Fragrance

By Kim Taylor

Summer heralds summer, sundresses and the scent of fresh flowers. If you can’t inhale expansive fields of lavender and verbena-filled gardens in Provence, the next best thing is to wear the fragrances reminiscent of this aromatic, sun-drenched part of the world. L’Occitane en Provence presents The Vert au Jasmin, a medley of three jasmine flowers mixed with fresh greens, green tea and arbor scents. The jasmine in this fresh fragrance was cultivated in Grasse, France, known to be the very heart of the perfume world. This is a subtle scent that passes the test for sunny weather: it’s not cloying, strong or too sweet. Available at L’Occitane stores everywhere.

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What fragrance could be more fitting for June than Flower by Kenzo? This alcohol-free fragrance perfectly captures the lightness and warmth of a sunny day. Infused with poppies, this fresh floral is multi-faceted and lightly spiced, exuding fragrant notes of Bulgarian rose, gardenia, pink pepper, sensual vanilla and benzoin.

Flower by Kenzo Oriental blends the softness of the original with Asian woods and rare incense to evoke the rich history of Japanese scents. Spicier and more sensual than the original, this is a suitable choice for special summer evenings.

Summer by Kenzo is equally dazzling. This elixir is infused with shimmering gold flakes for subtle sparkle to enhance the dazzling effect of the sun. This fragrance evokes the season with its deeply warm aroma, blending bergamot, citron, mimosa, violet and almond milk with woody whiffs of cedar and styrax. Truly distinctive and sophisticated, this fragrance is presented in a leaf-shaped glass to sit, rather than stand, where you place it. That’s what summer’s all about.

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Kisu is among the rarest, most luxurious and unique scents on earth. Inspired by ancient Japanese bathing rituals, and created by Agent Provocateur nose Azzi Pickthall, Kisu is derived from the Japanese word for “kiss.” Top notes include ylang-ylang and rosewood in a base of cedar wood and eastern musk, with underlying Asiatic marine notes. The effect is a sophisticated scent unlike most others, absolutely one you won’t forget. A hint of spice mingles with more tranquil notes, and the fragrance is subtle on the skin, which is ideal for warm weather. Once exclusive only to London’s hip lifestyle boutique Tann Rokka, Kisu is now available in the states at Henri Bendel, Aedes de Venustas and Luckyscent.com.

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As its name would suggest, Estee Lauder’s Pure White Linen is the essence of casual summer luxury. Gwyneth Paltrow is the spokesperson for this new and modern interpretation of its predecessor, White Linen. An aldehydic freshness imparts a bracing mélange of grapefruit, Italian mandarin, cool rose notes, red tulip accord, pear, green apple, raspberry, greens, white flowers, ginger and cardamom. Airier and more floral than the original White Linen, the Pure version is a more modern rendering, and it’s just as lovely. Ideal for day and night, work and play, this is an all-purpose beauty. Available at fine fragrance counters and at www.esteelauder.com.

Calvin Klein has three fragrances perfect for summer, each seemingly tailored for a different task. CK One Summer is a light, breezy combination of fruit and marine notes, imparting fresh tangerine, grapefruit and pineapple scents along with driftwood, palm sap, musk, sand and other scents that evoke the informality of summer and the beach. CK Eternity Summer is an updated interpretation of classic Eternity, and a fresh charmer with hints of violet leaf, verbena, white jasmine, green island fig, mimosa and lotus. This is so clean and crisp that you can wear it anywhere and it won’t overpower you. Calvin Klein’s Euphoria rounds out the trio, and is especially suited for dramatic summer evenings. The gel parfum works nicely in warm weather, infusing your skin with pomegranate, persimmon, green notes, black orchid, lotus, amber, violet, and sexy woods. All available at www.sephora.com, Saks Fifth Avenue and other fine department stores.

The Lather line has much to offer by way of Provence, with a plethora of lavender, lime, orange, bergamot and verbena infused creams, oils, soaps, body washes and candles. The Lavender Lime Spa Set is a great thank you gift for summer hosts, presented in a bamboo gift box and including a natural sea sponge, lavender lime bath salts, body wash and moisturizer. Check out the array of other gift sets and the rest of this healthy, fragrant line at www.lather.com. You can also visit the Lather Spa at 127 East 57th Street, 212-644-6449.

Originally published June 2006
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