Regular readers will be aware that, for me, the summer usually involves travel. However, for various reasons, this year is shaping up to be rather different... which perhaps explains why I've recently been fixated on the idea of linking perfumes to specific holiday destinations. So, as a means of getting this mini-obsession out of my system and, hopefully, providing you with some inspiration, here are my 'scented city' recommendations for summer 2016.
Mumbai -- Salomé by Papillon
India’s most vibrant city is an onslaught of smells, sights and sounds. Liz Moores’ highly-praised Salomé is equally outgoing, combing leathers, balsams and woods with a massive dose of skin-hugging cumin. The two were made for each other.
Orlando -- La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain
The delights of Disney may not be to everyone’s taste, but sometimes it’s fun to give in to the child-like allure of sugar, giggles and fruity innocence. Guerlain’s cheeky bestseller – with its juxtaposition of black cherry with sweet notes – is a scented trip to a sparkling fairyland.
Reykjavik -- No. 22 by Chanel
The world-renowned No. 5 was supposedly inspired by the Northern Lights, so it makes sense to recommend No. 22 – which is essentially a super-crisp, super-transparent version of No. 5 – for a trip to the Blue Lagoon, with its bracing air and silken waters.
London -- London by Tom Ford
Few cities are more cosmopolitan than the UK’s capital, which may explain why Mr Ford’s winking tribute to the home of black cabs and Buckingham Palace is a mix of styles, melding lavender with cardamom and woods to create a border-breaking sense of eccentricity.
Cannes -- La Panthère by Cartier
Most people tend to think that a visit to the Cote d’Azur calls for a light, citrus scent. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean there’s no room along the Med for a slinky beast like this: a take-no-prisoners gardenia, concealing wicked animalics.
Rio De Janeiro -- Chaldée by Jean Patou
Thousands will be heading to Brazil this summer for the Olympics. But anyone aiming for Rio’s beaches – rather than its crowded stadiums – might like to indulge in a few sprays of this sensuous blend of balsams, based on a popular sun-tan oil from the early 20th century.
Geneva -- Une Rose Chyprée by Tauer Perfumes
The Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer must carry his country’s innate sophistication in his bones. It’s certainly on full display in this heart-breaking homage to the scents of yesteryear, complete with an elegant rose and a note-perfect rendition of dry mosses.
Tokyo -- Panorama by Olfactive Studio
The wasabi note in Panorama is so accurate – and so astonishingly wearable – that it makes this intriguing scent an obvious choice for a pairing with Japan’s capital. Horseradish has never been so seductive!
Sydney -- Opus X by Amouage
When the rest of the world is heating up, Australians gird their loins for their winter. Cue: wrapping up warm with this full-bodied, pulse-pounding statement on rose.
Cape Town -- Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela
The ideal South African climate would work well with this unassuming, deceptively simple debut from Martin Margiela. Mixing outdoorsy green notes with gentle soapy facets, it oozes sunshine from every pore.