Summer has hit the South of France with a vengeance. It’s stinking hot already and I live in a non air conditioned house so have become a dab hand with a bottle of Evian Facial Spray while standing in front of the fan. And no we don’t have a swimming pool. But it is glorious and people have flocked to the seaside, there’s music playing loudly every night and it feels alive and humming with excitement. There was a particularly grim death metal band playing outdoors recently but even that didn’t dim my enthusiasm. I know not everyone loves summer and here it is a truism that spring and autumn provide the magical moments, but summer has a certain appeal. It has always spelt freedom to me with the allure of possibilities, holidays and new places to discover.
In the South of France it’s all about kaftans, rosé, beach, sorbet, seafood, pastis, fragrant flowers and the only time I ever feel like having the occasional glass of Coca Cola. It’s also overpriced tat, rip off restaurant prices for usually very average food, bright orange bodies reminiscent of Magda from There’s Something About Mary, and enough bling to cause blindness. There’s a heatwave in France this week and next so I’m anticipating many visits to the beach in the early evening.
Now onto summer perfume choices. I’ve covered various price points as let’s face it the niche game can get very pricey. As I’ve said before, retail price in the perfume market does not necessarily equate to quality and sometimes a budget beauty will work for your particular needs just as well as something that is five times the cost. I’m also a fan of wearing both light and heavier scents in summer. Some heavier perfumes seem to work better in the summer months. As the clothes peel off we can actually smell the perfume on skin.
Also the aim with these recommendations is to not mention perfumes I’ve already written about. That is the challenge.
01 REM EDT : Reminiscence : Robertet in collaboration with Nino Amaddeo (owner of the brand) : 1996 : Salty Summer Beach
REM EDT is a summer perfume that evokes the South of France in an instant from French jewellery brand Reminiscence. It’s not a coconut beachy scent. It’s savoury and salty with a bit of sweetness to wrap it up in a wave of coolness. This is soothing on a hot, balmy day and works just as well in the evenings. It conjures salty, moist skin and beaches for miles on end.
02 Fleur de Figuier : Roger et Gallet : Francis Kurkdjian : 2013 : Sweet, Woody Fig
A sweet inexpensive fig treat, although it doesn’t seem to wear quite as sugary in summer. This is a good thing. There’s a woody, musky base and you won’t find a cheaper Francis Kurkdjian on the market. Bargain.
03 Neroli Blanc EDP : Au Pays de la Fleur D’Oranger : Jean – Claude Gigodot : 2006 : Uplifting Floral
A juicy sparkling neroli that sings like an angel and speaks to quality ingredients. Perfect for spritzing all through summer. Neroli Blanc Eau de Cologne and Neroli Blanc Intense from Au Pays de la Fleur D’Oranger are well worth checking out as well, although the EDP remains my favourite.
04 Terre d’Hermes Eau Très Fraiche : Hermes : Jean – Claude Ellena : 2014 : Refreshing Cool Citrus and Woods
Fresh, fresh, fresh. This is a non demanding light watery spray of freshness. It’s a lighter take on the classic Terre d’Hermes for summer. There’s orange and citrus up front and geranium has a strong presence here. And the obligatory woods make an appearance in the dry down. Yes this is marketed as a masculine, but it’s a refreshing perfume for everyone. Perfect for the current heatwave. Note that you will need to reapply frequently.
05 Monoi Eau des Vahinés : Yves Rocher : Nathalie Gracia – Cetto : 2012 : Brash Beach
This is monoi with a loud speaker. It’s bold, brash and conjures up a tropical garden beachside. It also has a price that really can’t be beat. Pick this one up on the Yves Rocher website for half price (they’re always having discounts / sales) and it will set you back 13 Euro.
06 Allure Homme Sport : Chanel : Jacques Polge : 2004 : Not Just For The Boys
Orange and neroli weave a summery spell along with waves of marine notes and musk. It’s not a fresh citrus scent by any means this one smells fully plumped up and is very diffusive. It leaves a lovely trail and wears equally as well on a man or a woman.
Heavier Scents (For Those That Don’t Want To Play By Summer Rules)
07 Iris Silver Mist : Serge Lutens : Maurice Roucel : 1994 : Calming Iris
Iris Silver Mist that love it or hate it perfume in the Serge Lutens collection is my comforting scent that I turn to when I need a helping hand. Unlike many others, I don’t find it a glacial Ice Queen or a difficult perfume; it just radiates serenity and sanctuary to my nose. I like to wear this all year round but in summer the sharp rooty aspects cut through the humidity and never fail to please. The touch of incense is of course a bonus and the complexity of this perfume as it waxes and wanes means there’s never a dull moment. I have this in the black spray and can attest that this is a great format for the perfume. The sprays are portable, sleek and fuss free.
08 Copal Azur : Aedes de Venustas : Bertrand Duchaufour : 2014 : Intriguing Incense
I have been wearing this gem of a perfume quite a bit lately. It is a gorgeous incense with a good sillage and a hint of watery cool. The name evokes summer too. Another incense winner from Bertrand Duchaufour.
09 Fou d’Absinthe : L’Artisan Parfumeur : Olivia Giacobetti : 2006 : Woody, Boozy and Fresh
Fou d’Absinthe feels icy cold and as the name infers it’s a little boozy. Imagine you’re walking in an ice cold pine forest. Just the thing for a dripping hot day.
10 Black Orchid : Tom Ford : Givaudan Perfumers : 2006 : Femme Fatale
Still one of Tom Ford‘s best scents and I dare say this is now a modern classic. Black Orchid is great on a night out when you want to be noticed. It’s a heady, rich scent with florals galore, a wonderful truffle note and a dash of chocolate to top it off. This is a modern bombshell of a scent.
Have you tried any of these perfumes? Do they work well for you in summer?
Let me know if you have any favourite summer scents ….