I can confirm these 7 perfumes are basically happiness in a bottle—and you'll want in on them this summer

When life gives you lemons, make lemon perfumes

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My perfume cupboard (yep, I'm a beauty editor so have a fragrance cupboard) is bursting at the seams, but there's one type that I have consistently found myself reaching for this summer: lemon perfumes.

Citrus scents are my jam, particularly in the summer months. Lemon in particular is a note that I've developed such a fondness for over the years. It all started with Maison Margiela Replica Under The Lemon Trees, which is still an all-time favourite fragrance of mine, and since then I've been seeking out the best lemon scents. While there are citrus perfumes aplenty, lemon perfumes have a specific characteristic that makes them fresh, zingy and uplifting—leaving them void of that creamy, musky, skin-like element that isn't to everyone's tastes. Trust me, I've spritzed dozens —these to be the best.

1. Maison Margiela Replica Under The Lemon Trees

Maison Margiela Replica Under The Lemon Trees

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Maison Margiela Replica Under The Lemon Trees Eau de Toilette


Notes: Kalamansi lime accord, citrus absolute, petitgrain, coriander, cedarwood

The first lemon fragrance I truly fell in love with and a staple in my fragrance wardrobe, I make sure to have a backup bottle of Under The Lemon Trees because I never want to be without it. I reserve this for the summer months when I'm heading out for drinks or just a sunny day, and it makes for a great holiday perfume. It's bright, fun and fizzy and feels truly joyful. It's definitely zesty, so is best for those true citrus lovers like me.

2. Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves

Jo Loves White Rose And Lemon Leaves

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Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves


Notes: White rose oil, lemon peel, rose absolute, cedarwood

This is a new one for me and although I liked it at first spritz, I love it more with each wear. As the name suggests, one of the other main notes is rose. I'm a huge rose fan, but it's got to be done right, and Jo made sure not to include any great-grandma rose in here. It's a scent that develops beautifully as the day goes on. It opens with a sharp lemon zest (sherbet lemon vibes) before settling down to a beautifully modern rose. It reminds me of English countryside with an incredibly feminine feel.

3. Bvlgari Allegra Chill & Sole

Bvlgari Allegra Chill & Sole Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Bvlgari)

Bvlgari Allegra Chill & Sole Eau de Parfum


Notes: Italian lemon, petitgrain, neroli

I've not yet met a Bvgari Allegra perfume I haven't liked (and no, it's not just because the bottles look like chic sweets). They're incredibly wearable (great for gift-giving and blind buying) and feel ultra luxurious. The combination of uplifting Italian lemon, petitgrain and neroli makes me feel like I'm going out for drinks on a beautiful sunny terrace even if, in reality, I'm sitting at my desk in grey Oxfordshire.

It's described as "the true embodiment of a perfect day" by the brand, and as someone who is into manifestation, that's something I can always get on board with—even if I have a mundane day lined up. It's one of the more long-lasting lemon scents I have, too.

4. L'Occitane Verbena

L'Occitane Verbena Eau de Toilette

(Image credit: L'Occitane)

L'Occitane Verbena Eau de Toilette


Notes: Lemon, mandarine, verbena, petitgrain

A classic that works beautifully for the hot weather, Verbena smells just like you're squeezing fresh lemon, and if you're like me and can't get enough of this zest, then it's delightful. It's not a heavy scent but wears close to the skin, which I personally love. I like to keep this on me and spray it in the day during spring/summer when I want a little pick-me-up.

5. Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit

fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum

(Image credit: Fresh)

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum


Notes: Grapefruit, Italian lemon, mandarin, jasmine, rhubarb and musk

Fan of grapefruit? You'll love this. The opening is extremely tart, as you'd expect with a grapefruit, but it settles to allow for the other notes of lemon, mandarin, jasmine, rhubarb and musk to come through. It just doesn't last very long though sadly; so layer it over the top of a zesty moisturiser to get the most out of it

6. Olfactive O Citrus

Olfactive O Citrus

(Image credit: Olfactive O)

Olfactive O Citrus Eau de Parfum


Notes: Crystal lemon, Champagne, grapefruit, musk

The fizzy champagne note here is such a special addition, making it stand out from other lemon scents out there. It's one of Marie Claire UK Executive Beauty Editor Shannon Lawlor's favourite citrus perfumes, noting that it's one of the few that embodies true freshness within its zesty notes—and I couldn't agree more. It's also one of the cheaper perfumes in the list so great to dip your toe into citrus notes if you're undecided whether you like them.

7. Phlur Tangerine Boy

Phlur Tangerine Boy

(Image credit: Phlur)

Phlur Tangerine Boy Eau De Parfum


Notes: Lemon, ginger, black pepper, tangerine, moss and apple

Now, this isn't one I'd say is lemon-first, but it's got a strong lemon note and is deserving of being here. It's properly tangy on the initial spritz—the kind of perfume that really gets people's attention—but dries down to a much less zesty scent. It's fun, youthful and fantastic for a summer scent that doesn't take itself too seriously. Sadly, it doesn't last as long as others in the list.

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.