Smell Like The Beach

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If there's anything Nancy Meyers has taught us, it's that the beach is a wonderful place to spend your summer and maybe find love in your 60s. But her white linen-clad fantasy world leaves out a few crucial details, like: The beach is a gross place! Unless you're a supermodel in St. Tropez or Diane Keaton in Loft slacks, "gone to the shore" is not a good look—which is why I try to avoid it. My preference instead is to smell like the beach, sans the sweat and fish. It's a festive approach to the season that leaves me free of sunburn and sand chafe. And good news—you can do it too, depending on which coast you want to smell like. So, if you want to smell...

  1. Like the Rockaways: Image Skincare Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50
    If sunscreen were easy and enjoyable to wear, than everyone would do it. By and large, sunscreen is no fun. But this one is—especially because it's a two-in-one that serves as a very good moisturizer with an abundance of SPF. The smell, which disappears soon after application, is at once summery and unpretentious. Like a beach in Queens!

  2. Like the Hamptons: Bobbi Brown Beach Scrub
    Sniffs like Coppertone, but packaged in black and white like a true lady. It's a surprisingly gentle pumice scrub that's buoyed by shea butter—there is literally no better descriptor for the texture than "wet sand." It's not the product you'd use if you're interested in a deep scrub, but a very effective all-over treatment nonetheless. It also serves as an amazing body fragrance, imbued with Bobbi's signature Beach—one of the greatest and most poignantly nautical smells of all time.

  3. Like St. Barth's: Tom Ford Soleil Blanc
    Extra fancy. I've never been to St. Barth's, but I would assume it smells like this: ambery, coconutty, and very lush. I am never not receiving compliments when I'm wearing it.

  4. Like Tahiti: Monoï Tiare Tahiti Body Oil
    Monoi Tiare Tahiti oil can be found on my favorite website in the world, Monoi.com—an entire internet corridor devoted to the tropical goodness of monoi oil. Learn about the history of monoi, stare at a map of Tahiti, or skip the foreplay and buy Tiare Tahiti Body Oil. Aside from it's nourishing properties, monoi oil just smells really fucking good—like you just awoke from a hammock nap (the best kind of nap) in the Bora Bora jungle but there are no mosquitos and everything is perfect.

  5. Like the bar: Drybar Mai Tai Spritzer Sea Salt Spray
    This one smells less like a proper beach and more like a TGI Friday's with beach access. Which is not a bad thing! This salt spray bears the distinctive aroma of rum, coconut, citrus, and a big 'ol novelty glass, and it doesn't batter your hair the way actual salty air will. Great for turning Cameron Diaz The Holiday hair into Kate Winslet The Holiday hair—weightless waves every time.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photo via ITG.

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