Some of them perfumes are like sunshine for the nostrils. They smell like coconut or white flowers, tanning oil or monoï, warm skin or sea spray. And they instantly take us on a journey to the sea, under the sun, with the wind blowing through our hair. Paradoxically, those perfumes that smell like summer are hardly those we choose to wear on August 15th, because the heat will often urge us to rather wear colognes, citrus or nothing at all. No, these perfumes here work best when they are sprayed on in the late spring, as a reminder that holidays and the sun are not that far to go (hopefully).
Tuberose, Santa Maria Novella: With its marzipan, coco-y notes, tuberose almost always reminds me of monoï. Composed in 1939, this cologne is, for me, one of the most beautiful fragrances made from this white flower I love. If you happen to be in Florence, the ancient pharmacy Santa Maria Novella is a must-see, whether you’re a tuberose fan or not.
100ml/90€ environ. http://www.smnovella.it/
Noix de Tubéreuse, Miller Harris. A heady, almost syrupy tuberose, coupled to a very soft mimosa and almondy tonka bean for a milky coconut, slightly floral feel that evokes sun beauty products. As often is the case with Miller Harris, this is a beautiful fragrance.
Gigi, Jardin d’Ecrivains :
A white flowers bouquet (orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose) just twisted with a hint of blackcurrant, on a musky, sunny base. A perfume that’s as happy and charming as the Colette character who inspired it, and as luminous as a beautiful afternoon in June. Get asked what it is you’re wearing, guaranteed.
Bronze Goddess, Estée Lauder :
It’s summer in a bottle. The smell of a sunscreen you’d choose over any other just because it smells so good. Coconut, tiare flower, white flowers, a hint of lime: maximum summer evocative power.
Chaldée, Jean Patou :
Nothing less than the smell of the world’s very first tanning oil, created by Jean Patou in 1927, when getting a tan was just starting to be a thing. The success back then was so phenomenal that the House turned its oil into an eau de toilette, in the mid-eighties. It’s the latter that was recently reedited as a beautiful, unmissable eau de parfum: voluptuous white flowers on a powdery, warm and amber-y base.
Vanilla & Cedarwood, Kiehl’s: A sweet but not too sweet vanilla + the powdery feel of just a bit of iris + a warm, smoky-woody base = a super comfortable skin’s fragrance you could just sniff all day.
Vamp in NY, Honoré des Prés :
Like all of the brand’s perfumes, this fragrance was composed only with natural raw materials. A nice, creamy tuberose, sweet benzoin and Bourbon vanilla with a drop of rum blend into a fragrance that’s sexy, happy, and coconut-y.
Beach Walk, Martin Margiela :
Martin Margiela’s intention is almost figurative since he wanted to reproduce, through this fragrance, the smell of a walk along the sea, in Calvi. Warm skin and sunscreen notes slowly vanish and leave way for salty notes of sea water and sea spray.
Prodigieux, Nuxe :
In the spirit of what Jean Patou did a few decades earlier with Chaldée, Nuxe transformed a summer beauty product with a cult smell into a rather nice fragrance: a floral heart made of rose, orange blossom and gardenia on a base of vanilla, coconut and “hot sand accord” (says the brand). This eau de parfum is faithful to the oil’s original smell, but one might regret its poor longevity on skin.
Sun, Jil Sander :
This overly opulent oriental fragrance composed by Pierre Bourdon belongs to the excessive times in which it was created: the end of the eighties. Its impressive trail starts with a whiff of orange blossom, ylang-ylang, iris and heliotrope. In the base notes, vanilla, tonka bean, cedarwood and benzoin convey something that smells as much as a very chemical sun tanning lotion as it does a baby powder (probably the orange blossom effect).
60€/250ml (Magnum édition), 37€/75ml. www.jilsander.com