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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vacation in a Bottle: Fragrances to Take you Away

Whether your mind is set on Honolulu, Bali or Amorgos, there's bound to be at least one fragrant composition that presses all the right buttons for you; windswept, transient, sprayed with sea salt, evocative of endless white sand and dry rock or of tropical heat beach-smelling fragrances are a cult favorite for a reason. We all have fantasies like that, especially in the last days spent in the office before our vacation, right?

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So in the interest of aiding the daydreaming somewhat (not that it needed much aid) I have composed a detailed slideshow of some of the best "instant vacation" perfumes that have the power to transport you to your own mental slice of heaven. Here is the direct link, enjoy! And get the sarongs, the flip flops and the straw hat at the ready while you're at it. A last minute luggage packing is easier than you think.

For more suggestions broken down not according to destination but according to style, consult my PerfumeShrine article Beach Fragrances: Sunny and Summery.

Don't forget to share your own favorite suggestions of "vacation in a bottle" fragrances in the comments below this post! I'd love to read them.

9 comments:

  1. My summer has two types of fragrance; in the heat I inevitably love citrus colognes like Eau Dynamisante, Eau Noble, etc, green chypres like Scherrer, Bandit, Chamade, N°19, figs like my favorite Ninfeo Mio and lavenders; Jicky and Special for gentlemen. As soon as the sun goes down or there's a slight breeze, I reach for the heavy guns: Vero's, Fracas, vtg Kouros, Poison, white florals and animalics a la Montecristo or Musc Tonkin. My personal unicorn would be a salty musk. Think Cycladic houses, in the midday sun being sprayed with the salty ocean water. I haven't found one that gives that feeling. Not even Gentiane Blanche.

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    1. That is undoubtedly so regarding that last bit. I'm searching for that feel as well. Gentiane Blanche is very good and almost there (the dryness, the mineral quality) but lacks the salty air component.

      Ebamored with vintage Kouros, is there anything sexier, I wonder? *sigh*

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  2. I usually spend the month of August in a little town, between Barcelona and Valencia. The place is full of jasmine vines, so every time I smell Lutens A la Nuit, my mind goes to this place, the balmy nights, the smell of jasmine mixed with the salty air.

    Then, when summer is not vacation but the humid weather of Barcelona my scent is Goutal Mandragore.

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    1. Sounds delicious!! Spain is a favorite destination. The small alleyways of Cordoba and the "inside courts" of the houses hiding jasmine vines as well as the bigaradiers around the Alcazar have left an indelible mark. Long to get there again.

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  3. this was fun! i'm not typically a beach person, but i love fragrances that are associated with a destination...the lure of the exotic, i suppose. i always try to bring home a fragrance aide-memoire from every place i travel; a perfume, an incense, a liqueur, a spice blend. there is something magical about the way a smell can evoke memory...

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    1. As you wisely say bringing back something fragrant tends to retain the memories very well. I suppose it's not only the relation between smell and memory but also the rechargeable part of it; as one applies the liquids or smells the spices or does whatever they do with the scented memento the neurons in the brain get recharged and create new pathways thus creating memories anew (at least this is conjured from some research I've read, oversimplified).

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  4. Speaking of tropical vacations- I wish there were a perfume that smelled like Thailand. Something with the typically Thai scents such as lemongrass, kaffir lime, orange jessamine flower, bread flower, ginger lily, Madagascar jasmine, pink lotus, blue lotus, galangal, pomelo, fresh nutmeg, mango, various orchids, sticky rice & of course coconut.
    Every time we go to Bangkok or Chiang Mai the balmy tropical breeze with all the spices, fruits & flowers of Thailand is so gorgeous!

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    1. That corner of the world is exceptionally fragrant, sometimes overwhelmingly so; thanks for naming the specific compounds making for it. I also noticed a very noticeable component, present in both Thailand, Singapore and the Philipinnes as well: a yeasty smell in the air. It feels so integral to the "feel" of the place. The balmy tropical breeze bring it out very well and it's so characteristic (to me).
      The orchids and ginger lilies are to die for!

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  5. Riverbank,
    Montale's "Red Vetiver" has the same scent as sage blooming on the hot stoney hills of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.
    Even when the BC south coast is cool and rainy, I can recreate a hot sun-soaked day in the Interior valleys with this perfume. When I smell it I can almost hear the sound of water rhythmically spurting from the irrigation systems pumping water from the glacial rivers that run cool from the mountains and spray the fields in the valley bottoms. This wonderful green strip by the rivers is full of bird-song and smells fresh, wet, and green where water hits the hot grass-lands - but always in the background there is the scent of blooming sage on the hot rocky hillsides above us.
    I used to spend time each winter just north of Barcelona on the coast of the Mediterranean. When the north of Europe was bleak, cold an wet, the coastal hills of Spain were perfumed by all the aromatic herbs and woods that grow there and even in January there was occasional orange tree in bloom. Those holidays always restored me. Now that I live in Canada, I let "Red Vetiver" cure my rainy day blues. Works every time!

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