Hand Me My Margarita

margarita.jpgIt´s hotter than Hades here right now à¢â‚¬” 96 degrees and humid, the sort of weather that reminds me why, until recently, the D.C. area was rumored to be a Hardship Post for the European diplomatic community. (It still could be, based solely on the food and the traffic.)

Here is a list of what I´m actually wearing in this infernal heat, as opposed to sampling, sniffing, trying, re-trying, considering, etc. These scents go on smoothly and don´t make me want to curl up and die in the general stink of summer in Washington:

Bvlgari Eau Perfumee Au The Blanc à¢â‚¬” In my opinion, this one is underrated. It´s kind of a lame tea scent, but it is not really about the tea; it´s about the artemisia (a.k.a. wormwood), that fabulous, odd plant smell. FYI this is what absinthe is made from. The Big Cheese loves this on me, which I find funny but also a bonus.

Malle En Passant à¢â‚¬” Someone (Colombina?) hates the lilac in this, and I admit lilac is not my favorite soliflore. This one has just enough of a metallic sharpness (what I think of as à¢â‚¬Å“wet fenceà¢â‚¬?) to redeem it in the heat. Sublime.

Novaya Zarya Carnation à¢â‚¬” Colombina the Wonderful Terrible sent me a big decant, knowing how much I love carnation. I could probably dump an entire bottle on and live. And for three bucks a bottle, why not?

Guerlain Vitalisant à¢â‚¬” Notice the conspicuous absence of many Guerlains on my list. I even had to scrub my beloved Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat off the other day, which is what happens when the temperature hits 95 à¢â‚¬¦ Vitalisant is crisp and citrusy cologne and doesn´t bite the hand that splashes it on.

Muelhens 4711 à¢â‚¬” I´ve been wearing this since my pre-air-conditioning teenage days. (Yeah, I had air-conditioning growing up in D.C. It was called opening the window and sleeping on the porch.) Objectively I can´t swear that it´s a great scent, and probably part of my love is just nostalgia. But $14 gets an enormous bottle at your local TJ Maxx/Marshalls. I keep mine in the fridge. My first cologne love.

Guerlain Apres L´Ondee EDT. I am still waiting for the season/occasion/mood when this doesn´t work for me. My most consistently perfect scent, in that I have never put it on and thought: oh, I´ve made a mistake.

Floris Summer Limes. Limes. End of story. So tart it makes my mouth water when I apply it. Lasts 20 minutes. Reapply. (NOTE: I am NOT referring to Floris Limes, which is a fruity/floral I recall not liking.  You are looking for SUMMER Limes.)

L´Artisan Passage d´Enfer. I know. It Seems So Wrong. I wound up spraying this on accidentally right before leaving the house and decided I´d just suffer through it. It did the oddest thing: that buoyant incense I love so much spring, fall and winter morphed in the heat into something à¢â‚¬¦ woodier. And still buoyant. I reapplied in fear and curiosity and it did the same thing. Summer incense; who knew?

What works for you in the heat?

margarita image: www.caribbean-coolers.com

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Oooh late to the party, but I loved some of the suggestions. Here are a few that I love for unbearably hot weather:

    Annick Goutal: Eau d’Hadrien & Mandragore. Both are perfect light citrusy fragrances to cut the heat. They also smell great spritzed on together.

    Dior: I bought a ltd. edition EDT they had out a couple of years ago called “Energizing”. It’s a really nice light grassy green scent with a touch of citrus.

    L’Artisan: Tea Pour un Ete – perfect just like its name. A nice blend of soft jasmine, citrus and green tea.

    As you can see I really bust out the citrus when the heat is on. Wish I hadn’t heard about the now discontinued Summer Limes! It sounds divine 🙂

  • Katie says:

    Oh gawd. I hope for something good, not something you thought was awwwwwful.:)>-

  • March says:

    Katie — thanks. I’ve been looking for Summer Limes for someone else, and it seems to have vanished. eBay decant is the only choice I could find … let me know if you discover a bottle!

    No, hadn’t tried the Artemisia. I love that weird green smell. PS You’re in the candy tomorrow.

  • Katie says:

    That Carnation really was such a fun nice scent. I am going to just have to buy it I think. HAVE TO. What a great discovery that one was for us all.

    I suddenly realized I’ve never tried the Summer Limes. I think I had it mixed up with another of their citruses (probably a plain “Lime” like you mention) that I didn’t care for and never gave it a second glance. I need to stalk out my TJ Maxx, sometimes they have Floris stuff on the extreme cheap. Of course with my luck, their Floris stock is usually stuff I already like and own, or stuff I’ve tried and hated.

    Have you tried Penhaligon’s Artemisia? It’s not my fave as a perfume, but I quite like the bath products.

  • March says:

    dinazad — another vote for MdeM. Okay, I’ll give it a whirl, even though It Seems So Wrong. I really like the rest of your list (I need to try Roma, I keep forgetting it, I think it’s potentially Me) I had NO IDEA about 4711 — thank you so much! I only think of it in local context, which is: what they keep at the old-time barbershops to slap on you. So I think of it as kind of downmarket, ya know? Or at least cliche. It’s nice to see it in a different light. I’ll stop apologizing for loving it, now. I’ve not been without a bottle in many, many years — I have a Big Summer one, and a small one for Winter Travel to Warm Places (hope springs eternal)

  • March says:

    Patch — FdeB?!?!? Okay, there must clearly be some sort of Alternative Approach to summer fragrances going on here among the masses … Energizing makes sense, though. I could use some of that in the evening, anyway.

  • March says:

    Carol — We looked at moving to the Vero Beach area at one point. We finally backed out. I hate winter, and consider myself a “summer lover,” but the Big Cheese and I ultimately decided that we couldn’t do without some period of cold. Besides, when would I wear my cold-weather frags?

  • dinazad says:

    Messe de Minuit is indeed the perfect summer incense! It does much better in the heat than in cooler weather IMHO…. L’Air du Desert? Hmmm…. have to try that! Vent Vert and Mugler Cologne are lovely when it’s hot, and one of my all-time summer favourites is Biagiotti Roma (another vastly underrated fragrance). As for 4711: I unashamedly proclaim it to be a great fragrance. Hey, in Europe, especially the German-speaking parts, when you say “cologne”, you mean 4711. (If it ain’t 4711, it’s “eau de cologne”). It can’t be mistaken for anything else and has held its own for ages. That’s what I call a classic!

  • patchamour says:

    I wore Shiseido Energizing to a little outdoor party last night — it was hot here but not suffocating. Somebody, I swear, was wearing Feminite du Bois, though I did not know these people well enough to go around sniffing them like a doggie! Actually, wouldn’t do that even with people I know well. And there was already a little doggie doing that at the party. The mosquitos were not drawn to Energizing. Aftelier Jasmine solid is also mostly orange, and might be nice. (The sample of Jasmine is one drop, or one small blob, I guess you’d say.) Gendarme works in the heat, too.

  • carol says:

    Ahhh, limes. But if Floris is d/c’ing Summer Limes, it’s best not to get attached, methinks.

    How I wish I had a fragrance recommendation to add to this thread rather than my own evil thoughts about the heat and humidity blanketing Central Florida. My list of perfumes to try gets larger every read, however…

    Now tell the pool boy to hand over a pitcher of those margaritas and no one will get hurt.

  • March says:

    Christina — wow, it’s really hard to find, isn’t it? Maybe discontinued?

    Here’s a link to the only eBay seller I found (5ml for $5)

    FYI I bought a larger decant awhile back from a different seller who’s no longer there, but this one looks legit. (FWIW I buy decants on eBay all the time and have never been burned.) I called my local NM, which had it this spring, and they don’t. Cue the music from Jaws…

  • Christina H. says:

    Hi March,
    After reading some of your comments previously for Summer Limes, I’ve searched high and low and this is becoming more difficult to find! Do you know of any shops that still might carry it? The online shop does not have this listed anymore.It sounds so perfect for this miserable weather. I totally agree that the traffic around the D.C. area can be a considered a hardship alone!

  • March says:

    Cait, I have this ridiculous mental pic of you up there, still bundled up in your… what was it called?!? That native muumuu-sleeping-bag thing? Chasing polar bears with icicles… there, how’s that for idiotic?:)

  • March says:

    Flora, that is so interesting — a second vote for Un Lys. I find the idea terrifying, but if you say so …

    Another fan of IdlF!!! It’s out of character for me but I love it. Sometime, try it layered with Passage d’Enfer, it is just heaven (I am not a big layer-er, in general, though.)

    I can see, in some weird way, how Datura Noir could work now. I think it smells awful on me, but wonderful on others.

  • March says:

    Lisa –yeah, all that tropical-colada stuff cracks me up. I mean, who could wear that NOW?!?

    Another Apres lover…. sigh. It is perfect.

  • March says:

    Susan — oh, don’t worry, I am SURE we can come up with a suggestion or ten for a cold weather fragrance…:”>

  • March says:

    Karen — Tyson’s Corner!! Oh, I can wax all nostalgic — we used to go out there on special occasions and eat at Evans Farm Inn… when I tell people it was nothing but woods and farmland, they look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Who could have imagined?

    I like your fragrance list.

  • cait says:

    I WISH it were hot here. Theoretically, if it were hot these are the ones I’d like:

    Yuzu Rouge
    AG Le Chevrefeuille
    Parfums de Nicolai Eau de Lude
    Balmain Vent Vert
    L’Artisan Premier Figuier

  • Flora says:

    Karen above has the right idea – I would wear Molinard Nirmala a LOT in the summer but my sister is averse to something in it – same with my William Owen Blue Lotus, which is PERFECT for summer but I can only wear it when she goes out of town.:((

    Right now I wear Mariella Burani Amuleti when it’s hot, or SL Un Lys, whose cold heart never warms no matter what, unless I layer with it, but I wear it “straight” when it’s hot. I can also get away with Rance’ Josephine or Ines de la Fressange if I will be in the office all day with A/C. If I am going somewhere where I don’t care what anyone thinks of my character. the SL Datura Noir comes out. :d

    I recently came into possession of miniatures of three TDC frags (THANKS MARLEN!!) and the Divine Bergamote and Osmanthus are just wonderful for hot days. The Osmanthus is seriously good perfume and would also be suitable for the office ,and it’s not as sweet as I thought it might be, it stays very close and quiet on the skin, a very calming perfume.

  • Lisa S says:

    Down here at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay I think we can give y’all up in DC a run for your money when it comes to stifling humidity. b-)

    And theese days? Eau Imperiale always works, Dry Incenses like L’Air du Desert Marocain, chilled floral waters in large plastic spritz bottles, anything with a bare nekked dry cedar drydown. But the “tropical and fun” vanillas and coconuts and island floral stuff….not a chance in this weather along with the ambers and orientals and foodies and big flowers; all saking a summer long siesta except for Un Lys which is proving to be quite lovely this summer…and I am 100% with you on Apres l’Ondee, durn near close to the platonic ideal of “perfumeness”.

  • susanlyall says:

    Although I am enjoying a cool sunny Sydney winter at present, we too have long hot humid summers. My staples are Diorissimo,in the
    Parfum or Esprit de Parfum,Floret EDT and body lotion, and OJ’s Frangipani. Frankly, I’m stuck for a new cold weather fragrance!!

  • Karen says:

    Lately I’ve been spraying on Oilily Papillion, Molinard Nirmala, Molinard Violette, Caron Fleurs de Rocaille, Guerlain Apres L’Ondee, and some lavender water I picked up in England about 21 years ago. The fragrance is still fine, as old as it is. I figure I bought it in the U.K, carried it to Iowa, moved it to Virginia, and again to another house in VA, so I better use it up! And sometimes I use Chanel No. 5, which might be too intense for summer, but I have a long commute so I figure it should wear off before I get to the office. If I’m wrong, please, dear readers, educate me!
    I don’t know if the diplomatic community considered Washington a hardship tour, but I do remember reading that the British embassy, until recently, considered Washington to be a “tropical” post, due to our less than delightful summers. I laughed at March’s description of summer nights in D.C. without air conditioning. Been there, done that. As a kid, we lived near Tyson’s Corner, VA, only it wasn’t built yet. I remember sweltering in that house! We had a big fan in the rear window of the center hall colonial and the fan-cooled breeze would come whoosing down the staircase. Unfortunately, it didn’t make a left and right and turn and sneak into the upper-level bedrooms! Did not live in a house with central air conditioning until I bought one 10 years ago.

  • March says:

    Justine — that Little Italy is really nice, but you’re right, the staying power is zilch. Also sometimes it’s a little soapy on me, which I don’t care for.

    Anna — I like the The Vert too, am always waffling between regular and Extreme. I live in the ‘burbs. I just feel like many restaurants here have an overly high opinion of their talents.

  • March says:

    ViNoir — No, really!! I know, I know, it seems so wrong. But it won’t kill you in the heat. It’s there, but not stifling. I’m still stunned.

    Victoria O — I think you would really like Summer Limes. It’s very simple, but I love its tartness.

    Ina — Cologne Blanche. That would be perfect, wouldn’t it? I think of Chicago as being breezy all the time, but maybe I’m wrong.

  • March says:

    Patty — lord, I miss that High Desert weather right about now… I should dig out my OY, I KNOW I have a decant around here somewheres…:d

    Greeneyes — great suggestions! Hey, amortize the cost of the Pink Musk into your fragrance expenses, which, by the way, are Necessities.

    Iris — I adore Sur Le Nil, but it’s just too … hot right now. Can’t wait for the temp to drop. Boy, I wish that TDC Bergamote smelled better on me.:(

  • March says:

    Judith — okay, some affirmation, then. I am not crazy! I dunno about the Floris Summer Limes — lemons are nice on me, not that weird lemon-Pledge thing, so it’s hard to say how the lime note would go.

    Marina — MdeM?!?!? 😮 You are funnin’ me.

    PS Working on your mods!!!! hee hee hee

  • March says:

    Elle — I added a note above — you want SUMMER Limes, hon, not just plain ol’ Floris Limes, which is a different scent.

    Avignon, huh? I’ll try it.

  • Anna says:

    Some of my favorites in the hot weather are Un Zest de Rose, Cristalle EdT, Bulgari The Vert, and Mimosa Pour Moi. I used to like the Bread Line in DC, but sometimes for good ethnic food you have to venture to the burbs.

  • Justine says:

    One I love in the heat, is Tommy Bahama Very Cool. It’s not sharp, not cloying, not too watery, not too anything. On me it manages to be soft, refreshing and light, but still there, hours later I’ll get a light whif and think, ummmm, lovely. Somehow, though I can’t bring myself to buy a FB. I keep thinking I need something fancier, more shi-shi. Clearly, I need to get over myself.

    Another I really love is Bond Little Italy. Refreshing, without too much lemon and no BO accord (citrus tends to go that way on me). Ironically enough, this IS a fancier, more boutique scent but it doesn’t last at all on me (I’ve timed it at 47 min. before there is absolutely no sign that I spritzed anything on at all) and so I haven’t bought a FB of this either.

  • Ina says:

    Honestly, it changes for me from year to year. We haven’t had the smoldering heat yet (knocks on wood), so I don’t know what I’d wear. Probably scents like Cologne Blanche and TDC Divine Bergamote. Haven’t tried incense in summer, so will have to do that. Another one that comes to mind is Andree Putman Preparation perfume. Stay cool! :d

  • Victoria O says:

    Ohhhh Summer Limes … I must seek this one out! The regular one was too masculine. What has been working for me so far this summer is PDN Eau D’Ete and Heeley Mint.

  • violetnoir says:

    Passage in the summer heat and humidity, March? No way! I would think it would be stifling. I’m afraid to try it, but maybe I will.


  • IrisLA says:

    My super-hot weather staples: THC Divine Bergamote, Hermes Jardin sur le Nil, and Gucci Envy Me. I agree that Apres L’Ondee works all year. Its beauty is seasonless.

  • greeneyes says:

    Victoria (Victoria’s Own) sent me a sample of Apres L’Ondee, and I have worn that several times. Holds up well to Atlanta heat! My other “hot” favorites have been Laura Tonatto Iss, Pecksniff’s Green Chypre, and–no joke–Jovan Pink Musk. I read Katie’s review of it and went to the drugstore to buy a bottle…a very fresh pink I can keep reapplying throughout the day. And finally, what I’m sampling today, Acqua di Biella Janca, might be another one.

    I hope my husband won’t mind the second mortgage we’ll have to take out on the house so I can feed my new addiction! 😉

  • Patty says:

    Osmanthe Yunnan and the Bvlgari au blanc too, little Eva and Soleil de Capri and.. oh, hell, my spritzing habits having changed that much. Really hot days I go to the ones above, but it’s Colorado, high desert, no humidity, just not a problem /ducking

  • I will say it loud and proud, yes, that’s me. I am the lilac hater and the En Passant hater.

    Now hand me one of your Margaritas, PLEASE!

    (BTW, Messe de Minuit works in heat just as well as Passage. This might seem even more wrong to you, but it really does work wonderfully well)

  • March says:

    Sariah — Don’t GET me started on the crappy food here. WTF?!?? — all the money and international aspect, you’d think the food would be better. Santa Fe was full of excellent small restaurants run by guys named Steve, who had a passion for food and wanted to live someplace cool. After 3 or 5 years they’d move away to a real city and win a James Beard award. We just had a meal here that I could have traded, cost-wise, for a bottle of L’Artisan Oranger, and it was … so mediocre.

  • Judith says:

    Seems so wrong? Actually, I wear Passage d’Enfer primarily in the summer. As you said, it seems to blossom in the heat. Love it! Summer limes, huh? I don’t know. . . I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with lemon scents, lately; wonder if that would be the case with limes, too? Yay for the lovely Russian carnation!

  • Elle says:

    D.C. summers truly are desperately hot. I went there for the first time after having lived in Central America and could not convince people that the D.C. heat was far worse than anything I’d previously experienced. The air just doesn’t move. Must try Floris Limes and I’m a big fan of incense as a cooling summer scent category (cool, dark Gothic stone churches). Love Passage d’Enfer in summer, but also regularly wear CdG Zagorsk and Avignon.

  • sariah says:

    AA anisia bella is perfect for “infernal heat” – super refreshing and minty with a kick. LOTS of anis so you have to love it.

    What is wrong with the food in DC? I’ve already learned to hate the giant pretzels – is that an East Coast thing or just here?