What I Wore on My Summer Vacation

Last week I went out of town for a few days with my spouse and a friend — something we wouldn’t have dreamed of doing a year ago, or even back in the spring. We didn’t go terribly far, less than a hundred miles, but this short getaway was a much-needed change from our routines. The setting was idyllic and the near-total quiet was more restorative than I’d anticipated.

This was a very casual interlude, so I packed light but still brought along a few fragrances. (Of course.) Nothing bold, nothing that would demand any concentration, just several much-loved standards that have traveled before with me.

Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau: This was one of my first “niche perfume” loves and it’s still a summer favorite for me. It was reportedly inspired by “a calm river, a summer slumber under a weeping willow,” and its composition of rose, black currant buds, and green leaves is tart and sheer enough for me to love even during the steamiest heat wave.

Back in May, I purchased L’Ombre dans L’Eau in its new solid-perfume compact, which is heavier than it looks but still lends itself well to travel.

MCMC Maine: Roll-on oils are also convenient for travel, and perfumer (and city-dweller) Anne McClain created Maine as a homage to a special summer vacation, so this scent has always felt right for my own warm-weather trips to the beach, the Hudson Valley, even other urban locales. It’s a herbal-floral blend of roses and sage with a definite “outdoorsy” feeling.

(I reviewed this one for Now Smell This a while back.)

DSH Perfumes Beach Roses: I think Dawn Spencer Hurwitz recently retired this fragrance to her archives, but it may still be available by request. It’s a buoyant composition of lemon-tinged roses and greenery against a fantasy background of sand dunes and driftwood; my refillable mini-bottle of Beach Roses has accompanied me on many off-season Shore visits and felt suitable for a leafy riverside setting, too.

Régime des Fleurs Little Flower: This perfume was THE scent of fall 2019 and winter 2019-20 for me. I wore it almost daily (whenever I wasn’t testing something for a review or a class), and I couldn’t help noticing that I received a compliment every single time I wore it. However, I had to push it out of rotation during the pandemic lockdown and most of 2020 because it made me miss everything I’d been doing the year before.

I’m just starting to wear Little Flower again, once in a while, as I make steps forward into the reconstructed (but not-quite-the-same) “normal” of summer 2021.

(I reviewed this one for Now Smell This when it was launched.)

So, that’s my perfume stash for my first vaccinated out-of-town voyage! I also used some fun mini-soaps from Beekman 1802 that were provided in the bathroom of our inn; one standout was Honey & Orange Blossom.

Are you headed anywhere, near or far, this summer? Are you choosing any familiar favorites or new finds to wear for the occasion? Feel free to share in the comments!


  1. I recently returned from a camping trip, which required a lo-fi, easy-pleasy kinda perfume. I went with Silvestre by Spanish tincture fairies Bravanariz. It was perfect. It’s a very natural cologne and I found it especially useful for spraying onto my Covid mask. Most perfumes would be too strong for this kind of application but it suits Silvestre well.


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