We're on the last day of summer, calendar-wise, and Labor Day weekend is upon us so my mind was cast to what happened in the previous months. It was a summer filled with everything: much needed languor, some necessary stress, moving around a bit, lots of projects, learning new things such as macramé, refreshing my Italian and hot, hot, hot temperatures soaring for days on end (those of you in the US will sympathize and those of you in Western Europe will anathematize). That last bit naturally posed its own little limitations.
Thinking of what made the cut during these past few months, I came up with products, scents, foodstuff and sensuous little touches which brightened the long days and soothed the hot nights. Here's my personal list. Feel free to share your own in the comments!
Dr.Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap
My reader Rosarita recommended this as a relief from the heat when I was complaining I was too hot to even consider continuing breathing (it felt that way) and asked for recs. Two words: it works! Tingling and cooling.
Guerlain Lys Soleia
The best feminine release from Guerlain by Wasser so far. A tropical fantasy of lily and sand dunes warmed by the sun.
Selin Limon Kolonyasi (traditional Turkish cologne)
Because there's something into old traditions that stands the test of time. The most refreshing touch after any activity, kept in the fridge for maximum effect.
Calone isn't totally incongruent with the sea...
Numerous times while swimming in the sea I noticed the faint whiff of watermelon in the distance (replicated by the fragrance industry in the synth Calone which defined the "marine" scents of the 1990s). At first I thought it was vacationers bringing their typical feta and watermelon treat in tupperware on ice-blocks for midday snacking. Then it dawned on me: the sea water does have a watermelon reminiscent component, or rather the fruit has a sea-like nuance (which explains its perfect pairing with the salty cheese). Amazing; it made for a renewed interest in seeing the nuts & bolts of marine perfumery, a very complex segment of the industry.
Burberry Beauty Sheer Summer Glow
Most bronzers are either too dark or too orange-peach for my coolish skin (which naturally reddens in the sun and then attains a golden tint which fades quickly unless upkept). This limited edition collection of 4 shades in British-cool colors is perfect for managing the dosage for an optimum natural effect. Add mascara and a lip balm you're set for the day.
Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir
Best perfume discovery of the year so far. Dry and sophisticated powdery leather fragrance. To die for; there are no other words. Review coming up!
Ayala Moriel Etrog Oy de Cologne
Etrog is Hebrew for citron and citron is a delightful thing that remains inexplicably under the radar in most commercial perfumery. Light, tangy with pommelo, natural, with an aromatic, oleaginous background, Etrog Oy de Cologne is a scent to see you through hot summery noons and to brighten darker autumn dawns. Review coming up!
|collage via pojkfroken.blogspot.com|
Total abscence of flowers and fruits. A scent of solid white rock like a volcanic island emerging from the sea. Perennial summer fav. It feels as if Jean Claude Ellena conceived it on the island of Milos.
Bergamot spoon sweet on classic cheesecake
An unusual twist to the classic recipe that provide welcome tanginess and bittersweet nuances.
La Via del Profumo Tawaf
Hypnotic and mystical jasmine like never before, allied to Arabian tradition resins. Review coming up!
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan mixed with simple white musk (Lutens's own Clair de Musc isn't a bad choice for this, but you can experiment with any clean musk really, a hint of white flowers in the mix is best)
An experiment (at a ratio of 1:3) that proved sometimes an intense, deep amber can fit even a heatwave. I know people use this oriental in the summer thanks to its herbal, aromatic top note which cuts the sweetness, but trust me, we were talking 105F/40C here...no laughing matter.
Jasmine Gin Fizz iced tea
Using jasmine-infused tea instead of soda in the classic recipe makes this super-easy and very cooling.
Roger & Gallet Vetyver Eau de Cologne
Delectable vetiver scent; light, smokey, with a hint of tobacco and hay underneath the citrus top. I'm cursing the day they discontinued this.
Mirto Lavender cologne
Greek pharmacy stand-by cologne that is sublime. Review coming up!
Sour Cherry Jelly
Just use any red-fruit jelly mix and substitute water with fresh sour cherry juice. The result is more than the sum of its parts and garners compliments from everyone tasting it.
Etro Royal Pavillon
A tender and musky floral combination of jasmine, mimosa and ylang ylang with a mossy segment from 1989.
Ambre Solaire Golden Protection with Monoi SPF 30
Ambre Solaire is a European golden standard in that tropical floral scent we associate with South of France and Capri beaches. This year's edition is even more seductive, infused with a subtle monoi scent that just screams for sensuous application even when not on the beach.
Annick Goutal Musc Nomade
When I wanted to simulate "no perfume" skin, yet sought that indefinable aura that metallic vegetal musks only can render on the wearer. Tripy!
Farewelling summer with this song clip: "Summer rendez-vous upon your body" by Greek group Δυτικές Συνοικίες (i.e.Western Neighborhoods)
"the whole island a pebble by your feet,
the whole wide earth your embrace".
What did you use this summer? What did you discover?