Let There Be Light

Evil Auntie Musette started this, and I´m continuing it.

This is not about weight, size, or how many times I haven´t been to the gym in the past couple of years. Light is a metaphor for a sense of being. Night owl that I am, I love it when the days get longer, especially here, north of the 49th, where you can count on light until almost 10 pm on the longest days.  Dark is dreary, but not dreary enough to make me S.A.D. For now, it´s all about “light” and the fragrances I think represent light, in the following scenarios:

When you feel like a caged animal that´s been poked at with a stick relentlessly, and for a prolonged period of time:

Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace

When you´re happy and you want the world to know it, without smelling like a bunch of hideously dyed mums, daisies, roses, or an obnoxiously large arrangement filled with suffocating stargazer lilies:

Kenzo Amour Florale

Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino

Guerlain Iris Ganache

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Union Square

You find yourself in need of a good whiff of salt air to clear your head when you´re feeling landlocked, both literally and metaphorically (sorry, Lake Ontario is a lousy substitute for biting, salty ocean air):

Antonia´s Flowers Sogni del Mare

The Different Company Sel de Vetiver

When you want that same vast, salty quality, but with an underlying hint of mustiness, for when you´re sitting by a pool reading a book, as opposed to on a blanket at the beach:

Bond No. 9 Hamptons

Something that will transport you back to innocent childhood, when all you cared about was the last day of school and being outside playing with your friends:

MAC Naked Honey

Marc Jacobs Daisy

Bath and Body Works Orange Sapphire

…and please don´t hate me for this one: Sarah Jessica Parker´s SJP NYC, only because it reminds me of a giant Bonne Bell Strawberry Lip Smacker.

A scent that will act as a harbinger of winter, but still provide enough light to keep you from fading into darkness:

Giorgio Armani Onde Mystà¨re

Finally, a couple of scents that surprise you, just when you were ready to draw the curtains, hide under the covers and  write off anything new as unadulterated dreck:

Balenciaga Paris

Givenchy Ange au Démon Le Secret

OK, my fine fragranced friends, it´s your turn: tell me which scents bring light to your life.

Disclosure: All fragrances, with the exception of SJP NYC, B&BW Orange Sapphire and Givenchy  Ange au Démon Le Secret are part of my personal collection. The exceptions were tested in store.

  • mals86 says:

    Surprisingly difficult topic. 😕

    If I am in need of peace, I want the clear sunny light of Mariella Burani.

    If I’m happy, I want the inner glow of Crown Bouquet or Le Temps d’une Fete. (And please feel free to send me ALL of your enormous bouquets of lilies. I’ll just snip the polleny stamens off and bury my nose in them. I never, ever, want a “good whiff of salt air.” It’s not that I mind it, I just don’t long for it.)

    If I need a return to the long trustful carefree light-filled days of my childhood, I want PdR Rose d’Ete.

    The shimmer of sunlight on the bottom of the pool, complete with bellinis poolside, is Ines de la Fressange (the Calice Becker one). The icy white light of winter is Carnal Flower. The dispassionate, reflective light of recessed fluorescents, while one is conducting an experiment or untangling the checkbook, is Silences. A single candle in a vast room untenanted by anyone save your beloved? Lumiere Noire pour femme.

  • Ruanne says:

    Baking sunlight- Bond #9 Fire island or perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose (that one mostly because I wore it Spring of my senior year, laying out in my bikini so I could be tan by the time my boyfriend came home from college.)

  • Style Spy says:

    MPeG’s Eau de Camelia Chinois — found & fallen in love with on my first deliriously happy trip to London & Paris in August, so it’s the smell of a temperate sunny summer day. Carnal Flower is blinding bright yellow-white southern summer light, and Zagorsk is sunlight on snow.

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Style Spy, so glad you mentioned MPG’s Camelia Chinois. Wow! What a lovely scent! I tried it when it first came out, really liked it, and then life intervened. Later on when I went to get it, it was nowhere to be found. Any ideas where it can be had here in the States or where in Europe? Many thanks!

  • nozknoz says:

    You all are so poetic! @};-

    I can only wear Azuree on sunny summer days. Etro Shaal Nur (and nuur is Arabic for light) brings a touch of sun at any time.

  • Ursula says:

    Molinard de Molinard reminds me of the crispness of blinding snow on a mountain range – nothing soft about it, except in the dry down – imagine at the end of the winter day filtering sunlight through dry winter bushes …

  • Winifreida says:

    Fine clear autumn days with a dry breeze making the long dry golden grass wave – Saffran Troublant.

    Cold snowy white light of winter – L heure Bleue and Tubereuse Criminelle

    A wet morning in spring with the new green grass – Cristalle

    A sunny morning in spring – Diorissimo, La Chasse Papillons

    A hot humid summer day – Isabey Fleur Nocturne, CSP Vanille Banane

    …just for starters, there’s another hundred to fit in somewhere!!

    • AnnieA says:

      Winifrieda, I will have to check out the perfumes I don’t have on your list — I have about half of them!

  • Gretchen says:

    Eau Illuminee (parfums DelRae)– I thought of this even before remembering the meaning of the name! It’s the scent of the northern California coastal hills in warm sunny weather.

  • Ann N. says:

    Hi Nava, great topic, especially seeing as it’s pushing the mid-80s where I live today. We’ve got light aplenty here! I must second Maggiecat on Escale a Portofino — a bright, sunny day on Lake Como springs to mind (although I’ve never been, but a girl can dream, can’t she?). And I’m also inspired by the warm, gorgeous glow that is SL’s Fleurs de Citronnier. Ahhh …

  • Shelley says:

    Hmmm, light. I think about it a lot…as a filmmaker…a gardener…a person who burns when the sun blinks twice…;)…but I have to admit, not in the context of perfume. I’ll try to play; remember, I’m new at this.

    Glowing, as in the property of certain warm light, not the JLo stuff– Amouage Gold definitely glows. A warm, radiant kind of light. Liz Zorn Jasomyn and Donna Karan Gold might go in this category, too.

    Sharp, piercing light, like comes from a mix of a colder incandescent bulb and ray of early spring sun–Diorella.

    Light from a fire that is at least as much embers as flame–SSS Tabac Aurea.

    Summer sun that brightens up even the corners of a wood cabin near a lake–Songes.

    Candlelight as it appears in one of those ridiculously sumptuous Italian Renaissance still lives of a feast, the ones with the really black blacks–Parfum Sacre.

    Hey, this was hard, but it was kind of fun. 🙂

  • maggiecat says:

    I’ve NEEDED a bit of light lately…and usually turn to citrus-and/or tea-based scents for it: Dior’s Escale a Portofino; Chloe’s Eau de Fleur Neroli (my SOTD), Tocca’s new Bianca, Kenzo’s Summer, Healing Gardens White Tea at the end of a long day, anything Chanel at the beginning of one, to give me a confidance boost. And Marc Jacobs new Biscotti, just because it semlls yummy and garners compliments.

  • mary says:

    Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu brings me a sense of peace and light. le Temps d’une fet, which I smelled yesterday for the first time, and fell in love with, seems to cast a warm glow this rainy chilly morning. Vol de Nuit for the full moon and starlight. Roxana Villa’s Sierre Solid Gold gives a sense of light filtering through tree branches for me. And Chapparal, also by her, puts me in mind of a weird, windy afternoon about 30 years ago in the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains, with the sun peeking out after a hard rain, and a warm glow over the wet chapparal.


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  • Musette says:


    This is actually way harder than I thought. I’m just crawling out of a really horrid case of SAD myself (exacerbated by ridiculous personal stuff) that I am just getting around to feeling a bit ‘light’.

    A greyish light, perfect for a walk in the woods to go look at the new frogs: Angeliques Sous la Pluie

    Bright, blinding sunlight, glinting off masts in the harbor:

    Patou Vacances
    Lucien Lelong pour Femme

    A crisp summer circle skirt : Diorissimo

    I haven’t got a care in the world, my sharkskin pencil slacks fit like a dream and I’m gonna go buy a Valextra handbag:

    Agraria Bitter Orange
    Cartier Brillant

    xo >-)

  • BBJ says:

    Light…wow, what a good concept.

    Eau d’Italie–the sunlight of Northern California, shining in a sheet of silver off the ocean…

    Parfum Sacre–the soft light of Shabbos candles in a twilight room…

    Un Parfum de Sens et Bois, Magnolia Romana–The cool, fragile light falling through tree branches…

    Ophelia–bright spring sun, falling on water…

    And my current obsession, the warm moonlight that is Chanel No. 19 EDP. (I interact with it. It likes me. Is it socially inappropriate to keep smelling yourself in public?)