Earlier this week, I went to Sephora to replenish my supply of moisturizer and meandered over to the fragrance section, as one does. Their Atelier Cologne stand had the new Lemon Island, so I asked for a spritz and was taught (again) the “trick” of holding the blotter up to eye level to smell it while wearing a mask. I haven’t tried Lemon Island on skin, so these impressions are all from a scent strip.
Despite the sales associate saying “it seems more like lime, but it’s actually lemon,” it didn’t smell like lime to me. It was the bitter, oily lemon peel. The popular citrus doesn’t dance alone, as it is joined by a marine saltiness, which makes for an interesting effect without the recoil that attempting it with too much Calone can induce.
As I walked around with the scent strip, periodically sniffing it, cosmetic facets became more prominent. Not the typical, powdery “foundation” note, but a mingling of hairspray, lipstick, and—as might be expected—sunscreen. By now you’ve drunk up all the lemonade.
Over a couple of days, this mixture persists. To me, it conveys a definite idea of being outdoors, but in the summer—one wouldn’t wear those particular strong, chemical embellishments indoors. The sandy, “sea-breeze” saltiness magnifies this image, and a woody base note complements the drydown. Lemon Island achieves what it sets out to do—transport the smeller to the beach, no matter where they are IRL.
The listed notes are deceptively simple.
- Top: lemon (not just any lemon, but a special kind from the Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean—it looks like a lime and Atelier Cologne claim a first for its use in perfumery)
- Middle: jasmine from India
- Base: vanilla from Madagascar
Reading this struck my heart with a terror of self doubt, because the jasmine and vanilla notes never stood out to me. Is my nose missing the obvious? They blend so well in the background to give Lemon Island an overall, somewhat dense, smoothness.
I’m already thinking about a beach trip… in 6 months, maybe.