Floral Dresses and Fragrances to match

Floral Dresses and Fragrances to match

By Alexandra Donaldson

Every year the spring and summer runways offer up new trends and a flurry of creative clothing options, but the season just can’t shake its perennial favourite—floral summer dresses. This year is no exception.

Florals and fragrance are a natural fit of course, especially in the summer months when shedding winter layers requires a new scent suited to beautiful bared skin.

We’ve selected a collection of the latest floral dresses on offer and took them as inspiration in pairing them with like-minded fragrances. With so many variations, lengths and shapes within the season’s frock fashion, even the most minimalist or masculine-leaning can embrace blooms—whether you’re wearing them or spritzing them, or both.



If understated elegance is what you’re after, the soft florals and wispy silhouette of this silk and satin Preen dress is the perfect outfit. Just as timeless as your little black dress—but much more romantic—this flowing number is all about femininity. Balenciaga’s L’eau Rose is a great complement: Its blackberry and rose notes echo the dress’ attitude, while notes of violet leaf absolute, cypress and cedar ensure delicacy, while still making an impression.
Preen dress, $2.395, www.net-a-porter.com
Balenciaga L’eau Rose, $90 (50 ml), www.balenciaga.com



This dramatic white-blooms-on-black Dolce & Gabbana dress melds refinement with the ease of a “what this old thing?” approach. An evening dinner or a stroll at sunset would be the perfect picturesque accompaniment to this dress, and while we’re not usually ones to be too matchy-matchy, the new Dolce & Gabbana scent, Light Blue Sunset in Salina, is a great complement. This fresh, floral fragrance smells of summer—think violet leaves, freesia, orange flower and jasmine—while amber and white musk warm as the scent dries down. The time of day when day slips to night? It smells like this. In Sicily.
Dolce & Gabbana dress, $2895, www.net-a-porter.com
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sunset in Salina, $112 (100 ml), www.dolceandgabbana.com




Seventies-inspired fashions are at the top of every trend list for spring, and with that comes denim, crafty-embroidered florals and thigh-skimming mini dresses. This House of Holland dress manages to incorporate all three hippie references, all while looking decidedly modern. For a scent to match, we went with a signature ’70s note—patchouli. This Reem Acra Eau de Parfum has a warm patchouli, cedar and musk base lightened by jasmine, lily and peony notes. Top notes of ginger and orange blossom offer a spicy sweetness to this earthy, but elegant perfume.
House of Holland dress, $375, www.net-a-porter.com
Reem Acra Eau de Parfum, $70 (100 ml), www.ebay.com




This Ted Baker dress manages to be both bright and cheerfuL, and dark and mysterious thanks to lilies and tropical blooms set against a dark, woody backdrop. These contradictions are best served by Armani Prive Figuier Eden—a celebration of the fig tree. The scent opens with pink pepper and citrus, quickly followed by notes of green fig accord and iris. Woods and amber lend warmth to this fragrance which is a perfect fit for balmy summer nights spent sipping exotic cocktails.
Ted Baker dress, $480, www.tedbaker.com
Armani Prive Figuier Eden, $165 (100 ml), www.giorgioarmanibeauty.com




This Loft dress has us reaching for a tropical-inspired scents. Something like Frederic Malle’s new Cologne Indelebile. It’s a take on a classic cologne, and the result is a warm and sensual unisex spritz. Notes of bergamot, orange blossom and neroli combine with musk: The effect is fresh but warm, sultry yet clean. Paired with slicked back hair and strappy black heels, this timeless scent takes this dress from pretty to deeply and undeniably chic.
LOFT dress, $126, www.loft.com
Frederic Malle Cologne Indeleble, $260 (100 ml), www.holtrenfrew.com 




This Nina Ricci dress is a classic midi with a great, graphic floral print. It makes us smile—it’s suits a summer garden party, summer wedding or even paired with a blazer for the office. For it, we chose a standout floral perfume—Aerin Gardenia Rattan— with notes of gardenia, tuberose and tiare Tahiti. The pairing: Feminine and fresh and perfect for a summer’s day.
Nina Ricci dress, $2,205, www.net-a-porter.com
Aerin Gardenia Rattan, $110 (50 ml), www.aerin.com




Everybody loves a good wrap dress, especially for the warm-weather season. It’s easy-as-a-bathrobe style nods to the kimono. It’s no surprise then that the orange and black floral print of this Zara dress has us daydreaming of oriental fragrances. The Body Shop’s Smoky Poppy fits the bill. Earthy and woody, it’s a sultry alternative to bright summer blooms.
Zara dress, $129, www.zara.com
The Body Shop Smoky Poppy, $15 (30 ml), www.thebodyshop.com

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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.