5 perfumes: (great) old school summer colognes

orange slices

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, there’s a decent chance you’ve already entered that part of summer known as the dog days. The hot, humid weather was traditionally expected to last around 40 days, but where I live, we’ve surely already had 40 days of sticky, and we could easily have 40 more before it’s over.

I’m not complaining, or at least, I’m not complaining as much as I’d be complaining if it was cold out. I’ll always take hot over cold. But this is just the sort of weather that calls for a classic Eau de Cologne: a little concoction of citrus and flowers, perhaps a few spices, perhaps some oakmoss or amber. It won’t last long, but it will lift up your spirits while it does, and you can always reapply later or move onto something else. Here are five choices, although I’ve (of course) expanded the definition of a classic Eau de Cologne a wee tad…

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Bogue Profumo Maai ~ fragrance review

Bogue Maai brand image 1

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize perfume sometimes. In my cinema of perfume, Bogue Profumo Maai is the blue blood, pants-wearing contessa who bursts into the drawing room after a day in the stables — having parsed her time between the horses and the groom — and fires her gaze over the room. She tells one guest to sit up straighter. To another guest, she sneers, “You again.” Then she leans into a vase of tuberose and orange blossoms, and her expression transforms from harridan to angel.

Antonio Gardoni, the founder of Bogue, created Maai, and it was released in 2014…

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Maria Candida Gentile Sideris & Exultat ~ fragrance reviews

Maria Candida Gentile Sideris & Exultat

Today, quick reviews of two fragrances from Italian niche house Maria Candida Gentile: Sideris and Exultat. Both are in the brand’s Classic Line.


Sideris was born during a walk along a Mediterranean beach in Liguria (Italy) at night. The moment was so beautiful that one could feel like floating in the air, between the sea and the stars in the sky. It is purely poetic fragrance.

With incense, cistus, myrrh, white pepper, saffron, rose, sandalwood, benzoin and waxed woods.

I first tried Sideris last summer, around the same time that I reviewed the brand’s Hanbury, and I liked it right away…

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Jul et Mad Les White (Nea, Nin-Shar & Garuda) ~ short fragrance reviews

Jul et Mad Les White

Jul et Mad recently launched Les White, a trio of fragrances inspired by ‘distant locales and long-ago civilizations’. I’ve been a fan of this niche brand since Jul et Mad released its debut trio three years ago, so I was naturally curious about these new perfumes that venture beyond France and New York in their inspirations.

Néa is meant to evoke the opulence of the “Golden Age in Byzance,” with notes of date, davana, pomegranate, palm leaf, black pepper, jasmine, rose, plum, patchouli, cashmeran, vanilla, benzoin, caramel, tonka bean, ambroxan and musk. It was developed for Jul et Mad by perfumer Luca Maffei. Néa starts with the date note, and it’s chewy-sweet but not overwhelmingly so…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet: Ann S.

Ann S Chanel collection

Ann S., a librarian in Eastern Pennsylvania, divides her love of perfume into three phases. The first was when she was a girl. “The tops of women’s dressers were these mysterious, adult places” holding sparkling jewelry, cut glass, and, of course, perfume bottles. On her mother’s dresser sat a bottle of Jean Patou Eau de Joy. In this phase of Ann’s perfume life, the two fragrances that stood out were Chantilly, which her mother gave her, and Coty Muguet des Bois, a gift from her aunt. (Ann admits she wasn’t wild about Muguet des Bois. She remembers playing “kidnapper” with her sister, and they doused a washcloth with Muguet des Bois and pretended it was chloroform.)

Phase two of Ann’s involvement in perfume began in high school. Ann is six foot one, so wandering the mall with friends shopping for clothes that never fit wasn’t much fun. It didn’t take long for her to realize that accessories, cosmetics, and perfume don’t depend on size. The first bottle of perfume she bought was The Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose. Later she bought Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle talcum powder and wore it to her prom…

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