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Monday, June 19, 2006

My Favorite Summer Scents. Part 1.

Ina from Aromascope had a wonderful idea of compiling a list of summer favorites categorized into “types” or “fragrance families”. All this week, please look for similar posts on several other blogs. Here is my Summer Perfume Hit Parade, Part 1:

Favorite summer floral perfume

Songes by Annick Goutal. This beautifully romantic, elegantly tropical, sumptuous blend of ylang ylang, frangipane, vanilla and woods, is an epitome of languid summer days and sultry nights, of most delightful dolce far niente

Shalini by Shalini. The tuberose that broke my heart with its atypically ethereal beauty and its cost. Shalini is a fragile, airy rendition of a bouquet of white flowers picked in the heat of summer. The scent evokes gossamer fabric fluttering in a summer wind… it is a scent of a land of endless summer where the sun is always shining and the sky is always blue.

Le Maroc Pour Elle by Andy Tauer. The passionate blend of exquisitely indolic jasmine and sensual rose…a scent to wear while falling in love with a dark, brooding stranger in an exotic location…a perfume of old black and white movies about beautiful but doomed love…a fragrance of a garden at twilight…somewhere in Casablanca…

Favorite summer citrus perfume

Eau d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal. My most favorite citrus scent. Period. This is the clearest, most transparent lemon fragrance I have ever encountered; that clear transparency is what I consider to be the most attractive quality in a citrus scent. It goes without saying that Eau d'Hadrien is wonderful on a hot summer day.

Ananas Fizz by L’Artisan. According to the little Miss Colombina, Ananas Fizz smells “like oranges”, and her little nose is absolutely right. This uplifting, "thirst-quenching" fragrance to me too smells of (bitter) oranges and other citruses more so than pineapples. The sweetness of the fruits is balanced by the woody notes and all in all Ananas Fizz is incredibly enjoyable in summer.

Le Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes. Created to evoke a scent of green mango (and it does indeed have a lovely unripe mango note), to me this scent is mostly about grapefruit and a little bit of orange. Bright and subtle at the same time, Le Jardin Sur Le Nil is one of the most delightful scents to wear in summer. Watch out for the pleasant twist in the end, for the frankincense note in the drydown.

Favorite summer amber perfume

Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain. I must preface this by saying that I am unable to wear straight amber scents in summer. Scents with the dominant amber notes overwhelm me in warm weather. In Attrape-Coeur, on the other hand, the note is woven into a complex composition and compliments beautifully and is complimented by iris, rose, violet, vanilla and sandalwood. One of my year-round favorites.

Fifi by Fifi Chachnil. It should have been “too much” in hot weather but, miraculously, it isn’t. The coriander note that I adore in Fifi goes a long way to “sharpen” the blend and to keep in check the richness and sweetness of amber and rose. And as for the husky tobacco note…oh mamma!

Bois de Paradis by Parfums Delrae. Again, not an amber scent per se, but the note is certainly here and is gorgeous and harmoniously interlaced with rich woods, delicious blackberry and fig, darkly sensual rose and sweet spices. Exquisite!

Favorite summer green perfume

Yuzu Ab Irato by Parfumerie Generale. Yuzu Ab Irato could have easily been filed among my favorite summer citrus scents, however, to me, citrus is only one of the facets of this scent. Apart from the tangy greenness of yuzu, the perfume also boasts the chilly verdancy of mint spiced with a little pepper as well as an herbal-green blend of thyme and hyssop. Citrus-green, minty-green and herbaceous-green, Yuzu Ab Irato is a summery delight for a fan of green scents.

Terre d’Hermes by Hermes. Earthy-green rather than brightly-leafy green, but green nevertheless, Terre d’Hermes was one of my favorite new releases this year. Its blend of grapefruit, vetiver, pepper, cedar and patchouli is redolent of moist soil, grass and grey stones polished to perfect smoothness by a relentless sea. I have found myself reaching for the bottle of Terre d’Hermes a lot during the hot weather.

Climat by Lancome. Always appropriate, always impeccable and always wearable, Climat is a “light-green” blend of lily of the valley brightened by bergamot and sweetened by rose. A subtly powdery violet note adds to the scent that indefinable something that makes the fragrance feel classic. Subtle and full of personality, fresh and soft, this is my green summer scent of choice when I want to feel elegant and feminine.

Continue reading Part 2 of my Summer Favorites.

*The images are by Jason Brooks, from


Blogger lilybp said...

Great list! I like most of them very much. . .
Here's mine, off the top of my head
Floral: I guess I tend to veer toward floral in the hotter weather, b/c I'm wearing a lot of them right now. . . My number one at them moment seems to be
L'Artisan Fleur d'Oranger (soooo beautiful)
1001 Roses
Carnal Flower
Citrus: I should say that citrus often gets magnified on my skin, and therefore doesn't work. But I like
Un Jardin Sur le Nil
The Pour Un Ete
Divine Bergamote
I wore all three a lot last summer, but haven't pulled them out yet.
These are still working on me.
Armani Amre Soie (a light amber)
Ambre Rusee
Climat (wonderful)
and Terre d'hermes if it counts as green (maybe more woody on me, but wonderful in any case)
Sous le Vent

9:40 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

them moment?? Sheeesh!

9:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic list! I can't even conceive of warm weather w/out Eau d'Hadrien. Have worn it for an eternity and a half. But it hurts to see the Shalini - I've got it on my list of bad words. I'm trying very, very hard to pretend it's not that fantastic due to that crushing price tag, but if I had to take a lie detector test I'd have to admit it's pretty much worth the price. Stunning. Sob!

9:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb! Songes, Fifi, Le Jardin sur Le Nil were very close calls for me. Sadly (sadly?), Shalini didn't strike me as all that. Can't wait for the rest of your list! :)

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

We have lots of matches! Apparently I veer toward floral in hotter weather too. Yestrday was HOT here and I wore Songes and I swear it just blossomed ieven more in that heat than it did in winter.
But...Ambre Russe? You know how I adore it, but I am afraid to even touch it at this temperature. I should try.

9:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sobbing with you. I wish they made a EDT version or something...I am sure it would have lost some of its glory, but it still would be been beautiful, I am sure.

9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sadly?? You are lucky! :-)
I read your list and there are lots of things there I like. In fact, I could easily wear your whole list this summer.

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Re ambre russe: Meggie mentioned on the board that it was surpisingly good in the weather, that complexities were brought out, etc. So I tried it and agreed. But, to be honest, I probably won't be pulling it out in the middle of summer.

10:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am going to try too...on a moderately hot day :-)

10:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, Christina! you know what else I'd have added to either floral or citrus category- Rich Hippie by Rich Hippie. I really liked it. That and Psychedelic are calling my name real loud this summer.

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Nice list, we have more scents in common than I would have guessed!

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Are we Evil Scent Cousins then perhaps, instead of Evil Scent Twins? :-)

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I couldn't constraint myself, that is why I am doing this in 2 parts :-) Wait till you see the number of my favorite summer spicy scents tomorrow :-) Or the leather ones.

12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger IrisLA said...

Nice list! Jardin sur le Nil and Terre d’Hermes are also among my summer favorites. Others are THC Divine Bergamote, Des Filles a la Vanille Garcon Manque, Keiko Mecheri Grenades, and Rosine Ecume de Rose. I love Le Maroc Pour Elle also, but it’s a cool weather scent to me.

Look forward to Part 2!

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ecume de Rose is gorgeous. I can't believe I haven't included any Rosines on my list. Tsk tsk.

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have got to try Pure White Linen. I love White Linen Breeze and hope this one will work for me too.

1:34 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Lord, I totally forgot about Shalini, that was just a stunner. And I need to buy a decant of Bois de Paradis, I loved that too, sent my sample to Patty...

5:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

A stunner and an expensive one! Comapred to that, Bois de Paradis looks like a bargain, heh :-)

5:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Columbina, I really enjoyed reading your most elaborate summer list. And the illustrations are great! May I ask who made them?

1:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

This is Jason Brooks, from He is the illustrator of several newer Guerlain's boxes(Colours of Love, things like hat).

9:17 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You've never reviewed Ambre Sultan- do you care for it? I was thinking of it because on a whim I decided to wear it to dinner tonight. So I guess it could be construed as a summer favorite (well, it helps that in summer in Los Angeles, it will be 90 during the day and 65 at night). In any case, I'd love to read your review of it.

On me it's almost..slutty. In the most refined way.

2:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sadly, I am not a fan of Ambre Sultan. It is one of those scent, which seemed to guarantee to work for me (Chergui and Fumerie Turque and POTL are among the others), but did not...It is quite unpleasant on my skin. :-( I am so glad you enjoy it though!

9:30 AM EDT  

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