Hello, Summer 2020!
Although there’s no fragrance law that says you should immediately rotate bottles in your perfume collection after the Summer Solstice, you might start reaching out for a different selection of fragrances as soon as temperatures rise.

I love summer, and to celebrate it’s beginning here are my reviews of two unique perfumes: one dates back to 2013 – and the other one is going to be released really soon.
Both could be called Aquatic-oceanic/marine scents, yet both are so much more than just that!

Bonus: you can wear them all year round! Everything is different this year anyway…

I told my son (and myself…) today to rejoice because we’ve successfully reached the end of a highly unusual school year, and the long, easy-going summer vacations (for him) finally begin now. Homeschooling a teenager for 15 weeks was something I never opted for: even as a little girl, never-ever did I declare that I’d like to be a teacher when I grow up. I wanted to be a flight attendant (check, close enough: I worked in the national airline company for 15 years), a businesswoman (check, running a small business), or a writer (check, thanks for reading this blog).
Those were my top choices, but it is what it is, and the end of this task is near. I’m happy, he’s happy, we’ve made it through: let’s hope that the livin’ is easy part now kicks in!

The promise of long summer holidays was always an inspiration to put some extra effort into studying during the final two or three weeks in school, with classes and exams ending by mid-June. The first essay we wrote when a new school year began? What I did on my holidays– of course! Well, now you can just spritz this fragrance on, and let it do all the talking:

What I Did On My Holidays / 4160 Tuesdays / Sarah Mc Cartney

One whiff and sweet memories of easy-going days and joyful summertime thrills came to life again! The joy of simple things, like having an ice-cream after the beach, enjoying sea-breeze rolling in after the sunset while still feeling the scent of remaining suntan lotion on your glowing skin, and the sound of crickets echoing in the dark as the night rolls in. Paradise. Lost? Not with this perfume!

It’s almost photorealistic, a flashback straight to my childhood days: sitting on a bench at a boardwalk in a small fisherman village, somewhere at the Adriatic Coast,  feeling and observing sunset after a whole afternoon spent at the beach. Holding a crunchy ice-cream cone with three big scoops of ice-cream melting quickly, and trickling down on my hand.  Carelessly stretched out legs, tanned feet in flip-flops, sea-salt in the hair, and wearing an old and faded T-shirt: I just realized how much I miss all that. And yes, lavender in my garden is blooming right now.

What I Did On My Holidays fascinates me with a punch of minty-freshness in the opening that hovers like fluffy mist over the coconut -on- sea rocks structure.

It has a cooling effect at first, feeling almost like freshly prepared mint-lemonade poured over a heap of ice cubes. The fragrance gradually turns slightly gourmand, but never too heavy, never too sweet!
Funny, but at one moment it reminded me of lavender flavored ice-cream I enjoyed in Grasse, and that IS a happy summertime memory for me.

In the dry-down, the mint-infused coolness that is most prominent in the opening of the fragrance is replaced with warmer tones, and while I kept sniffing my wrist it reminded me of the vanilla topping mixed with melt ice-cream, those delicious last spoonfuls that you scrape from the bottom of a paper cup. This game of hide and seek between mint, oceanic and gourmand notes is later present in the background, even when musky notes gently chime in. 

Hours later it felt like a cozy, skin-close scent, still with sparks of mint, feeling so comfortable and easy-going. During the deeper dry-down stages, What I Did On My Holidays is skin-like musky, smooth, and dense like coconut-butter.

A very interesting creation indeed: semi-aquatic / semi-gourmand, and yet it’s both – and so much more! Definitely different, joyful, and absolutely unisex!

Notes: mint, coconut suntan lotion, sea air, rock pools, lavender, candy floss, vanilla.

Available at 4160 Tuesdays /webshop, as 30 ml, 50 ml, and 100 ml EDP.

Editor’s Note: I remember reading somewhere, in one of the FB fragrance groups that some people compare Sarah McCartney’s What I Did On My Holidays to Francesca Bianchi’s Sex and the Sea. Well, not so, not at all, and I could elaborate – or you can simply check out my S&S review here. These 2 fragrances have very different moods, structures, and building blocks. It’s one thing to enjoy your mint-coconut-vanilla ice-cream near a beach, and it’s another story to enjoy sex…and the sea. Both hit pleasure circuits in your brain, just totally different ones.

Now, here is a fragrance that’ll be released soon, and this time “soon” really means soon so keep your eyes on it. Janne Reiner Vuorenmaa – the owner of V/siteur – planned to launch his 3 perfumes this spring, but we all know what happened. Esxence Milan was canceled, and the launch postponed. Well, since most of 2020 up to now is bizarre, let’s visit(eur) the new, one and only:

Beach Bizarre / V/siteur / Patrice Revillard 

Patrice Revillard, perfumer (an Ecole Supérieur du Parfum graduate), and co-owner of MAELSTROM is one of the two young talents that were chosen by a committee of experts to revive the mythical Jacques Fath’s Iris Gris – now known as L’Iris de Fath. He also composed Beach Bizarre, a finely blended fragrance that tells us a somewhat unusual story about one day and night Janne had spent at the Caribbean beach.  And one single moment that turned out to be completely bizarre.

An escape to the Caribbean islands, a tropical paradise. What could possibly go wrong? Happy, carefree moments on a heavenly beach surrounded by blooming flowers, hot days and humid, long nights far away from home sound like being in heaven on Earth. Everything seemed just perfect until the dark hours of the night…

Beach Bizarre immediately draws you in and plunges you in an orchard full of tropical fruits: so refreshing and sumptuous! Like a basket of perfectly arranged fruits that’s just taken out of a refrigerator and served immediately – juicy and affluent, but what I love about it is that’s a finely textured flow of incredibly addictive bitter-sweet tones.  Yes, an abundance of tropical fruits and flowers, but deconstructed in such a way that makes them absolutely refined in expression. Slowly but inevitably, warm ocean wind moves in: it feels like on days when bright sunshine is suddenly overcast with brooding, lead-colored clouds that hang above the ocean’s horizon.

The atmosphere changes as the fragrance unveils its hidden depths in deliberately slow-moving transitions:

“Suddenly the night falls. Legs start shivering and heartbeat intensifies. Seems like the pitch-black sky is getting closer. The endless rumbling ocean attracts. Home seems further away than ever before.” 

The cheerfulness and brightness from the opening are gone, and it reminds me of the feeling you get when you dive beneath the surface of the open sea at night: one deep breath and you go under, and everything around you changes: sounds are muffled, movements slow, and the deeper down you go, the more you lose the idea of what’s up and what’s down.  You  feel fully immersed into the endless, primal and throbbing movements of the dark ocean water surrounding you. The raw power of ocean – it might truly feel scary, it’sso  easy to get lost in it, to become dizzy.

It seems as though The Big Blue takes you over, like syrens’ call that you can’t resist. Salty, dark tide rises and it pushes forward waves carrying wet seaweed that sticks to your skin, with a sensational execution of ambergris: the kind that’s musky-sweet and deeply marine.
Minty and earthy tones also emerge, with traces of crushed fresh cannabis leaves and somewhat darker, slightly earthy hues of patchouli. If this was the disturbing part of the experience, Patrice delivers it in a very dark and powerful way. Magnificent!

Beach Bizarre lasts for hours on my skin, leaving a scented trail of musky, bitter-sour cumin trail with specs of salt in it. Smooth, elegant, longlasting, and with a beautiful dry-down: I’m impressed. Congratulations!
There are two more great fragrances in V/siteur‘s portfolio: you can find my review of Thousand Lakes here, and I reviewed Cabaret Nocturne for Cafleurebon here.

Notes (as listed by the brand):  Sun&Fun: gardenia, ylang-ylang, lime, tropical fruit, sea salt / Anxiety Strikes: seaweed, cumin, cannabis, patchouli, ambergris.

For all additional information about availability, please check out V/siteur Facebook page – Janne Rainer Vuorenmaa told me just a couple of days ago that the website shall be operational very soon.

Stay safe, enjoy summer and your perfumes!

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: The Plum Girl, V/siteur, Roberto Greco, guache painting by Zeljko Lapuh (from The Plum Girl’s personal collection).

Disclaimer: Samples/mini’s were kindly provided by brands for my consideration, opinions are of my own.

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