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Friday, August 05, 2011

Perfume-Smellin' Things Summer Favorites 2011 & a Prize Draw

Это лето выдалось дождливым и холодным, поэтому мой летний парфюмерный гардероб мало отличался от остальной части года, разве что я меньше ношу розы и альдегиды. Кожу я люблю в любое время года, но этим летом я особенно часто носила Onda Vero Kern в духах. Onda входит в мой стандартный дорожный набор. Обычно я никогда не знаю заранее, что мне может понадобиться, поэтому стараюсь взять все самые любимые ароматы с собой. В поездках я по обстоятельствам надеваю тот или иной аромат из набора. Этим летом мой выбор часто падал на Оnda. Onda побывала со мной в Антверпене и Париже, но собенно органично она звучала в старых замковых и монастырских стенах. Главным событием этого лета стало посещение аббатства Мон Сен-Мишель. Лил проливной дождь, от камней веяло холодом, на арках и лестницах пробирали сквозняки. Onda – глубокий аромат с внутренним стержнем, он согревает тело и охлаждает голову. Запах дегтя, дыма, кожи, ароматных трав, кисло-сладкий привкус настоящего хлеба... В Onda мне удалось прочувствовать как жили монахи в этих суровых и прекрасных местах. И я опять беру ее в следующую поездку. (This summer turned out to be rainy and cold, and so my perfume wardrobe did not differ much from that during the rest of the year, apart from the fact that I wear less roses and aldehydes in summer. I leather anytime, this summer I have been wearing Onda Vero Kern in parfum the most. Onda is in my standard travelling kit. I usually don't know in advance what I might need and so I try to pack all my favorite scents. This summer I mostly chose Onda. It went with me to Antwerp and Paris, and it seemed the most at home within the old castle and monastery walls. The main event of the summer was the visit to the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. It was raining hard, stones seemed cold, the arches and stairs were drafty. Onda is a deep aroma with a hard core, it warms the body and cools the head. It is the smell of tar, smoke, leather, herbs, of the sour-sweet taste of a real bread. Through Odna, I sensed the way moks used to live in this severe and beautiful place...)

Austin is looking at it's 47th day of triple-digit heat today, and we've had so little rain that trees are dropping their limbs in thirsty self-defense all over the neighborhood. The weather has pared down my perfume rotation, too--I've become a serial monogamist. First I was obsessed with cool green of The Different Company's De Bachmakov, then it was the tart, sparkling orange blossom of Annick Goutal's Neroli, and shortly after that the softer, more honeyed blossoms of L'Artisan's Fleur d'Oranger. Currently, I can't stop wearing The Different Company's Sel de Vetiver, a sea-bleached vetiver that makes the best of my sweaty, salty summer skin and brings the beach and much longed for breezes to me.

I have fallen in love with a perfume that I swore I'd always avoid, mostly because it was the signature scent of one of my best friends. But fall I did and very hard. Hermes 24 Faubourg is beautiful and my husband adores the way that its soft floral and amber accords smells on my skin. It's also the first perfume that I've worn in a long time that travels easily from day to evening. By day 24 Faubourg is the olfactory equivalent of a soft pashmina shawl, classy and elegant...full of color, but by night it magically becomes a bewitching symphony of soft Egyptian cotton and a sensual caress. This Hermes is my summertime affaire de coeur ...

Surprisingly the perfume I am most fond of this summer was one I discovered accidentally. I wanted to try a sample of Lostmarc'h Aod and received Ael-Mat instead. I tried it anyway and promptly fell in love, or at least in summer-flirt.With notes of hesperides, chamomile, jasmine and musk, Ael-Mat looks simple, but it smells very unusual. The top is effervescent and cheerful, the the floral notes of whitest, softest jasmine with the herbal, vegetal almost feel of chamomile mixed in dominate for some time, finally giving in to a soft, salty-musky skin scent. Ael-Mat meaning Guardian Angel in Breton, is an Eau de Toilette and lasts about three hours on my skin. Reapplying is a treat though. What I like the most about it is its uniqueness, Ael-Mat smells unlike anything I know, it is not your run-of-the-mill standard summer citrus scent. I have a soft spot for Lostmarc'h and Ael-Mat has proven to be another very good reason to really like that line.

My top pick for Summer 2011 is one of the most delightful fragrances I have ever smelled, and a tropical style scent that is head and shoulders above most others in this usually cliched genre; Vents Ardents by Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes. It is a bounteous blend of everything that evokes the tropics, minus the usual coconut and suntan oil, with notes of luscious mango and other fruits, rich florals, sweet dark rum, fragrant tobacco, vanilla, Tonka bean, amber and exotic woods, its is the embodiment of all my island fantasies. It was actually envisioned as a masculine fragrance, but the guys can't have this one all to themselves! Outstanding in every way.

My summer favorite this year is MDCI's La Belle Helene. The vanilla-infused, citrus-scented pear of the opening plays joyfully with the seductive floral heart and chic oriental drydown. It strikes me as intrinsically modern -- yet it has a big, timeless, classical feel too. I love the way it blooms in the heat of summer. It is like a sumptuous picnic of poached fruit, set out on a perfumed and elaborately embroidered cloth, spread in a lavish flower garden. It makes me feel grand.

Maybe it’s because it’s been way too long since I’ve left the sweltering sidewalks of New York that the fragrance I’m most enjoying this summer is Ambergris Absolute by SMK Fragrance. It’s redolent of the somewhat shocking yet compelling scent of shells washed up on shore- a mixture of brine and animal that is as alluring as it is disquieting. It reminds me of mollusk-encrusted hulls, salty breezes, grizzly sailors and tangled masses of wave-scattered kelp- images that carry me across oceans as I stare out my apartment window. Although I like to wear it unaccompanied it’s amazing how the ambergris brings to life other oils and perfumes with which it’s combined, and increases their longevity many times over. Because it both exalts and is exalted Ambergris Absolute is truly a whale of a scent!

When one has a baby, a job and a 100F heat, one wants everything else to be nice & easy. Including fragrance. At the moment, "nice" means pretty & girly, easy means light and lighthearted. Maitre Parfumeur & Gantier's Fraiche Passiflore is all of the above with a bonus of deliciousness. To me it's like an exotic not too sweet drink which smells of peaches. Because what else one needs when one has a baby, a job and a 100F heat? That's right, a (cold) drink.

Lilies, acacia blossoms, jasmine, amber, and spice. Donna Karan's Gold (2006) has been a very happy discovery for me this summer. I love the way those flowers bloom in July heat, and the amber drydown is sultry and warm. Sad to find out it's discontinued (of course, I mean it's 5 years old already, right?), but it's still online, so I've got a backup bottle, too. I prefer the richer eau de parfum to the cucumber-topped EdT. And what a gorgeous bottle!

I think my new favorite of the Summer is one that I just got: smell bent Debonair Eau Dandy. Part of their "Remix Project", they took the original scent and added lemon, rose, jasmine and amped up the oakmoss (yes, the real stuff) to make a summery little wonder that smells startlingly fresh. In the hear of summer I could bathe in it.

If you would like to participate in a prize draw for a set of 10 summery samples (Marina's choice & some of the above), please, say so in your comment. The winner will be chosen at random and announced next week.

To check other lists, please visit: Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Now Smell This and Perfume Posse

Image by Slim Aarons is from



Blogger Katherine said...

Nice summer picks... please enter me in the draw, thanks!

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Karin said...

I discovered La Belle Helene this summer - it's perfect! I'm loving it. Have always been curious about that Passiflore, and I'm crazy about passion fruit. Need to try this.

For some reason, I'm just not reaching for my usual cologne-y summer scents--Mandragore, Eau de Sisley 3, and the like. I'm enjoying florals - Balenciaga Paris, the new Cartier Baiser Vole, La Belle Helene, Nuit de Tubereuse, etc. Ah...perfume is so much fun. :-)

Please include me in the draw - thanks!

8:25 AM EDT  
Anonymous MAureen said...

I have never even heard of Marina's choice, but it sounds lovely. I have Gold, and I love it, but the 2 times I sprayed it I got a horrible headache. It happened to be raining both of those days, so I was waiting for a day with virtually no humidity to try it again, and if it happens again, I'll have to donate it or something.
I had a samples of Dior's Escale a Portofinoand Tauer's Zeta, which I really liked, but they just did not last very long. I just tried EL Sensuous Nude, and I liked that too, but same thing, just did not last very long. I think I have scent eating skin. I wish I could find a summer scent I really like that did not disappear on me. Please enter me in draw, maybe one of these will be my summer go to. Thanks.

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Isa said...

This summer I'm wearing Ael-Mat almost everyday. I agree with Birgit: it smells unlike any other perfume. The only scented product it reminds me of is an Yves Rocher hair spray for disentangling knots (it smells wonderfully, btw).

My other favorite perfumes this summer are Un Jardin sur le Nil and Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Lavender (lovely!).

I would love to be entered in the draw. Thanks! :)

9:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Fraiche Passiflora sounds like a must try for me. Please enter me in the draw!

10:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Irina said...

this summer I mostly wore "eau des merveilles", I would love to try your picks..
please, enter me the draw
thank you

10:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm slapping my hands to avoid hunting online for samples of the things you describe! I'd love a chance to try them.

Summer here has been fierce, and I'm living in Atelier's Grand Neroli and Bois Blond. Really lots of orangeblossom, neroli and petitgrain; Diptyque's Lait Frais, FM's Bigarade Concentree are also on heavy rotation. PdN's Eau d'Ete, SMN's Eva, and Eau d'Hermes round out the usual suspects. Hope everyone can stay cool, and waft wonderful 'fumes. Be well.

10:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Karen M said...

This year the heat is really plating havoc with my usual perfume rotation, but I have been enjoying Zeta and Cuir Ottoman. Would love to be included in the draw.

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Alnysie said...

Yes, please, enter me in the draw!

This summer was my first foray into “perfumistadom,” and I got to sample so many great things. I wore a lot of Un Jardin sur le Nil and Un Jardin en Méditerranée, now I'm more into En Passant, Hiris, and Eau de Camille... I'd love to discover a wider selection of summer fragrances!

11:13 AM EDT  
Blogger mous said...

please enter me in the drawing

11:14 AM EDT  
Blogger mous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

I have been marinating in Bvlgari Au The Vert this summer, the first citrus I have been able to tolerate. I love it, and I'd love to be entered in the sample draw, though I would happily take the baby instead, with the understanding that once it starts walking around on its own and getting mouthy it will be returned straight away! :o)

11:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Mimi G said...

Please enter me for the drawing. Summer and the 3 digit heat lured me into Annick Goutal's Folavril which I adore.

12:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

So much fun reading everyone's picks and the comments! HemlockSillage just inspired me to spritz on some SMN Eva.

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger cornlily said...

I thought I was completely happy with the Usual Suspects in my summer stock (Vent Vert, etc.), but now I want ... I want.

Please enter.

12:31 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

I'm intrigued by Alena's choice of Onda -- somehow, even in the cool summer we've been having here in Europe, I would never have envisioned it for a summer scent. But I could see how it would fit in with old stones!
Very intrigued too by Marian's Ambergris Absolute, never heard of the brand...
No need to enter me in the draw though, I've still got to work my way through dozens of samples!
And a lovely summer to all.

1:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Ms. Wood said...

Please enter me into the draw. I am finally in a place with a really real summer and would love to explore some appropriate fragrances.

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger samberg said...

So many of those are entirely new to me. Please enter me in the draw.

1:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Lovely scents!

Please include me in the draw, thank you.

2:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Tara said...

Please enter me in the draw, I haven't tried most of these and would love the chance.

My summer picks would be L'Artisan Fleur d'Oranger, Atelier Cologne Trefle Pur, Parfums d'Empire Osmanthus Interdite and my old stand-by, Diorella.

2:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Nina Zolotow said...

I'd love to be included in the draw. Where I live, we've had a really chilly summer, so I've been drawn to spicy scents (vintage Bellodgia, Eau Lente, Orris Noir) and warming scents (such as Miyako, L'Air du Desert Marocain, and Like This). My favorite summer scent is Champaca because it's so lively and sunny. (Maybe by the end of this month or September we'll get some warm days.)

2:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Doc Elly said...

Where I live, in the Pacific Northwest, we haven't had any summer this summer. It's cold, cloudy, and damp today, as it has been much of the time. Temperatures have rarely exceeded 70F (about 20C). I really don't need any summer perfumes, but would love to be entered in the drawing anyway.

Thank you for holding the drawing!

2:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this summer i keep returning to a discontinued aveda blend - spirit. it just feels right, and wow, does it get compliments. many more than anything else i've worn. so, of course, they had to discontinue it!

would love to be in the draw, thanks!


3:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Juanita said...

I have never heard of many of these choices and would love to try them- please enter me in the drawing- thank you!

4:44 PM EDT  
Anonymous Fernando said...

Please enter me in the draw. Tom has made me want to try that Smell Bent Debonaire again. (I tried it way back when they only made oils; I don't like oils.) And several others sound good too.

I've been wearing Andy Tauer's Zeta, Arsene Lupin Dandy, and various vetivers. And wishing for Geranium Pour Monsieur.

4:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Undina said...

No summer for me this year as well and most of my perfumes were just on the regular rotation (which means one wear every 4-6 weeks). The most often I've been wearing new Chanel No.19 Poudre but mostly because I was writing about it and trying to figure out if I liked my unsniffed purchase.
Please, enter me into the draw.

5:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Senka said...

This summer I ordered a lot of samples but most of them not suitable for the hot weather.
Please put me in the drawing.

5:53 PM EDT  
Blogger The Beach Bedouin said...

Would like to enter the draw, thanks <3

6:05 PM EDT  
Anonymous ElizabethC said...

I'm in the Pacific Northwest also - in hopes that the rest of our August and September days are sunny, (and also because I really, really want to try Belle Helene) please enter me in the drawing!

7:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Cadence said...

I have had a hard perfume summer - not really finding anything scent that suits the moment. It could be the lackluster weather we've had in the NW. I'd love to participate in a summer draw and if anyne has some scentsuggestions for slightly humid, cloudy barely 70 degree days let me know!

8:32 PM EDT  
Blogger odonata9 said...

Please enter me in the draw! Summer scents are my favorites. Carthusia Mediterraneo, Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil, AA Mandarine Basilic & Herba Fresca, Atelier Trefle Pur, Rose Ikebana, Osmanthe Yunnan, JM White Jasmine & Mint and Nectarine & Honey Blossom, L’Artisan The Pour un Ete, Element of Surprise, and PdN L’Eau Mixte.

9:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Taffy said...

I'm moving where Doc Elly lives. This Midwest summer has been brutal. If the day isn't too much of a scorcher, I find Annick Goutal Un Matin d'Orage fresh and comfy.

I would love to be included in the draw. Thank you!

10:08 PM EDT  
Blogger helenviolette said...

I would love to win! I am bathing in miller Harris fleurs de sel these days to combat the San Antonio heat!

11:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'll second Doc Elly about the West Coast weather and the lack of need for warm weather scents here. The days are finally hitting the mid-70s, but the evenings are feeling like fall so Champagne de Bois is getting a lot of wear.
However, I can't resist a draw for a mystery grab bag, so do please enter me. Thanks.

-- Lindaloo

12:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

I'd love to be in the draw!

I agree with Tom on the Debonair Eau Dandy - really nice. The whole Remix collection is summery fun.

I've been wearing Heeley Sel Marin and Malle Carnal Flower a bit, and just bought Angel Sunessence Bleu Lagon and Cartier Baiser Vole - both of which are wonderful for the cooler SF summer.

2:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lilybug said...

Oh, yes, please! I would love to try some.

5:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Judy said...

Great reviews! I would love to be considered for the draw - thanks!

6:32 AM EDT  
Anonymous carolina girl said...

Please enter me in the draw.

I have never been drawn to citrus so much, until this year. Have been enjoying Eau de Hadrien, Habit Rouge, Eau de Cologne Imperiale. And then the lavender! Caron Pour un Homme. Great stuff!

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Dink said...

Enjoyed the reading and would love to be included in the draw. I think the only one I've smelled is Gold. Thanks!

9:30 AM EDT  
Blogger sean's jo said...

Like Beth, I've unexpectedly fallen for Hermes 24 Faubourg. Thanks for all the great list of favorites and the draw!

9:32 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave my mother Faubourg and every time I walk past her I can't help myself from saying how fab she smells (unfortunately on me the amber goes all treacly and blech). Having said that, I have my own summer sillage seducteurs in Amouage Ciel, Hermes Amazone, Eau d'Hermes and Osmanthe Yunnan. Oh, oh, and I just got my first bottle of Y yesterday and had I had it earlier would be positively pickled in it by now. Ahhhh, I love perfume . . . .

9:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Andrea Shanti said...

Sounds beautiful
please enter me in the draw
thank you

9:53 AM EDT  
Blogger CC ... said...

This summer was all about Climat for me. A scent I wore almost exclusively when I was a young lass. Please enter me in the draw, thank you!

And good luck to everyone!

10:01 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jiyin said...

It's been quite cool here so far this summer, so I'm still wearing cool weather perfumes -- a lot of Parfum Sacre and Feminite du Bois. Jasmin et Cigarette, too.

I would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you!

10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Laurie Brown said...

I'd very much love to win and try some scents!

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please enter me in the drawing! Also in the Pac NorWest and happy for some warm weather finally. My summer go to scents have been Vettiveru by CDG and Eau de Campagne by Sisley. Vetiver is perfect for summer the citrus/ florals are bright but the vetiver base is true and wonderful. The tomato leaf in Campagne is perfect for Portland summers. This is JCE's most interesting scent IMO. Happy Summer!

1:50 PM EDT  
Blogger woodgirl said...

Nice picks. Please enter me in the draw, thanks.

2:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

I love to read what other folks are wearing to combat this oppressive heat!! Please enter me in the draw.

3:26 PM EDT  
Blogger MoonRae said...

Thanks for all the fantastic reviews!! Would love to be included in the draw, many of these I've never tried

3:31 PM EDT  
Blogger fey said...

Oh these sound wonderful! I have not tried most of them but would love to.
My favorites this summer have been Chanel's Cristalle and L'artisan's fleur d'orange. Such beautiful light fragrances.
Thanks so much!

4:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Hermoine said...

This summer, I've been obsessed with Xerjoff Irisss and F Malle Iris Poudre. I'd love to sample Onda Vero Kern. Please enter me in the draw.

5:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Tucasam said...

Dune, the fresh and pleasantly sweet rapture of summer days. Love perfume and summer. Please enter me in the draw.

5:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Deanna said...

I'd love to be entered in the draw. :)

6:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelsey Anderson said...

I tried La Belle Helene several weeks ago. Absolutely stunning! Please enter me in the draw. Thanks

9:06 PM EDT  
Blogger ccdouglass said...

Love the list of favorites! Please enter me. :-)

11:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Clara said...

I am still searching for my perfect summer scent - I am especially drawn to fall/winter ones. I would like to be entered in the draw please!

8:01 AM EDT  
Anonymous Bellatrix said...

So many scents to try...
I am still searching for perfect one...
Thanks for the draw. ;)

11:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Fun list! Please enter me in the draw!
I've been loving Carnal Flower this summer- it is so beautiful and perfectly evokes the smell of my favorite flower and languid summer breezes.

5:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous rosiegreen said...

Please enter me in the draw.Its finally warm and sunny here so I would love to try some new hot weather scents. Rosie

8:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Susan said...

Oh, I would love to be entered! Thanks for sharing your picks.

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger smartshopper2 said...

I've been enjoy EL tuberose & gardenia, just a tiny spritz. It wafts up at me and makes me smile during this heat and humidity. So many on my wish list, looks like there are more to add lol
Please add me to the draw, thanks!

2:25 AM EDT  
Blogger sunnlitt said...

Wow,these all sound yummy!
I would love to be in on the draw,

2:31 AM EDT  
Blogger civava said...

It is allways interesting to read your choices. You allways remind me of some "forgotten" perfumes. Please enter me in the draw.

5:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous riz said...

loving the list. enter me in the giveway please

10:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous dleep said...

I am also enjoying La Belle Helene this summer. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger ololiuqui said...

Please enter me in the draw.Recenty I enjoy using in the heat Diptique Eau de Neroli and James Heeley St. Clements.

12:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I would love to recieve some of the summery scents and also to have some warm weather in which to try them! This UK summer hasn't really sizzled weatherwise.
My summer favourite when the temperature here has lifted above 65 is Caron's Eau de Reglisse.

6:40 PM EDT  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

I would love to be in the draw! I was impressed that Alyona wore Onda in the Summer. Onda seems like a Winter one for me. I'll have to try it now to see how I feel about it in the warmer weather.

12:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Michelle said...

love these lists! please enter me in the draw. thanks!

6:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous perfume said...

Some of the perfumes are my perfumes... That' why I'd love to be in the draw.

8:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

Camille from Goutal for green and cool! Need Karan`s Gold too!

3:34 PM EDT  

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