I didn't do a Top 10 of Summer last year, but in looking back over my list of summer favorites for 2005, I realized how little things have changed in terms of my fragrance preferences. I'd be perfectly happy wearing nothing but those 10 all summer long, although most unfortunately my Divine Bergamote has turned so now I haven't got any.
So here are 10 I'd take in addition to those earlier choices:
Parfums de Nicolaï Eau Exotique: I really liked this when I first tried it, so last year I had a friend who was visiting Paris pick me up a bottle. I'd be ashamed to admit how long it sat unopened and forgotten in my cupboard, but earlier this year March mentioned it on Perfume Posse and I finally tore off the wrapper. This stuff is marvelous. I've worn it more than anything else so far this summer.
Ormonde Jayne Frangipani: This is still the floral I reach for when I want to smell pure joy. It is a bit heavier than I'd usually wear on a very hot day, but on cooler summer evenings (and we've been lucky enough to have a few of those this July) it is perfect.
Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Perfumed Body Lotion: Cheating, I know, since I included Sur Le Nil in 2005, and this isn't really even a perfume, but it's such a staple that I'm almost done with my second bottle, and so I can't bear to leave it off my list. I wear it on my legs almost every day, and on days when I'm not in the mood to wear "real" perfume at all, I wear it on the rest of my body as well. And, it layers beautifully.
CB I Hate Perfume Memory of Kindness: This is the first year in, well, years, that we didn't plant a vegetable garden. I miss the tomatoes already, and I know I'll be doubly sorry when summer is nearly over and I haven't got a crop of basil handy to put away a winter's worth of pesto, but I have to say I don't miss the work, not even one little bit. This is the smell of summer gardening, and I find it a distinct improvement over doing the real thing.
Etro Shaal Nur: Summer incense, brightened by citrus and pale florals and given a bit of an exotic twist.
Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil Eau Fraiche Skinscent: When I go to the beach, I most always pack perfume but then don't wear it. This is one exception. What everyone on the boardwalk should be wearing instead of the heavy, sweet gourmands they all seem to be trailing behind them.
Le Labo Bergamote 22: Summer citrus, orange blossom and spice, perfectly done, and as an added bonus, I love the way it layers over the Jardin Sur Le Nil Body Lotion.
Thierry Mugler Cologne: I've always liked Thierry Mugler Cologne, and the longer I wear it, the more my respect has increased. There isn't so very much to it, but what is there is just perfect, and there simply isn't a day too hot and sticky to wear it. My "your skin but better" scent.
Annick Goutal Le Chèvrefeuille: Nothing says summer like honeysuckle, and this has long been my very favorite. A more cheerful summer floral would be hard to find. It was a limited edition when it was first released, but was recently reissued. Get it while you can.
Parfums Delrae Debut: If Diorissimo is the quintessential spring-time lily of the valley, Debut fills the same spot for mid-summer. The linden gives it a cleaner, softer finish that stands up well on hotter days.
Want to see more Top 10 Summer Fragrance lists? Check out Aromascope :: Bois de Jasmin :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume-Smellin' Things :: Scentzilla.
I am so glad to see Debut on the list. It deserves more love than it gets. Do you prefer the EDP or the EDT? I like both equally, really.
Great list! I'm a recent convert to Debut, it really is an amazing scent. Now I have to go hunt down some sur le nil lotion. I got the eau de merveilles lotion, which is incredible!
Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is my favorite fresh/green-type scent: And this is from someone who usually doesn't care much for fresh/green-type scents! It's so wonderfully evocative, from the vivid opening to the cypress-woody drydown.
Not affiliated, but I went to Sephora the other day and they are now selling a set of Sur le Nil that includes a smaller (50mL) bottle of the perfume as well as the lotion. The price was reasonable as Hermes goes (85, I think), but I don't wear it enough to justify a full bottle purchase. I'll stick with my generous spray sample for now!
They aren't all that different to me, and really, the EdT has incredible staying power. So I guess I liked the EdT best because hey, it was cheaper
Oh, and I need some Merveilles lotion, come to think of it
Aha, will have to hope that set shows up at one of the discounters then. But truly, I don't wear the perfume now nearly as often as the lotion.
Great List, R – I love Sur le nil, too…in any form. perfume, lotion, cocktail, I don't care.
Shaal Nur – now this is one I need to push to the front of the dresser instead of keeping it in the back to collect dust! I purchased this in March and I've yet to really try it in the searing heat but I bet it is FANTASTIC! I wear Vicolo Fiori often in the summer…
I forget about Shaal Nur too, because I've owned it for so long. But dusted it off a few times this summer and kept wondering why I don't wear it more often.
I thought perhaps Carthusia Mediterraneo would have made your list, R. I know you love it. And when I finally purchased my bottle several months ago, I thought of you.
It is on my 2005 list! And it is one of the few things in my collection that gets drained and replaced regularly — I'm on my 3rd bottle.
I love Mugler Cologne as well…
It really is wonderful, and has so much more personality than most things that go by the name of “Cologne”. Hugs to you!
I'm drooling over the Frangipani…would love to try anything that has pure joy in it!!! I have Ta'if and I adore it, but not so much for summer. Do you think the Eau de Parfum in Frangipani would be better for summer than the Parfum? Or at least (hopefully) as good?
Do you know, I've never tried any of the OJ parfums, because a) I've never heard they are a huge improvement over the EdPs and b) there is no sample program for them anyway and c) I'm happier not knowing, given the prices.
Thanks to you, I've been wearing and loving Eau Exotique just about every other day. It has such a dry, rind-y mango smell–I love it. Thankfully, PdN has 30 ml bottles for a great price.
A lovely list, although we don't overlap in any choices (I think we are neither FTs nor EFTs, but FFAs–friendly fragrance acquaintances). Your selection of Shaal Nur reminds me how much I like Passage d'Enfer in the summer (this is my summer incense), and your CB choice reminds me that I REALLY should have included Cradle of Light. . . .
Isn't it lovely? And the price for the 30 ml is almost ridiculously reasonable.
Hey, I like the idea of FFAs
I adore Passage d'Enfer, but have to admit I've not been reaching for it quite as much this year as I have in years past. If I'd done the list earlier in the summer, June maybe, La Chasse would also have to make the list. Maybe we need a Top 10 for Late Spring.
Good list, and great to see Mugler Cologne on the list, although I much prefer Creeds' Original Vetiver which is more complex, rich, spicier and deep.
Azuree Soleil is another good one – a simple skin scent with a surprisingly rich gardenia opening and a simple pleasant caramel like drydown.
Un Jardin sur le Nil became my staple for summer as well, since last summer. Cuts through the terrible heat and humidity and stays fresh and lasts long. Really, it's good value for money.
Simple skin scents are best for summer, and actually was tempted to add Body Time's very plain Egyptian Musk, which I love when I can smell it. It does induce olfactory fatique VERY quickly.
Especially since you can find it at discount
In summertime I usually wear Eau Sauvage.
A couple of summers ago, my beau gave me Beyond Paradise for Man, and I love the jabuticaba scent, it reminds me of Brazil and hot weather.
Also LOccitane´s Verbena and Verbena Agrumes (which is citrus peels plus verbena)…. I must confess I ended up layering the Loccitane over Kiehl´s Musk, creating a sexy sexy effect.hehehe!
On women I like the green-tea fragrances like Elizabeth Arden´s and Bulgari´s.
The Light edition of Hermes´Faubourg (24, Faubourg Eau Délicate), I find also very appealing.
Have a great summer!
Eau Sauvage made my 2005 list, and it really is another scent that can stand up to any kind of heat and humidity and still smell just right. Great stuff. Same goes for Bvlgari Green Tea, which ought to have made one of the lists, but I suppose that leaves me something to add next year
A thoroughly delightful and classy list. I'd willingly have these as my summer staples too. Exquisite taste, R.
Shaal Nur smelled like Lysol concentrate on me. I'm now willing (reluctantly) to concede that the sample could have turned. I'll try it again, sometime soon.
Thank you so much L!
L, it is both sharp and lemony in the opening, and also, I think some people simply do not like narcissus, even in small quantities. So perhaps your sample was off, but perhaps not!
i'm absolutely in love with sur le nil but am having a hard time finding it. i've tried the nordstroms in my area and only one store has 2 bottles left. was it a limited release? where have you bought yours in the past?
thanks, nikki c
der, i meant this about the lotion, not the juice.
Neiman Marcus usually has it, and so do the Hermes boutiques. Better yet, imaginationperfumery has it at discount for less than $30, and they also have a 3 piece gift set.
Robin, your list is so meteorologically correct as opposed to mine. LOL! And so very elegant.
AH! I briefly flirted with putting Shaal-Nur on my list, too. I really don't like it on me, but good gravy, it smells fantastic on other people. It's paradoxically dark and light at the same time when it's on the right person.
Re: the TM Cologne: “and there simply isn't a day too hot and sticky to wear it.” You're so right! I always forget about it for some reason, but there's an odd kind of skin-contact Gatorade effect it has when worn. A very reviving fragrance too, on the super hot days, I think.
Wonderful additions to your choices from last year, R – and such a wide ranging list of options.
Ina, yours is elegant and *brave*, LOL…
Just commented on your list, K, and you have several I flirted with including too
LOL! Me personally I can't (shipping defeats the purpose), but I am happy that you can at least. Nice to know you all smell lovely.
Hello, I'm a new girl on the blog.
I try to keep things simple with fragrances: for beach and swimmingpool I love Salvadore Dali's Sun and Sea in Cadaques, for whole year around I use Acqua di Roma and Laura by Laura Biagiotti, for great events out Coco Mademoiselle EdP. Then for some different moods I have Bulgari Rose Essentielle, Nina by Nina Ricci, Purplelight by the master Dali en Lovely Prism by Givenchy. The other day I so totally fell in love with Feminite du Bois by Shiseido but I hesitate, maybe it's not the right season for such a strong outspoken woody fragrance.
I love this blog and learn a lot from it!
Welcome! You've got a great mix of scents, and I really need to try the newer Dalis — haven't even seen them here yet.
Agree FdB is maybe more of a fall scent, at least to me.
I'm looking for a new scent for summer, I seem to really despise everything I have right now. I'm not even sure which category a summer scent should come from. And it doesn't need to have “summer” in the title, if you catch my drift! Otherwise, I am open to suggestions from anyone! Thanks!
How about any of the 10 scents in the list? Or do you have something more specific you're looking for?
I fully appreciate the list, don't get me wrong, it's just that I've never heard of most of these perfumes and am not sure where or how I would try them. I have a problem with being landlocked where I live *cringe*. I didn't know if you had any recommendations for anything more widely available? *double cringe* I haven't quite worked my nose up to perfumista status yet. (I feel like the world's biggest pain right now…)
Not a pain at all — would be happy to recommend some widely available scents. But do give me a few clues as to what sort of fragrance you're after?
Well, I'd like something lighter for spring and summer, it does get quite hot and humid where I live. I've read the reviews of the perfumes listed here and they all sound intriguing. I find that a lot of fragrances are too sweet for my liking, I probably lean more toward something spicy/oriental or floral. I will admit that “unisex” does scare me a bit, but I'm willing to try all perfumes as not to miss a chance at something I might really like.
Please, a few more clues — tell me what fragrances you currently like?
I own Hilary Duff With Love, and Thierry Mugler Angel Innocent, I like both of them, With Love can be a bit too coconut-y at times. I also like Coco Mlle. Edp, Narciso Rodriguez Edt, Burberry Brit but have not committed to either of those yet by way of a purchase. I would not be opposed to a citrus, it's just been a long time since I wore one. I tried Burberry The Beat, it was nice, but I didn't feel an immediate need to own it. I don't care for a lot of jasmine, vanilla, patchouli or anything too powdery sweet. I have Kenzo Summer by Kenzo and it's way too powdery sweet for me.
Some possibilities: Hermes Kelly Caleche, Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint (that one isn't really all that jasmine-heavy, I don't think), and wondering if you might like one of the Annick Goutals: Hadrien, Mandragore, Chevrefeuille, Petite Cherie?
Thank you so much for your suggestions AND your patience. I feel like I've just had my own personal perfume profile. The suggestions sound great, I am so excited to try something new. Keep up the great work!
Let me know how they work out!