Labor Day means so many things: among them, a day to commemorate the working class; the end of summer; the start of a new school year; and for the sartorially correct, the last day to wear white shoes and seersucker. What perfume feels right to you for Labor Day?
Here are a few choices of the top of my head:
Estée Lauder White Linen: O.K., I admit I chose this one for its name. From the sound of it, White Linen should herald summer and tea parties on long, sloping lawns with people dressed like Jay Gatsby playing croquet. The truth is, White Linen is sharp and clean and infinitely more versatile than its name implies, as long as its wearer has combed her hair and powdered her nose.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Piment Brûlant: Time for summer salads and barbeque! Piment Brûlant smells like a freshly snapped red bell pepper on a bed of vanilla-scented rose petals and cut grass. It would be delicious at a picnic in a slightly shaggy backyard with a vegetable garden tucked in the back. Marinate chicken breasts in smashed blackberries, garlic and thyme, and grill them with ears of corn served with oregano butter. Of course, accompany with a chopped tomato warm from the vine. And Piment Brûlant.
Annick Goutal Folavril: Which brings me to Folavril and its crisp, almost tannic tomato leaf note that borders on green bean-infused industrial cleanser, yet is somehow addictive. Folavril doesn’t get a lot of love among perfumistas, it seems, but those who like it — and I do — are true fans.
Biehl Parfumkunstewerke PC01: Labor Day is the tipping point to the school year. To me, PC01 smells back-to-school clean, hinting at soap, ripe peaches and flower stems. It smells like junior high, when school was more about flirting and curling irons than pre-algebra.
Hermès Eau d’Hermès: What other fragrance encompasses the entire work force, from the sweaty laborer to the pinstriped executive? Eau d’Hermès is a fragrance I wear mostly when I’m alone or among tolerant friends. Because of its deliciously “ripe” smell, I’m afraid if I wear more than one spritz, people will throw bars of Lifebuoy soap at me. At the same time, Eau d’Hermès is pure class. If worn with the Jermyn Street tailoring it deserves, no one would dare question your grooming.
XerJoff Richwood: Really, Richwood is too rich for the last day of summer, except maybe for a drop in the evening. I include it more as a symbol, because Labor Day is a holiday and so a good time to relax and contemplate your fragrance. Earlier this week when thunderstorms woke me way too early, I got up in the dark and put on some Richwood to counter the gloomy morning. I’d been used to thinking of Richwood as a sort of dulce de leche of perfume — rich and heavy and satisfying, but potentially nauseating if taken in heavy doses. But with a few extra hours to appreciate Richwood, I uncovered a whole new dimension. I smelled a veil of green jasmine and a thread of wet roses that had eluded me before. All day, even when the rain went away and sun came out, I breathed deep of Richwood on my dress. Appreciating layers and taking the time to experience a fragrance’s full story is really what perfume is about. A holiday is the perfect time for that.
What fragrance are you wearing today?