Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Refreshing tonics: a cure for what ails you

It’s been over 95 degrees the past week and even though it’s a dry heat I have been in the mood for refreshing fragrances. I’ve been wearing a lot of Heeley Oranges & Lemons Say the Bells of St. Clements and Creed Selection Verte. Most of the notes in refreshing scents are fleeting, so I try to find fragrances that are crisp and light but still have as much heft and longevity as possible. For the most part, when I’m looking for refreshing scents, I want something citrusy, green or herbal. Some florals are nice but only if they’re airy, not dense, and blended with some combination of green/citrus/herbs.

Here are some of my favorites ~

Atelier Orange Sanguinne: this has become my favorite citrus. It’s zesty and sweet and never sours. The first few minutes are the most realistic and uplifting bunch of blood oranges I have ever smelled.

Parfums de Nicolaï Cologne Sologne: Mostly zesty neroli and citrus, this is an intensely uplifting scent that seems more concentrated and long lasting than most in this category. A liquid antidepressant.

Creed Private Collection Selection Verte: care for a pinch of herbs and some peppermint? Selection Verte is the most straight-up crisp, brisk, olfactory herb garden. Longevity is minimal but it’s excellent when used like an old fashioned cologne.

Elizabeth W Sweet Tea: Just as the name says. Sweet Tea. Like in Texas.

Parfums D’Orsay Tilleul: Linden blooms. One of the best. With a touch of vegetal/cucumber that’s utterly thirst quenching.

Atelier Trefle Pur: This line has caught my attention. Trefle Pur is a softly green scent that starts off innocently enough with images of clovers and sunny meadows but dries down to a deeper mossier green similar to ô de Lancome. Longevity is decent for this sort of thing lasting 2-3 hours on me. But if you try it, be sure to spray and spray yourself wet.

Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon: This is based on the idea of rose scented geraniums. So while it’s a bit rosey it isn’t meant to be a floral rose fragrance. I think many try this and find it to be a disagreeable rose floral but once you realize it’s a green, herbal scent it makes sense. Many years ago before I began my orchid collection I had a scented geranium obsession. This fragrance really works for me because it smells so perfectly of the fuzzy leaves and flowers from a scented geranium plant.

A Scent by Issey Miyake: This is a gorgeous green chypre-esque fragrance. Nice longevity.

Jo Malone White Jasmine Mint: This one doesn’t get much credit but it’s a nice light jasmine with a fantastic heap of mint to keep things brisk and unusual. It’s an unsweet floral but it still dries down to a floral if you feel yourself looking for some jasmine.

L’Artisan The Pour un Ete: This almost goes without mention, it’s the best jasmine & tea scent.

Sisley Eau de Campagne: Tomato Leaf citrus. Gardeners delight.

Annick Goutal Les Nuits d’Hadrien: I’m such a huge fan of Annick Goutal perfumes but they’re bestselling fragrance, Eau d’Hadrien, just leaves me flat. AG has another version of Eau d’Hadrien called Les Nuits d’Hadrien which is essentially a citrus oriental. Now this, I love. Many say it starts off smelling like Lemon Pledge. Well, this might be true, especially if you find lemon notes to always smell like cleaning agents. But if you find yourself attracted to a nice lemon note, imagine it draped over a woody oriental base. It’s subtle and fresh yet manages the complexity of a woody oriental. Very nice.

Parfums de Nicolaï Mimosaique and L’Artisan Mimosa Pour Moi: Now neither of these are particularly refreshing by the definition I gave above (citrus, green or herbal) but even though they are florals they are so delicate, airy and soft it’s like a mimosa scented breeze caressing your skin. Dreamy.

Diptyque Oyedo: sugared grapefruit. Technically sugared yuzu on steroids. Insanely appealing.

Hermes Pamplemousse Rose: A pretty rose/grapefruit combination with an especially juicy grapefruit note, rind, pith and all.

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate: strangely humid sensation of soft green herbs and grasses with hay and nondescript wildflowers in the meadow. Some mint, some citrus, dries down much sweeter than it starts.

All of the above aren’t going to last you through an entire day. I carry a small decant and re-spritz when needed.

I could list about 20 more fragrances in this category but I’ll stop here otherwise those people will come with straight jackets.


Tamara said...

There you go again! Making me want to try all these summer juices for my skin and senses. I've been on a roll ordering nothing from TPP but what I consider to be heavy and rich scents. It must be our weather here in the N.W. cause I haven't craved anything too citrus and fresh. But now I want to and will have to remedy that soon. BTW Abigail I have to thank you and Brian and Nathan for writing so beautifully about Alahine because after getting my decant I have decided it's FB worthy and I adore it. It has me swooning in love!! <3I plan on getting it and then not even opening it till winter because that's how hard I have fell for it. I'm grateful to have found this gem. Take care and send some of that heat and sun my way please! ;)

Abigail said...


Oh, you can't imagine how pleased I am that you adore Alahine. It's my HG of all HGs and so I feel personally connected to it. I am absolutely positive you will enjoy it to no end this Fall/Winter!! Yippee :)

Tamara said...

I know! I'm telling you I have been sniffing and huffing and in heaven since I've gotten it and I kept thinking "Abigail was right!" I am in awe of it's beauty and hold on me. I am afraid to try the extrait for fear I will want that more than the perfume. Alahine will be wonderful for Washington's cold winters.So thank you once again :)

StyleSpy said...

I love CdG's Zagorsk when it's super-hot & humid. Put it on, close eyes, inhale, and think of winter.

Mals86 said...

This is not a scent category that appeals to me a lot - and I don't really know why, except that a lot of those "refreshing" type scents head right on into cologne territory, and that bores me silly. I'm not much of a citrus fan, either, so you could say honestly that I'm SOL with light summery things unless they're very floral.

Eliz W Sweet Tea was waaay too citrusy on me - I wanted more TEA, less LEMON. JM White Jasmine Mint was just hideous in the top, all sour and garbagey, one of my rare scrubbers. Pamplemousse Rose was too cologne-y (vetiver, maybe?).

So what IS working in 90-degree humid heat? Silences feels like cool silk satin in that lovely changeable purple-green color. Le Prince Jardinier Labyrinthe Libertin is a walk in the herb garden. Moschino Funny!, although I only have a sample, was what I wanted out of Pamplemousse Rose.

I'm enjoying fruity florals too, unsweetened ones like Hanae Mori Haute Couture (tangy green jasmine) and PdR Rose d'Ete (apple rose) and the first Ines de la Fressange (rosy-peach bellini).

And I sometimes find myself going the other way entirely, wearing little dabs of BIG stuff like L'Heure Bleue parfum and Carnal Flower and TM Alien. Or aldehydes. Love aldehydes in the heat, they shimmer so.

Mals86 said...

How did I miss the Alahine swoon??

ALAHINE ALAHINE ALAHINE! Now I'm in my happy place. Gosh, maybe I need to try it in the heat too... just to see...

Tamara said...

ALAHINE! Yes Mals I'm just jumpin on this bandwagon but that stuff has me (curse me now) actually awaiting winter with open arms.

Abigail said...

I never used to like refreshing scents like these either. In fact it's only when the weather is insanely hot that I go through a short phase of needing something brisk like these. In about 2 weeks I'll be craving heavier florals and orientals and lamenting that it's not winter yet!
You mention fruity florals...I should wear more of these this time of year. I occasionally crave KM's peach in summer. And YSL Babydoll and Carnal Flower which really works in the heat because it's SO Green :)

Thanna said...

My current favorite summer citrus is the ridiculously inexpensive Nenuco. Lasts quite a long time for a cologne although at only $23 for 6.8 ounces I don't feel guilty about spraying with abandon.

The Miller Harris and Elizabeth W Sweet Tea both sound like they're worth a sniff.

Martha said...

Yay! You've covered two of my favorites, Sweet Tea and White Jasmine & Mint.

For entirely unsweet refreshment, I have to mention Parfumerie Generale L'Eau Rare Matale.

And of course, now I have to try the ones that you list that I haven't tried.

Karin said...

Great list, Abigail! We haven't hit the hot weather yet, so I haven't felt a major need for refreshment. It's coming, though, so good to be prepared. :-) I've been curious about the Elizabeth W Sweet Tea for awhile now. Must get my hands on some. Those Atelier fragrances intrigue me, too. I have a bottle of Oyedo, and actually use it as a room spray on occasion! Haven't worn it on skin for ages! I should give it a go. Also pondering whether or not to get a bottle of A Scent...

What I consider "refreshing" scents, and ones that I'll be reaching for in the heat - Cologne a la Francaise, Marc Jacobs Cucumber, and a couple of newly discovered fragrances that I may have to purchase - AG's Mandragore and Sinfonia di Note's Saveur d'Artichaut. Hmmm...makes me realize that I might a few more scents in the "refreshing" category. Thought Escale a Portofino would work for me, but now it's in the swap/sell pile!!!!

Karin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

Thanks for the list! My hot & humids are Yuzu Rouge, Herba Fresca, and Prada Infusion d'Iris. Not wearing them this week, though. It's been very chilly and rainy - even had a fire in the stove last night.

Anonymous said...

Hey Abigail,
I love or like almost all of these, and haven't tried a few of them. (I can't say I love mimosa scents...) The category is right up my alley. Please, please list 20 more! I won't come take you away; and I doubt anyone else who ends up here will either.