Scents of the Mediterranean — group blog post


Thank you to Elena of Perfume Shrine and Ines of All I Am — A Redhead for organizing this blog post!  I’ve never been to the Mediterranean, but the scents I associate with it include lavender, herbs, the ocean and the beach, orange blossom, tomato leaf, olive, and fig.

I have only tried a few scents that make me think of the Mediterranean. Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil is a light beachy scent that evokes sun-warmed skin and fits the Mediterranean image.  It’s pleasantly sweet without being cloying.  The soft woods, vetiver, amber, and musk in the base work well with the floral notes, and the composition feels very summery.  EL Bronze Goddess is apparently similar but I’ve not tried it.

Another scent that makes me think of the beach is Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel, but in a much more nature-realistic way.  It features grassy notes, woods, iris, and herbs in a dry, salty composition evoking a beachside scene.  It’s beautiful and unique, and it captures a grassy beach landscape without using the ozonic notes I dread.  Orange blossom scents also make me think of the Mediterranean, and two summery ones that I like are Lorenzo Villoresi Dilmun and Annick Goutal Neroli

On a perfumery note: I’ve not smelled a perfume with a strong olive note, but I recently received a sample of poplar bud absolute that has a strong olive note to me.  The poplar bud has many facets (fruity, honey, woodsy), but the olive for me is really prominent.  It’s interesting stuff.

I’m looking forward to reading the other posts about the Mediterranean because I would love to know more summery scents of this type.  I’d love a lavender and herb summer scent and will look for suggestions. I’ll have to work on one someday. 🙂

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  1. Azuree Soleil? I’ve not come across that, but I am now, of course, intrigued…

    Funny how Goutal seems to be popping up…Katie mentioned Eau de Sud, I brought up Eau de Hadrien, you nod toward Neroli (and I’m not done doing the rounds yet)…I’m wondering if there’s not only a search for citrus, but something about the way AG presents it…

    Speaking of how someone presents it: You know that I’m going to start asking more about this poplar bud absolute, right? And doing my best to NOT say anything but patiently wait to see how it rolls around in your mind and ends up coming out in a perfume? 🙂

  2. I bet you could have written about your own experience of Sonoma! That’s a Mediterranean climate if ever I saw one!

    Scentshelf is right, as always–this poplar bud business has piqued my curiosity as well…

  3. I agree with LBV! Much of California has that Med climate. Certainly the Napa/Sonoma valleys do, with the hot summers, the vineyards, the emphasis on the senses.

  4. SS, I think AZ was discontinued and BG replaced it. Supposed to be very similar.

    The poplar bud is strong and very different. Not sure if I could come up with a way to use it, but it really smells like olives to me, lol! Like a jar of olives, but also a little honey and spice and some soft woodsy aspects.

    Yes, our Sonoma climate is often compared to the Med and many Med plants like lavender do well here. I meant to mention that, so thanks for reminding me! We get colder in winter, but otherwise it’s similar.

  5. Laurie,

    I agree with the gals above me…you are living in a climate that seems very Mediterranean-like, and I think it’s perfectly reflected in your Jour Ensoleille, which made my list.

    I am still so in love with that scent, and recently decanted some from my larger bottle into the little black atomizer that I first bought from you, to give as a gift to a lovely perfumista I met in Sweden. I was wearing it when I first met her, and she really liked it when she smelled it on me.

    That poplar bud absolute you speak of sounds very intriguing! Will look forward to hearing more about your explorations with it.

    1. I’m really glad you’re enjoying your JE, and that’s sweet of you to share it!

      Seems like the olive character of the poplar could work in an herbal Med scent, but it’s foody to me so I’d need to use it with care. It’s fun to sniff, but I wouldn’t want to smell like a jar of olives, lol. It’s so unusual and evocative though that I bet it’ll be used in interesting ways. It’s a new product from this company. I got a couple other samples that I love and expect to use, but they don’t fit the Med theme (one smells like alfalfa to me and one is woodsy/spicy).

    1. Hi Roxana! I have some olive leaf absolute that smells much greener and has a leathery vibe to me. I like it a lot but haven’t tried it in anything yet. The poplar is even longer lastng on my skin and is sweeter and foodier to me. The poplar’s olive note may be stronger to me than to others, though my Mom and brother got it too, without my telling them what it smelled like to me (it may be genetic, lol).

  6. Laurie, anything that gets your creativity stimulated to conjure more perfume magic is okay with me.

    Your mention of not having encountered an olive note in perfume reminds me of the wonder of tasting (very delicious) olive oil gelato, as I did recently. So unexpected, but tasty!

    1. Hi Katie! Olive oil gelato sounds interesting! My Dad used to make olives from our tree (well, the tree made the olives and he did the brining/preserving); it’s not too hard and they always turned out well. I see you wrote on your blog that Sienne l’Hiver has an olive note so I’ll have to sniff that one!

  7. I haven’t encountered olive perfume but there are lots of beauty products out there like shower gels and moisturisers with it as the main scent- and I think they are lovely- you do smell a bit like food though.

    Azuree Soleil is THE holiday scent now isn’t it- basically bottled southern French beach- love it.

    1. Yes, Azuree Soleil feels like a warm day in the sun on the beach! Our beaches in northern CA are usually cool even in summer, and the water is cold too. AZ brings to mind a holiday at a warmer beach locale.

  8. Laurie,

    your choices fit greatly (and so would some of your own perfumes too!).
    You have to get a whiff of Santa Maria Novela Mavrorachi which I was lucky to try thanks to the generosity of Carol (from Waft by…). A limited edition to celebrate the cypriot perfumes of old and it does smell of olives. Great stuff!

    Thanks for joining!

  9. I also heard Azuree Soleil and Bronze Goddess are similar but I haven’t tried Azuree Soleil. 🙂 And at the moment I just can’t imagine not ever having some of BG, I really love it.

  10. Hi Laurie:
    Great post! And you’ve reminded me that LV’s Dilmun has been on my “to sample” list for a couple of years now! lol!

    Lavender + herbs = Jicky

    I’ll be happy to send along a sample if you’d like.


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