Are you one of those people who don't wear deodorant? I used to be one of those people. It just didn't seem natural, I guess. Which is funny, because almost everything else I do is highly manipulated, but for a while there, I let my underarms just sort of be themselves or something. It was a big mistake, it really was. I walked around always wondering why everything smelled like off-brand patchouli incense, when really, the funky smell was just my very own body odor. Anyway. Now that we're in the middle of the kind of hot sticky New York summer weather that makes even the strongest deodorant (now I use Old Spice "Swagger" deodorant, just because the name makes me laugh and laugh) feel inadequate, I figured it was a good time to explore other options that will make us all smell as good as possible, so that we only feel like vomiting from the heat, not each other's pit smells.
Joya Studio; Royal Jasmine
I love all of Joya Studio's perfumes (and candles for that matter), and there's the added bonus that all of the fragrances and beautiful ceramic containers are made right here in Brooklyn. For this summer, I'm partial to this Joya collaboration with Vane, because it is a solid fragrance that comes in a delicate filigree necklace that is reminiscent of the one Mia Farrow is given by Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby, only this necklace smells good, not like evil. How good does it smell? Well, the top notes are lush Spanish jasmine and tuberose, and the middle notes include toasted marshmallow, so basically you'll smell all floral and edible and AMAZING. Plus, since the fragrance is activated by body heat, the warmer it gets, the better you'll smell. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.
Joya Studio; Royal Jasmine, $68
If there's anywhere that feels more like the polar opposite of steaming, stinky hot Brooklyn streets than the rocky coastal forests of Maine, I certainly don't know about it. But I do know about Maine in the summer, and, really, once the temperature in Brooklyn inches toward 100 degrees and the humidity approaches 100%, there is nowhere else where I'd rather be transported. The next best thing to actually being in Maine, though, is wearing this perfume oil from Greenpoint-based MCMC Fragrances. Per the website, "Maine is inspired by a day spent on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine, falling in love." The perfume contains "Bulgarian rose absolute, local clary sage, wild Somalian myrhh, and French seaweed absolute convey the fresh scents of sea, air, sun, pine, and the discovery of a perfect beach plum rose. Dries down into the musky scent of sensual skin coupled with sun-dried grass." Yes. Yes to all of that.
MCMC Fragrances; Maine, $45
CB I Hate Perfume; 7 Billion Hearts
This Williamsburg company has been producing some of the most innovative and intoxicating scents to come out of Brooklyn—or anywhere else for that matter—for well over a decade now. This particular scent is inspired by the fact that, "there are now or will shortly be seven billion people on this planet. Seven billion souls hoping and dreaming. Seven billion hearts beating. One of them inevitably beats for you. As Elizabeth Bishop so rightly put it, somebody loves us all. When we feel despondent or lonely and in need of some comfort, we need to keep this in mind." So, basically, it's inspired by the collective stench of the whole world's population. And how does that translate exactly? Well, it translates into vanilla! Yes, vanilla, which is one of the most universally beloved fragrances. This scent contains two kinds of vanilla (from Tahiti and Madagascar) and a "smoky, resinous" base note, so that you'll smell sweet and smoky and sexy all at once. Perfect.
CB I Hate Perfume; 7 Billion Hearts, $30
DS & Durga; Italian Citrus
When the whole world feels like the sultriest of saunas, it makes intuitive sense to spritz yourself with light and bright scents that will cut through the heaviness of the heat. This scent from DS & Durga is a "bracing cologne of coastal Italian citrus rinds—chinotto, blood orange, cold-pressed lemon and green mandarin with ambrette seed & clean musk." Clean musk? Yes, please. Plus, I would advise everyone to wear a scent which is in part inspired by Melville's Billy Budd. Nobody reads Melville anymore, and they really should, especially Billy Budd. I mean, I'm overly partial to stories with no proper ending, but still. It's worth reading.
DS & Durga; Italian Citrus, $96
Also available at Woodley & Bunny, 196 N 10th Street, Williamsburg
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen