“I was surrounded by friends, my work was immense, and pleasures were abundant. Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil. Overall, I was happiest to be alone; for it was then I was most aware of what I possessed. Free to look out over the rooftops of the city. Happy to be alone in the company of friends, the company of lovers and strangers. Everything, I decided, in this life, was pure pleasure.”
~Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy
|photo by Jeanloup Shieff via pinterest|
Summer fragrances come in all shapes and forms and there's something for everyone, from the die hard orientalist who can spray on Ambre Sultan (Serge Lutens) secure in the knowledge it's the driest amber out there, never cloying in the heat, to the women in their late 30s who still rely on Light Blue (Dolce & Gabanna) to make the insufferable lack of breeze seem less suffocating via the lemon-tart-on-cedars coolness. I have elaborated on summery fragrances numerous times on the blog, perhaps more so than any other season, exactly because it's the most difficult time for me to be coherent enough in the midst of the hot & infatuating Greek summer. (When I know I need to be collected, I resort to Chanel No.19, a review and classification of which can be found here. The bracing galbanum and the starched iris make me feel cool, especially paired with a white shirt and silver jewelry). Besides there's not one micro-climate: from the intense heatwave of the Midwest to the non-summer landscape of rain and coolish temperatures of northern Europe, "summer" itself is not a blanket term, so why should your fragrance be?
For all of you who want a shortcut there is a detailed post with fragrant suggestions for every possible activity you might be engaging in this summer in I Know What You Did Last Summer. If your major problem is having your perfume disappear before you want it to, I have some solutions in Summer Fragrances That Last. In case sultry is your speed and you can afford a little intensity, there's Sultry Summer Fragrances for you. For the contrarians among us (those who want a spicy oriental as dense as mohair when all the others are in sarongs or who live in a coolish country) there are 10 Unusual Summer Scent Choices (all right, not as thick as mohair, but satisfying all the same) with film clips to set the mood too. There's even the selection by perfume "editor" Frederic Malle himself on his favorite scent choices for summer. And if you're a simple and proud soul, there's Limon Kolonyasi or 4711 you can pop into the fridge for freshening up.
Some "categories" of fragrances perform better than most in the torpor induced by heat: see the entry on White Noise Fragrances if you want to still perceive your fragrance but not offend anyone, check out our Skin Scents selection if you want something very subtle & erotically reminiscent of naked skin, or take a look at the perfumes described in the Powdery and Dry Fragrances article which will be invaluable in sweaty situations. If it's the summer landscape and the memories of the sea and the beach you're after or you want to echo your surroundings (lucky you!), Beachy & Sea Evocative Fragrances for Every Style can be your comprehensive guide into finding the right "beach-evocative" perfume. And finally if you're after that perfect Coppertone or Ambre Solaire scent in an eau de toilette you can spray on, there are many Fragrances Inspired by Suntan Lotions and Tanning Oils' Scents, with creamy ylang, coconut or monoi nuances.
Last but not least, if personal rumblings are of interest to you (with a bit of beauty stuff, food and music thrown in for good measure), here is my Top Products to Beat Summer Heat from last summer with lots of suggestions by readers, which is also the case for the entry on Cooling Down Tips. And if you want to travel to the Mediterranean -and specifically to my country- via the evocation of smells, please visit Scents of the Mediterranean on this link.
Whatever you do, enjoy the season!