Monday 24 April 2017

Beaty panel: Scents of Summer

A spritz of summery scent can summon up the season, even if the sun just won't shine

Pictured, from left, Chanel Chance Eau Vive; Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Body Oil Spray; Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino Eau de Parfum; Maison Martin Margiela Replica in Lazy Sunday Morning; Jo Malone London Cologne Intense Incense & Cedrat
Pictured, from left, Chanel Chance Eau Vive; Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Body Oil Spray; Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino Eau de Parfum; Maison Martin Margiela Replica in Lazy Sunday Morning; Jo Malone London Cologne Intense Incense & Cedrat

Sarah Caden

Summer is a very sensual season. We want to feel summer in a way that we never want from winter. We want to feel the air and the sun on our skin, we want to see the bright blues, taste the familiar flavours of ice cream and seafood. We even want it to smell like summer. A switch of scent can be one way to achieve a summery sensation, and many of us ditch our heavier, moodier perfumes as soon as this season rolls around. And while a signature scent suits us in winter, there's a flightiness to how we tend to choose our summer scent. We're more open to change, to suggestion, to behaving a little bit out of character.

The days of summer scents being over-floral fragrances, too girly or too grannyish, are gone. Summer scents are now more sophisticated, and suggestive of sun-drenched destinations. There are gorgeous cologne-type scents that work for men and women; crisp, clean scents that speak of bright sunshine and bare skin; and scents that even manage to smell like the beach. And we don't mean Dollymount when the tide's out. The weather can do what it wants, but if you have the scent of summer, you have the sense of summer.

Best Overall

Chanel Chance Eau Vive, €71, Chanel counters nationwide

Even if you're not a fan of the standard Chance fragrance, or - whisper it - you consider yourself too old for Chanel's younger scents, give this twist a whirl. They describe it as "floral-zesty" and it certainly has a citrus springiness that lifts the jasmine and other floweriness, but it's a grown-up fragrance nonetheless. If the very green modern fragrances have never worked for you, this might prove to be a softer, smoother, less sharp alternative. "Deliciously bright and light, there's a creaminess to this, too, that makes it linger warmly on the skin," said one panellist. "I couldn't get enough of it."

Best Beachy Glow

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Body Oil Spray, €42, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

We've featured the Bronze Goddess fragrance on this page previously, and love it for how it evokes sun holidays and an old-school, warm-sun-oil scent. Estee Lauder themselves describe it as a "solar floral", which sums up its warm sunniness. This is a shimmering twist on the classic, a fragrant oil with fine-milled golden glimmers suspended in it. Spritz it wherever you want delicious gleam. "Holidays in a bottle," said one panellist. "It smells bronze and warm and lazy, and I love the shimmer."

Best Essence of Italy

Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino Eau de Parfum, €182, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

If you've been known to steal your man's Neroli Portofino, then halt and have a hit of this. It's a feminised variation on the cologne that screams of spending your days on an expensive yacht, with the crispness softened slightly, thanks to the inclusion of white flowers and honey. "Beyond delicious," one panellist said. "I'm not sure how a perfume can be glamorous, but this is. I smell like a luxurious holiday, even when I'm just at home and dreaming of the Med."

Best Bright and Breezy

Maison Martin Margiela Replica in Lazy Sunday Morning, €60, Brown Thomas

They say it smells of "soft skin and bed linen", and who are we to disagree? There is a clean whiteness about this fragrance, even though it's fundamentally musky. It could be the iris and pear, even if the overall scent is neither floral nor fruity. "Perfect if you're after something clear and fresh, that's more 'city summer' than 'day at the beach'," a panellist said. "Because summer isn't all about holidays."

Best Summer Spice

Jo Malone London Cologne Intense Incense & Cedrat, €120, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

This is unisex; we favour it on a man, but a woman who eschews floral entirely just might go for it. It is also weighty, for a summer scent, but sexy with it. It has that classic incense hit, but with a citrus twist that lightens the mood and makes it zing. The "Intense" bit in the title suggests, correctly, that it's stronger than your average cologne and also has more staying power. "A lot of the 'intense incense' scents that are around lately are just too deep and musky," said one male panellist. "This is the right, summery side of spicy."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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