Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2013

Having appropriated most American technologies, cultural tics and lifestyle choices, Canadians feel we know a lot about our neighbors (neighbours!1) to the south and we tend to be quite sensitive about a perceived lack of knowledge on the other end. Canadian comedian Rick Mercer, a national hero of sorts, came to prominence with a series of television clips called Talking to Americans, where he poked gentle fun at this relationship by interviewing ordinary Americans on the street — in addition to people like George W. Bush2, David Hasselhoff and a Harvard Professor of International Relations — and getting them to do silly things on camera: to congratulate Canucks on converting to a 24-hour clock (from a 20-hour one)3, to sign a petition trying to stop the planned polar bear slaughters in Toronto, or to sing along with a completely fabricated Canadian national anthem. Once, I had an encounter in Buffalo, NY that felt like a Mercer moment: I struck up a conversation with the gentleman beside me at the mall, who turned out to believe that Canadians did not experience summer. "But I live an hour or so away from here," I kept explaining to him. "We have summer! We have the same climate as you do!" I could not convince him. 

If you live in the southern U.S. — let alone in Australia, Southeast Asia or the Middle East— then you may not believe that people in Buffalo experience summer weather either. In truth, neither Buffalo nor Toronto (where I live, unmolested by polar bears) suffers from frequent Louisiana-level humidity or the week-long 100°F heat waves of Houston. Although I love classic citrus colognes and refreshing splashes, my perfume collection gravitates towards scents with enough heft to stand up to cooler temperatures. Still, we get our share of urban jungle here, normally from June until September, and though I've never done a Top 10 Summer Fragrances post before, I've written previously about my preferred remedies for when the heat is on (here and here). Below are ten more of my favorites for the swelter season; please comment with your own.

Parfums de Nicolaï Eau d'Été: I admit to owning and loving all the recent Nicolaï colognes: 2012's deliciously peachy L'Eau à la Folie, which Robin listed for summer last year, the tart freshness of L'Eau Mixte (grapefruit and blackcurrant) and L'Eau Chic's underrated geranium, crisp as cotton dried in the sun. (I look forward to Eau sOleil, too.) Yet, I think Eau d'Été remains my most worn summer fragrance. Like many wonderful, simple things, it must have been a puzzle to perfect: a big, clear burst of lime, that note rarely so sharp and true in perfumery, accompanied by a skin-soft blend of jasmine, clean musk and cinnamon.

Christian Dior Eau Fraîche de Dior: This is a repeat from Angela's Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2010, but I couldn't leave it off my list. In vintage form, from a houndstooth bottle, Eau Fraîche is simply the most breezily elegant fragrance ever. It is a classic citrus-chypre, with the rich, bitter oakmoss so sadly missing from today's scents apparent from the start. Besides relying for sweetness on two more of my favorite notes, mandarin and rosewood, it concludes with enough musk to startle the local pet population. Perfumer Edmond Roudnitska claimed he used his work on Eau Fraîche to inform Diorella, and both fragrances contribute robustly to the argument that Roudnitska was the master of smart sensuality in fragrance. Don't buy up my eBay bottles.

Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau

Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau: I warned you I like mandarin. Normally a sweet and obliging note, here it is nearly sinister with drama. Check out the print ad for this fragrance (just above), which admonishes us (in French): Beauty is that we do not expect. Is the model wearing orange stocking gloves? Are we supposed to believe she was climbing around a dystopian tidal swimming pool in those shoes? The image is a very good fit with the fragrance, which is a spiced, musky floral syrup, like a West Indian falernum cocktail or an evening dress version of Kenzo Ça Sent Beau — the sort of thing you should wear while reading Claire Messud's The Last Life or one of those Graham Greene novels set in a colonial outpost. 

Vero Profumo Mito: Ah, that singular and elusive bird, the interesting magnolia scent! Mito is a magical, natural-smelling green floral chypre, all waxy leaf and sunshine petals and moss as soft and cool as goose feathers.  

Gorilla Perfume at Lush B Scent: According to the Gorilla Perfumes website, this one was inspired by the memory of a long-ago crush a young Mark Constantine had on a French waitress, who smelled of the lemons in her good traditional cologne. Then, as often seems to happen in Constantine creation tales, lunch got involved: years later, while he was working on a cologne featuring lemon, grapefruit oil and rose, Mark apparently had some soup with fennel in it, which prompted him to add the sweet anisic note to B Scent. Very appetizing.      

Chanel Eau de Cologne: When Les Exclusifs launched, Robin praised this one as "lovely", but added "unless you need your Eau de Cologne to say “Chanel” on the label, I’m not sure you couldn't do as well for less." At the time, I was inclined to agree. Years passed, as I tramped around, smelling other brands, and I started to ask: yes, but where do you find such a great cologne for less? It did seem ridiculous that I had to pay boutique line prices for a simple pop of lemon and green neroli over suave musk — even in summer, was there not my beloved Cristalle, a properly serious Chanel fragrance, to rely on? Surely I could go elsewhere for cologne. Finally, Chanel came out with the 75 ml Exclusif bottles and I just bought the darn thing.

Monsieur Balmain: The lemon opening is sharp and piney, enough to set off alarm bells in the "Pledge"-phobic among you. The heart comes quickly, though, and is laced with vanilla and sandalwood, as refreshing as lemon sour cream gelato. Oy. Summer scents are making me hungry.

Guerlain Philtre d'Amour: A lovely, slightly raspy, free-as-air citrus-floral, Philtre d'Amour always seemed a bit out of place in the very serious Les Parisiennes line. (Also the splash "bee bottle" makes it quite easy for a toddler to empty the entire contents on the floor. Just sayin'.) It's cologne and it's not going to change the world, but, as is often the case with a Guerlain fragrance, it is better than it probably needed to be.

Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs: I've always liked perfumer Jacques Flori's fragrances for Etro and he has used a similar style here: lushly classical, not too showy, simply a big, sweet orange blossom-and-tuberose perfume, with the weight balanced just right. It's rather expensive and too, too pretty.     

CB I Hate Perfume In the Summer Kitchen: The neatest thing about Christopher Brosius' creations is that many of them move you to close your eyes. With peepers shut, In the Summer Kitchen calls to mind so vividly the clean, Old World second kitchen, sweet with fresh vegetables and outdoor breezes, that I have never, ever known and couldn't manage if it materialized. 

Find more summer lists at Bois de Jasmin :: Grain de Musc :: Perfume Posse

Note: top image is LandArt Engel Angel [cropped] by Nicola at flickr; some rights reserved.

1. We have not always stolen American spellings. 

2. Bush was at that time a presidential candidate.

3. Admittedly, Newfoundland, where Mercer was raised, does have its own weird time zone, which is a half-hour different from the rest of Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland is its own world, as any visitor there can confirm. I remember being taken aback, briefly, amid my horror and grief on the morning of 9/11, when a ticker tape on the American news program I was watching reported that flight groundings had stranded thousands of travelers in tiny Gander, New Finland. They were stuck in an imaginary Nordic country! And it probably felt like it!  ("New Finland" does turn out to be a very rural district on the Canadian prairie in Saskatchewan, above North Dakota, far, far away from Gander... but nobody ever got stranded there except for Finnish 19th-century pioneers.) 

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  1. sinnerman says:

    Monsieur Balmain + Cabotine = Match made in heaven !

    • Erin says:

      Sounds like an interesting combo! I will have to try that.

    • shirinalzebari says:

      Very nice combination but not for hot weather

  2. nozknoz says:

    Erin, you’ve just dashed my longstanding hopes that I could one day take refuge in Canada and wear my beloved winter perfumes all year! Kidding, of course, but Washington, DC’s combination of extreme heat and humidity, gooey sunscreen, arctic AC, increased skin sensitivity and the interaction of UV with some of my vintage perfume ingredients is pretty deadly. I usually give up on wearing perfume for most of the summer except for weekends at home. This summer, I look forward to trying some of your favs and catching up on Rick Mercer.

    • Erin says:

      Come visit anyway, NK :) Ten years ago August, my husband and I went on our “nerd honeymoon” in DC: toured the Smithsonian and monuments, stayed at the Watergate, etc. We loved it, but we’d been there five minutes before my husband had a skunk tail of sweat down the back of his shirt. I’ll always remember him saying “They built their nation’s capital on a swamp!” Hadn’t thought much about the photosensitivity of vintage frags in the summer – it’s a good point!

      I should point out that, while he does very sharp political satire, Mercer is universally described as a very nice guy, and despite the series being at the peak of its popularity, he stopped doing the Talking to Americans bits immediately after 9/11, out of respect for and solidarity with our friends. His show now is “The Rick Mercer Report” or just RMR and he’s famous for his “rants”. (One of my favorites is his “Bullying – It Gets Better” for Dan Savage’s campaign.)

      • nozknoz says:

        August in Foggy Bottom – you really know what I’m talking about! Well, at least Washington is less crowded in August, which is prime vacation time for the Congress and everyone else who can get away, and it’s usually slightly less intensely hot than July. With all the national museums, it’s an ideal place for a nerd vacation.

        I’m touched by Rick Mercer’s gesture after 9/11. I think I’ll enjoy his wit. I’m hoping to see some of Canada after I retire. By the way, one of my favorite blogs is by a Canadian – the Ouno Design blog – I’ve discovered many interesting things through that blog and the associated blog rolls.

        • Lindaloo says:

          If not sweltering Toronto, you could always check out Vancouver where we rarely hit 30 Celsius in summer (a balmy 86 Farenheit for you Americans) However, we still have enough sun for a “bergamot burn” as I call it — once is enough to learn not to put certain scents on exposed skin.

  3. Abyss says:

    Hilarious post, Erin, I really enjoyed it!
    I’m based in the North of England so summers are often disappointing plus my tastes also lean towards colder weather scents so I’m not a huge fan of citrus colognes but I do have a few summer favourites.

    So far, OJ Frangipani and AdP Magnolia Nobile come closest to my ideal summer floral.

    AG Mandragore Pourpre and Hermès Osmanthe Yunnan are my go-to light, unisex and unobtrusive alternatives to citrus colognes.

    Several of my purchases from the past 12 months (Marni, OJ Tiare and Diptyque Philosykos) will probably get a lot of wear this summer as well.

    • Erin says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! (I’m a bit worried that some will find it offensive, rather than funny. I always assure my American friends that a “Talking to Canadians” bit about Mexico or the Central American countries would be equally embarrasing…) And, oh, I love OJ Frangipani for summer (and all year round). I didn’t list it, because Robin did, in the 2007 list, I think. I thought about including Tiare (I have a travel spray set) and then sort of forgot to do so – I find it hits the same sort of sweet spot as Mito, just lovely.

  4. ringthing says:

    Love this post, so funny, and your list. L’eau Chic is my new summer scent and I just love it; also glad to see mention of my beloved Mauboussin Histoire d’Eau, which I feel is truly an underrated gem.

    • Erin says:

      So pleased to see L’Eau Chic gettin’ the love! It’s so crisp, both warm (the pepper and cloves) and cool (the mint) at the same time. And I agree that Histoire d’Eau is too seldom celebrated – it’s so cheap, too.

  5. Abyss says:

    Also, have you tried that new Hermés mandarin cologne? I tested it (and the narcissus one) briefly and the first impression was “quite nice”. I’m curious to know if anyone has given them a proper wearing and has any more in-depth thoughts?

    • Erin says:

      Oh, I KNEW these were going to come up!! I’ve been trying to hunt them down for weeks – they’re not out at the Hermes boutiques here yet. Denyse at Grain de musc has listed Eau de Narcisse Bleu, as I guessed she might, and I know Victoria at BdJ likes it, too, but I am definitely intrigued by both. Anybody about with some early impressions to compare to A’s?

  6. egabbert says:

    Yes, why are there not more good lime notes in perfumery? I recently fell in lust with Smell Bent Little Miss Panda, which has such a fun top note, just like lime popsicles. My other go-to lime is Oyedo, which I only wear when it’s really hot, because the mint in it actually feels cool and tingly on skin.

    Also glad you mentioned Monsieur Balmain, which I find to be underrated.

    • Erin says:

      I have always really liked Oyedo, but I found myself seldom wearing it. My poor Diptyques end up migrating to the back of the cupboard, I don’t know why. (Another good one for summer I seldom wear: Diptyque L’Eau de Tarocco.) I sold my Oyedo bottle a little while ago, along with some of the rest of my overflowing collection, and gave the money to charity – hopefully, it’s gone to a better home! I keep meaning to look into Smell Bent more, so perhaps I will start with LMP.

      • egabbert says:

        Yep, I’ve had a 5 ml decant which has lasted me 4+ years … I don’t wear it often but it hits the spot when I do!

        • Erin says:

          Yes, decants are the way to go with those types of fragrances!

    • odonata9 says:

      For an even more limey Smell Bent, try Blimey Limey! It is delicious. And my other favorite is Guerlain Herba Fresca for a minty lime.

      • egabbert says:

        Little Miss Panda was the first one I tried, definitely made me want to explore the line more.

    • nozknoz says:

      They’re not citrus scents, but I do like Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau and Olene in warm weather.

  7. ojaddicte says:

    Great and very funny post! I’m in TO too, but because the weather has been fulfilling the Buffalo man’s vision of Canadian weather this week, I’ve been cracking out the winter ‘fumes. My choices for summer include Bulgari L’eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, Diorissimo, Silences by Jacomo, and Chanel No. 19.

    • Erin says:

      When I started this post, it was 30 C / 85 F, but I must admit that if the Buffalo dude visited us today, he’d have all the Canadian igloo mythology confirmed! I love the Bvlgari, and actually my SOTD is Omnia (the original). Many of the Bvlgaris are a fine choice for summer – all the teas, and Pour Femme really works in the heat, too. And Chanel No. 19! Lots of nice summer Chanel choices besides the EdC…

      • hajusuuri says:

        I recently fell in love with Bvlgari Black. I wore it in last week’s heat (I HATE heat) and it kept me sane. The best part? It’s a cheap thrill :-)

  8. snorfer says:

    Erin, if you tire of humid Ontario summers, why not come visit Vancouver Island where the weather’s cooler? See the løveli lakes…

    Seriously, we get summertime out here too (and palm trees! – well, sago palms anyhow), and I’m low on summery scents, which is why I was so excited to see this piece. The problem hereabouts, as always, is range. So I was thrilled to see Chanel’s Eau de Cologne on your list, because guess which sample just arrived in the post yesterday <333

    (P.S. New Finland, eh? So obvious when you say it. Next to La Bra d'Or – home of the world's most expensive underwear.)

    • Erin says:

      I used to live in White Rock, BC and did an extended bike trip of Vancouver Island and then Galiano one summer as a young adult -heavenly! You can collect samples by mail, because your weather is worth any lack of quick access to perfume shops.

      La Bra d’Or – ha! Yes, pronunciation can create quite a bit of confusion. And Newfoundland dogs look rather Nordic, don’t they? I lived for a few years, on and off, in St. Andrews, New Brunswick — weirdly, the Canadian sister city of White Rock, just the other coast — and people used to fly into the Saint John, NB airport thinking they were arriving in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Reasonable enough mistake – but a 1055 km mistake.

  9. JolieFleurs says:

    I would also like to add that contrary to popular opinion, Southerners do in fact get winter. I am in Arkansas, and am in the exact same zone as Boston MA. Our winters are not as long, but we get snow, ice and dip below zero every winter. ;)

    Favorite summer perfume is one that I only discovered a few years ago, even though it is older than that; Bvlgari Au The Verte. LOVE it. And I get a lot of lime form it, even though it’s not listed.

    And since you mentioned September 11th, please allow me to thank you and your beautiful country for the way the fine folks in Newfoundland opened their homes to my countrymen ( and others) in the days following that horror. I am tearing up just thinking about it, and hope to go and give my thanks and pay my respects in person some day.

    • Erin says:

      It’s true! I remember being surprised when somebody told me I should spend a snowy Christmas/New Years in Sante Fe, New Mexico. What?! Altitude as well as climate zone matter way more than latitude.

      And yes, the people of Gander did us all very proud. As my dad would say, “It’s good folks, up there.”

  10. odonata9 says:

    I love summer scents! And living in San Diego, I can wear them most of the time. But people also have misconceptions about our weather as well. Heck, even I thought it was 80 and sunny year round before I moved here. You can always tell the tourists as the ones wearing flip flops and shorts in January, when it’s 50 or 60. It’s cloudy and 65 at the moment. Of course, our weather IS quite mild compared with most other places, which makes it hard to leave. Not too hot and not too cold either.

    I could wear Guerlain AA Mandarine Basilic and Herba Fresca happily all summer long. I have a decant of Eau d’Ete, which is great and I really need to just buy a bottle since it is so ridiculously cheap. L’Eau MIxte is excellent as well. She knows how to do citruses! I’ll have to try L’Eau a la Folie & L’Eau Chic soon!

    • Dilana says:

      Gee, back east the ones wearing shorts in 50 degree weather (and 30 degree and 20 degree weather) are all UPS delivery agents. I know that the company provides long pants for their uniforms because I once spotted an employee so attired, but they all seem to like subjecting their legs to frostbite.
      Erin, don’t take individual U.S> Citizens’ ignorance personally. We are very large, populous country, with people having a very wide range of knowledge. The ones who don’t where Toronto is, probably also don’t know where Hawaii is either.
      A very interesting summer perfume list.

      • Erin says:

        Oh, no worries, D, I don’t feel slighted, just bemused. There are PLENTY of people in Canada who seldom travel outside their own area and probably have a shaky grasp of Canadian geography and cultures, let alone American ones. People can live insular lives almost anywhere — and sometimes they’re not necessarily any the worse off for it, maybe.

  11. Erin says:

    Ooohh, I love San Diego, what a lovely place to live. I think it’s that position on the coast, and all the clear days, which makes it seem balmy, even when it’s not. And I wear sandals or fit flops until it’s 25 F, whether I’m at home or abroad – seriously. But that’s not because I’m Canadian, it’s because I’m crazy.

    Buy the Eau d’Ete already! :) If you like Mixte and Ete, I think you’d really like the Folie – it really is quite beautiful.

  12. platinum14 says:

    Three Cheers for a Canadian/Torontonian edition of NST!
    I have a hard time with the hot humid Toronto summer. I often have to hide indoors by the AC, or I have to escape to my cottage in Québec (which ALSO has a summer and is also polar bear free-and no, my cottage is not an igloo!)
    Monsieur Balmain is a great summer treat, but so is Eau de Courrèges.
    Tuque off to you Erin for a fun post!

    • Erin says:

      Thank you! If I had a loonie for every time I forgot about poor Eau de Courrèges… (By the way, what are we going to say instead of “a penny for your thoughts”? Are we going to round up to a nickell?) Lime, mint and patchouli freshness, that one, very much in the same mould as M. Balmain, as you say.

  13. Dzingnut says:

    Erin – I spent my formative years living in Buffalo (which I loved, despite its lousy reputation), but when we needed class and sophistication … we went to Canada!!
    So happy you mentioned Monsieur Balmain, my favorite clean crisp lemon.

    • Erin says:

      What a hoot! You do know that Toronto’s mayor is currently embroiled in a crack smoking scandal? Or were you going to St. Catharine’s or Hamilton for class and sophistication? (I’m originally from Hamilton. Speaking of lousy reputations… I once told a German that, and he said sadly, in his flawless English “Oh my, what a terrible place to be from.”) Buffalo has beautiful architecture downtown and some very nice public spaces, too, in truth.

  14. Celestia says:

    I’ve always been mystified by the way an American will say they’re from Los Angeles, California but when a Canadian’s hometown is mentioned it becomes Toronto, Canada. I was born in Vancouver, B.C. and still live there. We have palm trees, as mentioned above, and when it does snow, which is rarely, it usually doesn’t stay for more than a day, if it doesn’t melt by the time it hits the ground. Our posties and bus drivers take great joy in wearing shorts as many days of the year as possible.
    Lately I’ve been wearing Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat and Givenchy Play Summer Vibrations (Men’s). The former is like squeezing a very sweet ripe orange and the latter is just yum-mmm!

    • Erin says:

      I know, it’s like there are all these other international Torontos or Vancouvers to distinguish ourselves from. When I lived in NB, I would say I was from “St. Andrews, New Brunswick” and frequently had Americans skip the whole town part and ask, quite taken aback, “New Brunswick, New Jersey”? (They were likely wondering why I sounded like a cross between a Brit and Marge from Fargo.)

    • Erin says:

      And forgot to say I looooove Guerlain Cedrat (it’s in my 5 perfumes for a humid day post) and haven’t hear of the other one!

  15. Alyssa says:

    I love your posts, Erin. You always make me laugh and your lists are full of things I’ve never tried. I love L’Eau Mixte, which a swapper sent me as an extra decant. It’s another one of those “I’ve smelled this before but not like this” scents. I would add Different Company’s Bachmakov (that chilly shiso note is just too good in sweltering Texas), Parfum d’Empire’s Azemour (dry chypre, never overwhelming but good for days when summer perfumes feel boring) and on very daring days, Amoureuse, which blooms like a mother in the heat and makes me swoon.

    P.S. Being from Idaho is sort of like being from Newfoundland. During the eruption of Mt. St. Helens my parents and I were astounded to hear on the news that ash was falling “on the Washington/Montana border.” (We’re between those two states.)

    • Erin says:

      Thank you, and the feeling is mutual! Oh, poor Idaho, the indignity. Yes, there are always those provinces or states external people forget exist. (New Brunswick is often the Canadian one. And sometimes Manitoba.) I was in a taxi in Buffalo – I know, again, sorry! – and told the driver that I was going to the airport to vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he replied: “Lucky you, I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise.” (At 7200 ft in a desert?) I was torn between amusement and sadness, because that guy really should get to go on a cruise.

      And summer Amoureuse? Wow, you are brave – and you smell just lovely.

  16. sweetgrass says:

    I wish L’Eau a la Folie were peachy on me. The day I tried my sample, I felt like I was smelling Lysol all day. Her new neroli scent sounds pretty nice though, and there are several others that I want to try that I think might be nice for summer.

    I live in Houston (speaking of heat..). For summer I tend to gravitate toward greener and earthier scents, like things with galbanum and vetiver. I’m not a super huge fan of citrus-centric scents, except maybe grapefruit. I like L’Artisan Timbuktu in the summer. There’s something refreshing about it on a hot day. In the fall it’s just not the same. Lubin Gin Fizz is a fun one too. I have a sample I need to revisit now that the weather is heating up. I got it in the fall, and it just wasn’t the right time for it.

    I tried Dipyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau yesterday, and it’s a nice summer scent too, very crisp and green. I think I want to get a small bottle of Lush Sikkim Girls. It was pretty humid out the day I tried it, and I really liked the way it bloomed in the humidity while not being overwhelming.

    • Erin says:

      Lysol! My word! I don’t get that at all – lucky me. Folie is very mellow and lactone-ish on me.

      I love Timbuktu, but for some reason, it always says “fall” to me. But then I love fall, and lots of things I really enjoy seem fall-like to me, just because I enjoy them. And Sikkim Girls almost made my list. I ended up choosing the Houbigant instead, for a white floral, but SG is indeed beautiful in the heat, if a bit strong in the first minutes – the powdery drydown is airy, and sort of sparkling.

    • nozknoz says:

      L’Ombre dans L’Eau is one of my warm weather favs – stands up to AC well, too!

  17. austenfan says:

    What a wonderful list. Glad to see my beloved Eau d’Eté on it. You got it right in your description, it seems so simple, but I wear it a lot. It’s my favourite of her summer Eaux and I own all of them!

    I was pleasantly surprised to see a mention of Histoire d’Eau Topaze. I even went through Luca’s old blog to read his wonderful description:
    ” The reason for my new-found optimism lies in the work of Christine Nagel.Her Teorema (Fendi 1998) was already a remarkable thing: a sober hippy fragrance. But her somber masterpiece, Mauboussin’s Histoire d’Eau Topaze(2002), does for spices what Kind of Blue did for jazz: no more smiles, no morewarmth, just a menacing, dusky miracle: the tropics in winter ”

    It is a great fragrance that I don’t wear often enough, I need to find my bottle!

    • Erin says:

      Oh yes, I see that, as usual, I have sort of internalized LT’s review and re-worded it several years later. Sigh! I tip my hat to the master.

      • austenfan says:

        I don’t write reviews but I can never put on Aromatics Elixir without thinking of Lauren Bacall, or Sacrebleu without thinking of trains. And L’Artisan’s Vanilia invariably makes me smile because of the sunburn and loud music association.
        There is something rather dark about Hd’ET in spite of what ought to be sunny ingredients. Couldn’t it just be that it has the same effect on you that it had on L.T.?

  18. annemarie says:

    Thank you for mentioning other parts of the world in your seasonal post. It has certainly varied the discussion, which is so welcome. I’m in Australia (we are your neighbours even though an ocean separates us!) so summer is a distant memory for me. But part of that memory is that Orangers en Fleurs is a summer staple. I picked up a big decant of it when STC had it on sale, which was a stroke of luck because it is indeed quite expensive. I made Annick Goutal’s Neroli its companion: Orangers on a really hot day, Neroli on a really hot and humid day – Neroli’s dryness really cuts through humidity, whereas Orangers is juicier.

    I really must try Parfums de Nicolai’s summer offerings next summer. I’m reaching for Sacrebleu about once a week at the moment.

    • austenfan says:

      They are so worth trying. If you like De Nicolaï you are bound to love at least one of these.

    • Erin says:

      I try not to forget our kindred spirits down under. I’m friends with many Aussies and Kiwis, and my brother’s girlfriend is from Melbourne, so we Oz-ify northern hemisphere Christmas carols and talk about the summer “Term 3 holidays” here, etc.. It’s sometimes hard to wrap your head around when you’ve lived in North America your whole life, we’re so north-centric. I bought my STC decant of the Houbigant on sale, too, but then gave it to our nanny at Christmas (in your summer, of course!) because she loved it so much. I have a split coming, though. Keep meaning to re-try AG neroli – I first sampled it many years ago, when I was still afraid of orange blossom and white florals.

  19. dolcesarah says:

    I want Mitto and ONDA so badly it hurts. I chose an oval diamond ring instead. Maybe if its not big enough ill return it for some Vero!

    • Erin says:

      Well, a diamond ring is certainly a viable alternative, even to expensive perfume! Still, those Vero extrait bottles are like jewels themselves – so beautiful.

  20. poodle says:

    Great list. I want a summer kitchen.
    I’ve been to Montreal. In the winter when the weather guys are giving the low temps on the map they always show Moose Factory and Pickle Lake. I’m sure they have some sort of summer there but boy those temps in the winter look nasty.

    • Erin says:

      I have some colleagues going to Moose Factory for the spring and summer next year, so I’ll let you know later what the “warmer months” look like!

  21. Celestia says:

    Dear Erin,
    Please may I respectfully state that Philtre D’Amour is an eau de toilette concentration?

    • Erin says:

      C, you absolutely may, but I was using “cologne” in the sense of a genre, “a traditonal skin-freshening fragrance made of citrus oils”, rather than in the sense of concentration. Many colognes today are actually EdT in terms of percentage of oils or aromatic compounds. There was a post on NST that explained this, I believe, but it’s not leaping out at me from my search at the moment.

      • austenfan says:
        • austenfan says:

          Isn’t it in this post?

          • Celestia says:

            Thanks, Austenfan, for the link. I found the pertinent sentence. I had considered that Erin meant cologne in the general sense but now I’ve found there’s something to be learned here: Chanel Cologne (the fragrance) is actually an EDT. Similarly Thierry Mugler Cologne is an EDT. Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorias are EDT’s but have the tenacity of EDP’s.
            I’m hypersensitive to terminology, I guess, having been in the business since 1994. Allow me to make some sweeping generalizations here: men come into the fragrance (not perfume)dept. asking for a perfume for their SO and the SA’s know that what they really want is an EDT or EDP but they try to sell them an extrait because it costs more, and it’s what women really want as a gift anyway! Women come in asking for a cologne for their man but what they will really be getting is an EDT (with some exceptions). It’s interesting that so many companies have done away with both colognes and pure perfumes in the last few years.
            When I try to educate cusotmers as to the difference in concentrations, they appear fascinated!

          • Erin says:

            Perfect, A, that’s what I was looking for.

  22. Rappleyea says:

    What an interesting list! Now I want to sample those Nicolai l’eaux. The only overlap for me is Guerlain’s Philtre d’Amour. What lifts that one above the average cologne category is the verbena, myrtle and the merest touch of patchouli in the base. One of my favorites, and sadly discontinued (I think).

    We’ve been cooler than usual here in the Bluegrass – I’m not complaining! – and it’s allowed me to wear summer scents that can get to be a bit much when it’s above 90 degrees: Chamade, Nahema, and Roja Dove’s Unspoken. I’ve also been hitting Cuir de Russie in edt (as opposed to the extrait in winter). It’s one of my favorites in summer.

    • Erin says:

      Yes, I think it is discontinued, for now anyway. I got one of the last bottles at my Guerlain boutique, and then, as hinted at, my son helpfully emptied it for me. My house smelled tragically beautiful for days. I do love the little smidge of patchouli, and what I think is ylang-ylang in the heart.

      Yikes, Unspoken! You must be having some unseasonable weather for Kentucky – I find that one huge. I do enjoy Nahema in the heat, too, though, in small doses.

      • Rappleyea says:

        It’s mainly hovered in the 70’s here (about 15 degrees below normal) with rain. But I’ve got Unspoken in both the parfum and the edp. The parfum with its heavier base *is* too heavy for anytime but Winter, but the edp wears “cool” on me for some reason. I also see quite a lot of overlap with Guerlain’s Jardin de Bagatelle, which is definitely a summer scent. No surprise as Dove worked at Guerlain for years.

        And I’ve observed a minute of silence in memory of your bottle of Pd’A. A testament to a mother’s love that your son is still alive! ;-)

  23. nancyg says:

    Thanks, everyone, for all the ideas of new things to try.
    Summer was here in Chicago for a few days last month – lately it’s been more like April…
    Erin, any news on the late, lamented Noor?

    • Erin says:

      N, we’ve had the same thing here – a heat wave, followed by coolish April showers. And no, sadly, I don’t think there’s any news on Noor re-opneing. Unfortunately, I haven’t been in contact with Dane lately – I feel guilty! – but I saw Daniel, and he mentioned to me that he called Nahla a little while ago, and at that time, nothing was in the works yet. I sure miss that place, and the company of Nahla and Fred.

  24. PriscillaE says:

    I live in Texas, where it is already in the 90s. I’ve just discovered Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. Perfect for summer.

    • Erin says:

      Herba Fresca is definitely a great choice for when it’s completely sizzling.

  25. farouche says:

    Love the afore-mentioned PdNs. Weekend a Deauville is another nice one.

    • Erin says:

      You know, I haven’t tried her “reformulated” version. I tried Weekend when it was first out, in the first iteration, and something about it really didn’t appeal to me that day. But all the subsequent reviews of the “tweaked” version sound absolutely lovely and perfect for summer. It could be the sample I had, or it could be me. Really need to try it again…

  26. Celestia says:

    Sorry for the typo on “customers”. No matter how many times I read it over before sending, something always seems to slip through!

    • Erin says:

      We don’t mind typos here — or I’d be in big trouble! Enjoyed your comment.

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