My French perfume guide: Spring is in the air


As gravel disappears from French streets, scarves become more colorful and smiles more frequent, it is time to welcome the sunnier seasons with the appropriate scents.

Here are some tips on how to adjust your perfume wardrobe…

Lovers of sultry oriental fragrances

Sylvia Ziemski 06/03/13There is no need to entirely change your perfume personality with the seasons (although perfume marketing sometimes seems to want us to believe it is). If you feel comfortable in spicy, oriental or gourmand perfumes then that is what you should wear.

However, you might feel that they are a bit heavy. Most perfume houses (French and otherwise) offer lighter versions of their scents so try keeping your favorite but in a lighter formula. Sometimes going from eau de parfum or parfum to eau de toilette is enough.

French women know: less is more

Another thing you can do is to wear a bit less perfume. If you spray twice, spray once. If you apply on both neck and wrists, try just one of them. Too much perfume is never classy.

Spring will make you sneeze

Sylvia Ziemski 06/03/13

Unfortunately many people spend spring sneezing, red-eyed and avoiding all those great blossoming parks. This can also mean that wearing perfume suddenly feels irritating.

If you feel like taking a break from perfume, by all means do. But you can also try applying your perfume a bit further from your face, for example, on the back of your neck or even on your back.

Another trick is to not apply it on your skin but on your clothes. Not the same sensation entirely but a forgivable compromise.

Feeling too introverted for life outdoors?

Sylvia Ziemski 06/03/13The extroverted social scene in France that comes with the blossoming parks can feel quite scary to pale skin that has been wearing layers of wool for months.

Try lifting your spirit with light energetic notes like ginger and bergamot. Light cologne-like fragrances will feel more energetic than vanilla and patchouli.

For women who have not yet experimented with male fragrances this is the time to steal a couple of drops of a man’s cologne.

My French perfume favourites

During spring I tend to reach for three classic French perfumes by Jean-Claude Ellena: Voyage for Hermès, or Bigarade Concentrée/Angéliques sous la pluie for Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle.

This spring I will also fall in love over and over again with the most recent addition to the Malle range, a collaboration with Dries van Noten. In the evening I like to reach for my Absinthe Verte from By Kilian

All images by Sylvia Ziemski

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Sylvia Ziemski

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