WARM CLIMES, HOT SCENTS
Choosing the right summer scent is as much to do with where you’ll be wearing it, and even the occasion, as anything else. ‘There are so many deep, dark scents, which I wear in winter, but if I were to wheel them out in summer it would be like dressing in black – they’re oppressive for a reason,’ says Jo Fairley, the co-founder of the Perfume Society. ‘Fragrance is about context as well as temperature.’
For the extreme heat of the Middle East, Fairley favours Francis Kurkdjian’s Oud Silk Mood, which suits exotic climes with its notes of Laotian oud and Moroccan camomile, rendered exquisitely feminine with the addition of Italian bergamot and Bulgarian roses. She also loves Sana Jardin’s Tiger By Her Side, which, apart from having one of the best names ever, has an opulence that works well in a hot country, thanks to Moroccan roses, amber and patchouli, but might not be so perfectly matched to a patchy English summer.
You may have to be prepared to throw caution to the wind and take some risks with your choice. ‘Summer is the right time to wear bright colours, and accept more liberal manners,’ says Clara Molloy, the co-founder of the fragrance company Memo. First establish what you’re not prepared to give up. ‘If I’m not wearing a vanilla at some point during the summer, then there has been no summer,’ says Molloy. ‘I have to swim in the sea once, be bitten by a mosquito once and feel a warm, sophisticated vanilla on my skin, to really enjoy the season.’ To this end, Memo’s newest fragrance Tamarindo is a fun play on pineapple, underlined by jasmine and a very beautiful vanilla. In a similar vein is Jo Malone London’s Tropical Cherimoya Cologne, a creamy tonka bean, which is like a very slightly spicy vanilla combined with pear and passionflower. Influenced by travels around Brazil, the fragrance has a natural exuberance to it that will have you dancing – if not at Rio’s carnival itself, then at least on the tables at the pub in sunny Cornwall.
There are those, of course, who believe that the sun and eau de parfum shouldn’t mix at all, because of the risk of staining the skin (which is why I recommend keeping it to your wrists during the day). Look no further than Buly 1803’s Eau Triple range, which calls itself the first water-based perfume for the skin – in particular, Mexican Tuberose, which teams that heady white flower with spicy clove. Meanwhile, for those balmy evenings, Maison Trudon’s Bruma is like a ray of moonlight piercing a forest glade with a depth provided by vetiver, tonka bean, violets and jasmine sambac. ‘There are no set rules to me,’ says Tiffany Jeans, the founder of Curio Noir, a fragrance house based in New Zealand. Her Tobacco Night is definitely an alternative to stale ideas of what constitutes summer freshness: an intriguing combination of sage, coriander and dried tobacco leaves along with amber, musk and elemi (a bit like pine-trees but fresher). ‘Fragrance is like fashion – it’s such a personal way to express one’s self. And translating a summery smell can be anything that feels right to you.’
maison trudon bruma, £165 for 100ml at harvey nichols
parterre root of all goodness, £95 for 50ml
curio noir tobacco night, £150 for 50ml
hermès eau de citron noir, £77 for 100ml
sana jardin tiger by her side, £180 for 100ml
acqua di parma blu mediterraneo chinotto di liguria, £66 for 75ml