The ladies get a scent of sum­mer

It doesn’t mat­ter if the sun re­fuses to shine, says Sarah Caden, a sea­sonal shift in your scent can lift the spir­its

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - NEWS -

Some days lately, there’s a sense of change in the air. The sun shines, we strip off some lay­ers and get out­doors. We sit on the grass and pre­tend it’s not soak­ing wet and, glo­ri­ously, it’s sum­mer. Ob­vi­ously, the next day, we wake up and it’s not, but still, be­ing Ir­ish and op­ti­mistic in the face of ex­pe­ri­ence and ev­i­dence, we start act­ing like it’s high sum­mer. So, some days it might be too cold to leave the house with­out a coat, but that’s no rea­son to have a win­try air about you. Full bronzer is a bit much if it’s lash­ing hail­stones, but a scent that speaks of sum­mer sun­shine is more sub­tle.

There are var­i­ous camps when it comes to fra­grance. Some peo­ple have a sig­na­ture scent that they wear all year round and never vary, come snow or sun­shine. Their op­po­sites are those with a vast col­lec­tion of scents that they flit be­tween, never find­ing a favourite. And then, some­where in the mid­dle, is the per­son who likes a change, but only when it means some­thing. This is the per­son who shifts scent for sum­mer, shed­ding musky, heavy, dark fra­grances for those that are more green, or more warm, or more evoca­tive of the beach or freshly cut grass. For them, we have the new spritz sorted.

BEST OVER­ALL

Jo Malone Nashi Blos­som Cologne, €54, Brown Thomas An­nu­ally, this brand is­sues a lim­it­ededi­tion blos­som-in­spired fra­grance, and this year’s is a fresh cologne that’s not overly flow­ery. Nashi blos­som, in case you didn’t know, is the flower that pre­cedes the growth of a pear on the fruit-tree va­ri­ety of the same name. Nashi is a crisp, juicy fruit that’s al­most like a cross be­tween an ap­ple and a pear. Ap­par­ently. OK, it’s news to us, too. So the cologne re­flects that crisp juici­ness, as well as the white­ness of the flower, while it also has a base note of white musk and a top note of lemon. “There is a soft edge to the flo­ral fruiti­ness that’s slightly hon­ey­ish,” said a pan­el­list.

BEST DEEP SUM­MER YSL Black Opium Eau de Par­fum, €79, YSL coun­ters na­tion­wide

There will al­ways be those among us who can’t cope with the lighter scents. Maybe they smell wishy-washy on us; maybe we can’t un­der­stand the ap­peal of smelling like sun oil or cut grass; maybe we just don’t like them. What­ever the rea­son, there’s al­ways a more in­tense op­tion. Many of us grew up on the heavy, heady scent of Opium, but this twist on it is more mod­ern, and less ‘1980s shoul­der pads’. “This is musky, rich and sexy,” said a pan­el­list. “It thumbs its nose at all those green­ish, wimpy mod­ern per­fumes.”

BEST EN­VELOP­ING WARMTH Nuxe Body Re­lax­ing Fra­grant Wa­ter, €30, avail­able na­tion­wide

This brand has a slew of new body prod­ucts for sum­mer, but this stands out among them. It’s per­fect for those who don’t re­ally want a full fra­grance hit, par­tic­u­larly in sum­mer, but like a hint of scent around them. They’re call­ing it a “re­fresh­ing” prod­uct and it has that fresh feel, but fans of the brand’s Huile Prodigieuse will recog­nise a beachy, nutty sim­i­lar­ity to it. “Spritzy, if that’s a word,” said one pan­el­list. “If it wasn’t for the glass bot­tle, I’d make this a sum­mer gym-bag reg­u­lar.”

BEST GLO­RI­OUS GAR­DEN L’Oc­c­i­tane Vi­o­lette and Rose de Mai Eau de Toi­lette, €62, L’Oc­c­i­tane shops; se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide

Roses are big in this sum­mer’s scent re­leases, and this one is a good ex­am­ple of wear­able rosi­ness. Some rose scents are too girlie, some are too heavy and headache-y, but this strikes a nice bal­ance, thanks in part to the in­clu­sion of the lighter vi­o­let layer. Berg­amot and man­darin pro­vide a zesty hit, and as base notes, it has musk and san­dal­wood. De­signed to evoke the south of France, it cer­tainly has a hint of the scent of sum­mer-hol­i­day evenings. “It’s a rosy flo­ral, with an ever-so-slightly dark edge,” one pan­el­list said.

BEST RICH ROSE Gior­gio Ar­mani Si Rose Sig­na­ture Eau de Par­fum, €127, avail­able na­tion­wide

Two va­ri­eties of rose, fruit, berg­amot and patchouli are some of the fra­grance notes in this bot­tle, which is an eau de par­fum, and there­fore has more stay­ing power than the sum­mery colognes or ‘wa­ters’. The rose el­e­ment is very pro­nounced, but, when it set­tles, there are more sub­tle lay­ers of other el­e­ments. If you like the orig­i­nal Si, this is a sweet twist on it, but not too sug­ary. “It’s heavy and dra­matic,” a pan­el­list said, “but that’s not to say win­try, as the big rose scent is so ‘sum­mer gar­den’.” Pic­tured, from left, Jo Malone Nashi Blos­som Cologne; YSL Black Opium Eau de Par­fum; Nuxe Body Re­lax­ing Fra­grant Wa­ter; L’Oc­c­i­tane Vi­o­lette and Rose de Mai Eau de Toi­lette; Gior­gio Ar­mani Si Rose Sig­na­ture Eau de Par­fum Email thep­anel@in­de­pen­dent.ie

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