Friday, July 17, 2009

I Know What You Did Last Summer- The Perfume Edition

Scents for summer fun

Ayala of Smelly Blog has organized this blogging event to celebrate a fragrant summer. It's a bit different than a Top 10 list, because we're focusing on pairing of perfumes and summer activities: real, imaginary and nostalgic. I tried to avoid the canonic when possible, so once again, not a word about Eau d'Hadrien...

1. Let's get the biggest cliche out of the way. A scent for the beach. CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966 is to me the ultimate scent for one's yellow polka dot bikini. Skin, sea salt and lots of vintage Coppertone. Close your eyes and you're on the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore.

2. The classier alternative to hanging out on the beach is sailing. Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel smells like sea air without being aquatic. There's enough wood there to make you think of a polished yacht. Another contender in this category is Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company. A sophisticated touch of salt on skin. Just tie a silk scarf in your hair.

3. From salty to sweet- a day at the theme park. Sticky, sweet and fun, but still with a summery vibe and that special something in the air. Balmain Ambre Gris is all that.

4. There's nothing like taking a nap in a cool room after spending hours outside in the sun. White curtains moving in the breeze, crisp sheets and a perfume that evokes hot, dry air and sensuality. L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer is like nothing else.

5. Jet Setting around the globe calls for something light in a big bottle, but with enough personality. Dior Escale à Portofino is more than a simple citrus cologne. It's sweeter and richer with notes like almond, caraway, galbanum and musk and conveys an old world elegance.

6. A drive-in movie in an old convertible car. I haven't done that in decades, but the memories are sweet... Etro Gomma makes me think of leather interior and fresh air. Only the popcorn is missing.

7. A summer fling. Intoxicating and nostalgic, look back with a smile. Annick Goutal Quel Amour! is fruity and sweet. Girly without being utterly silly and goes perfectly with a sun dress, a tan and a cute guy in the ice cream parlor.

8. A sexy night out on the town. You need a fragrance that blooms, intoxicates and takes over the stinky NYC August air. Tauer Un Rose Chypree is the ultimate in romance and would make the simplest dress seem unforgettable; Narcotic by Strange Invisible Perfumes is a green tuberose over a vanilla base. An honorable mention goes to Tom Ford Neroli Portofino and even better (if you can find it) the original and discontinued L'Occitane Neroli .

9. Attending a summer wedding. A pretty outdoors venue on a Saturday afternoon, your second cousin is already smashed and your great uncle Eddie is doing the robot. Keep cool and calm with the always-appropriate Serge Lutens Clair de Musc or Fleurs de Citronnier. That is, unless you're a reluctant bridesmaid and the bride has made you wear something pink and hideous with a big bow on your behind. In that case just put on Miel de Bois and see how that clears a path wherever you go.

10. An afternoon on the patio, a pitcher of iced tea and homemade ice cream (one can dream). Put some citrus geranium leaves in your tea and wear Parfumerie Generale's Jardin de Kerylos. A crisp and dry fig, with floral notes and not a hint of coconut. It makes even my Jersey back yard look pretty.

Please visit the other participating bloggers:

Bittergrace Notes

I Smell Therefore I am


Moving and Shaking

Perfume Shrine

+Q Perfume Blog

Savvy Thinker

Scent Hive

Smelly Blog

Photo: Santa Monica Pier 1920 from Dr. X's Free Associations


  1. "Attending a summer wedding. A pretty outdoors venue on a Saturday afternoon, your second cousin is already smashed and your great uncle Eddie is doing the robot."

    Too funny! I think I've been to that wedding. Great list, Gaia.

  2. Tremndously fun reading your ideas on the subject and of course the pic choice is beyond perfect! (and the title)
    As always interesting to see we overlap in some choices.

  3. hideous bridesmaid dress = SL MdB!!

    Hah, I love it. Perfume punsihment.

  4. Fabulous list Gaia! Thanks for the inspiration on some of the categories.

    You know I'll be pulling out my Narcotic sample today. I forgot about that vanilla base....yum!

  5. What a fun approach to listing! Love your choices/combinations. I think I'd toss the Heely salt, Sel Marin, on as my choice for your beach pairing, but would be perfectly happy stepping out in either of the two you mention. :)

  6. Gaia, what a great summer list of scents and activities (the summer wedding was hilarious!) and thanks again for participating in the summer blogging project and for ALL of your great ideas and the awesome photo you selected for us!

    I'm embarrassed to say that except for a couple (Sel de Vetiver, l'Air du Desert Marocain and Quel Amour!) most of the scents on your list are ones that I haven't tried yet.

  7. Thanks, Suzanne :) I think we've all been to a few of these weddings. And incidentally, my great-uncle's name is Eddie...

  8. Elena, we seem to always have a couple of scents in common. It's really interesting (and to our readers: we never coordinate our choices).

  9. Abigail, the funny thing is I love MdB, but I know how certain people react to it, so it'd be perfect for the situation.

  10. Thanks, Trish. Narcotic is such an addictive scent. I think it might be my next SIP full bottle.

  11. S., I agree- Heeley would be perfect. I love most of his scents and they are very summer-friendly. I could live in a bottle of Figuier.

  12. Ayala, it was a pleasure to participate (and thanks for inviting me!).
    I'm going over everyone's lists and there too many I have yet to try. These projects always send me on a sampling quest.

  13. Fabulous list, of course. I like the way your devious mind works re: the MdB revenge. ;-)

    I have been debating getting some Ambre Gris - I have seen it for sale at full price but hey, if I can find it for $25 I am so there, it really works on me! And of course, there is really nothing like my beloved L'Air di Desert Marocain - perfection.

  14. love the Miller Harris. I have a small sample and never use it because I don't want it to run out. Actually I see some kinship between that and Ambre Gris, that salty-sweet tension playing out across both.

    I AM that wedding, unfortunately.


  15. Donna, you know how much I love L'air. It's my perfect scent for every season. So beautiful!
    You can get Ambre Gris for even cheaper. Parfum1 is offering it for $23 and there's a 25% code on the site. I don't know what's harder to believe: how cheap it's here or how expensive it is in Paris.

  16. Brian, I think you're right re: Ambre Gris and FdS. The salty/sweet thing becomes very pronounced in the heat.

    By the way, I'm wearing Onda tonight, inspired by your post about heavy and smoky scents for summer. It's magic.


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