Summer Fragrances for the Finicky

Does the very idea of just sitting next to someone doused in department store fragrances cause you immediate feelings of revulsion? Do you rip fragrance ads out of a magazine before you flip though them?

In the past, fragrances and I were not a great mix. While I could, at times, appreciate a fragrance on others, once I doused myself with the same blend I was met with feelings of nausea and anxiety. Sampling fragrances was never an enjoyable experience for me. Just a light spritz of a mainstream perfume, that had for a moment caught my curiosity, had me hightailing it to the nearest sink to vehemently scrub away every last remaining odor. I had desperately wanted to find my signature scent, but years of perusing the aisles of Sephora led me nowhere. It wasn’t until I discovered cleaner fragrances (free of parabens, alcohol, sulfates and phthalates) that I realized that not only could I tolerate fragrances, but I could experience feelings of joy and peace when wearing them. I also found that I could enjoy a whole plethora of different notes and blends.

If you’re like me and find yourself finicky with fragrances, I have a few recommendations that will have you finally falling in love with perfume.


Kai Fragrance Oil was the first fragrance that I have ever truly fallen for, although not a “natural” option. This cult-favorite blends gardenia flowers with white exotics, to create a tropical floral fragrance. In staying on the tropical spectrum, Candlenut from Juara is a bright and joyful blend of lush greens, freesia, jasmine, bergamot, rose, and coconut. Honoré des Prés’ Love Coconut fragrance is a mature blend of coconut and vanilla in a woodsy white cedar base. It’s a warm and sultry fragrance that works year-round. Tuberose and puakenikeni blend together in Leahlani Skincare’s Pua Lei* to create a sweet, clean and soft floral fragrance. Rounding out my favorites with a deviation from the tropical variety, is the ever exquisite sweet and spicy citrus fragrance, Satori* from Lina Hanson.

*denotes samples

5 thoughts on “Summer Fragrances for the Finicky

  1. I adore Satori! I wish it came in a bottle so I could spray it all over myself. Pua Lea sounds lovely, tuberose is one of my favourite scents!

  2. the Love Coconut scent sounds so simple and lovely! As a child, my parents made sure the fragrances, products and food in our home were natural. Mostly for ensuring we were healthy and happy but also partly due to some severe reactions I had towards synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives. I’m talking about hives for two months and I left the doctors dumbfounded! My body will reject and freakout from using synthetic fragrances even today, so natural alternatives are always a must!
    Great post!

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