Monday 2 August 2010

Scents of the Mediterranean the world over

Scents of the Mediterranean is a collaboration between perfume blogs from around the world, which was kindly organised by Ines from All I am- A Redhead and Helg from Perfume Shrine. I would like to thank them both for inviting me to participate and for all their work. I really enjoy coming together with other bloggers and think it's very much in the spirit of the community to work together. I'm really looking forward to every one's thoughts on their favourite smells from the Mediterranean, mine are below but do let me know yours as well.

Diptyque Philosykos: Philosykos is figs, it's like a symphony on them- not just the skin and the flesh but the branches and leaves of the fig trees and the the hot, beating sun I imagine shining, burning down on them day after day. It has become quite simply one of my favourite fragrances. I continuously receive compliments and even nuzzles from people when I wear it (which isn't why I like it but it helps!). I find it quite a cerebral scent too, I think well with it on. It's not terribly masculine or feminine but it's sensual, like figs themselves.

By Redo Palermo: This is the newest By Redo and I have been wanting to write about it so this is a great opportunity. Palermo is, of course, the capital of Sicily- for me one of the most intriguing corners of the Mediterranean. While I am lucky enough to have travelled to many parts of Italy I haven't made it to Sicily yet and I do long to go- to see the architecture, the history that makes most British buildings seem new (which is hard) to eat the food and feel the hot stone under my feet. So of course Palermo seems exotic, enticing and a little bit mysterious to me before I have even smelled it. It is actually a citrus and herbaceous scent, to some degree fresh but not in the way of many lemon based scents. This is a sophisticated smell, in the same family as Eau Savage and Miss Dior, a light chypre dressed in the ironed white shirt of a citrus eau de toilette.

Carthusia Mediterraneo: this is southern Italy to me- walking in the lemon groves and drinking the freshest lemonade I ever tasted in Sorrento after swimming in the pool. I don't particularly like lemon scents as I am always saying but this is the exception, this is lemon sorbet and all the joy of Italy bottled up for me to bring home. Whenever I want to go back, whenever London is too grey or cold or maybe sad, one spritz of this and I am the land that makes my heart happy.

Olive oil. I thought for quite a long time about including something as simple as olive oil but it truly is the taste of the Mediterranean for me and actually it's scent is not only very transporting but it's very unlike any other smell. To me olive oil means health, a different kind of health to our Celtic and Anglo- Saxon robustness. Olive oil is men in their eighties dancing or stealing a kiss from a beautiful lady, it's Sophia Loren still looking beautiful and it's food that tastes amazing and you know is doing you good. So all my ideas about olive oil might be cliches but they work for me.

Korres Yoghurt after sun lotion. This one is quite specific I know but it's what I thought of! It is by Korres who are obviously Greek and it smells exactly like the those bowls of fresh Greek yoghurt that are quite tart you have for breakfast on holiday (I've never been to Greece sadly but I've had those bowls of yoghurt everywhere else and this product mimics the scent perfectly).

The other blogs participating in this project are as follows:

Bonkers about Perfume

I smell therefore I am

Notes from the Ledge


Suzanne's Perfume Journal

The Non- Blonde


Smelly Blog

Scent Hive

Katie Puckrick Smells


Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Perfume Shrine

All I am- A Redhead


Richard said...

As a man who likes to care a fig about the scent I wear - I am intrigued by Diptyque Philosykos. Where can I buy it in the UK?

Ines said...

Korres Yoghurt - sounds great! I love their body products (haven't yet tried this one though). You can't get them in Croatia so I don't get many opportunities of buying them.
I really like your choices (especially the way you approached olive oil) - I need to try Palermo soon. :)

Rose said...

Hi Richard- you can buy Diptyque in Liberty in London and their own shops- also any Fenwicks seem to stock it. I'm sure other large department stores would or you could try buying samples online. I think it would be heavenly on a man, although used lightly. In fact I saw a man buy some once in Liberty and spray it straight on!

Hi Ines- I'm a big Korres fan, their cedar shower gel smells quite heavenly and using it is like showering in sherwood forest! I think you'd like Palermo. Yes olive oil, it's like a life giver to me- delicious!

Vanessa said...

Hi Rose

Lovely post, and thanks for the heads up on the new ByRedo, which sounds refreshing. I recently got into Korres through a Swedish friend, and it is worth looking out for in T K Maxx - beats me why they should end up discounted in that way - maybe just because the products are less well known in the UK.

Your riff on/off? olive oil was bang on. It does seem to be the elixir of long life in such places! Now where's my tub of Bertolli marge?

Suzanne said...


I loved your post, and especially what you wrote about olive oil: "Olive oil is men in their eighties dancing or stealing a kiss from a beautiful lady..."

Yes, so beautifully put!

Perfumeshrine said...

Lovely choices and so right about olive oil being about "men in their 80s dancing and stealing a kiss from a pretty lady"! LOL (that's sooooo Med)

BTW, you're not far off on the Korres: it is actually the only product in the whole wide world that contains edible Greek yoghurt (we do put it on neat on sunburns here, you see, the inspiration was in the tradition)

Rose said...

Hi Flittersniffer- I'm a big Korres fan so will definitely look for it in TK Maxx- thanks! Glad you liked the olive oil and the old man I have in my mind

Thanks very much Suzanne- I can see him- he has a little hat

Hi E- I'm glad I'm right not being from there!

Very interesting about the yoghurt being in the product- it's really great stuff and that must be why.

La Bonne Vivante said...

rose, you are so right about the olive oil and the yogurt. The true mediterranean scents!

ScentScelf said...

I was intrigued by the Korres after sun lotion...and more so now that Helg has supplied more backstory on the yoghurt! Still time left this summer to put that tub in the 'fridge to an extra use, should the need come up. (And with my fair skin, it comes up at least once a summer.) I, too, enjoy the cedar shower gel...I am lucky enough to turn up some of their stuff every now and then at a T.J. Maxx. (Which is a discounter, in case you don't have/know them.)

Olive oil is awesome.

Enjoyed your perfumes, too... :)

Katie Puckrik said...

Enjoyed your list, Rose. And am envious that more of Korres' great products are available in the UK than in the US.

flittersniffer, am envious/appalled that Korres stuff ends up in TJ Maxx.

Rose said...

LBV- Funny that I thought of food? not that I'm greedy or anything...

Hi Scentscelf- we have it here but it's called TK Maxx instead of TJ Maxx- not sure why!

Hi Katie- thank you, yes we're looking, I'd have thought they'd do well in the US, it was a small ammount here first so hopefully you'll get more. I think that about so many things that end up in TJ/ TK Maxx- I like that they are cheaper but am baffled. I get all kinds of perfume finds though- recently the different company and lancome cuir

Laurie said...

Enjoyed your lovely post! I need to try Carthusia Mediterraneo -- I don't have many lemony favorites either but this sounds promising!