As the Senior Beauty & Fashion Editor at HelloGiggles, it’s my job to stay up to date on the latest in brand and product launches. Every day, I scour studies, news, and polls to understand the science behind each innovation and determine the best of the bunch. In my recurring column, Pia’s Picks, I highlight the brands and products I’m loving within the fashion and beauty space—the ones that are worth your hard-earned dollars, are incredible steals, or are the first of their kind. I hope you’ll love them too.
Essential oils, diffusers, the fragrance aisle at Sephora—scent is undoubtedly alluring, as proven by the science behind aromatherapy. There are studies that confirm the calming effects of lavender, the invigorating effect of eucalyptus, and the aphrodisiac effect of musk. Certain types of fragrance can affect the way we perceive others, and they can also make us feel more confident in our own skin.
Now that summer's in full swing, it's only appropriate to talk about the best summer fragrances. Yes, I'm talking about perfumes to spritz on before date night, but I'm also talking about the essential oils you can mix before bedtime and the candle that will make you feel like you're on a beach in St. Barts. As I said, fragrance truly can mentally transport you.
Below, the best summer perfumes of 2020:
1. Glossier You Eau De Parfum
Shop it! $60, Glossier.com
This is the perfect go-to summer scent if you want a perfume that makes you feel like a better version of yourself. This award-winning fragrance uses innovative technology to adapt to every person's unique scent, meaning that it smells different on everybody. I've never not gotten a compliment when wearing it, and my friends who use it all say the same. This perfume gets a 10/10 in my book.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum
Yves Saint Laurent
Shop it! $78, Sephora.com
This 2020 HelloGiggles Beauty Crush Award winner is the perfect date-night summer fragrance. It's categorized as a floral, but this isn't your grandma's rose perfume. Instead, it's a warm floral that combines lavender essence and orange blossom to create a sultry scent that's incredibly addicting. It's the kind of perfume you want to keep with you at all times in case you want to spice things up, so I suggest going with the smallest version that you can take it on the go.
3. Clean Reserve Skin
Shop it! $98, Sephora.com
I found this perfume through the brand's discovery set with six minis, and this is the one scent I fell head-over-heels in love with. Like the Glossier You, it smells like a better version of your skin. I like that it's not overpowering or too obvious, mixing notes of musk and vanilla from Madagascar. And while yes, the perfume is great for the carefree vibes of summer, what I really love is the brand's commitment to sustainability, charity, and clean ingredients. It uses eco-conscious packaging (everything is recyclable and sustainable), gives back to programs that provide funding for schools and clean drinking water, and uses what it calls "farm-to-fragrance" ingredients.
4. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette
Dolce & Gabbana
Shop it! $104, Sephora.com
This is the classic perfume that everybody and their mothers know about and love, and for good reason. This iconic fragrance blends fresh citrus fruits like green apple with subtle notes of jasmine and white rose. Its feminine scent transports you to Capri, particularly to a yacht where Idris Elba is hand-feeding you grapes. Spritz, spritz.
The best home fragrances of 2020:
6. Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot Reeds
Shop it! $55, Amazon.com
If your home feels a little stuffy or smells a little bleh, place this reed diffuser in any room to instantly lift it up. It blends an energizing cocktail of bergamot, mandarin, musk, orange, neroli, and basil for an invigorating effect. To use, simply put the reeds in the glass bottle so that they can soak up the scent and emit it around the room. Easy!
7. Vitruvi Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Shop it! $11.37, Amazon.com
There are few things I enjoy as much as adding a few drops of this eucalyptus-scented essential oil to my diffuser every morning. I have a perpetually stuffy nose, and this helps to open up my sinuses so I can breathe better (sexy, right?). But in all seriousness, I love the way it smells so much that I even hang dried eucalyptus leaves in my shower to turn bath time into a spa experience, because that's what eucalyptus makes me feel like. Sometimes, I'll add a few drops of the lavender essential oil at nice for a more calming effect, and I'm a big fan of adding a few drops of lemongrass and orange in the morning for an extra freshness kick.
8. Bath & Body Works Endless Weekend Candle
Bath & Body Works
Shop it! $24.50, Bathandbodyworks.com
The name itself should already put you at ease. It smells of mandarin, coconut oil, and other essential oils that make you feel like you're at St. Barths. The packaging of this candle changes almost every season, but the subtle and relaxing scent has remained the same throughout the years and it's the one candle I keep buying over and over again. I want to say it smells like fresh linens, a slow Sunday morning, and the feeling you get when reading a good book by a sunny window—bliss.