Spring! Finally. It isn't summer, but it's almost summer, and if, like me, you detest the cold, that's very nearly the best thing about it. The absolute best thing, of course, is the flowers. My list is heavily weighted towards the "pretty floral" fragrance category, and it's also heavily weighted towards niche, and expensive. Sorry, it just worked out that way. Hopefully, my fellow bloggers did a better job on the diversity front: see Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Perfume Posse and Perfume Smellin’ Things for more top 10 lists. Meantime, here's mine:
CB I Hate Perfume Black March: the smell of spring, and the perfect thing to wear on a warm, rainy April day, although there's something about it that can tend towards the melancholy. If you can't afford it, you can make do with Demeter Dirt — someone called Black March the high def version of Dirt, and that's apt. For an entirely different take on springtime melancholy, there's always Guerlain Après L’Ondée.
Christian Dior Diorissimo: what is spring without lily of the valley? And what's the point of wearing a lily of the valley other than Diorissimo? Even if you disagree with me (and I'm sure many of you do) don't forget that tomorrow is May Day. Wear your muguet of choice. I listed a few other options in Tuesday's review of Longwood Gardens Always in Bloom.
Etro Shaal Nur: an old favorite that I tend to forget about — when you have too much perfume, sometimes the old favorites sit unloved in the back of the cabinet. Shaal Nur is worth remembering — you can wear it any time, but the combination of bright and warm notes make it an ideal incense for spring. If you don't like Shaal Nur but want something else spring-like that fits the same bright + warm slot, try Guerlain Shalimar Light. If those are both too feminine for you (although really, I think a man could wear either) you need some Crown Eau de Russe or Institut Très Bien Cologne à la Russe, but both of them are sadly discontinued — can anyone think of an equivalent that's still on the market?
L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons: when I reviewed La Chasse, I called it "the classic, ethereal spring-time white floral, very fresh and girly — a white floral even a white floral hater could love". But on days when you're not feeling so fresh and girly, reach for the opposite-end-of-the-spectrum Timbuktu, instead — it wears beautifully in spring weather too.
Diptyque Olène: nobody talks about Olène these days, does anyone still wear it? Like La Chasse, Olène is all about white flowers, but it's not what I'd call ethereal, fresh or girly — it's a big statement white floral, and I wear it in spring because that's about the only time of year I find it really wearable.
Frederic Malle En Passant: lilacs by Olivia Giacobetti. Enough said. If you hate it, you could try the fresher After My Own Heart by Ineke. If you hate that too, tell us what lilac you do like. If you don't like lilac at all, I can't help you.
LesNez The Unicorn Spell: You need a perfect spring violet too, right? The Unicorn Spell is just what the doctor ordered — a little chilly, a little green, an excellent violet for in-between weather. Angie included Comme des Garçons + Stephen Jones in her Top 10 last year, and it's another wonderful option for violet. If you need a more reasonably priced (and easier to come by) violet, try the new Balenciaga Paris.
Annick Goutal Folavril: I suppose Petite Cherie is the quintessential spring fragrance from Annick Goutal, but I like the quirky Folavril (mango, tomato leaf, jasmine) better.
Guerlain Cologne du 68: I complained after I bought it that it was charming but not necessary, and that it cost too much for what it was. I still say it's charming but not necessary and it costs too much, but it sure is handy — it works in virtually any situation, and has enough depth to function in spring the same way that Eau de Guerlain does in summer: what to wear when you don't want to think about what to wear.
Le Labo Gaiac 10: sadly, spring in my neck of the woods is not all sunshine and tulips. Much of this month was rainy and cold, and if the winter things hadn't already been packed away I'd probably have stayed in turtlenecks. Still, it didn't really feel like winter, and heavy winter fragrances don't appeal in April. Gaiac 10 is the (admittedly expensive and hard-to-find) antidote — dry woods, citrus, a bit of green, nothing more or less than what is needed.
As always, feel free to include your top 10 fragrances for spring in the comments!