Keiko Mecheri Un Jour d’Ete : Fragrance Review

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Un Jour d’Été (A Summer Day) is the newest release from Keiko Mecheri, the prolific Los Angeles-based line whose powdery Loukhoum became a huge cult hit a decade ago.  Mecheri calls Un Jour d’Été a hesperidic fragrance, “an escape in the South of France, on the beaches of St. Tropez.”  This summer day revolves around coconut, a note that Mecheri handles well enough to evade the black, oily flatness and plasticity that a coconut note can impart.  This is done primarily through macerating the coconut in citrus and by evoking European tanning lotions through the use of monoi (tiare seeped in coconut oil).

Although perhaps not intentional, a patchouli base reads as brown and leathery. Here is where a definite image is called to mind—those overly bronzed beach bodies under a relentless sun that used to be part of escapist fantasy but that now just seem imprudent.

The hesperidic citruses Keiko Mecheri refers to in its marketing prose are lemon, petitgrain, and mandarin and they give Un Jour d’Été the zest of a traditional eau de cologne.  Such notes are traditionally not long-lasting; they are effervescent and they convey sunshine.  One must give them credit for being fairly convincing:  While I don’t buy into the notion of escaping to the South of France, I do find the fragrance summery and ebulliently so. It’s a tropical fragrance that inhabits the same specialty niche as Creed Virgin Island Water, a treatment of rum-spiked coconut and lime that I always found too masculine for my tastes.

Un Jour d’Été, on the other hand, is genderless. And it shouldn’t disappear into the Mecheri archives the way most of the Mecheri line has.  Mecheri issues so many scents (37 in the regular line and 7 in the bespoke) that they get lost in the shuffle, and yet in that shuffle is the outstanding plum-incense scent Ume and the superb rendition of sandalwood in Peau de Peche.  Any worry I had that the coconut note would become shiny and gourmand was rendered false by the woody, resinous base. I was surprised to find the scent growing on me to the point that now, in late summer, I wouldn’t mind having a bottle.  In fact, Un Jour d’Été has extended my capacity for enjoyment of a tropical fragrance.  This is a genre that can go easily astray, and yet I found myself happily applying the contents of my sample until they were gone.

The St. Tropez fantasy is nice, but it is irrelevant and it could take place anywhere: Goa, Karekare, your own back yard.  In fact, that’s what it most reminded me of—slathering myself with Bain de Soleil and lying on a towel in the grass while the Bennie and the Jets played from the plastic AM radio at my feet.

Keiko Mecheri Un Jour d’Été includes notes of Sicilian lemon, petit grain, mandarine, floral accord, aromatic accord, amber, and musk. Keiko Mecheri fragrances are available from Luckyscent, Four Seasons, and The Perfume Shoppe. 75 ml Eau de Parfum/$115

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19 Comments

  • rosarita: Had to smile at the backyard tanning memories. This sounds surprisingly good. August 31, 2012 at 7:45am Reply

    • Suzanna: rosarita, I always like finding a surprise in that big Mecheri line, and this is one of them. I don’t keep up with the line because of the number of issues and I should. August 31, 2012 at 9:03am Reply

  • Barbara: 37 perfumes in one line? Woah! That’s a lot. This makes me intimidated to even approach smelling them, where does one begin? August 31, 2012 at 9:17am Reply

    • Suzanna: Barbara, if you have not tried any, then start with the ones I mention: Loukhoum (the original one), Peau de Peche, Ume. They are all quite different. Perhaps others will recommend something else. August 31, 2012 at 11:22am Reply

  • Ariadne: Suzanna, I adore all your photos! August 31, 2012 at 9:51am Reply

    • Suzanna: Thank you, Ariadne! This photo was taken last winter at Tybee Island, Georgia. If you’d like to see more, there’s a link to my Flickr set above, and that will take you to more Southern Beaches (and other things!). August 31, 2012 at 11:23am Reply

  • Michele: I recently sampled this with my Luckyscent order. I thought it smelled medicinal. I do not smell anything Ban de Soleil-like about it and a sniff of it does not bring back memories of beautiful sunny days in Montauk. It brings back unpleasant memories of a toothache I treated with vile-smelling Ambesol. It was a scrubber. I was quite disappointed. I have always loved Keiko Mecheri scents, especially Peau de Peche. They are absolutely worth sampling and I find them to be of high quality. As for Un Jour D’Ete, I will look elsewhere for my HG summer scent. I love this photo too. I wonder if the bird is eyeing a toddler who is happily munching on a handful of Cheerios and thinking, “hmm, how can I get some of those?” August 31, 2012 at 10:34am Reply

    • Suzanna: Michele, sorry it didn’t work for you. I imagine the patchouli was the culprit for the medicinal feeling. On me, it’s very tropical.

      I will recommend to you the new perfume from Nuxe, meant to smell like their famous Huile Prodigieuse. Give that one a try! August 31, 2012 at 11:25am Reply

      • Michele: Thank you for your expertise! I am sure you are right about the patchouli. Patchouli and I do not get along at all. It makes me ill and just smells bad on me. I fare better with musk, sandalwood, or amber bases. Who sells the Nuxe? September 1, 2012 at 10:00am Reply

        • Suzanna: You can find Nuxe on line. I think Amazon has it, or you might try one of the decanters! September 2, 2012 at 8:04am Reply

  • marsi: I’d give anything to be back on vacation! 🙂
    I’m trying to imagine patchouli and coconut together. August 31, 2012 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Marsi, it’s an odd match, but it works for me! August 31, 2012 at 4:10pm Reply

  • Lisa: With rare exception, Keiko Mecheri can do no wrong in my book. However, I hesitate at the thought of owning a FB of a tropical scent such as Un Jour d’Été; I owned the original formulation of CSP’s Tiare, and that bottle went sloooowly. This one is on my “sample first” list. 🙂

    Recently received a sample vial of KM’s Paradise Lost. I’m decidedly on the fence on this one. The drydown is rather unremarkable, and a little too powdery. Admittedly, I requested the sample because “Paradise Lost” is just such a cool name for a fragrance! August 31, 2012 at 3:31pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Lisa, I had a lot of the recent samples, including Paradise Lost, and nothing was found :–)

      I wanted to like the Camellia scent. August 31, 2012 at 4:11pm Reply

      • Lisa: Suzanna, I too ordered a lot of samples from Lucky Scent recently, and aside from Heeley’s Bubblegum Chic, they were astoundingly unremarkable. Paradise Lost opened stunningly and broadly, then *pffft!* Where —? (I think that must be the “Lost” part of the perfume’s name!) August 31, 2012 at 4:38pm Reply

        • Suzanna: Lisa, “unremarkable” is a huge category! It gets bigger the longer you sample perfumes. September 1, 2012 at 10:06am Reply

  • Lucas: I recently tried 3 fragrances from Keiko Mecheri which were Iris Pourpre, Iris d’Argent and Les Zazous and they really suited my taste. I think I might go for Iris d’Argent one day. September 1, 2012 at 6:38am Reply

    • Suzanna: Oh, thanks for those recs, Lucas! I’m glad to learn that these fragrances worked for you. September 1, 2012 at 10:05am Reply

    • Jenny: I did….today. Lucky break and able to buy a tester bottle for next to nothing….. November 24, 2013 at 10:45pm Reply

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