Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is It Fall Yet?

I'm really looking forwards to autumn this year.

I love the beginning of summer, when everything leafs up, I get to start working on my garden, watching my flowers and rosebushes bloom and the smell of fresh cut grass. By August, though, it's usually blast-furnace hot, dead lawns and drowning in my own sweat. Nighttimes are still wonderful, if they're cool enough, and if the mosquitoes aren't too bad. This year they're awful (I'm allergic to chemical bug sprays and especially DEET) and with West Nile Virus being so bad this year (60 reported cases in humans in Ohio this year, with infected mosquitoes being found only a few blocks from where I live), I'm not spending nearly as much time outside after sunset as I might like. They call it the 'dog-days of summer', though my dogs spend this time of year glued to the air conditioner. This summer was an odd one, starting out wet then ending up super-dry and hot. Also the pollen has been bad, so I've been in an anti-histamine induced coma for most of it. I've yet to find an anti-histamine that doesn't turn me into a zombie, even in the smallest doses, but I've really got no choice.

Ah well. The saddest part about super hot, sweaty weather is that so many of my favourite scents are just too heavy for the weather. What smells like heaven on a balmy day can be pretty nauseating when the heat index starts being measured in Kelvin. Even Lassi, a definite go-to scent, can be a bit too clingy on a really hot day. I do have a couple of favourites for summer,though, and I relied heavily on them through most of August.

Solstice Scents Linen and Ivy: Fresh sun-washed linens hanging on the clothesline in the spring breeze meets crisp green top notes of English ivy and a touch of new green spring leaves.
From their spring collection and I'd call their description dead on. It's bright, clean and fresh with just a hint of green. It smells like clean sheets drying on a clothesline on a bright, summer day. 

like this

Solstice Scents Gulf Breeze: Gulf Breeze smells like sand, salt, wind and ocean. It is crisp, clean and refreshing and is a wonderful unisex fragrance. Imagine standing on a dock as a storm is about to roll in...the air is thick with energy and as the sky turns grey you are splashed with salty spray from the gulf. This is the scent of Gulf Breeze. It is a very fresh and oceany fragrance with aslight hint of rain and a dominant note of seaspray.
From the summer line. This is a very wet, beachy smell.* A bit salty, very fresh and very, very wet. It clings to you without being cloying and you can almost feel the wet sand between your toes. Like Linen and Ivy, it smells fresh and clean. It's very similar to Tenebrous Mist, but lighter and sweeter.

Both these smells start out strong then slowly fade into your skin before you have a chance to be overwhelmed by them. Just about the time you forget you're wearing perfume you'll get a sudden whiff and think: "Oh, what's that wonderful smell? -oh, right, it's me!" That's perfect on a hot day when you don't want your fragrance to envelope you.

HoG Madcap Garden: A lively blend, pure black tea chilled with peppermint and the tiniest spike of sweet honey. Very unisex, stimulating, addictive, and bright.
Mint tea and honey. Pretty straightforwards, a nice fresh, invigorating blend that almost makes you forget how much you hate hot weather.** The tea and the honey ground the mint and give it body, while the mint convinces your brain that you're not as sweaty and miserable as you thought you were. Really good when I have to be out of the air conditioning for awhile.

HoG Insalata Nocturna: In the night garden, green Bolivian lemon, rubbed tomato leaf, olive leaf absolute, black fig syrup and basil.
This started out as a summer scent but it was so popular it got added to the regular line. It smells green and gardeny with bright citrus overtones. Like being transported to a greenhouse while sipping a lemonade. It's deliciously leafy and bright without being sweet.

Solstice Scents Summer Garden: Summer Garden is a blend of green and bright scents inspired by plants and vegetables that grow seasonally and year round in our garden. The fragrance is that of rubbed tomato leaf, grass and lettuce with a heavy dose of petitgrain.
New for summer this year, and amazing. If you liked HoG's Insulata Nocturna, you will almost certainly like Summer Garden. It's the same green, herbaceous 'I've been working in the vegetable garden' scent only greener and less citrussy. Breathing this in smells exactly like the smell of tomato leaves and herbs on a summer day. It's rich and evocative, but not too heavy. It's also on sale right now, so I recommend checking it out.

SteamBath Factory Time Traveller: tingly mint and fresh cut thyme whirling through time and space...
This is the part where I confess my shameful love of bad puns and word play. I hope you still respect me. I have this in spray mist, which means I can spray it into my hair and on my clothes and not have to worry about sweating it off.  It's mint and thyme. Nothing fancy but very fresh, bright and invigorating. It's a wonderful counter to that hot asphalt smell of summer. I also have the lotion version so I can layer it, which I rarely do in the summer. This scent is light and fresh enough that I don't get 'nose overload', though. As a bonus "A large portion of SBF handmade bath and body sales provide food, medical care & shelter to homeless cats." So not only do I smell good when I wear it, I feel good, too.

The best part about all these scents is that they are pretty much unisex. None of them are overwhelmingly feminine, and would smell great on just about anybody.

*minus the dead fish that beaches always seem to have.

**If you're me. I understand some people like the heat. Go figure.

As always, all products were purchased by me for my own use. My opinions are my own and always will be. Your mileage may vary.