Solar Scents Are Perfect Summer Perfumes That Smell Like Vacation In A Bottle

Looking for your next go-to scent of the season? It's all about finding the category of fragrances that captures your current mood and vibe. Perfume enthusiasts are probably familiar with a lot of the major categories already, including the four fragrance families used to classify your favorite scents: floral, woody, amber, and fresh. But modern perfumers have also created so many new subsets to perfectly match your needs, from sweet, creamy milk fragrances to spicy, peppery scents that bring the heat. And now, another trendy option is on the rise: bright, summer-ready solar scents.

Renowned for their sunny, vacation-like vibes, solar scents are a compelling alternative to traditional summer options. "Traveling through fragrance is really special — it transports you somewhere else," Mona Kattan, founder of fragrance brand Kayali, tells Refinery29. Kattan goes on to emphasize that the unique scent balance of solar fragrances makes them versatile for all genders and aesthetics — and offers an ideal option for anyone layering perfumes to create a signature scent. Of course, before you start mixing and matching your solar perfumes, it's important to understand the base components of these sunny scents.

Solar scents walk the line between bright and and musky

Wondering what makes a solar scent, well, solar? The hint is right there in the name — solar scents encapsulate iconic summer fragrances like coconut, citrus, and sea salt to create the feeling of sunshine in a bottle. "[Sun perfumes] can evoke sensuality, bare skin, and also joy," Bee Shapiro, the founder and CEO of bodycare line Ellis Brooklyn, tells Bustle. "Typical notes are actually tropical flowers, like Tahitian tiare and ylang ylang, while adding citrus notes is a more fresh and playful approach."

Warm musks are also common components, adding the natural "je ne sais quoi" of sun-warmed skin. These undertones may seem like a surprising choice for bright solar scents, but musks offer complexity and allure to the final fragrance. Just think about the sultriness of a summer evening, and this element makes a lot more sense. Plus, musky and woody scents tend to last longer than other perfumes, which may give your solar scent improved staying power. The trick for perfumers is balance so that these hints of musk don't overwhelm the scent's sunshiney sensibility. Altogether, the musky, citrusy, briny effect of solar scents is all about the careful combination of brightness and depth.

Finding your ideal solar scent balances hallmark fragrance notes with personal preference

Whether you're craving a salt-forward scent that evokes sea breezes or a zesty, mouthwatering fragrance that carries all the temptation of a tropical cocktail, you can find a solar scent that matches your sunny vibe all summer long. These fragrances are making a splash in the world of perfumery, so you have a range of options to choose from.

For example, the Solar Power Eau de Parfum by Phlur is an aptly named blend of sunny bergamot and orange flower, hypnotic neroli and jasmine, and the grounding touches of driftwood, musk, and sea salt. Meanwhile, the Yuzu Zest Cologne by Jo Malone offers an energetic fragrance, complementing its core of citrusy yuzu with the earthy spice of cedarwood. And the Salt Eau de Parfum by Ellis Brooklyn takes an oceanic approach to the trend, combining briny ambergris with sweet Tahitian gardenia and warm sandalwood.

Apart from checking the brand name — or the price point — remember one more thing when evaluating solar scents: When choosing your next signature fragrance, the most important consideration is how much you like it. There's no point in mimicking a celeb's scent or following fragrance trends if you end up with a perfume that you aren't excited to wear. So when trawling through the ranks of solar scents this summer, give each fragrance a sniff not just for overtones and undertones, but for that special it-factor that makes your brain light up with excitement.