Favorite Spring Scents

One of the most pleasurable things about the change of season are the smells. From my perch in southern California, spring means orange blossoms, star jasmine, and those mystery trees with the tiny yellow flowers that smell like heaven after the sun goes down. (Can anyone familiar with Beach Boys Land tell me what these are?) It feels good to respond to the fragrant swell of spring by choosing a perfume that compliments nature's shy little riot. The days are getting longer, the birds are getting noisier, and you're getting sick of being cooped up indoors. De-hibernate yourself with a snootful of sparkling citruses, soft woods, and grassy florals. It's time to bloom! ANNICK GOUTAL LE MIMOSA: sweet with a dirty mind. Available at $60 for 1.7 oz from Amazon.com, Perfume.com and AnnickGoutal.com GUERLAIN ACQUA ALLEGORIA FLORA NYMPHEA: sunshiney orange blossoms. Starting at $59 for 2.5 oz from Guerlain.com and Amazon.com KENZO POWER: a “come closer” scent, without being desperate. Starting at $35 for 1.7 oz from KenzoUSA.com, Amazon.com, FragranceNet.com, FragranceX.com, and Perfume.com TOM FORD GREY VETIVER: springtime by the seaside. Starting at $74 for 1.7 oz from TomFord.com, Amazon.com, and FragranceNet.com
Fumies -- does spring trigger a costume change in the smell department for you? (I've always remembered reader melisand61's comment that she whips out her "devastating florals" for these chilly spring days.) Or do you keep on keepin' on with your snuggly snow days scents? Sniff and tell!


  1. Hi Katie,

    I do try to wear more florals in springtime, but I don't stop wearing the fall/winter ones just because of that. I'm just not a big floral person, and citruses get boring after a while on me. There are just a few exceptions that I really enjoy, like AdP Colonia Assoluta and Byredo Gipsy Water (which I'm wearing right now, despite the cold outside). Anyway, I won't stop wearing patchouli and woods just because it's the flower season, but I may leave these ones for the evenings when it starts to get warmer (and I am a light spritzer). AG Le Mimosa is really a beauty, but I don't think I need another fruity floral right now. Great interview and, btw, love your shoes!



  2. The East Coast has been up to its usual tricks and we woke up to snow on the ground yesterday in VA. Right in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC! So I'm holding the floral cravings in check until the weather is just a little more consistently warm.

    Last year, I leaped straight from orientals to Carnal Flower and Beyond Love. March came in like a lion and went out like a humongous tuberose! This year, I'm wearing a lot of vintage chypres to ease into spring. Mostly the fruitier, "rounder" types, rather than the snarlier sort. So, Femme, Acqua di Parma Profumo and peachy Mitsouko are in play. I'm also wearing vintage floral aldehydes-Givenchy L'Interdit, No 5 and No 22. But I'm just waiting for a good warm day to whip out the Amaranthine and smut things up a bit!

  3. Well, I can't help it, but I finally got my hands on some Avignon, and I ain't lettin' go!

    Besides, it's only 17 degrees here in Chicagoland, soooo... Spring? Yeah, I WISH!
    I'll wear florals when I see flowers, mmkay?


  4. I broke out my Ralph Lauren bright yellow cords for spring although there are flowers budding it still feels like winter in Baltimore but I am wearing my Absolue pour le Soir with them. Am I confusing to the outdoors...? :)

  5. I love your little BCBG dress!

    As far as Spring Scents go, I'm kind of in denial. In fact, I'm not even sure if I have any Spring scents... maybe Eau Premiere counts? Anyway, I'm hanging on to the Queen of Sheba scents as long as I can!

  6. Katie Puckritude:

    First of all, you're one of the funniest people I've ever seen on television.

    You should be putting on clinics for how to dominate on talk shows. Please let Dan know that if he ever has another doubt about his way with women, he can rest assured that at least he's not A GUY WHO WRITES UP LITTLE SIGNS ON TV.

    I digress.

    Spring Scents - there's too many awesome ones not to follow the season. Two big ones: Vent Vert and Monsieur Balmain, both by Balmain.

    Fantastically vivid and enormously energizing. VV for the GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! vibe, and M. Balmain for the greatest expression of pure citrus ever created. It's like dousing yourself in the freshest lemons ever picked, and it definitely is one of my Top 5 Favorite Scents.

    There are others, of course: Eau Sauvage, 4711, etc. But Balmain rules the school for Spring, hands down and you'll thank me later, people.

  7. hahahaa, the hostess smelled the wrong part of your arm for the Tom Ford!

    and those shoes!! you big flirt

  8. I'm currently wearing MH's (damn it, I have to go get the bottle, I cannot write, spell or pronounce French!) Figue Amere, with its slightly-spicy green fig thang. Iris on the colder days, like now. We have the most gorgeous springs here! But I do remember those flowering trees, although I can't remember their name either.

  9. Are the trees you like the smell of Hymenosporum flavum (Sweetshade or Australian Frangipani)? They grow widely in SoCal so it seems. I remember smelling something similar whilst in San Diego a year or so ago.

  10. Maybe this page can help identify yellow flower tree:

    I am on the hunt for a spring summer scent, and I am thinking og buying an old favorite, Calyx.

  11. Hi Katie,

    As much as I love my Coromandel and Musc Ravageur, it's time to say sayonara.

    Early spring scents: Cruel Gardenia and Le Temps d'une Fete. They're both "full bodied", making them good transitional scents from the above listed.
    Mid spring: Calandre and Cristalle. Flowers and greens. Mmmmm.
    Late spring: that's summer around here.

  12. Sabrina,

    That's funny that you refer to Byredo Gypsy Water as a citrus. I focus more on the sandalwood side of this lemon-sandalwood, and consider it more of a cozy cold weather scent!

    Thanks for the shoe props - I got 'em about 10 years ago, thinking the color was too crazy to be useful. And what do you know? Turns out lime green goes with everything!

  13. melisand61 -- your strategy is sound. No. 22 especially is suitable for chilly spring with its icy aldehydic floral. And Amaranthine will be just the the thing when spring finally loses its jitters.

    Tina -- you're humming my tune - incense perfume is like breakfast: good anywhere, anytime.

    onesmalldog -- haha - "confusing to the outdoors." I'm sure your fellow Bawlmorons love your yellow cords/Absolue PLS combo. I'm loving it from here!

  14. dee -- bingo on id-ing my BCBG frock! And I do believe Eau Première counts as a spring scent. I love it in summer, too.

    Stefush -- I'm guffawing at the idea for clinics on how to dominate on talk shows. "Take Over TV: How to Steamroll the Unsuspecting Chat Show Host."

    I appreciate and commend your enthusiasm for those zesty green scents. But I feel they're even better when the sweat factor is higher, in those dog days of summer. However, I will thank you now.

  15. Bloody Frida -- I'm not surprised Ali lost track of where I sprayed it, especially since Le Mimosa was the alpha scent in that bunch. It packs a surprising wallop.

    Olfacta -- ooh, a spicy fig scent is a good choice for spring. I was considering bring Mugler Womanity to this segment, but I really wanted to showcase Flora Nymphea and Le Mimosa.

  16. I am quite fond of AG's line tho some of hers are a bit too timid for me - will have to try Le Mimosa!! Thanks!

  17. Chris and Maggie -- thanks for your botanical assistance. And Chris, I looked up sweetshade, and sure enough, that's the mystery tree! For YEARS I have wondered what these trees are, and no one I spoke to ever seemed to know.

    The website I found had it listed under "Los Angeles Street Tree Division," which cracked me up. Sweetshade is described as having "the strong fragrance of orange blossom." Here's all the poop:

    Maggie -- Calyx is a wonderful choice for spring! I'll always associate it with the place I first smelled it: in Miami Beach in April.

  18. Suzy Q -- thanks for pointing me in the direction of Le Temps d'une Fete. It sounds nice on LuckyScent's site. Further investigation now required.

    Bloody Frida -- Le Mimosa must be Goutal's corrective to their wishy washy frags, because this one is very emphatic indeed.

  19. Hi Katie,

    Putting Gipsy Water among the citruses is just another one of my pathetic attempts to say "I switch to spring scents"... Truth is, I don't bloom and I don't sparkle, so why should I smell as if I did? I was just in denial, but thank you for helping me to open my eyes: I will keep on wearing my winter/fall scents until they literally start to stink due to the warmth:)



  20. Sabrina -- haha - "I don't bloom and I don't sparkle. And I won't, dammit."

  21. As always, I love when you discuss Kenzo Power...an absolute fave of mine. This spring I will be spending lots of time with Ciel PH and Etro's vetiver. I will also be taking Apres L'Ondee for a walk in the park, and hoping it is not just for fallopian-americans.

  22. I'm with Stefush: More Katie Puckrik on TV! As with your perfume collection videos, I just love the off-the-cuff wit. I'm sure Raoul would welcome your weekly visits, as would all your fumehead fans.

    As for spring, Boston is such a tease that I have no idea which jacket or perfume or level of mild hostility at living here is appropriate when I leave the house in the morning. I've been on a bit of an Agent Provocateur kick, but am looking for something totally new this spring. I'm having one of those weeks where you look at your own closet/perfumes/to-do list and wonder who on earth is responsible for those.

  23. BooRad -- Thanks for cluing me into a bit of pop culture I wasn't aware of. You "fallopian-American" usage made me do a Scooby-Doo "Huh?", and a quick bit of Googling led me to Cliff May's original "vaginal-American" reference to Hilary Clinton. Thanks for the schooling.

    the nosy girl -- I appreciate the support for the KPTV effort. Mmmmm...love that AP, too. Have you tried the new-ish L'Agent from the same line? It doesn't qualify as a spring scent with its spice and patchouli and leather, but it's worth a sniff.

  24. I bought my best friend's husband Kenzo Power for his birthday and he calls it his "babe magnet" - it may even have deposed Antaeus in that department. I have a purse spray sized thermos bottle myself and it is very cute and not too butch for me to wear myself.

    Meanwhile, loving the new coinages: "boinging", "badonkadonk". That would be badonkadonking bazookas, I gather!

  25. OMG, whoever edited that clip, the end of the video cuts from Raoul to the glittery bubble-letters and tinkerbell chimes, that just made me laugh it was so abrupt and funny! Too much.

    So how about:

    Prada's L'Eau de Infusion d'Iris, with the frosted bottle. I don't own it but it sampled surprisingly fresh.

    Bal d'Afrique by Byredo. Rich but not heavy, with nice fruity blossoms. Fun for Spring, people!

    Oh, and I like Cruel Gardenia but it's never ever been big on me like for Suzy Q, it's so close and personal, a "second-skin" scent on me with very minimal sillage. But that's just me.

    Also, any of the Diptyque soliflores would work, right? They don't make any sense other times of the year, they're so quiet.

    Katie I liked your recommendation for the Acqua Allegoria.

  26. Vanessa -- Kenzo Power is one of those walk softly and carry a big stick fragrances. Well, maybe not a big stick, exactly. Perhaps a big pillow.

    N -- haha, that's funny that the abrupt edit tickled you, but the husb had no choice in cutting it there: the broadcast slammed right into the next item. And it's always fun to end on Raoul.

    Good rationale with the Diptyques. And good seasonal pairing with Bal d'Afrique. I'm never sure about that one, but you make a sound case for its spring suitability.

  27. Speaking of Raoul, was it you that gave him the idea for this crafty trick? Would that there were such an app! The smell one, at least:

  28. nosy girl -- Thank you SO MUCH for sending this link! I didn't know anything about it, and don't know who was the evil mind behind the prank. It was a good one, wasn't it. That's my producer Leslie seen handing the anchor the iPad. Leslie's the one who once memorably complained to me that Kai "smells like tampons."

  29. Oh dear! I was at Nordstrom's today and tested out far too many fragrances - mostly on paper, though. I went through quite a few Annick Goutal fragrances, including Le Mimosa. This one I happened to spray on my arm. I rather liked the initial burst, with its unusual peachy-licorice floral vibe. Within five minutes, however, it turned into something dank and strange. I shoved it under my patient boyfriend's nose. His face squinched up into a disgusted expression. "OH, GOD! What is that?"

    He has *never* reacted like that to a perfume, and he's been forced to sniff quite a few in his time. "Eh..." was usually the strongest negative reaction I'd hear from him. I kept forcing him to smell it over the next 5 hours. It progressed from "ew, it smells like BO or taco meat" to "That offends me" in an angry tone of voice.

    I have to say, I didn't care for it at all either, though I got more of a sweaty vanilla crayon vibe after about 3 hours. It could have been worse, but not much. I have a feeling it's the cumin that did it. I must not be a cumin person. Sadly, I got nothing floral from it at all. :(

    I *did* find a lovely fragrance for summer, though: Bronze Goddess. My boyfriend loved it as well. I have nothing like it and will add it to my collection in the next few weeks. I checked it out based on your recommendation from some time ago, which I'm very grateful for!