A perfume to get you in the holiday spirit

The weather might be miserable but your perfume needn't be – Lizzie Ostrom on wild flings, novelty cocktails and the smell of summer

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By Lizzie Ostrom on

The first cocktail I ever tasted was a Piña Colada. I was a ten year old (and proud owner of a pair of banana and lime-coloured Bermuda shorts), holidaying with my family at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest. It was early evening in the exotic setting of the swimming pool dome. My parents – in a post-wildwater rapids endorphin rush – were alive to decadent drinks possibilities. When the cocktail arrived at the table with its miniature umbrella and novelty straws, how could any child resist? A few glugs later, my mouth coated with a slurry of coconut cream, rum and pineapple, I was convinced that Piña Colada would not only remain my drink for life, but quite possibly would be the name of my next pet.

I like to think it was this formative moment that gave me a taste for all things pineapple, including in perfume. Just as we drink novelty cocktails on holiday, liberated from good taste and our natural aversion to turquoise drinks, we might also let our guard down with our fragrances to countenance styles that might otherwise seem gaudy. The most obvious choice for any pineapple-lover is The Library of Fragrance’s Piña Colada cologne, £15, which combines effectively both coconut blubber with the tooth-furring effect of tinned pineapple. At this price it’s arguably cheaper than many a real cocktail in a fancy bar. Much more pricey is Jean Patou’s Colony £150, a caramelised, gold-dipped pineapple. It is worth smelling to see that this fruit is not just a cheap thrill, but can be worthy of serious examination in perfumery. 


A darker and stormier cocktail comes with Malin + Goetz’s Dark Rum, £110, a recommendation which comes courtesy of The Pool’s own Elle Turner. Elle describes this one as piratical which is the best possible adjective that could be applied to a scent. The perfume smells like a concoction of Captain Morgan’s, Baileys and Mozart Dark Chocolate liqueur. This sounds like something served to a load of post-A Levellers in Magaluf, but you know you’d have it. And wear the perfume. 


If this is all too thick, too hungover in a heatwave for you, then how about a scent as bracing as a Margarita rimmed in a whole month’s allowance of salt? Salina by Laboratorio Olfattivo, £90, is a challenging perfume. It is so evocative of rock pools your eyes smart, and there is a haze of iodine, like a plate of oysters coming under your nose. It is quivering, raw, and obscene. If you usually fly safe with your perfume, this is your wild fling.  


Poised between these extremes of sweet and sour is the Mojito. I’ve long sought out a fragrance that captures that feel good muddle of fizzy water, brown sugar and lime. The closest I’ve got is Fresh’s Sugar Lychee, £21, which you can buy in a portable rollerball format that’ll fit in your liquids bag at airport security. The mint grown in Cuba for Mojitos, Mentha x villosa, has a citric scent, so while this perfume doesn’t officially suggest mint, its lemon notes, together with the quench of ripe lychee just needs a scoop of crushed ice to complete the illusion.


And an illusion is what all these perfumes may be, if you’re stuck at home this summer, with no prospect of a trip to Brazil, or indeed Center Parcs. Put on your scent, buy a cocktail in a can, and you’re pretty much there. Cheers. 



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