In the city, with its molten asphalt streets and suffocating subway cars, it is easy to forget the allure of summer. But the moment you leave the city, the summer appears in all of its indolent glory. Everything that seems to have been forgotten returns within a heartbeat—the long days of sunshine, lunches that somehow segue into dinners, lazy afternoon naps. It seems as if summer is here to stay with its sounds of laughter, waves breaking against the shore, and rain dancing on the roof. And its sensations of rough sand against bare feet, of someone’s lips against your sunburnt skin, of velvety peaches. And its tastes of foraged wild raspberries, of grilled prawns, of milky corn.
And of course, the summer scents. My favorite summer perfumes not only capture the idea of summer, but they also evoke it well into the winter. Since in the summer I tend to have more time to change my perfume wardrobe, I have organized my selections around the scents I like to wear at different times of day.
I save the lush hyacinths of Cristalle EdP for the evening, but in the morning, few fragrances uplift me more than the green and effervescent EDT. Neroli and jasmine are set against a mossy backdrop, while the sparkling layers of citrus make Cristalle the olfactive equivalent of a glass of champagne.
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine
A bright, juicy orange that feels both refreshing and elegant, a rare combination in a simple cologne. One of my year round staples.
Bronze Goddess combines the milky sweetness of white tropical flowers with the delicious warmth of amber, oscillating between the opulent sensation of gardenia petals on the skin and the smooth richness of sun bleached woods. A summer vacation in a bottle!
A polished version of vetiver, with a strong minty and green accord that makes it very refreshing.
Cool roots, green leaves, wet petals… Angéliques Sous la Pluie is a fragrance that I have been wearing all through the past couple of summers. It has a delicious crisp verdancy that persists into the drydown, while the musky woods lend it a caressing softness.
Ubiquitous though Light Blue may be, it is a terrific fragrance. Crisp, bright, vivacious, it wears easily and retains its sparkling freshness of green apples and citrus.
An elegant interplay between rose and aldehydes, Lutens’ interpretation of Chanel No 5 à la Marocaine.
A beautifully contrasted composition that alternates between the crisp freshness of lily and the dark richness of incense.
The silky white petals of Beyond Love maintain their radiant brightness for quite a while, but soon the darkness sets in and the whole composition becomes suffused with warm amber, musk and vanilla. An opulent fragrance, but not too heady for summer.
Although Tabac Blond is not associated solely with summer for me, I love its warmth on a summer evening, when one sits on an open veranda with a glass of wine, watching the sun fall behind the sea. The caramelized sweetness of tobacco leaves paired with mossy darkness has a sultry, mysterious quality.
Photography © Bois de Jasmin.