Looking back at summer 2010

Summer of 2010 is pretty well done here in Montreal.  I suppose the more optimistic of us are waiting for Indian summer but it doesn’t happen all that often and for me, it’s a cruel prank by Mother Nature… one last summer heat wave before the cold North winds of winter.

I’m the first to tell people that they should wear whatever they want, whenever they want.  I don’t believe in rules when it comes to perfume except maybe to avoid the really heady stuff when the people around you are a captive audience like a classroom, the theatre or the office… or when sharing a lift in a car.  Rules aside, however, I’m also the first to admit that I am drawn to certain perfumes during summer and others during winter.

Although some bloggers admit to fighting fire with fire, I tend to do the opposite by wearing cool, citrus or green scents in the summer like Par Amour Toujours by Clarins or Guerlain’s Vetiver.  Premier Figuier by L’Artisan Parfumeur comes to mind with its unripe fig note as does Chanel No. 19  because of its cool (almost frigid) white floral heart which blooms beautifully in hot, humid weather.  The poisonous green top notes dissipate quickly and you get to the soft spring floral bouquet early on.  As I relegate them to the back of my cabinet, I miss them already.

In winter, I go for warmer and opaque scents.  Ambers and chypres move to the front of the line.  If you read my blog, you know that I love Stetson as a basic kick-around amber but this year, I’m going to try and wear the very animalic Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens.  (However, if I get too many sneers from coworkers, it’s going back on the shelf!)  Another winter favourite is Le 3e Homme by Caron.  Its fougère base is a little on the cool side because of the lavender but the jasmine heart is so beautiful and long-lasting, it’s perfect for those long days at the office.  Instead of comfort food, it’s like comfort fragrance.

Now that Chanel is offering its Exclusifs line in 75 ml. bottles there are a couple there which I’d love to try out… Cuir de Russie and 31 rue Cambon are two which could be fun to wear in the winter.

Of course there are year-round drop-dead perfect scents that are always within my reach.  By now, you’ve all figured out that I’m a chypre-junkie and so Pour Monsieur by Chanel and Givenchy III are always on my top ten list… whatever the weather or the month.  And, Chanel No. 5 Eau Première is also a year-round favourite.

I’d love to know which summer fragrances you retire as the leaves fall and the dark grey clouds darken the sky… and which you take out.

Image : Taunuslandschaft (1890) by Hans Thoma

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  1. I put some of my summer favourites at the bask of the shelf when the leaves start to turn as well. Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom, Creed Virgin Island Water, don’t get worn much in winter, unless I need a tropical fantasy.

    Spicy fragrances come to the front of the shelf in the cooler weather. Right now I’m wearing Tauer Eau d’epices, and I like the ginger in Bulgari Omnia and Etat Libre d’Orange Like This in the fall as well. Also anything with incense is my favourite when it gets cold.

    • I could certainly see why you would relegate those tropical fantasies to the back of the shelf. Those spice fragrances are somewhat new to me… I’ll definitely check them out this weekend!


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