March is almost over, and I haven’t even gotten around to wearing my few green perfumes yet this year, although a slight tickle in my nose reminds me that we are well into spring.
Around me in New England, plants are budding with overt fuzziness, but not blooming yet. Temperatures are relatively warmer than what we are used to for winter, hovering around the 40s and 50s in Fahrenheit (around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius), which is enough of a change to bring out some perfume notes that are more reticent in the cold.
I realized that when I recently sang the praises of Atelier Materi Cacao Porcelana and The Body Shop Amorito as my favorite “chocolate” fragrances, I may have done strangelove meltmyheart a disservice. This is a gorgeous, creamy blend of chocolate, orris, and oud, supported by a cast of surprisingly bright note characters. Fragrantica lists absinthe, ylang-ylang, nutmeg, clary sage, ginger, mandarin orange, and bergamot. Conceptually, it reminds me of the texture of a cream foundation I may have used once as a preteen to go on stage for a school play. (I don’t use foundation at all.) By smell, I may be forgiven for not having mentioned it in the same breath (or blog post) as the others, because it is not a “chocolate” perfume per se—the rich orris and deep but subtle oud play an equally prominent part in making meltmyheart a stunner, especially in this slightly warmer weather. The raised ambient temperature, as well as body heat, bring out the warmth from the spices without making the perfume “spicy.”
This shoulder season has a similar enhancing effect on other orris-forward perfumes, such as Masque Milano L’Attesa, whose rooty density swells against an uplifting sparkle of champagne, bergamot, and neroli.
Continuing with the slightly counterintuitive theme of this exploration taking place in spring, today I wore 4160Tuesdays Drive Them Wild, which I bought from Perfumology in Philadelphia last year and which I have enjoyed year round. This one doesn’t seem to behave differently with the seasons. It’s bold, but not too loud.
Drive Them Wild by perfumer Sarah McCartney leans toward gourmand, but is redeemed by citrus, spicy, and floral notes. Here, Fragrantica disappoints as it lists only musk, vanilla, and white flowers. The fragrance expresses much more than that! The back of the box tells me that “Blood orange, red mandarin, osmanthus and orange blossom dance around a chypre heart, with vanilla, tonka and cocoa absolutes spiced with black pepper.” It certainly has hints of chocolate orange, but it’s an artisanal dark chocolate and its eater—or perhaps sipper from a colorful mug—is dressed in brocade. I get whiffs of this perfection all day.
5 thoughts on “An alternative spring perfume genre?”
I can’t wait for warmer weather!! Lately I’ve been wearing my summer scents such as Calyx and Un Ete En Provence
Yes, bring on the warmer weather and summery scents!
Agree!! I’m in the Northeast as well and I am sick of the cold weather!!
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I’ve tried a few from 4160 Tuesdays. They have so many offerings it becomes a little overwhelming. The two that I recall vividly are Over the Chocolate Shop and What I Did On My Holidays. Both interesting scents, but neither won me over. Over the Chocolate Shop might be a bit heavy and cloying for warmer weather with its nutty, vanillic, cacao facets. But, What I Did On My Holidays might work. Despite having cotton candy, ice cream and vanilla in the pyramid, there’s some lighter more spring friendly notes such as coconut and mint for balance. I think it was meant to evoke eating mint ice cream by the water, and it largely succeeds in hitting the brief. Drive Them Wild, and its hints of chocolate orange sounds worth a try.
I confess I haven’t smelled most of 4160Tuesdays’ offerings because, as you said, there are so many. Over The Chocolate Shop didn’t satisfy my hopes. I think there is another one that is literally described as “Terry’s Chocolate Orange,” but can’t remember what it’s called. What I Did On My Holidays keeps coming up, so I’ll have to try it, although I’m usually wary of both mint and seaside notes in perfume!
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