My Favorite Summer Perfumes (at the moment)

I came back from the market the other day with a big bouquet of cornflowers and as I sat admiring their vivid color, I realized that these blue flowers are my quintessential summer blossom. Their scent is delicate, green, slightly musty, but the fascinating aspect of olfaction is how such subtle aromas can evoke strong memories. I smelled cornflowers and I could see the wildflower meadows of Poltava, the region in Central Ukraine where I spent the first 15 summers of my life. I could smell the watermelon, feel the sticky peach juice on my fingers and catch a whiff of my great-grandmother distilling rosewater. Being unable to travel there makes me more nostalgic–and renders the familiar scents more intense. Instead of being melancholy after smelling cornflowers, as one might imagine, I felt rejuvenated and uplifted.

This experience inspired me to focus my new video on my favorite summer perfumes. I reflected on what fragrances I gravitate to in the summer and why. While the exact perfumes might change year to year, the main idea stays the same–I wear fragrances that feel refreshing in warm weather and that evoke the pleasant idleness of a good vacation.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believe in the inherent seasonality of perfumes, and I wear my “summer favorites” all year around. Nonetheless, if you would like a few ideas for the summer, please see what I’ve selected.

Sheer Woods

Annick Goutal Duel is my representative of this style of sheer, luminous woods. It’s a dry blend, with a violet note softening its woody facets. A touch of petitgrain (steam-distillation of bitter orange stems and leaves) gives it a pleasantly bitter green note.  Marketed for men, but it can be worn by anyone, as is the case for the Annick Goutal line.

White Florals

Lush white florals work so well in the summer that I urge you to try one of your favorites on a warm day. Apply them lightly, however. The creaminess of tuberose will be amplified. Jasmine will smell fruity. Gardenia will reveal its dark green accent. Estée Lauder Tuberose Gardenia has been a favorite for several years, and I still enjoy it for its soft presence and a graceful blend of creamy white florals and green notes.

Green Scents

I usually gravitate to green perfumes for winter, since on a warm day, they tend either to vanish too quickly or to end up too sharp. One compromise is a to find a green floral. Chanel Cristalle EDP (green floral, with a chypre inflection), Cristalle EDT (green chypre with a floral accent) or Hermès Eau de Narcisse Bleu (green cologne with wood shavings and flower petals) are my staples. A bright, crisp style of perfumery.

Soft Musk

I described several excellent summer musks a couple of weeks ago and the reason why they work so well in summer, but I need to add a new find, Penhaligon’s The Favourite. This is one of those so-called skin-loving perfumes. It smells ordinary on paper, but on skin it evolves so beautifully that on most days I reach for it almost without thinking. The Favourite is all softness–soft petals, soft woods, soft musk.

Which perfumes have you been wearing the most this summer?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Damiana: We both like Chanel Cristalle EDT, but just like you, I wear it all year long. A few fragrances I’ve been wearing this summer: Perris Monte Carlo Rose de Mai, Perris Monte Carlo Cacao Azteque, Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense, Jo Loves Pomelo, Molinard Violette, Coquilette Paris Vesevius. Have a wonderful week! July 27, 2020 at 8:24am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Damiana,

      I love molinard Violette! I don’t know the others. July 28, 2020 at 12:02am Reply

      • Damiana: Hello there! Isn’t Violette just gorgeous? I love that it’s little dewy with green and citrus hints! I’d highly recommend trying the others too. What are your favorites?
        Have a wonderful day 🙂 July 28, 2020 at 9:40am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Violette is indeed gorgeous. It is one of my 30 favourite fragrances out of my approx. 300 perfumes. Here is that list. (For my favourite hot weather fragrances, please see my comment further below.) The first five are in my order of preference; after that, they follow Michael Edwards classification system, basically from light and fresh down to deep and rich.

          1. L’Heure Bleue (Guerlain 1912)
          2. Mitsouko (Guerlain 1919)
          3. Oscar (Oscar de la Renta 1977)
          4. Shalimar (Guerlain 1925)
          5. Le Dix (Balenciaga 1947)
          6. Aqua Allègoria Herba Fresca (Guerlain 1999) – W/M
          7. Diorissimo (Christian Dior 1956)
          8. Violette (Molinard 2016)
          9. Pur Désir de Lilas (Yves Rocher 2002)
          10. Paris (Yves Saint Laurent 1983)
          11. English Rose (Yardley 1989)
          12. Bellodgia (Caron 1927)
          13. Fleurs d’Orlane (Orlane 1983)
          14. Miracle (Lancôme 2000)
          15. Clair de Jour (Lanvin 1983)
          16. Rive Gauche (Yves Saint Laurent 1969/2003)
          17. L’Aimant (Coty 1927)
          18. Le Dix (Balenciaga 1947)
          19. Après L’Ondée (Guerlain 1906)
          20. Insolence (Guerlain 2006)
          21. Trésor (Lancôme 1990)
          22. Poison (Christian Dior 1985)
          23. Lipstick Rose (Frédérick Malle 2000)
          24. Phul-Nana (Grossmith 1891)
          25. Ciara (Ultima II/Revlon 1973)
          26. Laetitia (Rancé 1806/2008)
          27. Yvresse (Yves Saint Laurent 1993)
          28. Y (Yves Saint Laurent 1964)
          29. Femme (Rochas 1944/89)
          30. MOR Marshmallow

          The English Rose by Yardley is not only gorgeous, but despite being called a “cologne”, it has tremendous longevity. Put it on at 7am and it will still be there at 11pm. I have a couple of spare bottles stashed in the fridge. It is this one:

 July 29, 2020 at 6:14am Reply

          • Damiana: What a wonderful list! Thank you for sharing it. I also very much like classic fragrances like Bellodgia, Le Dix, and Shalimar. I’ll be thinking about trying Yardley English Rose. Have a lovely day! July 29, 2020 at 9:15am Reply

            • Tourmaline: You’re welcome! Unfortunately, that version of English Rose was discontinued, but there are currently a couple of bottles on eBay – one that is affordable. I hope that you have a lovely day, too! July 29, 2020 at 7:55pm Reply

  • Sandra: Ciao V!
    My two favorite “s” perfumes: Songes and Shalimar this summer. Heavy rotation during the summer months of these two.
    I also like Frangipani by a Bermuda brand called Lili
    Enjoy your summer July 27, 2020 at 9:11am Reply

  • KimC: For some reason, seasons do affect my scent choices. Chanel’s Cristalle EDT is my summer go to.
    However, with the temps again today in North Carolina exceeding 100 degrees F, I can only tolerate Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Clinique Aromatics Elixir. Santa Maria Novella is also a great choice. It’s aroma is short-lived, but exceedingly refreshing. July 27, 2020 at 9:26am Reply

  • SB: Mine is Ameline from Phlur, delicious tea like with lots of rose water impressions and a soft musk in the back …. people stop me in the street to ask me what am I wearing? July 27, 2020 at 9:28am Reply

    • Gabriela: I am intrigued with this brand, I did not know it. Unfortunately, no shipping to Spain… July 27, 2020 at 10:34am Reply

  • Matty1649: I wore Molinard Violette yesterday. July 27, 2020 at 9:37am Reply

  • Michele Adsit: How inspiring your posts are, Victoria! I just ordered Estée Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia. It is so important to me to wear fragrance during this health crisis we are all experiencing. I have been wearing Chanel’s #22, Carnal Flowers, Quelque Fleurs, and and Dyptique’s Duel. July 27, 2020 at 9:47am Reply

    • Damiana: Hi Michelle, I find Quelques Fleurs to be a wonderful choice! It might be my favorite bouquet 🙂 July 28, 2020 at 9:41am Reply

      • Michele Adsit: Thank you so much for your comment. The first time I smelled Quelque Fleurs, I fell in love. That was many years ago, and I still love it. July 28, 2020 at 4:32pm Reply

        • Damiana: It’s a timeless classic… <3 July 28, 2020 at 5:35pm Reply

  • MaryAnn Popper Hardy: My favorite is still Eau de Rochas for its cool, light freshness. When I spritz it over my head, it’s as if I’ve opened a window and a perfect breeze has blown in. I’m always complemented when I wear this scent in summer. However, there are times when essential oil of Rose, just dabbed, makes me feel happy that it’s summer and flowers bloom in our garden.

    There was a time (1980’s) when Ralph Lauren made a wonderful refreshing scent, but when I tried again to buy it, something had changed and it was not appealing to me at all. I had discovered it when I went into a large department store and told the perfume counter staff, “I have to go to Palm Springs, and I need a fragrance.” Without hesitation, she presented me with “Lauren.” It was sharp and clean and lovely and was perfect for the dry heat, the blazing sun, linen dresses and espadrilles. I loved it. Then.

    I hate, yes HATE that the formulas are changed. July 27, 2020 at 9:47am Reply

    • Deborah L Smith: Was that Woman by Ralph Lauren? Maybe I’m thinking of a Perry Ellis scent but I used to keep my Woman and Cristalle spray bottles in the fridge for Summer spritzing. July 27, 2020 at 1:16pm Reply

    • Madaris: Lauren does not smell anything like it used to in the 1980s and 90s. I was so dissatisfied after purchasing the new blend. The new Opium also is disapointing. July 27, 2020 at 2:00pm Reply

      • Patricia Devine: The new Opium is so different that it is frankly cheeky that it has the same name as the old one. I wear the original EDT and parfum. July 28, 2020 at 3:57am Reply

  • Rakasa: Like you I adore Cristalle and Eau de Narcisse Bleu for summer. Like Damiana, I enjoy Nicolai’s Neroli Intense. Plus I recently added DFG 1924 Il Risveglio delle Esperidi to my summer options for its amazingly fresh longevity alongside Perris Monte Carlo Cedro di Diamante, Thirdman Eau Contraire and Shay & Blue White Peaches.

    But most importantly, a sincere thanks to Victoria for making certain that text about your video comments are available for readers who need to use accessibility functionality in order to join the conversation! USA IT professionals remain far too delinquent in providing conversions for all facets of accessibility needs, leaving far too many of such folk stranded in the technological Dark Ages. Far too many video content providers also completely ignore those needs entirely. Many thx for your kind attentiveness. July 27, 2020 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: You mean the text in the box under the video? I usually like having a bit of explanation about the videos myself. I won’t read overly long texts (those I prefer on a separate page), but a short recap with the main points is helpful. July 27, 2020 at 9:59am Reply

      • Rakasa: Yes, exactly; the short recap that frames and captures the key points & bottom line as you did above is just fine. A verbatim rehash/full script wouldn’t foster engagement as much as the intelligent recap above could. July 27, 2020 at 6:58pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: Have been enjoying Zara x Jo Malone perfume collaboration scent, Bohemian Bluebells. Has lavender, sandalwood, musk notes. It’s working beautifully in the hot July temps. in Canada. July 27, 2020 at 9:58am Reply

    • Mj: I also enjoy Bohemian Bluebells, but for the hot, humid Barcelona summer I’m wearing Vetyver Pamplemousse from the same line. July 27, 2020 at 11:59am Reply

      • Elizabeth: I wish the entire line had come to North America. Received a rollerball of the Bohemian Bluebells, so it’s the only one I have been able to try. Stay cool in Barcelona and enjoy the VP fragrance. Sounds lovely, too. July 27, 2020 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Terry Futrelle: I live in the south…The heat and humidity are so oppressive. These are my favorite scents to get me through the, “dog days of summer”! For the daytime, and I know it will be over 80 degrees, I pat on, “Eau Des Minimes”. This lovely botanical citrus, is so refreshing and lasts all day! For the evenings, I enjoy, “Terracotta”, by Guerlain…So tropical and floral! And, a new favorite, “Valkyrie”, by Sylvaine Delacourte…Vanilla, citrus and basil! I am in love with the powdery freshness of this scent. In summer, I cannot live without these three fragrances. Today will climb to almost 100 degrees, with heavy humidity. Help! Lol July 27, 2020 at 10:23am Reply

  • Lena L: I think I reach for sheer floral musk a lot in summer. Narciso Rodriguez L’eau has been a fave for years and this week I will be wearing Ava Luxe White Musk. 🙂 July 27, 2020 at 10:32am Reply

  • Gabriela: In the summer I love Carnal Flower for special occasions and for everyday use, Chevrefeuille by Goutal. July 27, 2020 at 10:36am Reply

  • Mary: I love EL’s Tuberose Gardenia and typically buy every summer. I didn’t purchase this year and am really craving it, and decided to buy after reading your notes on summer fragrances. Another holy grail fragrance is Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil for the green mango and freshness, and a new favorite is Montseratt by Bruno Fazzolari. The plaster accord and light musk makes it so interesting on a warm day. July 27, 2020 at 10:55am Reply

    • Mary: Here in the south of Spain you need to have an extensive summer collection. My favourites include Cristalle, Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate, Un Jardin sur le Nil, Atelier Cédrat Enivrant, Bergamote Soleil and Grand Neroli, L’Artisan Premier Figuier and Fleur de Liane, Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau and Tam Dao etc. And in the balmy evenings I love L’Air du Désert Marocain. July 28, 2020 at 3:30am Reply

  • Perfumelover67: My favorites this summer are: Chanel Cristalle EdT, No.19 EdT, Paris-Deauville, Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio, Parfum D’Empire Corsica Furiosa and Guerlain AA Herba Fresca. July 27, 2020 at 10:59am Reply

  • Karen: In summer, I love Roger & Gallet eau fraîche fragrances for their light freshness. They don’t persist for long on the skin, which in the summer heat can be a merciful trait. My favorites are Fleur de Figuier and Tubéreuse Hédonie. I never tire of these fragrances, and look forward to wearing them every summer. July 27, 2020 at 11:14am Reply

    • Terry Futrelle: I have some, Roger & Gallet eau fraîche, on the way, in the mail, Karen. You are right. They are very light and fresh. In the heat, sometimes it is a “two shower” day! July 27, 2020 at 11:40am Reply

  • Alison: I love 47 11 during the hot season or a splash of rose water or Turkish cologne. July 27, 2020 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: I like L’Occitane’s Arlesienne and their new Green tea fragrance with a hint of Jasmine. Chanel’s Misia is also a favourite of mine in the Summer, as the heat really brings out the Violet note. Hermes’s Osmanthe Yunnan my summer classic.

    I have recently purchased a bottle of Lolita Lempicka and really love the Violet and liquorice notes, very addictive. July 27, 2020 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Christine Pryce: Love Lolita Lempicka for summer evenings. And L’Occitane Green Tea, also their classic Lemon Verbena toiletries, beautiful for a quick shower after a hot summers long days’ work, for rapid cooldown before supper.

      I’ve worn Burberry’s Weekend today, I was hesitant to as I wore it constantly during a past love affair, and was worried it’d just bring back sad memories. However, I’ve been delighted to find it rather different than I’d remembered it – far more refreshing, much less romantic. And a scent that’s truly happy, happy, Happy!! 🙂 July 28, 2020 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Today I am wearing a summer favourite, Fleurs de Sel (Miller Harris, sadly discontinued).

    Victoria, I am intrigued with your brief video review of The Favourite, and will seek it out when I next see a Penhaligon shop. I had to smile at your description of the perfume, because it was exactly the opposite of what Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough (she was the favourite) was. And she was in no way known to be “all softness” as you write above. By the way, did you get the chance to see the film? July 27, 2020 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Rosie Jeffery: Oh no, I’m sad to hear Fleur de sel is discontinued, one of my top 7 summer favourites! August 3, 2020 at 9:24am Reply

      • Silvermoon: Hi Rosie, isn’t it frustrating when perfumes are discontinued with no warning (inexplicably, when they are really great ones too)? I love Fleurs de Sel, so now use it sparingly/rarely to stretch it out. MH sometimes revives things for a short time, so here’s hoping🤞 August 3, 2020 at 9:40am Reply

        • Rosie Jeffery: Thanks Silvermoon, you give me hope, maybe they will see sense and bring it back one day!
          In the mean time, I too shall treasure my last few mls and use sparingly. August 3, 2020 at 11:00am Reply

    • Silvermoon: An update on Penhaligon’s The Favourite. I managed to test it out yesterday – on both paper and skin. The very first moment was one of soft petals and freshness. But that’s it. I was so disposed to liking it and pretty much expecting to purchase it, but was very disappointed indeed. Victoria’s description had led me to expect to like it, so I was surprised when I didn’t. A good reminder that it’s always best to test for oneself. 😊 August 5, 2020 at 9:24am Reply

  • Cyndi: I also love Estee Lauder’s Tuberose and Gardenia, as well as Annick Goutal’s Songes, Shalimar edt. Chanel No. 5 edt, Nina Ricci’s L’air du Temps, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, and Guerlain’s Champs Elysees. Also Fracas seems to “bloom” in the summer, as well as Estee Lauder’s original Private Collection. July 27, 2020 at 1:34pm Reply

    • Michele Adsit: Agree 100% with the fragrances you mentioned. All lovely for warm weather wear. July 28, 2020 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Lily: My summer go-to’s in general are
    -D&G Sicily
    -l’Eau de chloe
    -Sud Magnolia by atelier Cologne
    -Marc Jacobs Woman

    Have not been wearing the MJ much bc that’s my summertime going out at night choice – oh, CoronaCon.

    But this summer I have added the most unexpected perfume to my collection! Cheirosa ‘62 by Sol (the Brazilian bum bum cream brand which this perfume is meant to smell like 😳). It’s sweet and gourmand, both of which I normally avoid, especially in the heat, but it really is evocative of hot summer days with sweet treats and sunscreen and deliciousness. I am completely loving it right now! July 27, 2020 at 2:57pm Reply

  • Peter: Mahalo nui loa for your uplifting post. I’ve never seen a cornflower, but your vivid photograph brings it to life. Such lovely violet-tinged blue petals.

    I agree with the consensus regarding Cristalle. The crisp, brisk hit of citrus. I also love all the heady tropical fragrances: Tuberose Gardenia, Songes, Carnal Flower, and Fracas. July 27, 2020 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Dear Peter,

      This is a great list, but please read of my experience with Cristalle below! July 27, 2020 at 8:51pm Reply

      • Mary: I forgot to include Ninfeo Mio! Probably my favourite fig. July 28, 2020 at 3:32am Reply

    • Christine Pryce: I have blue cornflowers growing in my garden most summers, but this year all my usual routines have been thrown out of order by this wretched virus – the beautiful close up photos made me pine for my usual borderful to cut for the house! They come in many other colours, too, and are easy as pie to grown from seed here in UK. But you can’t beat the classic original Blue. So intense and the perfect foil for their natural cornfield companions, ox-eye daisies, ladybird poppies, and pot marigolds 🙂 July 28, 2020 at 4:06pm Reply

  • Kneale: I love this post, Victoria. It reminds me that someday travel around the world might be possible again. Cristalle is my year-round love but you’ve given me another reason to think of it as a summer scent. Also, this is a long overdue thank you to everyone who recommended scents for me to try last year when I went to Berlin. I saved every single recommendation. I wanted to share that I ended up with a cozy scent that I found at the beautiful shop Manufactum: Knize Ten, full of leather and patchouli, rose and sandalwood. It now brings such happy memories of Berlin and days of travel. July 27, 2020 at 4:04pm Reply

  • kat: I’m currently very happy with Bottega Veneta’s Knot Eau Florale. It reminds me a bit of YSL’s Paris (which I also love but it’s a -lot- so I reserve it for winter). Other summer go-tos are Atelier Cologne’s Clementine California and Biotherm’s Eau Vitaminée.
    (That said I only wear perfume on days I’m staying inside since floral scents tend to attract unwanted attention of the buzzing kind). July 27, 2020 at 4:29pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I enjoy light fresh citruses and florals in the summer. My go tos lately have been L’Artisan Champs de Fleur, Al Agharaba Scent of Paradise and Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist. All are cooling florals that help with the oppressive heat. July 27, 2020 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Joyce: Wonderful video, Victoria! The blue top looks great on you 😊

    It’s winter right now for me, but I am wearing SL Cedre – the warm tuberose makes me think of sultry summer nights. I recently bought Do Son in the form of perfume oil, it’s lovely as well, but too close to EL Tuberose Gardenia for me. July 27, 2020 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for this lovely post and video. I love cornflowers; the blue is spectacular. I occasionally see them at florists, but I must buy a bunch someday.

    I have tried Tuberose Gardenia in the past, and I recall that I liked it, but it’s been a while. Based on your description, I am particularly looking forward to sampling The Favourite, and it may well become one of my favourites!

    As for Cristalle, I wanted so much to like it, because I loved the name and the idea of it, but despite having tried it numerous times over many years, I always found it too harsh and screechy. I recall the occasion, many years ago, when I sprayed it onto my wrist, to give it yet another chance, prior to visiting my favourite antique jewellery store in the city’s finest arcade. Within about 10 seconds of my entering the store, the sales assistant, whom I knew very well, switched on a fan. Now, I had been in that shop scores of times over several years, and the fan had never been on; indeed, due to the rather chilly air-conditioning, it had never required one. (Perhaps the fan was kept for air-conditioning malfunctions and for clearing the small store of fragrances likely to repel potential customers!) I felt as though I should have apologized for the olfactory onslaught, but I said nothing, as though I didn’t notice anything. I left soon afterwards, though, not wanting to distress the poor lady for any length of time! I’ve never tried Cristalle since, however I shall make a point of sampling the EDP, in case I’ve only ever tried the EDT and have been missing the “sweet vermouth” that you mentioned in your May 11 post, My Three Classics : Introduction to Classical Perfumery.

    On particularly hot days, I enjoy wearing the fragrances I recommended to Aurora in your last post. They are –

    – Eau de Guerlain (Guerlain 1974)
    – Green Tea (Elizabeth Arden 1999)
    – Eau Dynamisante (Clarins 1987)
    – Aqua Allègoria Herba Fresca (Guerlain 1999)
    – Le Chèvrefeuille (Annick Goutal 2002)
    – Diorissimo (Christian Dior 1956)
    – Chloé “Classic” (Lagerfeld 1975)
    – Pleasures (Estée Lauder 1995)
    – Anaïs Anaïs (Cacharel 1978)
    – Miracle (Lancôme 2000)
    – Clair de Jour (Lanvin 1983)
    – Y (Yves Saint Laurent 1964)

    It is the middle of winter here, and fragrances I have worn the most include Yvresse, Theorema, Diamonds and Rubies, Shalimar and original Opium. July 27, 2020 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Joyce: Hi Tourmaline, thank you for the extensive list!

      I remember EL Pleasures from waaay back (Liz Hurley ad and perfume strip from magazines :-). Do you think the formulation has remained the same, or changed over the years?

      Tuberose Gardenia is beautiful (more gardenia than tuberose) and highly recommended. I find it quite powerful and long-lasting as well, so it’s very good for the price. July 28, 2020 at 12:28am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Joyce,

        I’ve only ever bought the one bottle of Pleasures, and still have most of it left. Also, I haven’t smelled it again in stores. Do you have an opinion on the formulation?

        I really must try Tuberose Gardenia again soon – when I try The Favourite! July 28, 2020 at 12:57am Reply

        • Joyce: Hi Toumaline, my memory of Pleasures was a giant burst of green, floral happiness. Sort of like Clinique Happy in that the perfume sort of explodes as soon as you spray it. I am tempted to buy it again but talks from online about reformulation has me worried, that’s all.

          The Favourite does sound tempting, and I do love the velvet ribbons. Speaking of which, I am adoring Marshmallow, even my cats keep sniffing my wrists (usually they only care if someone or something smells like fish or bacon🤣). July 29, 2020 at 3:13am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Yes, it is certainly very fresh, and rather “horizontal”, as they used to say, in that it doesn’t develop much over time.

            I’m glad that you and your cats are enjoying Marshmallow! I can’t imagine that many fragrances receive the Kitty Seal of Approval! My father’s cat is only interested in the liver or beef in his Dine cat food, although Dad has to keep rubber bands away from him, because he likes to eat them. July 29, 2020 at 6:38am Reply

    • Peter: Aloha Tourmaline,

      A very amusing antidote about getting “The Fan” treatment. Please don’t sample the Cristalle EdP and visit that poor woman again! I guess we all have our individual chemistry. One person’s potion can be another person’s poison. July 28, 2020 at 12:43am Reply

      • Tourmaline: G’day Peter,

        Sadly, that store closed down a few years ago, shortly after that woman moved up north to work in a beachside store. I had bought my Ophelia pendant (of which you’ve seen photos) at that store, along with many other antique pieces over the years, so it was a sad day when it closed. July 28, 2020 at 1:07am Reply

      • Peter: I meant to say “anecdote”. Tourmaline needed an “antidote” to cancel the Cristalle! July 28, 2020 at 11:47pm Reply

        • Tourmaline: That is so true! All perfumistas should carry a bottle of “STOP” – “snuff this obnxious perfume” spray at all times! If someone developed and marketed it, I bed they’d make a fortune! July 29, 2020 at 3:00am Reply

    • Michele Adsit: Thanks for your story about Christalle and the fan. Made me smile. You should try it again. I know some fragrances I used to enjoy, now smell like rubbing alcohol on me, while scents I previously disdained, now smell lovely to me. July 28, 2020 at 4:40pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Michele,

        Yes, I’ll definitely try it again – in the EDP this time! July 28, 2020 at 5:54pm Reply

    • Tami: Hi, Tourmaline—

      Sadly I too have a bad scent memory of Cristalle. I had SO wanted to try it because it was mentioned as the signature scent of a character in a novel I read… the author described it in such a luscious and indelible way, of course I wanted to try it! Sadly, it was indelible in the “wrong” way for me—it gave me the migraine to end all migraines, and lasted in my coat for WEEKS (could not get rid of the scent!). Any pleasure I may have received from an initial sniff was wiped out by one of the strongest negative physical experiences I’ve ever had to a scent. I’m jealous of those who enjoy it, as their experience is always so magical sounding. July 29, 2020 at 12:59am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Tami,

        What a horrible experience! Yes, scent can last for ages on clothing. You needed my “STOP” spray (see comment further above)! I know how bad migraines can be because I suffered with them monthly for many years, until menopause. You probably had the nausea with the migraine, too, you poor soul.

        Well, think on the bright side. There are so many other fragrances to choose from these days, and we have Victoria helping us to sort the great from the average and pitiful. July 29, 2020 at 6:46am Reply

        • Tami: Indeed… it is lovely to live vicariously through Victoria’s writing 🙂

          And if you ever manufacture STOP!, I’ll be your very first customer! July 29, 2020 at 11:10am Reply

          • Tourmaline: It is indeed.

            That would be a blue moon, but wouldn’t it be great! July 29, 2020 at 7:58pm Reply

  • Christine McPhillips: Dear Victoria

    Cristalle was a recent and very exciting discovery for me. I would have tried it a few times but have always preferred No 5, No 19 and Coco when at the Chanel counter, and never bought Cristalle.

    Whilst stressing over reformulations (I seem to alternate between despair at the loss of beautiful perfumes, to bliss in the knowledge the perfumes I have are still lovely and some beautiful) to be able to purchase Cristalle and discover what a lovely scent it is was wonderful.

    I bought the edp; I have never had the original formulation so do not know the difference, but never mind the present formula is lovely.

    I am in Sydney and therefore in winter too, having retired recently and given the current restrictions enjoying my perfume is a nice way to spend time.

    Love your blog. July 27, 2020 at 10:18pm Reply

  • Christine Pryce: I’m all about Orange-Blossom in the Spring & Summer. I live in the North-East of Wales – oppressive, dry heat isn’t a problem here 😉 In summer, something uplifting yet refreshing is just the ticket.
    Currently addicted to Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom, it makes my heart skip a beat whenever I put it on in the morning! Also enjoy Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom, and Tom Ford’s Neroli -Portofino, Acgua di Gio, and Clinique Aromatics Elixir which has that lovely herbal sharpness, so cleansing.
    If we do get a really hot day or three, and I fancy something nostalgic for a change, I treat myself to a quick spritz of one of my vintage YSL Rive Gauche that I had stockpiled before they changed the formula in the, what, late 90’s, was it? It has the cooling sensation of rapid evaporation with the refreshing quicksilver of gin. July 27, 2020 at 11:05pm Reply

    • Patricia Devine: There is a lovely orange blossom cologne called Eau Aimable from Couvent des Minimes that you might like – it’s discontinued but available on Ebay. I didn’t know orange blossom could be so light until I tried this and I have gone through over 2 litres of it. July 28, 2020 at 4:33am Reply

    • Nina Z: I love orange blossom in the summer, too! I find uplifting as well. And I also live in a climate where it’s not hot in the summer (San Francisco Bay Area microclimate), and many mornings are cool, grey, and foggy. This summer my favorite orange blossom is Hiram Green’s Dilettante. July 28, 2020 at 1:25pm Reply

      • Christine: Orange blossom really works in cool humidity, don’t you think? Other scents go flat or syrupy or just disappear. Plus, it does a lot of heavy lifting on the psychological front, when you’re waking up to yet another grey, overcast, “summer” day 😟 Thanks for the recommendation, I shall add it to my (ridiculous, unmanageable!) Want List! 🙂 July 28, 2020 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Filomena: I have been wearing beachy fragrances this Summer, especially because I am not going anywhere.
    Heeley’s Coccobello and Sea Marin
    Villoresi’s Mare Nostrum
    Guerlain’s Terracotta July 27, 2020 at 11:21pm Reply

    • Patricia Devine: I like that idea – ‘because I’m not going anywhere’. I find Artisan’s Batucada gives me a beachy feel, like warm skin at the end of a long day. I was given a bottle by the company and offered to decant some for a friend. Sadly, he is deaf, so he thought I was giving him the whole bottle and I couldn’t bear to disappoint him, so I no longer have it! July 28, 2020 at 4:35am Reply

  • Patricia Devine: If it’s hot, I’m big on greens and ‘green’ is the only one of my perfume drawers ordered by type, as I usually store things by manufacturer. My green collection includes Bandit, Silences, Scherrer I, Vent Vert, Azurée, Alliage, Roger & Gallet Thé Vert, etc. Or I might go for a light floral in the morning, such as Paul Smith’s Rose (which has green tea) or Caron’s Fleurs de Rocaille. I also found a lovely white floral called Cristina Bertrand #3. I don’t wear heavier florals until evening (A la Nuit, Fracas, etc). I also get through a lot of cologne, as I cycle, so I drench myself in it after each ride – my favourite was Couvent Des Minimes’ Eau des Minimes, which is sadly discontinued and prices hiked on Ebay, but I am currently enjoying Berdoues 1902 ‘naturelle’ and some drugstore colognes such as Bien-Être l’Herboriste’s cologne with cedrat and ‘Fresh’ from Ulrich de Varens. (I never pass up a drugstore cologne without trying it and if it doesn’t work out, I use it as a linen spray.) De Varens are stupidly good for something so low-priced. July 28, 2020 at 4:25am Reply

  • Nina Z: Although I live somewhere where the summers are generally cool, breezy, and comfortable, I do travel to hotter places. And I just realize that the perfumes I take with me are ones that I consider cooling, but which are not the classic citruses or colognes that most people prefer.

    I find frankincense cooling. So a favorite hot weather perfume is Sideris by Maria Candida Gentile. It’s a sheer and beautiful incense fragrance. When I had some, I also used to wear Encens et Lavande, Serge Lutens classic incense fragrance. And maybe I like Chanel No. 22 in the summer because it’s white flowers with incense.

    I also find lavender cooling. The last few years my favorite lavender is A Taste of Heaven, which also lists absinthe as a note (also a cooling note to me). I don’t love the minimalist style of Brin Reglisse but that also has the super cooling combination of lavender and licorice.

    I do find certain green florals cooling as well. My favorite these days is By Kilian Love and Tears (why, why, why are those perfumes so expensive) and I also like vintage Chanel No. 19. July 28, 2020 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Christine Pryce: Oh! yes, I remember it! haven’t seen it in ages. Don’t you hate it when they discontinue. They always seem to discontinue my favourites! and never other scents which I find truly ordinary… I just can’t grasp it at all. Also. For example; why do they reformulate perfect scents, while very imperfect ones sell by the bucket load ??? Eh, bien, c’est la vie. I shall be looking on eBay, I rarely use it – but looks like that may change if it’s a treasure trove of lost delights as you suggest!! 🙂
    .. July 28, 2020 at 3:36pm Reply

  • Joyce: Another summer fragrance is Vetiver Pamplemousse by Zara Emotion (the collaboration with Jo Malone). Such a refreshing grapefruit scent. Other favourites include Ginger Essence by Origins, and Ginger Piccante by Guerlain. July 29, 2020 at 3:19am Reply

  • Muriel: Hello Victoria and all,
    I didn’t know that “bleuets” were called cornflowers… I also love these flowers, they are the perfect image of summer (with poppies).
    Right now I am longing for scents that feature a big dose of rosemary (that smells “south of France” to me). As I don’t know of any “rosemary perfume” I simply touch rosemary all the time and smell my hands 😀 but I could really rum the herb all over me, I love it so much!! July 29, 2020 at 10:05am Reply

    • Kathy: I loved to “pet” a rosemary bush I used to walk by to get that intense and wonderful smell on my hand! I doubt a perfume could capture the best of it. That smell and also pine sap give me a tranquil feeling on very hot days. But I don’t like to “pet” pine boughs – what a mess. July 30, 2020 at 1:11pm Reply

  • OperaFan: I live on a corner lot and one year sowed cornflower seeds (along with several other flowers) on a large patch of my yard that faces a side street, intending to create a “naturalized” look. Each spring to early summer, the area comes alive with colors in waves. First the corn flowers, then larkspurs, finally black-eyed Susans and Marigolds that continue into the Fall. (This also creates a lot of work for me when the flowers die and I have to remove bales of dead plants….)
    So, my choices of perfumes for the hottest days of summer this year:
    – Un Air de Samsara (perennial favorite)
    – Ormonde Jayne’s Osmanthus
    – Jicky edp/edt
    – Sisley Eau de Campagne
    On the Sisley – I have a formulation purchased 2001 in Paris, and the most recent version. The oak moss replacement has indeed neutered the base of the fragrance and it fades very quickly; however, I love it for its extraordinary green top notes and don’t mind re-spraying as often as needed.
    Stay cool, everyone! July 29, 2020 at 10:48am Reply

  • Tami: For me, the ultimate scent of summer is associated sunscreen. Even clean, “unscented” sunscreens have a mineral scent to them that gets me in the mood for outdoor activities. I do tend to wear the clean and unscented ones on my face these days, but I have a more “traditional” sunscreen that I use on my full body that smells of banana and coconut… it throws me back to summer days at the water park as a teenager.

    If I wear actual perfume, it tends to be a light spritz of something citrusy. July 29, 2020 at 11:18am Reply

    • Kathy: I like hot weather, and I like baking in the sun with banana and coconut sunscreen! I mostly avoid those moments nowadays, but once upon a time…. July 30, 2020 at 3:01pm Reply

      • Tami: Sadly my skin has no “bake” setting. Either nothing happens (aside from getting too hot), or I burn! An accidental burning at a tennis match taught me a HUGE lesson… so it’s banana/coconut protection for me, even on just a walk!

        But it makes for a lovely scent memory! July 31, 2020 at 7:09pm Reply

  • Tamsin: Cristalle used to be my all time summer favourite when I was in my 20s and I thought of it as perfection in a bottle. Having discovered Tiare by Ormonde Jayne, I can’t go back. It’s very much reminiscent of Cristalle but with gardenia absolute and perfect for summer. Also love Bluebell by Penhaligons for the really hot weather…will be getting it out on Friday when it will be 36° July 30, 2020 at 2:27am Reply

  • Kathy: Victoria, I was intrigued by your reviews of Mon Guerlain, and picked the Mon Guerlain Florale version. I find MGF’s floral cloud cheering in the hot weather. The dry down notes give me a clean but salty skin scent: a variation on sunscreen notes, somehow. If I may add, I found a tester at one of the reliable discount sellers that made this a real summer treat! July 30, 2020 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Sarah: For me, summer scents are a question of both place and temperature. For hot, hot days in Norway and France, my favourite is L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, seconded by Philosykos. My go-to for more moderate summer days in Norway, is Parfum de Therese – and when on holiday in tropical areas, I like Do Son as well as Heeley’s Cocobello (which, interestingly, I find a great winter perfume back home in Norway). July 31, 2020 at 5:42am Reply

    • Tami: I’ve been wondering about L’Ombre Dans L’Eau in the heat… it smells like a warm day in the garden to me! July 31, 2020 at 7:11pm Reply

  • Figuier: What a gorgeous bunch of cornflowers! You’re fortunate to have access to such a variety of cut flowers; I always love the different flowers you depict in your blog photos.

    I’ve been wearing Bigarade Concentree a fair bit, which is definitely a summer perfume for me. For that beachy feeling (in lieu of an actual beach) I’ve been wearing Roger & Gallet Bois D’Orange Huile Sublime, which has orange atop ylang and coconut. My bottle is about 8 years old & the oil’s gone a little stale – but not enough to put me off! August 3, 2020 at 4:49am Reply

  • Rosie Jeffery: My partially used bottle of Ninfeo Mio arrived in the post from eBay today, I only have a few mls left in little square 25ml bottle which is also from eBay, 3 years ago. This is my absolute favourite for very hot weather, it is so refreshing and uplifting!
    I blind bought Lovely (I took a chance as it’s so reasonable) after reading your article on musk perfumes, and I think it’s gorgeous- I haven’t bought new perfume for a few years since I started studying, but I’ve just separated from my husband, and I am gaining so much pleasure and comfort from perfume during this difficult time.
    Thank you for your beautiful writing Victoria, it really is such a pleasure to read a new review or article on BDJ! August 3, 2020 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it, Rosie! Lovely lives up to its name, and I’m so happy that a blind buy paid off. I hope that the difficult period shall soon pass, but in the meantime seek whatever comforts you can find. If we can help with any suggestions, we’re here for you! August 3, 2020 at 9:49am Reply

      • Rosie Jeffery: Thank you Victoria! the separation was a positive for me, I am much happier being true to myself, but adjusting is challenging, especially for my 2 children, perfume is an immense help and comfort at this time. August 3, 2020 at 10:14am Reply

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