Where I live, it’s as if we fell off a cliff from frosty mornings and rain-slicked trees into yellow tufts of daffodils. Chives spring up in clumps in the vegetable garden, and my plum tree is puffed with blossoms. Heck, that guy in accounting even shaved off his beard. No question about it: It’s spring.
For my top 10 of spring, I’m going to be perfectly frank about the perfume I’ll be wearing. I’m not going to force-fit recent releases to show you how on top of it I am or sprinkle in variety for the sake of a well-rounded post. No, I’m going to tell you exactly what favorites I’ll be dragging from the back of the perfume closet. Judge me as you may.
Guerlain Chamade: As soon as I smell daphne in the neighborhood, I go straight for my atomizer of Chamade Eau de Toilette or my precious decant of Parfum — or sometimes both. After all the leather, vanilla, wood, and incense of winter, I crave a thick floral. Roses and white or vaporous florals feel better when the weather is hot, so — as the next three fragrances on this list show — in spring I tend to go for velvet-weight yellow or pink florals, sometimes with a shot of fruit. Chamade is at the top of the list for its narcotic hyacinth with a mouthwatering touch of cassis.
Cartier Baiser Volé Parfum: I know lilies are summer flowers, but the depth and texture of Baiser Volé Parfum bring spring to mind. Plus, it’s so romantic, and you know what they say about spring fever and all.
Parfum de Nicolaï Le Temps d’Une Fête: I bought this one in Paris a few Aprils ago. The fragrance reminds me of a particular spring with good company, rain in the Luxembourg Gardens, and all those memories that by now I’ve whipped into a dreamy froth. Everyone should have a few fragrances like that, which is why I think perfume makes such a great souvenir.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville à l’Aube: A spring must-wear for me. First, after reading Denyse’s story of Holy Week in The Perfume Lover, I can’t think of the stretch leading up to Easter without smelling orange blossoms. Also, I first wore it in May in the Black Mountains in France, so the storms of spring interspersed with sun — the smells of dirt, old stone, ozone — come back with Seville à l’Aube (even though the fragrance doesn’t smell of any of these).
Vintage Lanvin Eau Arpège: Since I’ve discovered this one, I keep a decant in an opaque atomizer on my dresser and spray it on at least once a day, it seems. It’s easy and warm and suits business meetings as well as putting in the garden’s peas and potatoes, and it’s quiet enough to layer over.
Chloé L'Eau de Chloé: Spring will bring a few hot days, and on those days I’ll preview summer with L'Eau de Chloé. It’s green, slightly retro vibes will be the perfect foil for the old cotton sundresses I'll be eager to wear but will have to pair with boots and thick cardigans.
Christian Dior Diorissimo: What would May Day be without Diorissimo? My lilies of the valley never seem to bloom by May Day, but I can count on Diorissimo to step in for them. The only question is, why don’t I wear this one more often?
Serge Lutens Chêne: I try to squeeze in one last fire in spring. (A pile of oak and alder wait next to the fireplace as I write.) But when I want the idea of fire but don’t want to feed one all evening, I’ll turn to Chêne.
Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse / Champagne: Yvresse is perfect for Easter dinner or any drizzly evening that could use an infusion of elegance. Really, though, I’ll be wearing Yvresse because I found a bottle at Goodwill, and I haven’t yet had enough of its delicious moss and nectarines. At night, a drop of Rochas Femme Extrait sets it off nicely.
My birthday perfume: My birthday falls in late April, and I’ll want to wear something special — probably a few different fragrances — throughout the day. What will they be? If Hermès Jour d’Hermès shows us at my house somehow (hmm) I’ll spray it on my pillows the night before and start the day with it. I might wear my last few drops of Jean Patou Joy Parfum then top it off in the afternoon with a waft of Xerjoff Ibitira if I’m feeling girly. Or I might wake up moodier and go with my beloved Xerjoff Irisss and give it an edge with dabs of Vero Profumo Onda in the evening. If I’m feeling outgoing and up to attempting “fascinating,” I’ll try some Pucci Zadig parfum. Amouage Jubilation 25 is always a contender.
What are some of your spring favorites? Tell us the fragrances you really wear in spring, and not just the spring-like fragrances you admire.