SUMMER SCENTS

fragrances summer 1From left to right (Miss Dior Cherie EDT, Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Extreme, La Maison de la Vanille Vanille Divine des Tropiques, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Mora Bella, Diptyque Philosykos)

After a very uninspired Winter, we are at last back where we wanna be, and that is spritzing waters of exotic fruits, figs and vanilla. I routinely get lost with scents in the midst of Winter and ultimately give up; Warm-weather fragrances are more "me" and suit me better, and as much as I love to spend time with a bottle of Agent Provocateur, it's exhausting several months in a row.

I'll start left to right just for clarity's sake:

Eau de Ciel by Goutal is my grey day London fragrance. This is a perfect "morning garden" scent and smells like glorious humidity: simple, sophisticated, without a doubt well positioned in my top 10. It's very good for Spring but it does require the climate to be on the warm side. To me it's very much city and I wouldn't wear this at the beach; it's perfect for London/Paris, even St. Tropez.

Vanille Extreme, the last reincarnation of the classic Vanilla by Comptoir is quite the opposite: Bright and cheerful vanilla, loved by children and men alike, this suits hot beachy frolicks and bikinis, more California than San Francisco, and I only really wear this in London when it's unusually warm and sunny (as it has been this past week). Vanille Extreme (as did Vanille, and Vanilla Passion after that) makes me instantly happy.

Mora Bella (formerly Frutes Savages, a much better title) is on a similar wavelength, this time a composition of juicy blackberries and vanilla, a super sexy scent, very addictive. Of all the pretty fruity florals that have popped up in the last ten years, uncontestably the best.

Vanille Divine des Tropiques (Maison de La Vanille) has been described by my boyfriends as "ice cream" and that's actually quite accurate: A sweet concoction somewhere between madagascar vanilla and jasmine oil. I will say that this one too requires the temperature to be on the high side.

It's fundamental that I explain: CSP along with La Maison de la Vanille are in a different league to classic perfume houses; they produce Summer candy scents, they are linear, uncomplicated, and their sole purpose is to be sweet and cute as opposed to beautiful. They do not have the elegance or the regal element of Guerlain or Chanel, and they are unapologetically feminine. I wouldn't say they are better or worse than a composition like Shalimar; you cannot possibly compare them. I couldn't live without Mora Bella, and I couldn't choose between them, just like you cannot choose between Evian and Veuve Cliquot- they're different things.

Dyptique Phylosikos is probably my favourite, most used fragrance and I have just repurchased another bottle. I have it in every manifestation it comes in (solid, oil..etc you name it) and I recommend them all. It is, again, a Summer scent for me. It's very transparent and watery, light and so so nonchalant, so exquisite in its simplicity. I wear it in London, but I reiterate that this one does better in warm weather.

CSP and Maison de la Vanille are hard to find in Europe, I cannot understand why they are not distributed because you really want to try these in person. But hey, that's my two cents.