My focus lately in my personal life has been on travel. I thought I would combine my two interests with a new feature on EauMG – travel and perfume.
Many perfumes are “destination perfumes”, perfumes inspired by places. These perfumes are meant to brighten olfactory memories of erstewhile travels. Or to take us to the places we long to visit. Perfume is powerful like that.
I’m starting this new feature with a focus on Brazil (whooo World Cup ’14!).
I’ve never traveled to Brazil but would love to. One of the reasons that I started with Brazil is because there are so many perfumes inspired by this country. I actually feel sort of bad for how Brazil is portrayed in perfumery because it seems to feed into stereotypes that people that have never traveled there seem to have. But, that’s the problem with many “destination perfumes”.
It’s possible that there are so many Brazilian-inspired perfumes for a few reasons. The first reason being that there is a large fragrance market in Brazil that many brands are hoping to tap into. If you watched that BBC Perfume documentary, Brazil and their love of fragrance was covered in detail. Another reason why there are so many Brazilian perfumes may be with how non-Brazilians perceive Brazil. People think Brazil is overflowing with models like Gisele sun-bathing on sultry beaches. They think the country is filled with gorgeous women, non-stop parties and endless, pristine coastlines. You know, it’s a never-ending misogynistic music video! And then there is the rain forest – so much biodiversity. Overall, you see two themes with Brazilian inspired perfumes: fêtes and (tropical) forests. And these two things have provided so much olfactory inspiration. And really as far as a “stereotypes for people that have never traveled there before”: beautiful scenery, beautiful people and beautiful plants isn’t so bad (as far as stereotypes go).
I’ve put together a guide to perfumes that mention Brazil as their inspiration.
Destination Inspiration: Brazil
It doesn’t surprise me at all that perfumers would draw inspiration from the alluring and peculiar biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest. It’s still a place on this planet that instills awe and wonder in people. (And ecotourism is very popular for this reason). But, keep in mind that most Brazilians don’t live in the rain forest 😉
Infusion Organique Açai Rain EDP – This is a fruity, tart green fragrance inspired by a “magical fruit”. Retails for $35 at drugstore.com. This scent is also available in their home fragrance line (which is rather good).
The Body Shop Amazonian Wild Lily EDT – It’s a fresh, dewy ozonic scent. Sort of retro 1990’s but I think that is the point. I think it’s for those that loved the movie Fern Gully. Retails for $22 at The Body Shop.
NEST Amazon Lily EDP – This is like a “dark” citrus. It’s lime over fantasy woody lilies. It’s long-wearing and has sillage. Full review. Retails for $65 at Sephora.
Food & Beverage
Who doesn’t think of food when they think of a region? I remember my travels by their flavors!
Pacifica Brazilian Mango Grapefruit EDP – This is a really fruity citrus inspired by mango. Retails for $22 at Pacifica.
Hermes Paprika Brazil EDT – Inspired by paprika and Brazilwood, this is a spicy fragrance with rich woods and a powdery iris.This is my favorite of the “Brazil” perfumes. Retails for $245 at Hèrmes.
Frau Tonis No. 88 Bahia EDP – Inspired by the state of Bahia, this perfume is a spicy almond blossom. Retails for 58€ at Frau Tonis.
The Body Shop Brazil Nut EDT – Did you know that in Brazil that it is illegal to cut down a Brazil nut tree? This is a really sweet nutty gourmand that goes with their Brazil Nut body line. Retails for $12 at The Body Shop.
Party All Night/Music
I have a feeling that many perfumes want us to think that all Brazilians do is party. And then drink. And then party some more. Nobody works. They just get waxed and tan and party 24/7…ugh. But, you know most of our lives are rather dull and the thought of non-stop parties appeal to some people.
Maitre Parfumeur Bahiana EDT – This is pretty much a fancier version of D&G Light Blue for Her. But, it has festive feathers! It’s a nice citrus with coconut water over “driftwood”. Retails for $130 at Luckyscent.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Batucada EDT – This is one of those tropical cocktails on the beach scents. It’s a salty citrus with aquatic florals. For some reason I like it, but I wore it to Puerto Rico and now associate it with that trip 🙂 Retails for $100 at Beautyhabit. Full review here.
Reminiscence Paris Rem & Bow EDT – This is a mango-marine tropical cocktail scent inspired by Brazil. Retails for $70 at Beautyhabit.
Escada Rockin’ Rio EDT – A super fruity fruit juice fragrance that suggests all one does in Rio is party. Retails for $75 at Macy’s.
DKNY I Heart Rio EDP – With a name like this, this flanker is destined to hit the discounters…yesterday. It’s an apple floral with the addition of “exotic” passionfruit. And isn’t it nice to know that DKNY hearts Rio? Anyway, retails for under $30 at Fragrancenet.
Beyonce Heat Rush EDP – Ugh, I hate the name of this flanker! It always makes me think of “heat rash”. It doesn’t directly say that Brazil is the inspiration but it does talk about hot nights and alludes to Brazil with notes of Brazilian cherry, mango, passion fruit, etc. It’s a musky fruity-floral that is like a cheapie Escada Rockin’ Rio. Retails for about $20 at Fragrancenet. Full review here.
Estee Lauder Brazil Dream EDP – This is one of those weird limited editions that Estee Lauder does that I can only find at duty free shops. Maybe I’m supposed to buy this when I’m traveling to or from Brazil? This is a fruity-coconut cocktail thing. Retails for about $30 at Fragrancenet.
As you can see most Brazil-inspired perfumes focus on food, fauna and festivals. I have never traveled to Brazil so I can’t say that these capture the essence of Brazil (and yes, it’s a huge country and it has many essences). For those that have traveled or live in the country, which perfumes or fragrances do you think best “represent” or you associate with the country?
Quick thoughts – notice how many of these bottles are orange and use warm colors? I’d love to see a perfume represent Brazil’s snowy mountains…give me something different.
Also, if you want to check out a Brazilian indie perfumer, let me suggest Ane Walsh Perfumes. I’ve reviewed her Essaouira and Robin. I love how she incorporates natural regional essences into her products. I want to see more indie Brazilian perfumers actually put Brazil into their perfumes…and then let me smell them 😉
I’m also intrigued by this Brazilian-based perfume, Angico Branco Mahogany. I know there are so many Brazilian brands out there that aren’t so easy for those in the U.S. to get their hands on! It’s interesting to see how Brazil marketed to those outside of Brazil varies from how Brazil is marketed to those living in Brazil.
16 thoughts on “Destination Inspiration – Perfumes Inspired by Brazil”
I love this!Great suggestions too.Of course whenever YOU mention something,I have this compulsion to go explore explore explore!!(Dark Purple point in case…:-))Now I have to visit Bodyshop tomorrow!!Lol!Can I suggest Africa next pls?(seeing I live here!hehe!)I associate most “beachy” perfumes with a country like Brazil:Bronze Goddess,Vanille Abricot,Terracotta!All of them has the exotic/beachy/tropical paradise vibe to me,even if not inspired by Brazil per se.Cannot wait for winter to end so I can ” beach out” again!
Just wanted to add:City of God the movie…shows some more realistic parts of Brazil…It was an emotional rollercoaster of a movie,but worth the watch!
My cousin has mentioned this movie. She said it was intense but worth watching. Totally forgot about it until now.
Body Shop has some great scents for the money. I don’t get why these kids go around smelling like Axe/Lynx when they could go to The Body Shop and pick up something that smells really good for like $12!
Hey, may get you to write up an African guide 😉 I did think it would be cool to get an insider to provide their suggestions for their culture. I thought that would be cool.
I have been wearing Bronze Goddess a lot lately. I have just sampled another one that I recommend that anyone that likes Bronze Goddess should try, Olivine Amongst the Waves. I need to get myself to one of these tropical/beachy locations 🙂
Lol…me do an African write-up?NO….!I prefer behind the scenes,sometimes de-lurking to comment or say HEY!Lol!You should totally visit SA one day,nothing beats a Hot summer’s day on Durban/Umhlanga’s white sandy beaches…plus Madagaskar is like a stones’ throw away…Just Saying!Current obsession is that awesome beachy Nuxe body oil,wanna get my hands on some Le Parfum asap!Summer in a bottle.
SA sounds beautiful. I would love to go there.
I didn’t know there was a perfume of Nuxe until about a month ago. I love the oil, tempted to buy Le Parfum…but I’m on a no-buy!
Nice choices. I see beachy also, but also rain forest. I would like to travel there. The food must be fabulous. I think people forget how big Brazil is or that the language spoken is Portuguese and not Spanish. Not to mention all the dialects. So interesting! Want to go to Argentina, too.
Love to travel and just got back from New Orleans. Hot and humid, but so fun. I went to Bourbon French Perfumes and picked up some florals. Very old school. Also went to Hove perfumers and got a beautiful honeysuckle and an amber. Hove has a real 1930’s vibe about it and the amber is one of the more unusual ones I’ve smelled. All small sizes. Might not wear them often, but they are just lovely. Would really like a “Cafe du Monde” scent. Probably for the house. And while I’m at it a shrimp boil and gumbo scent. Great food!
I would love to go. Long story short, we were looking for native Brazilians to do recordings at my job. Half of the people didn’t get that we wanted Portuguese, not Spanish! Ugh.
Argentina is on our list, maybe within the next year.
Hey, we’re *possibly* planning a trip to New Orleans. August is our 10 year marriage anniversary so we thought we’d go back to the place we spent our early marriage days. And I want to hit up those perfume shops. Is Avery still there? I love Bourbon French, they have soap on a rope.
What? No addition of urine to the Nola perfume? 😉 I have very vivid scent memories of New Orleans, that heat brings all the aromas to life.
I believe that Avery is still there. They were in the opposite direction. They also have 4 shops that are voodoo or witchcraft oriented. The first time I was there only 1–Marie Laveau NOLA in August. Boy, you are brave. It was 90 degrees with 95% humidity. Three blocks and I was soaked.
Why yes, I’m familiar with those. Did you go to Mystic Tea Leaves? I remember she sold oils and stuff. There was this place, Kush, which I’m sure is gone now.
Brave? Or do you mean dumb? 😉 It’s funny because I used to grow up in that and now the thought of 90 degrees sounds like hell.
The thing I love about New Orleans is that it’s so goth…even in the heat. So goth. It has cape shops.
Sorry so late here. Yes Mystic Tea is still there. Didn’t see a Kusk. There is a Voodoo Temple on Ramparts now. I don’t know if you’ve been there. I beleive you have to be invited to it. They have a shop which is right by Bourbon French. It’s called Voodoo Authentica. The real deal. All made locally and pretty pricey. Very nice shop compared with what the others have become. I’d read that people were not thrilled with the people running the shop, but we found them to be very pleasant. Sometimes, I think it’s just in how you approach people. These guys really do believe in this and it’s not just a job for them. So I give them some respect for that. If it wasn’t there when you last went give it a go.
I’m familiar with Voodoo Authentica. I find with anything like that, people write bad reviews. If people feel “uncomfortable” at a place, they tend to blame the people working there (even at fancy boutiques, luxury department stores, feminist or anarchist bookstores) for their awkward experience. Sometimes the sales people are a problem, just duds, but I do think places like this aren’t viewed more harshly because of the “unfamiliarity” factor. Like you said, respect is the best at a place like that.
Oh, I am crazy for Brazilian ingredients, like Brazil’s nuts, buriti, açaí, andiroba, and my absolute favorite, priprioca. There’s a very famous brand called Natura, it is concerned with sustainability and produces EDT’s that are simply joyful to wear. I don’t know about how to get them outside Brazil, but they are sure sold online. (https://www.naturabrasil.fr/en/categories/category/cat-1010+cat-6299/for-women) It is a shame they don’t ship more stuff, the moisturizers are heavenly. I know they have it at the airport duty free. Oh, and L’Occitane has also created a line called L’Occitane au Brésil that has many Brazilian scented EDTs and lotions, shampoos and so on. (http://usa.loccitane.com/loccitane-au-bresil,82,1,59808,0.htm)
Things like apple’s and mangos are not from Brazil, their scent do not represent us.
You have given me so much to research! I can’t wait to find out about these ingredients. And I’m going to remember Natura. Who knows, maybe I’ll find it someday (would love to plan a trip to Brazil).
I think it’s so amusing that Americans think all Brazilians live off of mangos and coconuts. We see pretty peaches and immediately think this. Apples, I don’t know what DKNY was thinking with that one…I guess they wanted to reuse those bottles 😉
Thank you so much for commenting.
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