Welcome to the third edition of Mood Scent 4, where A Bottled Rose, I Scent You A Day, L’Esperessence and Megan In Sainte Maxime offer their choices on scent moods and occasions or various themes every two months. Rainy Day Perfumes and Wedding Guest Perfumes have been covered and now we’re featuring Mainstream Perfumes. I’ve actually been meaning to write more about mainstream fragrances as there are treasures to be found here, just as there is gold among niche and artisanal fragrances. Just because a perfume range is positioned as such does not guarantee that the perfume will in fact be qualitatively different from a mainstream scent at all. In many cases the worlds are merging. I’m liking what I’ve been discovering recently in the mainstream world and Stash (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a great example of a mainstream perfume that could easily pass for niche if it was positioned and marketed differently.
So today let’s kick off with five fragrant choices that are appropriate for the summer weather that is settling in with vengeance right now. Thees perfumes are all mainstream and one is even priced under 5 Euro.
Secrets d’Essences Néroli : Yves Rocher: Perfumer : Veronique Nyberg : 2013 : Notes : Bitter orange, petitgrain, neroli essence, orange blossom, musk
This is one of the better Yves Rocher perfumes I’ve tried along with Voile D’Ambre, Rose Absolue and Accord Chic. It’s a simple neroli with a hint of bitter orange, one of my favourite scents on the planet so I wear this scent rather liberally in the summer months. It is a pretty, restrained neroli that won’t turn heads as much as the more exuberant Neroli Portofino (Tom Ford). Néroli is a more shaded affair as the bitter orange, neroli and petitgrain quietly jostle with fluffy white musk clouds that add texture. Yves Rocher consistently have sales with 50% reductions, so just wait until that price goes down and then swoop online. They often have 5ml sizes available too.
Sun Eau Delicieuse Parfumante : Nuxe : 2016 : Notes : Petitgrain, sweet orange, tiare flower, coconut, musk, vanilla.
Nuxe is a French brand that I’m rather partial to and have bought a number of their products including the ubiquitous Huile Prodigieuse that wears better in winter in my opinion when you need a flash of beach to help banish seasonal affective disorder. Sun Eau Delicieuse Parfumante (SEDP) is labelled a fragrant water and provides a guide to its intensity. We’re not talking strength and potency here, it’s all about tropical refreshment with a radiance to boot. SEDP works well as a summer splash to provide a lovely beach feel that again won’t break the bank. Plus I know I’m probably in the minority but I really enjoy coconut in fragrance that many consider a rather cheap and tawdry addition but maybe I ate too much Edmond’s Cookbook coconut ice when I was young (sorry only New Zealander’s will probably get the reference).
Patchouli : Reminiscence : 1970 : Notes : Cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, french labdanum, tolu baslsam and white musk.
I discovered Patchouli a few years ago when we moved to France and have always liked smelling the scent on others but have only recently treated myself to a bottle. It’s made by French jewellery brand Reminscence that features the gutsy scent of patchouli wrapped up with sweet tonka and a 70’s shine. This may seem like more of a cuddly winter perfume but for me I like the effect in summer when so many heavier perfumes bloom beautifully in the heat.
It’s a perfume that will always remind me of my time in the South of France, along with the ubiquitous turquoise jewellery that the brand is known for, conjuring up that boho chic vibe that really only a few manage to pull off. This is a reasonably hearty patchouli that fades to a woody vanilla as. It’s good worn alone but it’s also used to great effect to plump up other fragrances with a hit of patchouli.
There are a number of versions of this scent now and Reminiscence have recently adopted a simpler look and banished the stars that featured on the bottles. They have widened the Patchouli range too. There’s now a Patchouli Blanc which is really not my thing. It’s the emaciated version with all of the wonderful earthy and camphorous parts of the patchouli plant phased out. The Elixir however is another story and is a stronger, more labdanum centric fragrance that I have my eye on.
Eau de Cologne Aux Essences Fraîches : Bien-être : Notes : Verveine, green lemon, thyme, rosemary, vetiver
I have written about these colognes before but there’s no reason not to mention them again. The Bien-Être colognes are a long standing French favourite and you will probably find a bottle in the cupboards of many older men and women. These colognes have been in production since 1962 starting with Eau de Cologne Naturelle. The range has expanded recently with new variants added to the line including this one.
The collection is designed for every day splash and go usage or you can pour a generous amount in the bath too. This particular scent is one of my favourites in the line and smells as you would imagine from the notes. Think refreshment with a capital R plus it’s a super bargain. It doesn’t last long but with bottles this gigantic (I have the smaller 250ml size) it’s not really an issue. Well worth seeking out if you’re in France and can be purchased at the supermarket for under 5 Euro.
Lust : Lush : Perfumer : Mark Constantine : 2010 : Notes : Jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla, sandalwood, rose
This British brand has traversed the world and has some great perfumes in the range. Lust in my opinion is one of them and it’s a joyous, extravagant perfume that goes wild in summer. This isn’t a subtle summer scent by any means. I have the spray and the solid and find the solid to be more polite. Jasmine is the lead here and feels yellow and thick with the banana ylang playing a strong role in the composition. Think of flouresecent summer nights overloaded with the bright, indolic lure of jasmine.
What would you pick as your favourite mainstream scents for the summer months?
Images : Brand photos from the brand sites : Vintage French Riviera photos from Pinterest with Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon : Romy Schneider in the film La Piscine