Friday, June 19, 2015

The Scents of Summer

Considering Summer is now 2/3 of California's year, I was bound to do this list. Sigh, grand irony I'm not a giant summer scent sort of person so part of this list may come off as one woman's attempt to wear anything that can remind her of another season other than summer. Alright, there are a few utter summer choices on the list, but I hope there are a few that seem little different.

Because Summer is Trying to Roast You Alive

Vetiver by Guerlain, perhaps the best cooling tonic I can think of. Wearing this makes me feel cool, calm, collected, and a bit forest-y. A prime example of why vetiver is popular in countries that are hot and humid, also perfect in hot dry places too. Once I run out of my decant of this will have to explore more vetiver scents.

Eau de Minimes Cologne by Le Couvent des Minimes, everyone needs a some sort of classic cologne in their collection for the summer. I recently used up my Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini and Bois Blonds and don't have a bottle of 4711 on me so Eau de Minimes it is for this summer. I bought heavily discounted from Ulta and it fits my cologne needs. This starts with the classic neroli with lemon, orange, and rosemary. It is fine and easy and finishes on a rather modern clean musk with hints of soap. Genius, not in the least but cologne in a middle of the day when crossing the parking is hell should not be genius it just needs to be refreshing.

Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire, this scent blooms best in humidity. While I wear it throughout the summer, loving the tart apricot tea leather notes of the scent, only in humidity does the sweetness of the florals in Osmanthus Interdite come out and develop on the skin.

Because You are an Adult Who Works in the Summer and Vacation is Way Too Damn Short

Ao by MikMoi, what more can be said about this genius non-cliched take on a tropical mystical vacation in the bottle that is all serenity. The serenity of this scent I suspect is going to save me a few times this summer between work and school.

Songes by Annick Goutal, heavy incense, vanilla, and tropical ylang-ylang and frangipani, sounds like too much doesn't? Nope, the factor that makes it swoon worthy on hot nights is that super dry incense note that keeps everything in check. Sure you are in the tropics and the humidity has the flowers blaring but there is a dry edge that keeps it in check.

Elle L'Aime by Lolita Lempicka, perhaps the poster child for tropicals for the girl next door. Elle L'Aime is all about the pretty. There is no jarring note in this lime, coconut, and ylang-ylang fusion its fresh, sweet, and frothy. Yes, it sounds like a tropical drink and at first veers there but the use of ylang-ylang keeps the scent centered and no one will accuse you of just smelling like sunscreen.

Sicily by Dolce and Gabbana, I feel that this is the closest a Mediterranean scent will ever get to monoi notes that frequently define scents inspired by the tropics. In this case it feels like what if monoi was created in Italy. Creamy citrus flowers, jasmine, banana, spice, and sandalwood are what you would get. This scent is languid and suggests nap filled afternoons with barely a sheet on the bed.

I Need Something Different

Coriandre by Jean Courturier, cool mosses with hints of summer dust in the shade, sounds wrong but is oh so right with soapy aldehydes playing their role.

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens, cool lavender with incense and tonka like surrounding yourself in a cool grey mist. Clarity through the haze of heat.

L'Eau de Kenzo Amour by Kenzo, milky sweet oolang tea. Sounds wrong but somehow the rice pudding vanilla and tart dry tea note work it out.

Image by Jodi Cobb from National Geographic


marzipan said...

Oh this is a great list! The only one I could not do (surprisingly because almost all of the older Annick Goutals have been favourites of mine) is Songes...something about it smells putrid on my skin (similar to the reaction that I had to Aftelier's Cuir Gardenia...rotten flowers and a real scrubber!).
I like the sound of the Kenzo...was that a flanker to the original Amour which I always said I would buy a bottle of but never got around to and now I hear it has been reformulated?
Also, how are the Ateliers you mentioned? The only two I am familiar with are Orange Sanguine and Vanilla Insensee (very much like them both). The new collection exclusive to Sephora doesn't impress me much but the fig one was OK but not worthy of purchasing when I like Pacifica's Med Fig and it is so much cheaper.....

marzipan said...

fragrancenet has the Kenzo for under forty tempting!

Jennifer Koth said...

Marzipan, I know about the gardenia putrid problem. Happens to me all the time. Well consider Songes one less thing you want to buy :-). You might the Elle L'Aime though and you can get that super cheap at Fragrancenet or Beautyspin.

As for the Kenzo it is definitely a flanker and I would not have give it a thought except someone in a very generous tea swap gave me a decant because she said it reminded her of milk oolangs. Which it does :-). I think if you like the original amour and tea notes it is a pretty safe bet.

As for the Sephora atelier collection. The fig didn't work on me because of too much cedar, same thing happened to me with the Hermes Jardin scent that is fig based. I actually liked the magnolia a lot and the ridiculously expensive sandalwood one (a more gourmand take on Diptyque's Tam Dao). As for the Pacifica Fig scent sadly too much galbanum which is most often a big no-no on me. Galbanum almost always turns into humid swamp water mess on me.