I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling 22 California dreamin’ recently. Or Florida dreamin’, or Jamaica dreamin’. Basically, I’ve been dreaming about getting the hell out of freezing cold Toronto and heading as close to the equator as my bank account will allow.
Unfortunately, my bank account will take me about as far south as Detroit (sigh). But if you can’t join them, why not smell like them? Sure, I can’t afford to actually go to the Caribbean, but I can douse myself in beachy scents, which is the next best thing! The following are the 13 ocean-scented perfumes I’ll be wearing until my cash cow comes home–which should be any day now, right? Right?
1. Eau des Merveilles by Hermès
This fragrance is unique in that it’s considered an “upside down” scent–its heavy, musky notes are on top, followed by lighter notes on the finish. Eau des Merveilles contains no floral notes, so it would be a poor choice for a girl who’s really into, say, Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb; however if you love the smell of ambergris, orange, and the seaside, consider this warm and woodsy perfume your new go-to.
2. One Summer by Calvin Klein
Do you love margaritas? Could you eat grapefruit all day? Do you wish your life was one continuous party on the beach? If you answered yes to these questions, then you should probably drop whatever it is you’re doing and buy this perfume. One Summer contains notes of lime, grapefruit, white freesia, coconut, and tequila (yes, tequila), so this fragrance is essentially a party on the beach in a bottle. Speaking of bottles, look at the One Summer bottle from 2011! How pretty is that?! Hey, Calvin, Mr. Klein! Bring back the primary colors, please!
3. Beach by Bobbi Brown
Just like the name says, this scent is the beach in a bottle. The top notes are of jasmine and sea spray, rounded out by a healthy dose of mandarin on the finish. It’s simple, clean, and classic, but I do have one gripe: the font on the bottle. I’m not feeling the cursive at all. Font aside, this is a lovely scent that works just as well on the skin as it does on linens (truth bomb: I like to spritz it on my sheets when I skip laundry day.)
4. Sel Marin by Heely
This perfume was made for the purist—it’s perfect for the girl who wants to smell exactly like the sea breeze and nothing else. There are no floral notes in this scent, but what it lacks in flowers, it makes up for in strong notes of beech leaf, sea salt, moss, cedar, and bergamot.
5. Salt Air by Demeter
I’d recommend this perfume (or any scent by Demeter, really) for the girl who wants to try something totally unique without taking out a second student loan to buy it. Demeter is famous for their “single scent library,” and there are dozens of different fragrances to choose from. I love Salt Air because, duh, who doesn’t like the smell of sea breeze, but you should totally check out their entire library, especially if you’ve always wanted to smell like dirt, cannabis, or holy water (I kid you not).
6. Fire Island by Bond No. 9
I’ve never been to Fire Island, but after smelling this perfume, I want to go really, really badly. Does anyone want to GoFundMe? I kid, I kid. This fragrance contains notes of neroli, white musk, tuberose, patchouli, cardamom, and a single drop of JWOWW’s Mad Hot Tingle Bronzer. (The jokes just keep coming tonight, guys!)
7. Dune by Dior
Raise your hand if you were born after 1991. If your hand is in the air, then this perfume is older than you. Fragrance facts are fun, right? Anyway, I hate the bottle (it really screams “1991,” and not in a good way), but the perfume itself is really lovely and memorable. Dune’s top notes of sandalwood, salt spray, peony, and mandarin are rounded out nicely by vanilla.
8. Costa Azzurra by Tom Ford
Tom Ford, can you do no wrong? (Except for your prices. They are wrong because I can’t afford them.) This scent is glorious–it’s warm, it’s woody, it’s spicy, it’s oceanic, it’s everything. This perfume’s top notes are seaweed, driftwood, and cardamom, with middle notes of myrtle, lavender, and lemon, rounded out by base notes of incense, vanilla, and oak.
9. Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone
I’ve written before about how much I like Jo Malone fragrances, and while this JM scent is not my fave (that would be Earl Grey and Cucumber), it’s a close second. If you’re into perfumes that are both woody and oceanic, this is the pick for you.
10. Blu Mediterraneo Arancia Di Capri by Acqua di Parma
This perfume threw me for a bit of a loop when I first smelled it, and here’s why: there are pretty strong caramel notes intermingling with orange, Sicilian mandarin, and musk scents. While I’m not a huge fan of caramel myself, the consultants at my friendly neighborhood Sephora tell me that this perfume has almost achieved cult classic status. It’s a unisex scent, so if you try it out and aren’t a fan of the way it smells on your skin, you can always pass it on to that lovable but stinky guy in your life.
11. Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani
A friend of mine has been wearing Acqua di Gioia since its release in 2010, and this is what she has to say about it: “I know this isn’t an exciting or really trendy signature scent, but I love this perfume, and I’m pretty sure I always will. I like that it smells a little minty, so it’s crisp, but it’s still warm enough to wear at night.” Indeed, the top notes in this fragrance are of mint, brown sugar, and lemon, followed by heart notes of jasmine, peony, and cedar.
12. Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford
I know I’ve already included a Tom Ford scent on this list, but his perfumes are just too good to be mentioned only once. I actually just experienced this fragrance for the first time about a week and a half ago, and I say “experienced” because I didn’t smell Neroli Portofino–I experienced it. I actually loved it so much that when I finally stopped spritzing it all over myself at Sephora, I went home and promptly tweeted about it:
It’s just that good, guys. The notes in this masterpiece are of mandarin orange, bergamot, African orange flower, and amber. Treat your nose to the experience the next time you find yourself at Sephora.
13. Replica Beach Walk by Maison Martin Margiela
Turns out the man who makes Kanye West’s favorite jackets also makes incredible fragrances. Beach Walk is a really, really phenomenal oceanic scent—it’s warm, it’s fresh, and it’s a really great representation of what a walk on the beach actually smells like. The primary notes in this fragrance are bergamot, lemon, musk, ylang-ylang, coconut milk, and pink pepper.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.