To The Ends of the Earth: Ten Fragrances That Will Transport

It is no secret that we are huge advocates for travel. There is nothing more enriching, exciting, or educating than bursting outside of your own familiar, cultural bubble and traveling somewhere far outside your country and possibly comfort zone. Summer is one of the best times to travel because most people get a little more time off and it usually means that the weather is going to be nice wherever you go. Even if you’re operating on a busy schedule and/or tight budgets don’t allow for summer travel this year - there is no excuse for not experiencing the cultures of countries far, far away this summer: Books, restaurants, recipes, movies, and of course, perfume will transport you to the desired destination fast and effortlessly!

Espionage – Destination: London, England

A subtly sexy scent that blends seamlessly with the scent of one’s natural skin, Espionage is a captivating and elusive blend of precious woods, classic florals and edgy leathery notes. With tonka bean, vanilla absolute, cedar wood, and nuances of cigar smoke and leather, you will find yourself transported o a mysterious London bar in the dead of night. 

Recipe idea: Lavender Ice Cream

  Film Noir – Destination: Hollywood, California

The golden age of Hollywood, the captivating thirties and forties, was a time of drama, intrigue, unadulterated luxury and true mystery – something that seems to be all but lost in today’s over-exposed culture. Film Noir’s decadent cacao, myrrh, and patchouli fragrance will help you channel Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich and the effortless power and unapologetic femininity that these femme-fatales conveyed.

Etrog - Destination: Israel 

Etrog is the Hebrew name for citrus medica, a truly rare citrus fruit that is prized for it’s delicate floral aroma and flavor. Etrog is one of the four species in Sukkot and symbolizes the heart while representing a whole and complete person, one who has wisdom and knowledge but also compassion and who commits good deeds. This fragrance is composed of ingredients that are reminiscent of Israel such as olive tree resin, opoponax (sweet myrrh), frankincense, petitgrain cedrat (leaves and twigs from the citron tree), and crisp green myrtle. A truly captivating fragrance with rare Mediterranean  ingredients.

Pales Atena – Destination: Greece 

Named after the Greek goddess of Wisdom,  Pales Atena combines spices like cinnamon with a base of patchouli, amber and sandalwood, which sets the warm tone for the fragrance. These warm base notes form a powerful foundation for lavender, sweet orange, vibrant jasmine grandiflorum, and the exotic and rounded flowers of champaca (a tropical golden-coloured magnolia).

 Sabotage – Destination: Acores, Portugal 

The beauty of the Portuguese islands is incomparable in its tranquility. There is something about the vast azure sea, rolling green hills, and sharp cliffs that have captured my heart since visiting my family there in 2009. The streets lined with hydrangeas and the fragrant aroma of “maracuja” (passionfruit) and sun-baked grass and earth are what I remember most about my summer spent in Sao Miguel and Terceira.  Sabotage’s citrusy notes of orange flower, lemon zest and lemon leaf combine with earthy Haitian vetiver, pimento berry (a spice often used in Portuguese cooking) and pungent green give a little spicy twist to this scent, reminiscent of Portugal’s invigorating coast and islands.

Recipe idea: Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Tarts)

Rainforest – Destination: British Columbia

British Columbia is renowned for its breath-taking natural scenery. It’s majestic mountains, calm seas, and abundant forests define B.C as a province and make it a beloved home to its locals and a thrilling and truly stunning destination for travellers. Rainforest is a coniferous, woody, chypre fragrance that encapsulates the fragrance and feeling of walking through the rain-kissed forest, inhaling the damp moss, pine needles and soft wild flowers. Cedar-wood, oakmoss, juniper berry, violet leaf and spruce are some of the notes that compose this refreshing, very west-coast fragrance.

Cabaret – Destination : Caribbean
With creamy vanilla absolute, tropical magnolia, dark coconut, orris root and Turkish rose, Cabaret evokes images of nights spent on Caribbean beaches with the azure waves frothing against the sandy shore. It’s a sexy, sweet, and subtle gourmand, perfect for your sensory tropical vacation.

Recipe idea: Raw Coconut Macaroons

New Orleans – Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana

For those who have always dreamt of going to a Mardi Gras but have never gotten the chance to go, New Orleans is afragrance that celebrates the Louisiana coast with oceanic seaweed and ambergris supported by uplifting notes of Meyer lemon, Murcott mandarin, osmanthus, rosemary, vetiver Haiti, tea rose and white magnolia. It’s a fresh soft scent that captures the lively and irrepressible spirit of New Orleans.

 Finjan – Destination: Turkey

 Finjanis a darkly sweet, oriental gourmand fragrance that celebrates the fragrant flavor and aroma of Turkish coffee with coffee absolute, clove, cardamom, blood orange, rose maroc, and balsam tolu. It’s a spicy unisex fragrance that will take your heart and senses to the fragrant Middle East.

Bon Zai – Destination: Japan

Japan is an island of delicate yet striking natural and historical beauty. Bon Zai, inspired by the art of miniature bonsai trees, captures the tranquility of a Japanese garden with it’s its simple and minimalistic composition of agarwood, juniper berry, lemon verbena, Virginia cedarwood and sandalwood. The fragrance is characterized by shiso (perilla), a an herb often used as a garnish in Japanese cooking and has a striking aroma that transcends seasons.

Whether you are able to physically leave your home city, province, state or country this summer or not, we hope that you enjoy your sensory travels this summer! 

Super Summer Scents 2013

Banana Beach Treat by Ayala Moriel
Banana Beach Treat, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Wherever I go, this summer is HOT. No matter how you slice it, cooling off is a constant desire that's not easy to fulfill. Some scents help, though, and especially these ones, which I have also taken on my sudden travels to the Mediterranean region.

Vanille Banane
Nostalgia at its best, by Comptoir Sud Pacifique: This fragrance reminds me of purchasing a chocolate-banana ice cream bar at the beach, right by the water from one of those vendors with ice boxes that walk the shores trying to entice parents to shell out prime cash for the privilege of eating it right there and then. The salty wind and the direct sunlight would make it melt rapidly, of course, and trickle down the toddlers hands and arms and eventually drop into the sand where they will languidly rest and become a thing of the past.

So Fresh, So Clean
The perfume oil version of Open Source Soap bar of the same name. This beautifully refreshing yet quirky scent combines fresh green notes such as galbanum, lemon and juniper with unexpected notes of mimosa, jasmine and vetiver, creating a fresh yet intriguing fragrance that is a modern twist on an Eau de Cologne.

Florida Water
Minty geranium, citrus and spice make this cologne unique, and oh so American. Buy it when you get your tortillas in your town's Latin grocery store, or make your own from the recipes I've quoted from Poucher earlier this month.

Patchouli Magique by Novaya Zarya
Surprisingly, patcouli based perfumes fair very well in unbearably hot climates. There is something strangely rejuvenating about this earthy note, not quite as cooling as vetiver, but still. This summer, Patchouli Magique is the star of my travel wardrobe.

Five by Bruno Fazzolari
Five brings forth the briskness of mint mingled with orange, cedar and oakmoss. Copious amounts of jasmine-y hedione brings to mind the iconic Eau Sauvage. More on the masculine side, which makes one wish men would wear cologne more often when it's so sticky outside.

Osmanthe Yunnan 
Hardly ever do I reach for this pale, transparent scent. "Invisible" is the word that comes to mind first when I try to describe it, which is rather disappointing from an osmanthus-lover point of view! However, in the heat of the humid Tel Aviv summer, it's iced-tea coolness provides a veil of sanity amidst the smog, sweat and other impolite scents one inevitably encounters on the streets.

Un Jardin Apres la Mousson
Cantaloupes are particularly fragrant this year in Israel, and we've even discovered the equivalent cheese pairing to watermelon and feta: Pecorino and cantaloupe. Try it and enjoy a mini trip to heaven. Un Jardin Apres la Mousson has become a summer staple for me over the years, since it was launched in 2008. I've had a long break from it though, and am  now back with renewed enthusiasm for its sticky melon paired with cool spicy notes of ginger and coriander and a tinge of wet vetiver. It's quite delightful and has a cooling effect in the heat and humidity, which is most welcome.

Summer Travel Wardrobe

Le Parfum de Thérèse
There is a prime example of how an obvious fruity notes (melon and under-ripe plum) can be played elegantly and without impinging on the perfume's elegance and abstract beauty. It's permanently sitting in my emergency kit in case I need to go away to a desert island unexpectedly...

Eau d'Orange Vert
This one is a scent that always makes me feel clean, instilling a sense of relaxed well-being and calm amidst the dust, grime and sweat that strikes cities of hot climate. Having this on hand ensures an instant crisply ironed white shirt feel anywhere, anytime. 

Tropical, exotic floriental that's together is a few of my favourite things: jasmine green tea, osmanthus flowers, spearmint and a smooth woody-ambery base.

No. 19 
Surprisingly, the Eau de Toilette formulation lends itself very well to hot weather without losing its poise. If you need to attend a formal event in the dog days of summer, consider this timeless composition of austere quality: iris, vetiver, leather, jasmine, rose, lemon and galbanum.

Aveda #4: Key Element Air
With notes of rose, jasmine and ylang ylang this is bound to be the most luxurious of all the Aveda catalog of non-descript numeral titles. It's floral yet light (at least in the alcohol based formulation) and is a simple celebration of jasmine and rose.

Savage Water Soap Bar 
Another bathing gem by Open Source Soap, this is a refreshing melange of verbena, basil, patchouli and jasmine. It's marvelously substantial yet refreshing and like everything that comes from the hands of Shuyler Corry - the talented soapmaker of Open Source Soap - it's very well made from quality materials and does more than it's being asked to do: it doubles as a soap, shaving cream and shampoo!

Balancing sweet, tart and aromatic - Etrog is my own little contribution to the world of "eaux".

How is your summer coming along? And how are you coping with the heat scent-wise?
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