Five for Summer, 2015

summer wildflowers, from Wikimedia Commons
summer wildflowers, from Wikimedia Commons

HOLY MOSES, it’s summer already. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t like summer. It’s hot, it’s sticky, it’s boring. I’m not a beach person. Gah. But I do change my seasonal perfume rotation to deal with summer, and here are a few fragrances I really enjoy wearing in hot weather.

Cool and refreshing: Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl. Go ahead and roll your eyes, perfumistas. I’ll wait.

You done? Okay then. There is something so unmussable about Tommy Girl, which survives heat and humidity with aplomb. Her hair doesn’t go limp (or frizzy) in the heat; her clothes don’t wilt. She goes on radiating relaxation and freshness for a long, long time, and that effect of drinking iced lemon tea on the porch near the flower beds is very welcome to me when I’m outside in our muggy summer weather. Don’t shoot the messenger, but Luca Turin was right about this one.

So Pretty: Carven Le Parfum. I know a lot of perfume people found this one underwhelming, but most of them have less interest in the Just Pretty than I do. I love a just-pretty, and this one is wonderful if you like that kind of thing. I like that kind of thing. It’s basically mandarin, sweet pea, jasmine, rose and a very cleaned-up patchouli/quiet woody base that lasts fairly well.

Green and composed: Jacomo Silences, the original. My bottle is the old 80s parfum de toilette, which has aged very well, probably due to its black bottle. It’s an air-conditioned blast of galbanum and the restrained elegance of iris and moss, with florals, particularly rose, in between. I have the reissued Silences Eau de Parfum Sublime, and it’s nice, but it lacks the bold eerie calm of the original, which has just been discontinued. Go buy some now, before it disappears from the discounters.

Zingy floral: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune. Grapefruit, blackcurrant bud, petitgrain, something floral that I swear smells like rose to me, neroli, clean herbal patchouli and woody notes. Yeah, sure, it’s got that almost sulfurous thing going on up top, but I love it, and this citrus/floral thing is really refreshing in the heat. I’m less happy about the patchouli in the drydown, but I don’t like patchouli in general. It’s saying something that I don’t want to scrub this off when the patch floats up; instead I just want to reapply.

Most people love citrus fragrances. I usually don’t – the only traditional citrus/herbal/floral cologne I own is a small decant of 4711, and I don’t use it all that often. But I love a citrusy floral, and Pamplelune hits the spot. I’ve gone through a couple of minis so far, and I keep waffling on whether to buy a real bottle. Perhaps I will, when my Moschino Funny! is all gone.

And of course, I have to have a BWF. Always need a Big White Floral. Doesn’t really matter which one I pick, because they’re all good in the heat. Maybe not so great if you’re trying to get work done, because they can eat your head and monopolize your senses. But there’s nothing more swoony. Suggestions: Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums Carnal Flower or Le Galion Tubereuse (the rerelease), if you like your BWFs joyful and lighthearted. Escada Margaretha Ley (discontinued. #sorrynotsorry) or Honore des Pres Vamp a NY (bonus: all-natural) if you like them coconutty and tropical.

(Heh. I just crammed four perfumes into a one-perfume slot – how about me?)

So – what’s for summer wear in your neck of the woods?


The Summer Switch, 2013

spring into summerOkay, it’s time.

Despite the fact that four out of seven days last week were below 70F temperatures, I was so humid-sticky-miserable in the house last night, with the A/C off and windows mostly closed against the rain, that I went ahead and put my SPRING perfume wardrobe back in the cabinet and brought my SUMMER one out.

I mean, it was humid and 78F in the house last night, and good luck trying to sleep. (Actually, I slept anyway. I was tired.) Bleargh.

But the truth is that of the fragrances I usually think of as spring-only (Crown Bouquet, DSH White Lilac) , or at-their-best-in-spring (the old Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, DK Gold, Chamade, Chanel No. 19, Amoureuse, Penhaligon’s Violetta*), didn’t really get worn a lot this spring. It was either too cold, or too muggy-hot for them. So I have put most of them, excepting No. 19, away for more appropriate weather.

*Violetta I like in spring or fall, but having discovered recently that Bookworm likes it, I left it available too. Maybe it will move in to her room while she’s here this summer.

So the fragrances I only wear in summer are now in the hatbox on my dresser. Moschino Funny!, Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Hanae Mori Haute Couture, Cristina Bertrandt #3, DSH La Fete Nouvelle (my hay scent), all ready for summer. Also, I’ve put Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, currently residing in my fridge due to its notorious instability, back into rotation.

What else is in there, available for summer wear? Well, the aforementioned Chanel No. 19, DK Gold, original Silences, the new Silences eau de parfum Sublime, Tommy Girl (shaddup, I like it), the first, bellini-like, Ines de la Fressange, the old very-floral Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, Mary Greenwell Plum, vintage Emeraude, and L’Arte di Gucci (because sometimes you need a Killer Diva rose chypre no matter the weather). Plum I wear all year round, and the Ines is so lovely in warm weather but better in summer than in spring.  Seems like the only time I really like jasmine is in summer, and mixed with other things, but it’s prominent in the Cristina Bertrandt and the HM Haute Couture. Lots of rose in Ines, Rose d’Ete (duh), and Petite Cherie. Oh! And I should get out my multiple samples of DSH Rose Vert, that is gorgeous in summer. Someday I’ll have a bottle, but for now I’m making do with the little bits I have.


Five Scents for Summer, 2010

So it’s the height of summer. Boy, is it ever summer around here! Hot, muggy, lots of wasps and ripe tomatoes… Here are five things I’m enjoying in this weather:

  1. Smooth and CoolingJacomo Silences.  I hated it the first time I tried it last fall, finding it “screechy” and “frightening.” Since this past spring, it has become a must. This fragrance is all texture and color to me – a beautiful, smooth silk satin that stays cool in the heat. It’s a changeable color, too: that beautiful shifting shade, from icy-green galbanum through soft pink rose and purple-gray iris root to a beautiful mossy green.
  2. Light and RefreshingMiller Harris Fleur de Matin. A little wisp of a scent that somehow manages to stay crisp a long time, with galbanum, citrus, jasmine and honeysuckle, and some herbs.
  3. Fruity Cocktail, complete with little pink paper umbrella Ines de la Fressange, the first one in the octagonal bottle with silver lid (not the gold leaf bottle). This one always reminds me of mimosas and fuzzy navels and cheese straws, consumed with friends wearing either big hairbows and tea dresses or khakis and striped ties, amid juicy gossip. Aldehydes, citrus, tangy peach, rose, violet, sandalwood and musk, very girly. Basically, it’s a Brunch Party On the Lawn with the University Singers, and it just smells good.
  4. Fun and FrivolousHonore des Pres Vamp a NY. Sometimes you just want a root beer float, my friends. Vamp is just the ticket: root beer, spices, a big friendly tuberose, and vanilla. As open and uncomplicated a scent as I’ve ever come across, trashy but wonderful. Goes great with popcorn, by the way.
  5. Happiness is a Rose GardenParfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. This one smells just like yellow roses to me, my very favorite, plus a bit of Golden Delicious apple. Another simple and friendly scent that sweetens my days.

I know you’re wondering, Where are the woody citruses? The colognes? All we see here are florals – rose and jasmine and tuberose. Don’t you wear anything else?

Well… no. I just don’t do cologne. The closest I come to cologne is the aforementioned Fleur de Matin. Or maybe Moschino Funny!, a happy grapefruit-rose-tea thing that is sprightly and uplifting. Or possibly, maybe, if the planets align and I’m in the right mood, Eau Sauvage. I’ve come to realize that I always seem to feel like I’m wearing someone else’s underpants when I try to wear cologne. It’s Just Not Me. And I’ve come to terms with that.

Stay cool…

Image is from foxandfeathers at Flickr.