This summer I have been all about the citrus. I can’t get enough of citrus or citrus blossom scents. Perhaps it is the record breaking heatwave that swept through the Pacific Northwest or maybe it’s just time for me to go through this phase. I haven’t really gotten into citrus scents. I didn’t think they were “me” and I felt like my skin ate it up. I also thought they weren’t very artsy blends. I just didn’t have respect for them. Well, this summer I have been sampling every citrus scent that I can find. This week’s wear has been Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT. If you know me, you know that there isn’t a Guerlain fragrance out there that I don’t love. This isn’t the most sophisticated Guerlain out there, but I do like it. It really hits the spot when the weather is 80+.

Mandarine-Basilic is a fresh citrus scent. It claims to have these notes: orange blossom, white peony, green tea, ivy, Roman chamomile, mandarin, basil, amber, and sandalwood.  It wears about the same on me all the way through. It is really difficult to sniff out these different notes. It smells of a refreshing beverage. The mandarin orange is what I notice the most. It’s a sweet citrus fragrance that reminds me of the juice from a clementine. It’s an easy to wear fragrance, not heavy on the herbaceous notes of basil. You smell a bit of the herb garden/vegetable garden. It just smells “green” and fresh but very pretty and not a bit rugged or masculine. This is a girly citrus. After a few hours of wear, the dry down is a faintly citrus and woody. It isn’t the most “wow” producing fragrance and it is a bit generic, but I do really like it. However, I am more of the Imperiale customer if I am looking for a refreshing summer fragrance. AA Mandarine-Basilic is just so pretty and more feminine than Imperiale and gentler and kinder than AA Pamplelune.

The scent wears for about 2-4 hours on me during pretty intense heat. It’s lovely throughout the wear and not a bit heavy. It’s a great summer scent, great for everyday or in a work environment. It’s citrusy, green, clean, and fresh. I would say to give this a try if you like mandarin citrus scents, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, Balm Balm Mandarin EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin tout Simplement EDT, Marc Jacobs Lemon Splash Cologne, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus EDP. The 2.5 oz bottle goes for $57 and is available at Sephora.

cucumbercollage

Cucumber is a great scent for summer. It is light, fresh, slightly green and fruity with a watery and faint melon like odor. I crave cucumbers in the summer. Everything from little tea sandwiches of cucumber, dill, and cream cheese to my water pitchers of cucumber, lemon, and mint. Cucumbers are refreshing. I’ve put together a “collage” of cucumber scents that I think would be perfect for summer. And as always if you have any more to add, please do.

Budget Scents: This isn’t a “true” cucumber since it is a fresh, fruity floral but it dose have a healthy dose of cucumber: Carol’s Daughter Ocean. It retails for $27 and is nice for summer. This is light-wearing but awesome for summer: Tocca Aqua Amalfi Body Mist. It reminds me of a my favorite summer beverage which is water with cucumber, lemon, and mint. It retails for $30. Now, this product is very light wearing too but it is nice for a mid-day pick-up: Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in Cucumber & Green Tea. It retails for $4.50. It’s a “fresh” scent. I love the “pureness” of Kiehl’s Rollerball Essence Oil. It retails for $25 and has a great lasting power. I really do love everything about it. You can layer it with whatever you want. I think it would wear nicely with white florals or lemon/citrus oils. Demeter Cucumber is a garden fresh cucumber scent that goes for $20. It smells great but also has a light staying power. There is an entire genre of “Cucumber Melon” products from brands like Bath and Body Works, Avon, Body Fantasies. These are usually body sprays that are more on the melon side than cucumber.

More Expensive Scents: You get a lot of cologne splash for $68 with Marc Jacob Cucumber. This is a crisp and refreshing blend. This is a flirty floral cucumber scent: Yosh U4EAHHH!. It retails for $130 and I love its staying power and freshness. It is so pretty. Tocca Cleopatra is more of a citrus scent(grapefruit) but it has cucumber and it makes it refreshing. The EDP spray retails for $68. It’s a nice “heavier” summer kind of cucumber. Like the evening wear of cucumber. Jalaine Cucumber is a long-wearing fragrance that comes in a beautiful bottle. It is a blend of cucumber and Egyptian musk. It’s simple but heavenly and goes for $150. Fresh Index line has Cucumber Bale. It is a perfect summer scent with lots of cucumber, fruit, and blackberry musk. It goes for $75 (not pictured). But, I am not wild about its staying power.

Other “Cool” Products: Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cooling Body Butter is really awesome for summer. It’s moisturizing, cooling, and refreshing. Keep it in the fridge, its’ great for overheated skin. Kiehl’s Deluxe Body Lotion in Cucumber has such a fresh scent and a lightweight moisturizer. Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes is cooling, lightly moisturizing, and has a fresh cucumber scent. It is great “beginner” eye cream. Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser has a nice citrus and cucumber aroma. It’s a cleanser for oily skins. I also like Mario Dadescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. Once again this is a product recommended for oily skin. Many cucumber scented items are recommended for oily skin. I have normal to dry skin but sometimes in the summer I will reach for the normal to oily products because I get a bit greasy, especially when I lived in the humid Southeast. So it’s a nice match between product and scent.

And since I usually wear cucumber scents during the summer, I keep them stashed in the fridge, especially the all-over splashes and sprays. It is so refreshing and great for when you can’t take the heat.

So first things first. I am not a fan of aquatic fragrances. I find them too synthetic, fake, and they “burn” my senses. I can handle a “saltwater” accord here and there but I typically despise scents that are souly aquatic. For some reason I have all the products available in Sea Island Cotton from Bath and Body Works. I don’t know why, oh, stupid gifts that I couldn’t return. I use them anyways. I hate to waste.

This scent is described as “ a clean scent, inspired by pure white cotton flowing in fresh ocean air”. That is quite strange. Didn’t Bath and Body Works think about how odd that sounds? Don’t they understand that beach real estate is far too expensive for cotton plantations these days? Or is the cotton supposed to be like lava? I don’t get it. Anyways, this scent is slightly aquatic in a wet detergent way and it is “fresh” in a Downy fabric softener way. Plus lots of floral notes and clean, white musks. It isn’t an offensive fragrance. I just don’t love it enough to go out and purchase it myself but I don’t mind using it.

It is strange how each product in the line smells different. I suppose they all “work” together since B&BW is all about the excessive layering of products to sell more and more to ladies.

The body cream is very laundry powders. It smells like warm linens, but not in a good way. More like somebody added baby powder to the wash. It is strange, warm, and just straight up washing powders and baby powder. It is my least favorite “scent” in the collection. It is too baby-ish and powdery.  At least the lotion is very moisturizing and absorbs quickly.The scent from the lotion doesn’t hang around too long and is pretty faint all day.

The body spray is better than the body cream. It does present a sense of freshness that isn’t the type of freshness like a room spray that is meant to cover something stinky up. It all the laundry detergent and ocean accords but with a bit more “fresh” flowers. It is a hint of freesia and other hissy florals. The dry down is classic white musk. It isn’t very special but to be honest I do like it better than most of the fragrances Clean has to offer (and those are much more expensive). This fragrance only lasts like 10 minutes since it is a body spray.

The creamy body wash lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It smells much more “clean cotton” than the body cream or spray. It is warm, cuddly and very fresh towels just out of the dryer. It is comforting and clean. I kind of like it because it reminds me of a cheap but discontinued brand Smell This in Fresh Towels. I wish the entire collection smelled like the creamy body wash.  But, it is a soap and maybe I expect for a soap to well, smell like detergent. It is a nice product but I know I won’t purchase it again unless it is on sale. It is hard to pay for a shower gel that costs $10.50 just to get that low-brow Downy fresh fragrance. However, it has an excellent lather.

I could see people liking this if they are a fan of the “detergent”/clean fragrances such as mark Pure, Demeter Laundromat, Clean fragrances such as Fresh Laundry, even Philosophy Amazing Grace/Pure Grace, J.Lo Glow, Marc Jacobs Cotton, GAP Washed Cotton, or if you like white/clean musk fragrances. Suprisingly, this fragrance appears “heavier” than others like it on the market. It isn’t so hissy, it is more “warm” but still “aquatic”.

This is one of my all time favorite florals. It is bold and old-fashioned but strangely very wearable. It is everything that I love. I love heavy, almost bitter florals such as jasmine and tuberose.It has notes of sweet honeysuckle and tart orange blossom. It is a white floral bomb and it has a tendency to wear you which I have no problem with. This is a fragrance that demands attention. It is a “woman” fragrance. It smells so feminine but not “flirty”. This scent isn’t frivolous. This is for a woman that knows what she wants. She knows she is attractive and sexual and she isn’t being coy about it for one minute. And she isn’t being trashy about. She isn’t a bimbo putting Revlon Fire & Ice lipstick stained cigarette butts out into her bourbon, she is elegant and refined even if she is sipping on brown liquor.

The top notes are citrusy but only in a floral citrus way such as an elegant orange blossom way. This is not that “fruity” type of citrus. This is more of a scented viognier kind of citrus. In fact, this fragrance reminds me very much of a viognier with its white florals and hints of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms. I’ve always wanted to have a bar with all of the drinks inspired by fragrances, but that is another story. You start to smell gardenia like notes, shortly a jasmine and tuberose bomb goes off. It has that ripe bitterness. It is beautiful. There is a short blast of sweet honeysuckle. Minutes later it goes back to the jasmine and tuberose. It stays this way for a long time but it becomes grounded by faint hints of warm woods. It isn’t too woody, it remains floral throughout the entire wear. It’s an elegant thing really.

My husband goes nuts for this one. There is nothing subtle with this fragrance. My husband’s sense of smell is not as sharp as mine and I find he doesn’t take very well to “hints”, he needs a fragrance to be all up in his space. He isn’t the only male that loves it. I’ll wear it out and I can tell that it turns heads.  Occasionally a gentlemen that doesn’t understand unspoken social rules may ask me about it. That’s fine with me. I’ve had a few South American ladies actually ask me if I was wearing Carolina Herrera, we’d talk shortly in the grocery line about the love of the fragrance and how it isn’t subtle. They’d share stories about how their hubby purchased them the pure parfum in the late 80’s and how badly they wish they could get their hands on that again. I can only imagine how glamorous and amazing the pure parfum must be.

The bottle is simple, not one of my favorites. The only thing nice I have to say is that I love Carolina’s font. I just find the bottle dull for such a glam fragrance. The box is polka-dot, one of Carolina’s favorite prints. Carolina should know a feminine fragrance, she is a queen of dresses. I would say that you would love this if you loved jasmine and tuberose based fragrances such as Piguet Fracas , Patou Joy, Micheal Kors, Marc Jacobs, Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Jasmine, Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia, Tocca Cleopatra, Chantecaille Le Jasmin,  Guerlain Jardin de Bagatelle, and/or Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Orange. The 1.7 ounce EDP retails for $66 and the 3.4 ounce for $90. I know that when I run out, I will repurchase. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


Carolina Herrera Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Carolina Herrera

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

fragonard-swing
I know it is predictable but I really want florals for spring. I want a fragrance with a sign of life. Usually I go for chypre or green fragrance but right now I am in a very floral mood. It only makes sense. It has been green in the Pacific Northwest and smells very mossy/chypre but no floral notes. Things are starting to bud even if they were covered in snow every other day. It is only natural to crave floral scents. However some florals seem to “robust” or to “dry” for spring. It is all a matter of perspective and I am sure where you were raised. I prefer bulb flowers and wild lilies. Here are some of my favorites and I know that I am leaving something wonderful out but i just can’t include them all.

6 Bargains Scents: Coty Muguet Des Bois is one of my favorites. It is a soft classic lily of the valley and you get 1.8 ounces for under $20. It is floral and dewy. Another nice soliflore type fragrance is Woods of Windsor Lily of the Valley it goes for $25 for 3.3 ounces. Tokyomilk Waltz is a nice white musk floral that reminds me of a frolic in a garden, much like the Fragonard painting. It retails for $28 for 1 ounce. Lush Sakura solid perfume is a nice blend of jasmine and mimosa. It smells of spring and only goes for $12. Demeter Wisteria is a nice soliflore that retails for $20 for an ounce. Avon Cynthia Rowley Petal EDT is a bursting Lily of the Valley inspired fragrance. It goes for $15 for an ounce and comes in a really cute hot pink hobnail glass bottle.

6 of the More Expensive Stuff: Diptyqye Jardin Clos EDT is a wonderful full hyacinth blend. It retails for $88 for 50mL. Guerlain Champs Elysees EDT is a light and flirty blend of roses and mimosa. It retails for about $60 and it depends on the size. The Marc Jacobs EDP fragrance is a nice fragrance with honeysuckle, jasmine, and gardenia without being too heavy. The 3.4 ounce bottle retails for $90 and the 1.7 ounce for $70. Melissa Flagg Mabel Perfume oil is a wonderful spring blend of lilies and honeysuckle. It retails for $42 for 1/8 ounce. Benefit Maybe Baby EDT is a nice flirty white floral. The 3.4 ounce retails for $48 and the 1.7 ounce goes for $32. I like the light almost bubbly scent of L’Artisan Parfumeur in Mimosa Pour Moi. The 1.7 ounce retails for $95 and the 3.4 ounce goes for $135.


I love gardenia, even the hissy and overbearing kind. I like it even when it becomes a bit “sour” and sickening and spicy. This being said, I know why some people dislike the smell of gardenia. It is heavy and “old-fashioned” like roses and many other overused florals. Marc Jacobs EDP is the gardenia fragrance that gardenia lovers will love and so will those that find gardenia a bit too heavy. It is both old and new.

This scent is truly inspired by gardenia. It is a burst of gardenia at the initial spritz. It is a huge white floral bouquet that is hissy without screaming. It is a good, floral hiss. It is truly a “gardenia interpretation”. It is fresh and a bit wet but warmed by a polite and proper musk. It smells “dewy” and fresh. It almost smells warm like monoi, as if it was warmed by fresh coconut milk. This adds a somewhat sweet component. It smells wild and lily like or honeysuckle-ish but tamed by grandma’s gardenia bush. It smells “cared for” and polished. It smells very elegant without smelling too “old” like a nice classic Caron. This isn’t going to make your man think of grandma’s perfume. This is a really new “feeling” interpretation. It is flirty has a nice tropical feel, like Hawaiian white ginger and coconut without smelling like a tanning lotion. It is the lightest gardenia scent that I have ever smelled. It is “fresh” and wet and perfect for spring. It wears for many hours and it does leave a presence. I walk by my husband and his eyes light up. It’s a very romantic but classy scent. I have to say that maybe I wouldn’t be such a gardenia fan if I didn’t marry a man that white florals really “work” on. I can spritz this stuff on and get him to do anything. This scent is really nice to wear when I want something like lets say another bottle for my perfume addiction or even just some extra help around the house.

The EDP spray comes in three sizes: 1 ounce for $50, 1.7 ounce for $70, and the 3.4 ounce for $90. Sephora also has a .34 ounce rollerball for $25. It comes in a solid perfume that goes for $55. There is a body creme which retails for $80 and a body lotion which retails for $50. I haven’t used any of these. But, I love my 1.7 ounce bottle. The bottles are simple glass without a top. It has a nice leather looking bow wrapped around it. Just like the fragrance it is simple, pretty single note, but elegant. It’s what is inside the bottle that is so beautiful.

I recommend this fragrance for those that like white florals, those that like Michael Kors (this is a nice warmer weather version), Juicy Couture (the original), Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion, those that want a lighter version of Carolina Herrera, or for ladies that need to trick their men into doing things.