Hot Days, Big Perfume

Sun God, UCSD

Every once in a while, a commenter will note that a particular whopper perfume “really blooms” in the heat. Someone might say, for instance, that Serge Lutens Chergui is great on a July afternoon. I’ve been skeptical. I figured the commenter probably has round-the-clock air conditioning and didn’t really have to deal with the smothering sillage. I’ve never been brave enough to try it myself.

Until last week. A heat wave descended on my hometown. In moderate Portland, “air conditioning” generally means setting up an air mattress in the basement and rolling down the car windows. I had taken the week off, so I didn’t even have the office’s chilled air as a refuge. It was the perfect opportunity to try wearing massive perfume in 90-plus degree temperatures.

Day one: Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower. As usual, for the first few minutes of wearing Carnal Flower, I swore I needed a half-gallon of it always at my disposal. Also as usual, by the time an hour was up I was over it. In humid heat, Carnal Flower trumpets the sweeter side of tuberose and gardenia, but it didn’t seem to swell as I’d feared. I spent the day seeing friends and nipping into (air conditioned) Goodwill, and no one edged away or commented on the volume of my perfume. If you like Carnal Flower in the cold, you’ll probably like it just as well in the heat.

Day two: Annick Goutal Songes. I was planning to try a big oriental, but Carnal Flower still clung to my skin, so instead I segued into Songes. Songes takes Carnal Flower’s big white flowers, turns them tropical, and adds a generous dose of vanilla. Even on a moderate day, Songes is as pulchritudinous as Elizabeth Taylor in her Senator Warner years, but I figured its island vibe would suit the heat. I was right. With the house's temperature now in the 80s, Songes still didn’t bring on nausea. It was especially nice after dark.

Day three: Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Toilette/Extrait. Vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette was my favorite fragrance in the heat. It was as baroque and assertive as ever, but flat and cool as satin. The Eau de Toilette brought out Shalimar’s civet for a quick, glorious moment, as well as its lemon, but played down the thick amber-vanilla. I was enthusiastic enough about it to dab on some Extrait in the evening. The Extrait was warmer and more dense. Before bed I slapped on some Revlon Jean Naté straight from the refrigerator. Who knew it paired so well with Shalimar?

Day four: Comme des Garçons + Daphne Guinness Daphne. On my skin, Daphne flattened quickly into turpentine. Maybe incense doesn’t do as well in the heat. (Please comment if you’ve tried an incense-based fragrance on a humid summer day.) The temperature seemed to throw the fragrance all out of balance, and after a few hours it became annoying instead of intriguing. I’ll save Daphne for the fall and winter.

Day five: 10 Corso Como. I wanted to try something woody in the heat, and my vintage bottle of 10 Corso Como is loaded with sweet sandalwood. Plus, it’s big and shapely with oud and rose. This is the only perfume people complimented me on during the heat wave. I moved the bottle to the front of my collection as a reminder to wear it more, but ultimately its sweetness irritated me by mid-afternoon.

Conclusion: When I started out on this experiment, I anticipated that mega-sillage perfumes would be extra stifling in the heat. I didn’t find that to be true. But I’m not sure that the heat illuminated parts of the fragrances that I hadn’t experienced before. Also, heat seemed to amp up a perfume’s sweetness — or I had less of a stomach for it in the heat. Finally, the heat really made me appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted Eau de Toilette version of a fragrance. 

After my experiment, I was happy to return to some sheer Eaux de Cologne, but I won’t be afraid to crack out the Guerlain Mitsouko or Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque if I feel the itch. I’ll never give up my refrigerated Jean Naté.

What about you? Do you ever wear big perfume in the heat?

Note: top image is Sun God [cropped] by Alejandro Mallea at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. Jenavira says:

    Extreme heat wave in my neck of the woods last week also (also it happens every year in my hometown of Livermore, CA). I actually find that woods work excellent in dry heat just as long as they don’t have too much vanilla and spice, example L’Artisan Timbuktu, utterly refreshing in the heat. I have always wondered about Songes in the heat but I wonder if it would do well in dry heat which is what we get around here. I can easily see a non sweet big white floral working easily in the heat. My favorite scent to smell bloom in the heat is Osmanthus Interdite.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I can imagine Timbuktu doing really well in the heat. Osmanthus Interdite sounds like a winner, too. I’m all out of Timbuktu, but I’m going to find my OI sample right now!

  2. Marjorie Rose says:

    Hey Angie! LOVE your spirit of scientific exploration! :D
    That was some blast of summer last week, wasn’t it? I had friends over on Tuesday–I lured them with the promise of AC (my not-so-new house has central air) and leftover adult beverages from my housewarming party! It was such fun, it’s kinda making me wish we had another heat wave on the horizon!

    Anyway, back on topic, I LOVE my vintage Shalimar in the summer! So glad you found it to be pleasant, too! I wear it more often in the summer months, I think, not only because it has such a lovely presence, but I think it goes so well with the flirty dresses I can get away with wearing when the temperatures go up!

    My other big summer love is Bois des Iles, which isn’t exactly a heavy hitter in the winter, but if you want something to bloom, that’s the sandalwood to try! I’ve done Champagne de Bois as well, but I have to be more measured in my approach with that one!

    Other big scents seem to be more hit-and-miss for me. Sometimes I love Une Rose Chypree in the heat, sometimes it’s too much. Same with Dune. I’ve even tried a judicious spritz of Memoir and Ubar (not together–yikes!). A dab of Ubar can be magical or just overwhelming. Your description of 10 Corso Como makes me think I might need to put it on the sniff list!

    • Angela says:

      I can imagine Bois des Iles being nice–something about the spare Chanel style wouldn’t cloy. For the past two days, I’ve worn Cuir de Russie and it’s been great, but then again it hasn’t been very hot, either. Ubar has always reminded me of summer with all that lemon.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Now I’m wondering if I need to retry the Chanel Exclusifs in the summer. Most of them left me with a “meh” response first time around, but I suspect it was during the cooler months. And as you say, that spare style might be really perfect for this time of year. Too bad our big Nordies has stopped carrying them!

        • Angela says:

          I know! My Cuir de Russie is on its last legs. I need more.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            I’m low on BdI, too. I’ve been eyeing the bottles on the Chanel website, but I keep wondering if there’s a better way to snag one. I think online is our only option, though. . . I know Our Lady stopped carrying Chanels last year.

          • Angela says:

            Then we’ll just have to hop a plane and fly to France? (Wouldn’t that be great?)

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Ha! Perhaps not the most frugal solution, but certainly the most enjoyable!

    • TheSnailsPajamas says:

      2nd that – BdI is wonderful in the heat (at least EDT). Super hot here today, and I am wearing Santal 33 – just one spray, but smells glorious!

      • Angela says:

        I bet you smell great!

  3. TheSnailsPajamas says:

    I only seem to be able to wear big white florals in the heat. They aren’t big anymore, on my skin – just very sunny bright skin scents. If I try them in normal weather, they become really loud and sort of static – they sit there like an elephant. Jasmine especially works well on me in the heat.

    • Angela says:

      Something about jasmine reminds me of summer nights, too. (I guess that makes sense, since it blooms in summer and all…)

  4. Dilana says:

    I go a totally different direction in heat, seeking mints, including Geranium Pour Monsier, Serge Lutens L’eau, and (for its water lilly) Eau D’Italie Au Lac.

    • Angela says:

      That is normally my direction, too–not mint, per se (although I love your list), but fresher, lighter scents.

  5. Ariel says:

    Okay, so no heat waves (or even warm waves – 75 is pushing it) where I live in Alaska; however when I lived in Houston, I loved Tom Ford Black Orchid. In Houston, it was a voluptuous floral with a slight dark edge to it. Here, it’s all cold, dark earth with only a small amount of floral. I took it to Hawaii, again the florals really came through.

    All that said, I do wear it often, but it really does need the heat to evoke the Tom Ford sensuousness and glamour.

    • Angela says:

      Houston to Alaska! That’s a big change. I can see Black Orchid really opening up in the heat.

  6. I really enjoyed your investigating reporting! Thank you. There is one sillage monster I just cannot wear in the high heat unless it was at night and only the tiniest of tiniest drops – EL’s Jasmine White Moss. It’s just too much of a good thing even for me – and I do love my sillage! Oh well…something to look forward to when the nights turn cooler in August.

    • Angela says:

      Thanks for the warning!

    • garamascara says:

      Funny, I wore Femme yesterday and really and truly regretted it. It was about 90 here in NC and I felt as comfortable as if I was wearing an itchy wool sweater. Femme is way too heavy for summer.

      • garamascara says:

        Oops I meant to post the above comment below. I hardly ever comment and when I finally do, I screw it up. Oh well!

      • Angela says:

        I’d be scared to try Femme in the heat. You’re a brave woman!

  7. Aparatchick says:

    It’s hotter than h-e-double-toothpicks here most of the year and I’ve only found only one big perfume that was an absolute disaster in the heat: Rochas Femme. As you put it in your review: “It is … the scent that a maid in a posh resort shakes from the sheets every day.” Well, that, except a lot less posh resort and a lot more hotel no-tell. :-(

    I love incense in hot, humid weather. Something about it just cuts right through the oppressive feel of that kind of weather. PdE Wazamba is my favorite, but Zagorsk works well too (must be the pine).

    • Angela says:

      That’s funny–I almost tried Femme during the heat wave, but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It sounds like I dodged a bullet!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Ha! That is such a great turn of phrase–and so Angela! Now I have to go read that review of Femme! :D

      • Angela says:

        Thank you! It’s one of my favorite perfumes.

        • Aparatchick says:

          And your review is one of my favorite reviews! Femme is wonderful, absolutely wonderful in the right weather.

          • Angela says:

            I would never be without a bottle!

    • SmokeyToes says:

      Aparatchick-I love incense in the hot weather too, my particular favorites are Chanel no 22 and BK’s Straight To Heaven.

      • Angela says:

        Chanel No. 22 is another one I wouldn’t have thought of first for hot weather, but now I’m really curious to try it.

  8. I live in Austin, so basically my whole summer is like your experiment.

    I really do believe that certain perfumes “bloom” more in the summer… Examples for me include anything with jasmine (the bigger, the better – been wearing Dior’s Grand Bal, Oyedo, and Pirouette Essentials Jasmine Musk this summer), and By Kilian Back to Black… Also been wearing quite a bit of Tauer’s Loretta, which despite being a pretty over-the-top perfume, I think I’ve decided is ultimately more suited to the heat than the cold.

    • Angela says:

      In some ways, it seems like it would be harder to choose hot weather perfume somewhere where it’s often warm, because you’d probably spend lots of time in air conditioning–so your perfume would have to suit the real climate and the indoor climate.

      • that’s actually true. Until recently, I worked in an office that ran horrendously cold throughout the year – not enough heat in the winter, and then overly plentiful AC in the summer. That made it harder to get perfume right in the summer.

        • Angela says:

          Overly chilled offices are rough, especially when you’re sitting at a desk for most of the day and your body temperature drops. Brrr!

    • mals86 says:

      OMG. Loretta in the heat… you are a brave, brave woman.

  9. matildaben says:

    I never really liked La Chasse Aux Papillons until I wore it in the 80+ degree heat (which doesn’t occur too often in Seattle). Actually, I’ve been wearing a lot of previously unappreciated white florals in the recent hot weather.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like we have similar climactic conditions. I’ll have to try Chasse aux Papillons some time soon!

  10. Misgina says:

    I live in Atlanta, where every day is hot and humid, and I used to wear Piment Brûlant every day (until, alas, either it or my skin turned on me and all I can smell when I wear it now is cloves and vanilla :() I loved the hot pepper, chocolate, and berries combination, and I loved its massive sillage that would only get bigger when I let my hair down in the evening (where the perfume permanently lived, through many showers)

    • Angela says:

      I have a 10 ml bottle of Piment Brulant, and I’m going to go find it right now…

  11. Emma M says:

    I’m definitely part of the hot weather = big fragrance crowd. Songes, Chergui and Fracas are all part of my summer rotation. I would add anything with piercing, ferocious aldehydes to that list too; No.22 and Citizen Queen are two more of my hot weather favourites. The only perfume I’ve found to be too much in the heat was Coco.

    Bizarrely, I’ve never given Shalimar a go during a heatwave though – I’ll have to dig it out and rectify that.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, do try it, especially if you have the EdT. I loved it.

  12. sayitisntso says:

    Wearing Carnal Flower today and it blooms beautifully in the heat. So far, I haven’t cleared out any rooms or noticed anyone holding their nose in disgust, so I suppose it’s not off putting. While I do love the traditional eaux in the summer (straight from the fridge, thank you), when I want something less ephemeral that has a little more tenacity, I’m not afraid to bring out the big guns, so to speak. Seasons be damned.

    • Angela says:

      You go, girl!

      • sayitisntso says:

        hahaha! I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw your reply. Julien here. And I’m a proud CF wearer!

        • Angela says:

          Whoops! Caught on my faulty gender assumptions.

          Well, boy or girl or otherwise, you smell great!

  13. Omega says:

    I used to, but now I just want big fumes off me in these 100+ degree temps where I am. I crave citruses, like lemon and orange. I like bombs, but not in the heat. I think up to 80 degrees I can do I big fume but when it gets into 90’s and up to 106?? All I think of is lemonade and ice cream…and in scents, lemon and orange/orange blossom. Orange blossom has been my go to so far during the heat wave.

    • Angela says:

      Orange blossom is nice, too, in that it’s a nice blend of pretty, sultry, and proper, in my opinion.

  14. mals86 says:

    I found that I liked L’Heure Bleue parfum better in the heat than in cooler temperatures. It brought out the anisic notes rather than the heavier pastrylike ones, and it was lovely. (I still wasn’t wearing it enough to justify keeping it. Swapped it. Happy now.)

    Love Carnal Flower in heat and in bitter cold; about the only time I wouldn’t wear it would be in the fall, and then only because I’d have been longing for the scents that only seem right in the fall. In fact, I think just about any white floral (exception LOTV-heavy things) is lovely in summer. Amoureuse is heavenly in heat. Wearing DK Gold edp today, and it is beautiful. I am more of a ylang/tubey/gardenia/lily/tiare fan than a jasmine one, but I notice some of my summer favorites have jasmine in them.

    Daphne would probably kill me in the heat too. Something about that sticky orange, just… no.

    Just tried Carbone de Balmain yesterday, and its smoke/wood/benzoin was really nice. 88F and stickity heat, bleargh. But I generally do better with really light things in summer – Hanae Mori Haute Couture (aldehydes, fruit, jasmine), the first Ines de la Fressange, Rose d’Ete… Silences is AWESOME when it’s humid, too. So cool.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like you and white flowers are a natural pairing! And I’ll definitely try L’Heure Bleue parfum. I love the idea of Silences in the heat, too…

  15. sarcon says:

    incense: Passage D’Enfer by L’Artisan is BRILLIANT in the heat! in fact, I must spray some on as soon as I get home from work. It really transforms in hot weather.

    I find that any vetiver fragrance is wonderful in the heat. I love Vettiveru by Comme des Garcons and also the original Vetyver cologne from L’Occitane.

    You mentioned Timbuktu upthread and I’ve been afraid to try it in the heat because it’s such an intense giant sour fruit bomb on me (in a good way mostly), but it does have that firmly vetiver base to it. I will give it a conservative spritz sometime.

    • Angela says:

      I can imagine vetiver being nice in the heat, and I’ll have to try Passage d’Enfer, too. I know I have a sample, and I’ve been wanting a bottle.

  16. Nile Goddess says:

    Charming article as always Angela. :-)

    I am not a “big perfume in the heat”person. In fact, recently I seem to have lost my interest in fragrance. Or rather I am so disappointed by the recent array of underwhelming creations I had to scrub off, that I sometimes go out unscented (well I do wear some Roger & Gallet scented oil after the shower but it doesn’t count as fragrance.

    A couple of fragrances I know wear well in the heat but would never wear myself on a sweltering summer day are Poeme by Lancome and the now discontinued Sicily. I’d love something different than Herba Fresca for a change, or Bronze Goddess (this year apparently with a touch of lavender although to me it was just the original coconutty BG).

    Sometimes, in the old Gothic cathedrals I love so much, I inhale the cool air (those churches do not get hot ever), the calming veil of incense, and I wonder whether incense can be just as cooling outside in the heat. But I’ve never tried it, although I’ll get my hands on the re-issued YSL Nu as soon as I can.

    Today I bought a surprisingly lovely old and old-school summer creation of Elizabeth Arden: Eau Fraiche. It was discounted and a bargain at $10 for 100 ml. It’s lemony and green with an undertone of white flowers. Lily of the valley stands out. Absolutely enchanting. So no heavy jasmine or neroli for me atm.

    • Angela says:

      The Elizabeth Arden Eau Fraiche sounds perfect for summer! And you have a big enough bottle that you can spray it freely if it burns off.

  17. monkeytoe says:

    Two of my biggies I love in the heat: Bruno Acampora Jasmin and Montal Oud Cuir d’Arabie. I bet I would love Norma Kamali Zagara or Jazmin in the Miami heat, but I no longer have decants and they seem to be discontinued.

    • Angela says:

      Wow–I’m imagining Cuir d’Arabie in the heat. It could be magnificent or deadly, but I’ll take your word on magnificent!

  18. hollyc says:

    It has been equally hot and humid here in the northeast and I found myself for some strange reason reaching for Divine. It mellows beautifully in the heat and loses its edges gracefully. I can’t always tolerate it in the cool weather . . . strange. Now Carnal Flower I can only wear in downright cold weather. Really brings out the stems and keeps the heaviness of the tuberose in check. Also loving my Diorling (not vintage) in the heat. Now, if only I could unfrizz my hair!

    • Angela says:

      I’m surprised about Divine, but I want to try it! I would have thought with its soprano aldehydes it might get to be too much. It’s such a pretty fragrance, though.

      I hear you on the frizz, believe me.

      • hollyc says:

        I know, I was surprised by Divine being nicer in the heat as well. To me it retains a certain sharpness in cooler weather but the heat brings out the peach. I have a lot of love and respect for it and am getting the extrait right after I get me some Mito. An added bonus, whatever lands on my carpet after spritzing scents my bedroom for days. Mmmmmmm

        • Angela says:

          That sounds so nice! I bet the extrait is to die for.

  19. belz0008 says:

    Glad to hear of your experiment!
    I grew to appreciate the difference after living for 4 years overseas in an area where summer means 30-35 C plus humidity and everyone thinks AC is bad for your health….
    My favourites in the heat are the old Guerlains and the heavy Serge Lutens perfumes. L’Heure Bleue is gorgeous in the heat as mentioned above – becomes more anisic. Jicky is like a different creature, more vanilla, almost soft in the heat. And I grew to love layering Lutens like Chergui with Cedre, Un Bois Vanille with Chene or Un Lys with of those. The Lutens also seem to soften in the heat. I found that light colognes just disappeared too fast and are actually better inside in the AC. If you have to function without AC, the heavier the better – they bloom even more in the heat and it covers up all the other “smells” of the heat!!

    • Angela says:

      Now that’s something I hadn’t even thought about, that lighter colognes would simply vanish in the heat! The only Serge I tried int he heat was Vitriol d’Oeuillet, and it did pretty well,

  20. sweetgrass says:

    Timbuktu is great in the summer. I wore it to an outdoor art festival on a hot day, and it was great. And then I tried it in the fall or winter, and it wasn’t quite the same.

    I have a half-full vintage bottle of Shalimar, and I never thought to try it in the summer, so I’ll have to try that too.

    I can do white florals in the summer. I’ve been wearing a sample of Le Labo Lys 41 and enjoying it. I also like Lush Lust and Sikkim Girls in the heat too. I’ve been kind of wanting tuberose lately, so I need to find my Loretta sample and give it a shot again. I wasn’t thrilled with it at first, but who knows… I haven’t tried Carnal Flower or Songes, but I want to eventually.

    I think the scents that I have trouble with in the summer are the sweet ambers and the smokier incenses. I tried a sample of SSS Ambre Noir a couple weeks ago, and it was just too much. In October it would probably be great, though. Same for Memoir Woman. But I wore SL Boxeuses yesterday because I just had the urge to wear some of my decant, and it was fine in the heat. With the smokiness, it didn’t really feel *appropriate*, but it wasn’t ovewhelming either.

    • Angela says:

      As far as incense goes, I’m trying a few dabs of By Kilian Incense Oud right now and sitting in the backyard, and so far it’s behaving nicely. I bet Boxeuses would be crisp enough to be nice during summer–I’ll have to try it.

    • mals86 says:

      I love Memoir Woman, adore it — but cannot imagine it in the heat.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        In my experience, a single spritz on the right day can be lovely, but it can also become quite a mess when the weather heats up!

  21. hajusuuri says:

    Carnal Flower – check!
    Bois des Iles EDT – check!
    Mitzah – check!
    Chanel No. 5 EDT – check!
    MDCI Chypre Palatin – check!

    Lately, in this northeast HEATWAVE, what works best is lighter — Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris! I may end up being one of the crazies buying a 200 mL bottle because I want to spread the love and never run out :-)

    • Angela says:

      Sous le toit de Paris is pretty great, huh? I haven’t tried it yet, but you can bet I’ll track it down!

  22. yukiej says:

    I have been loving my 10 Corso Como this summer, and I have gotten some compliments. However, I have never really thought of it as a “heavy” perfume (and it rarely lasts longer than 1.5 hours on me in the heat). I don’t know if this counts as a big white floral, but I also really like SSS Jour Ensoleille in the summertime! It has just enough of a spicy edge to keep it from getting overwhelming.

    • Angela says:

      10 Corso Como lasts ages on me! Maybe it blends with you better and comes off more naturally on you. I love it, though, either way.

  23. Oakland Fresca says:

    Pulchritudinous! What a silly, lovely word! But I disagree with your era. Like Elvis, I love the skinnier, dewier years of E.T…. (I know, not very enlightened of me… )

    I’ve been struggling with Songes this season… it just isn’t settling right on me, regardless of the weather. I’m wearing it now, inspired by your blog… it is welcoming at a distance, but sniffing my wrist is just not going well…

    But this morning on a whim I spritzed on Amouage Gold (from my every shrinking sample…) and it was gorgeous in the sun.

    My ‘go to easy’ summer thrills are both Hermes colognes though: Eau d’Orange Verte and Pamplemousse Rose. I spray them with abandon, and then spray then with abandon, and then spray them with abandon… they don’t last long, but they are so so so fabulous while they do.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I like all of Liz’s eras! Something about caftans and bonbons sounds really nice these days, though.

      Songes isn’t for everyone, it’s true. I’ll have to try Amouage Gold tomorrow. I’m due for a good wearing of it.

      • Oakland Fresca says:

        Goodness, I am so bloody hot. Cooking dinner. Puff. Puff. Puff!

        How did the Gold do on you today? After reading all the Shalimar entries, I wore Shalimar today (edp) and it was perfect.

        • Angela says:

          The Gold wore very well! I was in an air conditioned (although not very cold) office most of the day, but I smelled great. This evening I topped it off with some Nahema. I am such a glamour puss today!

          I’m glad the Shalimar worked out.

  24. rivercitylizzy says:

    I’m loving Ineke Hothouse Flower in this heat, it blooms so beautifully (though quickly, simmering down to a lovely, creamy-sweet and faintly spicy white musk in a few hours and definitely gone by morning). I don’t mind the fast fade because its worth refreshing later in the day if needed, or layering with something else for evening wear.

    I definitely need to dig out my samples of CF, Mitsouko, Cradle of Light, and Chanel No. 5 as the summer rolls on to see how they flesh out in the beastly weather!

    • Angela says:

      The name Hothouse Flower alone recommends it!

  25. SmokeyToes says:

    My favorite ‘big’ scents in hot weather are: Niki de St Phalle, Chanel No 19, Azuree, Bandit and Feminite du Bois (by Shiseido). Leather and galbanum work very well in hot weather.

    • Angela says:

      Niki de St Phalle is one of my summer go-tos for sure. Bandit (both galbanum *and* leather) is my favorite summer leather.

  26. Kartoon says:

    Very hot here also in Hong Kong …
    I always do florals but fun in the steamy weather:
    Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile – sharp, lemony, clean, youthful;
    Chanel No 19 Poudre – naughty, powdery iris, crispy;
    Diorissimo (Vintage perfume) – gently classy, joyful;
    Ormonde Jayne Frangipani – intoxicating, content;
    Or, something just much simplier Escentric Molecules Escentric 02 – citrusy, chilly;
    Today I’m wear Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Toit- sweet floral and fresh

    • Angela says:

      I love your short and evocative perfume descriptions!

  27. Viapersona says:

    Summers are searing in North Alabama…but I don’t find that my perfume becomes overwhelming in the heat (Chergui remains very soft, in fact). My skin doesn’t tend to amplify perfumes, and sometimes the humidity can outright devour them. I do, however, naturally gravitate toward lighter scents in summer– Bulgari au the Vert, Bath and Body Works sprays, Thymes Kimono Rose, Si Lolita– and occasionally I just soak a towel in cold orange blossom water to wipe my arms and face with!

    • Angela says:

      I hadn’t thought about how humidity could swallow perfume. Mostly I feared it would amplify them beyond comfort, but you’re right–I didn’t find that to be true.

  28. dolcesarah says:

    I want and ought to try 10 Corso Como. Enough said. The Cherugi and Carnal Flower are in heavy rotation here in swarthy Alabama.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like big perfumes work great for you in the heat!

  29. cath says:

    Extremely hot and humid here in Osaka and Kyoto, a good 37C (98.6F) the past 2 days.
    I’m finishing my bottle of Celine Oriental Summer, which could be considered “big” for extreme heats.
    Other favourites are HP Eau Sensuelle, Kenzo Summer, Comme des Garçons Zagorsk (incense series) and occasionally Chergui or Douce Amère by SL. An other SL I used to wear in Summer is Fleur de Citronnier and I always got compliments on it.
    I try to keep it low key so as not to annoy my colleagues, even though no one has ever commented on my fumes, but I have to admit that on some days I think “What the heck!!?!” and go and spray some Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti from La Maison des Vanilliers in the afternoon.
    I’m not yet brave enough to wear Fracas outside of the house in this heat…

    • cath says:

      I forgot to add that Cèdre and Vétiver Oriental from SL also function wonderfully in extremely hot and humid weather.

      • Angela says:

        I can imagine how nice either of them would be.

    • Angela says:

      Wow! It’s definitely hot there. You do a good mix of sharp and big perfumes. As for Fracas, some people aren’t brave enough to wear it at all, let alone in public!

      • cath says:

        Fracas to me is a summer perfume, it evokes warmth, sunshine, beaches, tropical flowers, but I’m afraid it is too much in the weather we have here. Maybe I could try a small spritz behind the knees, so it won’t offend too much.
        I am one of those people who absorbs perfumes, you have to come close to me to smell my scent of the day, so maybe it’s about time I give Fracas a little show time. Be brave has got to be my new motto!!

        • Angela says:

          Yes! Why not? It sounds like you’re the perfect candidate to give it a try.

          • cath says:

            Report: I sprayed Fracas behind the knees, and 1 spritz above my belly button, then layered Summer by Kenzo to make it softer, more mellow.
            Result: after lunch, as my colleague walked in to the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth, she said: “Ah, it smells of Cath here” And she came closer to smell me, LOL.
            My thoughts: I think I’ll try this combination again.
            Thank you for pushing me Angela, it was worth it, and now my Fracas finally gets the attention it deserves.

          • Angela says:

            I love that! I’m so glad it worked out. Today I’m taking Sacrebleu out for a hot-day spin…

  30. mercurygirl says:

    I don’t generally wear sillage monsters in any weather, but I do love white floral notes on hot summer days or, better yet, summer evenings. Today I’m wearing Bond Eau de New York, which in my opinion requires heat and sunshine to achieve liftoff. It includes lily and gardenia notes as well as neroli and vetiver, and somehow they combine to produce that elusive “salty skin” effect that I love so much.

    • Angela says:

      I know just what you mean about the “salty skin” effect! I love that, too.

  31. Rappleyea says:

    My favorite “bloomer” is Vol de Nuit extrait (vintage). If I wear it in cooler weather, the bergamot and petitgrain top notes linger forever, but in hot weather, they burn off and let the beautiful floral heart bloom.

    Nahema is another one that blooms beautifully in the heat. The very first time I tried the extrait, it was about 95 and I was outside. All of the miscellaneous florals burned off and I was left with the truest rose scent.

    I also wear SSS Champagne de Bois in the summer; aldehydes are just too sharp for me in the winter. And I keep a bottle of Cuir de Russie edt for warm weather (I wear the extrait in the winter).

    And don’t be afraid of Mitsy in the heat – all of that bergamot and oak moss (speaking of older versions here) are like a cool, shady forest glade in hot weather. The old Guerlains represent a lost art of perfume making, I fear as evidenced by the progression and bloom of their scents on warm skin.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I love Vol de Nuit any time, and I’ve come to love the EdT just as much as the extrait. I haven’t tried Nahema in the heat yet, but wait, I’m just home from work and my perfume cabinet is right here–ahh! a big fat spritz of Nahema, and it’s in the mid-80s outside. What a lovely fragrance. I’ll see how it wears on me…

  32. Lavanya says:

    I don’t think I could do Shalimar in the heat..I wore Shalimar (parfum) a lot this winter but as soon as the weather warmed up, it didn’t smell great on me..I am currently LOVING wearing Lyric, especially when there’s a slight summer breeze. And Iris Poudre.

    • Angela says:

      I tried Lyric Woman last week, and I agree–it wore nicely!

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