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Squeezing in a surf before a night out; photo via Karla Raphail Photography
All too often, I'm rushing straight from surfing to evenings out with only a quick dip in the beach showers in between, whether it's hosting friends or attending an event. Despite marketing attempts to make it sound like a divine fragrance, in real life I never want to bring the ocean's scent with me (a mix of seawater, sealife and neoprene). A well-stocked stash of perfumes ensures that other guests won't catch a whiff of my earlier whereabouts. And these scents are just as lovely on on days when I'm not in and out of the water. The best tip I ever learned about fragrances? Store them in the fridge to keep the scents pristine.
The Jo Malone fragrances are my everyday wears. They are light and fresh and meant to layer. At the moment, the two mainstays on my vanity are the French Lime Blossom Cologne ($60) and the Wild Bluebell Cologne ($60). With so many Jo Malone scents to choose from, it's easiest to get a second nose for opinions—especially if it belongs to the someone who will be smelling you most often.
The Penhaligon's Vaara Eau De Parfum Spray ($125) is unexpected for a scent inspired by Jodhpur, India. As the story goes, the Maharaja already knew about the perfumery from his studies in England and was excited to collaborate on the scent, which is named after his granddaughter. Aromatic and modern, the scent is bold but not too overpowering to pair with dinner.
The Tom Ford White Patchouli ($110) and Black Orchid ($72) are the yin and the yang of the perfume world. Both are incredibly sexy but the white approaches it from the sensuous side while the black approaches it from the sultry one. Wear one or the other depending on your mood and plans.
The Robert Piguet Fracas Eau de Parfum ($110) is a classic—the grand dame of perfumes. Worn by strong, iconic women of all ages and eras from Marilyn Monroe to Brigit Bardot, Madonna to Martha Stewart, it is a heady floral scent not for the faint of heart. First launched in 1948, the perfume disappeared around the late 1970s then relaunched in 1998 (stay away from the clear bottles from the '80s). Some say the relaunch is more watery than the original. But that may be a blessing since a small spritz goes a long way.
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