A few fragrance-friends and I were recently chatting in a group text about our favorite perfumes for very hot days. I'm pretty predictable — as usual, I mentioned Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau and 4711 and last year's Jo Malone Tangy Rhubarb Cologne. Then I remembered that I have a new summer-favorite scent to add to this list: Aedes de Venustas Corfu Kumquat.
Aedes launched Corfu Kumquat back in March 2022 as a fresh addition to its revamped in-house fragrance line, describing it as "a Grecian sun-drenched citrus marked by complexity and longevity." This Eau de Parfum is named for the island of Corfu and for the small oval-shaped fruit sometimes known as "the golden orange," and its composition includes notes of kumquat, bergamot, tangerine, mandarin, cedar, ginger, ambrox, olibanum, lavender, apple, neroli, vetiver, rhubarb, tonka and musk.
In developing Corfu Kumquat for Aedes, perfumer Ilias Ermenidis (who is himself Greek) imagined this fruit in a setting of "sea air and rugged terrain." He has accomplished just what he set out to do. Corfu Kumquat's opening is a mouth-watering burst of fruit notes — definitely some juicy, almost sweet tangerine that shifts into the greener citrus of bergamot and some pleasantly sour rhubarb. The smell of citrus rinds, even more so than pulp, turns out to be the thing here as Corfu Kumquat develops. The cedar and ambrox make the fragrance feel saline and warm (yet still somehow airy), suggesting salted and preserved peel rather than freshly squeezed fruit. (If you happen to loathe ambrox, this fragrance may not be the one for you, but I happen to like it in the right contexts.) The kumquat heart is still tart but it's paired with a smooth resinous note that balances the fruit's acidity.
As someone who always opts for a salted rim on my margarita glass and is still thinking about some salted lemonade I drank two summers ago, I appreciate Corfu Kumquat's balance of zesty and salty "flavors." Corfu Kumquat stays close to my skin and, as promised, it does last well for a citrus-centered fragrance. It melds beautifully with sun-warmed skin, and it feels like a perfect "summer Friday" scent, but you could also easily wear it to the office. I'm adding it to my small "seasonal rotation" tray so I'll remember to spray on its cheerful olfactory cocktail.
How about you? If it's currently summer in your part of the world, what perfume bottle(s) will you be reaching for when the temperature soars?
Aedes de Venustas Corfu Kumquat is available in in 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($245). For information on where to buy it, see Aedes de Venustas under Perfume Houses.