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