For him and her

The 5 best scents that swing both ways

Summer’s the ideal time to choose a fragrance you can share…
The 5 best scents that swing both ways
May 8, 2017   |    Lee Kynaston


Although a firm believer that real beauty comes from the inside, Lee sees no harm in giving the outside some TLC.

With the days getting warmer, now’s the perfect time to swap your regular fragrance for something lighter, fresher and more summery. There are sound reasons for this.

For starters, heat tends to intensify fragrance, turning the average weapon of mass seduction sitting on your dressing table into a weapon of mass destruction (fans of potent perfumes like Thierry Mugler’s Angel and Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million take note). Secondly, summer tends to be a time of year when you want to smell clean rather than warm, woody or, given the trend for ‘gourmand’ fragrances in the last few years, like a walking cake shop.


That’s where the citrus notes found in many summer-friendly colognes like Jo Malone’s Basil & Neroli come in. Molecularly lighter and more volatile than musky or vanillary notes, they zing off the skin. Studies have also shown them to have energising, mood-lifting effects. Some, like Dior’s legendary men’s fragrance, Eau Sauvage, contain an ingredient called hedione which, according to scientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, stimulates the part of women’s brains responsible for releasing sex hormones. Now you know why it’s been adored as much by women as men, since it launched in the Sixties.

Luckily, the bulk of fragrances that lend themselves to summer use are gender-neutral, meaning you can buy one bottle for your travels to share with your partner.

Fans of Tom Ford will love Sole di Positano – the latest addition in his acclaimed Neroli Portofino collection. While Dolce & Gabbana’s brand new unisex Velvet Cypress takes its cues from the Mediterranean by blending bergamot and lemon with warm cedarwood.


As well as new fragrances, it’s worth looking to the classics: Acqua di Parma Colonia – whose fans have included everyone from Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn to, er, me – it’s the nearest thing to bottled sunshine.

Cool, crisp and refreshing, these fragrances reflect the joy, spirit and energy of summer – wear them and you will, too.


The reason perfumes smell different on other people is due to skin type, genes, diet and meds. The air around you also adds to the aroma.


1. Dior Eau Sauvage, £49.50 for 50ml, John Lewis
2. Tom Ford Sole di Positano, £155 for 50ml, House Of Fraser
3. Acqua Di Parma, £69.39 for 50ml, Amazon
4. Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Cypress, £165 for 50ml, Harrods
5. Jo Malone Basil & Neroli, £88 for 100ml, Jo Malone

Read more: 6 unisex beauty products to share with your girlfriend/boyfriend

Do you want more Balance in your life?

Subscribe to our newsletter to get a bi-weekly wellbeing fix, straight to your inbox