Warm weather almost de iuro demands a lighter disposition and a scent to match it. One which might unfortunately be dismissed by serious fragrance enthusiasts as...watered-down. Not unjustly market reality has objectively proven that often this is not too far off the mark, making many of us wary of summery editions as non-sensical or even a blatant rip-off. Yet sometimes a twist here or there might make a previously opaque and opressing scent just right and pliable to more ethereal moods. The latest edition of French Vogue has a small selection of recommendations for diaphanous and refreshing fragrances for the warmer months ahead. The choice is among some of the latest or upcoming releases and -let's be realistic- it is to be expected in a publication which is largely dependent on advertisers. This is why you will not see niche recommendations on this list, but instead major players in the industry. In fact there is a bit from everyone, so that no major Group is left out. But perhaps I am meowing too much! The main interest and the reason I decided to include the selection on PerfumeShrine is that it allows a glimpse into how the French -and consequently the European, and further on the international- market is shaped. Here is the list of 10 spring and summer scents with commentary and links to articles/reviews of my own.
Dior Miss Dior Chérie L'eau: The fresh accent of gardenia promises to take the popular flanker out of the super-sweet gourmand territory of candy-country Miss Dior Chérie ~ though I simply adore its commercial! In this version I like the lightly green colour and the simpler flacon. (sug.retail price: 59,01€ )
Essence de Narciso Rodriguez: Supposedly a light fragrance based on musk, which surprisingly is formidably tenacious to the point of never quiting (musks tend to hang on for a long time). A smidge of amber warms the proceedings giving the warm skin feel, although the overall impression is one of laundry day; the soapy aldehydic impression very prominent! Not as distinctive as the regular Narciso for Her and its many confusing concentrations, more unisex, but quite pleasant in an unexpected way.
Full review here. (sug.retail price: 72€)
Beige de Chanel : Frangipani, ylang ylang and jasmine bring out a discreet note of honey, making the whole smell like upscale shampoo. The "clean" trend hasn't expired but has conquered even the mightest bastions. Pretty, if a little unexciting for the price and exclusivity. Full review here. (sug.retail price at Chanel boutiques: 200€).
Flora de Gucci : Floral as suggested by the name, based on rose and osmanthus (a Chinese blossom of almost suede-like apricotty tonalities). I expect quite a bit of clean notes too! Full article here. (sug.retail price: 50€).
Burberry Summer Here we tread on fruity avenues once again: litchi, mandarin and blackcurrant ally with "water jasmine" (hedione is more like it) and rose. Reportedly very fresh and scintilatting. We'll see...(sug.retail price: 55€).
Calvin Klein CK One Summer Another limited summer edition of CKOne (there is one evey summer, mainly changing the bottle colouring) focusing on grapefruit, orange pulp, mandarin and fresh mint for a vitamin cocktail when there is shortage of energy. Personally I don't expect it to distance itself damatically from the tried and true of lime on a clean musk gush of frosty wind. (sug.retail price: 49€).
Eau de Shalimar by Guerlain The sunny notes of bergamot and citron bighten up the vanillic base making it excellent for summer and any other time time-tested regular standby Shalimar is too much. Full review here. (sug. retail price: 86€).
Flower by Kenzo Spring Edition The smashing best-seller of powdery notes in the poppy-crowned bottle, Flower by Kenzo, has several limited editions. This one focuses on mandarin and ginger accents that contrast with the violet and white musk notes of the original.(sug. retail price: 49€).
Very Irrésistible Récolte/Harvest 2008 by Givenchy Givenchy has adopted the habit of picking one note of the bouquet of their fragrances each year and investing in a specific harvest of it that is meant to denote millesime quality, such as in wines. An idea that was first explored by L'Artisan with their Harvest scents. This year's Very Irrésistible will highlight Rose Damascena, harvested at Isparta in Turkey. I haven't sampled it yet, but I recall being impressed only by the Organza Jasmine Harvest 2007 (sug.retail price: 90€).
Angel Sunessence by Thierry Mugler. Bergamot and hibiscus will garland the well-loved patchouli and vanilla accord of perennial best-seller Angel, lightening it considerably. If the previous twist on classic Angel, Eau de Star, is anything to go by I am curious to test this one! Full article here. (sug.retail price: 59€)
On the second part I will propose my own warm weather aquarelles recommendations. Stay tuned!