The Dog Days
|Review by Tom|
One of the great things about the left coast is that, despite the fact that we live on the edge of a desert, we rarely have to interface with the dog days of summer. Our humidity is low, and even when the daytime temperature is nigh unto triple digits, we can hide in our air-conditioned holes sure in the knowledge that the evenings will cool off by twenty or so degrees.
Having said that, this summer has been practically a New York one- humidity as high as 85% and temps into the 90's well into the evening. While I agree with Colombina that MKK is perfect for Summer (or Winter, Spring, Fall, Bastille Day, National Sofa-Care Month...) I know that in the interest of not gagging the people next to me on the bus, it may be time to reach for something a little lighter.
Of course the default go-to for me is Eau d'Hadrien. So light, yet so complex. It couldn't be more refreshing if it were served, poolside, over shaved ice.
Another that I have discovered over the past years is Fresh's Index line of scents. They are light as a feather and quite refreshing, with the added bonus of being long-lasting and having great sillage. My three favorites:
Cucumber Baie: created in '98 and listed as "a diaphanous memory of a summer by the Red Sea..." on me it has a wonderful top note of grapefruit and galbanum, with cucumber popping up to cool and soften the scent, finally dying down to a very light ambery oakmoss. Their website also lists watermelon, which I don't get at all, and something they call "berry musk", which sounds vaguely filthy.
Redcurrant Basil: also from '98 and described as "a lazy afternoon in late summer visited by autumn's approach..." , it features topnotes of lemon, kumquat and basil (and delightfully, I can smell all three), drying down past a slightly sweet pomegranatey rose to the sheerest of cedar-toned musk.
Pomegranate Anise: from '97 and written of as "red lips beckon, a crisp winter kiss..." this is a whisper-light gourmand that starts with a burst of pomegranate, immediately softened by grapefruit and mandarin, slowly joined by lily and magnolia, drying down to a lusciously light ambered sandalwood. I suppose it could be construed as daring by the timid, but I wear it more in summer. Your mileage may vary...
The last one that I have had in my wardrobe was Bergamot Citrus: This one was my first encounter with Fresh when it was introduced (the fragrance, not the line) in '96 and described as "respite by an ancient stone fountain...", this is a very nice green scent with topnotes of bergamot and petitgrain, with waterlily and jasmine, drying to cypress, oakmoss and a hint of cedar. It has been supplanted in my wardrobe by others, not because it isn't a good scent, but because I have either found new ones or rediscovered old ones that have pushed it to the bottom of the list.
Fresh Index scents are available from Fresh stores in New York, Boston, Chicago and West Hollywood, from Fresh.com or from many retailers, including better beauty supply houses (like Larchmont Beauty supply in Los Angeles), and department stores like Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus (as I remember, they don't list them on their website, but I've bought them at Neimans) and at Sephora. The bottles are 3.4 ounces and cost a reasonable $70.