Shoulder season: Winter edging into spring

shoulder seasonWinter is still technically on the books and on the calendar (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), although here in the American South, we’ve had a week or more of quite warm temps. In fact, Tuesday the high here is predicted to be in the 77-82 F degree range. But I know that Mother Nature may not quite be through with us yet, as the month of March has shown in years past. In the meantime, 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 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.

During the day, I’m opting for moderate fragrances such as Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot, Guerlain’s Lys Soleia and Robert Piguet’s Gardenia. (But on Tuesday I may be spritzing some Annick Goutal Nuits d’Hadrien or something else crisp and refreshing, depending on how closely we flirt with 80 degrees.) Cool-ish nights have me reaching for MDCI’s Les Indes Galantes, MFK Ciel de Gum and the two Parfumerie Generale faves I mentioned last week, Indochine and Aomassai; lovely and comforting all, without being too heavy.

So what are you wearing this shoulder season? Are you still enjoying your warm, cuddly babies or are you reaching for something crisper, more green, floral or hopeful? Or a mix of both? Or vice-versa, as the case may be?

Illustration borrowed from Gillette
Baptist Church

  • Ann says:

    Thanks, everyone, for all your great comments. Sorry I wasn’t able to reply on Monday but our computer monitor went on the fritz and it took a while to fix. If I knew then what I know now, I would have become a computer whiz, ha!

  • Sarah says:

    I too adore winter. We’ve had about 6 days of it this year. Grumpy face. Trying KilianBamboo. Eh. Tomorrow some Poivre Piquant to grudgingly welcome Summer? Spring? A snow storm? My poor flowers are beyond confused. Have a beautiful week Ann.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    I am in the distinct minority of people who love winter and cold weather, so I am scrambling to wear some of my cuddlier frags: Tea for Two, Cimabue, etc. before the weather turns warm. We still have many cool nights ahead of us here in New England.

  • LaDona says:

    I went to Lush in Pasadena over the weekend, and the lovely manager there, Jorje, let me have a wee sample of his liquid Breath of God. I put that on this morning…and I’ve been wrist-sniffing all darned day. It’s not my usual ambery-incensey power frag….but lovely nonetheless. Very nice in the warmth today. All they have at that store in the solid…he tells me some California law or other is keeping the perfume out of the state. I may riot.

  • maggiecat says:

    My perfume selections have been well-nigh schizophrenic here in North Texas, which matches the weather perfectly. I’m having fun with my Juliette Has a Gun sample set and have found several I love – Anyway, Romantina, and (swoon) Lady Vengeance. All make great bridge scents, and I can see them going happily into the warmer months.
    And I think we need to organize a field trip to Moscow to get bottles of Ciel de Gum. Any lottery winners reading here?

    • Peppermoon says:

      Oh my, if I won the lottery. I’d go on a perfume tour of the world. I can dream….

  • Gwenyth says:

    “Shoulder Season” — excellent way to describe the changeable weather of Spring.
    My solution to the cool/warm temperatures is to combine fragrances to capitalize on the mixed messages Mother Nature is giving us.
    Yesterday I wore L’Artisan Skin on Skin on my arms and Elie Saab EDP on my throat/neck.
    Today I’m wearing Guerlain Champs Elysses on my arms and Barbara Bui on my throat/neck.
    It’s these combinations of leather – incense – etc., along with lighter, more floral scents which give me a very interesting synergy. The deeper, more “Autumnal” scents swirl along with the more “Spring-like” scents. It works for me!

  • HeidiC says:

    Ciel de Gum!!! I’ve about used up my sample — damn you, Ann, for turning me onto it, when it’s nigh-impossible to get a bottle!

    Our weather is bouncing around, too, in the Upper Midwest — 50s this past week, but supposed to snow on Wednesday (hopefully it won’t stick?). I’ve been wearing out my sample of Aftelier’s Cuir de Gardenia, which seems like a nice bridge scent — also my vintage Jolie Madame. Both leathers tinged with something greener. But I’ve also found myself spritzing Songes and Seville a L’Aube, trying to will Spring in. Solstice on Saturday, right?

  • thegoddessrena says:

    The past few days I’ve been in spring acents–Rozy edp, Desarmant, and Sous Le Toit de Paris. The crocuses are up so therefore it’s spring.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Clothing and perfume choices take more time during the shoulder season, for sure. I take decants with me so that I can change my mind later. Sometimes I just wear samples in the morning on my wrists.

    This is the time of year I rummage around my collection. It’s fun! Two years ago I lost my mind for aldehydes! Last year it was rose. Thanks to the Swapmeet on NST last year I acquired a nice collection of rose decants. That’s what I’ve been dipping into lately.

    What I love most about spring is wearing perfume on bare arms again, smelling it wafting around in the air all around me.

  • Dina C. says:

    Yesterday, I wore the sunshiney 1932, and the tender suede Cuir d’Ange might be today’s scent. I’ve been enjoying green florals especially like Bas de Soie, No. 19, Paris Jardins Romantiques, or my year-rounders like Clair de Musc, Moschino L’eau Cheap and Chic, and 28 La Pausa. 🙂 We actually got up into the 80s, and I had to turn on the AC. Now, it’s cool and rainy in the 50s.

  • Deb says:

    I don’t really have bridging scents. There are a few I consider only cool weather and a few only for hot, but most are things I wear any season. Yesterday, was Parfums del Rae Amoureuse, simply because it promised of the summer to come and I hadn’t worn it in at least a year. It is such a beauty!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Hi Ann! It’s been unseasonably warm here in the Midwest too and I’m LOVING it…..had the patio furniture out over the weekend….but I am sure there will be more cold weather ahead. I just hope it’s not snow the end of April! I’ve been wearing L’Artisan Seville l’Aube which is usually a summer scent; it smells wonderful. Other bridging scents I like this time of year: Un Jardin En Mediterranee, Silences, Bottega Veneta, Cuir de Lacombe. Chypres and mild leather scents, basically.

  • Neva says:

    Unfortunately there’s no shoulder season here… Still wearing Dzing, Gucci Rush and my discontinued darling – Jil Sander III. BUT I’ve already bought a new bottle of Wrappings by Clinique which is my ultimate spring scent and it stands on the shelf happily laughing at me every day. Soon, very soon I’ll reach out for it 🙂

  • Hey there Ann,
    We haven’t reached shoulder season yet. It’s still 30+C (86+F) and I’m happily swanning around in citrus and BWFs, though Ubar and Bal a Versailles have also counter intuitively been getting good runs.
    Ashoka by Neela Vermiere is todays spritz because I had a Korres Fig cool bubble bath earlier. MMMMMM Perfect.
    Portia xxx

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’ve taken to wearing Theorema, no 19, vintage Mitsouko, Jicky and vintage Bal. I’m always up for Bal no matter what but Theorema is a wonderful bridge scent but I hate the fact that it’s discontinued. But no 19, no matter what the concentration, is wonderful.