If the summer heat is too much, why not welcome fresher perfumes into your fragrance wardrobe. This year, we are particularly fond of the uplifting nature of citrus fragrances, from zesty lemon to bitter-sweet grapefruit. To learn more about citrus perfume, follow our guide and discover your favourite citrus scents for summer.
What are citrus fragrances?
Citrus fragrances are perfumes that are inspired by, or recreate the scent of citrus fruits. Their zesty, refreshing character makes them ideal to wear in the spring and summertime. These scents are generally captured by extracting the essential oil from the fruit’s peel, its leaves or its blossom. A good citrus perfume tends to be combined with other fragrance families such as floral or woody to add more layers of complexity, as well as anchoring the citrus perfume notes, as they tend to have a volatile nature.
What does citrus perfume smell like?
As the name suggests, citrus perfumes smell true to the nature of the fruit they are taken from, and as citrus fruits are generally acidic, sharp and full of juice, their scents are fresh and zesty. Some common citrus fruits found in perfume include orange, lemon, lime, bermot, mandarin, clementine and grapefruit, which vary between bitter and sweet, but always vibrant.
Orange / Neroli
A pure orange note comes from the fruit’s peel which is true to the sweet citrus scent of the produce, with an edge of bitterness. ‘Neroli’ is extracted from the blossom of the orange tree, to give a floral-citrusy version of the orange scent. Czech & Speake’s Neroli fragrance combines both the zest of the orange and neroli essential oil.
Mandarin is a type of orange and the overarching category of smaller orange citrus fruits. The mandarin perfume note is bright and green and generally sweeter than orange. Mandarin can be found in the top note of our green Vétiver Vert cologne, as an initial, sparkling burst of citrus.
The lemon fragrance note is the most bitter of citrus scents. It is tangy and sour with an undertone of sweetness, described as clean, energising and uplifting. Lemon scent can be found in the top notes of our powerful Perfecto Fino Eau de Parfum as well as our summer favourite, Ausonia Eau de Parfum.
Perfecto Fino is ultimately a smoky, woody fragrance, but its citrus top notes of lemon and bergamot make it zingy and enlivening. Sharpness is key to this exotic fragrance, reflecting the rich, complex, exciting yet tough world of Central America.
In the Ausonia fragrance, hints of lemon and apple combined with marine notes capture the exhilarating freshness of the Atlantic breeze, while the base notes of vanilla complement the zesty citrus.
Lime notes are refreshing and lively. Lime has a similar tanginess to Lemon but the aroma is lighter and sweeter, yet extremely juicy. Lime and bergamot kick off our Cuba Cologne, reminiscent of delicious and refreshing Cuba Libre cocktails, which sets the tone for this vibrant fragrance inspired by the Old Town of Havana. Its woody, smoky base anchors the citrus notes to make it rich and long-lasting.
Bergamot is a classic citrus note used in perfumery. Similar to the scent of lemon, it is tart and bitter but has a greener and sweeter quality. It has a subtle floral tone which can be compared to Earl Grey tea. Bergamot appears in numerous Czech & Speake fragrances including our iconic No.88.
Grapefruit is both bitter and sweet while extremely refreshing, with a unique dirty undertone similar to blackcurrant. Our Citrus Paradisi cologne is an example of a grapefruit perfume that is youthful and vibrant. The perfume opens with the extreme freshness of the fruit, combined with earthy and herbaceous notes to capture the warmth of summer. Each spritz is energising – it could be your scent for summer.
Types of citrus perfumes
As mentioned, citrus fragrances are often combined with notes from different fragrance families, which can result in quite different versions of citrusy perfume.
Citrus floral perfume
The floral fragrance family is the most used in perfumery, taking essential oils from a huge scope of flower varieties. When citrus notes are paired with florals, they make a great spring-like perfume through the combination of the freshness from the citrus and the sweetness of flowers, evocative of the blossoming time of year.
Citrus woody perfume
The woody fragrance family is rich and earthy, extracting essential oils from tree trunks, moss and roots. Woody notes are useful to combine with citrus notes due to their heavy weight which ‘anchors’ the more volatile citrus notes. Combining citrus and woody notes creates a perfume that is zesty and fresh yet deep, exotic and sophisticated. These perfumes are perfect if you are fond of citrus scent, but want something that is longer lasting at cooler times of year.
Citrus aquatic perfume
Aquatic or marine fragrances, like citrus, come under the fresh fragrance family, therefore these notes are a natural pairing. Aquatic notes are reminiscent of fragrances taken from water such as the ocean, freshwater lakes and aquatic plants. When paired with citrus notes, these fragrances smell supremely clean and refreshing, which makes it a great perfume category for summer.
Citrus oriental perfume
The oriental fragrance family offers the most opulent of perfumes, using precious resins, warm spices and exotic plants. Much like citrus woody perfumes, oriental notes provide an anchoring base for the light citrus notes and offer a scent that is bright and energising while rich and warm. Citrus and vanilla perfume is a popular pairing.
Czech & Speake Citrus Perfumes
If you have been inspired to update your summer fragrance wardrobe with citrus perfume, we have many fragrances in the Czech & Speake collection that use refreshing citrus notes. Discover our picks of the best citrus perfumes to try this season.