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Summer by Kenzo
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

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Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

Summer by Kenzo …

Not the Quintessential Summer Scent, But Maybe the Most Authentic One

As if I haven’t dated myself enough already on these pages, I’ll do it again by admitting that when I was a young girl there was a popular Herb Alpert song (or a Burt Bacharach song sung by Herb Alpert) floating on the radio airwaves called This Guy’s In Love With You, but to my young mind I always heard it as “The Sky’s In Love With You,” and though it didn’t quite make sense with the rest of the lyrics, I really didn’t question it. It was enough that it made sense with how I felt on a beautiful sunny day, and maybe because I was so impressionable when I heard it—or maybe because I’m just a little bit odd and too affected by weather—even at the age I am today, when the sky is blue and the weather balmy, that song turns on in my mind and I hear it exactly the same way. And when the sky is in love with me, I seem to rise to meet it in an appropriate fashion. I feel kittenish and tipsy—everything in my demeanor softens. It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning (though I admit I would like to lie there half-awake with the sunlight streaming in through the window, listening to the songbirds singing) and though it’s harder to get myself to wind down at night (a sunlit day often leads to the kind of clear, starlit night that makes me want to take an evening stroll through the neighborhood, drink too many cups of tea and stay up all-hours reading a book), when I finally do fall asleep, it is with a contented feeling of surrender.

This week we might be getting a belated onslaught of spring showers in central Pennsylvania, but due to some weather anomaly I can’t ever remember happening here before, we hardly had a winter and our spring has been uncharacteristically dry and warm. Last week was especially gorgeous, and on Saturday after mowing the lawn and going for an evening run, I walked through my little neighborhood to cool off and was greeted by the spectacle of the enormous full moon rising fast over the ridge-top, while at three houses on three separate streets outdoor parties were going on, with bonfires burning in the yards and, oddly enough, Christmas lights lit up, including what looked to be a Christmas tree on the enclosed back porch of a fourth house. Considering that it was Cinco de Mayo (probably not the reason for the celebrations since there is only one Latino family in my neighborhood, though on the other hand certain bars and restaurants have put that holiday on the map, so to speak), the almost surreal display of light from the moon, bonfires and leftover Christmas displays made sense to me in the same way that “the sky’s in love with you” lyrics made sense. I felt the night air move across my bare shoulders and stir the sweat-drenched hair at the nape of my neck while a dizzy happiness washed over me. The next morning when I got up it was cool and cloudy, but by afternoon the sun had come out and I was again outside, this time sitting in my yard in my lawn chair, in the same fashion I have since I was a girl, with one leg tucked under me such that I am sitting on my foot, my other leg propped up with my knee facing me and at a perfect angle for me to balance a book against.

Summer by Kenzo, a sample of which came my way from Sigrun, is what I’ve been wearing these past few days—and it says summer about as much as hot weather, bonfires and Christmas lights say Cinco de Mayo in the northern hemisphere. In other words, not at all and, at the same time, perfectly. Though it’s marketed as a “sun-kissed powdery-floral,” Summer by Kenzo isn’t actually all that solar-smelling nor even very floral. Cut-grass meets starchy yellow flower is how I would describe it in the simplest of terms, but to elaborate a little further, it smells like a wild and weedy spring lawn that was cut the evening before and is now dew-soaked and just starting to warm in the mid-morning sun. It is a strange little mimosa perfume that is teaching me more about this flower; I’ve read that mimosa is a close relative of the Cassie flower, which makes sense, as some of the scent facets I smell in Summer by Kenzo I also smell in Frederic Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie. In a review I wrote a few years back on Une Fleur de Cassie, I mentioned that it reminded me of dandelions, “the tumbled-together smell of bitter and sweet elements,” (to quote myself), and quite interestingly, I smell that in Summer by Kenzo, too (and was relieved to learn that Sigrun is one of the rare online reviewers to detect the dandelion smell as well, as so many of the mini-reviews I’ve come across in the online forums describe Summer in terms I can’t reconcile to my own experience of this scent).

The mimosa flower of perfumery has a scent profile that embraces honeyed sweetness but also green and powdery aspects, and in Summer by Kenzo, the latter two facets are accentuated—helped along by the perfume’s other notes, which include bergamot, citron, mimosa, violet, almond milk, musk, cedar and styrax. One thing that most reviewers agree about is the scent’s powderiness, but to my nose Summer is more starchy than powdery. In other words, it doesn’t smell like cosmetic powder but rather like the kind of powder one might smell in the pollen of certain flowers. The perfume’s green smell—that dewy-cut-grass-and-dandelion-leaves acridness it has going on—is certainly enhanced by the sharp citrus smell of bergamot and citron in the top notes, but it continues well beyond the top-notes stage, making me realize it is the same facet of mimosa that I detected in Une Fleur de Cassie.

Though the fragrance is fairly linear and not very long-lasting (I get about three hours wear-time, tops), Summer does get sweeter as it dries down, though is never what I would really call sweet. Its sweetness is of the variety one encounters in nature—in true nature, meaning broad, open-spaced habitats where not everything is ideally lush and manicured. And maybe because it smells so much like my non-chemically-treated lawn—a lawn that is fragrant with the flowering weeds of springtime (violets, speedwell, dandelions and clover) and is the place that summertime starts and stops with me—or maybe because it does not rely on perfumery’s traditional script of beachy, solar notes to create an olfactory portrait of the season but instead catches me by surprise—it smells all the more like summer. Not in any way that makes perfect sense, but with just enough sense to make it feel right, and just enough dissonance to convince me that it does so perfectly.

 

Summer by Kenzo eau de parfum can be purchased at a number of online perfume discounters, where the price ranges widely. The best price I saw is at UltraFrangrances.com, where a 50-ml/1.7 oz bottle is currently priced at $44.90. Not having done business with them, I can’t vouch for how reliable they are. Reviews for this scent tend to be mixed—there are as many haters as lovers—so it’s not the kind of scent I’d advise to get as a blind buy.

Photo (top of page) titled Young Woman Lying in Tall Grass is from Corbis.com.
 

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 5/7/2012.

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