Let’s set the scene: a white house with large windows, a wraparound porch, and a perfectly pruned garden sitting mere feet away from a sandy white coastline. Beyond the rows of yachts and sailboats that bob up and down on the rolling waves like a child’s toys in a bathtub are endless miles of perfectly blue sea. This is where the archetypal
coastal grandma—clad in her linen button-down, woven market bag, and floppy sun hat—finds peace and solace. But what if I said you could achieve that same exact feeling by simply spraying some perfume on the nape of the neck and inner wrist?
You’ve read that correctly. Age and proximity have nothing to do with embracing your inner coastal grandmother. I’ve scoured the internet to identify 16 perfumes that perfectly embody the
aesthetic so that you, whether or not you happen to reside on the picturesque coast, can have your own little piece of the Hamptons. Read on to discover which fragrances smell like all things coastal in a bottle.
Key notes: ambrette seeds, sea salt, and sage. Offering airy notes of sea salt and earthy sage, this best-selling Jo Malone London fragrance is immediately what comes to mind when I think about an afternoon spent on the water.
Key notes: aquatic accord, coriander, and red seaweed essence. Set sail with Maison Margiela’s pure and aromatic Sailing Day Eau de Toilette. Aquatic accord notes play with invigorating rose super essence, juniper essence, and an adrenaline rush of coriander.
Key notes: watery accord, blood orange, freesia, spicy lily, and sheer musk. Invoking slow afternoons spent in the company of your garden blooms, Tocca’s Stella is the way to go. It leans more floral than aquatic but still has that freshness I love from its watery accord.
Key notes: yellow mandarin, sea daffodil, and vanilla. Jo Malone London’s limited-edition fragrance blends the freshness of sea spray with bright yellow mandarin, light sea daffodil, and the comforting warmth of vanilla.
Key notes: fig, amber, and gardenia. Inspired by the last days of summer, early sunsets, and cool nights, this perfume is altogether warm and familiar. The gardenia in this one also offers an unexpected earthy note.
Key notes: sparkling pear, water jasmine, and sandalwood. Whether you have access to a sailboat named after a loved one or not, Ocean di Gioia will certainly make you feel like you’ve spent many a day at sea. It features freshwater jasmine with hints of juicy sparkling pear and woody musk.
Key notes: bergamot, heliotrope, primofiore lemon, coconut milk, and cedarwood. While I’ve never summered in the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard, I thoroughly believe this fragrance has to be what all those coastal grandmothers must be wearing. It’s soft and warm and has a splash of zesty lemon.
Key notes: bergamot, geranium, aquatic accord, clary sage, and oakmoss. Our first woodsy fragrance on the list, this Armani Beauty perfume combines the fresh and uplifting scent of aquatic accord with the grounding, earthy notes of cypress, sage, and oakmoss. In other words, it smells like a cozy, worn-in sweater that’s seen a few roaring waves.
Key notes: Sicilian bergamot, verbena, sheer jasmine, neroli bigarade petals, and vetiver. Everyone needs a go-to uplifting fragrance they can reach for whenever. Inspired by the blue sea and cold breezes along the Grecian coast, Aerin’s Aegea Blossom combines delicate florals with radiant bergamot and verbena before giving way to vetiver and sandalwood.
Key notes: lemon, bergamot, white flower accord, and light musks. Countless glowing reviews for this best-selling fragrance identify its versatility and effortless elegance. While I’ve never met a light, fresh fragrance I haven’t loved, this one absolutely takes the cake for the one perfume that can be worn by anyone, anywhere.
Key notes: florals, white musks, and woods. Here’s one for the coastal darlings who gravitate toward fragrances with major fruity and woodsy notes. Offering powdery florals, Hermès’ Un Jardin Sur La Lagune invokes images of a fragrant, bright garden.
Key notes: fresh marine, neroli, peony, jasmine, and ambroxan. I like to think of this fragrance as the epitome of the timeless “girl (or boy) next door” aesthetic. It’s fresh, fruity, and floral with an undeniable watery freshness finished off with honeyed neroli and warm musks.
Key notes: lily of the valley, pear accord, iris, Indonesian patchouli oil, and white musk accord. Invoking memories of easy evenings spent reading on the front porch, this soft, summery eau de toilette balances classic floral notes of iris, rose, and orange flower with juicy pear and cozy white musk accord.
Key notes: marine accord, tuberose, and cedarwood. Orange blossoms, jasmine, and magnolia are blended with refreshing marine accord and warm, woodsy notes to create an olfactory experience that screams, “I own a sweet little summer home in the Hamptons.”
Key notes: driftwood, cotton blossom, water lily, sea salt, and seaweed. What’s better than carrying the smell of salty sea air with you wherever you go? The correct answer is nothing. This charming perfume by all-natural perfume brand Skylar Clean Beauty captures all of the best coastal vibes in a bottle.
Key notes: white rose, pink pepper, violet, peony, and blonde woods. If all the female protagonists of Nancy Meyers movies collectively decided on one perfume that’s the true embodiment of the coastal grandmother, I’m pretty sure this would be it. Byredo’s Blanche smells as clean as fresh sheets and perfectly folded laundry.
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