Six contenders for those warm summer days when a serious perfume just won't do: Lostmarc'h Lann Ael, ElizabethW Sweet Tea, Comme des Garçons Soda, Gap Grass, Demeter Pruning Shears & Demeter Beetroot.
Lostmarc'h Lann Ael ~ Gourmand-lovers looking for something edible that won't overwhelm in the summer heat might want to check out Lann Ael from the niche line Lostmarc'h. It is most decidedly not my sort of thing, but something about it makes me smile. If the notes (buckwheat, cereals, milk, apple, vanilla) sound like breakfast, you're on the right track: this is a dead ringer for my son's favorite maybe-more-dessert-than-breakfast cereal: Cookie Crisp. It starts out airy and light, with crisp apple (thankfully or not, depending on your point of view, the apple doesn't last), calms into a mild blend of sweet cereal grains and cookie dough, and eventually finishes off as a light, creamy vanilla. In 100 ml Eau de Toilette for $75; for buying information see the listing for Lostmarc'h under Perfume Houses.
ElizabethW Sweet Tea ~ When I first started reading the fragrance board at MakeupAlley back in 2003, this was an oft-mentioned summer favorite. Described by the brand as "enticing oriental black teas, juicy fresh Amalfi lemons, and the sweetness of almond honey", this is a perfume dupe of iced tea as it's served in the south: already sweetened, with a touch of lemon. The almond honey is MIA to my nose, but this is an enjoyable summer-y tea scent with a slight touch of floral, perfectly unisex, and best appreciated (like many summer fragrances) when applied liberally. A bargain at $35 for 60 ml; for buying information see the listing for ElizabethW under Perfume Houses.
Comme des Garçons Soda ~ from Series 6: Synthetic, and you can pretty much ignore the notes — aldehydes, lime, citral, pimenal, lilial, iso-eugenol, galaxolide, acetal Rum — this is 7Up. It strikes me as perhaps more crisp than bubbly, but it's 7Up all the same. That I can't think of anything more to say about it is no diss to the fragrance, which is great fun to wear. In 75 ml Eau de Toilette for $60; for buying information, see the listing for Comme des Garçons under Perfume Houses.
Gap Grass ~ I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had this experience: you hear about a scent. It's supposed to be the most perfect scent of its kind, and often in this sort of scenario, it's tantalizingly cheap. You keep hearing about it, over and over, but you dilly dally, and lo and behold, it gets discontinued. You go right on hearing about it, and every time, you kick yourself for not checking it out while you still could have, and meanwhile, the scent begins to take on almost mythical proportions in your mind. So it was with Gap Grass, which after years of rumored sightings in Gap outlet stores has now reappeared in regular Gap boutiques. It was bound to disappoint after the long wait, and it does, at least a little. The top notes are grass, yes, but they're awfully clean and fresh, and it gets cleaner and fresher the longer it's on skin: eventually it reminds me of a grass-scented air freshener. The dry down is pale florals over clean musk. It's all very pleasant, but not the GRASS!!! sort of thing I was expecting. I didn't like the Marc Jacobs Grass either, so I'll just go on waiting and wearing Miller et Bertaux Green. $24 for 100 ml at Gap.
Demeter Pruning Shears and Beetroot ~ The brand description for Pruning Shears— "This scent combines roses with that lovely metallic tang of the shears" — pretty much says it all: this is a soft rose, very green and grassy, with an oddly metallic twist to the top notes. The "metallic twist" part doesn't really last, but a subtle rose lingers for an hour or so. Developed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. As for Beetroot, what can I say? You either want to smell like freshly-dug root vegetables or you don't. This is one of my favorite Demeter scents for summer (and I'll add a plug for the all-time-best Demeter for hot weather, Gingerale), and might most appeal to those who love the smell of puttering around in the vegetable garden — it's a variation on their popular Dirt fragrance, adding a bit of sweetness and a lot of something rooty that smells vaguely like uncooked beets. Pruning Shears and Beetroot are available at bargain city prices: $10 for a 15 ml purse spray (available in other sizes as well). For buying information, see the listing for Demeter under Perfume Houses.
A few more nominations for summer fun, and do add your own in the comments: Diptyque Oyedo, Byredo Pulp, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, Guerlain Mandarine Basilic, L'Artisan Ananas Fizz, Alba Kona Coffee lotion, Parfums 06130 Yuzu Rouge, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu, Andrée Putman Préparation Parfumée.