It’s hot outside, summer is here with all the features: sunshine and high temperatures making everybody wanting something to feel cooler even for a few minutes. This is the perfect time for daydreaming about vacation , I’m counting the days until I’ll reach the beach and dip in the sea.
From the perspective of a perfume lover I will not stop today at summer fresh, citrus fragrances neither at the aquatic, sea breeze perfumes like Aria di Mare or Acqua di Sale but I would like to share with you my favorite scents reminding me the beach. All these beachy scents with their big flowers like gardenia, tuberose, tiare or ylang , hints of coconut and juicy fruits have in common the suntan lotion vibe, bringing instantly the smell of vacation. They are sweet, some of them even gourmand, having usually in the base notes amber or vanilla with musk as a memento of the suntanned skin, saturated of course with bronzing lotions and creams.
Vittoria Apuana Profumi del Forte: a bottled tropical vacation on the beach. It starts with a citrusy creamy coconut accord that is enveloped in tiare flowers. A weird (green)banana note , reminding a little bit the smell of fruity chewing gum , brings more creaminess enhancing somehow the coconut accord which can be easily considered as main note of this perfume while the tiare flowers are slowly fading away after the first hour. This light banana note save this scent from the suntan lotion cliché , taking in fun the entire composition and bringing to the person wearing Vittoria Apuana that typical carefree feeling common during vacation.
As the fragrance evolves on the skin it becomes much more sweeter, the coconut note now it’s enveloped in a gourmand amber vanilla accord that will linger close to skin for some hours.
Datura Noir Serge Lutens: don’t take the word “noir “too seriously because in this perfume you’ll find instead a lot of white from coconut, tuberose, almonds all enveloped in creamy vanilla, how “noir” can a suntan lotion smell? We are talking about a tropical frangrance (perhaps femme fatale went out on her summer leave somewhere on a tropical island) that starts with a big creamy sweet tuberose laced with almonds, a gourmand opening.
In the first moments the almonds have some bitterness reminding of the famous poison cyanide but it disappears very soon, vanilla is doing very well its job changing nicely the bitter smell of almonds into a sweet one that in time becomes sweeter and sweeter. Later on a floral fruity accord made out of tuberose and a short living apricot shows up not for long.
After some time , as the scent evolves on the skin, almonds are changing their partner, tuberose is left in favor of coconut, almonds together with coconut continuing their dance on the skin with a good portion of suntan lotion and a lot of sweet vanilla. If the banana note from Vittoria Apuana did’t convinced you to try it then the almond note from Datura Noir might be more convincing.
Lys 41 Le Labo : with this fragrance we are taking some steps away from coconut and suntan lotion territory but still remaining on the tropical beach. First of all this a Le Labo fragrance so do not expect a lily soliflore, you are getting instead a large white flowers bouquet featuring beside lily a great tuberose, a slightly indolic jasmine and tiare on a bed of buttery vanilla with a coconut echo.
Lys 41 starts big with the white flowers, tuberose and lily as prima donnas with a shy touch of green and plenty of creamy vanilla. As the fragrance further evolves the green note becomes stronger while the vanilla creaminess is more prominent, a coconut note starts to grab attention probably due to tiare flowers that have more emphasis in the middle notes of Lys 41. This coconut note is light compared with Datura noir or Vittoria Apuana and could be a good choice for somebody who likes floral fragrances but does not enjoy so much coconut in perfume .In the basenotes a nicely done woody-musky accord is laced with a lot of vanilla that succeeds not to be gourmand.
Volo AZ 686 Profumum Roma: the name is actually the Alitalia flight from Rome to Caracas . First of all a warning : this one is a love or hate scent that either really works with one’s skin chemistry or clashes with it very dramatically. Don’t rely on the notes: gardenia, coconut and vanilla because they are intertwined in a subversive way.
Before testing this one you should have in mind Serge Luten’s Tubereuse Criminelle not because they smell alike but because of the similarities of the olfactive construction. In Volo AZ 686 there are two phases, the first one tries to describe the trip by plane which is not a very pleasant part, can be even scary for the unsuspecting person who is sampling this perfume. It starts with an extremely green, sharp and striking accord reminding of different chemicals and other substances including kerosene and rubber easy to find in airports and airplanes. For this part the greenness of gardenia is to blame.
If there is enough patience and skin chemistry after half an hour you are getting closer to the coconut trees and beach. The gardenia is not green anymore and the coconut shows up together with vanilla. Actually you will find a very different and interesting gardenia interpretation capturing all its faces.
In the drydown gardenia has a friendly face , it’s creamy and soft, the coconut is melted in vanilla and the whole feeling is like lying on the beach with the skin shining full of suntan oil and a glass of pina colada nearby after that (not so pleasant)trip by plane.
All these beach scents are great during summer when they fully evolve but in the wintertime when is cold and grey outside they uplift your mood like nothing else.
What’s your favorite beach fragrance?