Summer is a late comer to where I live, but today was nice and sunny, even if only 20 degrees Celsius. The weather has been a bit temperamental in the last two weeks – cloudy, muggy, rainy… But mostly it’s been consistent about one thing: as little sun as possible. Sun is perhaps the one single thing that means summer. When it is present in abundance, it brings the feeling of generousity and freedom - the freedom to wear (or not) whatever you like without feeling vulnerable to the weather, and enjoy the simple yet luxurious sensation of summer – sunrays, warm sand, cool pools, salty and wavy oceans, juicy fruit, lusciously green grass shining with chlorophil and dew, and piping hot baked earth...
Today I am joining my fellow scent bloggers, including Aromascope, Perfume Critic, Perfume Posse, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, Scented Salamander, Scentzilla, Legerdenez and Victoria’s Own in making a list of my favourite summer fragrances. To these I will add later on this week, my own list of building blocks (notes) that make me feel like summer…
This was all Ina’s idea – and the list was to include a favourite for each of the following categories: floral, citrus, amber, green, spicy, leather, gourmand and musk. To this I will add Chypre (how obvious of me!). I am tempted to put Le Parfum de Therese in almost every possible category, but I will resist the temptation even though you know by now that it is in my opinion the best citrus, best Chypre, best leather and best floral (just breath in all those fresh jasmine petals!) there is for the summer.
I just recently made a list of my top favourites in all categories possible, so this list will be a bit different in a few ways:
1) For the most part (unless I had no choice!) I have omitted the “summer favourite of all times” that were in my previous list. For this very same reason there are no favourites from my own line in the list you are about to read. I am trying to avoid redundancy (sometimes).
2) I tried to not include perfumes that are for me a year-around staple, but rather just the ones that really shout summer as soon as your smell them.
3) Therefore, I allowed myself to add new loves to this list, as opposed to go over my wardrobe staples all over again... But that does not mean that they are not worth becoming a wardrobe staple!
Summer Floral: Tiare by Comptoir Sud Pacifique
Dabbing this one on from the precious tiny sample I got from Sali a while back, it saddens me that this scent is not longer available.
I am not sure why was this discontinued and replaced by the inferior Aloha Tiare, but this is just a fact of life… Tiare stands up for its name. A little dab goes a long way and will make you feel like a Tahitian girl wearing by nothing but Monoi. Tiare is a particularly fragrant species of gardenia, which is used for making the traditional Monoi de Tahiti my macerating the flowers into coconut oil. This is used to anoint both the body and the hair and is a luxurious mositurizer.
Tiare is a white floral that invokes beach, sensuality and happiness, and that’s what I love about it. It is simply tiare and coconut but that does not make it in the least boring – it’s a warm, soft and sweet floral.
I did not find Tiare online, but if you have a source that still carries the original Tiare, please share it with us.
* Let a thousand flowers bloom this summer: Frangipanni Absolute (Ormonde Jayne), Pure Poison, La Chasse Aux Papillon, Mimosa pour Moi, Hiris (Hermes) and Champs Elysees
Summer Citrus: Citron Citron
Citron Citron by the talented Miller Harris is a classic aromatic citrus but it is also quite original. What I like about it in particular is its bold dryness. This is achieved by pairing a woody base with complementary aromatic spices that share a fresh brightness with the tart citrus top.
Notes include: lime, lemon, orange, basil, mint, cardamom, coriander, cedar wood and white musk.
* Make your summer even more citrusy with: O de Lancome, Sugar (by Fresh), Grapefruit (Jo Malone), l’Eau de Hadrien (Annick Goutal)
Summer Amber: Obsession
If you find the original version of Obsession too heavy, you may enjoy wearing Sheer Obsession – the alcohol free version in the frosted bottle, with a more accented vanilla and citrus notes. I am not a big fan of single noted ambers, but these can be worn during the summer too. Obsession includes notes of: mandarin, tangerine, vanilla, orange blossom, jasmine, amber, oakmoss, frankincense and sandalwood.
* I would be curious to hear which ambers do you like to wear on a hot day.
Summer Green: Philosykos
Greens are the most difficult scents for me to wear, and particularly in warm weather. I prefer greens in a crisp cold weather of late fall and early winter. However, this miraculous scent is the most summery and wearable fragrance – despite the fact that it is very green. It may not have the best lasting power, but for this light and refreshing scent this is a good thing – as it allows you to recharge and get back your green fig kick.
Main notes: green fig, cedarwood, coconut milk.
* Make your summer even greener than your neighbour's grass with: Ofresia (Dyptique), Verte Violette (l’Artisan Parfumeur)
Summer Spices: Opium Fleur de Shanghai
If you don’t want to shop online to find Fleur de Shanghai you may opt for the current summer edition for 2006 – Opium Fleur Imperiale – not as wonderful as Fleur de Shanghai, but with enough myrrh and cloves in it to keep up with the theme.
Main notes: mandarin, magnolia, star jasmine, carnatinon, myrrh, moss.
* More spicy summer recommendations: Aqaba, Youth Dew Amber Nude
Summer Leather: Dzing!
This is not a particularly light fragrance, and it may not suit everybody to wear it on a hot summer day – but if summer for you means steaming asphalt with the air dancing above the ground and distorting one’s vision, or a watching the tigers jump through burning tires in the circus – Dzing! Is the leathery perfume you want to wear in the summer. If you cannot get a hold of Dzing! You might want to try Bvlgari Black, which is quite similar – but has a very persistent lasting power that you might find overwhelming in extreme heat.
Notes include: Cade, Rose, orris, Styrax, cinnam, Black tea, benzoin, Peru balsam, Castoreum.
* Get more leather kick this summer with:
Cuir d’Oranger (Miller Harris), Cuir de Russie (Piver), Tabarome (Creed)
Summer Gorumand: CocoVanilla
CocoVanilla by Alyssa Ashley – light vanilla, musk and coconut in an alcohol-free base. It is very similar to Musk Vanilla by Coty, only lighter. I also like the packaging – a retro cream-yellow frosted bottle, which brings to mind warm sand, tanned skin and banana ice cream…
I never noticed it until it was on the special sales shelf at Shoppers Drug Mart, for only $9.99 CAD. You can’t go wrong for that price… Online I can only find it in German eBay or other German sites.
* More yummy gourmands for the summer:
Ananaz Fizz, Vanille Banane (Comptoir Sud Pacifique), Champaca (Ormonde Jayne)
Summer Musk: Musc Alize
Although listed as a floral on CSP website, this is more of a soft and peachy musk than a floral in my opinion. The peach notes are subtle and lightly sweet. Musc Alize is all that’s needed for a clean and soft as skin musk scent that is subtle and sexy. It’s basically a white musk but without smelling too harsh like some white musks tend to be.
Notes include Jasmine, Ylang, Violet, Vanilla, Amber and White Musk.
* Which other musks would you prefer to wear on a hot day, rather than anytime of the year?
Summer Chypre: Le Parfum de Thérèse
Did I already tell you how perfect Le Parfum de Thérèse is yet? If not, than read my April review of this rare beauty.
Including notes of: Basil, Melon, Lemon, Jasmine, Hedione, Sour Plum, Pepper, Chypre and Leather notes.
* More Chypre chic for your summer: Mitsouko EDT, Miss Dior EDT, Femme.
Favourite Summer Incense: Kyoto
This was the most difficult category for me to pick a scent for – not only because I do not usually wear incense scents, but also because the idea of combining the smoke of incense with the heat of summer does not seem right (unless the incense is lit in a chilly stone katacomba). However, after thiking long and hard I remembered one of my most favourite incense scents and it seems most appropriate for the summer: Kyoto by Comme de Garcons from their Incense Series. Kyoto is fresh, light transparent and very Zen-like. It is green and woody and recalls soft and sticky pine resin rather than burning sweet gums. I smell in it mastic – a fresh and balsamic resin from a Mediterranean bush, used to flavour ice cream when my parents were little kids. It was very hard to find mastic ice cream when I was a little girl, but one time they put me in to their secret and I will never forget neither the peculiar aroma of the fresh resin in the ice cream, nor the somewhat gooey texture of the frozen desert. Kyoto brings this initial fantastic chill of mastic resins, but also has an interesting side kicks of coniferous harmonies that brings to mind dark, cool and ancient wooden temple.
Main notes: Incense oil, Cypress coffee, Terak wood, Vetiver, Patchouli, Everlasting Flower, Virginian Cedarwood.
* Which incense scents would you wear to smoke your summer away?