Ruth Griffin: Eau so intriguing
Update your fragrance for summer with my guide to light, fresh scents
As we store away our heavy winter woollies and bring out our lighter, brighter summer wardrobe for the (hopefully) sunnier months, we should think about doing the same for our signature scent. In the words of As Jean Paul Guerlain, "perfume is the most intense form of memory", and for me the grounded, earthy, warm scent of my favourite winter perfumes - Creed's Love in White and Shiseido's Feminite du Bois - will always remind me of cosy winter fires and icy days.
However, once the sun comes out, so does the Clarins Eau Dynamisante Cologne. This year however, I think that I've found a new signature summer scent in Atelier's Cologne Clementine California (Brown Thomas, €100), which was sent to me to try out. Since trying this fresh, citrus, clean, happy, summer-in-a-bottle cologne, I have never had so many people ask me what scent I'm wearing.
Lighter formulations of scent (see my fragrance guide, below) make total sense in the summer months when we want to feel lighter and fresher. As colognes and eau fraiche have lower dosages of perfume, they are the perfect fit for summertime. And be aware that some perfumes are photo-sensitive and can alter in the sun and affect the skin. However, if colognes don't rock your world, there is an abundance of other scent options available now - from perfumed body oils to hair perfumes, 'happy' body mists and 'sun waters' - all in fresh, citrus scents… All we need now is the sun!
* “No elegance is possible without scent. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure,” so said Coco Chanel (above), who created one of the world’s most famous and best-selling scents, Chanel No5, in 1921. With vanilla, rose and jasmine notes, she wished to make “a perfume with the pure scent of a woman”.
TREAT VS CHEAT
Studies suggest women appear around six years younger to men when they wear a grapefruit scent! Try Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne, from department stores and The Loop at Dublin Airport
For a natural alternative, try Tisserand Aromatherapy Grapefruit Oil, from health food stores nationwide
Fragrances are all essentially fragrant oil diluted in alcohol and water. Depending on the concentration, it gets a different name. Here is the lowdown on what it all means…
The most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. Slightly oilier, perfume, (or parfum) has 20-30pc pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.
Eau de parfum
Contains 15-20pc pure perfume essence and lasts for about five to eight hours.
Eau de toilette
Contains 5-15pc pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. Lasts for about three hours on our skin.
Light and fresh, this typically is composed of 2-4pc perfume oils in alcohol and water. Lasts for approximately two hours.
The most diluted version of fragrance, usually with 1-3pc perfume oil in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for less than an hour.
As bonkers as it might seem, there a whole host of studies have been conducted to try to figure out the power of scent and its effect on our mood and emotions. Below are some of the broad findings.
Associated with feelings of youth and comfort.
Try: J'Adore by Dior and La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme.
Associated with feelings of pleasure and sweet, comforting food.
Try: Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique (right).
Associated with feelings of health, cleanliness and youth.
Try: Jo Malone's Lime, Basil and Mandarin Cologne.
Associated with calmness and being grounded.
Try: Tom Ford's Black Orchid.
Associated with maturity, strength, mystery.
Try: Shalimar by Guerlain.
6 of the best summer scents
If you're looking for a mood booster and a fresher summer scent, try this light bed and body mist. With sweet orange and cedar wood, it has a clean, citrusy smell that is also supposed to give you an energising boost! Rituals Happy Mist, €16.50, from department stores nationwide
Just wait till you smell this "fragrant water". Similar to an eau fraiche, this is quite faint and subtle and so beautiful and fresh-smelling it's literally tailor made for the summer months and the beach.
Nuxe Sun Delicious Fragrant Water, €32, from pharmacies and department stores nationwide
This body spray smells of mimosa and passionflower and also has oils in it to nourish your skin while still smelling divine! For sensitive skin gals, this is also specially formulated for safe sun exposure and does not cause photosensitivity. Great for mature skin. Guinot Eau Mirific €49.25, from salons nationwide and feelunique.com
If you love a scent and don't wish to swap over for the summer months, why not opt for a lighter version of your favourite perfume? One of the most famous scents of all time, Chanel No5 comes in a hair mist, so you still have your favourite perfume but in a lighter, fresher, softer version for the summer. Chanel No5 Hair Mist, €47, from department stores nationwide
● TOM FORD
Tom Ford created a whole line dedicated to summer: Soleil Blanc. He has made a gorgeous, lighter, more subtle body spray as an alternative to perfume for the hotter months. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc All Over Body Spray, €52, from department stores nationwide
If you fancy ditching the colognes entirely for the summer months, opt for a scented body moisturiser or dry oil for a subtle, lingering fragrance. I am in love with Yonka's Aroma Fusion Relax Huile Delicieuse, €39. It smells of mandarin, orange blossom and jasmine with the added skin booster of a blend of sunflower, sesame and baobab oils. The scent lasts for hours. From yonka.ie and selected salons nationwide
Another great option is the cult classic Nuxe Multi-Purpose Face, Hair and Body Dry Oil, €35, from pharmacies nationwide