9 signature fragrances to capture the summer

"The Rite of the Phoenix" Spring/ Summer 2012 Campaign
Shanghai Tang S/S 2012

Summertime is passing us by. One day the earth was boiling, and now we have only two weeks left to enjoy the season. On the calendar, at least. You think of the plans you had made for this summer: dream vacations, heated romances, beaches and books.

How to capture the scent of a fleeting summer? The right fragrance is the solution. You need to change your wardrobe to match the weather, and it can be awkward to cling to tropical neon sky blue eye shadow in deep autumn. Summer fragrances, however, work fine all year long. A blend of fresh, lightweight and soft scents instantly lifts your mood. It’s absolutely perfect for everyday wear!

Here’s a list of great summer fragrance that you’ll definitely fall in love with. With the exception of one English brand, we present you some of the best Asian brands, indie or mainstream, that deserve your attention.


Zen Zest EDT in Tangerine

Zen Zest is one of the biggest fragrance brands in the Philippines. They began in the retail business in 2001 and I remember buying almost all my perfumes from them back when I was in high school. As a Filipina myself, I can definitely say that the Filipinos are some of the most fragrance-obsessed people on the planet. We live in a tropical country where it feels like summer all year round, so the struggle to smell fresh all day is quite a big deal. Fortunately, local fragrance brands understand the type of scent this weather truly asks for – fresh and fancy all day!

Zen Zest’s EDT in Tangerine is a sweet blend of tangerine and green melon that instantly cools you down in hot and humid weather. It features a long-lasting scent that keeps you smelling sweet and fruity from day to night.

The Pauline Solid Perfume Stick in Magnolia

If you are into rich floral scents that fully embrace femininity and elegance, this Korean perfume brand is for you. The Pauline is fairly new on the Korean fragrance scene but the brand has already garnered a ton of great reviews from a lot of its consumers – including a lot of global beauty influencers. In addition, its collection of perfumes comes in solid stick form, making them travel-friendly and long-lasting.

Seoul-based Beauty YouTuber Edward Avila compares the style of its fragrance line to Jo Malone because of its authentic botanical scents that can be layered to your preference. A cult-favorite from The Pauline’s series of scents is its Solid Perfume Stick in Magnolia. It features a lightweight feminine scent extracted from the goodness of freshly-picked magnolia flowers.

Shanghai Tang Eau de Parfum in Gold Lily

Inspired by the opulence that encompassed the famous Chinese Silk Road back in the Han Dynasty, perfumer Carlos Benaim created a collection of fragrance for the Hong Kong luxury brand Shanghai Tang. He launched 5 lush scents for women and the scent Gold Lily is something to make your summer extra lavish.

Gold Lily features a delectable blend of ginger lily, jasmine, patchouli, musk and orange flower, which gives a clean and radiant vibe. The scent is luxurious but not overwhelming – truly perfect for your sweet summer getaway (or to remember the get away from your desk that awaits you)!

Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum for Women

Let’s take a quick break from these new fragrance brands and go back to the classics. Lolita Lempicka’s Eau de Parfum for Women is a sweet, soft and spicy fragrance created back in 1997. What makes Lolita Lempicka’s fragrance unique is its special combination of licorice and star anise notes softened with almond and sweet vanilla. It’s a scent that is hard to forget as it perfectly radiates an optimistic and fresh feeling.

Online reviews mention how its first spritz may come off a bit strong. However, the scent sets beautifully after a few hours and transforms into a soft, floral and powdery scent perfect to freshen you up when it’s hot and humid.

Hanae Eau de Parfum by Keiko Mecheri

With a long tradition of sophisticated incense and perfume pouches in Kyoto behind their back, Japanese perfume brands are, without a doubt, one of the pioneers in the fragrance industry. Keiko Mecheri’s Hanae Eau de Parfum launched back in 1998 and is still considered a beauty staple.

Its soft and sensual scent is hard to forget and the fragrance notes are purely authentic, as described by many perfume aficionados. Its luxurious black bottle may be a tad intimidating and might give you the impression of a strong night-time fragrance but, the scent tells quite a different story! It smells fresh and invigorating, inspired by Japanese tea houses and the blooming gardens of Kyoto.

Jo Malone in English Pear and Freesia

Alright, we know you have already heard of Jo Malone a thousand times. but when it comes to summer scents, we really can’t skip Jo Malone’s English Pear and Freesia. This particular fragrance is the epitome of elegance, femininity, and freshness. Its decadent scent comes from its lavish notes of ripe English pears, freesia and warm aromas of patchouli, amber, and white musk.

As a beauty blogger who goes to a lot of social events, I always make sure to smell pleasant. I always get compliments whenever I have this one on me and it never failed to smell perfectly clean and fresh despite Manila’s scorching weather!

Code Deco Discovery Box for Women

Here’s another promising Southeast Asian brand for the list – Code Deco Singapore. Code Deco is a perfume brand founded by perfumer Gauri Garodia. The brand takes pride in its luxurious ingredients and fine craftsmanship that go into every bottle of fragrance.

For the summer season, a burst of revitalizing citrus is quite the idea, right? The scent Happy Blu is a unisex scent that gives off a radiant, citrusy vibe perfect for the time of year. But then, if you are feeling adventurous, Code Deco has a set called “Discovery Box” which features 4 of its best-selling scents – including Happy Blu, of course!

Butterfly Thai in Jasmine Garland

One reason why Jasmine is a popular ingredient in many fragrances is that it is naturally calming and relaxing to the soul. Butterfly Thai features homemade fresh fragrances derived from botanical ingredients similar to what most Thai spas also use. The scent “Jasmine Garland” from the brand involves an intricate blend of fresh jasmine and white champee flower wrapped in banana leaf. It’s a soothing scent to keep you calm and refreshed after a series of exhausting activities under the hot sun.

BENCH/ On Love, War and Haute Couture by Cary Santiago

BENCH/ is a large Philippine company famous for its trendy apparel collection. While the brand is famous for clothing, they are also well-loved by many consumers across Asia for their signature fragrance collections. It’s actually pretty difficult to pick just one fragrance for this list because BENCH/ has a vast variety of perfumes for both men and women.

However, we just really had to recommend one of its designer perfumes – On Love, War and Haute Couture by Cary Santiago. Cary Santiago is one of the finest and most reputable fashion designers in the Philippines, and his fragrance collaboration with BENCH/ is definitely one for the books. Apart from its very edgy name, the scent comprised of fruity notes and musky amber accord is also one-of-a-kind. It smells luxurious but very lightweight, an ideal scent to wear daily – from dawn to dusk.


Some fit the fragrance to the season, but a good fragrance can also help to define your own unique character. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or autumn, let your scent be all about you and your personal taste! If you like summer, let it linger!

Andrea Centeno
Andrea is a beauty blogger and English teacher from Manila, Philippines. In her blog, Shimmering Thoughts, she writes about the media events, product reviews, and beauty tutorials, and her love for Korean Pop Culture.

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