Top 10 Perfumes for Spring and Summer, in no particular order.
And I have to say this was so hard. There are a bazillion great spring and summer perfumes, and I wish I could have a top 50! So because I can’t, I’m going to cheat like crazy to make it seem like I’ve picked only 10 when I’ve really slutted a few extras in. Now I know what Hugh Hefner feels like. I’m normally an intensly loyal person, to the point of being a huge, yawning snore, but when it comes to perfumes, I just can’t keep my hands off the little darlings and want to make sure they all feel loved and admired. I will stop short of putting bunny tails and ears on them, but I do think all the bottles would be cuter like that.
Santa Maria Novella Eva — Spring in a bottle — convertible with the top down, breezing down the Pacific Highway. The cheaper version of this is 4711 in a Yugo on the Gulf Highway. Both are great for what ails ya. Rainy out? Spritz on some Eva. Everyone forgot your birfday? Spritz on some Eva. Everyone remember your birfday? Spritz on some Eva. Not enough time to shower before you run to the store? Spritz on some Eva. Fat pants not fitting? That’s right… spritz it like you have it.
Osmanthe Yunnan — I’m not sure why I like this one so much, but it haunts me. It’s that sour, dry grapefruity open with that tea under it all. Just when I think it is gone, it will waft so delicately around me and sends my nose hunting for it again. Much as I love Vetiver Tonka and Rose Ikebana, and they please me more than Osmanthe Yunnan generally, this is the Hermessence that will be heavenly for me in summer. Laying in the hammock in the shade of my weeping birch, just pondering how this wispy scent can be so enchanting.
Ormonde Jayne — all of them, but Frangipani has found a special place in my heart this spring. It is just charmingly lovely. Rich, buttery, like a hot island filled with flowers. The base in the Ormone Jayne perfumes scream joyful weather, and I wear them all year round, but they seem to be even more ebullient in warm weather, like a wonderful flower that smells heavenly year round but saves its sweetest perfume for the heat.
Parfums de Rosine Un Zeste de Rose — Y’all didn’t really think I’d miss out on doing a Rose perfume in this list, did you? Love this one, citrusy rose done like no other, I just want to drink this darn thing. Right behind it is Rose D’Ete. More fruity rose, but also summer in a bottle.
Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil — Anyone disagree? I didn’t think so.
Malle En Passant — As I mentioned before… laying in a pile of grain with a little bouquet
of lilacs pressed up to my nose. This is a perfume that makes me feel young again, and that’s all about springtime. Just stunningly beautiful.
Chanel Bois de Iles — I can’t leave this one off of a list again. I tend to ignore this during the winter months, but it is just perfection once the weather warms. Woody, Chanel-y perfection. I always feel like I need to put on my little sundress, pearls, hat and little white sandals, grab a bottle of gin and find a garden party to crash. (Picture from the artist Judy Free found at this gorgeous Seattle Gallery site)
Serge Lutens Un Lys or Malle’s Lys Mediterranee — Lillies have to be on a spring list, and these are my two favorites (oh, no, I know I’ve forgotten one!). Lillies don’t remind me of sad things, like funerals. They remind me of renewal and beginning, of rebirth and hope, of finding great beauty when you least expect it. They are such an impractical flower, and they don’t grow so well in Colorado some years, but I must have them because they are always beautiful against the odds, and then they flop over and wilt and get brown, but they come back again just as beautiful.
Either SL Fleurs D’Oranger or L’Artisan Fleur De Oranger or Le Labo Fleur D’Oranger – Again, there must be an Orange Blossom or nine on the list, and these three are gorgeous, but different aspects of the same smell. See March’s wonderful review from a while back on the Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. Sunshine in a bottle, but not all-out sunshine. It is shrouded, muted, in shade some of the time and out burning hot other times.
Marc Jacobs (Essence, Blush or the regular) – White flower heaven, any of these are just beautiful and made for the warm weather months, though they work perfectly well any season. One of the few designer perfumes I am totally smitten with.
SL Bois de Violette — Has to be a violet on this list, and this is my very favorite. Runner Up is Laura Tonatta E. Duse. She might have been in first place, except I haven’t gotten around to buying a bottle and drowning myself in it — I really need to do that soon!
MY TOP SUMMER SCENTS
The Daphnes that grow outside of my old house, Russian Olive blossoms, the salty skin of sweaty babies who have been in the ocean, and smoky barbeques. As much as I love perfume, the smells in nature will always show them to be just imitations. But imitations though they may be, getting a sniff of one that brings back a time and place and emotion is just magic and why perfume is the most fun thing to have as a hobby — obsession — fun thing to do!