Summer. Summersummersummer. You know what’s weird about summer? It’s a horse of a totally different color, depending upon where you are and who you are (or used to be). I spent the last 50o years of my life in an Urban environment and my summer fragrances reflected that. When I think about Agraria Bitter Orange I think of this restaurant on Irving Place in NYC – I only went there in the summer and always sat outside for brunch …..and my beloved Cartier Brillante is definitely meant for hot pavement, a linen sheath and a cold vodka tonic. I had no idea it would not translate to rolling cornfields and draft horses (who HATE that scent, btw – it
makes them sneeze, the prima donnas)….so I had to rethink summer to please my Percherons (besides, March wouldn’t let me yark on about my regular faves anymore. She is SO bossy!). The more I thought about it, though, the more it makes sense – summer in the Urbs is way different from summer in the country – out here Summer isn’t something to be wrestle
d with – it just is. And out here you’re not trying to squeeze your swollen feet into those Manolo sandals and I certainly cannot wear that crisp white linen sheath with ste
Here are our two scents for Top 10 Best Perfumes of Summer. What are yours?? (unlike us, you are not limited to 2 each – whale away!)el-toe boots, corn dust and horse snot and…well, it’s just different. Take my displaced word for it. Not better, not worse – just different. So the two I’ve chosen reflect my new life amongst the cows and the corn.
Based on the epic Country FAIL of Brillante and my regular standbys I caved to March’s demand that I TRY SOMETHING NEW .
Here’s new. And Weird. TributeAttar for the Hog Roast at the nursing home – beautiful app but I noticed it was seriously ‘ashy’ on the drydown – very offputting to the average smeller out here in the sticks, though I was smitten – like dried rose petals thrown on a coal fire. Anyway, I knew that wouldn’t work at the Hog Roast so I took a chance and layered it with
Rosine’s Poussiere de Rosine – since it’s got that dusty-musty smell itself, it worked beautifully. Very oily/dusty/rosy, heady as a bottle of jammy Cabernet.
March, this would peel the skin off your nose. Imagine ‘rose slurry’. Bwahahahahaha!
Oddly, this was a hit with young and old alike. The Rosine diluted Tribute’s scary elegance (and c’mon – do I really want ‘elegant’ at a Hog Roast?) And the ashy dryness in both the Tribute and the PdR is a nice complement to the humidity. My huge, fussy Percherons like it, too! This might be a little ‘close’ in the City but it works really well in a slurry blender feed screw – the dusty rose and dusty corn, ya know?
But it was nothing compared to this next one:
There are perfumes that are born great….and then there are perfumes that have greatness thrust upon them. Still adhering to March’s edict, I decided to try something I originally dissed because I found it at a flea market for a dime: Coty Sand and Sable (two bottles: 20 cents. Booo-yah!) It’s not my idea of fabulous – there isn’t an elegant note in the whole thing – but again, not everything has to be elegant – and this is Summer in a bottle, glistening sun-baked skin, hot sand, station wagons, transistor radios – the whole shebang. Summer 1961. We all have a crush on the 8th grader down the street, we ride our bikes to the local pool and mom is in pedal-pushers, puffin’ on a Chesterfield. Spritz it and everyone within 2 blocks will be on you like a duck on a junebug. 19 year old Breck Girl and the world is your oyster. The musky base sort of ooked up my lunch but that’s okay. I had Brian Wilson warbling in my poitrine – I could hardly be petty about that little musky bit, could I? I’ll let you know what my big boys think.
March: Hee on the Sand & Sable, Anita! Nope, nothing elegant in there at all, and you wouldn’t want to spill the bottle in your car, but to me it smells like my misspent youth of the late 1970s — summer at the beach, with notes of tropical oil, cotton candy, and climbing into the backseat of some boy’s Camaro, so we could … discuss Proust.
It’s been a gazillion degrees here for much of the summer — we’re in the middle of another 98-degree heatwave and I’m making gazpacho. I’m still very much enjoying fiddling with all the Tigerflag attars, although the Majmua’s the one I’ve been wearing, with its moist notes of earth and flowers. I realized, though, that I’ve been missing the beeswax-y smell of the beeswax base that Marla built it into before she sent it to me, and I haven’t gotten around to trying to make my own beeswax base, so I looked around on my shelves for something beeswaxy and came up with … Serge Lutens’ death-eater honey, Miel de Bois, which is something I also love wearing in this heat. You can see where this is headed, right? I mean, what could possibly go wrong? So I mixed up a small vial containing mostly jojoba oil, a few drops of majmua, and a few drops of MdB, at which point the foundations of the house rumbled — oh, wait, that was only the earthquake. Anyway, I dabbed it on (I’m talking a dab), went downstairs, and I was still fifteen feet down the hall from my daughter when she asked what perfume I was wearing. Too much sillage? She demanded a closer sniff and said, it smells like six things at the same time! It keeps changing! That’s so cool! She’s the kid who likes that uber-musky honey thing that MAC did, though, so YMMV. I admit that just putting MdB on often feels like I’ve committed a crime, albeit a misdemeanor. Layering it is probably a more serious offense. Today I might throw in some Nuit de Tubereuse on top. Do you think my nose will fall off?
Lee: Glad to see both March and Anita know how to wave their freak flags just the right amount to stay cool. My stay cool on the ladyboy side scent is – well, it’s either Nicolai’s Eau Exotique which is fruity and a little floral and elegantly simple, or Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan which gets more refreshing oolong and petals every time I wear it. Other times, the temps have dropped here a little so I no longer cling to salty for electrolytic rebalancing. Instead, it’s Timbuktu all the way. That sour flowerpower patchouli incense mashup is perfect right now. And anyways, no perfume can compete with the goddamn amazing regal lilies and heliotrope and jasmine in the garden as I type. I’m heading back out there.
Nava: Ok, since Anita’s busy “yarking” about horses and wearing attars in the height of summer and March insists on dragging out Miel de Bois in July (oy, a thousand times!), I’m sitting next to Lee and his Osmanthe Yunnan. Personally, I prefer Parfum d’ Empire’s Osmanthus Interdite, but Osmanthe Yunnan is always first runner-up in my book. I won’t repeat the three I mentioned on Friday, but the other I’d like to add is Givenchy’s new Eaudemoiselle. I tried like hell not to buy a bottle of it, but I succumbed. It’s a bit heavy right now, but inside with the a/c crankin’, it’s goooood.
Patty: I’m a little horrified at the Sand & Sables, except it is pretty great for something that people will hand to you in vats on the street. A little like J. Lo’s Glow, perfect for summertime. My summer faves are a couple of things I ran into while I was gone, like the Nasomatto Nuda – the perfect big-ass white floral skanky jasmine scent. It opens as poopy jasmine (Nancy taught us this term while in Grasse), then slowly settles down into the more honeysuckle jasmine that you can wear for a much longer period of time. I could happily wear this the rest of summer. I’d just intersperse it with the Micallef Shanaan – the perfect breathy incense – and Byredo Tulipe (yes, yes, I’m still ridiculously in love with it) and L’Artisan Nuit de Tuberose. Wait, I’m over two, but those last three count as one!