Monday, July 11, 2011

Hazy Dayz

Thank goodness Brian has been keeping our readers entertained since I’ve been MIA for quite some time! Does anyone even remember me?!

I’ve moved, so I find myself in a different part of the country, the southeast, where it is insanely hot and humid. After two years in the high desert, I forgot exactly what humidity feels like. Oh... now I remember, it feels oppressive and wet and heavy and just plain awful! I knew I would have an adjustment, even though I have lived in somewhat humid climates before, but these past few weeks have made me feel like I’m living in a steam bath.

So here I am in this steam bath and I simply cannot wear my beloved perfumes! Normally I lean towards light and simple soliflore fragrances in the summer, no matter where I live, but this humidity commands something so zesty and refreshing it seems my only options are things like Diptyque Oyedo or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia (I don’t own Herba Fresca but Mentafollia is similar) and Bvlgari Eau Parfumee The Vert Extreme. I’ve also been able to wear a few from Annick Goutal, such as Neroli and Le Chevrefeuille but everything else is just too much and sometimes even these that I’ve just listed are too much. The air is so heavy and wet that perfume doesn’t diffuse around me, it just sits there, in a lump on my wrist, giving me the distinct feeling that I shouldn’t have sprayed it on at all. A woman standing in front of me in line the other day was wearing something heavy, I think it was Angel (which I love) and for the first time in my life I nearly recoiled from her. I felt like a traitor.

For those readers in hot, humid climates; how do you manage? Do you wear only the sheerest and lightest scents or are you able to simply wear whatever you want? Problem is, I do have a large number of sheer, zesty, summery scents (oh, just thought of another few good one’s Parfums D’Orsay Tilleul and Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon) but I tire of these types of scents, so much so, that I end up wearing nothing (double gasp), I’ve just been going scentless lately. And, according to my knowledge of the weather here, this could continue until about October.

A perfumista in exile


Melissa said...

I feel your pain!! I live in coastal Alabama and have lived here since 1978 when my dad transferred us here from Hawaii. Yep, Hawaii. It took me months to get over it enough to talk to him and years to forgive the Marines for making him move!! Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger they say. As for fragrances in this awful heat & humidity, I'm finding nothing but zesty will do. And that doesn't always include citrus, although Guerlain's Vetiver is at the top of the list. I actually find that a few of Andy Tauer's incense heavy fragrances actually hit the spot. Done with restraint, their tartness seems to cut through the steam without the horrible sweetness that can go VERY bad in 95 degree weather. Some of my heavier, sweeter perfumes just have to wait until it cools off some. Which around here can be as late as October.

Emma said...

Living in AUstralia I feel like this for a large part of the year. I am beginning to think that perfumes need to be geographically L'Ombre Fauve for me here.....Angel in Summer in Brisbane in humid tropicality mixed with a truly lived-in BO is a living different from when I was living in Canada.

Zanne said...

Oh you're back you're BACK Yayyayyayyy!!!! There, feel loved and missed? :) You SO are.

So girlfriend, this Abigail fan lives in south Alabama and, Yeah, I completely get what you're feeling. Heat Soup. Perfumes are tricky indeed. For me, it comes down to this: what 'works' when mixed with sweat - ha! I wear Bsndit when I work out 'cuz, strangely, the more I sweat the better it smells on me. At night, I can't relax without the transporting spice-waves of Lonestar Memories (indoors mind you).

Deep south is Such a steam bath this time of year (and August/September are even worse) that at a certain point I just start fantasizing about fall and shelve my summer loves. Alas there Are a faithful few that sing against all odds - A.G.'s Folavril & Le Chevvy and Brosius's Revelation, Memory of Kindness, and Wild Hunt - something so natural and elemental about them that they bloom on humid skin.

Oh and Hilde Soliani's Stecca smells like acrid vegetable sweat and is strangely intoxicating in this heat. To 'moi anyway - ha!

WELCOME BACK, Abigail and feel a Happy Embrace from your sweating comrade! :)


(p.s. Angel in the Summer?!? OUCH)

Sharon C. said...

It's nice to have you back, Abigail!

I've lived in the Memphis TN area for nearly 14 years, and each summer seems hotter and more humid than the last. I, too, tire of "fresher" scents rapidly, so I wear whatever suits my mood, just as I do in cooler weather--but applied with a much lighter hand. That said, there are a couple of uber-rich and gourmand scents that I cannot face when the mercury rises above 72F (Angel, Poison, Songes). Scented body lotions and powders are a good alternative in a MidSouth summer, too.

Abigail said...

Hey Ya'll! (and as I've mentioned to Brian, I can't use "ya'll" with a straight face >yet< but I do find it to be a pleasant term, much nicer than the "you guys" we use in the northeast. So maybe I'll be lettin' the ya'll slip out soon enough. :)

Moved >FROM< Hawaii?! I would have been pretty testy about that, too!

Yes, I can imagine coming from Canada to Australia would be pretty darn shocking weather-wise. I think you've got me beat with that one :)

I'm in South Carolina now. Does that count as the deep south? I can't imagine it could be hotter anywhere else. It's been 95 degrees every day since mid June.
A friend I just met here says that Southern Girls don't sweat, instead they "glisten." (hardy har har)
I need to get CB's Wild Hunt; been curious about that one anyway and it sounds Heat Soup worthy.
Thanks so much for the warm (both in temperament and temperature) welcome back!

As I was unpacking I found a full tube of AG's Hadrien body cream and have used that a couple times. The thing is it's so wet that I scarcely need to ever use moisturizer (again in my life) but the cream IS a nice alternative to spraying perfume. Especially since I can put it on my legs and it's not up near my face, yet I still get whiffs of it for a little while.

Anonymous said...

I did laugh at your recoiling at Angel... yes, often those heavy things seem to just be asphyxiating in humidity.

Waving at you from SW VA, where our bad-enough humidity is NUTHIN' compared to SC. (Try some Silences maybe? Seems like air conditioning to me.)

Glad you're settled, glad you're writing, with you on Waiting For Fall.

Olfacta said...

Hi Abigail -- Don't know exactly what part of the South you live in but if you're in a place with any elevation at all (Piedmont plateau) the humidity begins to subside after Labor Day and September isn't so bad and October is perfect -- warm dry days, cool nights. In the meantime we're having the worst summer ever. Hang in there. Learn to love sweat. Never wear any sort of synthetic fabric -- cotton and linen only.

Someone mentioned Guerlain Vetiver? It's a stand-by. O de Lancome, tea fragrances, YSL In Love Again, ELDO Je Suis Homme, etc. In an air-conditioned house, at night I use whatever I please.

Elisa said...

Welcome back! It is quite hot and humid here in Boston, but since I spend most of the day in air conditioning I haven't given up on perfume. I rather like how some heavier/warmer perfumes (incense, amber or patchouli based stuff) perform in the heat, and it's never too hot for Bronze Goddess or Oyedo. I hope you adjust swiftly to the new climate! We move to Denver in just another month, then I'll be leaving humidity behind, thank God. (I lived in Houston before Boston, oof.)

Fiona said...

I can't abide anything floral in humidity. It immediately 'rots' on my skin. And I do wear much less perfume than usual.

Lately, in this weather, I've been loving AG's Musc Nomade. I smell spicy (ahem) anyway, so why not add to it?

Olfacta's suggestion of O de Lancome is a great choice, too!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I am so glad to see your post. I'm sorry you are living in the hot soup. I do, too.

Perfume-wise, my beloved heavy orientals do fall out of heavy rotation. It's not that I won't wear them, but I confine them to night, scent of the evening, status. I'll also use them to perfume my bath or shower. Heck, I have several lifetimes worth of perfume, so I want to use it.

In the daytime, I stick with citrus and the your skin but better musks and soft florals. No. 5 Eau Premiere gets lots of time, because it never feels overwhelming. Sometimes on non work days, I trot out big white florals to bloom in the heat--Amaranthine, Manoumalia, Montale's Intense Tiare. I rebel, though--tonight I think I'll go put on some MKK or Labdanum 18, just to remember why I love them. Stay cool, and be well. --HemlockSillage

cornlily said...

Sometimes L'Artisan's Timbuktu works in warm, humid places. There's a dry quality to it that appeals, some days.
Strange as it seems, occasionally going for broke with Havana Vanille feels good. Try it when you're alone, just in case.
For citrus, Parfum d'Empire's Yuzu Fou is an interesting change from the usual sheer, ephemeral lemony things. It IS long-lasting, so you want to be sure it's what you want to be wearing on a given day.
Also, I like Tabac Blonde in hot weather. I wouldn't waste precious vintage Tabac Blonde on such a day, but often the new version just feels right.
I grew up in the South. I now live in a place where the temperature rarely gets up to 70 degrees. Yesterday I had to be out on a windy bluff by the ocean for an hour; I've rarely been so cold in my life. I perversely long for heat -- until I encounter it, traveling. Then I go all wimpy.
Best wishes on the adjustment.

womo531 said...

Over here in Taiwan, its pretty bad =p so I go with light florals, citrus and orange blossom.. although I find that musk and ouds/incense still works well if applied VERY LIGHTLY. Once I opened a bottle of Santal 33 in the office and the secretary asked me if I smelled wood from the construction going on behind our building.. ha

kathleen said...

You know what's nice in this kind of weather? Those Il Profumo scents that we split last year. Eclair de Tubereuse and Blanche Jacinthe. If you don't have any left, you can always split again ;o) Also, Neil Morris' Vapor, is wonderful in the heat & humidity. And, Sous le Vent, Mmmmm

Nice to see you again, Abigail.

Tania said...

Welcome back Abigail!

Gah! I hate humidity. I've had to deal with it on holiday occasionally, and I react with all the uncomplaining grace of a disgruntled toddler. It's just nasty! So I don't go to such places any more.
But I seem to recall wearing Eau Hadrian a lot when in humid climes. And I found that a light chypre like O de Lancome has enough oomph to fight the fug without being cloying.
Or, have you tried wearing Y?

Katie Puckrik said...

Abigail, I lived for many years in the D.C. area, and that was the era of Chanel Cristalle and Dior Diorella for me.