Five for Friday: The Supertropicals - Beauty Addict

Friday, August 13, 2010

Five for Friday: The Supertropicals

This week's Five for Friday is all about incredibly lush tropical floral fragrances, mostly built around jasmine or gardenia notes. You know, the ones you want to wear for cocktails on a sultry night with a gorgeous sunset. I like to call them supertropicals. No sunscreen scents or weak plasticky coconuts here. These are the big guns of tropical florals.

Incidentally, they're all oils. Somehow this medium lends itself perfectly to lush, sexy tropical florals. Read on for my favorites:

Kai is probably the queen of this category. It's all about gardenia (and some other unidentified white florals), somehow fresh and buttery at the same time, and never stuffy. Available in oil and a slew of other incarnations, from eau de parfum to candles to body scrub.

Monyette Paris is one of my all time favorite perfumes, supertropical or not. Inspired by French Polynesia, it's a blend of Tahitian gardenia, French muguet, and island vanilla orchid, with hints of nag champa incense in the base. Creamy, delicious, sexy, and comforting all at once. I can't say enough about this one. I once thought I lost my tiny, precious vial, and practically tore my house apart looking for it. Now that's love.

Untitled #2 is by the same perfumer as Monyette Paris (the amazingly talented Tristan Brando), but it's a completely different twist on a tropical scent. No gardenia or jasmine here--this one is a delicious melange of green coconut and sweet vanilla. It's warm and gourmand, tropical without being too flowery. This is for the girl who's not a floral fan but wants a vacation scent. Notes include black coconut milk, green coconut, tahitian vanilla, madagascar vanilla, heliotrope, light driftwood musk, and Sicilian tangelo zest. John's take: "I like it. Smells like a creme brulee...a really good one!"

Escape is a pulse point oil from Lifetherapy, a boutique spa brand, and they've done a fantastic job of creating a supertropical that really delivers. Escape is a blend of pineapple leaf, gardenia and palm bark, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the pineapple leaf in the opening, the rest is all gravy. As Escape softens and develops, you're left with a combo of Kai and Monyette Paris. It doesn't have the creamy nag champa drydown of Monyette, but it's smoother than Kai. Look forward to hearing more about Lifetherapy in the coming weeks - I'm impressed with several of the offerings from this brand!

Child...well, according to Jennie Garth, this is the one that "drives men wild." While the official list of notes is a bit of a secret, at its heart it's a pikake (jasmine sambac) fragrance, a gigantic tropical white floral. You'll often find pikake in Hawaiian leis, and that's what Child evokes...a really gorgeous lei that you can't stop sniffing. It's a bit of a love it or hate it fragrance; some find it utterly ordinary, while others swear by it. By its inclusion on this list, I suppose you can guess which camp I'm in!