You've picked out a stylish new pair of shades, invested in self-tan and brightened up the contents of your make-up bag. So what should be your next beauty step into high summer?

Get your nose around this season's hottest new scents. Push your signature fragrance to the back of your dressing table and lighten up with a summery perfume for the sunshine months ahead.

Here's a guide to the best new scents for 2009 and how to wear them when temperatures soar. And if you're not jetting off for sunnier climes, check out the latest "destination" scents to transport you to an exotic beach location with one carefree spritz.

Seasonal swap

You wouldn't wear 120 denier opaques in the blistering heat, so why layer up your skin with a super-heavy perfume? Just like our wardrobes, it's a natural progression to switch perfumes to match the seasons.

"The best way to choose a summer fragrance is to avoid those that contain heavy notes like musk, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla and lavender - in the heat, they risk giving you a heavy head," advises Roni Raithatha from The Fragrance Shop.

"Instead opt for peony, rose, lily of the valley, orchid, jasmine and bergamot. Look for apple, peach and orange blossom if you like something a little stronger without being too powerful."

You may also be able to find your usual fragrance in a lighter "eau" edition for summer.

This summer's fragrance finds

Choosing a brand new fragrance can be a daunting experience. About 400 alluring perfumes hit the beauty counters each year, so finding a new signature scent is no mean feat.

Try to remember two important things:

1. Carry out the lunch hour test. Spray your potential scent onto your skin - not paper sample cards - then go for lunch and see if it's still just as captivating after one hour.

2. Pick your fragrance according to your personality.

Here's a few hints as you hunt for the holy grail of summer scents.


Go for: Oriental or sea-inspired fragrances with an air of mystery.

Try: Michael Kors Island Bermuda, £41.11 for 50ml EDP (0870 034 2566); The Body Shop Moroccan Rose, £14.65 for 50ml EDT; Girard Bali Sunrise, £17.13 for 30ml EDT (Boots).

Green Goddess

Go for: Zen-like fresh scents that work with your free spirit.

Try: Jo Wood Organics Amka, £36 for 50ml EDT (0845 607 6614/; Eau de Sisley 1, £90 for 100ml EDT (020 7591 6380/; Versace Versense, £32 for 30ml (01273 408830).

Fun-time Gal

Go for: Effervescent, fruity scents that match your bubbly personality.

Try: Miss Dior Cherie L'Eau, £39 for 50ml EDT (Dior counters nationwide); Psychedelice by Morgan, £14.50 for 35ml EDT (; L'Eau d'Issey Summer, £34.50 for 100ml EDT (nationwide).

MS Romantic

Go for: Light and airy floral scents to match your loved-up mood.

Try: Estee Lauder White Linen Pink Coral, £29.36 for 30ml EDP (; Gucci Flora, £32 for 30ml EDT (Selfridges); Elizabeth Arden Pretty, £26 for 30ml EDP (Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide).

Glamour puss

Go for: Heady scents that ooze sex appeal - best left for after dark.

Try: India Hicks Island Night, £36 for 100ml EDT (0800 111 4406/; Jo Malone Kohdo Wood Night Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, £29.50 for 30ml Cologne (; Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, £47 for 50ml EDT (select department stores nationwide).

Wearing summer scents

One spritz and go? Not in the summer, when rising temperatures can affect the longevity of your scent. Roni Raithatha has these tips to work your fragrance to its full potential so you can smell sweet in the heat.

- Don't spritz the centre of your neck in summer as skin there can be very dry due to sun exposure. If you must, dab either side of your throat, about three inches below your ear, to get a sting-free reaction.

- Layering is a great way of wearing fragrance for summer. Invest in the complementary bath and body products of your favourite perfume where the fragrance will just layer on your skin. As your body heats then cools during the day, each product will revitalise itself.

- Fabrics really hold fragrance well. Spritz your scent onto the lining or inner hem of your outfit. As your body temperature rises, so will the fragrance. Avoid spraying the outside of your clothes - unless the perfume is completely colourless, it may stain.

- Freshly-washed hair is a great fragrance carrier, especially if your hair is long. The perfume will release every time you flick your locks.

- Spraying below your waist will leave you smelling sweet for hours so set your scents higher by dabbing perfume on crucial pulse points like the crook of your elbows, back of your knees and the front of your elbows.