Fancy a dip? These fragrances offer the perfect dose of escapism and transport us to exotic locations.

From the safety of your sofa. Obviously.

Fragrance is a wonderful thing. It can take you back to a specific moment in time like a first kiss or remind of you of a certain someone. It can instantly bring back memories of your wedding day or it can become your signature scent that makes people think of you. And, fragrances can even boost your mood. (Hence why we think investing in the best perfume for women is an investment in oneself.)

The power smell has is undeniable. Given that currently we are in a state of suspended time, why not use our sense of smell to transport us around the world, from the comfort of whatever makeshift work-from-home set-up you may have, aka ‘Armchair travel’ as coined by David Seth Moltz, the nose from D.S & DURGA. Escapism, if you will.

So, with that in mind, we’ve taken the liberty to pull together a list of the best fragrances that can transport you to your ultimate getaway destination without leaving your home – because, you know…isolation.


Can you hear that? The faint sound of waves crashing on rocks in the distance is rather inviting. And the smell of salt from the seawater is in the air. Whether you’re on the Riviera or Cliffside on the Amalfi look to fragrances with fresh citrus notes to take you there.

What is it: Chanel, Paris Riviera

Fragrance Family: Fruity

What’s in it? Sicilian Orange, Neroli.

What does it smell like? Like a trip to the Cøte d’Azur without having to leave your front door. You’ve just had a dip and are now poolside with a chilled glass of rosé – things couldn’t be more perfect. Neroli is lifted and given a cashmere soft quality by the addition of sweet Sicilian orange.

How long does it last? 3/5

Shop Now: Chanel, Paris – Riviera, Les Eaux De Chanel, £99

What is it: Tom Ford, Mandarino Amalfi

Fragrance Family: Citrus

What’s in it? Lemon, grapefruit, neroli.

What does it smell like? Bright and citrusy with a sophisticated edge. Lemons and grapefruit cavort with the softest floral notes. Grounded by a warm woody base – this is the perfect summer scent.

How long does it last? 3/5

Shop now: Tom Ford, Private Blend Mandarino Di Amalfi, £132.20 for 50ml, Available from John Lewis

Veronique Gabai Cap D'Antibes

What is it: Veronique Gabai, Cap d’Antibes

Fragrance Family: Woody Aromatic

What’s in it? Bergamot, florals, cedar.

What does it smell like? Inspired by the French Riviera, Veronique Gabai’s scents are invigorating, sophisticated and smell (and look) like luxury. You’ll get balmy notes from the cedar muddled with fresh flowers all bubbling on notes of an ocean breeze. If there’s any scent to transport you metaphorically, this is it.

How long does it last? 4/5

Shop Now: Veronique Gabai, Cap d’Antibes EDP, £255 for 85ml Available from Net A Porter


Fields of lavender are all the eye can see. You’re greeted by the grassy and freshness of it as a cool April breeze greets your skin. You’ll be picnicking nearby shortly with a pot of English breakfast and fresh scones with clotted cream and jam.

What is it: Jo Malone London, Wisteria & Lavender

Fragrance Family: Floral

What’s in it? Lavender, heliotrope, musk.

What does it smell like? The lavender is subtle here and powdery thanks to the heliotrope. But it's the musk that transforms this into a magical fragrance that becomes a skin scent.

How long does it last? 4/5

Shop now: Jo Malone London, Wisteria & Lavender Cologne, £50 for 30ml Available from John Lewis.


Warm balmy evenings and notes of Orange Blossom can instantly conjure up images of an oasis in a city - somewhere like Marrakech. We’re imagining an evening watching the sunset after a day of exploring Jardin Majorelle.

What is it: Diptyque, Eau Sense

Fragrance Family: Aromatic

What’s in it? Orange Blossom, juniper berry, patchouli.

What does it smell like? Like a fresh bouquet of creamy flowers. Bitter orange cuts through notes of orange blossom and juniper. Can bring joy to wintery days.

How long does it last? 5/5

Shop now: Diptyque, Eau de Sens, £72 for 50ml Available from Selfridges


You can hear the bustle of a city but there is a scent of wood, coconuts and seawater in the air. The nights are balmy and your linen outfit keeps you cool. You’re on a rooftop bar, loved one by your side and a grapefruit margarita in your hand – bliss.

What is it: DS & Durga, Radio Bombay

Fragrance Family: Oriental Woody

What’s in it? Cedar, sandalwood, iris, ambergris.

What does it smell like? Warming and complex. A dalliance with incense. Notes of copper, iris and cedar and grounded with ambergris.

How long does it last? 3/5

Shop now: DS & Durga, Radio Bombay, £187 for 100ml Available from Liberty


Trees, bushes and shrubs that have just been soaked by a heavy down pour of rain surround you. The air is thick but somehow completely refreshing. You’re in a space where you feel connected to nature.

What is it: Le Labo, Baie 19

Fragrance Family:

What’s in it?. Juniper, patchouli, ambroxan.

What does it smell like? Like petrichor – the earthy smell that is in the air after rain falls on dry soil. But, obviously a sophisticated version of it.

How long does it last? 4/5

Shop now: Le Labo, Baie 19, £127 for 50ml available from Selfridges


You know the kind; where impossibly chic inhabitants roam many experimental pop-up bars and restaurants where the wait lists and queues are long as they are Instagramable; the art galleries are cool as is the party scene, and quite frankly, you want in.

What is it: Byredo, Bal d’afrique

Fragrance Family: Aromatic Woody

What’s in it?. Cedarwood, black amber, marigold.

What does it smell like? Inspired by Paris in the 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance think a warming blend of wood and amber but with earthy warm spice notes of marigolds. Sensual and seductive, very much a holiday romance.

How long does it last? 4/5

Shop now: Byredo, Bal d’afrique edp, £115 for 50ml available from Selfridges

What is it: Vilhelm Parfumerie, Stockholm 1978

Fragrance Family: Chypre

What’s in it?. Geranium, rosemary, almond.

What does it smell like? Summer in Stockholm. The rosemary keeps the almond the right side of sweet adding a soapy feel to this beautifully constructed fragrance.

How long does it last? 4/5

Shop now: Vilhelm Parfumerie, Stockholm 1978 £157.25 for 100ml

Sunil Makan

Sunil Makan is the Editor of British Marie Claire. With over 15 years of publishing experience, working on print publications and their digital counterparts, national newspapers and digital pure plays he is an Editor, Strategist, Content Producer, Creative Director and Brand Consultant.

Sunil’s specialisms include Fashion, Beauty and Grooming, Lifestyle and Culture. Prior to Marie Claire, Sunil worked at ELLE, InStyle and Shortlist Media and freelanced at various other titles.