Australia and we are just coming into spring.)

  • Cybele says:

    Vetiver pour Elle, Envy, Jo Malone Lime Basil Mandarin, By Kilian Beyond Love

  • joolz says:

    The humidity makes me crazy, so something that isn’t cloying will work for me. I like Chanel Cristalle eau Verte. I’m not sure what Cristalle is like, but eau Verte is nice and crisp.
    I also like Guerlain AA Herba Fresca. It’s not crisp but it’s a fresh green.

    • Tom says:

      Humidity was something I hoped to abandon moving from NYC. I know 60% isn’t that much considering but I am not loving it. Luckily there are a lot of public places that have AC.

      Did I mention that I love AC?

  • Kady says:

    Clarins Eau Dynamisante is one I’ve used for years. I don’t think I could possibly ever get sick of it. I also love Infusion d’Iris when it’s hot.

    I also love wearing CdG’s Ouarzazate – I bought it after a trip to Morocco because I loved the incense I could smell everywhere, and the weather was so hot when I was there that Ouarzazate on a hot day just makes sense to me. I don’t know if people generally think of it as a hot weather scent, but that’s how I like it.

  • maggiecat says:

    It was 108 here today – and I had to bring a sweater to work to cope with the enthusiastic Dallas air conditioning! Scents for hot days for me include Chanel’s Eau de Cologne, Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Tiare and Mimosa (a very tea-based scent) and Vetiver Pour Elle, and Annick Goutal’s Neroli. Today I test-drove a sample of Donna Karan’s new version of Cashmere Musk, Pearl Essence, and it’s surprisingly nice.

    • Tom says:

      My workplace did that too. It was so frigid I wore a sweater every day that trapped enough chilly AC that even in my old car with the top down in the heat would keep me cool until I got home.

      I loved it.

  • nozknoz says:

    I think you’re allowed to complain about heat, too, Tom. It’s all relative! The up side of having had more than a week of >95 degree days in July is that August feels almost tolerable (not really – but it’s a relief compared with this last July). When it’s this hot, I don’t usually put on perfume before I leave the house and slog to the Metro, but rather take samples to try at work in the freezing AC. Sometimes, though, I wear a touch of Habanita, 28 la Pausa or Mary Greenwell Plum, for example.

    • Tom says:

      I know what you mean. After the day it was 116° it was only 105° the next day. It felt like Canada..

      The MTA buses are usually like a meat locker, so I’ll wear scent on them. My car however has AC that at best has a “not hot” setting. So public transport is my choice in the heat.

  • minette says:

    always one to go against the current, a few counter-intuitive choices that work for me:

    hypnotic poison. wore this to help my parents move in hot, humid florida, and it worked great. highly recommend for the heat – it keeps you calm and happy and never smells bad.

    l by lolita – wearing it today, and liking it a lot on a crappy-hot, muggy day.

    cb i hate perfume in the library – just got this, and wore it this week – very nice – cooling, woody, a little spicy. yum.

    l’artisan havana vanille – boozy vanilla goodness that is wonderful in the heat.

    libertine – my only nod to citrus – and it’s a dirty, musky, sexy one. love this in the heat – it blooms.

    sonya rykiel mon parfum – another one that blooms well in the heat – this smells like every perfume in a french perfume shop along with the aromas of the patisserie next door. love it.

    earlier in the summer i was all over lush gorilla – a fantastic jasmine. really great in the heat.


    • Tom says:

      I’ve done a few of Uncle Serge’s in the heat, like Arabie and MKK. They’re very (ahem) definite when it’s hot and humid.

      • minette says:

        MKK is such a pussycat on me – so it’s just fine in the summertime. Arabie, I dunno… maybe it’s the color or the food associations it carries for (like amazing bread pudding & autumn spices)… although I love Femme Rochas in the summer (especially on a rainy day), so maybe I will give Arabie a whirl!

  • Lisa D says:

    I don’t mind citrus or cologne on a hot day, but lately I’ve been hitting my bottle of Nu Green, by Honore de Pres, for a nice herbal lift without the usual fruit. It doesn’t last long, though, and needs a second spritzing after a couple of hours.

  • Julie says:

    I’m with you on the not complaining since I’m here in San Diego, where it is just about always nice and mild, but it is pretty hot now as well. I grew up in MD, so I know my hot and humid. The difference is just about everyone there (and places where it gets really hot) has A/C. We do not. So I’m forced to site outside and drink a cold beer since it is too hot to be inside our house. I did break down a year ago and got a room AC for the bedroom and have not regretted that one bit – it only gets used for a few weeks a year as you say, but it’s worth it!

    Wearing PdN L’Eau Mixte today. My standard hot weather refresher is AA Herba Fresca. Other faves are Carthusia Mediteraneo, Pacifica Lotus Garden (a close dupe of Jardin sur le Nil), Brozen Goddess, AG Chevrefreuille, and AA Mandarine Basilic. Smell Bent Blimey Limey! and St. Tropez Dispenser are also great in the heat!

    • Tom says:

      Every year I think of getting an AC but then it cools down and I tell myself I don’t need it since I rent and might move. Of course I’ve lived in this place the better part of two decades..

      There are a bunch of smell bents that could be on that list..

  • tammy says:

    I generally don’t like citrus or colognes, but I drown myself in Bvlgari Au The Vert and hit up the Jean Nate when it’s gets hot and sticky in LA La Land. LA Verte Violette also gets some wear. And plenty of talcum powder.

    I don’t have air in my apartment OR my (black AND old-enough-to-be-made-of-steel) truck, so even though I know it is far cooler here than it was in Arkansas, I’m still pretty freaking cranky right about now. Thankfully, perfume does help soothe me.

    • Tom says:

      the Bvulgari is a winner.

      I had a black leBaron convertible with no AC.

      If you’re in LA have we not me? If not, that should be corrected..

  • Tatiana says:

    Chanel Cristalle, No. 19, Jacomo Silences, Frederick Malle L’eau d’Hiver & Vetiver Extraordinaire. Chantecaille Vetiver, Different Co. Sel de Vetiver, Guerlain Vetiver, Chanel Sycamore. I guess you could say, I find vetiver scents very comforting and cooling in hot weather.

  • Vasily says:

    Most days I favor Guerlain Vetiver, L’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe, or Aramis Havana when it’s hot outside.

  • Ari says:

    Oooh, tok’yo mama sounds amazing! I’ve never tried anything from the Smell Bent line. Clearly I’ll have to start!

  • Dionne says:

    Right there with you on trying not to grumble about heat-that’s-not-like-everyone-else’s-heat. Really hot where I live is anything that’s 30 degrees or slightly above…..scrambling to do a Fahrenheit conversion…..which is only about 90F, so I’m going to shut up now. (Although I did have someone visiting here from Vegas complain that no one has air conditioning, so they were finding it hot as well.)

    Hot weather choices include Silences, Par Amour Toujours, L’Occitane Sun Verbena and Yuzu Fou, so now I’m really curious about that Smell Bent.

    • Tom says:

      More Silences.. Hmm..

      Yeah, I don’t want to b&@ch that much. I mean, it’s just a little inconvenient..

  • Ann says:

    Nice choices, Tom! Glad to see Cristalle is getting some love on here. I am a fan of the citrus-y colognes, anything with OB or lemon gets my vote. I’m wearing Le Labo’s Tubereuse 40 today, as it’s soooo beautiful and it lasts.

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    I keep reaching for no.19 when it’s really hot outside or A La Nuit and to a lesser degree Sarrasins.

  • carlene says:

    Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée, Chanel Cristalle & Papyrus de Ciane by Parfumerie Generale. Sometimes I just want to wallow in it though, then I’ll put on some hippie oil like Oriental Kush…That L’Eau Rare Matale sounds beautiful, I need to sample that.

  • Mals86 says:

    I like my hot-weather smells less cologne-y/citrusy (I know, I KNOW, only freaks don’t like cologne, but there you have it) and more floral.

    My picks:
    Moschino Funny! – citrus, rose, and the flirty bite of currant bud. Refreshing like iced tea.

    PdR Rose d’Ete – fruity yellow roses and a hint of after-bath talcum powder.

    DSH La Fete Nouvelle – hay, almond, warm musk, and one of the few lavender notes that does not give me an icepick to the eye socket. Smells like a summer evening.

    Jacomo Silences – virtual air conditioning. Wide satin ribbons in iris blue, rose pink, and about four shades of cool green.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals — gotta second your Silences — great stuff! II hadn’t worn it in years and years and you sent me a sample of it a while back to refresh my memory and now I need more. Thanks!

    • Tom says:

      Sometime when it’s hot I’ll wear something like Arabie just for the heck of it..

  • ChickenFreak says:

    Parfumerie Generale L’Eau Rare Matale. Clean cold running tea over charred wood.

    There are others – Cristalle, ElizabethW Sweet Tea, Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint, etc. but L’Eeau Rare Matale is my favorite hot weather scent by leaps and bounds.