The summer might be chugging inexorably to a close, but I’m not quite ready to give up on summery scents just yet.
If there’s one way to stave off the mood-altering effects of the fading light and change in season, it’s with fragrance, and thanks to a range of great citrus scents you can pretend it’s summer right through to Christmas.
Citrus shower gels are the quickest and cheapest way to get a touch of summer into your bathroom. And if you’re not into shower gels then don’t worry, citrus soaps are gorgeous in the bathroom, especially if you’re having visitors.
Go as traditional as you can with soaps — I love the old-school Marseille soaps (a good one to try is the Organic True Savon de Marseille in Citrus, €8.75 at oliviersco.com), but if you’re after a more modern effect then look to Le Compagnie de Provence, which takes a more modern approach to the 17th tradition associated with Marseille soaps. Try their Liquid Marseille Soap in Fresh Verbena, €12.75, and you’ll immediately be transported to the south of France.
Citrus is an ideal scent in body creams and acts as a welcome counterpoint to heavy, wintery vanilla-based fragrance.
The fruity edge in the Clarins Eau de Jardins range is instantly uplifting without being too in-your-face citrus.
The Smoothing Body Cream, €33.55, has a gorgeous texture and, like all of Clarins’ body creams, really works effectively on your skin making it super-soft within a couple of days.
The Body Shop’s Spa Fit Toning Massage Oil, €25.50, isn’t just for massages — this makes a great moisturiser with 100% natural citrus ingredients.
The zesty lemon scent makes it perfect for counteracting the dull, lethargic effects of darker autumn mornings — even the packaging makes you feel zingy. Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter, €26.65, is another favourite — the rich, deeply moisturising cream makes you wish for sunny days to show your skin off.
But don’t forget to slough away dead skin cells with a citrus exfoliator. There are tons around to choose from — citrus and fruits work really well as exfoliators, and top of my wish list is Origins Gloomaway, €28, a grapefruit body buffing cleanser. It leaves your skin sparkly clean and feeling smooth as a grape rather than a grapefruit.
When it comes to fragrance, citrus can be tricky — either it’s mixed with too much sweetness and it becomes cloying, or it edges into airfreshener territory, which is worse. But go for the right citrus scent and there is nothing better — the key is to spend a bit more money, but go for the real thing (scents derived from essential oils) and you’ll really notice a difference.
Tom Ford’s Private Blend Azure Lime, from €170, is pretty much top of the range in terms of price and quality, but it’s a unisex scent that takes the Caribbean and Mustique as its inspiration. Divine.
I love the fresh burst of southern European sunshine that Carthusia’s Mediterraneo eau de parfum, €50, injects into a gloomy morning. But my favourite is Miller Harris’s Citron Citron, €78, a super-fresh burst of Sicilian lemon, Spanish orange and Jamaican lime.
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