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Summer Fragrance Extravaganza Part I — Scent and Sensibility

This summer, perfumers have found inspiration in everything from luscious pomegranate to the ever elusive tuberose bloom. Some scents, like Prada’s Infusion de Tubereuse, capture an innocent femininity, whereas others, like Chloe’s Eau de Fleurs Capucine, focus on utilizing flowers in a more androgynous manner. Citrus notes abound as they do in most summers, but they’re accompanied by more unexpected fruits like pomegranate, the focal point in the Marc Jacobs Splash Pomegranate and C.O. Bigelow’s Lemon & Pomegranate Fragrance Mist.

Below, you’ll find some of our favorite scents for Summer 2010. And don’t worry: this is the first chapter of our Summer Fragrance Extravaganza, and we assure you that the sequels will be just as yummy!

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Prade Infusion de Tubereuse, $74 for 1.7 oz; $100 for 3.4 oz.; and $135 for 6.7 oz. Available at NeimanMarcus.com, Bloomingdales.com, and Nordstrom.com

Prada’s Infusion de Tubereuse boasts a charming sense of innocence — think of giggling, barefoot young girls in embroidered dresses, their heads adorned with floral wreaths, scampering around a garden collecting flower buds, waving bubble wands in the air, dancing to an imaginary tune. It’s feminine but almost cherubic in its purity.

The fragrance incorporates young tuberose buds from India, petitgrain bigarade (which is derived from the leaves of bitter orange trees), Italian blood orange, and woody dynamone. While tuberose can often have a velvety, very adult feel, the blood orange note adds a sparkling vitality, while the petitgrain bigarade gives it a dewy, refreshing quality.

Both the bottle cap and perfume box feature a tuberose mosaic design with watercolor-esque lilac and pink tones — all inspired by an archived Prada print.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tuberuse Eau de Parfum 100 ml, $155. Available at ArtisanParfumeur.us

Smoke-filled hookah bars, darkened lounges with plush velvet chaises and burning incense, a spice market  at dusk — these are all images that floated through my mind when I first smelled L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Nuit de Tubereuse eau de parfum. Top notes of cardamom, clove absolute, pink berries and pepper give the fragrance a sense of mystery and intrigue, while hints of citrus add a hint of sparkle, making way for a sexy floral heart, which consists of rose essential oils, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, and tuberose, accentuated by just a hint of mango. Woody base notes of sandalwood, gorse (an evergreen shrub native to Western Europe), and pallissander, blended with musks, benzoyn and sytrax, add to the sensuousness of the scent.

Don’t let the mention of tuberose fool you — this is no delicate, prim and proper,  ladies-who-lunch scent. Inspired by the intrigue and romance of Paris night life, this spicy, exotic, sophisticated fragrance conveys a sense of carnal urgency, like unrelenting lust permeating the air, imperceptible to most and yet inexplicably powerful for the lovers in question.

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Calvin Klein Eternity Summer 2010 3.4 oz. EDT spray, $54. Available at CalvinKlein.com

Calvin Klein’s best-selling Eternity fragrance is letting its hair down for Summer 2010 with the aptly dubbed, limited-edition Calvin Klein Eternity Summer 2010, which incorporates top notes of juicy passion flower, spicy ginger, and invigorating grapefruit. As with the standard Eternity scent, this iteration features notes like  freesia and mugeet, but pink peony replaces white lily at the heart and grapefruit replaces mandarin at the top note tier. Creamy musk, white amber and driftwood base notes, meanwhile, give the fragrance a more light-hearted feel than the standard amber, sandalwood and patchouli notes.

The Eternity Summer 2010 fragrance, then, captures the timeless romance of the original scent, but it exudes a slightly more playful vibe.

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Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs Splash Biscotti, $68. Available at Sephora.com

Who but Marc Jacobs could envision how a fragrance centered on biscotti would not only be delicious but would exude a gourmand-ready sultriness? My go-to fragrance this summer, the Marc Jacobs Splash in Biscotti makes me envision standing inside the kitchen of a quaint French patisserie right before opening time, the aroma of freshly baked petits fours, macaroons, and anise biscotti wafting out of the ovens therein. There’s a roasted, toasty warmth to this scent that makes it as enticing and mouthwatering as the desserts on display at a patisserie.

Developed by Richard Herpin of Firmenich, the fragrance opens up with romantic bergamot, freesia and orange flower notes, then leads to a decadently sweet pistachio blossom heart, with a base note of vanilla adding the final touch, a sensual, inviting creaminess. Though it does incorporate floral elements, the key notes here are vanilla and pistachio blossom, both of which will make you smell absolutely appetizing.

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Chloé Eau de Fleurs Capucine 3.4 oz. Fragrance, $135. Available at Nordstrom.com

The new Chloé Eau de Fleurs collection, masterminded by Artistic Director Hannah MaGibbon, builds upon the brand’s vast history with floral motifs, offering three new scents that fuse together the traditional romanticism of floral bouquets with more traditionally masculine scents such as amber, juniper berry, and cedar wood. The three scents in the Eau de Fleurs collection are: Lavande, Capucine, and Néroli

The Eau de Fleurs Capucine fragrance, developed by perfumer Louise Turner, showcases a different side of the capucine bloom (also known as nasturtium), enveloping it with green notes like galbanum, sage, and juniper berry, as well as soft traces of rose essence, rose absolute, jasmine and lily of the valley, as well as woody amber and musk. Truthfully, the fragrance smells less like a floral bouquet and more like an herb garden or the grass in a dense, Lord of the Rings-ready forest. But it was the musky and amber notes that lingered the longest, giving the fragrance an androgynous touch and playing with existing notions of gender.

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Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs Splash Pomegranate, $68. Available at Sephora.com

There’s a scene in The Tudors in which Henry VIII (played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) holds a ripe pomegranate in his palm, cupping it and vigorously, unapologetically biting into the succulent, pulpy fruit, making the act feel incredibly primal. This scene keeps playing in my head whenever I wear the Marc Jacobs Splash in Pomegranate, a fruity floral scent featuring a blend of mandarin flowers, bergamot, lemon, rhubarb, violet, and pomegranate, along with a vanilla, amber and sugary musk dry down. Developed by perfumer Patty Hidalgo, this lightweight scent is amazingly simple and straightforward, capturing the sultriness of the pomegranate, the original forbidden fruit.

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C.O. Bigelow Lemon & Poemgranate Fragrance Mist, $16.50. Available at BigelowChemists.com and BathAndBodyWorks.com

Packaged in a lightweight plastic bottle with a hippie-flavored, gradient clear to bright coral tint. Though we typically think of lemon as sour and tart, here it has more of a sweet, lemonade flavor that make it all the more ideal for beach-y summer days. The juicy, robust, fleshy pomegranate note is perhaps the source of this tropical sweetness. That being said, the fragrance mist doesn’t have too much stamina, so you will need to reapply ever few hours but, since the bottle is so lightweight, it’ll be no trouble at all tucking it into a beach bag or oversize satchel and spritzing on your sun-kissed skin as needed.

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