Capture the essence of summer with these evocative scents.
By Melissa Fejtek
Date June 29, 2023
Picture yourself strolling down cobblestone streets in Provence, where the scent of sweet honeysuckle wafts through the air. Or taking a dip in the salty Mediterranean sea in between sips of chilled bubbly. Sound like a dream? Of course it does, because a European vacation is the stuff dreams are made of. And while jetting off to the French Riviera or a remote island in Greece may not always be in the cards, there’s an easy way to infuse your everyday life with a touch of that vacation charm: European vacation fragrances.
Whether you’re looking for a new signature scent for the summer or a home fragrance that fills your space with vacation vibes, the scents you surround yourself with can help recreate the atmosphere of your most beloved destinations. Here, we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite European vacation fragrances and candles that are guaranteed to bring a little slice of Europe to you, even when you’re far away.
Aerin Rose de Grasse Candle
For a one-note scent that’s anything but ordinary, consider Aerin’s Rose de Grasse. This classic candle is infused with the aroma of the multi-petaled rose centifolia, and is feminine and timeless all at once. If you dream of spending your summers in Grasse, light this candle up and you’ll be transported in an instant.
KLĒA Eau de Parfum
Reminiscent of breezy beach days and balmy Mediterranean nights, Brandt’s KLĒA is a warmer take on a citrus-flecked fragrance, with olive leaf, cedar, musk and tonka bean adding a layer of softness to the scent. There’s also a beautiful aquatic quality to it with middle notes of sea salt, jasmine and water lily. It’s luxurious and inviting all at once.
If your idea of a fantasy European vacation involves frolicking in fields and burying your nose in rows of fresh blooms, give Ellis Brooklyn’s latest a whirl. FLORIST is a collection of beautiful white florals including tuberose and gardenia mixed with a hint of Italian bergamot for a little extra freshness. We would be remiss not to mention the striking Barbie pink bottle which is guaranteed to stand out in any perfume cabinet.
Die hard perfume fans know niche fragrance house Etat Libre D’Orange (of controversial scents like I Am Trash and Fat Electrician) doesn’t play when it comes to creating scents that stick out, so Sous le Pont Mirabeau is certain to make an impression. Combining all the best elements of a Parisian escape—romance, mystery and excitement—with a blend of pink pepper, violet, sea salt and vanilla, this juice has a certain je ne sais quoi we can’t get enough of.
Mandarine Basilic Harvest Eau de Toilette
If a scent that smells like pure Italian sunshine appeals to you, you’ve come to the right place. Guerlain Mandarine Basilic Harvest, a limited-edition scent from the storied brand’s Aqua Allegoria collection, is bright and juicy with a dose of fresh herbaceousness thanks to the addition of basil leaves and green tea. The star ingredient, Marzolo mandarins from Calabria, are sustainably harvested right before ripening to fully capture their addictive bittersweet quality.
Nothing says summer vacation like cracking open your windows and letting fresh air fill the room as you prepare a dish of juicy, sun-warmed tomatoes. That’s kind of like what Jo Malone’s Green Tomato Vine smells like: fresh and green with an irresistible tang that is so specific to the fruits and veg that thrive under the sun. Strike a match or simply lift off the lid for a hit of that sweet summer magic.
Looking for a sandy beach fragrance that doesn’t remind you of coconut-scented sunscreen? Reach for Canadian candle brand Lohn’s copal & palo santo-scented Sand candle. It features hints of bitter orange and sage for a pleasant lightness, followed by a hit of heady incense, driftwood and sandalwood. Plus, it’s made with a sustainable coconut and soy wax blend for a clean burn.
Côte d'Azur Candle
Luxury hair care brand Oribe’s iconic Côte d’Azur scent—infused in nearly all of the brand’s beloved hair products—finds a new home in the form of a candle, and it translates so well. An aromatic and refreshing mix of Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian Orange blackcurrant, jasmine and amber, this one is sure to elicit compliments from anybody who stops by your place for a mid-day aperitivo. The gorgeous twisted vessel is the cherry on top.
If there’s one house that knows how to match its scents to the name, it’s Tom Ford. Case in point, Costa Azzurra, which quite literally smells like a verdant citrus grove off the Amalfi Coast. Zesty Italian lemon meets salty amber, oakwood and cypress in this unisex fragrance, creating the perfect balance of fresh woodiness with an element of enigmatic depth that you won’t typically find in citrus-forward scents.
($146, Loewe )
For a serious “treat yourself” moment, pick up this elegant scented candle from the Spanish fashion house Loewe. Resinous, warm and herby all at once, Oregano makes an amazing kitchen scent, but it would smell—and look—great in any room. Make sure to repurpose the stamped terracotta vessel when the candle no longer burns; it would make an excellent potter for windowsill herbs.
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