Louis Armstrong and I have similar reactions to soaring temperatures: stunned looks and handkerchiefs. In the Pacific Northwest this year, we've been experiencing the long hot summer. To reference another movie title, most days I think: "Hurry Sundown!" During the almost-constant heatwaves since June, I've discovered I love to wear strong fragrances in the heat: woody/resinous, smoky compositions (is that a forest fire?...or my perfume?) Wearing warm assertive perfumes in summer is like drinking hot tea on a sunny, 90-degree balcony; I imagined misery but, instead, enjoy wallowing in the heat, merging with it instead of fighting it (till a moment comes when I run into the air-conditioned house).
Two fragrances I've enjoyed wearing in hot weather are Olfactive Studio Panorama and Fiele Fragrances Myrrha; both accent the heat in a good way.
Olfactive Studio Panorama
(perfumer Clement Gavarry; wasabi accord, fig leaf, bamboo leaf, bergamot, lemon, galbanum, cardamom, violet leaf, fresh cut grass, myrrh absolute, fir balsam, patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla, musks, labdanum)
Panorama starts off smelling like an expensive aftershave lotion from the 1960s: lots of citrus, spice and musk. Panorama's bergamot and lemon are syrupy (and prominent) to start but lead quickly to the aromas of heaps of grass and leaf clippings (the wasabi-bamboo accord adds an off-kilter minute or two — a sour/earthy aroma that reminds me of a damp washcloth that's been used one too many times). Hey, what repels in daily life sometimes makes a perfume interesting! As Panorama's greens burn off (or up) I detect heated scents of fir, smoky vanilla and labdanum. Panorama smells incredibly rich but does not last too long on skin (that may be a plus for those of you who like fleeting summer fragrances). To make Panorama last for almost eight hours, employ the perfumista trick: douse yourself with scent and before it dries, put on your shirt. (Having a hairy chest probably helps prolong the scent, too). Panorama would be great to wear at the beach, on a mountain hike, while riding a ferris wheel or out to dinner — it's versatile.
Olfactive Studio Panorama is available in 50 ($145) or 100 ($195) ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Olfactive Studio under Perfume Houses.
Fiele Fragrances Myrrha
(myrrh, myrrh CO2 select extract, sandalwood absolute, patchouli, organic Atlas cedar, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, tonka bean absolute, petitgrain, neroli, bergamot, beeswax absolute)
One scent I always associate with hot summer is jasmine; my garden varieties are usually pumping out fragrance during sultry evenings, their aromas creeping into the house (having bad insulation helps). Myrrha mixes rich and beautiful notes of myrrh, jasmine and milky woods (with a touch of sweet patchouli) into a heady skin scent. Myrrha is a great perfume to wear on "hot" dates or when you feel (or want to feel) you are irresistible: a heat-generating personality. I plan on wearing Myrrha this fall and winter during my gallery talks on Impressionism at the Seattle Art Museum; Myrrha's vibrant (and vibrating) myrrh-jasmine embrace will add an "extra something" to the bright, colorful visions of Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Monet et al.
Enjoy the rest of summer!
Fiele Fragrances Myrrha is available at the brand's website in 50 ml Eau de Toilette, $85.
Note: top image of Louis Armstrong [altered] by Herman Hiller via Wikimedia Commons.