Thursday, July 14, 2016

Perfume Oils- My top 10 Picks For Summer

I've heard from people who regularly forego regular perfumes in the heat of summer. For some it's a matter of sillage. I guess not everyone wants to waft their Fracas four blocks down. Others have a very real concern about  photo-sensitivity and the alcohol in regular perfumes. It's important: don't spray perfumes on any area  that's exposed to sun, because it can cause white spots on the skin. Oils are significantly better for a day spent outdoors, and some can also be a pampering treat before bed. The following ten picks are my very personal favorites this summer and beyond:

  • A niche classic, Monyette Paris is the  tropical vacation I'm not getting anytime soon but keep dreaming about. A sultry summer night in a little bottle and we can all lose ourselves in the dream.
  • Aftelier Ancient Resins is a richly perfumed elixir oil you can use on your body and hair. The scent is dry and resinous, making it a great relief on a humid and hazy day, and lasts on the skin by itself, but will  also enhance any incense perfume you want to spray afterwords. 
  • I'm a huge fan of Madini oils in general, and the light and sweet Musk Pierre is a beautiful choice when you're seeking a clean musk that is one step above soapy, and is still sexy without going to the dark side.
  • Speaking of soapy, when one really wants to go there we have Goddess of Dreams by CJ Scents. I find this musky mossy gem to smell like a French soap, but the reason I've heard of it in the first place was because a lovely reader wanted to tip me onto an oil that is comparable to the (unavailable in the US) Nivea perfume that's supposed to smell like the classic cream.
  • Andy Tauer has a way with roses. His brand new Rose Delight body oil is 10%  rose fragrance blended in 90% pure jojoba oil. It's wonderful on skin, and the rose is toe-curling good (and I'm not necessarily a rose person). Exclusive to Tauer's own website.
  •  Staying in the all-over body oil, you knew I was going to mention the limited edition Chanel No.5 dry oil. It can satisfy your No.5 craving without sending a cloud of aldehydes into the summer air (not that there's anything wrong with that).
  • Sage Machado Onyx is another perfect summer night perfume oil. I can no longer eat coconut or use coconut oil on my hair, but I can still indulge in a black coconut perfume, and this one is enriched with moss and tobacco, making it dark and sexy.
  • Back to another full body experience is Nuxe dry oil. I use it from head to toe, and the clean musky soapy jasmine scent lingers  even without adding a spray of the sort-of-matching perfume.
  • Aroma M Geisha perfume oils come in little roll-on bottles that are great companions when traveling. Geisha Blue is chamomile, jasmine, and the perfect blue summer skies. 
  • I had a hard time choosing between the various fig scents Ava Luxe makes. Is it the green Fig Leaf? the milky Figuer?  the spicy Bois de Figue?  In the end I went with the complex Johri that seems to have it all. 
Do you prefer oils in the summer? Which are your favorites?

For different takes on the best summer perfumes please visit my friends at Bois de Jasmin * Grain de Musc* Now Smell This* Perfume Posse

Photo taken by The Husband in our garden.


  1. Hi Gaia! I'm writing to you from wonderful Burlington Vermont! As always, you and I share many loves of body oils!
    I would add Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, Cafe Vert by Il Profvmo and Roger & Gallet Huile Gourmande Fleur de Figuier (you would LOVE this one!).

    Chanel formerly had a no 19 body oil back in the mid-1990s, I wish I could get my furry paws on some of that! It was so beautiful!

  2. I forgot to mention Boyfriend body oil by Kate Walsh. I was fortunate to purchase a bottle on sale at 1/2 off from Sephora when they were getting rid of their stock. It makes a nice base for other warm/ambery and vanilla-based perfumes.

  3. Thank you for the reminder of Geisha Blue. Your review of it was my introduction to the niche fragrance world.

    What a beautiful picture, and my compliments to both the photographer and your New Jersey butterflies!

    Bloomington, Ind.

  4. Lovely list! You've included a couple of my favorites (Monyette and Onyx). I would also include Sage Machado Moonstone, and another take on black coconut, Yosh Ginger Ciao.

  5. Fantastic list! I don't think I wear more actual perfume oils (as in formally blended oils) in summer, but I have a large collection of essential oils (and absolutes, isolates, aroma chemicals, etc.) that I wear a lot more of in summer than at any other time. I have them to try to learn to identify individual notes - something I'm still terrible at - not to try to make perfumes (rather suspect I'd create only scrub worthy hall of fame scents), but I do really enjoy wearing them straight up in summer. I have them from multiple different sources, but I know I can always count on Mandy to have consistently superb quality scents and although she doesn't have a ton of them, I think I have every single perfumer's botanical she sells (oils, absolutes and isolates) and also wear a fair number of her chef's essences as skin scents (especially the citrus ones, which are supposed to go bad more quickly, but that's not been the case in my experience). I also adore her body oils, including the wonderful Ancient Resins you mentioned, but my go to scent for when I really need serious grounding and comfort is her Pear, Fir and Coffee (which I wore all last night watching the BBC news). I also wear Amouage's Rose TRO, Sandalwood and Jasmine attars in summer - simple, but really lovely. And another absolute favorite is Sweet Yellow Clover absolute, but it requires serious care in wearing as it stains clothes tragically. Oh, and Phenylethyl Acetate (which at least feels like an oil and is the closest absolutely realistic rendition I've ever found of a rose bush I loved as a child).
    I really need to get Andy's new rose, but for today, once again it is Pear, Fir and Coffee, but maybe later I'll wear Mandy's d/ced Rose body oil (which I stocked up on).

  6. Love this list! I'll definitely be seeking these out!


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