How To Avoid Bugs and Smell Great at the Same Time
The fragrances you’ll love and bugs will hate.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:40 AM
Summer—the season of rainbow pool floats, watermelon, and refreshing cocktails. But with all that sunshine and sugar and spice and everything nice comes a sharp downside in the form of buzz-buzzing: mosquitos. Those bastards are out and about, looking to take a sweet, sweet bite out of you. And yeah, while you could mindlessly spritz on yet another miscellaneous stinky and sticky bug spray, there are a few brands making bug prevention chicer and certainly better smelling—all with the added bonus of no toxic chemicals, like DEET. Who knew that was even possible!?
NoMo Eau Fraiche, Fragrance with Benefits, $85
The brilliance behind New brand Fragrance with Benefits‘s NoMo formula (as in “no mosquitos”) is that you wear the fragrance like you normally would (spray generously on legs, feet, and exposed skin), but it just so happens to be an insect repellent, too.
To create the blend, Olivia Jan, co-founder of NoMo, consulted the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of low-risk pesticides, which notes the essential oils that can be used as natural bug repellants. “Many of these essential oils are used in the fragrance,” says Jan. “But the specificity about NoMo is that it’s not just a blend of essential oils against mosquitoes, but that it was designed to be an Eau Fraiche that you can wear anytime, and it will protect you from mosquitos.”
It’s scented with fresh citrus notes, including Sicilian lemon and orange, and accented with French lavender, as well as peppermint, geranium, and cedarwood—and it’s those latter three that have the bug-repellent powers (those jerks hate those essential oils). You’ll reapply every two hours to maintain protection. The scent is a little less potent than a traditional fragrance, so you won’t be drowning in eau de parfum.
Mosquito Repellent, Coqui Coqui, $45 for Two
NoMo isn’t the only fragrance looking to repeal bugs. Iconic boutique hotel-turned-fragrance house Coqui Coqui has a mosquito repellent with the most heavenly orange blossom scent. The scent is a draw enough, but thanks to the heady essential oil blend, it also means that pesky mosquitos will keep away.
Unstung Hero Mosquito Spray, Mrs. White’s, $38
If you’re feeling like smelling like an “uplifting lemon tea,” try out Mrs. White’s Unstung Hero. You can even spritz this one on your linens and clothes, as it won’t stain. The brand says it’ll leave you invisible even beyond the “mozzies,” but also to ticks, black flies, wasps, and bees.
Insect Repellent, Zoe Organics, $20
Zoe Organics Insect Repellent is more repellent than fragrance, but it still comes with a pleasant peppermint, neem, and lavender essential oil blend, making it effective but refreshing. And because it’s organic, feel free to get generous with your spritzes, you can use it on your face, hairline, and body.