The Monday Mail ~ help Ann find a new perfume


Ann, who says she is a long-time lurker at Now Smell This, wants some help finding her holy grail summer fragrance. Her perfume needs to stand up to Washington, DC's heat and humidity, and it has to be something that her husband will like (and he finds many perfumes too 'mature'). Ann has good access to perfume stores, and would prefer to sniff before buying, although she won't rule out internet shopping. She'd like to keep the cost to around $100. Here is what we know about Ann:

Ann is in her early 30s.

She says she is "an outdoorsy, preppy kind of girl, with a twist" and "the J. Crew girl with custom-made cowboy boots (the real kind, not the frou-frou pointy toed kind)".

In the summer, she spends a lot of time outdoors and by the ocean or bay.

Ann and her husband both love the scent of jasmine, the ocean and citrus. She wants her summer perfume to be fresher and greener than anything in her current rotation, which includes Hermès Eau des Merveilles (which she adores in cooler weather), Estee Lauder Sensuous (her comfy cozy winter scent), Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang (another love), Prada L’Eau Ambrée (soft and soapy, and she likes that), Kai (a lot of flower, sometimes good, sometimes not), Burberry Brit (nice but not exciting), and Calvin Klein Euphoria (just so-so...a bit generic).

According to Ann, the only scent she hates is Davidoff Cool Water.

What say you?

Note: top image is Letterbox [cropped] by Roby Ferrari at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. ashleyron91181 says:

    How about The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit? Its jasmine and AMAZING in the summer heat but it has that little edge that it looks like you like in your amber choices. It has a warmth but I find it to definitely be a summer scent.

  2. sayitisntso says:

    Great citruses to consider:

    Jo Malone’s Lime Basil & Mandarin
    Fresh’s Citron de Vigne
    Guerlain’s Eau de Guerlain (fleeting in terms of its lasting power but it’s beautiful while it hangs around)
    Annick Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien

    A lovely citrus floral with jasmine and salty ocean air (haven’t seen it in stores but it’s readily available online) is Gianfranco Ferre’s Bergamotto Marino; it’s beautiful and inexpensive.

    • abirae says:

      I love Hadrien, but lately every bottle I’ve sniffed has been “off”. Like, a skunky, corked wine smell. I’ve noticed the same thing with Acqua di Parma.

  3. Isa says:

    I suggest one of my latest discoveries: Extract of Limes by Penhaligon’s.
    It is oh, so juicy, intense and refreshing. Simply delicious.

    • abirae says:

      Yum! That is a delicious lime! It straddles the roundness and sharpness of lime nicely. Color me vulgar, but I also enjoy Bath and Body Work’s Bigelow Lemon Series as a well balanced citrus cheap thrill.

      • Lucy says:

        I found the CO Bigelow Lemon & Orange Blossom EDP in the 50% off bin at Bath and Body Works last weekend. It’s surprisingly quite nice. The only problem I have is that it doesn’t last very long, but at $17.25 for a 3.4 oz. bottle I can afford to apply several times a day if I like.

        I’ve also been layering it over Infusion d’Iris to give it more oomph and lasting power. It’s very refreshing with this sticky, melting weather we’ve been having.

  4. ScentRed says:

    The first thing that comes to mind is Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss which gets you jasmine and green. Other suggestions that are more about the green than the jasmine:

    AG Eau de Sud
    Balmain de Balmain
    Cristalle Eau Vert
    Eau de Cartier Concentree

    And my current hot weather crush that hits on green and citrus (tart/bitter orange): Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentree

  5. Owen says:

    ooh I hate Davidoff fragrances too

    and I don’t know if Ann is looking for a special edition summer fragrance or a normal one.

    CK one summer is nice and cirtusy, but doesn’t last long
    Estee Lauder mediterranean
    Jo Malone have a fragrance with jasmine in but I don’t know the name, it will be “jasmine & some thing else”

    the perfect summer scent I think is Escada Ocean Lounge or Moon Sparkle (ocean lounge lasts about an hour which is a shame but moon sparkle has more staying power). I also think Escada have brought new perfumes out this year but I’m not sure.

    just go for Lavin Eclat D’Arpege anyway, everyone loves it.
    they even brought a summer version out a bit ago, it’s hard to get hold of though.

    • Owen says:

      moonsparkle has got jasmine listed in the notes

    • abirae says:

      I love moon sparkle! On my skin, it works better in cooler weather. In the New York summer heat, it makes me feel like Violet Beauregarde transformed into a giant blueberry.

  6. Dixie says:

    Escale a Pondichery might be a nice summer fragrance.
    Sublime Balkiss by The Different Company-citrus with an edge
    Hermes Jardin Sur le Nil is great for summer.
    I agree with the Jasmine White Moss and Cristalle au Verte suggestions above too!

    • Suzanne941 says:

      Enthusiastic seconds on the Sublime Balkiss and Jardin sur le Nil! They’re my summer faves, and I live in Florida and travel to lovely DC for work! Ann, I’m sure you go the Nordstrom’s at Pentagon City, a great sniffing spot….sigh. Happy hunting!

      • abirae says:

        Thirding Sur le Nil and Sublime Balkis.

        Le Nil is a very green mango, that reminds me of a fresh Thai salad. Delicious, tart and very green.

        Balkis is a sweet jammy blackberry rose that somehow manages to be light and uplifting (perhaps there’s tea and bergamot in there?). It’s a little silly and I like it very much.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Fourthing Un Jardin Sur le Nil. Also, for good, cheap fun you could try Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange. An affordable, pretty jasmine is Bulgari Voile de Jasmin, and L’Artisan The Pour un Ete is a nice, light summery jasmine.

          • AnnS says:

            Fifth on Jardin sur le Nil…. one of my fav summertime frags – more substantial than a cologne, but smells nice and light. It has lots of light citrus and soft floral woods, etc. Great stuff.

  7. dollydagger says:

    This may sound stupid, but try Anais Anais. It’s definitely not mature! :) It’s a not very complex but pretty floral that great for summer. I picked up a 30 ml bottle at Marshall’s for $17 because I remember loving this when I was a young thing and it’s still quite nice. But I wouldn’t wear it anytime but summer.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      That does not sound stupid at all– I think Anais Anais is beautiful. Nice suggestion.

      • AnnS says:

        How about Chanel Bel Respiro, which I think it kind of in the same ballpark as Anais Anais? But much more $$$

  8. mals86 says:

    Given Ann’s love for jasmine and the ocean, how about Bobbi Brown Beach, or Bond No. 9 Fire Island? (The Bond might be a bit out of the price range, but a decant might do.) Or a light citrusy jasmine like Hanae Mori Haute Couture, a fizzy green jasmine happy thing I love – which is available at online discounters for a song.

    • DoryCubana says:

      Dear Ann,

      I love exactly the same fragrances as you. and I own them to.
      so here are my suggestions:

      I second FIRE ISLAND by Bond No. 9 – great, fresh, not too green, young
      Eau de Kenzo Indigo – again fresh, young, not usual
      TIRRENICO by Profumi del Forte – pricey, but unusual aquatic.
      EAU DE PAMPLEMOUSSE ROSE by HERMES – ( i see u like Hermes) citrusy but not the bathroom cleaner lemon like some of the hesperidic frags other readers suggested.
      DZING or ANANAS FIZZ by L’Artisan Parfumeur – citrusy, but with a twist, young, definitely not mature.
      EAU RADIEUSE by Humieck and Graef – spritzy, fresh
      AQUA UNIVERSALIS by Francis Kurkidjan – sparkling. light, showery
      AQUA DI SALE by PROFUMUM di Roma – salty, aquatic, sea like

      JO MALONE has poor lasting power, but costs a lot.,
      Annnick Goutal Mandragore – rotten cistruses and over priced.
      Le Labo – flat, one dimensional scents, given your likes, I don’t think you’ll like any of the ones others suggested.
      Michael Kors Island – poor lasting power.

      Do tell us all which ones you acually likes or could find to test!

      love from your scent twin

      • bureto says:

        One more vore for Eau de Pamplemousse Rose.. Also, repeating again, any of the Hermes Jardins (mostly Sur le Nil, but Apres La Mousson will work too).

  9. maggiecat says:

    Le Labo Jasmin 17 is a lovely jasmine/neroli scent – pricey, but there are decants! Guerlain’s Tokoyo – also pricey, but a nice jasmine tea, very light and fresh. And I second the Cristalle Eau Verte – it’s a wonderful summer scent!

  10. Nile Goddess says:

    I’d go with Tommy Hilfiger, his frags never mature and are young and preppy.

    • abirae says:

      I was just going to suggest Tommy Girl as my favorite “beach rose” scent. Rose, tea, bergamot, dry grasses and a hot breeze. I wish I could find my bottle right now!

  11. bergere says:

    Hi, Ann! Seconds on the Cristalle Eau Verte. I also think you could give a few L’Artisan parfumeur scents a try: L’Eau de l’artisan and The pour un ete are in the vein you’re looking for. Or Comme des garcons no. 2? A few more unusual ones to try might be Vert pivoine by Histoire des parfums, or D’Anjou by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. I also wonder if you’d like Bulgari Blu, which has a nifty ginger/citrusy vibe. My favorite jasmine-y citrus frags are Element of Surprise by Beth Terry, or Calvin Klein Truth. Have fun searching!

    • Alyssa says:

      Big second on L’Artisan The Pour Une Ete! Green tea jasmine with a slice of lemon. Sounds exactly like what you’re looking for…

      While you’re trying things, though, why not give Lutens A La Nuit a spritz? I avoided it for a long time since people describe it as “death by jasmine,” but I find that after the initial overwhelm, it’s actually quite wearable–a true, jasmine-on-the-vine scent.

    • AnnE says:

      Another big thumbs up for the L’Artisans! They’re both great in the heat! hmmm, I wonder how those two would layer together? time to test!

  12. k-scott says:

    L’Artisan Parfumeur The Pour un Ete is the first scent that I thought of too, because it’s my favorite jasmine scent. However, I’d also second the nominations for Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl (preppy, young & fresh) and Bond No. 9 Fire Island (great beachy jasmine).

  13. glrsims says:

    It doesn’t have jasmine, but in every other way Dior’s Escale a Portofino strikes me as perfect. Definitely bright and citrusy and just can’t be beat for combating summer heat and humidity. It’s also remarkable long lasting for a citrus scent. She should be able to find it in higher end department stores in her area to sample first (which, by the way, is a great idea! Wish I’d remembered it before all those unwise purchases!)

    • maggiecat says:

      I thought of this one too, actually since it is sucha great summer scent. I wore it while in the DC area last summer and it was perfect!

    • DoryCubana says:

      I second ESCALE A PORTOFINO! Given her preferences, this is more suitable then Escale a Pondichery

  14. abirae says:

    CB I Hate Perfume Russian Caravan is one of my favorite citrus tea scents of all time. It’s dry, bright with bergamot and uplifting – it reminds me of crisp white shirts more than Russian Caravans.

    Almost everything by The Different Company is light, fresh and wonderful. I particularly like Sens et Bois, Charmes et Feuilles and Ailleurs et Fleurs as unusual variations on a green herbal theme that smell like the forest at different times of day, and Sublime Balkis is great jammy rose fun.

    For a floral, Joy is a classic that is still spry and youthful. La Rose De Rosine makes wonderfully bright rose based scents – Zeste du Rose is a glowing rose citrus.

    For citrus: Chanel’s Crystalle eau Vert and Allure pour Homme Edition Blanche have wonderful sparkling citrus top notes, and Guerlain Imperiale, with it’s shimmering citron-rosemary is one of my all time favorites.

    • Blimunda says:

      Another CB I Hate Perfume that might suit, is Mr Hulot’s Holiday. It smells like a beach and ocean simultaneously. It’s also extremely fun and unusual because it is so experimental and not a typical ‘perfume’ scent.

    • DoryCubana says:

      Of all the Guerlains, more usitable would be
      COLOGNE du 68 – well under 100 dollars
      Guerlain por homme – the so called “mojito” one!

  15. jirish says:

    Like many others here, I also think The Pour Un Ete is a great summer jasmine. For something green, I’d suggest Miller et Bertaux No. 3, Green, Green, Green and Green. It’s a bit pricey right now, but perhaps a decant? I noticed recently that its price has gone up $30 (ouch!) but I love it so much that I know I’ll eventually be buying a refill bottle.

  16. Liza says:

    Hi Ann! A few I thought you might like to try are: L’Artisan’s La Haie Fleurie, Miller et Bertaux’s Green, green, green, and green, and Annick Goutal’s Ninfeo Mio.

  17. Addicted2Pretty says:

    For something that is summer fresh and green and not too overpowering I like Viktor & Rolfs Eau Mega. Whenever I wear it (as I am today) I get compliments (as I did today). Jo Malone’s White Jasmine Mint is very nice. Another option is Philosophy’s Amazing Grace.

  18. Cheryl says:

    I suggest Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey. It is fresh, fruity and floral without being a fresh fruity floral, if that makes sense. Contemporary. Not stuffy, but not fluffy.

  19. lemonprint says:

    perfect case for Element of Surprise by Creative Universe. I also wouldn’t rule out Un Jardin sur le Nil.

  20. HikerChickNH says:

    I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record…but Eau d’Ete by Parfums de Nicolai is a splendid, happy lime which can withstand just about any steaminess summer throws at you. Can be a bit on the short-lived side, but spritzing frequently is one of its joys. I wear it almost everyday when it gets hot here, and their 30 mL bottles are only $40! LesNez The Unicorn Spell is a magnificent green, although you should sample to make sure you get “green violet leaf” instead of “overcooked green bean.”

    And, if you’re feeling rich, I’ve been wearing the crickets out of Hermes Vanille Galante. Decants are always an option…

    Wholeheartedly support rec’s for Sur le Nil, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, and The Pour Un Ete!

    • abirae says:

      Goodness, I am dieing to try the Parfums de Nicolai!

    • sacre bleu says:

      cannot say enough about Eau d’Ete by PdN. . . simply excellent
      I also recommend Gucci Envy; I cannot get enough.

  21. Blimunda says:

    Guerlain’s Vetivers are very green and lovely.

    Also, Andy Tauer’s ‘Vetiver Dance’ is beautiful. So fresh and earthy and sporty.

  22. Aparatchick says:

    I’m seconding the Parfums de Nicolai Eau d’ete rec – Notes of jasmine, lime, grapefruit, blood orange, cinnamon, balsam, musk.
    It holds up beautifully in the Florida summer – it’s a go-to summer scent for me. The 100ml bottle can be had at Beauty Habit or Lucky Scent for $65.00

  23. AnnS says:

    Hi Ann!! I’ll second all the rec’s above for Zest de Rose, any of the Hermes line, and any Annick Goutal – especially Mandragore or Ninfeo Mio! I think you might like the following:

    Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit is a very soft and pretty jasmine with a nice warm drydown that is just a tad bit sweet. It is very easy to wear, elegant and pretty, but not stuffy.

    Jo Malone French Lime Blossom – lovely linden blossoms, lime and a soft floral drydown. Very pretty.

    Trish McEvoy Blackberry Musk – not offiensive fruit, slightly sweet warm blackberry with a soft musky drydown. Really pretty – my sister wears it all the time.

    Since you like the Prada eau Ambree, you should test the Infusion d’Iris if you haven’t already.

    Gianfranco Ferre’s “Ferre” from 2005 in the rectangle bottle – a lovely light green violets, iris, and warm musky drydown (I always get compliments when I wear it and it is practically impossible to offend anyone – very pretty stuff)

    Tom Ford Black Orchid Viole de Fleur – a beautiful soft greenish gardenia on top of a warm slightly sweet oriental drydown

    Estee Lauder PC Tuberose Gardenia – lovely tub-gardenia floral perfect for summer!

    L’Artisan Mimosa Pour Moi – a very soft green mimosa that is light as air and very pretty.

  24. Jill says:

    Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint might be up your alley. It’s one of my staple summer scents — fresh, green, jasmine tea, very light. I’m wearing it today, in fact!

  25. PekeFan says:

    “Sampaquita” by Ormonde Jayne – a little pricey though
    L’Artisan Parfumer “Nuit DeTuberose” is softly green
    I also suggest Eau D’Italie “Paestum Rose”. It isn’t jasmine but I find it to be a rosy and fresh fragrance that is great in warm weather.

  26. Dawnkana says:

    Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss. A neat salty jasmine scent. Reminds me a desolate beach on a cool day after all the tourists have left.

  27. perfumelaydee says:

    Le Labo Iris 39 and also Eau de Sisley 3 for a summer fragrance.

  28. Celestia says:

    Michael Kors Island (the original) is mm-mm beachy, warm driftwood in the drydown. I’ve never been to Cape Cod but it takes me there. It’s EDP so it has enough oomph for an oceany scent. L de Lolita Fleur de Corail and Estee Lauder Emerald Dream are two other choices to try.

  29. Millicent says:

    Going out on a limb here, but how about Jicky? Citrus-green with an edge, and definitely not too “mature,” despite its age. The EdT is refreshing in the heat and kind of a gateway scent drug down that rabbit hole discussed in another post…

  30. raluca says:

    Etro has great summer frags. Try Palais Jamais, for the full jasmine, tea and some citrus, or Relent, for a clean feeling – out from the shower on the balcony overlooking the sea at Amalfi.

  31. poppy field says:

    A cheap n’cheerful recent discover: Jasper Conran Woman – you can pick up boxed sets online for an absolute song so you could buy unsniffed and not feel guilty if you don’t like it – but I think you might!

    Notes are described as follows:

    Top Notes: French Lemon Verbena, Paraguay Petitgrain andSoft Ginger.

    Heart Notes: Kaffir Lime Leaf, Sensuous Ylang YlangFlowers and Geranium Bourbon.

    Base Notes: Seductive Vetiver, Treemoss, Soft Amber andpassionate Skin Musk.

    And in Perfumes: The Guide Tania Sanchez talks about it having a jasmine note – tbh not something I spotted but she gives it a 4 star review!

    I get a really bracing cologne hit – lovely big fizz of sparkling citrus and ginger that develops into a really grown-up, pared down scent. The imagery on the packaging to my mind doesn’t relate in the slightest to the scent – the bottle does a much better job – clean and minimalist in a good way.

    I bought this on a hot day when I had a huge craving to own a decent summery cologne and this really fits the bill. Go on, try it!

  32. lilredccc says:

    Another hearty recommendation for L’Artisan’s The Pour un Ete! Jo Malone’s White Jasmine and Mint is very similar, but L’Artisan’s is better executed…it’s one of the lightest, most refreshing fragrances out there.

  33. AStern says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I can’t wait to start sniffing! The Jasmine White Moss sounds right up my alley, but I will be sure to explore a range. I’m thrilled to get such great input- this is bound to be a fun adventure….. and possibly a slippery slope. :)

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