I Fell for Le Labo's Santal 33 Just Like the Rest of the World and I Don't Care if That Makes Me a Sucker
I mean, even Justin frickin' BEIBER wears it.
I do not like grapefruit. I thought it was the prettiest fruit ever when, as a kid, I watched my dad cut one in half and dig in with a spoon. But when he let me try it, I twisted up my face in disgust.
"How can you EAT that? I thought fruit was supposed to be sweet!"
Even drizzling sugar on top didn't help; grapefruit is just too bitter for me to enjoy.
However, that bitter component comes in handy when you're looking for a summer fragrance. You need a certain sharpness to cut through the sweetness of most summer scents, or else it just becomes too cloying in the summer heat. Grapefruit is perfect for that because it smells so bracingly fresh and zesty.
I came to this realization after I fell in love with a certain fragrance that I consider to be perfect for summer: Memo Paris Kedu. Their fragrances are not cheap, but based on the ones I've tried so far, they're worth it.
When I noticed that Kedu has a grapefruit note, I decided to seek out a few other fragrances that really focus on the grapefruit note to find out if, even though I can't eat grapefruit, I could at least wear it in the summer.
These are the four fragrances that have me reconsidering my attitude towards grapefruit.
This fragrance is wholly unlike all of my other favorite perfumes, but it's seriously one of the best fragrances I've ever smelled. Most of my go-to scents can best be described as fall or winter fragrances, but this one is pure summer to me. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, Kedu is all I want to wear.
Of the four fragrances on this list, Kedu is the most complex. It's not a straightforward grapefruit scent at all; rather, it has a zesty grapefruit top note that dries down into notes of sesame (the main ingredient), mandarin orange, white musk, freesia, and rose, among others. It's a mix of light citrus, sweet floral, and warm musk.
I really enjoy sniffing my wrist throughout the day after spritzing this on, because I find it to be a very heady and intriguing fragrance. It's definitely bold and sexy, but not too overwhelming for warm weather. It's basically the only fragrance I would wear on a date on a hot summer night.
If Kedu is too heavy for your taste, then you need to try Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit. It's a much lighter and straightforward grapefruit scent that is perfect for sweaty summer days or for wearing to the office.
To my nose the main components are sharp citrus notes: lemon, orange, and grapefruit — but it has a tart rhubarb note, as well as a touch of sweetness from jasmine, lotus, and peach. I definitely get the mouth-watering scent of grapefruit immediately after the first spray, and then it becomes slightly more sweet than sour on my skin as the peach note really comes through.
If you're looking for a true but layered grapefruit scent, or just a light and zesty summer scent that won't have everyone at the office hating you, you can't go wrong with Hesperides.
Jo Malone Grapefruit isn't my favorite one on this list for myself, but I feel like I might really like it on a man. It's a unisex fragrance, but it smells undeniably masculine to me. The initial sharp blast of grapefruit changes only slightly into a soapy grapefruit that reminds me a bit of men's aftershave. It also has notes of tangerine, vetiver, rosemary, and mint, but for me it mostly smells like sharp, bitter grapefruit. This is a very clean and fresh scent that will definitely wake you up without assaulting your senses.
Jo Malone fragrances are perfect for layering, by the way, so there's endless possibilities for combining Grapefruit with another Jo Malone scents to make it sweeter, more feminine, or whatever you like. You could also use Grapefruit to give another fragrance a nice little touch of zest.
Pacifica Brazilian Mango Grapefruit is so yummy. At first there's mouthwatering mango, and then the sour grapefruit quickly follows with a touch of pineapple. It's sweet and fresh at the same time. I think the bitterness of the grapefruit cuts through the sweetness of the mango to keep things from smelling too sugary or artificial.
This fragrance gets me excited for hot summer days, lounging by the pool in a yellow sundress while downing a mango smoothie (which isn't what my summer is going to be like at all, but a girl can dream if she has the right perfume).
Also, not only is the price unbeatable, but it's available as a rollerball and a solid perfume as well, so it's very easy to tote this scent around with you and reapply all day. Since the solid perfume is made entirely of vegan, natural ingredients (coconut oil, soy wax, and essential oils) I've actually started using it as a fragrant lip balm.
Whether you like just a touch of grapefruit cutting through a complex fragrance or a straight-up grapefruit scent that makes your mouth water for the real thing, I highly recommend seeking out one of these fragrances before summer arrives. And no, I did not eat the grapefruit in these photos — but my dad made sure it found a good home.