Summer: 82 posts

Perfumes that put me in a summer mood, all year round

Parfums de Nicolai L’eau Mixte : Fragrance Review

44444

Not just another simple cologne. Elisa on Parfums de Nicolaï’s L’eau Mixte.

If there’s one perfume category I’ve heard people call “boring” the most, it’s citrus. Perhaps it’s because there is less variation among citrus scents than, say, orientals or florals—a rose perfume, a tuberose perfume, and an iris perfume smell nothing alike, but lemon, orange, and grapefruit have a fair amount of olfactory overlap. Or maybe it’s because citrus scents don’t—can’t—evolve much on skin because they don’t last long enough to evolve; they are fleeting, volatile molecules by nature, destined to be top notes.

Raphaelle-Peale-A-Dessert

I must admit I have some of the same reservations about citrus-centric perfumes. I’ve got a few in my collection, and on a hot day, a few spritzes of a crisp citrus chypre like Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Monsieur Balmain hits the spot. But I don’t reach for them often, and I almost always end up putting something else on later. So to make me sit up and take notice, a citrus scent has to be pretty unusual.

L’eau Mixte, Parfums de Nicolaï’s eau de cologne release for summer 2010, was the first citrus to take me by surprise in years. Primarily a grapefruit perfume, it manages to be both refreshing and rich, hitting so many pleasurable notes at once—sweet, tangy, green, herbal—that it feels like getting out of a car to breathe in a big lungful of cool mountain air. Most citrus scents have a bracing quality, but L’eau Mixte is exceptionally bracing.

Continue reading →

Bobbi Brown Beach and Other Sun Fantasy Scents : Perfume Review

33333

Patricia talks about an endless summer in a perfume bottle, from Bobbi Brown Beach to Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess.

In his novel Remembrances of Things Past, Marcel Proust used petite madeleines, little cakes shaped like scallop shells and dipped in tea as a literary device to bring his character instantly back in time. One sniff of Bobbi Brown’s Beach does the same thing to me. It transports me to a certain carefree summer many years ago, a summer of wearing madras shorts, skate boarding, kissing my first boyfriend, listening to the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones on the radio, and slathering on Coppertone, a popular American sun lotion.

patricia-summer

Beach isn’t an exact match for Coppertone, but sweet jasmine and orange blossom combine deliciously with salty and marine notes in a way that is strongly reminiscent of it. It maintains the same balance of notes throughout, and there is no real progression from the top notes to the dry down. Although Beach wears very close to the skin, it lasts from five to six hours on me.

Continue reading →

The Week of the Roses : Vacation Perfume

Today Patricia, our new contributing writer, talks about the dilemma of picking a perfume for vacation and why she decided to make her latest vacation a rose scented one. Patricia graduated from her mother’s perfume table to her very own bottle of Miss Dior as a young teen. This discovery started a lifelong love of perfume in general and green mossy fragrances in particular. After 30-plus years in the publishing industry, she works as an office manager in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides perfume, she loves long novels and spending time with her horse. Please give her a warm welcome!  

In Massachusetts we have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute,” so I wasn’t unduly concerned when the first few days of our summer vacation were cloudy and rainy. Still, the beachy fragrances such as Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess and Bobbi Brown’s Beach that I’d packed in my suitcase seemed to mock me, and even my favorite summer citruses didn’t satisfy me.

patricia-sea-beach

Fortunately my packing style has always been of the “everything but the kitchen sink” variety, so I had brought plenty of sample vials and small decants, including many roses, many of which I had not yet tried. But it turned out that variety was not what I wanted. What I craved were roses, and lots of them. Even after the sun came out on the third day, the roses and I were on a roll.  Rose perfumes turned out to be unexpectedly versatile: the heavier, darker blends suited the foggy and rainy days, while the crisp, bright ones were perfect companions for sunny beach outings. Here are six that I enjoyed on my vacation.

Continue reading →

Strawberry Orange Blossom Compote

Methyl anthranilate probably doesn’t sound all that delicious to you, and if you were never friends with chemistry, it might seem downright scary. I promise not to give an organic chemistry lecture here, but please bear with me for a moment. Methyl anthranilate is both fascinating and mouthwatering–this molecule occurs naturally in some of the most fragrant fruit and flowers, from Concord grapes to orange blossom, from mandarins to gardenias. And also in tiny wild strawberries, fraises des bois.

wild strawberriesstrawberry-compote2

Also known as woodland strawberries (Fragaria Vesca L.), they are only as big as your pinkie nail, but their flavor is so intense that a fistful of berries will perfume an entire room. They smell of caramel, orange flowers and muscat. When you taste them for the first time, you realize that this is what every strawberry flavor tries to imitate.

Continue reading →

Pacifica Mediterranean Fig : Fragrance Review

44444

Andy searches for a perfect fig perfume.

Each year, I anxiously await the summer fig season. For the few weeks when I can get my hands on really good fresh figs, I treasure each bite of the sweet, succulent flesh, and when the season ends, I am ready for the next to come. Luckily for me, I can experience the scents of my very favorite fruit, the fig, through perfumes, which fill my void for the rest of the year. While past trends have left a slew of beautiful niche fig perfumes, Pacifica Mediterranean Fig, an affordable alternative, remains one of my favorites.

figs

The word that comes to mind when I picture Mediterranean Fig’s main accord is sparkling, because when I wear it, I always imagine a fizzy fig mojito. In this case, rim the glass with salt, replace the mint with a generous bunch of crushed, fresh fig leaves, add twists of bergamot and lemon peel in with the lime wedges and sugar, and top with plenty of sparkling water. Set the glass down on the sands of a sunny beach, near a tangle of wet driftwood, and you have Mediterranean Fig.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2014 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.