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In honor of a steamy, Indian summer here are the scents that get better—not lost—when things heat up.
Written By Gavin Mcleod
Best Perfumes for a Heatwave | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey

— PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNA PALMA FOR THE VIOLET FILES

When temperatures—meteorological or otherwise—soar, the perfume you chose that morning either feels heavy and cloying or dissipates in an hour or two. While bright, fresh fragrances seem synonymous with warm weather, they’re not necessarily suited to the climate at hand. Scents that really ride the heat wave are sexy, sultry ones that include notes like incense, woods, and spices—the very sort we’ve been conditioned to avoid except in winter. Read on for the haute-est picks. 

HOT WEATHER
SCENTS

FEMININE WILES
Created in 1948, this blockbuster has been worn by Marlene Dietrich, Madonna, Sharon Stone, and Courtney Love. Fracas has come to signify the most feminine attributes of perfumery, and with good reason: intoxicating and heady, its interplay of florals and musk is the epitome of glamour. On warm days, the scent reveals its full character—the heat enhances the carnal aspect of tuberose and projects its white floral decadence.
SUMMER FLING
Leave it to ‘70s icon Jane Birkin to create a fragrance (with perfumer Lyn Harris) based on notes of sweaty skin, dirty hair, and unwashed sheets. With notes of amber, neroli, sweet musk, and vanilla, this perfume is pure sex and debauchery, revealing its full sensual character when the body heats up.
SEDUCTIVE SOPHISTICATE
Elegant, seductive, and rare, this complex formula marries plum and clove with floral-accented patchouli, Ylang-Ylang, and rose. The scent remains one of soft, fresh sophistication, no matter how hot you are under your Louis Vuitton collar.
WOODSY INTOXICATION
It has gained a cult-like following (including VIOLET GREY—we’ve collaborated with the brand on an exclusive all-black candle) with its overdose of Australian Sandalwood and musk, and one spray of Santal 33 is the spritz that keeps on…spritzing. Alexa Chung and Emma Roberts are avid wearers of the scent, which has spellbinding effects on all who inhale it. Expect to be asked about your perfume every single day.
DARK DECADENCE
With dark honeyed tones and a leather base, Ambre Sultan is an homage to “Arabia” and long regarded as Serge Lutens’ greatest creation. Its charred wooden base ignites in heat, leading notes of vanilla and ambergris to encircle the wearer in desert decadence.
HEAT OF THE NIGHT
The debut fragrance from supermodel Helena Christensen for strangelove nyc, Dead of Night stars sustainably harvested Oudh from Borneo blended with warm, sultry tones of amber and rose. Its oil formula hugs close to the skin, unfolding gradually over time, and is actually enhanced by the salt of sweat. Ideal for close encounters.

IN POLITE
SOCIETY

In polite society, bedtime 
 ATTIRE should involve traces of perfume, and little to NOTHING else.
— VIOLET GREY
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