5 Must-See (and Smell!) Summer Destinations From a Fragrance Aficionado

Satisfy your wanderlust in a single spritz.
By: Amber Kallor

5 Must-See (and Smell!) Summer Destinations From a Fragrance Aficionado
Summer is the season of escape. Whether you’re taking a well-deserved staycation or journeying to remote corners of the globe, Almira Armstrong, founder of Sydney-based fragrance brand Lumira, has an ever-growing stable of scents that promise to transport your senses sans jetlag.
Each of our scents can be directly traced to a specific destination: a bustling urban environment, a far-flung village in the countryside, or a luxurious island resort. We distill not only the olfactory cues of each locale but also its ambiance; the lasting impression it leaves on a visitor,
she explained. “In turn, these fragrances evoke a specific feeling—some uplifting, others soothing—in their new environment.”
A world traveler since childhood, Armstrong collects inspiration and olfactory souvenirs everywhere she goes. Her favorite way to explore a destination is by foot because it increases her chances of stumbling upon something she may not have seen—or smelled—from the car, like the secluded beaches of Nerano or the tabaquerías (tobacco shops) in Havana.
Upon her return, Armstrong works with a perfumer to effectively bottle memories of “a sun-drenched afternoon” on Italy’s Amalfi Coast or the “relentless heat” of the Australian outback. And unlike a sun-kissed glow that eventually fades once you’re thrust back into the real world, Lumira’s perfumes, candles, skincare products, and room sprays are designed to keep the vacation spirit alive.

Havana, Cuba

Lumira Scented Journal

Trips to Morocco, Japan, and Italy are on the horizon for Armstrong, all of which will surely be stunning in fragrance form. Still on her bucket list? Sardinia, Belize, Saint Lucia, and Turkey. “Travel offers diverse experiences and fosters cultural awareness,” she said. “It also creates lasting memories and connections that inspire all of our fragrances.”
Travel offers diverse experiences and fosters cultural awareness, it also creates lasting memories and connections that inspire all of our fragrances.
Here, Armstrong shares her favorite summer destinations—and the scents that will send you there.

The Almafi Coast

Lumira Paradiso Del Sole


 THE SCENT: Paradiso del Sole is an invigorating blend of citrus notes, lavender, and musk that “evoke the refreshing mist of the Mediterranean Sea,” said Armstrong.

THE SCENE: “There is so much beauty to be seen in this part of Italy,” she said. “From the charming coastal towns to the delicious cuisine and architectural inspiration, it’s a breathtaking place to visit.”

WHAT TO DO: Armstrong recommends “Positano for the picturesque town and lush citrus groves; Ravello for the views; and Nerano for the secluded beaches.” Save Capri and its iconic Blue Grotto for the off-season when it’s less likely to be overrun with tourists, she added. Also worth adding to your itinerary in this Italian paradise: Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Atrani beach, and the Amalfi Drive. “This winding, coastal road offers panoramic views of the cliffs, sparkling sea, and terraced vineyards,” said Armstrong.

WHERE TO STAY: Le Sirenuse in Positano; Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello; Piccolo Sant’Andrea in Praiano

WHERE TO EAT: Conca Del Sogno in Nerano; Il Pirata in Praiano; Capri Palace in Capri; Da Paolina in Capri; La Fontelina in Capri; La Tagliata in Positano; Il Tridente in Positano; Franco’s Bar in Positano

WHAT TO BUY: Ceramics, leather sandals, and limoncello


THE SCENT: Balinese Ylang Ylang is a fragrance that “harnesses the renowned aphrodisiac properties of the golden ylang ylang flower, traditionally used to adorn the hair of Indonesian brides,” said Armstrong. Notes of jasmine sambac, black orchid, patchouli, and sandalwood round out this sensual scent.

THE SCENE: “Bali is a magical destination known for its natural beauty, vibrant culture, warm hospitality, spiritual ambiance, culinary delights, and beautiful villas,” she said.

WHAT TO DO: Head to Canggu for surfing, Seminyak for shopping and beauty treatments, and Uluwatu for a secluded beach escape, said Armstrong. Make sure to add visits to Ceking rice terrace, Uluwatu Temple, Ulu Cliffhouse, Karma Beach Club, and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary to your island to-do list.

WHERE TO STAY: Alila Uluwatu in Badung Regency; W Bali in Seminyak; Karma Kandara in Ungasan

WHERE TO EAT: Potato Head in Seminyak; Skool Kitchen in Canggu; Bar Souvenir in Canggu; Shelter in Pererenan; Motel Mexicola in Seminyak

WHAT TO BUY: Colorful sarongs and jewelry


Lumira Balanese Ylang Ylang Candle


THE SCENT: Cuban Tobacco is a “sphinx-like scent” composed of cardamom, clove, tangerine, tobacco, mahogany, patchouli, and musk that captures the “faded glamour of Old Havana,” said Armstrong.

THE SCENE: “Havana is a special destination renowned for its rich history thanks to its well-preserved colonial architecture, vintage cars, and historical landmarks,” she said. “The city is also known for its vibrant arts and music scene. You can experience live salsa and Afro-Cuban music while walking the streets.”

WHAT TO DO: In addition to strolling the streets of Old Havana lined with “sorbet-colored buildings,” Armstrong suggests stopping at Fusterlandia (an open-air art gallery created by José Fuster), El Morro (a fortress overlooking the bay), and Playas del Este (a five-mile stretch of white-sand beaches).

WHERE TO STAY: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski

WHERE TO EAT: Café del Angel; Paco’s Mar; La Guarida

WHAT TO BUY: Cuban music and cigars


THE SCENT: La Primavera is an alluring bouquet of jasmine, rose leaf, lily patchouli, and cashmere musk that pays “tribute to Italy’s City of Flowers,” explained Armstrong.

THE SCENE: “This special destination known for its coastal beauty is situated on the picturesque Italian Riviera, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea,” she said.  “Sanremo also hosts an annual international flower festival called Corso Fiorito where the streets are bursting with scent!”

WHAT TO DO: Book your trip in March if you want to see Sanremo in bloom during the festival, but it’s never a bad time to wander the cobblestone streets of La Pigna (the old town) or visit Bussana Vecchia (a charming, hilltop village), added Armstrong.

WHERE TO STAY: Miramare The Palace Hotel and Royal Hotel Sanremo

WHERE TO EAT: Paolo e Barbara; Da Vittorio; Brasa Me; La Vita é Bella


San Remo, Province of Imperia, Italy

Australian Outback


THE SCENT: Terra Australis is a blend of aromatic herbs, tea, cedarwood, and balsam fir that results in a “cicada-chorus of fragrance,” said Armstrong.

THE SCENE: Whether you’re seeking a buzzing metropolis or unspoiled ocean views, Australia delivers. Sydney, Armstrong and Lumira’s home base, is a must if you’re seeking a sparkling city skyline and beautiful beaches. Byron Bay is ideal for “relaxed coastal living,” while Margaret River and Barossa Valley are renowned for their wineries, she said.

WHAT TO DO: After visiting the iconic Opera House and climbing the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, escape the city and head to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the wonders of nature, engage in thrilling aquatic adventures, support conservation initiatives, and gain a deeper appreciation for the remarkable beauty and ecological importance of this extraordinary natural treasure,” said Armstrong. Don’t miss Uluru if you want to “immerse yourself in Aboriginal traditions, experience the beauty of the Australian outback, and gain a deeper appreciation for the spiritual significance of this extraordinary place,” she added. 

WHERE TO STAY: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley; Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach; Capella Lodge Lord in Howe Island; Park Hyatt Sydney; The Calile Hotel in Brisbane; Satellite Island Tasmania; El Questro Station in Kimberley; Daintree Ecolodge

WHERE TO EAT: Bentley in Sydney; Franca in Potts Point; Maybe Sammy in Sydney; Gypsy Espresso in Potts Point; Fico Hobart in Tasmania; Lulu La Delizia in Subiaco

WHAT TO BUY: Opals, boomerang, Akubra hat, Vegemite, and Tim Tams

Written by Amber Kallor

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