EauPEN Thread – Scents & Seasons

Marilyn Monroe

Do you rotate your perfumes for the season? Do you have perfumes that you wear only in certain seasons?

My answer to #1: Absolutely. I currently live in a place with four very distinct seasons.  I have found that I tend to prefer different genres of perfumes for each season. Key word – “tend”.

I look at it like I do flavors/food. There are plenty of things that I want to eat in the winter vs. the summer and vice versa (and there’s plenty of stuff that I’ll eat year round). That’s the same with fragrances. Of course, with food, it’s more seasonal. Some things are actually in season during the different months and that’s why you find yourself eating 5,000 pounds of cherries or wondering what you’re going to do with a bumper crop of tomatoes. Fragrance, thankfully, has a longer shelf life! But, I find myself choosing to wear fragrances that fit with the season. I usually won’t wear a gourmand in high heat and humidity. I usually don’t wear a zesty, light citrus in the autumn. These aren’t “rules” by any means. It’s more about mood and realizing what sort of perfumes I like in different weather conditions. For example, I absolutely love roses on cooler, high humidity days. Sometimes an amber is truly wonderful on hot, dry days.

Essentially, I go through different olfactory moods. It’s almost like phases. So when I say that I rotate my perfumes, it’s more like I put out 5-6 perfumes that work with my olfactory mood (i.e. I go on white floral kicks or feel like smelling like dirt for months). Usually a mood corresponds with a season. Anyway, I usually have a few perfumes that are out and easily accessible and the rest are in “storage” in their boxes. I switch these up every couple of months. It just so happens that my moods usually correspond with seasons.

My answer to #2: Sort of. Sometimes I get a random mood in winter to smell like seaweed/salt air or sometimes I get in a mood for smelling like vanilla when it’s 90° out. It makes no sense. However, I wear whatever I’m in the mood for. I don’t really have perfumes or perfume notes that I reserve for certain seasons. But, some perfumes that I own get worn more in certain seasons (i.e. I rarely wear a Shalimar in July).

All in all, I believe that perfumes are seasonless, it’s just that maybe our preferences aren’t.

*Marilyn Monroe pic from LIFE.

10 thoughts on “EauPEN Thread – Scents & Seasons

  1. Living in Los Angeles the past five years, I never really much reason to switch perfumes out seasonally, at least in the traditional sense. I basically had two seasons in my head: the 9 months of the year that are scorching hot, and rainy season. I did try to wear more “winter” appropriate stuff in the short-lived rainy season, but I also took to wearing it the rest of the time. I did recently move back to the Midwest (we’re talking two weeks ago or so), and now I have more seasons to play around with and match perfumes to, and that’s exciting!

    I don’t think I have any perfumes that I would only wear in any given season, at least not at the moment.

    1. I know this is something someone would say that doesn’t live there, but I like the thought of “minimal seasons” right now. Winters here are really hard for me.

      Seattle was 2 seasons too. Always very humid and rainy and about 50-ish for 9 months and then dry, mild summers with the occasional hot as hell day/s. The fragrances I had there just do not wear the same here (humidity???). I have found myself not being completely happy with the bottles that I own because they wear different (for example, Prada Candy was a delicious benzoin thing in Seattle, here it is a candied iris). I assume you’ll notice stuff like this too with the things you wore in LA vs where you are now. BUT you also have 4 distinct seasons to enjoy now! Perfumes that didn’t make sense before may make sense now. It’ll be fun to try new things and even stuff you’ve already tried (because they may seem “different” now).

  2. For some reason, it is only recently that I have adopted the idea of wearing different perfumes for different seasons (though not strictly, as you say about yourself). When I think back, I’m kind of amazed/horrified to remember that when I lived in Boston I used to wear Magie Noire throughout the year, including the hot and humid summer, and I wore it to work at the small software company where I was a technical writer. Whoa. Also, my boss smoked in the office and my husband could always tell when I’d been in a meeting because my hair smelled like tobacco smoke. We really did smell different then.

    1. Lol, I love it. I was thinking the other day that I truly do not know what Dior Poison or YSL Opium smells like WITHOUT that stale cigarette smell. In my mind, that “accord” is in those fragrances!

  3. Although I live in Berkeley now and don’t need refreshing summer fragrances the way you do in New Jersey (been there in the summer!), I did recently try something you might really like: Cap Neroli by Parfums de Nicolai. It’s herbal and citrusy and very well done–very uplifting as well as refreshing. It has all three forms of orange blossom, including neroli, orange blossom, and pettigrain. Also, it comes in a 30 ml size.

    1. Oh, thanks for the recommendation! That sounds so good! Sounds *exactly* what I want right now.

  4. Wonderful post and thanks! I’m not one to consciously think about rotating through the seasons, but wear what my mood tells me. But of course the seasons (or lack thereof) have a hand in dictating my moods. We retired a couple of years ago and spend our summers on the road in our little motor home and the winters in Tucson, although we have and rent our house in Seattle. In Tucson, I find myself reaching for my florals, citrus and incenses more. The incenses, especially seem to resonate with the desert air. Because of limited space in the motorhome I bring maybe 6 full bottles and a bunch of samples. I bring a variety of things because I never can be sure about the weather. We were in Jackson WY recently where it was in the 30’s at night and my Akkad from Lublin came in very nicely as did my Chanel Coco parfum. In Seattle, I leaned towards my ambers and orientals. My three constants though seem to Infusion d’Iris, Coco and Tauer’s LADDM. Thanks again for the wonderful article.

    1. You’re living the dream! I’d love to be able to spend my winters in the SW and then wherever I want elsewhere. This past winter has made me hate winter. I joke that it is in my blood to hate winter. I had a set of great-grandparents that spent summers in Charleston and then the rest of the year in South Florida because SC was too “cold” in the winter!

      I would love to do some sort of crowd-sourcing project with this topic. Basically have people say what sort of genres they like in which season and report the climate/region. It would be really interesting (or at least I think it would be) to see what sort of perfumes people like to wear in different climates.

      I agree with you so much about incense and desert air. They are truly perfect. I always gravitated to incense and ambers when I lived in Seattle but I felt like I never “knew” them until I wore the same ones in the desert. That dry are really brought out everything I loved about them.

  5. I wear the most random of things at the most random of times. My moods are not all that seasonal. If I’m in a gourmand mood then it usually won’t matter to me if it’s sweltering or not. Actually I think that my choices and moods are sometimes more about what or where I’d *like* to be rather than where I am. Sometimes it’s the exact opposite of the season.

    1. That makes sense. I know there are times in the winter when I crave fresh florals or “beachy” scents because I just want anything that is “anti-winter”. It’s nice to be able to escape via fragrance. 🙂

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