Monday, 18 May 2015

Goldfish, Rice And Musky Teleporters - Perfume Recommendations For A Sunny Day

I’ve never fully bought into the idea that summer calls for fresh scents and winter for heavy ones. Having said that, I do concede that there is a very particular pleasure to be derived from covering one’s skin with a squirt of lemon or blood orange or tangerine on a day when the sun causes the air itself to ripple with heat. The next time a day like that comes along (those of us in the UK are not holding our breath), I shall certainly consider hunting out one of these buoyant scents from my collection...

Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca by Mathilde Laurent (Guerlain)
This is, without any question, the one I’d reach for first. A zippy, electric fusion of grass with mint, it cuts through the heat with a wink and a smile. But just when you think it’s going to descend into ‘freshness’ cliches, it introduces a compelling burst of bubble-gum sweetness. A true original.

Cologne Bigarade by Jean-Claude Ellena (Frederic Malle)
Few people handle citrus notes as well as Ellena, and few of his compositions are as effervescent as this one. Take a sniff… and marvel as thousands of oranges appear before your eyes, oozing sweet, sunny juice, filling the air with life. Gorgeous work.

Eau Dynamisante by Jacques Courtin (Clarins)
Unfairly overlooked by many critics, Eau Dynamisante remains a sparkling citrus chypre, crisp and efficient at the top, mossy and authoritative in the base. What’s more, the folks at Clarins insist its herbal facets are good for us… so who are we to argue?

Eau De Mandarine Ambrée by Jean-Claude Ellena (Hermes)
It’s Ellena again, this time in sweeter mode. If Cologne Bigarade is an explosion of fruit, Mandarine Ambrée sees those same fruit lazing on the grass, content to let the sun lull them into a satisfied slumber. A scent that is the very definition of laid back.

Fleur De Portofino (Tom Ford)
White florals are rarely placed within cologne structures, but in this intriguing new release, jasmine is linked with citrus fruit and herbs to evoke a twilight stroll along the Neapolitan coast. Sensuous and appealing without ever becoming oppressive.

Schwieger’s work never fails to bring a smile to my face and his cologne-style composition for ELDO is one of his most humorous. Stirring an extraordinary steamed rice accord into a dish of coconut, lemongrass and cardamom, it cooks up the most wonderfully weird delight. A must try.

02 Owari by Pierre-Constantin Gueros and Kevin Vespoor (Odin)
Another example of those mesmerising ‘holographic citrus’ fragrances, the little-known Owari presents a veritable basket of grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, mandarin and even, unexpectedly, green apple. It is as zesty - and as appealing - as it sounds.

Colonia Essenza by Jean-Claude Ellena and Bertrand Duchaufour (Acqua Di Parma)
More from Ellena! I did say he’s good at this stuff. Here he’s paired with Duchaufour to produce a sophisticated take on the classic cologne, bracing and invigorating, but possessed of enough musks in the drydown to bring a sense of decorum to proceedings. Oh so suave.

In his Eaux range, Lutens has explored the cold, flinty aspects of incense, and Laine De Verre is perhaps his most successful effort yet. Otherworldly and inscrutable - not least because of the inclusion of a bizarre raspberry note - it’s a burst of refreshing stardust.

Eau De Cologne by Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake (Chanel)
Chanel’s Cologne may not push the genre into new territories, but with its ‘everything in the right place’ impeccability, it’s a classy delight. The citruses, the florals, the herbs, the woods and the musks all sing in harmony, like a thrum of eternal sunshine.

An astonishing, steamy, sci-fi inflected orange blossom, surrounded by gigantic lemons and even larger musks. It smells like it was made tomorrow… which is entirely appropriate, as it lasts well into the next day, and beyond!

Cédrat Enivrant by Ralf Schwieger (Atelier Cologne)
The exuberance of this composition fades a little bit too quickly, but while it lasts, it is tart enough to make you suck your cheeks and perform a more-than-passable impression of a goldfish... which is always a good thing.

Aqua Vitae by Francis Kurkdjian (Maison Francis Kurkdjian)
An elusive blend of woods, tea and dewy florals, Kurkdjian's 2013 creation is like a quiet greeting from a ghost you didn't even know you'd been missing. If you like your fresh scents subtle, this is the one to go for.

Cologne by Alberto Morillas (Thierry Mugler)
Bizarre, otherworldly and yet entirely comfortable, Morillas' innovative reinterpretation of the cologne structure took the requisite citruses and herbs and zapped them through a musky teleporter straight onto the other side of the next millennium. The result remains as compelling as ever.

Eau Sauvage Cologne by François Demachy (Christian Dior)
Brand new from Dior, this re-imagining of Edmond Roudnitska's classic Eau Sauvage (1966) employs a generous portion of mandarin to sweeten the top notes, whilst simultaneously defining their edges with grapefruit. It certainly isn't a replacement for the original, but as a lighter, less demanding younger brother, it has something to offer.



  1. hotlanta linda19 May 2015 at 15:53

    Thank you for remembering Clarins! We need some :-) :-) Andy`s Orange Star and Hadrien from AG around here...

    1. Linda, I'd never forget Clarins :-)

      Orange Star is another great choice!

  2. What a great list! I'm one of the people dividing scents according to seasons, so now is the right time for me to try out some new "summer scents". Some of the mentioned scents I already know and I find them from good to very good. The rest goes straight onto my "to try" list. Thank you for your recommendations. They are always very accurate.

    1. Neva, thank YOU so much reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. Which ones have gone on to your 'must try' list? Do let me know what you make of them :-)


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