Friday, July 6, 2018

July Fragrance Selections: A Mix of the Cult and the Classic

The month of July started with a heatwave after a mellow June that drowned us in downpour and median temperatures. So action is required in order to wean through the collection and pick just the right stuff in order to pass the litmus test of 36C outside and pretty humid inside. I got the bottles out and took them for a camera ride. These are my personal selections for the upcoming days. Each one, a small story unto itself.

photo by E.Vosnaki© 

Diorissimo (Dior) Les Creations de Monsieur Dior eau de toilette: The fairly recent bottle is an attempt to recapture the insouciance that the older classic by Christian Dior provided in its vintage forms in an easily replenished format. The experiment runs well so far, though I do miss the divine natural jasmine of the retro formulations (if you want to hunt for vintage, please refer to this chronology & dating guide for Diorissimo by Dior). The scent is of course the crispiest lily of the valley without scratching one's sinuses.

Y (Yves Saint Laurent) eau de toilette: 'The chypriest of them all', as I had written in a previous Y by YSL perfume review. Crisp, green, soapy too in a way, like some chypre fragrances can be, though it's a bit slit-eyed this one still possesses that ineffable good taste that Yves Saint Laurent used to be famed for. Now the brand is issuing things like hundreds of flankers of Black Opium and mocking its heritage. We know better.

Fleurs d'Oranger (Serge Lutens): Not too old, not too young, just perfect in that middle ground between contemporary and traditional, a potent yet fresh (!) mix of lush orange blossom and insinuating tuberose, likened to a heaving blossom. A true compliment getter too! I was stung by a bee, outside a graveyard, wearing this scent, one fateful Easter, and forever since I subconsciously seek to touch the sting spot when I wear it....

Passage d 'Enfer (L'Artisan Parfumeur): This was among my first incense purchases and it still remains a firm favorite for summer-wear (not that it does not shine in winter equally well). Passage d' Enfer gives me the eerie feeling of a trance-like session, lost in the spiritual reveries of a body ritualistically sprayed with all the lilies of the field. It balances on the edge of sanity sometimes, clean (thanks to the white musk) but mysterious at once, ethereal yet subtly odd, like an emo-goth type dressed in top-to-bottom white.
More on frankincense and resinous, smoky scents HERE and a guide with different incense scents HERE.

Rem (Reminiscence): Behold the aquatic that does not restrict itself to merely Calone, dihydromyrcenol or any of those nasty aroma molecules that have drenched the genre into the filth and mud of bad reputation among serious perfume lovers. This smells like a humidifier, a tiny bit salty too, with a faint whiff of algae and blanched vegetation (an odd byproduct of the tiniest bit of patchouli) and works perfectly in a tropical downpour as it does on dry heat that shatters asphalt. It's deservedly a cult fragrance in Europe!
For more beach-smelling fragrances for every style and taste, visit THIS link

What are YOU wearing this month? Please share in the comments and I will try to reply to all of you.


  1. ugh, summer! my least favourite season of all. and thus far, this summer has been brutal where i live: hot-hot-hot, and very humid. the only thing thriving is the insect life, which eats me alive every time i venture out on some necessary task... at one point, the air conditioning broke down and the repairmen couldn't get to it for a week, so i was taking three showers per day. thus, i've worn a lot of perfume lately! (on an aside, how people managed to live here without air conditioning is a mystery to me...)

    warm weather favourites always include my chypres. the vintage coty classic, but also the original scherrer, paloma picasso's version (which is affordable and widely available), and a number of others. i like incense perfumes all year-'round, especially annick goutal's "encens flamboyant". dry, austere, woody scents are nice in hot weather, too. i've worn a good bit of tauer's "l'air du desert marocain". and occasionally, lutens' "chergui". oh, and "sahara noir", which is sadly running out, in the evenings. once in a while, i'll change it up and wear frederic malle's "carnal flower" or donna karan's "gold" for a full-on floral that has a cool green effect. every now and then, a dab of the vintage "emeraude", although i find heat dials up its amber-y base too much.

    sheets are scented with my home-made lavender-vetiver spray in summer, and we keep the big bottles of turkish lemon "kolonya" in the powder room for refreshing hands and face as needed. hydrosols of neroli and rose are on the dressing table.

    i've always wanted to try the "passage d'enfer"! and i can see the "fleurs d'orangier" being lovely on a hot day.

    you know, reading this post has made me want to reorganise my perfume collection seasonally, rather than by category...

  2. Hmm, going with Fidji edt, Y edt, Cristalle, Diorella, Dioressence, Narciso Rodriguez, Boudoir for nights, Antaeus, Kouros, and Ella by Arquiste. All very vintage but the Cristalle (up to 2011 it was still very good).
    Καλό καλοκαίρι Έλενα :)

  3. Warm weather and powerful flowers are my choices in July so far: Tubereuse: FM Carnal Flower, néroli: PdN Cap Néroli, lavender: PdN Maharadjah, carnation: Carner Barcelona Sweet William and iris: Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris (short impressions of each on Twitter ). Have to find my bottle of the green, mossy, sparkling Y, I was inspired to wear i again, from an article last week on Fragrantica (?) which I think was written by you.

  4. Byredo Gypsy Water is my favorite light but not completely boring go-to summer fragrance.

  5. Anonymous00:08

    L. T. Piver's Heliotrope Blanc from the giant bottle kept in the frig--my hot weather favorite splash.
    Quite some time ago I think you mentioned Polly Bergen's Tortue. I recently uncovered my horde from the '70s when it was being discounted into retirement. Are you interested in a bottle?

    1. Heliotrope Blanc is wonderful. I never thought to put it in the fridge, thank you for sharing!

  6. The Yves Saint Laurent perfume is one of my favorite fragrances out of this collection. It's crisp, and has a nice lasting citrus aroma to it that is perfect for the summer season. Could any of these fragrances be used to recreate the Yves Saint Laurent perfume for a homemade project?

  7. Anonymous16:46

    Perhaps it's counterintuitive, but I've always enjoyed my heavy oriental scents during the summer, like Chanel Coco (my signature for 30+ years now). I figure that if Middle Eastern women (and men) don't give up their heavy scents in the heat, then why would I? My current favorite is Guerlain Encens Mythique d'Orient, which was, of course, created for the Middle Eastern market.

    Happy Monday,

  8. Guerlain helps me weather the summer heat with Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat, Terracotta le Parfum, Cologne du 68, and Eau de Guerlain. I love each one dearly.

    I tried Diorissimo last summer in a department store. I must revisit that one.


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