If you love beachy fragrances, you're spoiled for choice these days. If you want Coppertone, CB I Hate Perfume's At The Beach 1966 has you covered. If your idea of sunscreen is a bit more sophisticated than that, there's Parfums de Nicolaï Musc Monoï or Bond no. 9 Fire Island or Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess. If you want to smell more like flowers and less like sunscreen — maybe your ideal beach is ringed by the manicured gardens of a tropical resort? — there's Guerlain's Terracotta Le Parfum. If you want the beach and nothing but, there are too many aquatics to list, but I'm partial to Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Aqua Motu. If you want the sunscreen plus the beach, there's always (duh!) Bobbi Brown Beach. If you want the sunscreen plus the beach plus the treats from the boardwalk, try Bond no. 9 Coney Island, or my preference and the subject of today's review, What I Did On My Holidays, from the UK indie brand 4160Tuesdays.
Luckyscent tells us that "What I Did On My Holidays takes aim squarely at the real smells of a boardwalk-laced English holiday area: the kind full of chip shops, clanging arcade rides, and blissfully happy families." Turns out the boardwalk-laced holiday areas in the new world aren't all that different from the old. What I Did On My Holidays starts with a blast of cool, almost-mentholated synthetic notes. It's a bit loud, but it calms over the next few minutes into the creamy (coconut!) suntan lotion, brisk sea air and peppermint (candy) that we are promised in the list of notes, plus a splash of seawater and a thread of sharp lavender hovering underneath. As it continues to dry down, we get the boardwalk dessert course: cotton candy plus vanilla ice cream.
Verdict: If it sounds like a hot mess, really, it isn't. The sweet notes are relatively mild and sheer, and they're kept in balance by the sea and the water and the peppermint, so it's a gourmand, but a gourmand you could easily wear in hot weather. It's hugely evocative but not exactly pretty, and I can't see it becoming a no-brainer summertime staple in quite the same way as Bronze Goddess. Despite that, it's quite wearable and to my nose, it does exactly what it aims to do. Plus, it's great good fun, as is the Sunshine And Pancakes fragrance that Jessica reviewed yesterday (I still need to test Centrepiece). I would love to have a small bottle. I'll also put in a word about Urura's Tokyo Cafe, which likewise made me smile. It has been renamed Tokyo Spring Blossom since I reviewed it in 2014.
What's your favorite beachy perfume?
4160Tuesday What I Did On My Holidays is $90 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum. For purchasing information, see the listing for 4160Tuesdays under Perfume Houses.