It’s really heating up here in the Kingdom of the United. Friday was the hottest day of the year so far, with the mercury making its way up to a rather scorching 27ºC (that’s 80ºF to my American counterparts). I spent the day soaking up the sun at Wireless festival, enjoying the melodic tones of Pharrell Williams and the egotistical rants of Kanye West. Many people however, would have flocked to the coast to top up their Vitamin D levels on one of the countries many beaches.
I do love a good beach, but I must admit that I am not a fan of sunbathing – my short attention span makes sure of that (it’s so short, in fact, that it’s a miracle that I managed to make it to the end of that last sentence). Thankfully for me, Britain offers an array of coastlines ranging from the full-on seaside resorts, complete with candy floss, beach huts and donkey rides to the abandoned sand dunes of almost-forgotten beaches in the farthest corners of the country.
In this piece, I take a look at some of my favourite seaside perfumes. Fragrances that are evocative of the beach, whether that be the hot sands of an exotic getaway or the cold shingle of a British seaside town – there’s even a fragrance that conjures up the image of an alien landscape – a beach on the planet Venus. So pack your sunglasses and your bucket and spade, ’cause we’re going on a short summer holiday and a scented tour of the world’s smelliest beaches.
In a weird case of serendipity I have been in the mood to do things on a regular basis over the last week; wear rose perfumes and stare at Salvador Dalí’s 1958 work ‘The Meditative Rose. The painting captures the ethereal beauty of the rose, floating high in the sky, casting a tranquil scene that aptly sums up how I feel about rosy fragrances within my collection.
I’ve always seen roses as having a soft and calming presence and much like the two small figures in Dalí’s painting I find myself feeling quite contemplative when wearing any perfume with roses. Over the last week I’ve been relying heavily on Montale’s Black Aoud, a perfume that pairs the sharpness of leather and oud with the most powdery of roses. It’s exotic but comforting and allows one to shroud oneself in a red blanket, which is especially handy in this weather.
As a die hard perfume nerd it is often too easy for one to focus on all that is good in the world of perfumery. That may sound like it goes without saying but what I mean specifically is that one can fall in to the trap of only celebrating that which is considered to be the finest examples of the art we adore so much. Of course this is no bad thing in itself, quality, artistry, and beauty must be celebrated, however when doing so it is far too easy for one to overlook those perfumes that are, shall we say ‘a little rough around the edges’. The ugly ducklings if you will.
Personally, I adore an ugly duckling. Yes I also adore my Amouages, exclusive Guerlains and Maison Francis Kurkdjian scents but my guilty pleasures cannot be ignored. To my nose there is nothing more pleasing than a brash, cheap and trashy fragrance. That said, there is a fine line between the fun & trashy and the downright vulgar, in the context of celebrity it’s the difference between Lady Gaga (good vulgar) and Paris Hilton (bad, just bad).
If you’re looking for that fun, fancy-free, brazen and downright ridiculous over-the-top cheap scent then look no further than this guide, because I adore cheap trash and nothing pleases me more than sharing my favourite examples of tacky fragrant vulgarity with you.
I must admit that I’ve been rather naff at posting regularly this year. It’s no excuse but I’ve just finished two university modules with assignments, which mixed with work commitments has meant that my brain hasn’t been in blogging mode. The good news is that I can direct my attention back to The Candy Perfume Boy (yay) and I aim to achieve three to four posts per week.
Another thing that seems to have happened to me over the last few months is the fact that I appear to have been struck by a surreal sickness. The symptoms are obsessive and compulsive. The prognosis is poor and there is no known cure. What’s wrong with me? Well, it seems that I cannot stop collecting Salvador Dalí perfumes.
It’s funny, for years I paid next to no attention the weird amorphic sculptured bottles of Dalí’s fragrances yet I’ve always been somewhat of a fan of his paintings. There’s something about the arid landscapes scattered with surreal figures and shapes of Dalí’s paintings that I find utterly fascinating and beautiful.
As part of my Postcards From My Collection Series I would like to share with you my Dalí collection so far. It is by no means an impressive collection yet, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up in sheer awesomeness.
Parfums Salvador Dalí is an odd brand. They aren’t readily available in the UK but I always see them when scouring the discount stores for interesting things. I often find myself tentatively eyeing up their weird, surrealist bottles and wondering whether the juices they contain are as crazy as the vessels that contain them.
On one such recent trip to the discounters I came across the Salvador Dalí perfumes as usual and decided to refer to Perfumes: The Guide to see what our Perfume Oracles (Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez) thought of them. Only two Dalí fragrances received a high rating of four stars; Dalí and Laguna, the former of which is evaluated by Turin in the following way:
“[…] a big, handsome, strapping floral chypre somewhere between Amouage [Gold] and Bal à Versailles, though lacking the exquisitely rich texture of the former and the bold, striking structure of the latter.” 
Well, as you can imagine I was sold by the word “Amouage” and less than five minutes later I had added a 30ml sized bottle of Dalí Parfum de Toilette to my shopping cart (a steal at £10) and had checked out. A blind buy is a risky thing I know, but I figured that if I didn’t like the scent I could at least display the bottle somewhere and ogle it on a regular basis.
Released in 1983 Dalí, created by none other than the great Alberto Morillas, was Salvador Dalí’s first foray into the perfume market. Dalí’s wife and muse Gala was the inspiration behind the fragrance and it contains notes of rose and jasmine which were her favourite flowers. Parfums Salvador Dalí describe Dalí PdT as “a feminine fragrance, with character, created in the purest of tradition of opulent Chypre perfumes”  and I would classify it as a big ole 80s floral made with a soft touch.