Pure beach blanket bliss! Bain de Midi is a perfume that makes us smile from ear to ear. Tiare, coconut, and gardenia within a sun-baked glaze of vanilla. A joyously unpretentious delight.
Bain de Midi is a reminder that not every fragrance needs to be complex and deeply nuanced to be powerfully transportative. This one takes us straight back to those first exuberant strides to the sea after mum coated our shoulders in sunscreen.
Captured by Candlelight hits at just the right side of appetising.
Balance and restraint are the key to making any perfume with gourmand elements work. The last thing anyone wants to smell like is a cupcake. Well, maybe some people do. No judgement. (We’re totally judging).
Captured by Candlelight is a perfume inspired by perfumer (and writer) Sarah McCartney’s story of the same name. There’s a scene in the story where a huge, flaming Christmas pudding is being wheeled into a candlelit, oak-panelled dining room. She’s told that part of the story with smells.
We love its considered construction of notes - the gummy, stewed fruits, flaming treacle, oak panels and freshly extinguished candles. You really smell the story when you wear it.
Spiced bergamot and bitter almonds, drunken by amaretto and cherry liquor, take the edge off the cyanide with their sticky sweetness. Warm notes of nutmeg and cardamom sink into the creaminess of tonka bean, vanilla and sandalwood.
Dusky dark rose soaked in cognac and bitter orange flower, teased with soft worn leather, hot wax, spicy cumin, deep saffron and held down by amber and dark woods. Not for the faint of heart, but for the bold of spirit.
The day you'll encounter in Playalinda is dreamy, witnessed through the haze of memory. It leads with hyper realistic, sun-warmed peach rendered through generous doses of osmanthus and full-bodied jasmine sambac. Also featured is the dirty-hair aspect of ambrette seed undergirded by familiar, grounding patchouli and vetiver. A gentle touch of sulfuric white grapefruit affords the composition a deeply human smell of skin bronzed and kissed with sweat under the day's hot sun.
And it's in Playalinda's musty base full of smoke, the inky heft of oakmoss and brine of fresh seaweed washing ashore. The glorious yet underutilized choya nakh, made from crushed and toasted seashells, reinforces Playalinda's dreamy memoryscape by the sea.
The real Playalinda is a nude beach sat on immaculate and pristine land's end. Among its many charms is a paradox: it is so untouched by modern development, yet so close to some of the most advanced technology on earth—rocket launchpads—that it seems to exist independent of time.
Live Copper Wire,Ambrette Seed, White Grapefruit, Suntanned Skin
In recent years, the unfortunate fruity floral has become much maligned as a run-of-the-mill department store beauty counter staple. Tel Aviv feels like a bit of a reclaim of this genre. It’s cheerful and happy-go-lucky. As easy to wear as really comfortable flats that were definitely expensive.
Real optimism is about more than just something to make you smile. It’s about more than just having a giggle. The top-to-bottom woods explored in Vaunt’s The Optimist is an uber intelligent spin on the subject that will make you think twice.
Woody smells make us think about trees. Trees are great. But, trees also have deep roots, they stand tall and reach way up into the sky. Trees are tenacious, strong and reassuring.
And that’s what The Optimist evokes for us. Mix in a dash of understated sophistication, and you’ve got one cracking perfume.
So, throw those shoulders back. Head up. Go get ‘em, tiger.
A clutch-your-pearls subversive beamed into the 21st century from a time when perfumes didn’t shy away from celebrating the nooks and crannies of the body with an animalic radiance. This one might make you blush a bit. Or a lot.