Saturday, July 16, 2011

Too Darn Hot

I once had a bit of an argument with my grad school housemate about whether it made sense to think of perfumes seasonally. At the time, it just didn't make sense to me -- what if I wanted to wear Chanel's Coco in summer and winter! But I've come around somewhat. I still don't think of my scents exactly seasonally, but there are ones that fit my mood more often depending on whether it's cool or warm out. Actually, I think I experience scents and weather with a bit of color vocabulary, so I tend to choose scents that match that mood/weather/color profile flitting through my so-called mind.

Now that I've been hanging out a bit of perfumery forums (and realize I'm not the only freak who thinks about perfume this way, by the way), I do see a lot of discussion about scents that are good for summer or what have you, and I started thinking about what I choose to wear in hot weather. I find that my choices really fall into two categories:

Scents to Feel Refreshed By -- Sometimes I want to feel like I can resist the heat, like I just stepped out of a refreshing shower. At these times I prefer light florals, preferably with aquatic or grassy notes. I don't even mind if they go a little shampooey (though not soapy). I like citrus, too, but I tend to want the citrus mixed with either something more floral or a touch more grounded. Fitting the bill here are grassy scents like The Dormouse or Amsterdam from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, creamy florals like Quelques Fleurs from Houbigant, or fruity blends like BPAL's Croquet or 51. BPAL has a couple of refreshing citruses I like too, such as Embalming Fluid, with lemon, aloe, and green tea, and Hungry Ghost Moon, which has white grapefruit but also vanilla, rice, and wood.

Scents to Feel Gloriously Sticky -- And then sometimes I just go the hell with it, bring on the heat, bring on the funk. In those moods I might turn off the a/c and throw on a sundress and let myself get deliciously sweaty. At these times I go for something sweet smelling but earthy, or with tropical notes. BPAL's new limited edition Pussy (shut up, pervs, it's part of the Moth collection, inspired by the adorable Pussy Moth), with orange blossom honey, brown sugar, saffron, tonka, and tobacco leaf, or All on the Golden Afternoon with pineapple, tangerine, tobacco, apricot, and seltzer, plus amber and sun-baked flowers hit this note for me. Another I love is Fracas by Robert Piguet, which is heavy on the tuberose.

Today is a Sticky day, so I'm wearing Pussy. Shut up.

1 comment:

  1. My name is John Baker, I'm a retired picture framer. My e-mail is

    Years ago I acquired a set of Lautier Fils, Grass- Beyrouth Absolutes ete.

    I also have a box of 51 magic lantern glass slides depicting the perfume farms and factories in France in what seems to be the middle 1800s.

    The set of Absolutes is intact and filled with 31 glass tubes with silver caps that contain small glass vials with glass stoppers. All seem to have raw liquid perfume in them. One is missing from the set. All have labels except for a couple of them. Most can still be opened. The fragrances are very strong.

    They are in a leather and felt bound case.

    The slides are in a wooden case that has seen better times, but is intact with no rot of any sort. Most are in color.

    I can provide photos to anyone intersted. What I am actually trying to do is establish a value for these items.

    Any help anyone can provide me with would be appreciated.

    -John Baker