Sunshine at last! And just in time, because we’ve been busy combing through every corner of the perfume world to bring you this year’s SUMMER EscENTIALS: 10 essential fragrances for Summer 2015. Whatever the perfect summer season means to you, and no matter where you plan to spend it, these scents will carry you through heat waves, lift you up steep mountains, escort you to distant underwater worlds, or simply make you dream of exotic places and aromas. To truly capture the essence of these beauties, we invite you to view our findings in an exclusive photo shoot. Enjoy!
PHOTOGRAPHY & CREATIVE DIRECTION: Helder Suffenplan
Sunshine at last!
01. Pierre Guillaume: Entre Ciel et Mer
Live on the water. IN the water. Spend day after day sailing, swimming, diving. Flying over seascapes at top speed. Floating weightlessly through underwater worlds inhabited by beauty and strangeness. On the white beaches, the iodic and mineral notes of algae and saltwater on your skin mix with fruity, herbal nuances carried from the inland of this tiny island. Once jolted back home, you’ll notice every grain of sand that made the journey with you. They invoke paradise, as does the perfume of the island, pervading your hair, your clothes — everything. A marine poem to last.
PERFUMER: Pierre Guillaume
02. Dear Rose: Sympathy for the Sun
You’ve never heard of a salty citrus-floral? Relax. This category was only recently invented by the French label Dear Rose, brainchild of Paris-based mother-daughter duo Chantal and Alexandra Roos. But what does a salty citrus-floral smell like? Well, take rose as the pillar of femininity, add a basket full of sunny citrus, and throw in the sea’s salty surf; there you have the beginning of a passionate, complicated love story set amid a seaside resort on the French Riviera.
PERFUMER: Fabrice Pellegrin
03. Atelier Cologne: Pomelo Paradis
Eating a pomelo is a multisensory affair. Impressive alone is this fruit’s size and weight, but wait until you peel back its thick white skin, the juicy pulp filling the air with a zesty citrus aroma — your nose will thank you. Pomelo Paradis (that name!) replicates this simple pleasure. You may even wonder, “Who’s eating a pomelo here? I want some!” Spiced up with Chinese mint and black current, and rounded off with Bulgarian rose and amber, this scent is the perfect refresher on a hot summer’s day, not only for you, but also for everyone around you.
04. Monsillage: Eau de Céleri
Don’t you, too, admire people who turn something seemingly trivial into a work of art? Monsillage’s founder and creative mastermind Isabelle Michaud took inspiration from the simple task of running celery under cold water while preparing a healthy snack (or was it fixing a Bloody Mary?). Her ultra green, crisp scent is a cooling concoction that will carry you through summer. You don’t just catch the vegetal notes of the celery itself — you smell the water, too! The salty, biting flavor of coriander leaf, galbanum, and cut grass slowly develops into an elegant chypre perfume. Eau de Céleri is a well-deserved 2015 Art & Olfaction Award winner in the Artisan Category.
PERFUMER: Isabelle Michaud
05. Nasengold: G.
Kick-start a busy summer day in your favorite city with a blast of tart citrus, pink pepper, and fresh ginger. Filled with enough get-up-and-go energy to hit the town, the scent’s elegant floral notes will reveal themselves in time to escort you to that lunch spot your friends have been raving about. And surprise: patchouli, cedar wood, vetiver, and leather notes show up to usher in the more mellow part of the day. It starts with a sundowner, unfolds through dinner, and ends with — well let’s see — the German pronunciation of the fragrance’s name means G-spot.
PERFUMER: Christian Plesch
06. Maison Francis Kurkdjian: Aqua Vitae
The higher you climb that mountain, the thinner the air gets. The cloudless sky turns from blue to white. At each turn the path’s vegetation gets scarcer, as do the sounds and smells. The lush meadows of blue gentians and orange fire lilies that you left behind give way to mosses and lichens of all colors. And in the end it seems like the clean metallic tinge that fills your lungs — along with citrusy notes and the subtle sweet smells of guaiac wood and dry vanilla — rises from the rocks themselves, and from the endless sky above.
PERFUMER: Francis Kurkdjian
07. Heeley: Menthe Fraîche
Pick only the freshest and greenest leaves from the bunch of mint you bought at the market in Antibes, drop them into the glass pitcher with ice cubes, and shake. Watch as the crystals crush the minty leaves, unlocking the invigorating grassy tones of their sap. Add lemon slices, a sip of maté or green tea, and continue to stir as you head to the terrace. There, laze away the afternoon until the car picks you up for dinner at Eden Roc. Soon the sunlight will change from white to peach, the pine trees rustling as the day gently fades away.
PERFUMER: David Maruitte
08. Frapin: Paradis Perdu
A lost paradise is what we hope to find every summer. We roam the world in search of the perfect spot for holiday, to reconnect, recover, and rediscover ourselves. Arcadia! This fragrance comes as close as possible to the mythical garden, where the power of nature provides abundant beauty. The crisp green opening of vegetable and herbaceous notes draws you in. Fruits, spices, and roses evoke the memory of a Mediterranean garden. A richer green rises from the moist vetiver roots, tobacco leaves, and touch of patchouli.
PERFUMER: Amélie Bourgeois
09. Etro: Lemon Sorbet
You walk towards the edge of the garden, with every step the chatter and music from the terrace fading into a muted murmur. As you come upon the cool shadows of the impressive trees, you realize what drew you here: aromatic herbs, and the hints of rosemary and lavender. As this essence mixes with the zest from the splendidly mixed Gimlet in your hand, the woody notes of the trees, and the whiff of tobacco wafting from the terrace, you just know: this is Summer.
PERFUMER: Jacques Flori
10. Atelier PMP: Concrete Flower
In an industrial wasteland during midsummer, concrete slabs and T-sections aggregate the heat from a relentlessly burning sun. Weeds and herbs reclaim this man-made scene. Hidden between the flora are rare blooms of graffiti, created by nameless faces. Suddenly, from a seemingly cloudless sky, rain falls to wash away the dust, enliven the thirsty plants, unlock their natural scents, and resurrect the colors of the paint. The distinct smell of summer rain on dry pavement, the sharp green of sprouts, and the stubborn beauty of urban street art: this is Concrete Flower.
PERFUMER: Mark Buxton
This post has first been published in July 2015.