A Guide to All the Sol de Janeiro Fragrances

sol de janeiro

You find out what you truly love when you don’t have a lot of extra cash sitting around — and let me tell you, my wallet found a little extra for Sol de Janeiro the entire time I was woefully underemployed last year. I love these heavily scented and long-lasting body creams and perfumes from the U.S. brand, which was acquired by the L’Occitane Group in 2021 at a valuation of $450 million. (Based on how much I love them, this seems to me like a very fair price.) But not all of their scents are created equally, so here’s a primer on each of the most popular and non-discontinued (RIP Cheirosa ’39) Sol de Janeiro fragrances (and their respective products), in order of preference.

1. Beija Flor Cheirosa ’68


Fascinatingly, a “beija flor” in Portuguese is a hummingbird — the name literally translates as “kisser of flowers”. (I took Portuguese lessons when I spent three months in Brazil a few years ago, and my knowledge of the language tragically did not extend to the birds.) (BTW: “cheirosa” just means “fragrance,” so that’s Hummingbird (Fragrance 68) — not as fun in English??)

This is my favorite. I love it. I have no idea what I’m smelling when I smell it, literally speaking: a cherry milkshake? (Officially, the notes are as follows: Top: Pink Dragonfruit, Lychee Essence Mid: Brazilian Jasmine, Ocean Air, Hibiscus Dry: Sheer Vanilla, Sun Musk.) It all adds up to flowers + sweetness + summer. (All of these scents smell like summer — they’re just slight variations on specifically which summer you’re experiencing.) This is late morning in Rio in March, after some of the heat has passed and everything just smells amazing.

The Beija Flor is the second-strongest scent, after the original, but on my skin it’ll last all day, which is exactly what I desire.

My Beija Flor body cream’s government name is: Beija Flor™ Collagen-Boosting Elasti-Cream with Bio-Retinol and Squalane. I find this slightly ridiculous and have not noticed any elastic qualities, or the boosting of collagen or markedly improved skin condition — it’s just a nice thing to put on after a shower before your skin gets dry, and it’ll smell good all day. Isn’t that enough?

Beija Flor is available as body cream (and a large version), body and hair perfume mist, body wash, and deodorant.

#2: Brazilian Crush Cheirosa ’62


I also very much love the original: Cheirosa ’62. Whereas Cheirosa ’68 is cool and sweet and floral, Cheirosa ’62 is warm and smoky and caramel-y — to stay with our summer metaphor, it is 9 p.m. on the hottest day in January, in the middle of summer, when the sun’s going down but it’s still warm on the beach. Something about it makes me think of…vacuums? Of void? I have no idea? And the pistachio latte at Starbucks: not for nothing is pistachio listed as one of its top notes, alongside almonds. (The rest of the fragrance notes include heliotrope and jasmine petals, plus vanilla, salted caramel, and sandalwood. For me the caramel is extremely prevalent, but that might also have something to do with the color of the packaging.)

This scent lasts the longest on my skin, but I always smell it out and about — it might be doing for high school students today what Sandal 26 candles were doing for hotels in Williamsburg a few years ago (specifically: a lot, possibly to the point of oversaturation). This is part of why I prefer Beija Flor to Cheirosa ’62. But there’s room for both!

Available as: body cream, “debloating body cream“, fragrance mist, “shower cream-gel“, deodorant, and leave-in conditioner, among others.

#3: Cheirosa ’40


Sad to say: I do not like this one. I have found the online discourse around what it smells like — beyond the stated notes of black amber plum, crème de cassis and warm vanilla woods — extremely fascinating. For example, one commenter believes it may smell like dolls. For me, once you get past the vanilla (which I find overly sweet here), I only smell tobacco — like the scent of a wet cigarette (yum? ugh?). Like the interior of a tobacco barn, at the height of summer.

Its official body cream name is the Bom Dia Bright Cream, but I did not observe any brightening effects.

#4: Cheirosa ’59


Finally! I do not believe this has a smell. I literally thought I might have covid the first time I smelled this, to the extent that I asked a Sephora rep if I was going feral (or getting sick) — and she said that she agreed, that the perfume was very, very, very subtle. (Diplomatically, she said that some people “really love it!!!!”, but I’m not sure that I believed her.)

According to the brand, this is primarily vanilla, sandalwood, and orchid, though I swear to God, I cannot smell a single one of them. The last time I had one in my hand, I smelled it as carefully as I could, and the only impression I had was of “quiet sweetness.” The body butter formulation is much thicker than the regular body creams — I don’t know, this was just a total miss for me. But if you want to try it out, have at it.