There are several ways to think about fragrance when you’re caught in the middle of a summer heat wave. You can wear a light, all-over splash, like a traditional Eau de Cologne or Florida Water. You can, as Angie recently suggested, embrace the strong heat and humidity with an equally bold perfume. Or you can take a middle road by wearing an all-natural scent that evokes nature itself without feeling too heavy on the skin. Two summers ago, I reviewed Roxana Illuminated Perfume‘s Aurora and To Bee; over the past week, I’ve been sampling a more recent release called Chiaroscuro.
“Chiaroscuro” is a term for a bold contrast of light and darkness in visual art, especially when the contrast results in strong modeling of forms and a dramatic atmosphere. Caravaggio is known for his use of chiaroscuro, as is Georges de la Tour (whose paintings of Mary Magadene are particular favorites of mine). Roxana Illuminated Perfume has taken this word, which translates literally from Italian as “light-dark,” as the name for a jasmine-based botanical perfume. As the description for this fragrance reads, “Chiaroscuro is a shape shifter, she is both the beauty and the beast from mythical heroic stories. She is the light of the luminous moon and the darkness of the night…”