Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Top Ten Summer Perfumes

Can there be a list of summer perfume recommendation without boring myself silly and/or mentioning Eau d'Hadrien? I'm going to try. Some of these are new(ish), others are perennial favorites. In no particular order:

1. Reverie au Jardin- Tauer
Midsummer afternoon dream. Will transport you to a magical alpine garden.

2. Amethyst- Olivier Durbano
Slightly sweetened pencil shavings, clean incense and a touch of vanilla. Surprisingly refreshing in the heat.

3. Un Matin d'Orage- Annick Goutal
Green gardenias drenched in rain without an ounce of sweetness until the musky drydown.

4. Monyette Paris *
The other side of gardenia. Tropical, sweet with a touch of nag champa incense. Put a flower in your hair and go dancing on the beach.
*I think it's the first fragrance review I've written here. It's magnificently bad, but kind of nostalgic in a campy way.

5. Nuit de Cellophane- Serge Lutens
Osmanthus flowers with a hint of apricot. Like drinking iced peach tea on a beautiful Cape May porch.

6. Italian Cypress- Tom Ford
Is it an homage to Eau d'Hadrien (so I lied. It had to be mentioned)? Maybe. But the cypress is a darker green and the feeling is more pulled together.

7. Encre Noire- Lalique
Or any other vetiver, really. I've chosen this one because it's a bit softer while still dry and grassy.

8. (Vintage) Vivara-Pucci
I'm talking about the original 60s formula. A salty chypre that belongs with the jet set in San Tropez. White pants, a Pucci scarf and oversized sunglasses are essential.

9. Bois Blond- Parfumerie Generale
A roll in dry hay on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can smell the earth and trees baking in the sun.

10. Figuier- Heeley
Like lying in the shade of a huge, old fig tree next to a running stream.

What are your summer favorites this year?

art: Embarkation by Dan Dahlke


  1. I agree on Tauer's Reverie au Jardin. Summer in the south is steamy hot, and for me, eaux are often the best choice. I'm ready to start wearing Dior's Escale a Portofino, Eau de Cartier, Bulgari's Au The Vert, and Ca Sent Beau by Kenzo. Chanel no.19, YSL Y, and Bulgari Por Femme are also summer staples, along with Odalisque,Diorissimo, and a new favorite,Tauer's Incense Rose, smoldering, but gorgeous.

  2. This list totally rocks, keep up the good work.

  3. Hmm, now that I read, Reverie en jardin on your list, I have to agree. Although I use mine sparingly having a small decant.
    My summer favorites are Bronze goddess by EL, L'Artisan Ananas fizz, Eau de Cartier, SL Santal blanc (a new discovery), Chanel Chance, Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune )it tells I like grapefruit)... :)

  4. Love the list, though it's a bit out of my reach in a variety of ways. But beauty is the aspirational science, right?

    To be honest, my favorite thing in the summer is Creed's Green Irish Tweed; it's a bit sharp and alcoholic (and pedestrian, compared to these), but it cuts right through the summer humidity. And since I first wore it the summer when I was studying for my GREs, I swear it makes me remember vocab words I haven't studied since then.

  5. great List....VERY happy to see Reverie au Jardin at the top of the list. On me its so lush and sensual, as if i walked into a Monet Giverny garden painting.

    This summer I will be reaching for Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's essenza Dell'ibisco, Hermes gentiane blanche, eau de Sisley #2, as well as my summer fragrance of 8 years Beth Terry's Vita.

    Summer is so short,fragrance is forever

  6. I love that you included Ford's Italian Cypress; it's so perfectly dry -- woodsy without being sweet or heavy. Great choice.

    I have a bottle of the Lalique Encre Noir that's been neglected in the back of my cupboard all winter. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  7. lady jane greyMay 28, 2009 5:40 AM

    I was afraid to mention Hadrien - but Tom did it, so here's another vote for it from me. It's my all time summer favorite, what ever happens. O.K. it's not quite real summer here in Vienna, but I'm still wearing Guerlain's Double Vanille (which I didn't dare last summer...), and then there is my Jo Malone collection, which is my true companion for all summers (I know , I'm an old fashioned one, sorry...)

  8. Margot, I definitely agree about Incense Rose. I wore it last summer on some of the hottest days and it was absolutely amazing.

  9. Tom, I'm not arguing. Actually I think I need to stock up on some pre-reformulation Hadrien. My bottle is starting to get low.

  10. Ines, I love Santal Blanc. It layers beautifully with NdC.

  11. Pending, GIT is a beautiful classic. I wish my husband liked it, because I'd have loved for him to wear it.

  12. M., I'll have to check your suggestions. I've already sniffed the Hermes, but haven't tested it on skin.

  13. I love Hadrien, escale a Portofino, and Virgin Island Water! What's better than smelling like a giant cocoanut?

  14. Only 10? :)
    I agree with all of these and the commenters. I love Chanel no.19, EL Bronze Goddess, Guerlain AA Figue-Iris, and the cheapie Jean Nate body splash.


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