Scents of Summer
Here goes, in no particular order -
Serge Lutens Santal Blanc - an amazing blend of fruits, spices and resins, with quite a bit of orris in the middle to keep it dry. Santal Blanc has that almost pickle-y quality you get from sticking your nose into a very old sandalwood box in a dusty antique shop. Extremely long-lasting, yet quiet enough on the skin to avoid being overwhelming in the heat.
Hermes Hiris - Unique among fragrances I've experienced in that it is light and fresh without watery or ozonic notes. It embodies the noble iris in all its glory - rhizome, sap and flower. One of my favorite florals, as lovely at the buttery-soft drydown as at the airy, heady topnotes.
Chanel Gardenia - with apologies to J.T. White...
If thou of fortune be bereft
And in thy store there be but left
Two loaves - sell one, and with the dole
Buy Gardenia to feed thy soul!
Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien - the perfect summer blend of crisp lemon and cool cypress - completely unsweet, refreshing. Unflustered, intellectual, ironic.
Salvatore Ferragamo Parfum Subtil - a recent discovery, one i've fallen in love with just this summer. Remember White House ice cream? Cherries in vanilla cream, all on a clean musk base. This is a very wearable scent - impossible to over-apply, subtle as the name says, but still long-lasting.
J & E Atkinsons i Coloniali Javanese Cananga - Very "out of Africa", a perfume for adventuresses. Atkinsons weave a romantic fantasy of recovering long-lost formulae for their i Coloniali line - this scent would be quite believable on Isaak Dinesen. Cananga odorata is the Latin name of ylang-ylang, the flower of flowers. Here its heady, tropical note is poised upon a light woody base - the fragrance seems to take flight off your skin. Not terribly long-lasting, but worth reapplying.
i Profumi di Firenze Mirra - Technically i don't suppose this should be considered a summer scent - but i confess to sneaking tiny dabs, especially at bedtime, when i am longing for cold weather. The richest, softest myrrh - as if you've taken those dark golden nuggets of incense resin, powdered them up and dusted on your skin with a silken brush. No hint of bitterness - and no sillage to speak of, as the scent simply melts into skin. This is an intensely personal, introspective fragrance - others will find you attractive, not for your scent, but for the serenity that flows out around you. (It's probably not fair to include this scent, as i believe it is available only at the perfumery in Florence. i received a jolly little bottle from a dear friend - who knows how i'll ever replace it!)
Donna Karan Black Cashmere - Counterintuitive though it may seem, spicy scents can be quite cooling. Black pepper and nutmeg blend with sandalwood and a hint of non-foody vanilla to create a zen-like aura of calm.Joy de Jean Patou - There's a fine line between love and sex and death and birth. Between exuberance and excess. Joy parfum blurs the line. Natural jasmine at this concentration does not smell of airy white blossoms; it is a beautiful stench. Indole, one of the main scent components of jasmine essential oil, is also promininent in coal tar and fecal matter. In defiance of our culture of sanitizers and deodorants, Joy revels in the heated, flushed, throbbing fecundity of nature - the profligacy of an entire glowing summer, distilled into a darkly flickering bottle.
Chanel Allure - i'm late to the party on this one...tried Allure when it first came out and was underwhelmed. But this summer i was lucky enough to acquire a coffret of Chanel parfums, Allure among them, and in the parfum version it is divine! A perfect blend of vetiver and vanilla, not too dry and not too sweet. Well-behaved enough for the office, yet sensual, too. Bergamot in the top notes is the perfume version of Sun-In. i can't tell yet if this will be an ever-after favorite, but i'm loving it this summer.
For more summer fragrance top-10 lists, check out
http://alabasterbrow.blogsome.com, Blogdorf Goodman, Bois de Jasmin, Brain Trapped in Girl's Body, C'est Chic, Koneko's *Mostly* Beauty Diary, Life in Paris, Make a Mental Note, Now Smell This, Ombligo!, Seldom Nice Nowadays, Self-Styled Siren, and This Bananafish Smells Like Leaves.