When Ines of All I Am A Redhead invited me to join this blogfest, I said, yes, of course, sounds fun! But then I hunkered down to write about scents that evoke the Mediterranean, I realized this is a bit harder than I initially thought because I have never actually been to the Mediterranean sea or the most obviously Mediterranean country; Greece. I’ll have to remedy this awful situation sometime soon. But for the time being, please humor me, and work with the Mediterranean of my imagination. I’ll invoke the countries I have traveled to, which are close neighbors to Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean; I have been to Italy and Spain.
From traveling to many countries in Europe, Italy in particular, I have to get this off my chest. One aroma that reminds me of the Mediterranean is Diesel!
And cigarette smoke.
And men who wear buckets of cologne. But you know, that’s ok with me, I would prefer a man to wear too much cologne and pinch my ass once in awhile, it makes a gal feel like she still has it.
Oh, that reminds me of Manolis. Manolis was a beautiful young Greek boy (intern) I had a few years back when I worked at a university in Boston. He had wavy black hair, which he wore on the long side, just above his shoulders, olive skin and the bluest eyes. I mean Blue like the New Mexico sky, it was so terribly distracting. Sigh. Manolis wore Hermes Terre de Hermes so that is etched in my brain as a “Greek Scent.” (A scent for boy toys from the Gods, really). I also think of the most amazing tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes and basil. Lemons and citrus. Grape leaves and rice. The smell of steamed rice. Lamb. Figs. Olives and wine. Jasmine and orange blossom. Eggplant. Moussakka, spanakopita, feta cheese, calamari, tzatziki, baklava and stuffed zucchini. And I can't forget Greek yogurt (thank goodness we have Chobani yogurt in the states now).
For perfumes which remind me of the Mediterranean, here’s my list:
The most obvious scent is probably Diptyque Philosykos. Philosykos holds a special place in my heart because it was my very first niche purchase back in the late 90’s. Philosykos smells like a real fig grove to me, growing on the hillside in Greece. It’s not so much perfume as it is an actual place in time.
Strange Invisible Perfumes Fair Verona is a gorgeous and realistic rendition of jasmine and orange blossom. I stress realistic because I imagine a Grecian breeze carrying this scent up to me while I dine al fresco on my terrace. Wine, cheese, olives and Greek boys in my presence.
Lorenzo Villoresi Dilmun is not often (not often enough!) mentioned orange blossom fragrance which is simply gorgeous. A grove of orange trees growing along an idyllic Mediterranean scene simply must smell like this.
Profumi del Forte Vittoria Appuana is the scent of bronzed bodies sunning themselves by the sea. Vittoria Appuana is the most beautiful “suntan oil” fragrance I have ever come across. Chic bikini clad ladies with bodies to die for strolling along the shores of the Mediterranean smell like this (hey, it’s my imagination).
Carthusia Aria di Capri is the smell of air lightly scented with mimosa, iris, jasmine, peach and bay leaf. It’s a fresh and very low key floral, easy and breezy. Did you see that cheesy romance with Keanu Reeves called A Walk in the Clouds? Well, the air in that movie smelled like Carthusia Aria di Capri. And I not so secretly loved that flick.
Laura Tonatto Oltre is the most realistic smell of salty sea air I have ever come across. Oltre is so true to nature I actually get hints of seaweed and fish, but it is not unpleasant. Oltre smells of your sweater after a day at the shore. Your sweater is still a little damp and sandy but you don’t want to wash it just yet. You want to linger with the scent of relaxation and dreams.
For more Mediterranean musings, head on over to these other blogs, who, like me, are surely aching to get to the Mediterranean pronto (aside from Perfume Shrine and All I Am Redhead who are lucky enough to live there)!
So what reminds You of the Mediterranean?
Happy August everyone :)