Reading "summer faves" on the various blogs over the past few days, I noticed a trend weighing very robust fragrances against fresh citrus eau de what-have-you's. It isn't so counter-intuitive to wear thick, heavy, persistent scents during the hotter months, though you'd never know it from marketing campaigns and seasonal releases. As mentioned on the grain de musc blog, "Perfumes blossom on moist flesh: as they rise in the heat, they display more facets than at any other time of the year…"
Still, if you find yourself wanting the best of both worlds, nothing beats Kenzo Ca Sent Beau. Created by Francoise Caron in 1988, originally titled, simply, "Kenzo", Ca Sent Beau is a magical alliance of plum, peach, and citrus with one of the more unusual treatments of tuberose on the market. The fragrance has woody facets as well, and spices (cardamom and coriander). It spins off wonderfully from the skin, maintaining this precarious balance between fresh and feral for hours, meandering from rose to gardenia to magnolia to rose. Simultaneously rich and straightforward, Ca Sent Beau is true to its name, smelling ten times better than nine out of ten so-called summer perfumes twice to three times its price. To me it resembles tuberose steeped in orange water.
Some find Ca Sent Beau challening. I can see that, if by challenging you mean unusual or unique. As I smell more fragrances and my nose becomes more accustomed to the perfumer's palette, many fragrances smell like another, and are distinguished by subtle grades of difference. Ca Sent Beau is like nothing else.