L’Artisan Caligna, Diptyque eau Moheli and Olivier Durbano Heliotrope

I’ve got a weird conglomeration of scents this week, but I often struggle to find more than a paragraph to say about scents I really love, so I’m going to move back more to random testing.  Especially today – it’s training week, which always drains me. I swear, I don’t know how people can stand up and teach all day five days a week.  

summer perfume

This week I’ve got a couple of new release summer perfumes. Let’s start with L’Artisan Caligna is their new release in 2013, centered around the smells in Grasse, France, it has notes of clary sage, fig, jasmine marmalade accord, lentisc and pine needles.  I was hoping for something a little more sagey and piney, but it skews more to fig and very light touches with the other notes.  It’s positioned well for spring/summer, but at $180 for a bottle, I think it’s pretty high for such a light scent.  Made well, very pretty, easy to wear, not that memorable, but I don’t know that every perfume has to stick in your memory banks.

Diptyque Eau Moheli is the summer 2013 entry.  Centered around the solar aspects of ylang, it is a white floral, but not anything traditional.  Pink pepper, ginger, patchouli, vetiver, benzoin and incense are the other prominent notes.  I like Diptyque Eau Moheli more than L’Artisan Caligna just from a personal standpoint. I’m more likely to wear it – or remember it enough to wear it.  Boy, that sounds bad.  It’s crisp, which feels weird for a ylang fragrance.  The incense is there, but it doesn’t really feel like an incense fragrance. It feels very much like a summer fragrance in heaviness.  The price point is better than the L’Artisan, so this would be my go-to summer scent between the two.

Scent I fell in love with at Los Angeles Scentsation that was a surprise – Olivier Durbano Heliotrope.  Released in 2012, I pretty  much missed this Durbano because I hadn’t found a Durbano to love since Rock Crystal and Black Tourmaline.  Notes for Durbano Heliotrope are elemi, olibanum, ginger, blood mandarin, angelica, chili pepper, saffron, magnolia, cypriol oil or nagarmotha, heliotrope, myrrh, cedar, sandalwood, musk, ambergris and benzoin. See all that incense in there. Oh, baby!  This is incense heaven with the perfect dollop of sweet heliotrope and plush saffron. The notes are balanced beautifully in this.  If you are an incense or saffron fan at all, this is a must-try.  There is this slightly sweet, spicy woody myrrh smell wafting after hours that is enchanting and stunningly beautiful.  Best news?  Incense is great in summer, and this one I think would be perfect.

So for summer, you have two great picks.  For everything else, just try the Durbano Heliotrope, it fits everything.  Of course we  can do a giveaway!  So samples of all three fragrances to 3 lucky commenters that I draw at random!  Do you like traditional summer perfumes?  Do you wear incense in summer? Think that’s weird?  

Winners of last week’s drawing for Posse gift bag we gave away at LA Scentsation – dremybluz and Laurel.  Just click on the Drop us a note up at the top, remind me what you won, get me your address, I’ll confirm I got your e-mail and then get it all mailed out to you!




  • Tora says:

    I just put my sample of Heliotrope on my wrist, and I am a very happy girl! I ordered it from Luckyscent with a bunch of other samples and the riotous pink color just called out my name. “Me first!! Me first!!” This is exquisite. I love incense, and this delivers it in a pretty, feminine way. Many of my incense favorites are very masculine, and this sweet darling is just perfect for summer, I think. Thank you for the recommendation! I am ordering my decant from STC pronto!

  • Diana says:

    I pretty much wear whatever I’m in the mood for because I spend most of my days locked up in a temperature controlled office environment that they always seem to keep in the upper 60’s. Don’t know why I bother to buy summer dresses for work since they’re always hidden under a sweater! Still, when spring hits, I do seem to crave florals a bit more often than at any other time of the year. Citrus is nice in summer but it always disappears on me so quickly. I’m waiting to try Seville a l’Aube with my next STC sample order. If the contest is still ongoing, I’d love to be entered as I haven’t tried any of the 3 samples on offer.

  • leathermountain says:

    I also tried the Moheli. At first I smelled that gummy-candy aspect of ylang ylang, which I love. I agree with you that the incense is subtle. But I also felt a certain “generic perfume, floral” in the drydown. Which makes me see what I’m really looking for in a summer perfume: saving the best for last. That’s why I am so eager to sample the Heliotrope you describe! Thank you so much for the lovely draw.

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m late to comment, since I’ve been out of town at a conference, but all of these scents sound lovely to me, and I’ll be seeking sample of the L’Artisan and Diptyque posthaste!

  • Heather A says:

    I also got the Eau Moheli during the Scentsation (at Scent Bar) and I am loving it. So is my daughter,who is 15 – which is significant because we don’t always like the same things. I think Moheli is easy to love. I’m usually one to sniff and ponder and analyze before purchasing a fragrance, but with this one it was just spritz, sniff and buy. It’s deliciously summery. It’s also a lightweight, staying-power wise, so I’ll be filling an atomizer and re-spritzing with this one.

    I was not so fond of the new Artisan – it was fine, but it didn’t really sing on my skin. It had a wet leaf quality that I did not enjoy. However, I loved it when they did a demo of the various notes and accords they used to build the scent and fell in love with one of those – the jasmine marmalade. Please, L’artisan, makes us a jasmine marmalade scent!

  • sunnlitt says:

    I obviously need to try incense scents in the summer….but, I live on the coast of California and it doesn’t usually get really hot here. I wear my go-to scents–green, citrus and fig.
    I guess that I need to broaden my palette.
    Thanks for the drawing.

  • Merlin says:

    Mood always comes before weather when I choose my fragrance. My only definite no. no. has been Infusion d’Iris EDP in winter. I love it in the summer but once I wore it in winter and it made me feel cold and bleak all day! Also, if its extremely hot I may try and use a frag as an air-conditioner and then I like Cristalle Eau Verte, or the Hermes Jardins. Incense tends to go with mood, all year round!

  • Catherine says:

    I have the same feelings about Caligna. It’s pretty but kind of nondescript. I was also hoping for something more pine-y. It sort of strikes me as something that’d probably do better in a candle. Eau Moheli sounds really nice! I only got the cursory spritz the other day so it sounds like I need to go spend some quality time with it! & wow Heliotrope sounds incredible and not at all like the first impression I got from the name. Need to put that one on my list!

  • alexander says:

    I LOVE incense and I’m always looking for new incense based fragrances.I usually don’t use them in the heat and I’m waiting for the colder months to wear them.Sometimes when it’s not so hot I can wear Memoir man or James Heeley Cardinal but I don’t find incense suitable for the summer.I would be reeeealy delighted to find an incense perfume which I can wear in summer.

  • Maureen says:

    I have never tried an incense fragrance in summer. I thought that was a Fall/Winter type of scent. I always gravitate to light scents in the heat. My go to daytime fragrances for summer are O de Lancome, Pure White Linen Light Breeze, White Citrus. My going out at night summer fragrance is Chanel #19 Poudre, because my boyfriend bought it for me and I love it, just wish it lasted a little longer. I try other things, too. I am trying to like gardenia & tuberose, but it’s tough in the heat. I would love to try these fragrances that you recommend. thanks for the draw.

  • Elia says:

    I don’t think incense works in the summer. I’m not really into seasonally picking scent,
    but I’d worn Memoir Man last summer and actually got stopped by a co-worker so she could comment that what I was wearing was too heavy for the season.

  • poodletwins says:

    I had no idea incense could be felt as warm or cooling. How intriguing! The moheli appeals to me. and ive never tried heliotrope note either. thanks for the draw!

  • Michelle says:

    Hm, I’m not too keen on incense in summer personally. I am more for it in Fall/Winter, but that’s just me. 🙂 The Eau Moheli sounds like the one I would most look into though.

  • Nemo says:

    I think it depends on the incense! I love 10 Corso Como for the summer- for some reason it seems perfect for hot, tropical weather. On the other hand, my favorite winter perfume is SSS Winter Woods and I wouldn’t wear that in the summer.

  • Liz K says:

    I love incense at any time of year but I do usually go for the CdG crowd over Incense Pure just because they feel so much cooler and the SSS is a very warm incense. Does that even make sense? Supposedly, there is incense in Un Jardin Sur Le Nil but I can barely discern it under the grapefruit but UJSLN and Kyoyo are always in heavy rotation in the summer along with most of the Diptyques so I will have to seek out the new one ASAP.

  • susan says:

    I’m a citrus lover, so I do love traditional “summer” perfumes. I don’t always go traditional, though. I don’t really do a lot of incense in summer, although there are exceptions, like Tauer’s Incense Extreme, which strikes me as perfect for summer. Thanks for the draw!

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I could grow to love incense in warm weather, especially in the evening. It reminds me of being in incense-scented mosques in Turkey a few decades ago, the high ceilings and tiles so deliciously cool on hot days.

  • I could see wearing incense in the summer, depending on what it is. I would wear Zagorsk or Kyoto, and I know Timbuktu works well in the heat. I think of Timbuktu as a summer scent for me because I tried it once in cooler weather and it just wasn’t the same. I tend to gravitate the greens and vetivers in the spring and summer. I also have an oil called Majmua attar from a company called Nemat that is a nice incensy vetiver and feels really cooling in the summer. I get it at Whole Foods pretty cheap.

  • jirish says:

    I love incense in the summer, but I also love it all year long. Wearing Mecca Balsamico today, but also love Jaisalmer, Avignon, Black Tourmaline, Incense Pure, and Incense Rose. Frankincense has a lemony facet, so frankincense heavy scents often seem citrusy and refreshing to me.

  • Civet says:

    I love Kyoto in the summer. Also great on airplanes. It just smells so clean!

  • Lisa D says:

    I’ve been on an incense kick for several months now, and succumbed to both Eau Moheli and CdG Palisander on the recent Scentsation trip (there’s nothing quite like a lovely gaggle of perfume freaks, all shoving their credit cards toward the cash register, to make me think, “Why yes, I really DO need a full bottle of each of these perfumes!”). DNEM, since I’ve got the Moheli, and the Caligna wasn’t quite earth shattering.

    I think a cool incense works very well in summer.

  • Katrin says:

    Incense in the summer? Why not? I immediately thought of Lez Nez’s Let Me Play the Lion. Such a nice and smooth and elegant scent, and smells of blooming flowers (even though no floral notes listed). Perhaps the flowers are it’s just in me. Reading the comments, I am intrigued by Zagorsk (must confess I have not tried any of their incense series). The AG’s Eau du Sud I wore last summer I got so tired of, so this year I am starting with some classics–the famous No 5. Vintage parfum spray, it is gorgeous!!! Please include me in the draw, am very curious to sniff those scents. Thank you!

  • E.Lime says:

    I tend to wear citrus and green florals in the summer, which is perhaps a bit boring. Though I just wore SL Fleurs d’Oranger to an evening party and was enchanted with how it bloomed in the nighttime. Incense in summer, I don’t know. SSS Incens Pure might be too thick, but if it was light and radiant like Timbuktu, I could see it working very well.

  • thegoddessrena says:

    The Heliotrope sounds interesting. My summer rotation will probably be mostly vintage White Shoulders, Inoui and Pretty Machine (my current obsession). Of course, I will probably try to get into NY as often as possible to spritz myself with Roja Dove Gardenia extrait (Bergdorf’s now has Roja Dove! Wooo!)

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, how exciting! Which of his scents do they carry or do they have them all? Thanks for sharing this info!

      • thegoddessrena says:

        Looks like they’re carrying the full regular range–there were about a dozen scents, the 3 extraits, and a few ouds

  • rosiegreen says:

    I love to wear incense anytime, we get variable weather in summer so I pretty much wear the same things as the rest of the year, though I really love Mahora on a hot steamy evening after being in the garden all day.

  • Janice says:

    I like incense in the summer. Another pretty one is Olivier Durbano’s Citrine from a couple of years ago–citrus and incense.

  • Samantha L. says:

    I’m the most intrigued by the Durbano…but all three sound pretty interesting to me. I think you can and should wear incense anytime, my summer favorite is Zagorsk cause it smells so chilly!

  • Tiara says:

    Caligna is quite nice but one of those I have to re-smell to remember. At that price point, I want to remember. I can do incense on warm days but on those hot, humid, oppressive days, no way. Saw Tara’s suggestions above and may have to try those.

  • Mary K says:

    Yes, I do like traditional summer perfumes. Some perfumes that are meant to be light end up being not so light on me and I find that to be a good thing! Last summer I wore Fior d’Arancio by Laura Tonatto and Nanadebary Green quite a bit. In the past, I haven’t worn incense much in the summer, but I will be giving it a try!

  • Tara says:

    Being an incense freak, I wear it all year long. But in the dense heat I find that cool, light incenses such as Serge Lutens Eau Froide, Timbuktu, L’Artisan numero 8, and Monocle Hinoki work especially well. I have a decant of the Heliotrope that I plan to wear this summer, I bet it will be good.

    Like Patty, I found the Caligna to be pretty meh, certainly not something I would spend $180 on. The Eau Moheli smelled fantastic on me and I nearly bought it but it disappeared completely on my skin within 15 minutes, so that killed the lemming for me.

  • Dana says:

    I think you can definitely wear incense year round (if you like it at all) because it can feel warming at times and also cooling, with that mentholated way it has. Thanks for the draw. I would love to smell these.

  • alityke says:

    I’m not mad about incense summer or winter in truth. I prefer my resins resinous. Spring and summer give me the chance to break out whooshy astringent citric green chypres and traditional EdCs. Not very edgy I know.

    Summer evenings demand florals, white or otherwise. Montale Intense Tiare, Tuvache Jungle Gardenia EdC, Chant D’Aromes, A La Nuit, Chasse aux Papillions Extreme all have a place.

    The Durbano does sound intriguing for the heliotrope element, that I do like

  • FearsMice says:

    I don’t care much about traditional “summer” perfumes — I wear what I like whenever the mood strikes me. But I do like wearing CdG’s Incenses during the summer; I find them chilly and refreshing in the heat.

  • Martha says:

    I love incense and like to wear it in warm weather as well as cold weather. Recently I tried SSS Incense Pure, but found it too smoky. My go-to incense is Avignon. I relish Sycomore in a big way, but it doesn’t last long on me, even though I moisturize before applying. So, yes, I’d love to win some new incense fragrance to sample. Thanks for the draw.

  • Jan Last says:

    Atelier Bois Blonde is about as incense as I go in summer, although Orange Sanguine as mentioned above is also great for summer. I sampled the Heliotrope, and have it listed in my spreadsheet to revisit.

  • dremybluz says:

    i like cdg’s 2 man all yr long

  • lucasai says:

    I quite liked Heliotrope, despite it being not my kind of thing really. I didn’t like Caligna much, on me it was too light, too green, a little bit bland. Haven’t tried Eau Moheli yet.

  • Bridget C says:

    I think incense makes a lot of sense in summer. All I envision is a vw bus of hippies with their free flowing clothes and flowers in their hair burning incense covering up the fact that they hadn’t found a swimming hole or shower in a while. Or back to when bathing habits were less popular and everyone went to church on a 90 degree day. And being s non-traditionalist, i dont wear the usual summer scents!
    Anyways I would like to try any of the three, thanks for the draw!

  • poodle says:

    I love incense any time of the year. If I wear any traditional summer scents I usually do it in the winter. The heat of the summer just makes them disappear that much faster so whatever I choose in the summer I’ll need to reapply often.

    • solanace says:

      Our cool weather does not last for more than three months an year, and this crazy tropical heat sure evaporates my fumes. What is a gal to do? I see it as a chance of applying more perfume (and changing them) through the day.

  • solanace says:

    Eau de Shalimar, because I cant tell it’s still Shalimar. Also love Eau d’Hadrien and Orange Sanguine. But depending on my mood, I might reach for an Amouage. Dia man blooms beautifully on a hot tropical summer day. (Today I’ve got a cold, so no perfume for me! :-()

  • Irina says:

    I would love to try all 3 scents
    I think cold incense is great for summer and ” Heliotrope” sounds wonderful. Thanks a lot, Patty

  • Marcopietro says:

    In the summer I love to wear the traditional fragrances with citrus aromas and fresh notes (Green Water by Fath for example), but I also love the incense, my favorite for this season are Timbuktu de l’Artisan, Memoir man by Amouage and Villoresi Incensi. I like how Durbano uses incense and resins in its perfumes and Heliotrope sounds great.

  • taffyj says:

    Are you allowed to wear incense in the summer? If you tell me that mosquitoes hate the smell of incense, I will definitely spray with abandon. My most frequently worn scent in the summer is Off Deep Woods.

    The Durbano sounds amazing!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Are you ‘allowed’? You are allowed to wear whatever the heck you want, taffyj! fwiw, Incense smells stunningly gorgeous in the summer. xoxoA

  • rosarita says:

    Heliotrope sounds really good. I like incense in summer, it feels cool; Messe di Minuit and Zagorsk are both summer favorites. But traditional summer scents like Bronze Goddess, Jasmin Full, etc etc smell good, too 🙂

  • Joni Dischner says:

    I always thought that incense would be too heavy to wear in summer. It tends to hover like a doppleganger when my skin is more moisturized, as it is in summer. I wouldn’t care, of course, but I thought it might be too strong for the people in my immediate vicinity. I used to wear Ysatis in the summer, back in the 80s, and that didn’t seem too heavy. I went to the home and garden store last weekend, and in the flower section, I swore I smelled the original Ysatis. I tried to pinpoint one bunch of flowers that it might have been, but no luck. I guess if summer nature itself can smell like a perfume (or at least be reminiscent of it), then maybe I can wear strong perfumes in the summer. I don’t really know enough yet to know what a traditional summer perfume might be, but I’ve never been one to follow tradition, anyway. What are the traditional summer fragrances?

    The Moheli sounds amazing. I really like pink pepper, patchouli, and vetiver. The rest I’m not sure about – still learning the notes.

    Thanks for all of your lovely descriptions and the time and effort you put into all of the posts. I’m learning so much, and I appreciate it a great deal.



  • Spiker says:

    This will be the first summer that I’ve worn perfume, so I’m not yet sure what I’ll like. I can tell that some of the warm, spicy scents I loved this winter are going to lose a lot of appeal once the heat kicks in, but I don’t know with what I’ll replace them. I’d love to try the samples and see if there’s some new love to be found there. And, now that you’ve suggested it I’ll have to give my Fire from Heaven sample a try now that it’s warm. I’m a little skeptical, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • 71 & Sunny says:

    So I’m curios – is it really better to wear only some scents in summer or winter? I’ve pretty much just worn whatever I’ve been in the mood to wear. But maybe I need to pay more attention to seasons. The L’Artisan fragrance sounds interesting to me. I’m not sure I’ve smelled fig in a fragrance before.

    • Musette says:

      Nope! You can wear whatever you want, whenever you want. Evil Auntie Musette says so. Evil Auntie Musette wears Tribute Attar and Epic in 95degree heat. And loves it!


  • lorraine says:

    I do like incense in summer – I have a bottle of CDG Incense Kyoto that I find fresh in a very non-traditional way. Curious about the Durbano now!