Just as autumn is gaining confidence, Amouage and Eight & Bob have released "summery" perfumes (perfect timing for the Southern Hemisphere, at least!)
Amouage Beach Hut Man1 seems to have divided perfumistos: judging from online commentary, lots of men love it and lots wanted to scrub it off immediately. (That's usually a good sign...for me anyway.)
The moment I sprayed on Beach Hut Man I thought of my father...and the candy counter. My father came to mind because Beach Hut Man smells "vintage," its moss hanging for all to smell. Beach Hut Man's opening also reminded me of candies I used to buy at a neighborhood market/laundromat. The candies were cheap and artificially flavored, and it was best to just chew and swallow quickly; there was nothing much to savor beyond jarring, laser-bright, alkaline, baby-aspirin flavors. I think Beach Hut Man's weird opening "accord" is conjured by a blending of mint and orange blossom, with some ivy woven in, too.
Within five minutes, Beach Hut Man segues to slightly smoky galbanum-moss-ivy. The perfume's sweet-woody/tangy body-musk base is a blur, not great, not terrible. (And is that a hint of ozone I smell?) Beach Hut Man's base reminds me of closed, claustrophobic spaces (beach huts are tiny) — don't expect the scents of ocean shores. Beach Hut Man's sketchy (but thick) aromas in no way warrant its crazy-high price tag; its ingredients are used in a chintzy and awkward fashion.
Maybe this perfume is named for an archetype: the beach-hut guy, who looks damn good in a Speedo but who'd annoy and bore you the moment his mouth opened (for anything other than sex).
Amouage Beach Hut Man Eau de Parfum is $310 for 100 ml.
Eight & Bob Champs de Provence is more my style. It's airy and light with interesting jasmine and orange blossom aromas that start off clear and then become opaque/talc-y. Champs de Provence is sweet, not only with flowers but with fruit: hefty citrus that smells more like lime than orange/bergamot (pear-haters: I don't smell pear). I usually don't like ambrox, but in Champs de Provence it blends well with dry tea notes (more jasmine tea than mate). Champs de Provence is what I'd put on after washing off Beach Hut Man; I'd feel cleansed and refreshed. Champs de Provence is a linear perfume with a "therapeutic"-spa vibe. It's still darned expensive for a summer cologne-type scent, but context is all — it's half the price of Beach Hut Man and smells twice as good.
Eight & Bob Champs de Provence Eau de Parfum is $160 for 100 ml.
1. Perfumer Elise Bénat: listed notes of galbanum, mint, orange blossom, moss, ivy, vetiver, patchouli, myrrh, woods.
2. Listed notes of bergamot, orange, pear, rose, orange blossom, jasmine, musk, mate and ambroxan.