Channel Summertime With the Best Coconut Perfumes

The sunscreen-like scent has gotten a major modern upgrade.

product collage of coconut perfumes from maison margiela, tom ford beauty, kayali, the 7 virtues, and ellis brooklyn
(Image credit: Future/Courtesy)

Fragrances are one of the most powerful tools for jogging memory. Anytime I smell one of the best coconut perfumes, I’m immediately transported to simpler days spent in the sun, especially moments of my mother slathering me with sunscreen. So once the weather heats up and I want to channel the easy, breezy feel of summer, all I have to do is spritz on a sweet, nutty blend.

Don’t chalk up coconut-forward fragrances to just being a vacation in a bottle, though. It's a nuanced scent that evokes a wide range of emotions. “I think of the warmth of the sun on my skin, the sensation of walking barefoot on the sand, and the freshness of drinking cool coconut water by the beach," says Mona Kattan, founder of Kayali. But for Kudzi Chikumbu, more famously known on social media as Sir Candle Man, the smell of coconut takes him back to school. "When I smell coconut, I get memories of bake sales at school, where delicious coconut-topped goodies are surrounded by moms and delicious gourmand perfumes."

Coconut fragrance notes can manifest in many different fragrance families, from fresh and clean to dark and sultry. I searched high and low to find the best coconut perfumes that suit every scent preference and budget. Here are the best finds on the market.

Shop the Best Coconut Perfumes

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What to Look For in a Coconut Perfume

  • Notes

In your search for the best coconut perfume, you’ll find a few notes in the coconut family that all have their own effects on a fragrance. With its creamy and sensual scent, coconut milk is typically found as a heavy middle note and used in sweet, gourmand fragrances. Coconut water smells a lot fresher, with a lighter and slightly sweeter scent. Then there's coconut blossom, which comes from the palm tree leaves that eventually turn into the coconut fruit.

  • Layering

Don’t be shy about layering coconut perfumes with your other favorites. Harvey-Taylor says they “generally play well with others” and “are fun to wear and experiment with.” For Kattan, coconut perfumes layer well with fruity scents. She also loves pairing coconut perfumes with gourmand scents (think: vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and other edible notes) to level up the warmness of the coconut.

If you want a more distinct and unexpected combination, try layering the best coconut perfume with an aquatic scent. "The coconut palette is broad and can be used in unique ways if you stretch it with other notes," says Chimbuku. The fragrance expert recommends layering coconut with sea salt or even oud for added depth.

Meet the Experts

Headshot of kudzi Chikumbu sitting on a couch
Kudzi Chikumbu

Kudzi, who goes by Sir Candle Man on social media, is a fragrance devotee who regularly shares his fragrance reviews and expertise on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. He recently published Let It Burn, a guide on how to use candles to empower your everyday life.

 Mona Kattan, Founder of Kayali headshot
Mona Kattan

After co-founding Huda Beauty with her sister, Huda Kattan, in 2013, Mona decided to build her own fragrance brand, Kayali, in 2018. With her lifelong obsession for perfumes, Mona uses her extensive knowledge to create new scents or what she calls "moods in a bottle."

Brook Harvey-Taylor

Brook is the Founder and President of Pacifica Beauty, a 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that has been leading innovation in clean beauty for nearly 25 years. Brook founded Pacifica with her husband Billy Taylor, Pacifica's CEO, in Portland, Oregon in 1996.

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she specializes in crafting shopping stories—from sales content to buying guides that span every vertical on the site. She also oversees holiday coverage with an emphasis on gifting guides as well as Power Pick, our monthly column on the items that power the lives of MC’s editors. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.