Springing forward: Shoulder season

shoulder season
Ah, Mother Nature, you fickle lass, you! Even now midway through April, up and down go the temps; sunshine one day, snow the next; chilly rain one morning, and warm showers the next afternoon; and so it goes. In the midst of changing weather, it can be hard to know what fragrances to wear. It’s what I think of as the perfume shoulder season, which in the travel world refers to a period between peak and off-peak travel times.

Just as I’m trying to balance clothes in my closet to adjust for temperature swings, I’m attempting to hold to middle ground on scents, as I have a funny feeling that our current shoulder season could still take a sudden nose-dive into freezing temps, at least once more. By the same token, you folks in the Southern Hemisphere may be looking at an opposite but similar situation.

So I tend to gravitate toward fragrances with distinct stages or arcs that work across temperature spans. I’m enjoying several scents in this shoulder season, especially Si by Lolita Lempicka. This spicy floral perfume pops lively on its open, via bergamot, pink peppercorns and sweet pea, then later warms up and simmers down, thanks to elemi, amber, patchouli and tonka bean, just in time for cool evenings. Also, I’ve pulled out Amouage’s Lilac Love (adore its floral into cozy vibe) in late afternoon, or Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil, heading into chilly nights. But I’m not quite ready to pack anything away just yet. On a cold night or two lately I’ve had to delve back into my cold-weather comfort stash.

So in this sometimes fickle time of year, what fragrances are keeping you happy? Are there certain perfumes you reach for in the divide between the seasons? Also, when do you give up the ghost on your seasonal scents and finally put them away for good?

15 Comments

  1. I’ve never tried Si by Lolita Lempicka but from your description I’d like to give it a try. Right now the fragrances that are keeping me happy are Guerlain’s Mon Guerlain, D&G Light Blue on warmer days, and Opium when it’s a bit chilly. I also love Fracas EDP and Chanel No. 5 EDT in warmer weather, as well as in the cooler months. And Chanel No. 19 Poudre when Spring really starts to kick in. I put my seasonal scents away when the temperatures are consistent for at least 2 weeks to one month.

  2. I’m finding the spicy but sheer and tea-like Malabah by Penhaligons with a ginger-lemon twist perfect for those “No amber and incense” days, but when I’m not quite into the Aqua Allegoria light colognes to cool me off during the hot Cali spring-into-summer. It’s refreshing but still has a memory of warm spices.

  3. At 6am, it is 34 degrees (F) here in my part of Massachusetts. ūüôĀ I think I will wear Tea for Two (L’Artisan Parfumeur) today.

  4. Yeah Ann,
    Crazy warm here. Still hitting 30C almost every day.
    Wearing the new Grandiflora Boronia, PdN Ambre Cashmere and Hermès Monsieur Li more than the others right now but interspersed with faves.
    Portia xx

  5. We had this CRAZY thunder last night; I’ve never heard anything like it, and I’ve heard plenty of thunder! It was like a freight train — just one solid, ongoing boom. I thought it was a tornado for a minute. This weather is garbage, lol. Anyway, it’s been cool enough I’m enjoying the last of the winter classics (Alahine, some Guerlain) but WHOA yeah you don’t want to be caught with those if it gets to 87 which it did over the weekend.

  6. I wore Si last week – definitely perfect for the cold not quite spring. Also been working my decant of Shangri La by Hiram Green- going to need a travel size of that!

  7. Freezing rain here today, I am still hunkered down in my winter scents. Dries van Noten today, for example.

  8. Our weather has been completely up and down this month. A few days really warm and then a few cooler days. We had a nice weekend, not hot and not cool, but I woke up in the middle of the night to rain and wind so heavy I got up to see if it was hailing. Looks like I’ll have to grab a thin down liner for my rain jacket as I walk to the gym this morning. This month I’ve worn Bottega Veneta, L’Ambre des Merveilles, vintage No. 19 and on one of the colder days vintage Mitsouko. If it’s still cold when I walk back from the gym I might wear vintage Opium one last day. Looking at the weather report we’re supposed to have one more week of temperate weather before summer muscles in.

  9. I woke up to snow and nearly burst into tears. Vintage No5, to keep me sane. xoxo

  10. Wearing Coco today, I’m freezing. All my perfume lives in one place so I don’t put anything away, really, but there’s no use getting out spring favorites yet as they’re hard to smell through sweaters and coats (wah).

  11. Still snow on the ground where I live. Once that ALL melts, I will change over both my seasonal clothing and perfume wardrobes completely–no going back!

  12. I was wearing Samsara, vintage Jolie Madame and Safran Troublant, but then temps dropped and we got an ACTUAL FREAKING BLIZZARD, so I’ve retreated into my cuirs — de Russie, de Lancome, Beluga. But we’re supposed to have 50s and 60s next week, so I’ll go full-on green then — Vent Vert, Silences, et al.

  13. I hear you Ann! We had 85 degrees a couple days ago, now it’s cold and rainy. Ugh. I’m wearing green florals stubbornly because it should be spring, even if it’s not acting like it. Humph. So a little No. 19, some Bas de Soie, Gucci Envy, Paris Jardins Romantiques, etc. etc. plus the pastel colored cashmere sweaters to keep me warm. Sigh.

  14. So confused with the weather over on my end, too! I have definitely shelved Coromandel, Kate Walsh Boyfriend, TF Noir, but the skies are not quite bright enough for spring florals. So, I have been reaching for musks in the meantime — white or Egyptian musk oils, Prada IdI, Chanel 19 edt.

  15. In Dallas, the temperature can change 30 or even 40 degrees in ONE day. Many challenges come along with those extremes. I was just given a sample of the new Cartier La Panthere EDT, a lighter, fresher version of the original. It’s very feminine, clean but with depth and beauty, and perfect for this changeable weather. I’ve also found Chanel 1932 to be good for changing weather. Sometimes I just go with a Spring or Summer scent, because, we can hope, right?

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