Top Ten of Summer!


Today Aromascope : Bois de Jasmin : Now Smell This : Perfume Posse : Perfume-Smellin’ Things : Scentzilla   review their Top Ten Scents of Summer!

Bryan, Lee and I have consulted and argued and come up with our list, in no particular order:

  • Guerlain Apres L’Ondee(Patty) Bryan and I agreed on this one.  To me, this is the best of summer, delicate rain-soaked iris petals. Maybe it’s more spring, but in the heat of the summer, it makes you think it’s still spring. (Lee) Whereas it just makes me feel a little melancholy, like listening to too much early Joni Mitchell and Cohen in a delectable gloomfest whilst the light glares down outside. It doesn’t make me think of the democratic sunshine of summer; more of the evanescence of everything and the fragility of all that is beautiful…  (Bryan)I have adored this since I found it 12 years ago….in the oppressive heat of summer. The parfum is a haughty shrug at the cruel sun. Bliss.
  • Frederic Malle Carnal Flower(Patty) Bryan picked this, and Lee and I have declared him certifiable. It’s like wearing a hothouse in the summer.  Have you lost your mind? (Lee) I’m not a fan of floral on me, and this – well, it actually becomes a turmeric overdose, but maybe the heady flowers plus the coloration are doing a number on my heat-dazed head.  (Bryan)I wear this year round, but I swear it blooms in the heat. The flowers love August, so I say, Bring It. It is as though the fragrance is unfolding in slow motion. ‘Nuff said.
  • The Different Company Sel de Vetiver(Patty) We all agreed on this one.  Salty and light and gorgeous, what else could you ask for? (Lee) Damn right. A genius summer scent. Does grapefruit with cardamom get any better?  (Bryan)I love the salt…and vetiver is a note that begs to be taken down a notch by the Ellenas’ light touch.
  • Hermes Eau de Merveilles(Lee) It’s beach perfection for those of us unable to visit or rest on sandy shores (I’m too twitchy to sunbathe). (Bryan) A beautifully elegant, classicly warm scent. No food, just light woods and resin. My mother’s current favorite….she wears it well.
  • Hermessence Osmanthe Yunan(Patty) Tart tea, uh… Yeehaw! Perfect any time of year, OY comes into its own in the hottest days of summer.(Lee) My bottle of this arrived last week; I’m overdoing it. Crack cocaine in perfumed form. (Bryan)I love it for its faux fruitiness. The lovely SA at Roja Dove in Harrod’s said that the Osmanthus flower is the only flower with a fruity scent….here it is soft and light and, well, chic. Not very tenacious, but I do love it.
  • Santa Maria Novella Eva(Patty) This makes the top of my list every summer. Light, citrussy, effervescent, with a little pepper, it cools and refreshes and just makes me happy all year round, but most in the languid heat of summertime.
  • Bvlgari au the Blanc(Patty) another summer tea scent, it’s light and refreshing and feels like filtered sunshine in a teacup. (Bryan)Of the three teas by Bulgari, my definite favorite…simple without boredom…when it’s over 100, I’ll be reaching for it…so I’m guessing tomorrow maybe.
  • Divine L’Homme de Coeur(Lee) My default choice. It’s a beautiful skin scent – pure, refined, aromatic, almost too perfect. When nothing else will do, this iris, cypress, angelica melange will leave you gasping at its understated beauty.
  • Balle de Match(Lee) Feeling hot and sweaty, you naughty thing, you? This bracing grapefruit cologne will refresh and caress your clammy flesh, and afterwards leave you with a deliciously mossy woods drydown. Patricia de Nicolai weaves more of her magic. (Bryan)Beautiful and perfect for the heat….or when you want to remember the heat in the middle of a Kansas City winter….
  • Fig-Tea — (Lee) *waves to March* We put this one here for you, honey. And it sure smells great on you!
  • Juliette de Lorsange says:

    my favorite summer fragrances, most are florals that bloom with heat and humidity

    Fleurs d ‘Oranger
    Tubereuse Criminelle
    Datura Noir
    Rose Barbare
    Feminite du Bois

  • vickirobin says:

    “Just mention you are interested and I’ll randomly draw. ”
    Eww..please include me Bryan! This Florida heat and humidity..along with daily severe bringing me down. I would love a pick-me up!

    And the #1 pick: Guerlain Apres L’Ondee.. Yay! I just discovered this scent this past spring and fell in love. How I love Guerlain..I must try them all.

  • vickirobin says:

    “Just mention you are interested and I’ll randomly draw. ”
    Eww..please include me Bryan! This Florida heat and humidity..along with daily severe bringing me down. I would love a pick-me up!

  • Katie says:

    I picked Eau de Merveilles, too. So happy to see Lee and Bryan dig it during the summer, too. It’s more beachy to me than a lot of erstwhile “beach” frags are. There’s a kind of bright hazy energy to it that seems more like lazing on the sand than the many suntan oil/coconutty inspired fragrances. I’m agog that the PP list also includes CF – it’s turned out to be the surprisingly popular choice amongst us! So weird to me! I’m going to try it again now in summer, out of sheer incredulous curiosity. Osmanthe Yunan – I can’t agree more. I wish it lasted on me for more that five minutes, but what a fantastic five minutes that is!

  • Lavanya says:

    What a fun post!

    I have been enjoying Caron’s Aimez Moi this summer- the cold clove
    helps me forget the heat..Also Andy’s Le Maroc (I prefer Reverie in
    Spring though) and SL Al a Nuit and TC..

    I can’t wait for my copy of Harry Potter 7 to arrive tomorrow..
    didnt think I’d get sucked into this, but I have..
    Wish I was 12 again!..:)

    • Lavanya says:

      I meant A La Nuit

      • Maria says:

        I don’t know, Lavanya, Al a Nuit looked so Moroccan. 🙂

        My DH (whom you met) is going to try to stay awake till midnight. I may have to prop him up at Borders. I’m so excited!

        • Lavanya says:

          Now that you mention *does* sound Moroccan..:)

          I now wish I was going to get my copy by midnight but mine will arrive later in the day by post..Is K going to be reading it too or is he going to be waiting in line just for you(he seems sweet enough to do so)..:)

  • Ina says:

    Wow! Carnal Flower is indeed the Rock Star! And is it mere chance that we all happened to use different images from the ones provided? I mean, the Top Summer ones. Cracks me up.

  • Dusan says:

    It’s difficult to think at 110, with the brain shrivelled and all, but here’s my off-pat list of fumes, not included in your fab list:
    Emporio Armani White, musky citrusy greens that’s soft and subtle like your second skin. Another fave is Polo Blue which, strangely, seems to be snobbishly snubbed (ha, aliteration works even in hot weather) by Basenotes members as a college frat scent. In its defense (and of most RL frags), PB is a lovely dewy herbal scent with fruity overtones and a gorgeous, elegant musk-patch-suede drydown. Egoiste is suprisingly dusty and sultry come summer and would have to agree with Tom and Judith that FT is way better suited to this time of year. Not Chergui, though. The vetiver in M7 really comes through in warm evenings, more so than during colder months, and I just can’t get enough of it. A few more scents that bloom on my skin these days – both men’s divine Divines, L’Air du DM, L’Eau de Navigateur, Habit Rouge, L’Instant de Guerlain (amazingly versatile) and my new HG, Fleur du Male, which seems to have been tailored to my desires!

  • Judith says:

    Thanks so much! I really like your choices, too. I think we must be Fragrance Relatives (at the very least)!:)

    • Judith says:

      Argggh! This was supposed to be a reply to Louise. I copied it in the right place, so, if possible, please delete this fascinating exchange between me and myself. 🙂

  • ch says:

    My, I seem to be internet-challenged this week. This one was supposed to attach to Maria’s post above! 8-|

    • Lee says:

      Maria’s a woman with many skills. I’m sure she’ll track you down!

    • Maria says:

      This goes to show I read every response on the Perfume Posse. 🙂 We used to visit Monterey and environs whenever we could, once we discovered it. My husband had the Job from Hell in Sacramento, and one day he saw an opening listed in Monterey. We feel very blessed. We do love it.

  • CH says:

    Lucky you! Monterey is a wonderful place to live. 🙂 Beautiful trees, lovely beaches, cypress trees, eucalyptus trees, near Carmel and Pacific Grove. That area is my dream and I visit at least three times a year. I can handle the fog. All you have to do is drive about 10 miles inland for warmer temps!

  • CH says:

    It’s been about 85 to 90 the last few weeks in Sacramento. This is relatively mild for Sacramento.

    Sel de Vetiver is a great one for hot days. MH Fleurs de Sel is also nice and mingles well when I dine at an Italian restaurant. Yes, it’s herbal, but somehow seems to work when the weather inches close to 100 or more! It reminds me of my herb gardens of the past.

    Forecast today in Sacramento: 90 degrees. Today, I am wearing Tokion by Ava-Luxe. The notes from the website:
    Cypress, Frankincense, Cedar, White blossoms, Sandalwood, Agarwood, White Amber, Soft spices.

    It’s a very “gentle” scent. I can hardly detect any agarwood and the cedar factor is very light, too. The notes are so well-blended nothing really stands out too much.

    I’m going to try my Divine L’Homme de Coeur sample.

    I am curious – does the coconut stand out in Carnal Flower? When I heard it had a coconut note I immediately became cautious. I usually don’t do well with that note. Now you have me curious…

    • Lee says:

      It does stand out but not in that CSP way. It’s more integral to the overall feel of the blend, rather than a shout out in itself. I don’t think a fear of coconut should put anyone off CF.

      Enjoy the sunshine. It’s been raining here again…:-w

    • Maria says:

      You’re in Sacramento! Oh, my word! Small world. 85 to 90 is indeed mild, especially since it’s bound to be bone dry. We still love Sacramento (not the heat) and have friends there.

      The coconut in Carnal Flower is not fearsome, at least not to me, and I share your general wariness of coconut.

  • tmp00 says:

    Great list, and as Marina mentioned kudos for the teamwork!

    Sel de Vetiver came thisclose to my list, but I don’t own it. Not even a decant. Yet.

    Bryan- you go with that Carnal Flower. Lee and Patty are just jealous (as am I)..

    • Lee says:

      We are jealous. He’s God’s gift to white flowers (and quite the stunnah, I’ll have you know – I’ve seen proof).

      Get the Sel de Vet, fool boy!:d

  • MarkDavid says:

    Great List, everyone!!

    Apres L’Ondee, yes I at first thought it was definitely more a propos for the spring, too… but now that I think about it – I can definitely see this on a hot, languid day in August. Good Choice!!

    And of course, Carnal Flower – it purrs in the winter, it roars in the summer. Love it!

    I think I still have a sample of L’Homme de Couer…I’ll have to dig it out and give it another try b/c I don’t think I enjoyed it originally…

    Thanks, you sweetlings!

    • Lee says:

      MD – if you don’t enjoy l’Homme de Coeur, I will run naked along my street proclaiming the end of the world. Tis a promise.

  • Robin says:

    Great list, and you’ve got all sorts of things that ought to be on my list too — Balle de Match, Merveilles, Osmanthe Yunnan. And Eva!

    • Lee says:

      How did you miss those, R? I’m off to check your wonderwork in a second, so I’ll soon know (I bet you’ve got beautiful ‘oh yes of course’ type choices)…

  • Christine says:

    LOVE osmanthus the actual flower, don’t think I’ve ever tried a perfume with it as a major player, or at least anywhere that I’ve recognized it, and it is a long time coming. But I’m trying to think of another fruity smelling flower, and I’m coming up blank. Peony? Sometimes they smell a little peachy…hmm.

    Oh and the EdM. Love, love, love. It really rocks my little summer time world. Salty beach skin. Oh how I love it.

    I’ve also been loving on my little sample of the Aqua Allegoria, Mandarine Basilic. It’s just lovely. If I had an extra fifty to go around, I would probably purchase. I’ll just keep harassing the staff at Sephora to make me samples for now.

  • Amy says:

    Lovelovelove Carnal Flower in the brutal Austin heat, and also Amoureuse for its enveloping intoxiction. But when I need to feel refreshed and cooled off I reach for MPeG Camelia Chinois, Le Labo Aldehyde 44, Rose Ikebana, or my darling underappreciated Harissa.

    • Lee says:

      Harissa is a bit underappreciated, yes. I think I need to resniff a few of your delectable choices.

  • “The evanescence of everything and the fragility of all that is beautiful…”…Oh, Lee…*hisses like a serpent under an apple tree* Abandon the Posse and come write for PST :d

    Seriously though, I love your list, guys (and a fabulous gal), Carnal Flower is doing very well for itself this summer. It impressed the heck out of me that you 3 came up with ONE common list. Tom, if you are reading, could we possibly agree on one list? I could not wear Ambre Sultan and Fumerie in summer, not for all the tea in Takashimaya.:d

    • Louise says:

      OK, I admit to wearing a drop of Arabie the other day!

    • tmp00 says:


      I didn’t even think it occurred to us to try! I know I can’t wear white flowers and you aren’t big on the citrus so that would have left us, where? One bottle of Guerlain and a lot of cyber-growling! :d

      • Lee says:

        I can’t abandon it here, my lovely one! But I’m touched by your words.:x I’d love to see me some cyber-growling.

      • Marina says:

        Tom, as there is not a single Guerlain left that I truly love…we would be left with nothing 8-|

  • Judith says:

    Well, I posted my list on PST, and I’m not (quite) egoistic enough to think that everyone wants to read it repeatedly. So I will note that we overlap on 2 (Sel de Vetiver and Carnal Flower–both Patty’s), that I SHOULD have included Eau de Merveilles (Lee–or for me, the parfum), and that I can’t wear Eva to save my life (one of the many citruses that is great on others but my skin ruins):(

    • Louise says:

      I read and enjoyed your list!

      • Judith says:

        Thanks so much! I really like your choices, too. I think we must be Fragrance Relatives (at the very least)!

    • Judith says:

      Ooops–I see in rereading that I was mistaken about who picked what. Well, Bryan, I am with you on the Carnal Flower, and as is apparent on the PST blog, so are many others!!

    • Lee says:

      I need to go read your list. And misunderstandings are very welcome here I think, as long as they don’t lead to conflict, conflagration, or constipation.:d

  • katy says:

    I love The Blanc and Eau des Merveilles.
    Now it’s pretty cool here, but when it’s hot, Eau D’Hadrien is very nice too.

  • Louise says:

    I’m having a bad moment for fragrance right now-damned heat plus a headachy bug means little spraying.

    But overall-for summer, I agree that some of the “heavier” scents sprayed wisely work well. Fumerie T works well for me, and my sample of Japan Noir is dwindling, as is my split of Moss Breches (yum). I walked through a sheer cloud of Datura Noir the other day, to good effect. A light touch of Bois Blond is also lovely, but brief.

    On a lighter note (heh, heh), I am really enjoying my 2 Nicolais-the fig tea, and especially Vie de Chateau. I have an ancient stand-by-Sheer Obsession-just light musk and lemon on me, all day.
    I may be one of very few to think so, but Fresh Sake is quite lovely on me in the heat. Oh, and Roma is heavy, but appealing to me in the heat.

  • dinazad says:

    Really, guys, how can you be talking about perfumes? Welll…. to be honest, I’d be talking about them, but I’ve contracted some kind of allergy, so perfume is a no-no, and I’m toddling through the extreme heat of our days all covered up and with a – light – scarf around my neck to mask the fact that my decolletage looks like strawberry crumble…..
    But – if I were wearing perfumes, Nuit au Desert (still have some of this gorgeous juice – hasn’t anybody started sponsoring Gobin Daudé so she’ll start producing again?), Mugler Cologne, L’Air du Desert Marocain, Reverie au Jardin, Versace Dreamer, Gris Clair (love a bit of lavender!), and Biagiotti Roma would be my choice. Aqaba and Le Maroc pour Elle for sultry evenings. Rosine’s Diabolo Rose if I could get my hands on it.
    Just you wait – as soon as my skin gets a bit of air on it again, I’ll be indulging!

    • pitbull friend says:

      Oh, my, how sad! Wishing you a speedy recovery! –Ellen

    • Lee says:

      I’m doing my *feel better soon* boogie. Is it working?

    • Maria says:

      Oh, Dinazad, I’ve had a mystery rash or two in my time. With even just a little luck, it’ll pass. In the meantime, you might consider wearing fragrance on your ankles. It might waft up when you walk. 🙂

  • Maria says:

    I’m meteorologically confused. In Monterey it feels as if summer hasn’t arrived in full. We do have some warm days. The thermometer inches up toward 75 degrees F, and I’m sweltering, especially if somehow the humidity has gotten a tad over 30 percent. Let’s see, I was pretty hot Wednesday. Oh, my goodness, the high was 71. No wonder I had to put on the car’s air conditioner as I drove around. I’m not kidding. Middle age is a hot time for a woman. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have escaped Sacramento, where last year we broke the record, with more than two weeks straight of temps of 110 degrees or higher, not counting all the other days of 100 degrees but not quite 110.

    I’ll approach the summer scents list with confusion. The now-discontinued Fresh Basil cologne by The Thymes might have saved me last summer from coming close to heat prostration. It’s nice now too. (Thanks, Ellen.) PdN Fig-Tea doesn’t just smell nice on March; it also smells good on Louise and me. Guerlain Meteorites is nice and light. I agree with Eau des Merveilles, and I recommend Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel. However, I think March’s experiment earlier this summer with unlikely summer fragrances was very enlightening. Tauer Le Maroc pour Elle is excellent in the heat. (You do know how hot it gets in Morocco.) I’ve been wearing a bunch of leather, incense, and Oriental-based fragrances by Ava Luxe, and they’ve worked marvelously, even when my internal furnace was on full blast. Somehow the heat smooths out the Oriental base, and, as has been noted here before, incense is great in the heat.

    I’m so glad Lee has his Osmanthe Yunnan and is not letting it go to waste.

    • Maria says:

      Okay, our maximum humidity Wednesday was 88 percent. That’s crazy for Cal in the summer. I feel fully vindicated. >:d<

      • Lee says:

        Humidity. Ack and thrice ack. But I’d love me some Monterey weather right now. Rain, rain, more rain.

        I’m loving Osmanthe Yunnan.

        My job ended today, and aside from weeping students, weeping colleagues – :-< - and some snide comments by my boss in his summation speech (hit back over the net by me in mine), I feel weird and shellshocked and relieved. I was there six years - my longest job ever. And I have weepworthy cards... Dunno why I'm writing this.

        • CH says:

          Awwww, Lee. Drown your sorrows in Hermessence Osmanthe Yunan. It’s so sad to leave a job on such a bittersweet note.

        • Maria says:

          Lee, sweetie, you’ve been through an ordeal. You obviously cared very much about your students. Some bosses carry hell around with them and like to create it for other people. Now that’s over. You’re free. It’s so good to know you were appreciated by the people who matter. Many hugs from me too. :x:x

          Now, tell me, are you going to have Harry Potter many hours before I get mine on our midnight? My big question is: will I have the self-control to refrain from reading the end before I actually earn my way to it?

          • Lee says:

            Thanks. That means a lot.

            Yeah – I’ll be getting it in 4 hours time…. And I won’t read the ending first… so I tell myself anyway.:d