The Beach Eaus – A month of beach and ocean inspired perfumes.
Alkemia is an indie perfume line that mainly focuses on affordable perfume oils. It’s a brand that was brought to my attention via my Instagram stories when I asked about “perfumes for work”. Sure, you can wear whatever you want to work but I try to not be too distracting in our open floor plan. Big Sur was recommended to me. Since all the perfumes are cheap, I bought it and a lot of other samples. Here’s my thoughts on some of the “beach” ones I ordered.
Notes listed include jasmine tea, lime leaves, green amber (?), ozone, saltspray, sweetgale, paperback and bay. Launched in 2017.
I bought a full-size of Big Sur unsniffed and it worked out for me. It opens as crushed greens and jasmine with a hint of spice. But, it’s also ozonic and a little soapy. For me, it’s a mix of Davidoff Cool Water and seafoam. The rest of the wear is like an aromatic musk. It’s a “quiet”, clean scent. It really is a good one for me when I want to smell good but absolutely not think about it.
Give Big Sur a try if you like aromatic, ozonic scents. Or fragrances like Davidoff Cool Water, CREED Green Irish Tweed, Bond No. 9 Chez Bond and/or CK Obsessed for Women. I think Big Sur is supposed to be like a “big sir” fragrance from its copy, but to me, it’s not overly masculine. It just smells like ozone and an herbal soap.
Victoria’s Final EAUPINION – Aromatic seafoam.
Notes listed include sand, Atlantic ocean breezes, drying sea water on skin, tanning oil and seaweed. Launched in 2009.
The opening of Sandscape is a sharp, musky aquatic that frankly comes across a bit like a dryer sheet. As it wears, it’s like a bar of Zest soap meets a few sprays of Febreeze. For those of you not in the U.S. or don’t mess with common household brands, I’ll try my best to break this down for you. It’s a squeaky clean fragrance of orange blossom and lily-of-the-valley with musks that smell like clean laundry. It’s all of this with a rather unsubtle plastic accord. It’s a linear scent that smells like a functional fragrance (generic “clean”). As it wears, there’s a more chlorinated accord. I assume this is the seaweed because there are other perfumes that I’ve tried with a seaweed not that seem to come across not like mineral ocean but like chlorinated pool water (Bond No. 9 Wall Street, even Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifique). In my opinion, Sandscape is a better scent as a home fragrance than it is a personal fragrance but I was never really into smelling like soap even when it was popular in the 90’s.
Basically give Sandscape a try if you like perfumes that are marketed to smell like functional fragrances (stuff like the OG CLEAN brand). Or perfumes like Demeter Pure Soap, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu, Philosophy Pure Grace, Bobbi Brown Bath and/or Avon mark Pure (discontinued).
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Generic “clean”. I don’t get anything ocean from this but I do get scrubbing your skin after being in the pool. Not for me but if you like the idea of smelling like a bar of white soap or like the laundry aisle at Target, then wear this. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Notes listed include oceanic aquatics, seaweed and tiare flowers.
When it comes to the typical aquatics as perceived by the fragrance industry, La Sirena has more of what I like. It’s an aquatic floral that pairs a crisp ozone accord with white florals that smell like vintage tanning oils. It’s heady orange blossoms that smells like Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee. Overall, it’s very “synthetic” in that it’s heady florals as used in sunscreen/tanning lotions and the ocean is crisp, clear and marine. In most of perfumery, the ocean is void of wildlife and is merely “blue juice”. La Sirena dries down to “clean ozone” but the heady florals never really leave.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Vintage tanning lotion and marine perfume. The only reason I want to smell like Bain de Soleil is for nostalgic reasons. That product is getting more difficult to find since nobody tans anymore (HELLO, MELANOMA!) and the scent is viewed as old-fashioned. There’s something I like about La Sirena in that it reminds me of that Norman Parkinson Vogue editorial, 1975, with Jerry Hall: bronzed, blue, unnatural and staged.
All of the ones I tried are oils and wear like oils (close to the skin). The perfumes are also available in alcohol or non-alcohol spray formats. They’re (understandably) more expensive so I thought I’d sample the less expensive format first.
A 5ml bottle retails for $18. Samples are also available for purchase at Alkemia.
*Products purchased by me. Photo from the brand. Jerry Hall by Norman Parkinson, 1975, in Jamaica. from British Vogue.