Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to purchase one of the products displayed, we’ll receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you.
My earliest memories of perfumes stem from my childhood. My mother never wore perfumes, in fact, she somewhat despised it. My paternal grandmother, however, made more than up for it and so I am, as countless other German children of the nineties, permanently traumatised by the signature scent of Cologne 4711.
And so, for almost the entirety of my adolescence, I adopted my mother’s stance on perfumes and avoided it as something old people wear to mask the scent of the grave ever presently infringing into their life. 4711 will forever be burned into my olfactory memory as the scent old German women wear to the grave. All of this changed when I met Natya. She was almost twice as old as me and the first woman I’d met to that date that I would call truly glamorous. I had never before met someone that would apply perfume at a horse show, after having just styled her short hair in a water bucket.
I was intrigued and wanted to be like her. Because under all the carefully curated tomboy image, a love for graphic novels and blasé attitude, I craved to embrace my femininity. And so Natya took socially awkward and insecure me under her wing. She has not only given me the initial push into who I am today but also, despite all our squabbles and fights, always supported me in my decisions.
I bought my first bottle of perfume in Australia. It was Kate Moss’ 2009 signature scent ‘Vintage’ and I still own the bottle. Since then my taste in scent has changed significantly. Now I hunt for the unusual and memorable rather than the pleasant and generic. Perfumes to me are a way of expressing myself. It is an easy way of reinventing myself in a heartbeat. It is like the omnipresent film theme. It underlines who I am, who I want to be, it sets the scene and then allows me to fill it.
Sadly way too many perfumes play it safe. They smell pleasant but they don’t invoke a story. A perfume should be all about emotions, an instinctive image of the person you could be, the places it will take you, the life you’ll live. Don’t be boring, don’t wear what everyone else wears. Be bold and unique and memorable. I’ll introduce you to some extraordinary scents that can be worn year round but are perfect for summer.
1 | Black by BVLGARI
Perfumer Annik Ménardo not only bottled the scent of hot dust and burnt tires; she also made it incredibly sexy and alluring. Even though Black is often quoted as a winter fragrance I always instinctively associate summer heat with it. The scorching sun beating down on a desert race track, heat trapped in the city streets at night, smoking naked by an open window. Black is confident and urban it is a scent for women that abhor convention and the constructs imposed on them by society. It reveals a darker, stranger side of bohemian spirit. Black is my favourite fragrance of all times for its unexpected notes and the feeling of power it gives me. Read another love declaration.
bergamot, lapsang souchong tea, jasmine
cedar, sandalwood, leather
amber, musk, vanilla, resins.
2 | Black Orchid by Tom Ford
Imagine stepping from a freezing winter day into the hot embrace of a tropical greenhouse. Black Orchid is a slab in the face. The pungent musky smell of tropical heat and soil fighting the heady scent of orchids in full bloom. As the initial shock fades floral orchid accords mingle with patchouli, vanilla and incense to a sultry mix. Black Orchid is heady and animalic and reminisces of a lazy sinuous stretch after an afternoon of love in the summer heat. It evokes images of tangled sheets and a slight sheen of sweat, and of the deep shadows of the woods. It is not a sunny summer scent, it is the steaming rainforest after a violent thunderstorm.
French jasmine, black gardenia, bergamot, mandarin,
black orchid, spicy floral orchid accords and lotus wood
patchouli, incense, amber, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang-ylang,
3 | Paris-Deauville by Chanel
Hot gusts of the Sirocco mingle sea scents with bitter notes of orange peel and jasmine blossoms. Paris-Deauville is not just reminiscent of the famous French resort town but the entire Mediterranean. It evokes images of endless citrus groves, steep cliffs with the incredibly blue sea below and jasmine blooming at dusk. If Joy de Vivre was a scent, it would be Paris-Deauville. It is full of fun and excitement a fresh breeze tingling our noses. A scent that brings summer into our hearts, memories of childhood holidays and innocent adventures. And it is our personal little piece of sunshine on gray and rainy days.
orange rind, petitgrain, basil